Saturday, June 17, 2017


In years gone by we used to have an annual "family do" where all the Silver Vixen's side of the family would get together at one of our houses, or some venue. This was always great fun and an opportunity for everyone to catch up with all the latest news. As time went on, these became slightly less regular, skipping the odd year or two. This year, the Silver Vixen decided that with Cousteau-Cub home and the addition of baby Ellie to the family, we should resurrect the event.

The Gorse Fox sent out some "keep the day" emails several months ago, and sent further emails with directions last week. Today some 35-odd family members descended on The Savill Gardens near Egham.

The addition this year was that we had also included the Gorse Fox's sister, b-i-l, and nephews to the fold.

The traffic had been dreadful for most people (though the Gorse Fox and Silver Vixen had been lucky and after hearing a traffic update on the radio, decided to ignore the SatNav and  use local knowledge from when they lived in Hook).  We had visitors from Wokingham, Buckingham, Clapham, Brentford, Brighton, Rayleigh, Shoeburyness, Littlehampton, Oxford, and Cardiff.

It was lovely day with temperatures hovering around the 30C mark. We had chosen a spot beneath the canopy of a huge cedar tree. This gave us shade all day as the sun moved round(*).

The picnic blankets and chairs started to fill the space as the circle got ever bigger - then eventually split into smaller satellite groups. The children ran around and played and the adults circulated and chatted.

It was good to hear about what everyone was up to - a new job that would involve travel to Toronto, Houston, Seattle, New York and LA; a new flat in Norwich and probably job relocation; a retirement; a house move from London to Bicester; a couple of extensions to existing houses; holiday plans; a change of career and so forth.

We remarked that when we first started these events most of the adults were actually bees in arms (if they were even born) - now they are there with their own young children and we have moved on a generation.

We had picked a good spot. It was only a short walk along to the visitor's centre where there was a supply of ice creams and conveniences. The shade of the tree kept us pretty well protected, and we were only a very short walk from the car park which was handy for loading and unloading the cars. We had started to gather at about midday, By five-thirty those with the longest journey started to drift away.

Brilliant day over all, and so lovely to see so much of the family - particularly as Cousteau-Cub was home and it was a chance for the cousins to catch up for the first time in many years.

(*)It's ok. The Gorse Fox knows that it's the Earth that moves round the sun. This was merely a figure of speech... not a declaration of membership of the flat earth society.

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