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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

That was the weekend that was

We had a great weekend.  Saturday, after the Maggot lessons - swimming lesson for one and tennis lesson for the other - we travelled up the A34 to Newbury to visit Brad and Angelina.  The usual cup of tea and slice of Cherry Madeira awaited our arrival, and the Maggots disappeared upstairs for hours of fun which mostly seemed to consist of a competition to see whether they could dust the unreachable parts of the house merely by jumping up and down so hard the whole house shook.  The ladies then disappeared to buy picnic items, and the gentlemen retired to the park-by-the-river with the Maggots, spotting a number of tasty trout in the river as we walked.

We had a lovely evening of fish pie and Canasta, a combination that six billion humans over several millennia have yet to better.

On Sunday, the Maggots were up by 5.30am, the adults preferring a more civilised 8am, and then it was the usual round of shower, breakfast, teeth, dressed, shoes on, find your coat and pack the picnic type activities that precede a day out.  We then headed out to Highclere Castle, the set for Downton Abbey if you are interested, and even if you are not then it still is, and thankfully the mention of any such links were infrequent and modest.

The house itself was about seven out of ten, with the accompanying Egypt exhibition - first section real artefacts, the remaining ninety percent being replica items - did bring the score up somewhat, since the house was OK but not anything special. 

The Egyptian element was not, pay attention at the back, some frivelous "what are we going to do with this Mummy" type exhibitions, but there because of George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, aka Lord Carnarvon who funded Howard Carter through several Egytian excavations, who on 4 November 1922 found the tombs of Tutankhamun.  

Carnarvon's end was not a pretty one.  Urban myth may label it the "Curse of Tutankhamun", but the facts confirm that it started with a mosquito bite on the cheek on 25 March 1923, the top of which was taken off during shaving shortly after, and this wound went septic.  It got better, then worse again, and this repeated a couple of times until, on 5 April 1923, he finally dies in the Continental-Savoy Hotel in Cairo.

Surprisingly for such a day out, where there was lots of reading and "looking at stuff", the Maggots were  pretty happy all day.  We found the secret garden* where we had a picnic and the Maggots ran around a lot, and overall we had a great day.

We left there for home, to watch the final episode of Homeland, and to sleep in our own beds.

Monday morning say Scobi and Scobi senior tackling the fitting of the ill-fated shower door.  It is now in, albeit after a lot, and I mean lot, of stressful sweating.  There are a few bits to finish, and in the installation we did unfortunately drop a bracket on an exposed bit of shower tray and add a small dent to the edge.  We also managed, despite many activities to ensure this did not happen, put the door in slightly at an angle across the front edge.  Only a pedant, of which there are two in our family alone, would notice it.
Other than that, it is in and looks pretty good.  Just a few final bits of finishing and I shall be able to tick it off my To Do list.

Have a good week, and speak again soon.

* obviously don't tell anyone

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