Thursday, 9 April 2015

Just a Minute

Hello everyone. I trust that a fine Easter weekend was had by all. The weather has been rather lovely recently and we managed to get out and about for a few walks in between all the wretched revision for exams. I feel I ought to apologize in advance for the rather photo heavy post. I was going to clump several together in mosaics, but (being technically challenged) that always seems to take me quite a while and after a long day yesterday, I'm afraid I can't muster up the energy.
Anyway, here are a few photos that sum up my Easter:
Essential Easter nests (there were far more to start with!) :
..... and, of course, Hot cross Buns:
Our very own Easter Bunny:
The traditional Easter egg hunt in the garden:
Hamish 'helping' with the Easter Egg hunt!:
Cheery daffs:
Basil and Olive Focaccia:
To be made into bruschetta with guacamole and feta with roasted figs:
Finally getting around to tidying the greenhouse - I know compared to some it doesn't look great but, believe me, it's infinitely better than it was - I was too embarrassed to take a before shot!
Sowing some seeds before running out of compost - I've just bought some more, so I can get on and plant the rest.
E's new passion - jasmine green tea with tapioca pearls:
 Our walk on Easter Sunday was an old favourite to Donnington Castle:
I hope you can read the sign - I think you can click on it and make it bigger if necessary. We've been coming here in the school holidays for 16 years now and it's always a delight. 
E had brought home some tadpoles from the biology department on the last day of school. They are thriving and will soon need to be released. I think our river is too fast flowing for them, so we checked out a large pond near the castle. I think it will be suitable when the time comes.
There were swans building nests:
.... and geese on the river:
Our walk on Easter Monday was the circular one we did in December for my birthday picnic. This time it was far less muddy and we did it in reverse just to ring the changes.
We started off along the towpath:
Saw some lovely narrow boats - one had a ship's cat; we wondered if he was Olav.
Crossed the canal:
Waved to the oak tree where we stopped for our picnic last time:
 Saw a really cute little cottage:

 .... and waited for a while for the horses to turn round so we could take their photo - they didn't!
 The weather was so warm that it could have been Summer but all too soon it was back home to hit those books again.
My final happy this week was a trip here:
A few months ago, E had applied for tickets to see the Radio 4 show 'Just a Minute' being recorded. 
Luckily for us, she was successful, so yesterday we set off early to the BBC. It's always lovely to see a show recorded, the only problem is that , to ensure a full audience, the producers give out more tickets than there are seats available. They work on the assumption that some people will book tickets but then be unable to make it on the day. Quite understandable, but it does mean that you can trek all the way into London, only to find that you can't actually get in. It pays to be early, so we had quite a wait. We filled some of the time sitting on the steps of All Souls Church hand feeding the pigeons:

Also, quite a lot of time sitting in a cafe with me knitting and E learning Latin vocab!

  For those who haven't listened to the show, contestants have to try to talk for a minute on various subjects without hesitation, repetition or deviation. The 4 panelists this time were Paul Merton, Giles Brandreth, Alun Cochrane and Susan Calman. All were brilliant but Giles Brandreth shone. Given any topic, he would half close his eyes, turn to the audience and talk AT SPEED for the full minute. He was also very sweet, looking after Susan Calman who was doing it for the first time and rather nervous. Nicholas Parsons, the host, is 91 years of age and looks 30 years younger - I'm sure he must have a portrait in the attic somewhere!
The only down side of the day was trying to get home on the train. After about 9 pm, the trains stop at Reading and we are usually left getting a bus home. The sad thing is, we are now so used to this appalling service (considering the price of a travel card to London) that we don't even think of complaining any more.

Anyway, that was my Easter week. Have a gold star if you made it through all those photos! I'm just off to plant some more seeds. Have a wonderful and, I hope, sunny weekend.
Toodle Pip for now. x


  1. Loved your post and reading about your Easter week activities. I really must visit Donnington Castle again soon, it is ages since I have been and it is not far away from us. Glad you enjoyed your day in London, it must have been fascinating watching
    'Just a Minute' being recorded. I can imagine Gyles Brandreth being really good at it. xx

  2. Goodness!! What a treat your post was for me today!! I just loved seeing how you all celebrate Easter! All of those delicious treats and your egg hunt! Just outstanding!! I don't think you understand how badly I would like a greenhouse! Yours is awesome!!! And your walk about was beautiful!! Wishing you a lovely weekend my friend! Nicole xoxo

  3. Dear little rabbit, he's so lovely. It makes me think that my littlest boy would like one just like that. Nicholas Parsons is amazing isn't he, I've listened to many episodes of the show over the years, right from when I was tiny. It sounds like you've been having a good time, despite the revision, which I hope is going well. CJ xx

  4. What a lot you packed into the Easter break, and all of it brilliant! The Easter goodies look delicious and Hamish the Easter bunny is very sweet indeed. Your greenhouse looks great and reminds me that I need to plant some seeds this weekend. Castle Donnington looks very impressive, and watching 'Just A Minute' must've been really entertaining. We sometimes listen to it in the car. Ours is a house of revision at the moment as well - hope it's all going well at yours too :)
    Cathy x

  5. I was going for a virtual hot cross bun when then I saw the Focaccia but then I had to reconsider the Easter nest. You're confusing me :-)

  6. I'll definitely forgive a photo-heavy post when the photos are as yummy, as cute and as beautiful as these ones!

  7. Those hot cross buns look so good. Looks like you had a successful time. How fun to go to the BBC. Have a great weekend.

  8. Your post has made me hungry for all things egg-like and British :) Glad you enjoyed your visit to the BBC. It seems like you have had a very nice Easter break.