On 13th August an elite group of 15 Red Hatters gathered in Alexton at Madam de la Moulin Rouge’s beautiful house and even more beautiful gardens for an evening of Croquet and Chat, not forgetting food and drinks. Regardless of the fact our beloved Queen Tess was away on one of her several summers holidays, we didn’t take advantage and all turned up in purple and red hats were worn for the whole of the session. However, Dame Strawberry Hatburn was in pink outfit and lilac hat as she has a birthday this month, but will celebrate her Reduation next year!
The weather was perfect. Plenty of bright sunshine, blue sky and warm temperatures. Some Red Hatters soon set about trying to master the art of croquet, others chose to take a more leisurely approach with a glass of wine, a sit on the garden bench and do what we excel at, that is, chatting. We welcomed Elaine Burgess, who will be known as Angel Delight. She thoroughly enjoyed herself and is looking forward to becoming an active member of our chapter.
The food was, as usual, a fabulous spread and it never fails to amaze me how well we balance the dishes we bring. (edit here by QT – apart from the last Rutland Water bbq where we seemed to have a surfeit of couscous salad!) No two were the same thing! Everyone found a place to eat, chat, eat some more and chat some more. There was the cosy summer house, the patio complete with umbrella and, of course, the garden bench. All overlooked by horses in the next field.
For those of us who hadn’t tried the croquet earlier Madam Moulin took us through our paces. The game was made more interesting by the fact that her lawn did not run straight or smooth!!
I can only liken it to playing Crazy Golf and therefore required a little ‘cheating’ or else we would have been playing in the dark!
As the sun went down and the evening got cooler the Hatters began to drift home, taking dirty cutlery/crockery and any leftovers. We had all enjoyed a lovely summer’s evening in good company and we thank Madam for offering to have us and sharing her wonderful home and not forgetting her two beautiful dogs.