The hottest day of the year today with the temperatures soaring into the low 30â€™s. Perfect for the summer lunch party in the garden, preluded by generous tumblers of Pimm’s, which is precisely what we had arranged, risking all on the changeable English weather. (Pimms, in my book, should only be garnished with aÂ fresh mint and possibly a little cucumber,Â not the fruit salad which the current advertisements seem to be encouraging people to add. Did you know that there were originally — or may still be, for all I know — six different varieties of Pimms, Â each based on a different spirit; Gin; Vodka; Brandy; Whisky and Rum. I cannot for the life of me remember the sixth. We still have two at the golf club, gin and vodka based. But I ramble on.)
Michael and Bridget Hickey, more ghosts from the past from the Aden days, were the principalÂ guests at lunch today. They contacted us some weeks ago, having seen the article, about my blog, in The Daily Telegraph and we were happy to invite them to lunch having not seen or heard sight nor sound of them for the best part of 50 years. Fortunately, they were, as we remembered a very jolly couple and we spent the best part of two or three hours mulling over old times and amazing ourselves about how many people we knew in common. What you might call a typical geriatric session. The fifth member of the lunch party was Alison Lambi, whose dear husband Ian dying very recently but who were with us in Aden about the same time as the Hickeyâ€™s. Ian was in the Army and we frequently played squash together.
The perfect finish to a perfect day. A telephone call to inform â€˜ my lovelyâ€™ that she had, for the second year running, won a second prize in the Clavering Rose Show, organised by the Clavering Horticultural Society. Her prize was in theÂ â€˜five blooms in a vaseâ€™ category, and she and the gardener, PeterÂ are understandably tickled pink (so were the roses, as it happened!).
Can I irreverentlyÂ add another element of perfection to this day, thank heavens, the end of the World Cup football fever. England are out of the event, completely stuffed by Germany, 4-1 (or morally 4-2, if you count the clear goal that was disallowed as having not crossed the line when it was in by a good two feet ) or as one commentator put it, Germany went through England Â like a bullet going through a cream puff. To balance that, on the cricket front, England pulled off yet another win against the Aussies in the third of the one-day series. A little more nail-biting than the previous two, but a win nevertheless.