‘What Else Can you Do On A Rainy Day?’


It rained steadily all day, so we decided to take another large bag of garden waste to Efford Recycling Centre.

BT Roadblock 1BT Blockage 2

Almost immediately we were held in a long tailback trailing down Christchurch Road. Clearly there were roadworks ahead. Eventually the sight of a yellow cherry picker on the other side of the road, its operator vanishing into foliage on high, confirmed what we had begun to suspect. Yes, it was our old friends BT/Open Reach engineers fixing an outage. Even worse, there was another further along the thoroughfare. (As I typed this, we lost our connection. Sod’s law.)

I had suggested the trip because I thought there wouldn’t be many people patronising the dump on such a day. I was wrong.

Rain on windscreen in queue

Rain on side window

We sat in possibly the longest queue for a dump we have experienced. It offered no convenience.

I ventured to suggest this had not been such a good idea after all. My lady kindly replied with ‘What else can you do on a rainy day?’.

Eventually we unloaded our clippings. I attempted to get straight back into the car. But. Jackie didn’t. She was off to the Sales Area where she bought a stack of plain white plates and two white metal lanterns. Whilst she was in the undercover section,


I thought it would be a hoot to sneak off and buy the smaller of these, which I did. The Head Gardener then spotted the second, which it would have been unkind to have left on its own. Both were beautifully weathered. So it had been worth the trip after all.

Not wishing to join the traffic queue back home, we took a diversion around Sway and Tiptoe. As usual in such weather, ponies were largely absent, presumably sheltering deep within the forest.


A string of cattle, however, stubbornly cropped the heathland. Presumably in an attempt to keep reasonably dry they walked along at an unusually steady pace as they chomped.

Cow in ditch

A few loners, not minding soggy hooves, paddled in the ditches.

Steak pie meal 1Steak pie meal 2

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent beef and onion pie, crunchy carrots, Brussels sprouts, runner beans, and new potatoes. She drank Hoegaarden and I partook of Bodega Toneles 22 malbec 2012.



  1. My tip shop never has such great things – yours appears to have an unending stream of owls, of which I am quite green with envy!! Dinner looks particularly photogenic today!

  2. You disposed of garden clippings? Just wondering, as in the US they are picked up at curbside. But the outing was enjoyable in the end– watch keepers for your garden! PS. Has your Head Gardener considered opening a restaurant? And does she offer “take out” via air mail?

    1. Thanks, Cynthia. There is a collection service for clippings, but ours tend to be rather a lot, so we take them just 5 minutes down the road. Chuckles from us both.

  3. By rights, that BT van should have made use of temprary traffic lights if it was going to block a busy road like that. But they never think about other people do they?

  4. Hello hello. It’s always fun to hear your unique lingo on things, like: Tailback for traffic lineup. Then the sweet town names like Sway and Tiptoe 😀 I’d love to say “I live in Sway”. Also the cattle “stubborning clipping the heathland” ! Charming, LOL. I suppose it’s entirely mundane to you since it’s merely how you converse, but to my ears it sounds like the first line in an episode of Downton Abbey.
    It’s so beautifully green and lush on your drive. We are clamouring for rain here in western Canada while out on the East coast, they’ve just suffered a miserable April Blizzard. Crazy.
    I would have snapped up the garden decor too, what a fab find and why would anyone leave them at the “clippings recycling station”? Thats madness. They look like something someone would have loved to inherit. Cheers! B

  5. Derrick, I have a fondness for owls and I have therefore, for you, just reposted a photo story in which an owl has a major role.

  6. For me, a rainy day is beautiful to walk along the streets. 🙂
    About the tailback, here in Romania, it happens all the time on a rainy day. I used to say that when it’s raining, people dress their cars. 🙂

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