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April 24th 2011
Published: April 24th 2011
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Happy Easter!

We're staying in Cirencester for a few days with Chris, Floss and the gorgeous little Bess. Peter and the Willow family have gone off to Ledbury to introduce Bess to some more members of the James clan. I'm having some quiet time at home (at Floss' house). It's nice to not be racing around for a few hours.

Cirencester is a very impressive roman/medieval town. It's had quite a long history of invasion. During Roman times it was the 2nd most important town in England and the Romans built an amphitheater where they did the usual Roman type activities including gladiatorial contests. The most amazing thing is if you look out of Chris and Floss' front window you can see it. I've attached a picture which really doesn't do it justice.

In 577 AD the Saxons came to town and captured Cirencester however the roman building were in ruins by this time and the town was reduced to a village of wooden huts with thatched roofs, a far cry from Roman days. Sometime before the Domesday Book was written (1086) a market began in Cirencester and the market town atmosphere still exists today. In 1117 King
The Market Place, CirencesterThe Market Place, CirencesterThe Market Place, Cirencester

Thanks to for this correction
Henry I founded an abbey at Cirencester. The abbey came to dominate the town and was closed by Henry VIII in 1539. I guess that was when he wasn't busy chopping off his wives heads.

The other wonderful thing about Cirencester is the Willow family. We've just loved being able to spend time with them. It's a long time between drinks when we both live a long way away. And as you know we've met and held and marveled at our little granddaughter Bess. Yesterday Floss and Chris cooked this huge and incredibly delicious roast dinner. Best I've had in a long time. This was no small feat considering they have a 2 week old baby. They also made ice cream from goat's milk yoghurt and strawberries. It was absolutely delicious. I'm feeling very spoiled.

Oh speaking of the weather....I know you love our weather reports...yesterday it was 22 degrees and it was very hot last night. Needless to say that sounds ridiculous given we come from Australia! So I had to go out again and buy a couple of summer tops. The fact that I'd spilled dinner down the one I was wearing was a mere coincidence! It's lovely again today so I think that's about 10 days straight of good weather we've had. It's going to turn nasty soon.

So plans continue for the Royal Wedding. My plans I mean! Almost every day in the paper they're giving away some kind of memento. Yesterday I got a flag and today it's union jack tablecloth and serviettes. he party in the village hall seems to have gone by the wayside and Helen and I have been talking about having a bit or a royal themed lunch. In the evening we're going to the local pub where they are doing pigs on spits. Must be traditional royal wedding fare for the peasants who couldn't attend the wedding breakfast.

I didn't want you to entirely miss out on the souvenirs so here is a link to a Wills and Kate paper cup and saucer. The teapot is still in thge design phase.

I hope you're all enjoying your Easter break and for you Aussies also Anzac Day!

pj and Sandy

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25th April 2011

happy easter
Easter almost over here and overtaken by Anzac Day. Seems you are having a great trip look forward to all the news on your return. Apologies fro the middle of night phone call. regards Alan

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