At Least Wells Garage Can Be Relied Upon

Once more, yesterday’s planned exchange of contracts on the house purchase didn’t take place. To compound the issue, the date for completion has been postponed by the seller’s solicitors who aren’t very good at answering their phone or responding to messages, meaning that we would need to put furniture into storage with the consequent additional removal fee. Our preparations were based on a completion date given by them. When not actually doing anything else, I have therefore spent the day expressing our frustrations about this and urging people to honour previous undertakings. I can’t be bothered to detail all the to-ing and fro-ing, except to say that no promised phone calls were received after 3 p.m., which means nothing probably happened today either. And now we have the weekend………

Richard's beach hutEarly this morning we drove back to Hordle Beach to deliver the photograph taken two days ago to Richard. He was not at his hut, so, as advised, I placed the print in a box inside a clear plastic recycle bag and stuck it behind the decking lodged at the front of the hut.

Beach huts and shingleWaves hitting shingleAs is clear from the shingle still piled up around neighbouring huts, Richard has done a magnificent job since we left him. The structure at the front of the building provides a platform over the pebbles when it is occupied, and a protective shield when it isn’t.

The incoming waves continued to push the shingle uphill as they struck home and climbed over the wall they had created. Waves and beach hutsFurther along the coast it was easy to see, from the spray bouncing off the breakwaters, how the banks holding the higher huts had crumbled.

It was only today that I realised that Auntie Gwen is responsible for my desire to make good pictures of incoming waves. I remembered that my godmother had one painting which wasn’t a devotional one, like The Sacred Heart.Sea and clouds This was a large, long, seascape that fascinated me because of the iridescence captured by the skilful painter. The picture held pride of place when Gwen still occupied rooms in her parents’ now demolished house at 18 South Park Road, Wimbledon. I don’t recall seeing it after she moved to Latimer Road.

As we were preparing to return home in the courtesy car supplied by Wells Garage, I received a call to say that Jackie’s Modus was ready for collection. We therefore diverted to Ringwood and swapped cars. The garage have done their usual thorough job at marginally less than the quoted price; fixed the passenger door without charge; and quoted a nominal fee for the loan of their vehicle. As usual when they do a job for us, they gave the car a thorough clean as well. It is good to know that someone at least sticks to the time quoted and doesn’t bump up expenses.

Thinking of expenses, given that we are already paying income and purchase tax, the amount of stamp duty and VAT for services that has been added to the cost of both the house purchase and car repair seems exorbitant to me.

One illustration to my post of 26th was of the ingredients of a vegetable base for soups. Today’s lunchtime chicken and vegetable soup put that to good use. Here we present the method of creating it:

If you have frozen your pre-cooked vegetable base don’t forget to defrost it in good time.

Stir-fry your chopped chicken pieces, onion and garlic. In the meantime poach, in chicken and vegetable (one cube of each) stock, any previously uncooked vegetables you may wish to add. Today’s additions were carrots, mushrooms and, in the absence of lentils, chana dal. Finally, add the thick vegetable base, thinning it with the stock, and simmer for a while. When you feel like it toss in the left-over vegetables from last night’s meal, making sure to bring them to the boil. Ours were red cabbage and brussels sprouts. Please yourselves as to quantity. You may add pepper, but if you have used stock cubes they usually contain enough salt.Chicken & vegetable soup

If, like us, you have enough prepared for the next day or two, you may care to add further superfluous vegetables from subsequent meals. You never know what you’ll have by the end of it. I can assure you this already wholesome fare improves with keeping.

Moving on to our evening meal, we enjoyed a delicious sausage casserole (recipe), crisp vegetables and swede, potato and onion mash. I drank Languedoc reserve 2012, and Jackie imbibed Roc St Vincent sauvignon blanc of the same vintage. It is worth mentioning that both this Languedoc and the Bergerac of a couple of days ago come from the French Connection Classics sold by Morrison’s. And very good they are too.

‘Good Haircut’

Yesterday I promised Richard a copy of the photograph of him shovelling shingle. I printed it A3+ size today, and am very pleased with it.

Jackie drove me to Southampton Parkway after lunch. I then took my usual route to Carol’s, involving a train to Waterloo and a walk across Westminster Bridge and down Victoria Street.

On the south side of the River Thames The London Dungeon drew its usual crowds. At the top of the entrance steps stands a barrow loaded with human corpses wrapped in sacking. London DungeonThe occasional hand escaping from its primitive body-bag no longer twitched, unlike those of a visitor anxious to venture inside to feast her eyes on further gruesome spectacles. Perhaps the dead bodies had once entered with rather more trepidation.

CloudsRainclouds gathered above Westminster Bridge and the silhouettes of some of the most photographed buildings in the world.

Pigeons lazingPigeons flyingFlocks of pigeons lazing and foraging in a now much reduced little green at the Victoria Street end of Broadway, suddenly disturbed, periodically took flight and arranged themselves on safe perches in the plane trees above.Pigeons perched

The green is Christchurch Gardens which has a history probably unknown to the millions passing by. There is no surviving evidence of either of the two chapels or the Church of Christ Church Broadway which have stood on the site at different times.

A chapel dedicated to St Mary Magdalene had occupied the area then known as Tothill Fields as early as the 13th century. By 1598, according to John Stowe, the building was ‘now wholly ruined’.

Christchurch GardensA new churchyard of St Margaret’s, known as The New Chapel was consecrated by the Dean of Westminster in December 1626. During the Commonwealth period it was used as a stable by Parliamentary soldiers and as avail for Scots prisoners captured at the Battle of Worcester. Twelve hundred of these prisoners were said to have died and been interred in the fields.

In the 19th century the New Chapel was demolished and replaced by Christ Church Broadway. Less than 100 years later, this in turn was destroyed by German incendiary bombs in the early morning of 17th April 1941.

Sadly, as in many London public spaces, this one now bears a sign telling you what you can’t do in them.

Suffragette memorialOn one corner is situated a tribute to those who suffered in the suffragette movement which fought for votes for women in the early twentieth century. The body of their leader, Emmeline Pankhurst, is buried in Brompton Cemetery. Her gravestone in the form of a celtic cross features in ‘The Magnificent Seven’.

After visiting Carol, I returned to Southampton where Jackie was waiting to drive me home.

St Thomas' HospitalNoticing my reflection in the window of the 507 bus to Waterloo as it passed St. Thomas’s Hospital, I was reminded of the keen observation skills of Jackie and Judith Munns in August 2012. I had posted a photograph of the Sigoules boulangerie on an afternoon following a morning visit to the hairdressers there. ‘Good haircut’, Jackie had texted from England. How, I wondered, had she known? The answer was that I was unwittingly reflected in the baker’s window.

LaptopsOn the return train journey, I amused my fellow travellers, most of whom were engrossed in laptops, by commenting that ‘when I commuted everyone read books’. ‘Times have changed’, was a young woman’s smiling reply.

When we arrived home we dined on superb sausage casserole (recipe); green beans; orange carrots; red cabbage with chillies; and yellow swede, potato, and onion mash.

Like Shovelling Water Or Coal In A Bunker

Jackie is very keen on keeping our flat clean and tidy. Glancing at the fireplace surround since 11th/12th February when  Sam and Orlaith made a surprise visit, one would not think so. Orlaith's footprintsYou see, when she came to dust this area my housekeeper couldn’t bring herself to do it. It bore a set of podgy little footprints that are still causing amused delight.

Yesterday, when explaining the frustrations of the English system for buying and selling houses, I didn’t describe the exchange of contracts and completion of sales. I can only tell you what we have to do. I cannot quite fathom the reason. Nothing is at all binding until contracts have been exchanged. Anyone can pull out at any time and leave the other party in trouble. In order to proceed to completion, contracts must first be exchanged with the payment of a 10% deposit. Reneging on the deal after this results in forfeiture of the deposit by the buyer, or, I have been told by the agent, a similar figure from the seller must be paid to the disappointed purchaser.

The solicitors want the money up front at each stage. Yesterday’s transfer was of the deposit. We had been told the exchange has been agreed and should take place today. The completion date was still to be negotiated, but in anticipation that it will soon be arrived at, we drove into Ringwood once again and transferred the balance of the money into the solicitor’s client account this morning. Exchange did not happen today. It is now to be tomorrow, with completion on 12th March.

Afterwards, although it was a very mild day, we lunched on one of Jackie’s delicious warming soups. This was bacon and lentils. A precise recipe is impossible. What she does is keep a vegetable puree base that consists of left-overs, including such as cauliflower leaves and onion skins. This, which I believe is known as compost soup, is divided and frozen in ice cream tubs. When the time comes she defrosts a portion and adds whatever takes her fancy. Today it was chopped up left over gammon steak, fresh lentils and a few extra carrots. She believes that somewhere along the line it must have had onions in it. This must suffice as a recipe. Here is a picture of the ingredients of the next compost soup base, to which brussels sprouts superfluous to this evening’s meal were later added: Compost soup ingredients

This afternoon, as an excuse to drive past The Old Post House, we visited Hordle Beach near Milford on Sea. Dog walkersWalker on beachSeaWe looked down onto the heaped shingle and the foaming sea, watching walkers along the shoreline, and, buffeted by the wind, walked down a set of still stable wooden steps, onto the shifting heaps of pebbles. The woman in the red jacket above put me in mind of two women I had seen alongside Southampton Water on 14th October 2012. She was doing a fast walk. They had been running.

Cliff fall with beach hutsSmashed hut and debrisIn the less sophisticated warfare of centuries gone by soldiers lined up for battle in serried ranks, one tier behind the other. The front line copped the brunt of the enemy fire, and the next one clambered over dead bodies to take their places. It was those beach huts here that had been in the vanguard that had caught the full force of the recent storms, with devastating effect. One section of the cliff had fallen away, rendering difficult access to huts teetering precariously on the new edge.Smashed beach hutsDebris Plot 267Many holiday hideaways had been reduced to timber ripe for Unsafe structure warningreclamation, and debris lay where it had been washed up. Some belongings were probably now nowhere near their former homes. Council notices warned that specific buildings and land surfaces were unsafe.

A defiant message from the owners of the pile of scrap that had once stood on plot 267 aroused our admiration.

One man had been working for two days at fixing up his hut and shovelling away the shingle. This was Richard, who explained that the pebbles hurled to the front of his and other huts had, in fact, provided a protecting wall which had saved his property from the worst of the devastation. He pointed out a gap in the line where a row of huts, as if a giant had scooped them up in the night, had simply disappeared. He described his task of shovelling shifting pebbles as trying to scoop water out of a bowl, because they kept falling back in again.Richard shovelling shingle His much more apt simile, later in the conversation, was of getting in the coal for his Mum when he was a boy. Anyone who is old enough to have done that will know that as you scraped your shovel along the cellar or bunker floor, lifting one load, another slid down and filled the space you had just created.

Sadly, whilst we were conversing with this man, a group of young men started chucking some of the flotsam around and making off with other pieces. When we arrived back at the car park we could see them smashing it up and abandoning shattered scraps. A woman on a bicycle reached them before I did. She must have remonstrated successfully, for they began to pick up the broken pieces. As I approached they threw the last pieces into the car and, like Starsky and Hutch, jumped in and drove off as the doors were closing.

Back home in Minstead we dined on tender heart casserole, crisp vegetables, and potato and onion mash. Jackie achieves such tenderness in this meat with a tendency towards toughness by pre-cooking it ‘for a long time in a pressure cooker’. I drank some Bergerac reserve red wine from 2012.

Chain Reactions

Having read Jane Gardam’s introduction to it, last night I began reading Molly Keane’s 1981 novel, ‘Good Behaviour’.

Early this morning Jackie drove us to Ringwood to make a bank transfer; to visit Ellis Jones solicitors; and to buy some eggs and veg. Rain throughout the night had replenished all the familiar pools, one of which required me to make a wide detour in order in order to pay for parking.

Car park poolTeetering on a low concrete kerb, I was in danger of stepping involuntarily into the swirling water sent rippling by cars driving through it. In those circumstances one expanding ripple is rapidly followed by another which in turn is ultimately superseded by a smaller one.

Back in October, we felt able, at last, to make an offer for The Old Post House. This was because the buyer of the London house part-owned by Jackie had pressed for completion of his purchase before Christmas, claiming he had both deposit and mortgage agreed in principal. It was not an accurate presentation of his position and caused inordinate delay consequent upon constantly moving goalposts. That sale is now complete, and today we transferred our purchase deposit to our solicitor’s client account. We await exchange and completion dates.

It is more than twenty six years since I bought a house in this country and a lot has changed in that time, not just the prices. Never before have I been caught in a chain. I now understand why our English system is considered to be such a nightmare. For those unfamiliar with this, a chain is the term given to the queue that is created by the fact that most people need to sell one house before they can buy another. No-one can be sure that any one purchase will not break down. Thus if I promise you a certain amount of money for your house, you may then promise someone else a figure for their house. I may have undertaken to buy your property based on another person’s promise to buy mine. If  my purchaser reneges, I cannot buy your place, and you cannot proceed with your purchase.

The Ashcombe Road house I bought when I was 21 was my first, and there was no onward chain. All I had to do was secure a mortgage. In 1963 the amount one could borrow was based upon one salary only. It is my conviction that the major reason for constantly rising prices is the relaxation of that regulation, effectively meaning two salaries, and eventually even more, would be required.

It was in 1968 that I bought the second house, in fact the London one mentioned above. Again there was no chain. The price that year was £5,000. It has just fetched £745,000.

There was an ongoing chain in the purchase of the Gracedale Road house in 1980, but, no-one having misrepresented their position, all went smoothly. Again, the transition from there to Lindum House in Newark in 1987, was unproblematic. Perhaps, until now, I have just been fortunate.

Derrick 1962Nothing is certain about photo number 46 in the ‘through the ages’ series, except that it was taken during the period when I was blissfully ignorant about the processes of buying and selling property. Wimbledon Common is the most likely location, and Vivien the probable photographer sometime in 1962.

We also have a term ‘chain reaction’. This is employed when one event, usually a disaster, follows upon another. Whilst I was writing the above notes, I received a call from Wells garage giving the diagnosis on Jackie’s Modus. The water pump had failed. This caused the engine to overheat. That destroyed the head gasket. Oil mixed with water. As, it seems, with everything else on this make of car, labour is intensive because the design is such that, even to change a headlamp bulb requires a complete dismantling job. We are stretched so far on the house purchase that now is not the time to contemplate the purchase of a new car. A quick discussion resulted in the decision to have the car repaired at a cost of £1,200. That sum in 1962 would have been £50 short of 50% of the cost of the first house mentioned above. Given that we had forgotten about stamp duty for house purchases and almost everything seems to have VAT added, I suppose you’d also call the car problem a double whammy.

Jackie on footpathReflections in waterlogged fieldsStream into Eyeworth PondThe late afternoon and early evening were bright and clear. We drove up to Eyeworth Pond near Fritham and walked along the gravel footpath, now, like the surrounding fields pretty waterlogged. On 10th November last year the pond was not as full, and the terrain not as covered in water as it was today. A rivulet feeding the lake had then trickled its way across the heathland through which the path runs. Today the rivulets were new threads speeding into what is currently a fast moving stream that could be heard from a distance. The now familiar devastation to the trees was here, in parts, even more dramatic than in some other areas. My photograph shows what is nothing more than a huge limb torn from a nearby tree, the shattered shards giving an indication of the force with which it had come crashing down.

Chilli con carne (recipe); wild rice and peas; and strawberry jelly in evaporated milk provided our sustenance this evening. I finished the malbec.Waterlogged fieldsFallen branches

A Painting

Jackie read out a salutary item for me from BBC News this morning.Mud-sucked shoe 10.12 My regular followers will know of my penchant for becoming stuck in the mud. She therefore thought I should take note of the couple in their late sixties who ventured into The New Forest not far from us. Twenty firefighters using specialist equipment were employed in freeing them when they ‘found themselves stuck in a bog near Burley. They were lucky to have a mobile phone and a signal’. ‘Phone Signal Saves Couple In Bog’, was the headline.

It was quite a pleasant morning when we set off in the hopes that the ailing car would reach Wells Garage in Ringwood. Tony, at the garage had said they were fully booked and one man short today, but we could bring the Modus in and they would do what they could. We made it to the garage, where he kept the vehicle and gave us a courtesy car.

Bonfire

John had lit a bonfire down the slope to the south east corner of the garden. Masking the trees, the smoke from this blended well with the clouds and patches of blue sky above. It wasn’t long before the rain set in and the blue disappeared.

We spent the rest of the morning at Helen and Bill’s, where we had coffee and a good salad lunch. By the time we returned home the roads were just as water-covered as at any other time recently.

This afternoon I finished reading Margaret Forster’s absorbing novel ‘Keeping the World Away’. I have focussed before on transitional objects. In a sense, Forster uses one in her novel. Passing from one woman to another over the period of a century, in a variety of circumstances, is a presumably imagined painting by Gwen John. A number of women are involved and their lives sometimes overlap quite apart from the connection with a real work of art.

A Corner of the Artist's roomJohn was essentially a portrait painter. Our author has chosen to weave her tale around a rare exception,  ‘A Corner of the Artist’s Room in Paris’, of which the work carrying her story is said to be a previous version.

The writer invites us into the minds of her characters, in particular their emotional lives, including their sexuality and their responses to Gwen John’s masterpiece. She is particularly skilled in this, as she is in story-telling. I will not reveal the ending of the book, which I would recommend for your reading pleasure, but I can say that Gwen’s childhood is the starting point. I think this version of the gestation and creation of the painting itself is probably imagined, linked as it is with the artist’s waning affair with Auguste Rodin, because it is at odds with the creator’s own comments. Nevertheless, it is credible and keeps us intrigued.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s excellent chilli con carne (recipe) with wild rice and peas. Strawberry jelly and evaporated milk was to follow. I drank some La Patrie Cahors 2012 malbec.

Invasive Species

The strong winds are back. Although the skies are a fairly uniform dull grey, where there are differences in nuances, wispy streaks rush over their lighter neighbours like smoke from a bonfire, or what was soon to emanate from the car bonnet. The rain was not heavy, but the gusts blew Jackie and me up and down the gravel slopes crossing the heath on which we walked at Frogham where she had driven us this morning.

On Roger Penny Way there were two sets of temporary traffic lights marking spots where trees had presumably fallen across the road. One root mass circumference was quite the largest either of us has seen.Runners For a short stretch around Godshill, vehicles, and the inevitable Sunday cyclists, had to share the road with runners as they strung out along the tarmac before disappearing through the car park into Ashley Walk which winds across the heath.

That resting place for cars was bone dry compared with the one at Abbot’s Well where Jackie normally parks when we go to that part of the forest. The road up to the second car park is normally pitted and can be muddy. Car park Abbot's WellToday the pock marks had widened and deepened and were filled with ochre liquid, some of which may have come from the glaucous lake which was even now lapping at the fenders alongside it. Fortunately we managed to leave the car in the lower section.

New Zealand pygmyweed controlThe poster visible by the lake in the picture above explains that work is under way to control New Zealand pygmyweed which is threatening native New Forest plants. This perennial species of succulent, the Crassula helmsii, otherwise known as the swamp stonecrop, that has been introduced from the Antipodes, likes aquatic or semiterrestrial conditions. displayImage-1.cfmGiven the amount of water that has lain on the forest terrain for the last two years it is hardly surprising that this invader is enjoying itself.

The John Tradescants, father and son, were seventeenth century travellers and gardeners who imported many new species of plant, some of which, named after them, are welcome additions to our flora. Others have, for various reasons, introduced both flora and fauna, some of which have come to be less than welcome.

Himalayan balsamA warning about Himalayan balsam is posted on the Castleman Trailway near Ringwood. ‘Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) is a relative of the busy Lizzie, but reaches well over head height, and is a major weed problem, especially on riverbanks and waste land, but can also invade gardens. It grows rapidly and spreads quickly, smothering other vegetation as it goes’ (RHS). I’m sure I’ve seen and, unknowingly admired it.

There are more than 1,000 species of rhododendron, many of which were introduced to England, I believe from China, in the 18th Century. Their splendour is evident in Furzey Gardens and in ours. RhododendronsUnfortunately ‘some types are now a pest in Britain, because they out-compete many native plants and, because their leaves contain toxins that some animals find inedible’.

In 17th Century, Canada Geese were introduced to supplement King James II’s waterfowl collection in St James’s Park. Canada geese youngJust like any other living creature, the young of these large birds, as I found in Cannon Hill Common on 28th September 2012, are intriguing and attractive. They do, however grow up, and are now a menace on our lakes and rivers. Their excreta is rather copious and can clog up the land around the waterways preventing grass from growing.

CoypuAnother menace, thought to have been eradicated by 1989, is the coypu, introduced from South America in 1929. This was kept in East Anglia for its fur. Some escaped, went forth, and multiplied. These creatures are extremely destructive. Was the ‘giant rat’ killed in County Durham in 2012, a survivor of the slaughter? If so, how many more are there?

When we came back to the car at Abbot’s Well today, it would not start. The water with which we had filled the tank yesterday was all gone. We had just enough left in a bottle to enable us to limp home, but we have a problem. The car didn’t smell too good and steam clouds rose from outside the front.

We had thought the lack of transport would mean that we would be unable to attend Helen’s birthday party this afternoon, but Ron collected us and took us to Poulner, and Shelly drove us home afterwards. Stretching into the evening we had an enjoyable time with friends and family involving much reminiscing and a certain amount of alcohol. My choice was red wine. There were plenty of well-filled and inventive canapés, and Helen kept warm snacks such as sausage rolls, and pastry filled with pork and apricots, flowing from the kitchen.

Perfume

Shadows on lawn

As the morning stretched out, so did the shadows cast on the lawn by the climbing sun whilst we pottered about inside prior to a trip to Christchurch.

After lunch we drove to Curry’s/PC World just outside Christchurch to investigate the possibilities of buying a new laptop and giving my old one a good clean up. Yesterday I had discovered that I can exchange my NatWest Your Points for vouchers to be used in this store. I have more than enough for a Windows laptop, but nowhere near sufficient for a Mac Book. The vouchers are in the post, so I have deliberation time. The old laptop has been left for the clean. The reason I want a new one is that the old Toshiba dates from the days before built-in card readers, and I’d like to be able to simply slip the card from my camera into the device when I am not near my iMac.

We then wandered around the town.Crocuses On this fine springlike day crocuses brightened the Priory car park, where we must have secured the last available parking spot.Christchurch priory As we left our car, the view of the Priory Church was blocked by a vehicle from which two women and a child were being decanted, so I waited until the man with them had driven off, no doubt in search of the advertised Mayors Mead, to photograph the people and the building.

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On leaving the church precinct, my attention was drawn to an ancient ruin peering above the sloping red-tiled rooftops of the town. This Jackie knew to be the castle, so we walked round to have a look at it. Sunlight through archCastle ruinsDazzling direct sunlight striated the sward covering the mound on which this small relic stood, so I walked further into the grounds to view the castle with the sun on its back. Whilst I was doing so, my lady appeared from behind the pile, waving her arms in delight at having ascended the steep steps to her goal. The red-legged little girl who shares the shot must have raced up and down the two sets of steps at least a dozen times before settling into the stocks to have her photograph taken in them.

Jackie atop Castle ruinsrooftopsCastle arch

From the top of the mound, through the vestigial castle arches, we enjoyed interesting views of the town, in particular a fascinating display of roofing through the ages.

The New Forest PerfumeryThe town centre juxtaposes the old and the new, with many buildings, such as The New Forest Perfumery, having changed their use, no doubt on numerous occasions over the years. The Perfumery, still bearing its original sign in old script looks to be a building from the sixteenth or seventeenth century. It now houses tea rooms, as indicated by the more modern board outside. Perhaps because our house in Sigoules was built in the eighteenth century and because Patrick Suskind’s 1985 novel entitled ‘Perfume: The story of a Murderer’, is set in the France of that era, I speculated that maybe Suskind’s perfumier worked in a similar setting. The novel focusses on the sense of smell and its relationship with the emotional meaning that scents may carry. Even if the tea rooms serve a vast array of teas and coffees, I doubt that their aromas are likely to match the variety of fragrances that once permeated the fabric of the building.

Regent Centre facade

Jackie and I were immediately transported to our youth at the sight of the Regent Centre, this picture house from the brief heyday of the cinema, sandwiched between a Subway and a Poundshop. The old Regent still shows films, but is now a much broader entertainment centre. Originally opening in 1931 it operated as a cinema for just over forty years, after which it spent a decade housing Bingo. A partnership between volunteers and Christchurch Borough Council has turned it into a theatre, cinema, concert hall, studio and art gallery. Regent CentreThis afternoon there were a number of stalls inside, displaying jewellery, models, CDs and DVDs among other articles for sale. Tables and chairs for takers of tea lined the entrance hall. The building is well maintained, and retains its Art Deco style.

This evening we dined on mushroom omelette also containing onions, garlic, and a dash of Worcester sauce; baked gammon; fried potatoes, and baked beans. Lemon and lime jelly floating in evaporated milk was a suitable dessert. I finished the Lidl Bordeaux and Jackie saw off the zinfandel rose.