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    • 1 darling dad with 49 years experience in the giving of appropriate gifts.
    • 1 wonderful big sister – the best mind – highly skilled in knocking up emergency birthday cakes and whipping up a party at the drop of a red hat.
    • 1 big brother and sister in law with a penchant for dispatching transatlantic hampers.
    • 1 whole heap of friends and family with access to internet, royal mail and smart phones.
    • The very best wishes and love from near and far.
    • 1 gift giving cat.  2 dead birds and 1 mouse optional; depending on the cat.
    • 1 restaurant with a great chef and generous portions.
    • 1 trip to local market for lots of local loveliness.
    • 1 irate and sticky ice cream seller who doesn’t understand the concept of an oyster wafer.
    • 1 Alison Hopkin.  You could substitute but it must be someone equally wonderful and well versed in oyster wafers.
    • 1 moon, preferably gibbous.  And someone who knows what that means.
    • 1 lovely village.
    • 1 lovely village barbecue.
    • 1 game of rounders with lovely villagers.
    • 2 long strings  of Surprise Bunting.
    • Equal amounts of rain and sunshine.
    • Some of that bacon from the butcher in Dursley.
    • 1 Boothy.
    • 1 box of Ricicles.
    • 1 Lizzingtons.
    • 1 bag of Dorset Knobs.
    • 1 plate of Apology Brownies.
    • 2 champagne breakfasts.
    • 1 permanent marker pen and 1 pair of ticklish feet.
    • 2 murders.
    • 1 whole lot of overacting and sleuthing
    • Gin, Rum, Prosecco and cider as required.
    • 1 Michael Turner.  Essential.
    • 3lbs of local cherries.
    • Plenty of gay abandon with which to spit cherry stones (this may take practice).
    • 1  new way to peel hard boiled eggs.
    • 8 freshly made  scotch egg makers.
    • Several bouts of spontaneous wrestling.
    • 1 magnificent picnic – in a basket.  2 baskets.  The kind of  picnic that even Ratty would envy.
    • 1 Boothy, 1 Michael, 1 Matt and 1 Ian to carry the magnificent picnic.
    • 1 wetland.
    • 6 coracles and 1 canoe.
    • Plenty of assorted ducks.
    • Tea at regular intervals.
    • 2 Unexpected Otters.
    • 1 creative, imaginative, hardworking and ever loving Matt and Hannie to arrange everything.
    • 1 heroic Ian to bank roll it all.


    • Gently mix all ingredients together over three days.   Allow plenty of time for spontaneous wrestling, pip spitting and eruptions of laughter. Leave to rest for one further day before commencing the next half century full of thankfulness for the past,  hope for the future and love for the present.


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