This morning’s test confirmed that Matthew has successfully cleared our shower soak away. Goodness knows what the blockage was, but Bullitt had not penetrated it.
To begin the day, Jackie and I each carried out a fairly extensive cleaning task. Personally, I think I drew the short straw. My task was the removal of the third lavatory seat, the scouring of the porcelain, and the fitting of a replacement. Mat and Tess had brought us the replacement yesterday. we had actually given it to them for Christmas, but it didn’t fit their colour scheme, so they bought another, and we bought this one back off them. That way they still had a present from us. Should anyone wish to read a description of the seat replacement process, I would refer you to ‘Beyond Rancid’ posted on 8th of this month.
Jackie chose to clean and polish the refurbished clock given to Jessica and me by Michael thirty three years ago. And a very good job she made of it too. It is a much lighter wood than I have known for years.
This afternoon hanging was the task. Whilst Jackie hung a pair of curtains she hand bought in B & Q on a length of dowelling from Knights ironmongers, I paid attention to a couple of pictures.
The curtains frame the kitchen window rather nicely, and happily blend with the cloth that happened to be on the dining table. On the bottom left of the window-sill stands a stoneware vase that Becky made for Jessica and me when she was an art student in the early 1990s. Suspended from the ceiling at top right are a set of wind chimes made from silver-plated cutlery given to me by Michael’s children when they were all quite small. They are on the list for a polish.
Towards the end of the last decade, when I was living in Sutherland Place, I printed a large number of A3+ size prints of my colour slides, and began a practice of changing those on display each week. I bought two large frames with perspex windows having magnets at each corner. It was a simple process to slip out on photo and insert another. Now we have a suitable property in which to begin again.
We had a diversion to B & Q in Christchurch, where we bought a spirit level, the like of which has been a stranger to our house for many years. My pictures are held by two nails, so a means of ensuring they went up in a straight line was a definite requirement.
I have chosen to reproduce the framed hangings as they are in situ. This means that the observant viewer will be able to work out where they are in the house. The portrait of Michael in the kitchen sink, taken by me at Ashcombe Road whilst Vivien was bathing him, is from August 1965. Is there anyone who has at no time bathed their child in the kitchen sink?
By September 1967 when the next photograph was taken, Vivien had died and Jackie and I had met. One pleasant outing was taken with Jackie, her mother, and her sister Helen. This picture was in a carriage of the Romney, Hythe, and Dymchurch steam railway. It has always remained one of my favourites. I have never returned to that tourist attraction, but Jackie, who has, tells me that the view we had enjoyed on that day is now obscured by houses.
Giles Darvill is one of my oldest friends, and, by virtue of living in Milford on Sea, is now a neighbour. This evening Jackie and I visited him and Jean, his lady friend, and dined on an individual curry carefully selected by Giles for each of us. Jackie drank Kronenberg and the rest of us two different red wines. Giles had not seen Jackie since 1972, but the years just rolled away and we enjoyed very pleasant company.
The stained glass piece my friend made for my fiftieth birthday has already been mentioned. Other works of his also adorn our home. The fascinating fact is that, of my possessions brought to our joint home, Jackie selected those for display without knowing their pedigree.