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Leopard   Monkey   Stork and reflection

July 31st 2013


So much to tell!

What a month it has been; I feel that my feet have not touched the ground and I certainly have not had time to put pen to paper (or fingers to computer keyboard), hence this final rush on the last day of July.

Harry's last few days as Head Chorister at St Paul's Cathedral were memorable. The final Valedictory service on Sunday 14th July was predictably very emotional for leaving choristers and parents alike but there were two events in the days immediately preceding this that we will remember for many years: Harry's speech at Prizegiving day on the 12th of July was delivered with great maturity and was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who was there, not least the members of staff whom he likened to characters from Hogwart's (his proud parents did, of course, record his presentation and you can listen to it, as well as read the text of the speech and Harry's description of his preparations to give it), on the 'Went the Day Well' articles page by following this link); and on the very next day at evensong we were enthralled by his singing of Mendelssohn's wonderful 'Hear my Prayer'.


Whilst all this was going on, Alastair was on a Hampton school expedition to Malawi and Zambia, which included about a week of project work at the Hampton Safe Haven in Senga Bay followed by nine days on safari. He has come back with some remarkable photographs which we have put together into a slide show accompanied by music chosen by Mary and Tom.


Whilst on the subject of wildlife, I wrote just over two months ago about the wrens nesting in our garden. I have written nothing since because they decided not to use the nest that I saw the male building; I have subsequently found out that the male may start as many as twelve nests, only one of which the female will subsequently choose and finish to her liking.

I was disappointed, but am no longer! The female has seen the error of her ways, has been won over by the idyllic position and has 'second nested' in our tree and, just last week for the first time, we heard the lovely sound of a nestful of chicks. Other than a need to drag both our cats from the tree's branches one morning – and to wind some chicken wire around the trunk to prevent them returning – the fledglings' progress appears to have been uncomplicated and I am looking forward to watching their first attempts at flying soon.



Roberta, Kate, Robin, Ardie, Harry, Mary and Anne
On the Cathedral steps before Evensong   Robin and Roberta with John Wesley   James, Harry, Mary and Anne

July 8th 2013


A series of exceptional performances

What a thrilling weekend! The Lion's victorious in Sydney against Australia - 16-41; Andy Murray becomes the first British Wimbledon Champion for 77 years by beating Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, 6-4; and, to top them both, Harry Jackson and Theo Nisbett sing Mendelssohn's wonderful hymn 'I waited for the Lord' during Evensong at St Paul's Cathedral! And how many of them did I manage to watch? None! The first and last coincided with a lecture trip to Frankfurt; and Andy Murray's extraordinary play meant that Mary, Harry and I were still on the train hurrying back home from Sunday afternoon's Evensong as he completed his sensational victory in just three sets.

When Harry first started as a chorister four years ago Mary bought a CD of anthems sung by St Paul's Choristers on which her favourite, Mendelssohn's 'I waited for the Lord' is sung beautifully. It was a dream come true for her to hear Harry and Theo sing the same anthem on Friday.


The photographs today are from late June this year when Robin and Roberta Roddie with two friends, Ardie and Kate, from Sydney, Australia, and Anne Nichols met up with us for the afternoon at the Cathedral. Robin, who always dresses well but was, I remarked, looking especially dapper, was particularly pleased to be introduced to a statue of John Wesley in the Cathedral gardens just outside the North doors.



  © Copyright Thomas Jackson 2010