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Birthdays vary a lot, but this year was a good one.

Anonymous Morris danced at a little beer festival at a local friendly pub.  A perfect venue for our new accordion player and our new dancer to have their first public performance (they've only been with us for three practice sessions, so it really was chucking them in at the deep end).  They both came up trumps, though Pam confessed to me that she was petrified.  (understandable when you've only just learnt the tunes)

We went to a ceilidh in the evening and had a great time.  Went to bed happy, and tired.

Today we went to a local garden centre and celebrated the fact that I'm now physically capable of doing weeding again by buying some new rockery plants as Richard's birthday present for me.

Aunty_Gillian got me a lovely silk scarf - I'm a sucker for hand-painted scarves.

Henry's going to take me to see a musical.  Should be fun.  We haven't yet decided which one.
 
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I went to Portsmouth Kite Festival this weekend with[profile] rockwell_666   Had a fabulous time. I love kites and here there were hundreds.  Everything from box kites flying high, supporting  giant inflatable teddy bears lower down, to tiers of kites flying in line.

Lots of single kites and inflatables and wind socks on kite lines and twirling wind socks, and flying octupusses and fish and birds and kites of every colour, shape and size.

However, my favourite was the kite ballet.  I'd never seen kite ballet before, never even knew it existed.  The clip below isn't from Portsmouth, but gives you a pretty good idea of what the display was like.



I want a revolution kite!  (That's the kind they use for the ballet)  They have four strings and a control handle for each hand.  They can fly up, down, upside-down and sideways with an amazing degree of control.  The only snag is that they cost around £200 new.

I rather fancy this one  - I wonder if I could get my relatives to club together for my next birthday?  (I did take a quick peek on ebay, but there's nothing second-hand there right now)

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I've been away the last week visiting friends and family.

Played football and tennis with my two young nephews, which was great fun, though I did turn my ankle...

Fortunately, the ankle seemed to survive the next day with the help of a bandage, hiking boots for ankle support and a borrowed walking pole.  This was a good thing, because my sister, [livejournal.com profile] auntygillian, and I had decided to celebrate our respective birthdays by climbing a mountain.

I'm not sure if it fits the technical description of a mountain or not, but we climbed Kerridge Ridge to White Nancy.   The view from the top was absolutely wonderful (see the links at the bottom of the White Nancy page for photos).

The next day, Gillian had a real surprise for me.  Possibly my best birthday present ever!  A one day narrowboat hire with the family.  My parents, Gillian, her husband, my brother-in-law David and my two nephews, Toby and Alex. 

Wonderful!

I had a fabulous time.  I love being on the canals and limited finances have made it impossible for us to afford a proper canal holiday for several years now.  Teaching my nephews how to steer the boat was the icing on the cake.  (Well, Toby thought he was steering.  My hand was coincidentally on the tiller all the time as well as his)  Alex, a few years older (but still needing to stand on a crate to see over the cabin), pretty much got the hang of it, but still needed a hand to navigate bridges successfully.  His dad managed it instantly - he's been sailing even if narrowboats were new to him.

All in all, a great two days, not lessened by the occasional shower and cold weather.

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Judith Proctor

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