We have found Rufuston on the agent’s website. It is still intriguing. Were we to pursue it, us oldies would need to install a lift; more double glazing; and at least one more loo. The house is on four floors, with stunning views across the forest at the back, but the noisy A31 at the front.
I passed the building whilst taking the Matthew and Oddie walk this morning. When I set out light rain was falling, causing everything to glitter in the sunshine. By the time I reached what I have been calling Bournemouth Road, but which Jackie’s research has revealed to be Forest Road, the rain was becoming steadier, until it became a torrent well before I approached the bottle bank. I could not summon a lift home because I had left my phone on charge.
Diving for shelter into the trees, I managed to spear my forehead on a dead holly branch. I regard this as serendipity, because had I not dropped my head a little I would not have noticed what I take to be ponies’ teeth marks on the bark. These reminded me of some mediaeval paving stones I bought in an architectural salvage store in Carlisle in the late 1980s. Hiring a van, I transported them to Lindum House, around which I made a footpath. These stones, some of which were so worn as to be concave, contained hand-made chisel marks on the undersides. Turning the concave ones upside down and filling the sockets with sand, a reasonably level path was produced, leaving the chisel marks in full view.
My attempt to photograph the holly bark wasn’t completely in focus, but that of the branch was completely hopeless. Maybe I wasn’t seeing straight.
Tramping along the wide Forest Road, I was greeted by a young man who stopped his car on the other side of the road. He wondered whether I was ok. I must have looked a bit puzzled, because, when I said I was, he asked: ‘Have you had a fall, or something?’. I smiled and said: ‘Oh, I just walked into a tree’. I’m not sure this was any less of an alarming prospect for my good Samaritan, for he persisted. Eventually he was satisfied I was unharmed.
When you think about it, it was quite reasonable for the couple, with a toddler in a car seat at the back, to have stopped. I may well have done the same had I seen an elderly gent in an open-necked short-sleeved shirt, summer trousers, and sandals sans socks, striding through the heather by the side of an unpopulated road, in the pouring rain, with blood seeping into his right eyebrow.
I hadn’t realised I was bleeding until I returned home and dripped (water) into the flat. Soon after I had dried out and changed my clothing the sun came out and beamed at me. Probably at everyone else as well, but it did seem to be rather amused.
Imperial China in Lyndhurst High Street provided our evening repast, and very good it was too. We chose their set meal B, which, as usual, was plentiful, varied, and crisply cooked. We both drank Tsing Tao beer. The waiting staff there are all amazing. Remaining friendly, and sometimes humorous, they work at a rate of knots. Seeing the young men in particular glide through the restaurant propelling trays of steaming sizzling options, deftly avoiding any customers taking their places, reminded me of Jeremy Guscott, England’s finest rugby centre of the 1980s and ’90s, and perhaps of any age.