Apsley Heath 9-11th August 2018

Just returned from a brilliant not-a-weekend gathering in Aspley Heath
enjoying Gill and Ant’s exceptional hospitality – they are the best hosts ever! As
there was such a long summer break this year we decided that we needed to
meet up informally and also it would be another opportunity to celebrate Gill and
Frances’s big birthdays!
We all arrived Thursday lunchtime and immediately went into LAO catering
mode – the table was sagging under the weight of all the fabulous food. After a
very relaxing lunch we first of all had a guided tour around the garden – which
has matured so much in such a short time and looks magnificent. Then we all got
our instruments out, and Gill’s new Beltuna was much admired – especially the
multi-coloured sparkles in the sunshine! Jane had obviously been working very
hard in the intervening months creating lots of new arrangements for the
orchestra and so we were allowed a preview and a go at many of them – exciting
times are ahead folks - but we’re not going to let any secrets out yet!
All of us then piled into the hot tub - along with a generous amount of Prosecco
– and had an hilarious time testing out all the possible combinations of water
jets, air bubbles and scented crystals. Several of us had difficulty trying to
stay in our seats and Kate’s swimming costume was the subject of much hilarity!
Another wonderful meal, lots more music and a late bedtime followed.
Friday arrived cloudy so we decided to go for a walk through the woods to
Woburn for coffee, which was lovely. Unfortunately the rain arrived whilst we
were ensconced in the pub, but we were all in such a happy, relaxed mood that
even that didn’t dampen our spirits. We arrived back at the house, suitably
refreshed and decidedly wet but in very good spirits. More music – including a
lovely tune that Ruth had written - another hour in the hot tub and another
lovely meal, topped off by Frances’s birthday cake and a lot of fun with a do-it-
yourself monster-making kit!

So a really fabulously relaxing time was had by all and enhanced by Milo – the
latest addition to Gill and Ant’s family – a most adorable tabby and white kitten .
Huge thanks to Gill and Ant and their lovely home – we are all slowly beginning to
understand the technology now, so we can flush the loo and open the doors and
blinds! The Summer Social may even become an additional fixture in the No1
Ladies Calendar!