Friday, 10 August 2012


The sun is shining and it is a beautiful day in the Yorkshire Dales, Team GB are doing wonderfully well in the Olympics, I have been able to spend time with some very special people whose friendship I cherish and my son’s three children will be arriving to stay with me for a few days this afternoon. What more could anyone want?
There have been several things I have not had the inclination or the energy to do since Simon died but after spending three days in Staines with a friend and her husband who I have known for over 50 years and five days in Kirkliston, near Edinburgh, with Simon’s most ardent blog follower and her husband, friends for 37 years, I am springing into action. I have been to see the solicitor who has everything he needs to get probate and I have been sorting out other pressing matters related to finance. I have also ordered a litter bin made from 100% waste HDPE, the plastic that is commonly used to make milk and juice bottles, for the church car park. This plastic never biodegrades and doesn’t rot or splinter or need painting. Simon and I both hated to see the small and very unattractive, wobbly previous bin overflowing. The one I have ordered has a lid so should look much neater – I know benches are the usual in memory items but Simon was a maverick and liked to challenge perceptions! Next week it will be completing Simon’s tax returns - it is easier to go into his barn office although I still feel a bit guilty about moving the things he had arranged so meticulously.
Whilst I was in Staines my son-in-law was able to get me two tickets for the dress rehearsal of the Opening Ceremony for the Games. It was such an amazing experience for me. I’ve never been to a big concert or in a stadium that can hold 80,000 people or found myself in such a huge throng of people making their way home – there’s more sheep than people in the village where I live. I am sure that the images from that evening will stay with me for the rest of my life. James, my son-in-law, has been working flat out for months in the Olympic bubble along with thousands of others and I am so proud of him and my daughter who has been holding the fort at home, managing a big building/house extension project, a new job and her two extremely lively young boys.
There were also exciting images to see in the Jupiter Artland in the grounds of Bonnington House, outside Edinburgh which I visited when staying in Kirkliston. The contemporary sculptures and installations by amongst others, Andy Goldsworthy, Charles Jencks, Anya Gallaccio and Anthony Gormley were a delight. Just have a look at the website and see for yourself The picture shows one of my favourites - a living, growing, changing sculpture in which people and wood will play equally important roles. It's only one tree hosting a boulder, there are lots more.