Absolutely gorgeous today...wall to wall sunshine with not a cloud in sight...Himself stood in the river for a while to cool his feet down...like you do...when it's hot.

I didn't though 'cos my flowery Wellington boots leak and I'm not standing in the water in my feets in case a fish swam past, so I did loads of sewing instead using a pattern called Strip the Willow...don't know why it's called that though. I do remember country dancing when I was at first school and I think there was a dance we learned called Strip the Willow...we used to go across to the village hall 'cos the school was too small for any kind of cavorting about...we ate our lunch in the hall as well. And took the eleven-plus in there, but we didn't know it was so important an exam because the teacher said it was just a little test and to do our best...then she sat at a table in front and had a teapot of tea and read the newspaper...

Caitlin called yesterday evening in a bit of a panic 'did we have some sticking plasters 'cos Dad has cut his hand...badly' I found a box of plasters more by luck than anything else and she raced back home again...one of the sheds has masses of broken crockery and glass in it and I expect Jason was clearing it out without the precaution of wearing gloves...Himself only began to wear gloves for outside work recently when he developed a horrible sore patch on his hand which simply wouldn't heal up...thought gloves were for sissies and I bet so does Jason...he has tattoos and muscles.

Himself said it is lovely to have children calling at the cottage again...and it is 'cos all the children we knew are grown-up now...apart from Grace of course, but she's only three. I've told Jack and Alex I'll take them into a creepy tunnel...the souterainn at the stone fort...but they seem to be very clean and tidy small boys so I'll need to emphasise the need for old clothes that don't matter if they get dirty...always supposing I can drag them away from those electronic things that peep and ding and they can't take their eyes off...

I forgot to tell you about the Swallow...the other evening we were about to go to bed and Himself was doing the last routine of letting the dogs out and locking doors and suchlike when a Swallow suddenly flew into the sitting-room...landed on top of the bookcase looking a trifle disgruntled and took off and flew about squawking before we managed to corner it and catch it...Himself put it in the barn in the hope it would find itself a perch for the night with the other Swallows already fast asleep...we think it may have come into the back lobby and gone to sleep before being rudely awakened by the light going on...

And I've signed up for a short course about Richard 111...it's free...lasts six weeks, with an average of two hours study each week, and starts in November. It's just to give you a grounding in the life and times of Richard and covers subjects like the food and clothing and that sort of social history which I'm so interested in...it is coming from Leicester University and is part of the Open University programme...

But I don't want to wait until November...I want to do it now!