We went on a driveabout today. First stop was Sway Road, Bashley, to view Pemberton House. This is beautifully built, individually well-designed, and spacious, with high ceilings. There is good quality parquet flooring throughout. The decorations and the gardens were just right for us. But it is a 1950s building and, as such doesn’t appeal to our souls. Diane, the very pleasant woman who owns the property, taught Richard, the agent, English at school. Her profession caused her to have a very well integrated extension built for a study. Housing my books would not be a problem.
By the time we moved on to Margery and Paul’s home near West End, rain had set in. This was a flying visit. I handed Paul ‘The Bridesmaid’ framed picture and we left immediately for The Old Post House at Downton, pausing en route at the Cadnam Garden Centre for a birthday present.
Whilst waiting at the till we witnessed what for us was a new scam. A man behind us with a strong Scouse accent thrust two £5 notes and a handful of coins under the nose of the person serving us and asked for a £20 note in exchange. He was persistent in his request, but got no change out of the younger man who simply maintained that they were not allowed to comply with his request. When the interloper wandered away in disgruntlement, our shop assistant explained that this was merely a distracting technique to facilitate theft from the till. As we left the store, the Liverpudlian, still clutching his handful of currency, attempted to buttonhole Jackie on the subject of the young man’s unhelpfulness. She simply said: ‘They are not allowed to do it’. He shambled off, muttering.
On the A35 we became part of a convoy following a small car towing a fairground roundabout. It wasn’t moving very fast. Nevertheless, Jackie got us to the house on time. Just.
The Old Post House is sublime. A former post office built in the 1930s it has plenty of space, plenty of rooms, and plenty of character set in an idyllic garden. Intriguingly, the tall, elegant, middle-aged estate agent and the owner’s short, round, elderly, spaniel possessed an uncommon name in common.
This house is preferable to any of the others we have seen except The Old School House. We are now torn. The Bisterne House may or may not have been taken off the market. If we wait for a resolution on that, we may lose this one. If we plump for this and Bisterne is sold we may kick ourselves. Decisions, decisions.
We bought a further gift in Brockenhurst on our way back home.
Helen tagged Jackie and me in one of the wedding photographs from 6th October, published on Facebook. I impressed myself by successfully transferring it to my post of that day.
Her head spinning with the pros and cons of The Old School House vis a vis The Old Post House, Jackie nevertheless managed to produce an excellent baked gammon dish accompanied by leeks in cheese sauce and mashed potato. Ratatouille (Jackie’s dish, not the eponymous rodent chef) provided piquancy and additional colour to brighten the otherwise symphony in white accompanying the dark salmon pink gammon. Jackie drank some Hoegaarden, whilst I finished the Kumala.