Romantic cottages for two in the Peak District

Explanation and Apology for a Long Silence

A few of the guests enjoying the sunshine in the garden

Some party guests

We have been away, away from the seat of power – it’s as simple as that. I had fondly thought I could daily – although possibly still without photos – send posts composed laboriously with one or at the most two fingers on my mobile phone but hadn’t reckoned with the amount of general activity and socialising that kept me almost permanently from the miniature keyboard.

We started the spell away with a memorable birthday party arranged for a very good, very longstanding good friend of ours (not going to say ‘old friend’) who was celebrating a memorable birthday, so things started off well and continued in a very happy and nostalgic vein. We then travelled up to our old hunting ground of Scarborough to stay with another longstanding friend for a few days.

The Bramcote headmaster and his wife with J and MF-S

J & M with the Bramcote headmaster and his wife

This kind friend had laid on three days of interest and fun, meeting up with old friends, a super visit to Bramcote School where we had been for twenty busy, happy, fullfilled years, a quick nostalgic trip to Scarborough cricket ground and another old family friend then finally, a visit to the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round, where we saw Neighbourhood Watch, the (current) very last play to be written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn himself. (This is the third year running we have been lucky enough to do so; all being well he will have written yet another by this time next year.)

We have seen many of his 75 plays over the years, most of them written and first seen in Scarborough.  His plays are always an imaginative and often quite subtly disturbing mixture of belly laughs and black humour, all enhanced by the perfect timing and delivery of his Scarborough actors.

A glimpse of Scarborough Harbour

Neighbourhood Watch was extremely topical, dealing with vandalism and mayhem on the streets; it is how the neighbourhood reacts, with increasing and quite unjustifiable violence itself that is even more disturbing. We all assumed that Alan had dashed off the play since the riots but apparently he wrote it last October which is yet more disturbing; we have still to see how the affected communities do react in the long term.

And now we are safely back in peaceful Parwich, and slowly getting back to normal but I fear it may take several days to catch up properly. Rightly, I should end with another apology…

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