On Saturday morning Jon got up first, made tea and brought it back to bed where I continued reading The Cobra and he snoozed. When he got up I put the upstairs plants in the bath to soak, stripped and changed the bed, loaded the washing machine and joined Jon in the kitchen for sausage sandwiches and coffee.
After I'd misted the seedlings I continued researching my paternal family tree. I'm not a paid-up member of any genealogy websites but Jon treated me to a DNA ancestry kit a few years ago and I've discovered that I can access the basic information for free. I'd only started looking the previous day and after an hour I'd managed to trace Dad's side of the family back to Thomas Robert Ridgeway, my 9x great grandfather, who was born in Ibstock in Leicestershire in 1619. Not bad considering that when Dad died, and I was trying to sort out probate, I didn't even know his parents' names!
Mum's family is well-documented. My Grandpa's aunt Phyllis spent a large part of her life researching the family tree and when she died in 1977 her work was passed on to me. We're descended from Thomas Guy, founder of the London hospital that still bears his name (blog post HERE).
Richard the postman arrived with the Lush body moisturiser I'd ordered a couple of days ago. It's not cheap but smells gorgeous, lasts ages and doesn't make your skin feel sticky and slimy like cheaper stuff does.
I also received this incredible block printed kediya my lovely friend Betty had spotted on eBay and emailed me with the link. It's based on the traditional tie-fronted frock coat worn by the Rabari people of the Kutch region in Gujarat and still has the tags attached.
By strange coincidence, we'd actually met Dr Ismail Mohammed Khatri when we'd visited Gujarat back in 2018 and he'd escorted us around his block printing workshop. Isn't it a small world? You can read more HERE.
As well as it being Liz's birthday on 29th March it was also Adrian's and he and his wife (also called Liz) had invited the four of us round to their garden to celebrate. The relaxation of the Covid rules couldn't have been more perfectly timed, we'd not been together as a group since 2019 what with us being away at the beginning of last year and then lockdown.
It was a gorgeous - but chilly - afternoon and we all clustered around the firepit, drank and tucked into the Indian feast Adrian had prepared for us. My coconut dhal was gorgeous. There was also chicken tikka for the others (I'm the only vegetarian).
Liz and Adrian's house backs on to Walsall Arboretum (the Arbo to us locals), an 80-acre Victorian park in the town centre. As it was still light when we left we took the scenic walk home.
After we'd weeded, Jon dug some soil conditioner into the empty bed and planted potatoes and some of the rhubarb we'd picked up on Friday.