Jackie spent most of the day continuing the fumigation of the kitchen, the porch, and the entrance hall. She also tackled the stairs and more of the light switches, all of which need to have their original cream revealed once more. We both continued to unpack and find homes for the contents of various storage boxes, and moved more furniture upstairs.
I then took a walk down Downton Lane, left at the bottom and along Hordle Cliff beach.
The verges and hedgerows of the lane are blooming with wild flowers. Periwinkle, primroses, daffodils now a bit past it, lady’s bedstraw, stitchwort, dandelions, and bluebells can all be recognised. Nettles and cow parsley are beginning their emergence from the earth beneath.
Some way down the lane on the left lies Downton Holiday Park. A red telephone box peeps through the hedge from over a caravan.
The ripple of waves around a tractor ploughing a field proved to be the massed wings of seagulls in the wake of the swirling blades of the plough. As I leant on a five-barred gate listening to their squealing and screeching, I felt that that great high-kicking French philosopher, Eric Cantona, stood by my side, just as had imagined Steve Evets in Ken Loach’s brilliant film ‘Looking For Eric’. For those who are not aware of the significance of this observation, Cantona famously offered an enigmatic response, concerning seagulls following a trawler, in a television interview.
The Isle of Wight and The Needles were visible from the coast road.
I was soon crunching and slithering along the shingle which I shared with a sprinkling of hardy young families enjoying the seaside.
My choice from the Tesco microwaveable meals this evening was beef stew with dumplings; Jackie’s was chicken hot-pot. Fresh runner beans were the accompaniment which Jackie cooked with her new hobs. She drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Isla Negra.