|The girls in the yellow fields (rapeseed) in The Cotswolds on our last day there.|
|A selfie with the girls in the yellow fields|
|Arlington Row in Bibury|
|The girls outside the famous cottages.|
|The cottage I fell in love with in Bibury|
|The girls on Rack Island in beautiful Bibury.|
|Approaching Market Square in Cirencester|
|People sitting on hay stacks in Market Square in Cirencester on May 1st.|
|May Day in Cirencester|
|Suzy and I with the wet "tortured" student|
|A pretty street in Cirencester|
|Fish and chips at Bumpkin at Westfield Shopping Centre|
|Suzy and Oli at Bumpkin where we had lunch on Tuesday|
|My new clothes bought at Lindex in London and ordered online too.|
|It was lovely to come back to warm weather in Madrid on Wednesday evening|
Before dinner, I unpacked. What I most wanted to unpack was the Emma Bridgewater pottery I had bought at Bourton on the Water. It had been wrapped in bubble paper and I had hand carried it, worrying it might break in my suitcase. Well, the nasty journey took its toll and one of the mugs was cracked which upset me a bit.
|The Emma Bridgewater mugs I bought in England|
Eladio and I had a quiet dinner together and I got to meet Sandra, our new Airbnb guest who was charming. That night we watched another episode of Designated Successor on Netflix soon after which I fell asleep in our wonderful big bed with Eladio and little Pippa.
On Thursday, the big news in the UK was the announcement from Buckingham Palace that the Duke of Edinburgh would be retiring aged nearly 96, from his public engagements after the summer. Recently he had dubbed himself as "the world's most experienced plaque-unveiler". We will miss his wit and fun loving character although he is also known for being rather intimidating. My Mother used to love him. I'm not sure whether I do or not, but it can't have been easy adapting to become the Queen's husband. He is around my Father's age who retired more than 38 years ago, so probably it was high time Prince Philip retired too. The Queen, though, will carry on and on. She is 91 and I don't think she really can carry on for that much longer although of course she will be helped by the younger members of what the Royal family call "The Firm". I wish him a happy retirement.
|Prince Philip, "the world's most experienced plaque-unvieler" to retire aged nearly 96.|
On Friday morning my usual routine was interrupted as I had an appointment at 9.30 am at the Labour Exchange; at least my 5th till now. I had to give in yet another document for my self employed status and I will have to go back as the document issued by the Social Security people here is incorrect with the wrong pension base. What a palava! I hate going to the place and am always attended by the same rather unprofessional and unsympathetic junior civil servant. To make things worse, despite the sat nav on my new Mini, I got completely lost on the way back home. Just as I arrived home, Sandra, our 20 year old Airbnb guest was leaving. She will be coming back though, to take exams for her drone pilot course and we look forward to seeing her.
No sooner had she left then Lucy and I got into action to get her room and the other rooms, ready for our next set of guests. 6 Colombians were arriving that night. We would find out later that Paola, a lawyer and her husband, Juan, a book seller and historian, together with Paola's brother Reinaldo and 3 of his sons who live in Canada, were taking a trip round Spain and Europe. Today as I write, they leave for Paris. The house and rooms had to look extra clean and pretty as TV cameras were coming too. They were coming from Oli's old programme, Mi Cámara y Yo, with the new reporter, Paloma, who replaces her and her favourite cameraman, Hugo. They were doing a report on alternative accommodation in Madrid.
Soon everything was ready for the guests and the TV programme. I had lovingly cut roses from the gardens for all the rooms, placed a jug of water and glasses, as well as plate of fresh fruit in each of them. I also added a lovely picture of Arlington Row to the Green Room that I had bought in Bibury. This is what the "green room" looked like.
|The green room ready for our Colombian guests|
I also managed an afternoon walk with Lucy, then came home to make home made vegetable soup and some steamed artichokes (all good for the detox diet). Soon I had to get ready for the TV cameras. For the occasion I wore my new Lindex chinos and a blue and white striped top. I also had to put makeup on for the first time in ages, in fact since the Bell's palsy and my right eyelid is still droopy. I hope it's not permanent. Unfortunately when Paloma and Hugo came, it was cold and raining and getting a little dark. Thus the outside of the house and the pool which is not yet ready for the summer, would not look as good as I hoped on TV. We had a grand time together. They interviewed me with little Pippa in my arms most of the time, showing them the house, the rooms and explaining my little Airbnb business which, of course, I have started since I lost my job in January. They loved the house. Paloma said it was like a museum. Well, she's probably right.
We had finished my part of the filming just before the guests arrived at 9pm and I suddenly remembered to have a photo taken of the occasion, to send to Olivia, who could not be there on Friday as she had left for Valencia to stay with her boyfriend Miguel this weekend.
|With Paloma, the reporter from Mi Cámara y Yo who came to film our house on Friday|
That night we had dinner at 10pm and went to bed quite exhausted after the day's exertions. I can't wait to see the programme which I think will be aired on 21st May, the day I will be travelling back from Hong Kong.
Saturday was quiet. I was up early as usual while the Colombians and the rest of the house slept. They were going to visit Madrid and I gave them all sorts of advice for their day. Meanwhile back home, I went for the first walk of the day with Eladio and the dogs, after which I went out on several errands. The rest of the day was spent peacefully.
And today is Sunday 7th May and will go down in history for being the day the French vote between the right wing Marine Le Pen and the new ex socialist leader, the youngest ever candidate, Emmanuel Macron. I imagine he will win but I might be wrong as I was wrong both about Brexit and Trump winning in the UK and the US.
I am at the end of the tales of this week. All that remains for me to say is happy Sunday everyone and hope you all have a great week. Mine is going to be busy but of course you will hear about it next week, from Hong Kong of all places.
Cheers till next time,