Birthday barbecue

What a gloriously and unseasonably warm day it was for Pete's birthday. We set off early for an investigatory walk round a nature reserve in Somersham, where we're both leading walks towards the end of May. It wasn't frightfully interesting but is clearly loved by the local residents.

We then drove to Earith and had a small picnic lunch by the River Ouse, watching the recently emerged alder flies crawling on a nearby shrub. The low-lying wash grasslands were studded with pale pink cuckooflowers. By this time it was becoming really very hot  so we sought shade in a fen-edge woodland where there was a stunning display of flowers - a vibrant mix of lesser celandine, wood anemones and bluebells with a scatter of primroses and goldilocks buttercups. 

Feeling rather tired, we headed for home in the mid afternoon. While Pete organised his insect captures, I helped Ben make a rhubarb and orange meringue pie for dessert, and threw together a couple of salads to accompany the Anglian lamb marinaded with lemon and rosemary and the spiced chicken breasts. Alex lit the barbecue, cooked all the meat and kept the cocktails flowing. We sat out until dusk, laughing, chatting, listening to music and enjoying the food - a very fine way to spend a birthday!

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