Saturday, 27 May 2017

Happy Birthday Hugh

Nigel was a little reluctant to leave his beloved swans behind, but we had promised to spend  the weekend with Hugh at his country bolt hole in Worcester for his birthday.
IMG_2279Hugh was in high spirits when we arrived, having already blown up a few balloons with, he announced proudly, his own lips and not zee balloon pump!
IMG_2281We excitedly gave him our presents. We had purposely chosen to give him very simple things, having decided many years ago that there’s just no point in us trying to compete with the gifts his showbiz friends usually shower upon him, and neither would he expect us too, “You can get so many brilliant things in Poundland and the 99p Shop that Mariah and Elt would never think of getting me. There are only so many baskets of kittens and liquorice allsorts dipped in aspic that one can coo over” he has said before now.
IMG_2283So, our “humble” gifts of M & S Percy and Penny Pigs really went down very well, as Hugh is very partial to a soft fruit flavoured gum, especially if they are also pig and heart shaped.
IMG_2285We also gave him a set of skull shaped shot glasses, something Darrell had noted that he had said he quite fancied for his cocktail cabinet  …….. “We shall knock back the Umbongo in style tonight” he announced.  It was an emotional unwrapping of gifts, but with Hugh that’s not really anything new!
IMG_2248Happy Birthday Hugh ……….
IMG_2249……. you really can rock an oversized birthday badge!

Friday, 26 May 2017

Nigel’s Emotions Are Wrung Through The Mill …….

Nigel went to visit his beloved swans nest yesterday afternoon and got a the most horrendous shock …….
IMG_2380……. in the nest were three very abandoned looking eggs ……
IMG_2376……….. and there was no sign of the swans or the babies he had fallen in love with earlier in the week.
Poor Nigel was distraught …..  he sadly left the nest and walked slowly along the river, his eyes scanning for any sight of the swans and his ears straining for the faintest “peep peep”. With a heart as heavy as lead, Nigel couldn’t help but fear the worst, left alone with thoughts that nature can be a very cruel mistress!
IMG_2387But then, as he turned the corner and approached the slipway his eyes were greeted by the most wondrous sight …….
IMG_2384The swans had taken their 5 baby swanlings to the secluded shallows of said slipway to get used to the water.
IMG_2386Nigel had to admit that he then got a little emotional and needed to pull himself ntogether, before approaching.
The proud parents were very attentive ……..
IMG_2391…… and in turn four of the five swanlings seemed be taking to the water, well, ….. like swans …………….
IMG_2392……. all but one, who seemed to prefer to stay on land close to his mum (or dad)
IMG_2393He was the one, Nigel decided who was going to be his favourite as he looked a bit sad ……..
IMG_2396…… and he, was going to be called Eric.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Time For Darrell To Return Home …..

Darrell’s stay in London with Hugh, his showbiz friend, bon viveur and style guru to the stars has been short and but very sweet, Eurovision, a spot of mooching and then homeward bound.
IMG_2170Darrell will miss the luxury of sleeping in Hugh’s darkly romantic silk sheets, even if he finds them a bit slidey, however it will not be a long parting this time as we are all bound for Hugh’s Worcester Cottage to celebrate Hugh’s birthday almost as soon as Darrell gets back.
IMG_2173Darrell couldn’t but help notice the contrast between the en-trend décor of Hugh’s large Notting Hill Pied a Terre, where Hugh entertains in flambouyant abandon and the comfortable shabby cottage chic of his beloved Worcester bolt hole, where he can be himself without the need of staff, feather boas  ……..
IMG_2163 …… and walls covered in his visible patronage of up and coming artistes.
IMG_2177However, “below stairs” it’s easy to see where Hugh’s true friends and roots are firmly planted ……
IMG_2175…… and that you can never take the love for a knitted cosy away out of The Star!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

A Most Romantic Nursery School ……

Just up the road from Hugh is a bilingual nursery called La Petite Ecole Bilingue, just how romantic is that?
IMG_2118Darrell has been imagining who unbelievably cute it would be to pick Iris up from nursery and greet her in French, with something along the lines of  …….. “Bonjour mon petit chou chou chou, avez-vous passé un bon moment? Qu'est-ce que tu as fait mon cheri ?” in an exotic Wolverhampton French hybrid accent, with Iris replying with an equally impeccable   “Je suis un peu faim Oncle Darrell, puis-je avoir un gâteau de maïs s'il vous plaît?” as is Iris’s usual way. What is he like, if an incorrigible and hopeless, hopeless romantic!

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Darrell Ventures Into Portobello Road Market

While Hugh was out giving several radio interviews on Theresa May’s election wardrobe Darrell decided to have a mooch around Portobello Market, about a five minute walk from Hugh’s flat.
port 1He said that though he had plenty of money in his pocket, it was safe! There was nothing to tempt him, although he tried and looked very hard, in fact, he said, that the charity shops of Evesham offered far more temptation in prising him from his well earned cash type nature!
port 5It was also VERY VERY busy, Darrell had almost forgotten just how busy and crowded it could be, with pictures being taken of every single thing from every conceivable angle, so without him trying too hard, he reckons that quite a few foreign tourists will be going home to find him beaming in the background of their pictures !!!  What is he like?
port 2port 3
……. And one of London’s greatest mysteries still puzzles with Darrell, how come one of the busiest streets in London has the worst Poundland he has ever been in, and believe me, Darrell has been in a great many. It’s untidy and to be honest pretty grotty, as well as being only half stocked with **** rubbish.  If Poundland have flagship shops this ought to be one of them, but instead it just gives pound shops a bad name, it should take a leaf, for example from Telford or Tamworth, then tourists would be queuing to get in!
port 6
The stalls and shops of Portobello haven't changed a lot in the years Darrell has been visiting, the only new phenomena he noticed was the proclivity of stalls selling vintage headscarves for £1, he delved and was almost tempted by one or two, but he reasoned that though a scarf tied at a jaunty angle round Hugh’s neck looks sooooooo right on Hugh in Notting Hill, it  would equally look sooooooooo out of place in Evesham!
port 8 …….. but, perhaps in twenty years or so time, who knows?

Monday, 22 May 2017

A Belated Eurovision 2017

As you read this, Eurovision is well and truly over, but on the evening, in Notting Hill,  Darrell and Hugh had a wonderful, wonderful night ……..
IMG_2126……. starting with a magnificent tea, prepared by Hugh himself, with his own bare hands, as he had given his “man that does” the evening off to enjoy Eurovision himself.
IMG_2138Hugh was of the same opinion as us re: The Three Amigos, who were our comperes for the night, for being a little too cheesy in manner and Thunderbird puppet stiff of movement.  He was also as relieved as we were to find that national costume and “meaningful” contemporary dance to weird folk instrumentals did not rear their head too much in the interval as we had feared …… but he said that if he had been consulted, he may have been able to swing it for his great friends La Gaga or Madge to cut through all the fannying about and “do” said interval in it’s entirety, as Mr Timberlake had done in Stockholm.
IMG_2125Darrell’s and Hugh’s favourite song was Belgium, although Darrell had said that Portugal, because it was so different from the others, could come in on the outside, as indeed it did.  The favourite Italy just did nothing for them.
IMG_2134They were more on the ball however when they predicted that Spain would be a null pointer.
IMG_2128During the voting Hugh produced a rather humungous selection of gourmet cheeses, after which Darrell said he had an attack of the dreaded Christmas cheese sweats! But, it has to be said, Hugh does puts on a serious candle lit feast!
IMG_2129So that is it for yet another year …… Portugal, the victors, beckons ……. and who knows, it won’t be for the lack of trying, perhaps one or two of us may find ourselves there ……

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Darrell Returns To London

While Nigel and I were in Devon, Darrell travelled down to London for the first time in over a year, as he/we now tend to visit Hugh in his Worcester Cottage Bolt Hole, where he is a very different Hugh to the one we see in Notting Hill when he is living the showbiz life. 
IMG_2205However, Hugh had several interviews and magazine shoots in London during the week,  and so had invited Darrell down to London where they could share Eurovision together yet again.
IMG_2203Darrell said it was a very different journey after travelling from the Wolverhampton to London so many times. This was a lot posher, calling at stations through the Cotswolds and then Oxford, where some very posh people with bound documents got on, talking about important sounding people and funding, in hushed (but intellectual voices) so Darrell had much to eavesdrop …… they also, he noted nodded in agreement as posh people do!  What is he like?
IMG_2201It was good to be back he sighed ……. and Eurovision was but a few hours away ………..

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Nigel Gets The Most Wonderful Surprise

As soon as Nigel and I got home from Devon Cliffs the first thing he wanted to do was go down to the lock to check on his swans and their eggs ………..
Nigel 1…….. lets just say it was very, very emotional reunion, I am even filling up a little myself.
Cygnet 1At first Nigel didn’t think anything had happened in our absence, but, as he was watching quietly, a tiny little head popped out from under the mummy swans wings ……
Cygnet 2I think poor Nigel was beside himself at that moment ………
Nigel 2…….. he certainly came home with moist eyes and a drip on the end of his nose ……
Cygnet…… because, he said that when the mum rearranged herself on the nest, as she lifted herself up he was pretty sure there were another two swanlings under her!  As I said at the beginning, it was a very emotional home coming for Nigel ……. and if he disappears now and again I am pretty sure I will know where to find him!  He says when he is a little more together he will have a think of some names for The Triplings!

Friday, 19 May 2017

Upwards and Onwards Or Vice Versa

This morning it was time to bid a fond farewell to Devon Cliffs.
There was time for one last sandcastle to be made for Nigel ……….
IMG_2021…….. and a last quick, chilly paddle for Iris and Lucy ……..
IMG_2014……. before we emptied the caravan of all our paraphernalia, partook in the chucking out of the bed linen …… and the final handing in of keys.
IMG_1999We’ve had a wonderful time, but, this was just a practice run for things to come, the Romantic Isle of Corfu beckons, when the bitter grey sea, cold sands and fish and chips of Devon at the start of the summer season…………
IMG_1918………. will be replaced by the warm azure sea, golden sands and gyros of the aforementioned and much anticipated Greek Isle …………
crop………. Happy Days!