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JULY 2017 Saturday 1.7.17 Working on all fronts. Sunday 2. 7 .17 ditto Monday 3. 7.17 Off to the glamorous Cotswold Life Food and Drink Awards. Its a beautiful evening and we haven’t been standing in the drinks reception area very long (just time for the photographer to take our photograph) when I see Laurence L-B waving and beckoning us over. He’s talking to the beautiful Candia, deputy editor and vocalist and musician with Inkubus Sucubus. We are shortly joined by Jackie L-B and I ask about Albion their 9 month old grandson won the same who they obviously adore. Candia tells us we are all sitting together on the same table which is great fun. and Jackie tells me about discovering the real Wolf Hall, proven so by recent archeological digs. She has just raised over £4000 by organising an event there particularly to raise awareness. She tells me that Hillary Mantel (who wrote the book of the same title ) couldn’t make it in the evening, but came and spent about three hours there earlier in the day, accompanied by a very handsome actor who took lots of photographs of the Hall. Jackie wants to take me there and it and its story do indeed sound fascinating. Laurence gives us a date for our diary next summer when they are giving a big party to celebrate their daughter’s wedding. The Food and Drink awards are as usual truly inspirational; businesses small and larger, who are passionate about the food and drink they grow, make or serve here in Gloucestershire. The best customer Service award went to Buckland Manor where Robert and Toyah took us for lunch in July last year. - greeters even met us at the car and opened the doors and Michael Jackson holed up there for several months when he wanted to keep a low profile. We also meet Jason from Marketing Gloucester and Sir Henry and Lady Caroline Elwes as well as Dame Janet, the Lord Lieutenant who is reading out a letter from Prince Charles. 
The goody bags we take home with us are very heavy containing four bottles of beer / cider and jars of pickle and a myriad of tasty goodies! Tuesday 4.7.17 In the studios working on all fronts. Wednesday 5.7.17 Up to the Star for the visit from Sophie, the Countess of Wessex. Its a gloriously hot day, lots of familiar faces and students from different times over the 50 years as we are celebrating its golden anniversary. The Countess is brilliant with the students as she is shown around the College, a real empathy she even kicked off her shoes to get down on the mat with them in the physiotherapy department. We are in one of three groups. Countess Bathurst introduces the other seven of our group and mentions on introducing me that the art room is named after me. Sophie Wessex is charming, very pretty and even remembers the last member of our group, the provincial grand master of the Mark Masons, from a previous visit to another charity they have supported. This is followed by a lovely lunch prepared by the College’s superb caterer Jackie. On our way home we take my bronze art award trophy in to be engraved with the name of this year’s recipient.