The Modus Rocks

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This afternoon Jackie drove me to New Hall Hospital for a physiotherapy session. This was another positive outcome. I am now just 5 degrees short of the knee flexion target of 120. There remains tightness in the tendons and muscles used to straighten the leg. Claire, my physiotherapist, thinks that this dates from the hip replacement nine years ago. She has given me exercises for this and another session has been booked to work on it further.

We took a leisurely drive back home.

At Nomansland we witnessed a comic drama. The waste bins in the New Forest are designed to be pony proof. The effectiveness of this was demonstrated by a pony that didn’t know this. While the animal struggled to gain access, some members of a visiting family paid attention to the mare’s nearby foal. Suddenly they began pointing past me. Having given up with the bin, the mother pony had homed in on the family lunch bags. The human mother was alerted and came to the rescue. Others joined in.

Clouds of flies were, of necessity, ignored by the pestered animals at this site;

and by this family group on the verge of Roger Penny Way.

We parked the car by the side of Manor Farm in Cadnam Lane, which was overrun by three sows and a sounder of piglets. You can’t get much rasher than that. These snorting, grunting, trotting, creatures dashed hither and thither scratching their flanks on anything in sight, including the Modus, which they sent rocking. I needed to guide Jackie when she wanted to drive off, to ensure that she didn’t have a pig in front of her car.

This evening the three of us dined on Mr Chan’s excellent Hordle Chinese Take Away fare. Jackie drank Hoegaarden while Elizabeth and I finished the Merlot

A Bigger Splash

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The garden was looking very refreshed as I wandered around this morning. Most blooms bore baubles of raindrops.

Bees were making up for being confined in hives by the recent precipitation.

By lunchtime, I had finished reading 

Hibbert’s well researched history is founded on the subject’s personal correspondence and contemporary observations. Like many great men, our national hero comes across has a man of two halves. Undoubtedly kind and generous to his men and to many others Nelson’s relationship with Lady Emma Hamilton was seen as folly by many, and, even as demonstrated by his own letters he must have treated his wife very badly. This Viking paperback of 1994 contains no identification of the painter of the cover portrait.

After lunch, Jackie and I visited the sites of the two scarecrows missing from our last visit. Prince Eric, now wearing a rain hood, perched on a hedge at Ramblers in Woodcock Lane. I am very pleased to be able to report that a rebuilt Frog Prince again sits outside 49 Ashley Lane. His creator informed me that his battered body had lain on the ground and his decapitated head had hung from a branch.

We continued on a drive through the forest. Near Ogdens, a herd of deer got wind of my approach, and, turning tail, slowly picking up speed, elegantly trotted across the undulating terrain to safety over the brow of a hill.

Ponies and fliesPoniesPonies and fliesPonies

Clusters of pesky flies surrounded somnolent ponies gathered together at North Gorley.

Other ponies mingled with visitors to Ibsley ford, some of whom competed to establish who could create a bigger splash.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid spicy pork paprika with savoury rice. The Culinary Queen drank Coonwarra Chardonay 2016; Elizabeth and I chose Villanyi Merlot 2015 and drank some of it.

A Turning Point

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Last autumn, Jackie bought a job lot of gladioli corms, having no idea what colours would emerge. She was so excited by these blue ones that she had to tie up as a protection from today’s steady rain descending from a granite sky, that I just had to brave the elements to photograph them.

The Ashes series of 2005 was one of the greatest cricketing contests between England and Australia. This iconic photograph from Getty Images of Andrew Flintoff comforting Brett Lee after a fighting innings which just failed to snatch the Edgebaston match from England is considered a picture of one of the most sporting moments ever.

That series was a turning point for cricket in England for three reasons. The first is that BBC lost the recording rights of International cricket to Mammon, in the form of Sky Sports, who outbid them. This means that those young children, whose resurgence of interest in the game formed the second point, could only watch live games via a subscription to the media giant.

My grandson Oliver was the third reason. In the Spring of that year, I had taught him the basics of batting and bowling in the garden at Newark. He watched the series, closely studying the batting techniques on screen. By the end of the Summer, although I still had something to offer as a  bowler, it was apparent that I had nothing more to teach the lad whose skills far exceeded mine.

 

By August 2007, when I made these colour slides scanned today, the eleven year old boy was an opening bat for the lower sides of Sanderstead Cricket Club.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s perfect, spicy, pork paprika with splendid savoury rice. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden while Elizabeth and I drank Eszterbauer Sogor Kadarka 2015.

 

Picking Up The Trail

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Today the sky was pure graphite and rain fell intermittently. This afternoon I bought a now available sheet listing the entries to the Hordle Scarecrow Trail. As we had feared, the numbers were down considerably from previous years, and some had suffered from the recent gales.I featured a few of the exhibits in ‘Seeking Hordle Scarecrow Trail’

Now the extended time limit had passed the sheets had been published today. The staff member in the pet shop who sold me the form told me that her own personal entry, a Frog Prince, had been ruined by the gales, and so would not be on display. She wasn’t sure that she would be able to repair it. In an effort of encouragement, I told her I would be looking out for it after the weekend. She had won the competition in two previous years.

Scarecrow - The Little Princess - storm-blown

The Little Princess had stood outside 6, Elizabeth Crescent. This decapitated scarecrow was all that was left of it.

Princess Ariel, daughter of Triton

The third entry, from Ramblers, Woodcock Lane, was missing. This was Eric who was meant to gaze lovingly at Ariel, his sweetheart, at Rose Cottage, next door.

Scarecrow - Frog Prince

Undamaged Frog Princes sat outside Hordle Pavilion, Vaggs Lane,

Scarecrow - Frog Prince

and 36 Heath Road.

Scarecrow - Prince Southgate

The residents of 1 Windsor Close paid homage to Gareth Southgate, England’s World Cup Football manager.

Scarecrow - Princess Jasmine

I needed to remove and replace a large protective plastic bag from Princess Jasmine at 20 Larch Close.

Scarecrow - Princess Anna and Elsa (from Frozen)Scarecrow - Anna

Princess Anna & Elsa (from Frozen) reside at 43 Charnock Close.

We’ll have a look next week for the two absentees.

This evening the three of us enjoyed Jackie’s delicious sausage casserole, mashed potato, cabbage, carrots, runner beans and mange touts; followed by a melange of chocolate cheesecake, vanilla ice cream, and strawberries. Jackie drank Prohibition Budweiser, and Elizabeth and I drank DiMarco, Primitivo Puglia 2015.

Setting Up The Barricades

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Today having been one of continuous gale-force winds and intermittent heavy rains, the garden was delighted, and regular readers will know that for me that meant a forage in my archives.

I scanned a baker’s dozen of the Streets of London series from July 2007.

Porchester Gardens W2

Porchester Gardens,

Queensborogh Passage W2 7.07

Queensborough Passage,

Streets of London Queensborough Mews W2 7.07

and Queensborough Mews are all in Bayswater’s W2 district,

as is Porchester Terrace.

The Catholic Church of St Mary of the Angels in Moorhouse Road is also visible from the corner of Head’s Mews.

Fulton Mews demands various viewpoints.

Westbourne Grove W11, Ledbury Road W11 7.07

Over at the Notting Hill area Westbourne Grove, W11,

Westbourne Grove Mews W11 7.07

 

Westbourne Grove Mews,

Ledbury Road W11 7.07

and Ledbury Road were all preparing for the Notting Hill Carnival. All the shops put up barricades against the inevitable damage, including the use of wialls and doorways as urinals.

This post has been completed in the Royal Oak because we cannot access the internet. Elizabeth, Jacki, and I are now returning home where Danni and Andy are dining with us on Jackie’s delicious sausage casserole.

 

 

Directions From The Window

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On a dull day with intermittent light rain Jackie drove Elizabeth and me over to Mum’s to carry out a few tasks.

The major object of the trip was the rescue of a wayward wisteria, flattened, and stretching across the grass. Jackie provided the expertise

and a metal stake with which to reinforce the old rotted wooden one snapped at the base.

She took a heavy mallet to the new stake in order to hammer it into the still rock hard ground.

I lent a hand or two.

Elizabeth offered support, guidance, and assistance in positioning the plant.

Mum offered directions from the sitting room window,

Wisteria twined round post

and Jackie pruned to the level her mother-in-law required and wired the old post to the new one.

My wife and sister then went shopping while I cut up all the pruned branches and fed them to a green garden rescue sack. When they returned we enjoyed a lunch of salad, ham, cheeses, bread, quiche and strawberries, all fresh from Sainsbury’s.

Elizabeth then mowed the lawn and she and Jackie carried out more tidying and weeding while I kept my mother company.

After this we returned some inappropriate equipment to a local health centre, and made our leisurely way home.

This evening the three of us dined on Jackie’s succulent roast lamb; roast sweet and normal potatoes; Yorkshire pudding, cabbage, our own runner beans, and carrots. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and, Elizabeth and I, more of the Merlot.

 

Seeking Hordle Scarecrow Trail

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This afternoon the three of us set out to follow the Hordle Scarecrow Trail. The entries for this annual competition had been due to finish on Sunday 5th, after which sheets listing and locating the entries would be on sale at various local shops. We tried several outlets, ultimately to learn that entries had been extended to today and that therefore the lists were not available. We therefore trawled the village seeking possibilities in gardens from previous years.

Scarecrows - Disney's Aladdin, Jasmine, lamp

The theme this year is princes and princesses. In Stopples Lane we have Disney’s Aladdin, Jasmine, the genie, and the lamp.

Scarecrow - Frog Prince

Not far away, in the window of the pharmacy in Everton Lane, stands a Frog Prince.

Staff of the Budgen’s garage by the Everton Lane roundabout have produced Princess Leia and a cuddly Ewok.

Austin Car

As he passed them, this nostalgic Austin driver probably didn’t see the Star Wars visitors.

It was Jackie who spotted the Princess and the Dragon in Everton Road. She came to a halt further up the road, and Elizabeth and I walked back with our cameras.

Prince Charles also appeared in Everton Road. He was in his gardening gear, complete with wheelbarrow and terrier.

Next door, Robert Gill had gone to town on Princess Leia and Star Wars. The last four portrait images were produced by Elizabeth.

We rather hope the delay in proceedings is an administrative problem rather than a shortage of submissions. If so, there will be more to photograph in a day or two.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips with Garner’s pickled onions with which Jackie drank Becks Blue, Elizabeth drank Hop House lager, and I drank more of the Merlot.