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Happy Birthday, Anita Burgh!

Tuesday, 7th June, was the first Tuesday in June. The monthly RNA Oxford Chapter lunch is always held on the first Tuesday of the month at The Victoria Arms, Old Marston. But not this June!

In the week that would be ending with the birthday of Annie Burgh, pillar of the Oxford Chapter, and long-time friend and mentor to writers published and unpublished, we decided to break with tradition and take the lunch to Annie, who now lives near Cleveden.

 

Annie at the last Ox Lunch before she moved away

Annie at the last Ox Lunch before she moved away

 

As you’ll see from the few photos below, the weather approved of our decision, and the sun shone down on Annie and Billy’s lovely garden.

 

Annie chats to Maggi Fox and Rebecca Leith (sitting), Carl Pengelly, Bev, Julie Roberts and Catherine Jones (standing)

Annie talks to Maggi Fox & Rebecca Leith (sitting), Carl Pengelly, Bev, Julie Roberts & Catherine Jones (standing)

Catherine Jones, Katie Carr, Gilli Allan chat while waiting for others to arrive

Catherine Jones, Katie Carr, Gilli Allan chat while waiting for others to arrive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jean Buchanan (sitting) and Catherine Lawless

Jean Buchanan (sitting) and Catherine Lawless

Maggi Fox

Maggi Fox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Billy waits for everyone to sit down

Billy waits for everyone to sit down

Julie Roberts (standing) with Maggi Fox & Jean Buchanan (sitting)

Julie Roberts (standing) with Maggi Fox & Jean Buchanan (sitting)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bev, me

Bev, me

Gilli Allan, Jean Buchanan

Gilli Allan, Jean Buchanan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bev and bottle, Julie Roberts, Katie Carr and Catherine Jones

Bev and bottle, Julie Roberts, Katie Carr and Catherine Jones

Chatting, a glass in hand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food!

Food!

 

Carl Pengelly, Catherine Lawless & Catherine Jones at the buffet

Carl Pengelly, Catherine Lawless & Catherine Jones at the buffet

Rebecca Leith, Maggi Fox, Catherine Jones, Julie Roberts, Billy and Catherine Lawless wait while the others get their food

Rebecca Leith, Maggi Fox, Catherine Jones, Julie Roberts, Billy, and Catherine Lawless wait while the others get their food

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the table

At the table

 

You can’t have special lunch, in a birthday week, without cake! Katie Carr organised the cakes, which were iced with icing covers of three of Annie’s books. Each cake was a different flavour. Not only did they look amazing, but they were absolutely delicious.

 

The cakes!!

The cakes!!

 

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Annie with Katie Carr

Annie with Katie Carr

Annie, Katie Carr and Bev, who's getting ready to pour wine for our toast

Annie, Katie Carr and Bev, who’s getting ready to pour wine for our toast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crowding round to look at the cakes

Crowding round to look at the cakes

 

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I shall leave you now with a last glimpse of Annie and the cakes, on what was a really lovely occasion. I hope you’ve enjoyed the few moments I’ve been able to capture here, with the aid of Julie Roberts and Carl Pengelly, who kindly added their photos to mine.

May the coming year be a healthy, happy one, Annie!

 

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  • It looks fabulous – especially those amazing cakes. So sorry I couldn’t be there.

    • Liz:

      We were sorry, too, Jane. The cakes were marvellous. Not only were they really delicious, but they looked so good. It was such a shame to eat them. Having decorated icing is an idea I shall certainly use in the future myself.

  • This is a lovely blog Liz – super photographs, delicious looking food – not to mention stupendous idea for the cakes, and obviously a lovely day and happy atmosphere. Jolly well done all of you.

    • Liz:

      Many thanks for your comment, Gwen. It was a really lovely day. I became so caught up in chatting that I forgot to take many photos. That’s always the sign of a good day!

  • What a day! What wonderful friends! It was without doubt a perfect day and even if it wasn’t quite my birthday it felt as if it was. Talk of books, of writing, of aims and ambitions, who we love and who we loath. Brilliant. Thank you all for coming such a distance. I’d like to make this an annual event.

    • Liz:

      Absolutely, Annie! Now that we’ve found the way, we should do so again. It was great fun. Cheers to the next time!

  • Maggi Fox:

    Such a terrific day, and wonderful company. We had a great time.

  • I was very pleased to be able to join in the celebrations, despite being a very hit and miss member of the Oxford Chapter. It was a great day. Happy Birthday, Annie. Gillixxx

    • Liz:

      You’re an important part of the Ox lunch group, Gilli, even if you aren’t always able to get to the lunches. It was lovely that you were able to make it to Annie’s last week.

  • It was a fantastic day. The weather improving as we enjoyed out party food, friendly chatter and three delicious book cakes to choose from. I had a slice from The Azure Bowl, the first book I read of Annie’s and is still one of my favourites.

    • Liz:

      Thank you for your comment, Julie. I believe that I ate some of that book, too. I did, if it was the coconut and lime cake, which was wonderful!

  • What a lovely celebration for Annie’s birthday. I wish I had been there. Love to all xxxx

    • Liz:

      That would have been super, Emma. it’s far too long since we’ve seen you. Come to Oxford SOON, and that’s an order!! Bossy? Moi??

  • What a lovely day! I’m so sorry I couldn’t be there; the company, food, decorated book-cakes and sunshine in Annie’s lovely garden made it a memorable day for a wonderful novelist.

    Heather

    • Liz:

      We, too, were sorry you couldn’t be there, Heather, but we understood why you couldn’t join us. It was a lovely day, enhanced by the sun coming out as we reached Annie’s house.

  • Carl Pengelly:

    It was a lovely day and I feel honoured to be have been a part of it.
    Annie is such an inspiration.

    • Liz:

      That’s absolutely right, Carl – Annie is inspirational, and it’s lovely that we had a chance to show her what she means to us. Thank you again for letting me use some of your photos.

  • Jean Bull:

    It looks as if you had a wonderful time, and those cakes look fabulous. I’m glad the sun shone.
    A belated Happy Birthday to Annie too.

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