Looking out over the lake at Garsington Opera, Wormsley
Arrived back in Singapore today ready to move into our new apartment tomorrow, and to get our work and residency permits. All a bit grown up. Waiting to re-connect with delicious Chinese food (ie dinner!) provides a little space to look back on the whirl of the past few weeks.
Proud mother Fi, with chorister Hugo
After my lovely few days in the Lake District, we sampled the high life. Fist a vist to Jesus College, Cambridge, where friend Fi’s son Hugo was singing the Monteverdi Vespers. I never went to Jesus when up at Cambridge, but it brought back the memories all right – the best days of our lives, of course, especially as some of the other guests were fellow students…35 years on! Magical singing followed by a delicious dinner in the Jesus Hall. Very convivial.
The gardens at Garsington
Then Opera! Thanks to the glorious English summer we had some stupendous outings to Garsington and Glyndebourne with friends. Sipping champagne by the Lake at Garsington, or on the lawn at Glyndebourne, dining al fresco or in the Glyndebourne restaurant, we felt very privileged. Oh and the music was quite good too!
The glorious new gardens at Garsington Wormsley – with Clare Cooper and Ross
Peonies at Garsington
with Bill and Janie Critchley overlooking the famous Wormsley Cricket pitch
with Jane Hindley at Gyndebourne
with old friend and founder of Wasafiri magazine, Susheila Nasta at Exeter College, Oxford before Caine Dinner
Can’t resist this photo of Trevor looking so grumpy, and he’s with me! What more could a man want?-
With Andy Hodge and Clare Cooper at Henley Regatta
While I had a busy day of meetings (yes I do sometimes work!), Ross mananged to squeeze in a trip to Henley regatta and lunch with Olympic Gold-medal winner, Andy Hodge. Then for me a trip to Oxford and more Fellows’ Gardens for the Caine Prize dinner in the Bodleian Library. Always a time when I see old friends from my African literature days; Ben Okri gave a moving tribute to Chinua Achebe, who died a few weeks ago, and whom I represented at the Booker Prize when he was shortlisted. Those were the days, my friend… In between, a Patron’s Evening at Art First (www.artfirst.co.uk) to launch Natural History, a charming exhibition comprising 28 artists working across a wide range of mixed media and disciplines providing a thoughtful reflection of man’s interaction with the environment. Catch it at 21 Eastcastle Street , London W1.
Marie, Dot and Abby at the Bench/outside the Marathon Kebab House, being filmed
A couple of visits too: one by a film crew, making a documentary on drugs for BBC3/Education, who wanted to talk about ketamine and Louise: we met up with some of her friends by the bench and reminisced. The film is due out in September.
My American half-sister Bonnie paid her annual visit; we also put flowers on the bench, and sat in our garden, which is looking the best ever, especially since we laid a new lawn. Pity we won’t be around to enjoy it!
Bonnie and I at the Bench
The beautiful roses that Felcity Kendal gave us when Louise died – what better place to put such a tribute?
And to end off, the film premiere of friend Iain Softley’s latest film, Trap for Cinderella (ready my review on http://www.vickyatthemovies.net), followed by our proper 30th wedding anniversary celebrations, first, at Petrus – menu gourmand with wine for every course – courtesy best man John Pooler, best maid Fi, and partners;
the girls at Petrus – Hilary, Fi and me…
and secondly with a collection of our oldest friends and some of son Tommy’s, in our garden, where I tried out my newly acquired oriental culinary skills in combination with more British ones…
Bar-tender Tommy serving the drinks…
Wild salmon and all sorts of salads made by me with a little help from my friends!
Vietnamese beef, expertly seared by Tommy
Tommy and girl-friend Olivia
Gosh I feel homesick already…but it’s Shanghai next week.