Lots of changes this summer. Two wonderful Ukrainians — Mum Olena and her 6.y.o daughter Athina from bombed-out Mariupol — are now lodged in the flat at the back of the house and are settling in fine. It is also suddenly seeing like summer is here.
This made headline news in the little pond that is Orkney.
Then it was Arthur's 18th and the Jubilee, all one on top of the other.
For Arthur's birthday, Olena offered to make Slav food that Arthur might be missing. So the birthday menu was pelmeni with tort Napoleon for dessert (the link to the cake is to a Russian wikipedia page, there being no English one).
Making pelmeni is a fun family affair, as the little parcels have to be made one by one. So the more hands are available to make them, the quicker the task. The trick for the great taste is that the minced meat filling should be of at least two meats — pork and beef in our case.
So here we are at work
And here is one full board. We made three such boards as Olena was reckoning on half a board of pelmeni per person and we were going to have guests.
When the guests arrived, they were quickly roped in to help make parcels and get the job done faster, after which we decamped to the waterfront for an apéritif of champagne in honour of the big day.
We were too busy eating and talking for me to take any photographs of the proceedings that followed but we all had a great time
It has been party after party here, as the day before there was a party at the Hope Primary School for the Queen's jubilee.
We went up there with little Athena so she could see the school and have some fun. After being a little overwhelmed at first, she soon got into the swing of things.
We crowded round to watch the school orchestra
and then off to the amusements