This morning we awoke to bright blue clear skies and a much lower temperature. I walked through Telegraph Woods, round the Ageas Bowl, into Botley Road, and, believe it or not, found my way to Jessops to collect some ink cartridges I had ordered last week.
It was cold enough to tighten the skin on my cheeks and the backs of my hands, and set my fingertips tingling. I do have some excellent leather gloves that Becky bought me many years ago, but I tend not to wear them when out walking. This is because I discovered in my teens that once I have been tramping for half an hour my circulation combats even freezing cold, and my hands are as warm as if covered in fleecy lining. I have, of course, never tested this in Canada or Siberia. Flickering leaves desperately clinging to buffeted branches in the woods lent a liquid lambency to the sunlight slipping through the trees which provided enough shade to cause an even greater fall in the temperature. This reminded me of the density of the much more expansive Stapleford Woods near Newark through which I often ran on my twenty mile Sunday morning outings. Particularly in the winter, when the road through never shed the early morning frost or snow, the temperature would plummet as I entered this stretch. This phenomenon was much more welcome in the heat of the summer.
I returned via Botley and Telegraph Roads. Traffic on the M27, which I crossed by road bridge, was really hotting up, and Jackie and Elizabeth were chatting over coffee in the conservatory. When seated in this garden room now, we have to take all dead leaves off the plants and collect up fallen petals. That way we have a continuing fine floral display.
After lunch Elizabeth went shopping for presents; I heavily pruned two buddleias and bagged up their debris; and Jackie shopped for an evening meal. Jackie and I then drove to the dump with a car full of garden refuse bags. The dump had closed fifteen minutes before we arrived. Stopping off at In-Excess for bird food we returned to The Firs. Jackie waited for me to open the door. ‘Haven’t you got your keys?’, I asked. ‘No’, she replied. ‘haven’t you got yours?’. ‘No’, said I. ‘Don’t you keep them on the same ring as your car and all your other keys?’ I’m sure you know the answer. Well, Elizabeth wasn’t back, so we couldn’t get in. By this time Jackie was rather cold, so she suggested we drove to Haskins Garden Centre and had a coffee in their restaurant. So, off we went. Haskins was open and thriving. But their restaurant wasn’t. Killing time by one partner wandering round inspecting potential gifts from a place where she wouldn’t normally look for them, and trying out perfumes not to her taste, whilst her companion hangs around glassy eyed is not really to be recommended. But we did it until we were bored enough to venture back to The Firs. Still no Elizabeth as we drove in one drive entrance, wondering what would be on offer on the car radio. However, before the handbrake was off, my darling sister drove in the other side.
By now the leaden indigo of the recently clouded sky, tinged with the pink glow of sunset made us think we would not be surprised to see snow tomorrow.
When Jackie eventually gained access to The Firs she made an excellent chicken dopiaza which we ate accompanied by Kingfisher since 1857, in her case and Montpierre Reserve Fitou 2010 in the case of Elizabeth and me. We then repaired to the sitting room for a gawp, which is explained in my post of 2nd June. Since this is carried out in various stages of somnolence I am posting this episode before it actually took place. I may not be in a fit state afterwards.