Piet Mondrian’s Pigments

Just as the sun was thinking about sinking into Mudeford Quay today,

gulls circled the Wolf Moon,

or basked in the bay,

in which a man stood on the sandbank and another walked his dog along the reddened shingle.

Easier to focus on the reflected sunlight bouncing off glowing windows

It took me a while to regain my vision from the first picture in this post, and from others that followed.

Until the golden orb dropped behind the Sailing Club window Piet Mondrian’s pigments plastered the single pane.

One more dog walker took advantage of the low tide.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla. My main course was chicken Jaljala, Jackie’s, chicken Korma. We shared egg fried rice, egg paratha, and sag bhaji; and both drank Cobra. The food and service was as good as always..

Late Afternoon In Ran’s Wood

Many hours of my life have been spent tramping the streets of London. These consequently appear on many of my blog posts, although one series has been particularly dedicated to them From 2004 to 2008 inclusive I made hundreds of photographs with the constraint that the road name must be included in the picture. They featured from Streets Of London posted 21st May 2015 to Tyburnia And Other Parts Of West London on 30th January 2021.

Having recently been alerted to the reader-friendly possibility of creating new categories, such as that of “A Knight’s Tale” I spent much of today converting the above-mentioned series from “Uncategorised” to “Streets of London”.

Towards the later part of this afternoon we took a forest drive.

Driving down Furzey Lane to Ran’s Wood Jackie was able to stop the car and photograph a plethora of pheasants through her window.

She parked up and I wandered the woodland, with its soggy terrain; its browsing ponies; its lichen covered trees; its burnished bracken; and just one pair of walkers.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy pork paprika and savoury vegetable rice. She drank Carlsberg and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2019.

Barnard’s Inn

This morning I posted https://derrickjknight.com/2022/01/15/a-knights-tale-92-violence/

After lunch I read more of “Great Expectations” and scanned more of Charles Keeping’s inimitable illustrations.

‘It is a most miserable thing to be ashamed of home’

‘Joe and Orlick went at one another, like two giants’

‘Biddy turned her face suddenly towards mine’

‘Mr Trabb’s boy was the most audacious boy in all that countryside’

‘Barnard’s Inn’

Our dinner this evening consisted of well-cooked roast beef, potatoes, and parsnips; tender cabbage; crunchy carrots, crisp Yorkshire pudding; and meaty gravy, with which Jackie drank Carlsberg and I finished the Faugères.

A Knight’s Tale (92: Violence)

By the 1980s violence against public servants was becoming quite a problem.  I had myself been attacked by a disgruntled client wielding a coffee table.  I was prevailed upon to re-enact the scene in an ITV programme on such violence. 

Without giving too many details, I can say that this man made demands concerning a child abuse case with which it would have been wrong to comply. One was that the file on him should be destroyed.

Unfortunately the Team Leader concerned committed me, as Area Manager, to meet the client. Before the subsequent interview I instructed that anything that could be used as a weapon should be removed from the designated room. The heavy table was left because the staff member could not lift it.

Suddenly, silently, the angry man rose to his feet. I sensed what was coming, rocked back in my chair, and kicked away the metal legs aimed for my front. I then rose to my feet and received an onslaught of kicks and punches which I contained to some extent by wrapping my arms around the perpetrator. The Team Leader rushed into the room. From the centre of the melee he witnessed my specs emerging in one of my hands. “Take these, and call the police”, I cried. Just as the punches were beginning to hurt rather too much and I was thinking “I’m going to have to hit him”, he ran out of steam. I counted seventeen cuts and bruises.

I charged him with assault. He received a small fine and an order to pay me £50 compensation, which I refused to accept.

Deciding my staff needed training in the management of these situations, I approached the police for help.  They were unable to provide any.  There was nothing for it but to create my own course.  With the help of my friend Brian Littlechild, one of the Social Workers at the time, a suitable event was planned and carried out.  This was just for the Area team.  My enduring memory of that day is the glee and accuracy with which the secretarial staff role-played their Social Work colleagues.  It was hilarious, somewhat chastening, and informative.  In the early years of my freelance consultancy practice, this course was very much in demand.  Initially Brian continued to partner me, using days of his annual leave.  Eventually we separated and went our individual ways, still remaining very good friends.  Years later, when I sought a similar course for the staff of Stepping Stone Community , Brian recommended a trainer.  The staff found the course stimulating and useful.  They were particularly pleased with the handouts, which they showed me.  Most of the material was what Brian and I had produced.

What we focussed on was scene setting, defusing of situations, and knowing when to get away, rather than self-defence.  It was our belief that most Social Workers were not belligerant enough to carry through specialist holds or other fighting techniques, and therefore more likely to get into trouble attempting to apply them.  There was, however, so much pressure for this element to be included that I approached Eden Braithwaite, a martial arts expert who I knew, to offer a sequence on the subject.  He wouldn’t do it, for exactly the same reasons that I had refused to countenance it.  “Then you are precisely the person that I need”, I replied.  “You will have the authority to make them hear what they will not from me”.  He agreed. The participants did accept what he said, some, I am sure, with a certain amount of relief.

During the morning of the day on which Eden was to present his piece, Brian and I, as usual, during our session on potentially threatening behaviour, had spoken about dark glasses.  If you cannot see someone’s eyes, you cannot determine their mood.  If you need to conceal your eyes, you are preventing the other person from knowing what to expect from you.  The unknown is frightening and will elicit a fight or flight response.  Strangely enough, we had some difficulty getting this concept across.  This was quite a large group containing both men and women, perhaps twenty in all.  When Brian and I returned after lunch, all the men were lined up together.  They were all silent, with arms folded.  All presented fixed features.  We had no idea what they were thinking.  One of them had been shopping and provided them all with dark glasses.  Far from being threatening we found this, as we were meant to, laughter-provoking.  This post-lunch session was much less somnolent than usual, and the group were nicely warmed up for Eden.

The TV appearance mentioned above was not my only one. The next was much more fun, and will feature in good time.

Decaying Forestation

On this third afternoon of continuous blue sky and bright sunshine the waxing

moon looked down early over Christchurch Road as we left home on a forest drive, and over Rhinefield Ornamental Drive as we made for home.

Wilverley Plain’s gorse-laden landscape and ponies already bore the touch of the approaching sunset.

A group of Shetland ponies wandered to and fro across the road approaching Brockenhurst. The grey crossing the waterlogged area stepped around the pool in search of a suitable section.

Whenever the sunlight pierced the tall forestation it burnished branches, bracken, and ponies.

As the afternoon drew on Jackie pictured a crow atop a tree; tall trees; and Derrick on Rhinefield Drive.

This evening we dined on more of Jackie’s paprika pork meal with the same accompanying beverages.

Recycling A Silver Cigarette Case

This morning I posted https://derrickjknight.com/2022/01/13/a-knights-tale-91-tennis/

This afternoon, having made good headway with

I scanned this frontispiece featuring “Miss Havisham”,

and the next six of Charles Keeping’s illustrations.

‘A man whose teeth chattered as he seized me by the chin’

‘He was gobbling mincemeat, meat bone, bread, cheese and pork pie, all at once’

‘Dragged out separately, my convict and the other one’

‘Estella seemed to be everywhere’

‘The Three Jolly Bargemen’

This Christmas Mrs Santa Claus placed a silver cigarette case in my stocking.

The present bears hallmarks stating that it was assayed in Birmingham in 1925, and bears an inscription for Xmas 1926. I may have smoked cigars or a pipe on and off over the years, but have never tried cigarettes. So, why this case?

The answer is contained in

The card case featured therein has always been just a little small to take the individually guillotined cards without shaving their edges.

Having today printed another stock to place in my new container, I will be able to use it for the first time.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy paprika pork topped with mixed peppers and served with boiled potatoes, cabbage and carrots, with which she drank Carlsberg and I drank Tesco’s finest Faugères 2019.

A Knight’s Tale (91: Tennis)

Here is a set of pictures of a tennis match between the game Arnoux, the husband of Marie-Helene, and my son Michael in 1983. I don’t remember the outcome, although I believe they were evenly matched.

Michael 1982010
Michael 1983007

Michael had youth on his side,

Michael 1982014
Michael 1983015
Arnoux 1982023
Arnoux 1983
Arnoux 1982004
Arnoux 1983009

but, in putting him under pressure, his French opponent demonstrated a certain skill.

Sam tennis1983

Sam, looking hopeful here, probably got a game in as well.

Woodland Sunset

At midday Ronan of Tom Sutton Heating visited to make further planned adjustments to our central heating system.

Having, in sharp contrast to yesterday’s constant mist, enjoyed a cloudless blue sky with bright sunshine throughout, after a shopping trip to Ferndene Farm Shop, we took a drive into the forest.

I was not the only photographer focussed on the deer alongside Burley Manor lawn.

Ponies grazed on the hillside along Forest Road, where

I snatched glimpses of a classic car as it sped past me.

Towards sunset, with the moon reluctant to depart, I photographed reflections in the waterlogged land alongside Burley Road.

It is my belief that clouds are needed to produce a good sunset, so at the appropriate time I wondered whether trees wood serve as a substitute, and ventured further into the woodland,

where I tried it out.

The Assistant photographer also put in a strong bid for promotion in photographing the scene, especially, as she pointed out, as my pictures did not feature me. She was particularly careful to show my efforts to prevent another fall. The first picture in her gallery gives a clue to “Where’s Derrick?” (6) which constitutes the second one.

The sun was sinking rapidly as we retuned along Burley Road.

This evening we enjoyed our final helpings of Jackie’s wholesome beef pie meal with the addition of baked beans. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Tempranillo.

Misty Morning Mizzle

Late yesterday afternoon Jackie had photographed the porcine weather vane on Bull Hill. Gloomy as it was there was no mist.

We began the day by visiting the Royal Mail Delivery Office very early. Jackie parked outside on Lymington High Street while I entered the office to do battle about the non-delivery card featured yesterday. This related to a package which had not born sufficient postage. I plonked the card on the counter, simply stating that I had followed directions and posted the card to them only to receive it back in our own letter box the next day. Saying nothing, the gentleman I had spoken to walked away and returned with the ‘package’ which bore no postage at all.

When I expressed surprise at what this was I did receive an apology and was not asked to prove my identity. Returning to the car I handed Jackie the item and made my sister Jacqueline’s morning by, through gritted teeth, thanking her kindly for her Christmas card which undoubtedly cost us more to collect than it had cost her to buy.

While waiting for me Jackie had photographed a foggy High Street.

She pulled over at Undershore Road while I continued my conversation with my sister and

photographed some boats on Lymington River.

A pack of cyclists emerged from the mist on South Baddersley Road.

We diverted to Tanner’s Lane

where I stepped out to photograph the beach and its environs, including a flotilla of geese and solitary silent gulls. The honking of the larger birds drew my attention to how quiet the morning was. The only other sounds we heard on the whole trip were the mournful notes of foghorns and the plops of mizzle moisture dripping onto soggy leaves.

Jackie photographed a corner of the beach, and me on the silently sliding shingle.

The drips rippling the eponymous Lake made no sound as we made our way along Sowley Lane.

We drove along St Leonard’s Road to the relics of the Grange. Cattle peered through the gloom, and pigeons perched on the roof of the barn.

Our familiar group of ponies with their Shetland acolyte trotted briskly past, close enough to become more visible.

Those at East Boldre remained obscured.

At East End the thatcher’s fox still kept its quarry in sight.

It was not yet 11 a.m. as we returned home along Southampton Road.

For dinner this evening we enjoyed another helping of Jackie’s delicious beef pie served with similar, fresh, vegetables to yesterday, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Tempranillo.

Thatching

At least our winter flowering cherry was happy with another dreary, yet wet, day.

Last night Louisa asked me to send pictures of her lifelong friend Gemma, who will be 40 tomorrow. I sent her three,

of which this is one from my daughter’s birthday party of May 1993.

Three days ago ‘we began with a trip to the Lymington Post Office collection office to claim a parcel undelivered because of a shortage of £2 in postage. The good news was that there was no queue. The bad news was that the office was closed. I took an alternative option which was to stick the extra postage on the back of their card and post it back to them.’

This is what we received in the post this afternoon:

The first of these images is of the front of the card addressed to the office with my 3 first class stamps attached. At the current rate of postage that is £2.45. The With postage section on the reverse side addressed to us is the direction I followed. Grammar enthusiasts might like to note the superfluous apostrophe in our name. A postman told me that ‘Today’s date’ is the date the post office received the parcel, not the date on which the card was delivered. That was in fact several days later.

I tried very hard to resolve this on line where I couldn’t even access the revised opening times. Of all the options from which to choose to request help there wasn’t one which would cover having received the returned card, clearly addressed to the Delivery Office itself, with no indication of the parcel. And, as usual, there was no way I could find a telephone number.

We decided to go in person. The office was closed. And only open from 8 to 10 a.m. in the morning.

This called for a rainy forest trip.

The anonymous decorator of the Pilley Hill Post Collection Box seems to be celebrating 2022. Maybe it will improve.

Behind Jordan’s Lane alongside which lies Pilley Lake, I enjoyed a friendly conversation with two master thatchers. This cheered me up.

On the lane itself one donkey was guarding her foal while another couple were silently arguing about the bay tree they were pruning. The larger animal kept butting the smaller out of the way.

The Culinary Queen produced another delicious beef pie for tonight’s dinner – and for a couple more besides. Firm boiled potatoes, Brussels sprouts and carrots were the tasty vegetables; onion gravy completed the platefuls which were accompanied by Hoegaarden in Jackie’s case, and Castillo Catadau Gran Reserva 2014 – a delightfully smooth rounded Spanish Tempranillo given by Ian for Christmas, in mine.