Just as I was preparing for today’s walk, Jackie set my pulses racing. She informed me that there were no instructions for the assembly of the IKEA bed. As I reached for my mobile phone she found them hidden away in one of the boxes. I calmed down and set off to cross the A31 in search of an historic monument. After studying this, I carried on through Brook to the B3079 from where I retraced my steps back to Minstead.
As a truly ancient monument, the Rufus Stone lacks a certain authenticity. However, the legend on the obelisk that stands on an allegedly historic spot has saved me a certain amount of writing. All I would add to this inscription is that King William was a son of William the Conqueror, and that the authenticity of the story will never be established. Whether Sir Walter’s shot was an accident or an assassination has been the subject of speculative debate for centuries. I must say that anyone venturing off the A31 in a westerly direction to take the turn off to see the ‘stone’ is taking a very risky manoeuvre. It is marginally more dangerous to carry this out by car than it is to do it on foot. A little further along the road to Brook the Sir Walter Tyrrell inn bears a sign commemorating the legendary event.
Brook itself seems to be a small hamlet. I do not know the derivation of its name, but interestingly, although it is on high ground, there is a ford and footbridge on the road beneath it.
I wondered what the jacketed horse in a field made of its free ranging relative grazing on the grass by the wayside.
When I returned to flat 4 Jackie had begun to assemble the bed. We completed the operation, which was remarkably smooth, after lunch, before setting off for Aldi in Romsey where, according to Which magazine, we should find a well recommended Christmas pudding. Naturally that wasn’t all we bought. Now Jackie has a decent sized fridge and freezer there is no stopping her, especially with the festive season coming up.
As we were in Romsey it made sense to visit the Purbani restaurant we had discovered two years ago. On that occasion my poppadom theory was tested and found not to be foolproof. The hypothesis is that the quality of the poppadoms is a good indication of what is to follow. Crisp, warm, poppadoms with fresh, tasty, pickles means the rest of the meal will be good, and vice versa. On our first visit the poppadoms were so limp that I had to send them back. They were changed without question, and our meals were excellent. Today everything was fresh, well cooked, and flavoursome. As we had arrived before they opened, we had a drink in the Oak Tree pub, a small, homely, establishment which was, complete with strobe lighting, preparing for a twenty first birthday party. That is probably why Jackie couldn’t finish her Kingfisher, and I struggled with my Cobra.