Today we drove to Mat and Tess’s in Upper Dicker for lunch, making a slight deviation to Emsworth to collect Flo who joined us and returned this evening to stay for a few days.
It being Remembrance Sunday we listened to The Cenotaph Ceremony on the car radio, and, as always, I thought of two minutes’ silences with Auntie Gwen.
Monty and Louis are the sons of Mat and Tess’s friends Vickie and Dave. They are also, clearly not by coincidence the names of Tess’s two guinea pigs for whom Matthew bought a large dwelling place last Christmas. The two little animals have spent the last few months in a large metal cage in a well trampled compound in the garden, and today was the day for them to move to their winter quarters in the wooden structure inside the house. It wasn’t too difficult to move them, because they come when called, especially if a tasty carrot or pepper is being waved about.
The three photos of the pets inside their wooden house were taken by Flo.
Tess, who is a magnificent cook, produced a wonderful meal. We began with a Jerusalem artichoke and bacon soup with crusty bread; roast chicken, lamb, potatoes, carrots, and leaks, with two kinds of cauliflower cheese, one containing chorizos, was the main course; after this came delicious lemon meringue pie and chocolate brownies. Various wines, beers, and fruit juices were also consumed in this veritable blowout.
After my introduction to Speed Scrabble, we spent an afternoon in entertaining conversation until Jackie, Flo and I set off back to Downton.
It was then that we experienced our second blowout, in the form of a shredded tyre on the M27 while we were still East of Southampton. Jackie phoned the RAC and within half an hour of the call a breakdown lorry from Ravenscroft Motor Company had arrived. Until then, I had amused myself watching the stationery moon, and the traffic speeding by.
The repair man loaded our Modus onto his truck in which we got to ride to Rownhams Service Station where he intended to change the wheels. Unfortunately, after quite a struggle, he was unable to remove the spare wheel from its moorings in the back of the car. This meant our car was reloaded onto the breakdown vehicle and we all road home in the driver’s cab. The Modus was finally dropped onto our back drive. It is just as well we have spent so much time clearing this space, otherwise the lorry would not have got into it.