Honey Bees And Christmas Lights

Giles visited this morning and stayed for lunch.

Bee on Mahonia


On a wander round the garden he was pleased to notice that the mahonia was still attracting bees.

Rose Jacqueline du Pre

Jacqueline du Pre was enjoying a resurgence in the rose garden.

Before lunch, our friend and I took a walk across the field by the post box, through the wood to the road, and back. My phone battery needed recharging, so I couldn’t take it with us.

It is six months since Jackie and I last dined at the Family House in Totton. We know that because Lennox, the latest member of the family was due a day or two after our visit, and he will be six months old in three days time. We ate there tonight and were amused to see his parents sharing the tasks of running the restaurant and holding their son, given that that is just what Matthew and Tess were doing in their establishment yesterday.

We received our usual warm welcome and excellent food, accompanied by Tsingtao beer.

En route we enjoyed Christmas lights at

Christmas lights 1


Christmas lights 4


Christmas lights 5

and Lymington.

In the left foreground of the Lymington photograph can be seen the gold-painted postbox, so decorated in honour of Ben Ainslie who won his fourth Olympic gold yachting medal in 2012.

As Wikipedia puts it: ‘To commemorate British and Irish gold medal winners at the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Paralympics, various postboxes around the United Kingdom, plus one each on Sark and the Isle of Man, were repainted [by the Royal Mail] from their traditional red into gold. It marked the first occasion in modern times that the colour of post boxes in the United Kingdom had been changed from their traditional red. Originally intended to be a temporary measure, it was later decided the colour change would become a permanent tribute, with boxes additionally receiving their own special plaques.’

This is the story of Ben Ainslie’s: ‘For sailor Ben Ainslie, the Mail initially painted a box in Restronguet Passage, Cornwall, the place [where] he grew up and learned to sail. A member of the public then vandalised a box in Lymington High Street, Hampshire, on the basis that Ainslie was a long time resident and considered somewhat of a local legend. After initially filing a complaint, the Mail relented to a public campaign and decided to officially paint the Lymington box.’


  1. Oh that’s something. The Post Office painted ‘the wrong’ box and someone vandalized the right one so it could be painted gold, too. I’m still chuckling.

  2. Jacqueline du Pre, the cellist? Oh, she was with us too short a time. As a youthful cellist, she was one of my heroines. I didn’t know a rose was named after her–glad to see her blooming. Love your area lights and good postbox stories.

  3. I’d forgotten how dark it gets in your part of the world – it is light til after 10 pm here now and the Christmas lights are not really appreciable. I quite admire the corpocracy that allowed itself to be swayed by public opinion – very cool gold mail boxes!

  4. Your blog is such a comfortable place to visit, Derrick. Full of flowers, family, food, long walks, good drinks, and a life that is full.

  5. Derrick,
    Your garden seems to be well worth all the work Jackie and yourself have put into it. I am amazed at your long growing season. In northern Illinois, we had one snowfall of 17 inches and then it melted the next day. There are still green plants in the village gardens that I care for and my grass is vivid green. This type of weather happens rarely and everyone is enjoying it. I worked in the kitchen all day today and watched one English movie after the next. It was some kind of Dickens mini marathon, all from the 1940s in black and white. It rained gently in the morning and I had the nicest day watching old favorites and sewing.

    1. Thank you, Ginene, especially for such an insight into your day. The mild end to the year is rare for us too. Jackie has been doing a lot of sewing as well, but I can’t mention it on the posts yet 🙂

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