Quiet Reflection

After a morning clearing shrubberies and watering window boxes, we took a trip to Efford Recycling Centre. Although we did dump more sections of aluminium frames, probably the last of the alleged ‘greenhouse, unassembled’, the real purpose of the trip was to seek out mirrors from the sales section.

Mirrors

Jackie found two perfect specimens.

Yes, we know each would be an acquired taste, but for what we had in mind they were perfect.

Penny Lane is a climbing rose. Just about a foot tall at the moment it will climb to 8′.

rose Penny Lane 1Rose Penny Lane 2

The first new bud emerging early this morning was fully opened by the afternoon.

Margaret Merrill rose

Margaret Merrill, equally virginal crisp and fresh two days ago, glowed, blowsy, in the morning light.

This gloriously hot and sunny afternoon I wandered around the garden whilst Jackie went off to do some shopping.

View through Rose Garden Entrance

From the second armchair in the rose garden one can see past tall roses in the Oval Bed to the gladioli in the former compost bed, around flutter numerous butterflies like this Small White:

Butterfly Small White

View down Pergola Path

Leaving the rose garden  let us walk through the arch and turn right on the pergola path where agapanthus nods to petunias and montbretia hides in long ornamental grasses.

View from grass patch

Dump bench

From the grass patch to the left, looking over the top of the Dump Bench, so called because it was an early purchase from the recycling centre, the stable door is glimpsed.

Monbretia

We have quite a lot of montbretia. It likes shade but doesn’t always hide,

Hollyhocks

although these pink hollyhocks are attempting to do so.

Later, we hung our mirrors. Now, please don’t run away with the idea that we have both been struck by an attack of narcissism. There is enough seating in the rose garden now to encourage quiet reflection.

Mirror 2

The mirrors are positioned to reflect the sunlight into darker corners.

Mirror 1

One, with the armchair, and the clock, provides a cosy corner for reflection in both senses.

In the third Test Match, Australia rallied and set England 121 to win. The home team lost two wickets in reaching the target.

Our dinner this evening was provided by Hordle Chinese Take Away. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I made further inroads into the beaujolais.

I Was Transfixed

Ace Reclamation delivered our rose garden furniture this morning, and Jackie and I set it up.

Rose Alan Titchmarsh

Rose Alan Titchmarsh has bloomed.

UnknownAlan Fred Titchmarsh, MBE, DL, (b. 2.5.49) , was the subject of quite a bit of banter on yesterday’s post, but, in all seriousness, if anyone deserves to have a rose named after him it is this well known garden expert. An English gardener, broadcaster, and novelist after working as a professional gardener and a gardening journalist, he has established himself as a media personality through appearances on TV gardening programmes, the current one being ‘Love Your Garden’. In this series, members of the public who have been nominated by others for his garden makeover are the recipients of an instant, themed, creation.

Elsewhere in the garden many scented roses, like Compassion are well into their second flowering.

Rose Compassion

Here is a view of the Shady Path across the Dragon’s Bed:

View across Dragon BedPG

Elizabeth visited briefly for lunch.

Paving completion

This afternoon Aaron finished his paving, by carefully inserting fiddly bits he had cut out with an angle grinder. Along the eastern fence lies old timber and spikes for him to build a support for climbers on that side.

Jackie in view from Rose Garden bench

The lighter wood just visible is our old stair rail. The view is from the bench.

Jackie in view from Rose Garden entrance

Others are from the entrance;

View from Rose Garden arch

from the rose arch;

View from Elizabeth's Bed corner

 from Elizabeth’s bed;

View across Rose Garden from second armchair

and from the second armchair.

Whilst digging a hole for a rose, quite some way down, Jackie unearthed another historic coin of the realm. What’s historic about a 1983 £1? If thirty two years doesn’t seem a particularly long time ago, you may well ask.£1 coin

When was the first £1 coin issued? You’ve guessed it. Jackie may well have dug up one of the very first minted. It bears a young head of the current Queen, Elizabeth II, and has clearly not benefited from perhaps more than three decades underground. When this piece was shiny and new in April 1983 it would have bought a packet of 20 cigarettes, five pints of milk or 30 minutes at a Manchester United match. Today you pay closer to £8 for the fags, £2.50 for the milk and see only three minutes of the football. But some things are cheaper: while £1 would only get you four minutes on a landline phone call at peak time in 1983, today it would give you at least 10 minutes.

Kept in a soil, gravel, and clay safe, its value has not really been enhanced.

Throughout my first 41 years £1 sterling was paper money. It wasn’t even the lowest denomination note. Until decimalisation in 1971, that was ten shillings or 50% of £1. These notes both feature in ‘Then The Tableau Spoke’. I found two at different times before about 1952. It was then worth taking one to the police station and handing them in as found property. If such items were unclaimed after one month, they were yours. I recovered each one.

Nowadays, I doubt whether anyone would consider £5 to be worth going to that trouble. Volume193Our current £5 note is a pathetic little scrap in comparison with the “White Fiver” of my first fifteen years. The 1793 design, with black printing on white paper, remained in circulation essentially unchanged until 21 February 1957, when the multicoloured notes were first introduced. You could still use the old note until it was withdrawn on 13 March 1961.

When I was about seven, I found myself in a shop, probably queueing.  I really don’t know what the establishment was, or who was with me.  But I can still see the large, thin, sheet of printed paper measuring, I now know, 211mm x 133mm, brandished by a gentleman. ‘Know what that is, boy?’ he asked. The question was rhetorical. He quickly followed up with the answer. ‘A £5 note’. So transfixed was I by that object that I have no idea what the man looked like.  I’d never heard of such a sum, and never saw another “White Fiver”.

This evening I watched the highlights of the second day of the Edgbaston Ashes Test. England completed their first innings with a lead of 145. Australia followed this with 168 for 7. In other words, a five day match was virtually over in two days.

Our dinner consisted of chicken Kiev, chips, and baked beans. I know, It sounds dicey, but it was delicious, especially with the Georges du Beuf beujolais 3 villages 2013 Danni and Andy gave me for my birthday. Jackie, of course, drank Hoegaarden.

P.S. After posting this, we watched a TV adaptation of Agatha Christie’s ‘A Secret Adversary’, starring Jessica Raine and David Walliams. Very early on, Jessica Raine’s character had her mouth stuffed with screwed up flimsy paper I instantly recognised as a “White Fiver”.

Should I Be Concerned?

The garden was refreshed by early morning rain.

Passion flowers and honeysuckle

This failed to dampen the ardour of the passion flowers eyeing the red hot honeysuckle,

Sweet peas

and gave sweet peas a welcome drink.

Rose Aloha

The climbing rose Aloha,

Rose Margaret Merrill

and the bush Margaret Merrill are both in full bloom.

A comment on Houzz GardenWeb forum, posted in July 2007 states that  ‘the Margaret Merrill rose was named [in 1977] after a fictitious character in British advertising, but Harkness had to track down various Margaret Merrills for permission to complete naming the rose’. Margaret Merrill was the nom de plume of a beauty advisor who helped Oil of Ulay (now Olay) sell its beauty products. If you wanted cosmetic advice you wrote to this woman.

This afternoon Jackie drove us to Chandlers Ford for her physiotherapy. I settled down to an hour with Primo Levi’s ‘The Periodic Table’, but I didn’t get very far in my hoped-for completion of this, my current book. Jackie soon emerged with a happy face. She had been told she was doing brilliantly and didn’t need to go again.

Patrick's Patch

On our return we stopped for a visit to Patrick’s Patch in Beaulieu.

Marigold pathFlower beds

LavenderScarecrows and bedsThis is the community garden’s peak time. Marigolds, dahlias, gladioli, sunflowers and lavender are just a few of the flowers we observed as we wandered along the paths, where various imaginative scarecrows were drafted into service.

Annual borderJackie smelling annual border

The Annual Border, with its Painted Lady runner beans, was particularly stunning and, as Jackie discovered, sweet pea scented. We didn’t see a weed anywhere.

Courgettes

Produce like apples and courgettes looked ripe and plump.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious chilli con carne, egg fried rice, and green beans, followed by chocolate eclairs. I finished the bordeaux, whilst Jackie drank Hoegaarden, this last of which, whilst I completed my post, she took up to the rose garden for what has become a nightly drink with Alan Titchmarsh. Like many women of a certain age she is in love with the man. Should I be concerned?

It’s only a rose.

The Wind That Shakes The Barley

Jackie is gradually sifting the old compost which still contains rubbish and woody material, to produce, with the addition of bonemeal, rich compost for the rose garden. We applied some today. Rose Magic carpet

The scented ground cover rose, Magic Carpet, attracting numerous bees, is spreading nicely;

Rose Kent

Kent has begun its second flush,

Rose Golden Showers

and the climber, Golden Showers, has produced its first bloom.

On this dry, blustery morning, I walked to the paddock in Hordle Lane and back. The horses, intent on grazing, kept their distance.

Horse in rug

One wore a rug;

Horse in fly mask

one, a fly mask;

Horses

and the third was unprotected.

Barley

220px-The_Wind_That_Shakes_the_Barley_posterI fought my way through to the obscured footpath, which petered out along the edge of a barley field. As I watched the waving grain, I thought of Ken Loach’s wonderful 2006 film, ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’.

There are few films, these days, that stay in my memory, but this one certainly does. I recommend anyone to watch it, so I will not reveal the plot, but this is how Wikipedia introduces its feature:

‘The Wind That Shakes the Barley is a 2006 Irish war drama film directed by Ken Loach, set during the Irish War of Independence (1919–1922) and the Irish Civil War (1922–1923). Written by long-time Loach collaborator Paul Laverty, this drama tells the fictional story of two County Cork brothers, Damien O’Donovan (Cillian Murphy) and Teddy O’Donovan (Pádraic Delaney), who join the Irish Republican Army to fight for Irish independence from the United Kingdom. It takes its title from the Robert Dwyer Joyce song “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” a song set during the 1798 rebellion in Ireland and featured early in the film. The film is heavily influenced by Walter Macken‘s 1964 novel The Scorching Wind. Widely praised, the film won the Palme d’Or at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. Loach’s biggest box office success to date, the film did well around the world and set a record in Ireland as the highest-grossing Irish-made independent film ever, until surpassed by The Guard.

This afternoon we planted four more roses, and plonked a couple more. I will feature them as they bloom.

This evening’s dinner consisted of Jackie’s scrumptious chilli con carne (recipe), egg fried rice (recipe), and green beans, followed by rice pudding. Her accompaniment was Hoegaarden, mine Alexis Lichine Bordeaux supérieur 2013.

A French Holiday, A Porridge Bath, A Wedding, And A Mystery Woman

Once again this month we had not put the bottles out for recycling. Jackie therefore drove us to the bottle bank in Milford on Sea where I enjoyed the sound of smashing glass as I lobbed our assorted bottles and jars into the large green bins. Jackie then left me by The Beach House and I struggled home by the usual route.

Why struggled? This was because I began battling against powerful winds, coming off the sea to my left and straight ahead.I was somewhat buffeted.

Motorboat

When I took this photograph of the solitary speedboat venturing onto the water, I couldn’t keep my eyes open, and had to hope for the best.

Seascape 1Seascape 2Seascape 3

The turbulent Solent took on various colours of slate, as usual reflecting the skies above. I was at first able to descend to the level of the beach huts on the outskirts of the village and watch the oncoming waves.

Soon, sharp needles assailing my cheeks, made me aware that the spray ascending the cliff sides had been superseded by almost horizontal rods of rain. I was being pricked, drenched, and blinded.

In order to open my eyes for a few minutes, I took refuge in one of shelters along the path. I had, until then, been alone on the cliff top. I blinked, dragged my wet raincoat sleeves across my brow, and, as the Isle of Wight rapidly disappeared, saw a couple with the wind behind them, being swept along past me. The blemishes on the photograph are caused by raindrops on the camera lens.

Walkers in rain

Fully understanding why the America’s Cup yacht race had been cancelled yesterday, I resumed my trek into the wind, and was eventually relieved by the comparative calm of the more sheltered Shorefield Country Park. When I arrived home I needed to peel off my garments, and dry myself.

This was clearly going to be a day for scanning old photographs. As I pondered which ones to embark upon, the post arrived. A welcome bundle from Frances was delivered. This contained items from Chris’s postcard collection, some of his photographic prints, and a tiny Kodak transparency measuring one by one and a half centimetres.

The postcards were from my maternal grandparents, and from my great uncle Chris, addressed to my parents and the family in September 1951. All bearing French stamps and clear postmarks there was

Cannes 9.51

one from Cannes,

Peira-Cava 9.51

one from Peira-Cava,

Nice 9.51

and one from Nice.

In ‘Fundraising’ I wrote about a charitable stunt I was engaged in on 2nd July 1987. Chris took all the photographs at that event. Here are a couple more of them:

Derrick & Jane Reynolds 2.7.87 002

I entered the porridge bath as Jane Reynolds, Westminster Mencap’s Director, was leaving.

Derrick 2.7.87 003

 I then had it to myself for a while.

My brother’s second photo shoot was at Michael and Heidi’s wedding.

Michael & Heidi and Mark Banks 5.10.91

Here are the bride and groom, with Michael’s Best Man, Mark Banks.

Michael & Heidi wedding couple, parents, and bridesmaids

Parents and bridesmaids now join the couple. Reading from left to right, we have Heidi’s sister, Cath, me, Jessica, Louisa, Michael, Heidi, Heidi’s parents Werner and Joan, and two more bridesmaids.

Michael & Heidi wedding Couple, Derrick & ushers 5.10.91

Next it was the turn of gents in top hats. The two fathers flank their offspring. Matthew stands next me, then comes Heidi’s brother Chris, and Mark. Two more ushers are to Werner’s right. The comes Sam.

Unknown woman and boy

Finally, we have the mystery woman framed, with perhaps her son, by the minuscule transparency. I managed to scan it and e-mail it to Frances. Neither of us know who this is. Kodak had kindly embossed the date, 1976, on the plastic holder. Can anyone solve the puzzle?

I drank Doom Bar beer with Mr Pink’s fish and chips this evening. Jackie abstained. We added supermarket-bought pickled onions and gherkins.

The Caribbean Sea

Today was another rainswept blustery day, so I returned to my photographic archives and scanned a dozen slides from May 2004. This was the month in which Sam completed his Atlantic Row, which I have featured from time to time. During the few days waiting for him to arrive in Port St Charles, Barbados, and afterwards, I took the opportunity to roam the Island with my camera. There are many more in this set.

Jessica, Louisa, and I began our stay in an hotel some miles from the finishing point, but soon transferred to join Chris, Frances, and Fiona in one in the luxurious developing holiday playground.

This area presented a stark contrast to how the rest of the inhabitants of Barbados lived. Our hotel was surrounded by a compound patrolled by armed guards to keep out people like a coconut seller seated on the wall outside. His produce looked unappetising and he charged fairly optimistic prices.Coconut seller 5.04

Some distance away, a young woman, seated on a rugged outcrop gazing out to sea, was persuaded to rise to her feet.Young woman against spray  5.04 002Youn woman against spray 5.04 003Young woman against spray 5.04 001

map-barbados-360x270-cb1434489582Port St Charles (Speightstown on the map) lies on the Caribbean Sea to the north west of the Island. To the east storms the Atlantic ocean. The two bodies of water meet at the northern tip of the Island. Rowers need to navigate this point with precision. Too wide and the current would would carry them to Cuba, too near and they would be smashed on these rocks. The competitors rowed in pairs or solo. One of the pairs hit the rocks, and had to be rescued.

Caribbean Sea 5.04 002Caribbean Sea 5.04 005Caribbean 5.04 006Caribbean 5.04 009

These seascapes are of the more gentle Caribbean.

Much less inviting was the dark, violent, Atlantic that, on the last couple of days, swept my son so fast towards his final destination that he dropped his anchor to slow himself down in order to arrive in daylight. Not for him, Cuba or the rocks.

Late this afternoon the rain desisted and the sun put in a brief appearance.

Red hot pokers

The red hot pokers were not extinguished,

Day lilies

and raindrops glistened on day lilies,

Dahlia

dahlias,

Clematis Duchess of Albany

the clematis Duchess of Albany,

Gladiolus Priscilla

Priscilla, the gladiolus,

Rose Absolutely Fabulous

the Absolutely Fabulous rose,

and any others you care to imagine.

This evening we dined on a rack of pork ribs in barbecue sauce, and Jackie’s chicken in black bean sauce, stir fry vegetable noodles, and rice noodles, followed by rice pudding. I drank more of the cabernet sauvignon, and Jackie abstained.

Then And Now

This morning Jackie drove me down to Milford on Sea to check out The Cave. We had intended to begin the evening there with Danni. Andy, and Elizabeth, before going on to Lal Quilla in Lymington. The wine bar was not taking bookings because they had a quick turnover and expected to be very full this evening because of a fete on the green opposite. What we decided about this will be revealed later.

I walked back by my usual route. Family on beachBoys on beach The beach was filling up with young families. Boys enjoyed what all boys do, throwing stones into the advancing waves. Down to the beachFrom the cliff topBeach scene with kayaksKayakers Others descended the steps, or, like me, stood on the clifftop watching those down below, including the two kayakers whose craft and blades glistening in the occasional rays of the sun. A number of readers of https://derrickjknight.com/2015/07/23/an-historic-view/ have requested an up to date picture of the house. I have taken one that replicates the original shot, and another which shows a later extension. Downton Post Office 1938

For ease of reference, here is the earlier postcard image.

Old Post House

The Post Office shop window now lights our entrance hall, wide enough to double as my study, in which I am sitting now. It is obscured by the crab apple tree in the left foreground. Also hidden is the alteration to the arched front entrance now forming, in part, a second window to our sitting room. The lower half is now an internal wall. What was then a gentle country lane is now the main thoroughfare between Christchurch and Lymington. Naturally the horse and cart has been replaced by a motor car. It would have been more difficult to take this photograph without a vehicle passing through than with several. Only one was not easy. Despite being a Post Office, the building didn’t have a telegraph pole outside in the early 1930s. The first of the two 1950s bungalows can just be glimpsed through the trees

Old Post House extension

The short pavement outside extends from our house to the corner of Downton Lane. There is nothing but a deep ditch on the other side, where I took my life in my hands to take these pictures. The earlier photographer could have set up his or her tripod in the middle of the dusty track. I wasn’t about to try that.

downton-the-cross-road-c1960_d197005_indexIn those early days there was a pronounced bend almost opposite the pub. On our side of the land once existed an old cottage which would have stood in the middle of what is the now straightened road.  The building must have been demolished, with its garden now lying under the tarmac. This tiny 1960 image is the best I can obtain from Frith’s Postcards site. The cottage is in the centre of the picture. Our house, in line with The Royal Oak, is the white speck to the right of it.

First Elizabeth, then Danni and Andy arrived on time for our evening out.. We decided that we would go to The Cave and have a look at the fete. Well, The Cave was filled to bursting and spilling out on the street, with hardly a yard for cars to drive between there and the green, on which it was standing room only, and not much of that. The fete turned out to be  a deafening music festival.Ship Inn

Lymington QuayWe fled to Lymington and began with a drink at Ship Inn opposite the quay. We then dined at Lal Quilla where we enjoyed the usual excellent meals, good service, and usual beverages.

Quay Street

As the night sky darkened to a deeper blue, shop windows glowed, and the street lamps replaced the sun, we walked back down the cobbled Quay Street and returned to our respective homes. Danni and Andy make this picture.