Just a week away from July, I was actually cold as I walked down to Seamans Corner and back this morning to post a letter. For a city dweller it may seem hardly worth recording such a trip, but it does take twenty minutes. I reflected on a far more painful crawl to a post box described in ‘The London Marathon’ on 25th September last year. I omitted to mention that that receptacle was just two or three hundred yards away.
This afternoon we motored to The Firs to continue work begun yesterday. Jackie finished trimming the edges and did a lot more planting; I performed some maintenance work on the compost bins and finished the mowing; and Elizabeth spent the afternoon tidying up the debris corner and packing her car so that she and I could do a dump trip.
Many plants are now thriving as a result of last year’s work, be it the planting of fresh flowers or the nurturing of existing shrubs and smaller flora.
In the early evening Elizabeth and I took her second car-load to the municipal dump. The main purpose was to transport much rubble from the house’s recently repaired chimney stack. We also found room for the rotting innards of a beehive; a wooden ladder that had lost most of its rungs; several bagfuls of pruned shrubbery and brambles; and even Jackie’s wheelie shopping bag that had finally collapsed under one of its loads of bags of compost.
I have previously mentioned my sister’s propensity for bringing at least one souvenir with her back from the dump. Today was to be no exception. She had placed the rubble in various buckets and other receptacles and loaded them into the car. It must have been very difficult for her to have lifted them over the rim of the boot. Possibly as difficult as it was for me to lift them rather higher into the enormous skip labelled ‘Soil and Rubble’. I recommend anyone trying this at home to test lift anything to go into a Council skip at least to shoulder height before attempting the task. If you can’t lift the container, reduce its contents.
Whilst I was waiting for Jackie, Elizabeth and Danni to change for a trip to the Masala Lounge in Chandler’s Ford for our evening meal, I amused myself watching the still toiling bees crawling in and out of foxgloves in search of honey. They would fly in their ungainly manner, loaded to the thighs already, silently disappear up the trumpet-shaped petals, take their fill, stagger out, and move on to another.
Our meal was excellent, and the service, albeit a little slow, friendly and efficient. Danni, who had found the restaurant some time ago, had often suggested we go there. It was a good recommendation. She drank a Chilean merlot, whilst the rest of us imbibed Cobra beer.
On the way there I travelled with Elizabeth, whilst Jackie drove Danni. At one point my driver, addressing no-one in particular, announced that she had to charge up her eye pads this evening. As I hadn’t realised she had an ocular problem, other than the family short-sightedness, I wondered why she needed such appliances. After all, she was at the wheel and had my life in her hands. This sent her into helpless laughter which made me all the more nervous since she appeared likely to lose control altogether. When able to gather herself together she explained that she now possessed two i-Pads, one specifically for work, and they both needed recharging.