July Happenings

July has been hectic even manic at times! A Roller-coaster of a month so far and it’s not over yet!! A red letter day was 10th when my youngest grandaughter Alice aged 10 appeared on the West End Stage, in London, with her Stage School. The Shaftesbury Theatre is at the heart of Theatreland. A coach full of excited performers and their families left the West Country, where we live, and drove to London. Anxious parents (and grandparents) dropped the children, with their teachers, off outside the theatre then we had a whole afternoon to spend in London. We chose to go to Covent Garden which was a short walk away. We made straight for an Italian Restaurant, one of Evie’s favourite places (Alice’s older sister aged 12) where she chose her usual ham and mushroom thin based pizza. Oh and olives to start with mini ciabatta rolls sizzling in garlic butter. Peter (known as BapBap by the grandchildren) and I (NanNan) had a delicious, rich, beef stew with gnocchi and Kate (Mum, our daughter) had roasted vegetable calzone. Perfect to set us all up. The olds also had an excellent glass of red wine each. Feeling suitably revived we wandered the stalls. Street musicians, acrobats, and students from the Royal Opera House sang, danced and performed around the squares. Tourists from many different countries followed their tour guides or just sat absorbing the scene. Sun shone gloriously, we managed to eat various flavoured gelatos to round off the afternoon, oh and fitted in some retail therapy. BapBap carried the bags patiently! Then it was time for the show.

The theatre is beautifully decorated, three tiers soared into the roof but we were in the front of the stalls. 16 different Stage Coach Schools from around the country as well as London gathered to perform, the standard of each school was incredibly high. We cheered loudly when our school came on in the second half but they got a standing ovation at the end of their performance. The theme of their piece was Land Girls (and boys) in the Second World War. The hair was in 40s style, with a modern twist, and uniforms of dungarees and shorts. They looked great. I know I was a proud grandma! They sang a selection of popular songs from the time with back-shots of real people projected onto a screen. Ages ranged from 10 to 16, the polished performance was worthy of that great theatre. FB_IMG_1468739361811Freddie Underwood, the Principal and Director beamed with pride. What a night.

A trip to Wales to see my niece Rhiannon graduate on 14th with a Masters Degree in Education. You have seen photos of Rhiannon in a previous blog. We were pleased to be invited and again proud of her achievements, a single mum who teaches full time.  On 19th her daughter Kerys graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, we were unable to attend but what a pair of amazing women they are. 20160714_161836

The other big occasion was between these two events on 17th when we hosted a family reunion at our small house. Luckily the sun shone as a total of 35 of us gathered (all my immediate family plus some of my cousins) aged from 84 down to 3. It was the first time for 15 years since the majority of us last met, none of the 7 young children were born then. My 5 grandchildren were there aged 3-12, my 8 year old great-nephew, a 6 year old cousin, 3 other great-nephews aged 16 and 18 and Kerys 21. Plus of course their parents and grandparents. Lots of champagne flowed, everyone brought food ranging from vegetarian pies, home-cooked gammon and beef, chicken dishes, salads galore, desserts, cheese, cakes you name it. Not much was left by the time everyone had gone home! The photo gives a small flavour of the day. received_1042511749178271

Wednesday 20th was my big Choir Concert. We sang the song we wrote earlier this year, When Will I See The Sun, for only the second time in public plus a range of other music from old English folk songs to a moving song, Pura Mame, from Figi honouring our ancestors. Another wonderful night, a dear friend was there to cheer me on and might submit a comment!20160720_195234_Burst05[1]

My birthday is on 30th but my son Matthew is 45 on 27th and my grandson Pete is 7 on 1st August so more celebrations to follow! Pete will be in New York with 16 members of the American branch of his family.

August will settle down and we can recharge, maybe.

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10 responses to “July Happenings

  1. Out and about so using iPhone which is sometimes good sometimes not. Loved the pictures so fun sharing this busy month with you.

  2. You must have been one proud NanNan, Janey. Alice did really well and looks so confident and happy in that photo. So pleased that you had a great family day out, and also pleased your family party went well. Thankfully, the weather played its part too. I know you worked really hard putting that together.

    And huge congrats on such a successful evening on Wednesday. I was lucky enough to be in the audience and thought you all were amazing. I really admire you, not only for singing with the choir but for introducing one of the songs! It was a really great night. We’re already looking forward to next year 🙂 Well done!!

  3. Thank you Trish, I’m so pleased you enjoyed the concert and was glad you were there. It is great fun and hardwork but well worth it. It has been a great month, not over yet! Alice was so proud to be part of such a night. I am slowing down a little now for a while thank goodness. Thanks for your kind comments.

  4. Thank you too Lavada glad you enjoyed it. Not sure if you are on a trip, if so enjoy.

  5. Holy Toledo. That’s an action-packed month, and full of wonderful visits and memories. I’m amazed you could keep it all straight. And the concert (both yours and your granddaughter’s, sound like they went off without a hitch and were lovely. I hope you have just as much fun in August, Jane. I also hope you get enough down time to keep up with your rest. 🙂

  6. I could not cope with many months like this Laurie! It was amazing. August will definitely be slower and calmer!

  7. Wow, you must be exhausted, but very proud and happy. What a wonderful month. Now hopefully time to sit back and enjoy the summer! Great post.

  8. Thank you Kit. It was my birthday last weekend with more treats but finishes with afternoon tea at The Manor, Castle Coombe tomorrow. Then definitely ease off, too old for all this excitement!

  9. Valerie J. Patterson

    Happy Belated Birthday Blessings to you Jane!! Wow! What a power-packed month July was for you and the family! Bet you had the most wonderful time at the family reunion! Hope you’ve recovered here in August.

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