Crunchy Cottage Pie


On a mild, dank, morning a friendly robin trilled a greeting from a neighbour’s birch tree, encouraging me to take my walk to Hordle Cliff top and back.

Isle of Wight and The NeedlesDaddy longlegs

The daddy longlegs that had splatted against the bus shelter window during the summer is well on the way to becoming fossilised.

Shorefield Country Park 1Shorefield Country Park 2

By the time I returned through Shorefield Country Park, the skies had cleared to reveal a splendid sunny day.

The rest of the 1982 black and white images that I scanned yesterday involve a stay in the Drapers’ home in Meldreth, and another with Maggie and Mike in Southwell. As far as I remember Jessica and I were house-sitting at ‘The Dumb Flea’ in Meldreth, so named after the Tudor public house it had been before its current extensions.

Louisa 1982 1Louisa and Matthew 1982Louisa and Becky 1982

Matthew and Becky, who are seen here holding baby Louisa, decided to cook cottage pie for our evening meal. Having worked away in the hot kitchen, the two red-faced, glowing, children proudly placed the dish on the table and we all eagerly tucked in. The mashed potato topping was appropriately crisp and soft, but the filling was a little crunchy. And some. When Julie and Peter returned they explained the reason. They kept dogs. The children had used dog mince which must have been three quarters bone.

Jessica and Maggie 1982 1

After their London wedding some years previously, Jessica and I had not seen Maggie and Mike until I ran my first Newark half marathon later in 1982. We visited them, not dreaming that five years later we would move to Lindum House. The story of the renewal of our friendship is told in ‘Mordred’.

MoonWe will miss the Emsworth family who returned home this evening. Becky sent a text saying ‘Look at moon’, so we did. It was full, with a halo and balanced the rear lights of cars speeding along the darkness of Christchurch Road.

Egg, bacon and chips was the perfect meal for anyone wishing to come down to earth from an extended festive season. That is what we ate this evening.


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