30+ m.p.h. winds howled through the night and continued this morning. Feeling relieved that I wasn’t in the Shetlands undergoing 100 m.p.h. gusts, I walked to Hordle Cliff beach and back.
Swaying pine branches were reflected in pools in Downton Lane.
I was held up descending the steps to the shingle, and helped back up, by the wind tearing across The Solent. The roar of the traffic on the coast road merged with that of the wind and the waves.
On my way through Shorefield, I noticed one of two women holding a well wrapped up new baby standing in a chalet doorway. I congratulated her, and was then alerted to a man in a bath behind the fencing to the decking, when he said: ‘It’s warmer than it looks’. He had just been for a run. We had a jolly conversation, in which I told him that these days I walk.
This afternoon I scanned a few more black and white negatives from 1982, beginning with the last two from the visit to The Dumb Flea featured in ‘Crunchy Cottage Pie’. Matthew, brilliant with young children, had organised a race around the garden with Susie, Tim, and Sam, identification numbers firmly fixed to their T-shirts.
The next batch were from a trip to the Vachettes’ chateau at Fontaine in France. Jessica and her siblings had enjoyed teenage exchange visits with this family who more or less adopted their guests. Maurice was a relative who lived in one of the accompanying buildings. He was tireless in playing with a gleeful Sam throughout our stay. It was possibly on this particular trip that I had triumphed in a game of Scrabble with Jessica and M. Vachette.
Later today, I printed an A3+ copy of Flo’s eighteenth birthday picture for Jackie. Whilst living in Sutherland Place I attended a life drawing group in Bayswater Road. Although I didn’t think I had produced anything worth exhibiting, I was prevailed upon to submit one of my pieces. This did, admittedly contain some half decent elements, but the whole thing didn’t really hang together. Nevertheless, the organisers hung it. Seeking a frame for Flo’s portrait, it wasn’t difficult to conceal the lissome dancer behind our own long-limbed Pre-Raphelite beauty.
Our meal this evening consisted of fish, chips, mushy peas, and pickled onions. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I began a bottle of Chatau de Pena Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2012. This was not a suitable choice of wine for this particular repast, so I imbibed no more than a small glass.