Farewell To Chris

Today was the day of the funeral of my brother, Chris. Jackie drove Louisa and me to join family and friends at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Wroughton, for the requiem mass; to the other side of Swindon for the cremation service, and back to Wroughton for the reception. Both the church and the crematorium wereContinue reading “Farewell To Chris”

The Agriframes Arch

After yesterday’s constant rain, a bright morning lent a sparkle to everything in the garden. The Compassion rose was sprinkled with raindrops; as the broad nasturtium leaves that had halted the descent of those of the birch, and petals of verbena bonarensis. This clerodendrum trichotomum had the appearance of a parasol-shaped cocktail stick bearing aContinue reading “The Agriframes Arch”


As I walked down Downton Lane on my usual Hordle Cliff walk this morning the fog alert signalled that there would be nothing to see across The Solent through the grey skies and driving rain. Bubbles forming and floating on the roadside pools slowly burst and created concentric circles on the surface which was thrownContinue reading “Mnemonics”

The War Of Canudos

Yesterday evening, after dinner, Jackie attempted to turn off the extractor fan. She pulled the cord. Something snapped inside. To reach it I had to climb up on a chair. Fortunately the glass spice jar I knocked off the top of a tower of shelves didn’t break. I fiddled around and found a screw underContinue reading “The War Of Canudos”

Barton Common

What I had stumbled upon three days ago was the edge of Barton Common, into which, Jackie had read, had been reintroduced New Forest ponies in order that, by their chomping and defecating, they could return the area to its natural habitat. As it was indeed a day of enticing light, Jackie drove me there thisContinue reading “Barton Common”

Villages Of Oxford And Cambridge Shires

I walked my normal route to Milford on Sea and back this morning. Waves buffeting the beach were choppy and the wind blustery, but that did not deter families settling on the shingle, along which couples perambulated. Part of the footpath that I had, only two days ago, described as safe, has tumbled down theContinue reading “Villages Of Oxford And Cambridge Shires”

Chips And Gravy

Vine weevil larvae have been feeding on the roots of Jackie’s prized heucheras. Our eagle-eyed head gardener spotted the wilting plants yesterday afternoon, lifted what was left of them, scraped off the infestation, and placed them in water to encourage new growth. The rubber duck is keeping its eye on them. Favouring those in pots, these voracious intruders,Continue reading “Chips And Gravy”

Charge The Battery

Taking my normal route this morning to Hordle Cliff, I then turned right and walked to Barton on Sea. From there I took a steeply undulating footpath, initially gravelled then turning to mud. Emerging at Barton Lodge Care Home I took another two right turns into Milford Road, passing Taddiford Farm and picking up theContinue reading “Charge The Battery”

Gurkha Pensions

Today was one for visiting Norman and Carol in their different parts of London. Jackie drove me to and from New Milton station for the purpose of this trip. As is often the case, a young woman sat next to me on the train to Waterloo with her huge luggage container effectively blocking two seatsContinue reading “Gurkha Pensions”

Hordle Closed Cemetery

A new discovery was made on my familiar Hordle Cliff walk this morning. An abandoned bird’s nest perched high up in the hedgerow on Downton Lane where, seduced my the mild autumn, blackberry blossom still blooms, and lichen blends with the gorse. Roger was out with his tractor bearing new attachments, the purpose of whichContinue reading “Hordle Closed Cemetery”