There's nothing like a good 'to-do' list - not so much the list per se but that sense of achievement as each item receives its BIG tick when completed. My trouble is, as each job gets ticked off another is attached limpet-like onto the bottom. Didn't Sisyphus have a similar problem - only with rocks rather than the paltry minutiae of life?
So where to start indeed - with the major achievement by Wednesday morning of a desk clear of invitations and posters perhaps. This hiatus left me free to enjoy the company of a visiting friend and the chance for some catching up, gossip and girly shopping. We took ourselves to Ludlow on a day, weatherwise, that August should have been ashamed of. Rain was persistent and any views of our beautiful Shropshire hills were masked by a shroud of thick grey cloud. On the plus side and egged on by my style adviser I bought a dress for my holidays and was severely tempted by another.
On Thursday evening, suitably booted and suited, we went to the Young Farmers Charity Concert in the Big Top at Woodmoor. On Saturday night the 'tent' was to be used for the County Chairman's Ball and as usual the YFC made use of the venue to raise funds for various charities: the Meningitis Trust, The County Air Ambulance and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institute - all three being close to the home club's heart. The theme was 'loosely' Musicals and eleven clubs treated us to their own, mostly agricultural, versions of some familiar themes. I truly hope that before too long somebody puts Alberbury YFC's 'Billy Idiot' onto YouTube - I've checked and it's not there yet. The stars of the show? Chirbury and Marton of course with their raunchy reverse strip tease:
On Saturday we rather unexpectedly went flying. It's a long story but I 'won' the flight in an auction and have waited a year to arrange something with the pilot. Out of the blue he phoned at the end of the week and suggested Saturday morning. 'Yes please' I gabbled over the phone and was like a small child anticipating a birthday at the prospect. I've been before. I know what I'm in for, but could never tire of the vista that unfolds beneath me.
How wonderful this world is - it's that anyway - but at 1,000 feet the patchwork of fields in their late summer hues of gold and green and brown, the forests, moors and mountains of mid-Wales are utterly breathtaking. We spy winding ribbons of rivers and streams - we follow the Tanant in its lush green valley to its confluence with the Severn. We soar over mountains which are like molehills from our little plane. Vast empty tracts of upland are home only to sheep.
We headed for the coast but at Cader Idris the weather was so filthy that it was wiser not to go any further. No matter, we turned back eastwards to the border where Wales meets England - seeing familiar territory from a very different angle.
This is the small mountain kingdom of Trelystan:
Our home is slightly to the left of centre. The Long Mountain is in the foreground and falls away to the Severn valley. The Welsh mountains are in the distance beyond. Badnage Wood is the block of dark conifers slightly to the right of centre. It's worth a click to enlarge the picture to see just how magic here is. (Is that grammatical? Am I bovvered?)
Last night we didn't go to the Ball but went for drinks beforehand. The Big Top was ready for action. 1500 tickets sold and another couple of hundred guest expected to turn up at the door. Good job it was a big Big Top - that's a lot of people rocking and rolling in a field. Never ones to do anything by halves the YFs had installed dodgems and a Bucking Bronco thingey too. Hope they had a great time.
And today? The sun shone eventually. Spirits soared and instead of mowing the grass we went off down the lane and picked blackberries; food for free. Right now they are bubbling gently on the hob. I'll strain them overnight and tomorrow make jelly.
There we are then; two things to put on a list for tomorrow. Make jelly. Mow the lawn.
PS. Make that 3 - somebody has just phoned wanting some invitations.....