Not having quite enough time this morning to reach the Lyndhurst surgery on foot, I set off three quarters of an hour ahead of Jackie, who followed and collected me as I walked past Sinefield on Forest Road. She delivered me to the doc’s in good time.
My appointment with Professor Lyon-Maris was to check on the success or otherwise of his freezing the wart off my face. This man is not my own GP, whose name I can’t remember anyway, but when keeping an appointment with him I have to be careful not to ask for the popular variety of potato, good for mashing, I believe, Maris Piper. He is, however, the wart expert. Well, I suppose someone has to be. What happened today was I was first of all seen by a medical student who confirmed that there was no sign of the former offending parasite. I asked him to have a look at what I think is something similar on the back of my left shoulder. He wondered whether it appeared the same as the other one. A reasonable thought, but I had to say I couldn’t see behind my left shoulder and I hadn’t thought of using a mirror. In truth I was unaware of it unless my hand happened to stray in its direction; and it was completely painless except when I tried to pick it off and it tended to bleed a little and feel a bit like a pinprick. It is easier to dig out a dandelion.
Michael, my friendly student, then had to report to the Prof and present his findings. The poor chap had to do this in front of me. He stood up quite well to the third degree. My blind diagnosis was the correct one, and an appointment was made for the freezer.
We went on to The Firs where we continued the gardening tasks begun two days ago. I emptied the oldest compost bin and spread the contents over beds weeded by Jackie and Elizabeth. Buried deep in the last of the rich earthy material produced in the last two years was a cooked, boneless, joint of pork, as fresh and odourless as if it had been kept in cold storage for the winter. Speculating about the likelihood of a nocturnal raid on a farmhouse kitchen; a journey to The Firs similar to the one taken with golf balls; the soft mouth of a cat carrying a kitten; and a digging party clambering over the walls of the bin, we came to the conclusion that this was evidence of further fox activity.
The newest bin was rather overflowing after the addition of Sunday’s grass cuttings. I therefore siphoned off some of them to begin this year’s heap. Already there was considerable heat emanating from them.
We worked in comparative silence after the buzz of the first Saturday afternoon conducive to tipping out the populace from the warmth of their homes. Today it was just us and the birds. There must have been some other small creatures about, for a buzzard circled overhead, occasionally gliding on the thermals. There is always a biplane threading its way across the sky. Blackbirds were gathering nest building materials. A wood pigeon blended in well with an old wooden beehive. Others gathered pickings from the recently spread compost. The difference in flight of these two avian species I find fascinating. The pigeon lumbers off with ungainly flapping, often looking as if it won’t make it to its perch. The blackbird swoops with curving elegance and much more economy of movement, venturing no higher than its chosen target, and giving the appearance of hedge-hopping.
Tonight’s meal, back at home, was Jackie’s delicious roast pork looking so like the contents of the foxes’ winter larder that I was tempted to ring Elizabeth and ask her to check the compost heap. I thought, however, that probably wouldn’t demonstrate much appreciation of the chef’s efforts. The second course was an excellent Aldi plum pie. With this, I finished the Carta Roja and Jackie drank Hoegaarden.