After a cool and often rainy June it was quite a surprise to find London basking in warm sunshine when I returned from a trip to the States at the end of July. Thankfully the warm weather lasted well into September (that is apart from the odd rainy day), and feel sure this year’s late summer will be remembered as one of the warmest for several decades. A few days later I drove to Silverstone for the annual Historic and Classic Car meeting to catch up with friends and thoroughly enjoyed the many splendid displays of gleaming historic and Classic cars. During the short time I was there I managed to watch a couple of races, admire the collection cars up for action and meet up with several friends.

A couple of days later an unexpected call from an old friend inviting me to watch the entertaining ‘Weimar Cabaret’ at the Cadogan Hall hosted by the exceptionally amusing and talented Barry Humphries which I thoroughly enjoyed. The next day found me dashing down to Cowes for the annual regatta in the Solent. Fortunately this year’s racing was one of the best in a long time partly due to good sailing weather. Most days I hopped onto the press boat along with several photographers and one of the best ways to watch some of the exciting action at close quarters as boats round buoys avoiding collisions by the narrowest of margins while hauling up and down spinnakers. However, a couple of days sedately following the racing on a friend’s yacht was great fun even though there was less action but plenty of champagne. Each day after sailing I’d jump onto a Red Funnel hydrofoil back to Southampton and drive to Sandbanks where I’d arranged to stay with friends Fanny and Robert, and before leaving for Southampton each I’d take their adorable Springer Spaniel, Jake for an early morning walk along the nearby deserted sandy beaches. What a wonderful way to start the day!

From Cowes to Cheshire to stay with Alan in his splendid concerted farmhouse which who is surrounded a couple of large man-made ponds, a menagerie of wildfowl, chickens and dogs including a tennis court and part of the reason I was there. Alan had thoughtfully arranged for friends to come over and play in a friendly match of mixed doubles which was followed by a delicious supper of fish pie cooked by his long suffering housekeeper, Sheila!! The next day more friends turned up for a late Sunday lunch and later we all dined out at the nearby Chomerley Arms, a converted school where years ago we often ended up eating.

Back in London and Clare, Ian and myself decided to go to Katriona Taylor’s jazz evening at the Bull in Barnes. Both Clare are long term fans Katriona’s jazz singing evenings, and now Ian is as well. This time her father, Roger Taylor, a former top tennis player in 60’s and 70’s wasn’t there but he promises to be at her next performance.

End

My next blog is all about the wonderful time spent in Copenhagen staying with friends.

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