En Route To Cornwall

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF NECESSARY.

Fence

A.P. Maintenance, in the form of Aaron and Robin, this morning, almost finished the fence they have built  between our garden and that of North Breeze.

Hanging basket

On the way through to the gate to the back drive, I enjoyed the early morning sunlight blazing through this hanging basket,

Thrush

and managed to spot a well-camouflaged dunnock before it took off from the back of a chair.

I took a trip with Aaron to Mole Country supplies to buy more timber. We always have a convivial chat on these occasions, and I am transported in time to my father’s removal van, which contained such familiar clutter and carried the similar evocative odour of petrol and tobacco.

Rose Sawfly larvae

Jackie made a great sacrifice until this afternoon. She refrained from delivering death to a cluster of rose sawfly larvae until I had managed to capture a reasonable shot of these squirming creatures busily engaged in reducing the leaves of Crême de la crême to projecting spikes.

Rose Garden entrance

Entering The Rose Garden I reflected that it bears just one example of Jackie’s signage.

Just as the sun was setting this evening, Mat, Tess, and Poppy arrived for an overnight stay en route to Cornwall.

Tess and Poppy 1Tess and Poppy 2Tess and Poppy 3

Tess lost no time in introducing her daughter to the garden.

Jackie then fed us on gammon steak, mashed potato and swede, sweet potato, roasted vegetables, carrots, runner beans, and piquant cauliflower cheese. Needless to say, this was all cooked perfection. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and Tess and I finished the merlot.

Gardening With A Camera

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

Photographing while gardening is a hazardous business. I blame the camera’s unforgiving eye. My entertainment this morning was tidying up the Rose Garden with dead-heading and sweeping back into the beds the mulch bark that our avian friends daily toss onto the paving; and clearing up the Head Gardener’s clipping piles.

Crocosmia in Rose Garden

I was at risk of exposing bits I’d missed, like these few scraps of bark in this shot of crocosmia torches burning alongside the Rose Garden path;

View through gazebo

revealing tasks I hadn’t yet carried out, like the clippings in this view through the gazebo;

View from old well site

or incurring the displeasure of the Head Gardener for leaving a blue bucket in this view from the circular concrete of what we think is the site of an old well.

This afternoon we continued with our usual garden maintenance activities, mine, of course, including the new camera, with which I am beginning to capture elusive insects in flight.

Small white butterfly in flight

Small White butterflies are never still;

Bee and cosmos

and bees, like this one aiming for a crocosmia, are apt to dart from one plant to another.

Included among the many varieties of fuchsia we have

Fuchsia Chequerboard

Chequerboard,

Fuchsia Hawkshead

Hawkshead,

Urn with fuchsia Army Nurse

and Army Nurse, this one sharing an urn with trailing lobelia.

Rose Garden

There is also variety in the Rose Garden, provided by different types of flower, such as lilies, geraniums, petunias, penstemons, heucheras and honeysuckle, in addition to the crocosmias mentioned earlier.

Crême de la crême

Crême de la crême,

Rose Winchester Cathedral

and Winchester Cathedral are among the white scented varieties of rose;

Mamma Mia reflected

Mamma Mia is here reflected in one of the mirrors placed for that purpose.

This evening we dined at Lymington’s Lal Qilla, where, despite their being very crowded, we received our usual warm welcome, friendly, efficient service, and excellent food. My choice was king prawn Ceylon; Jackie’s was chicken sag; and we shared mushroom rice, egg paratha, and Tarka dal. We both drank Kingfisher.

Sunset 1Sunset and reflection

With the promise of an interesting sunset on our return, we diverted to Milford on Sea. In the second shot the sky is reflected in the Modus’s roof.

 

 

Our Industrial Past

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

I forgot to mention yesterday that when I returned home I found that my cheque from Laithwaite’s had been delivered.

The Félicité Perpétue rose in the front garden has been sending thorny tentacles across the drive. This morning I restrained them with green wire.

Marguerites

Alongside the marguerites that accompany the rose,

Nasturtium

a nasturtium trumpeted its presence.

Clematis Mrs N. Thompson and solanum

Opposite, the clematis Mrs. N. Thompson and solanums

Bee and honeysuckle

twine amongst the honeysuckle from which bees flit to and fro.

Hollyhock

This new hollyhock is in bloom along the back drive.

In June 1981, I made a series of colour slides of gasometers. I scanned them this afternoon.

Gasometer 6.81008

Gasometer 6.81 2

Gasometer 6.81 1

Here are sections of side views;

Gasometer 6.81 3

and one of a top.

Gasometers

There are glimpses of three in this image.

Gasometer and car wrecks 6.81 1Gasometer and car wrecks 6.81 2

I cannot, for the life of me, remember where these were. Maybe the car wrecks could provide a pointer for anyone who may help identify them;

Snapdragons on wall

or maybe these snapdragons? Perhaps not.

The major problem for anyone attempting to assist is that these emblems of our industrial past may no longer exist.

This is what Wikipedia has to say about our gasometers: ‘A gas holder, sometimes called a gasometer, is a large container in which natural gas or town gas is stored near atmospheric pressure at ambient temperatures. The volume of the container follows the quantity of stored gas, with pressure coming from the weight of a movable cap. Typical volumes for large gasholders are about 50,000 cubic metres (1,800,000 cu ft), with 60 metres (200 ft) diameter structures.’

Today, there are very few left standing. The reason for this is described in this short video made by Tom Scott:

1280px-Gasholders_at_the_Oval

One iconic gasometer, protected, or, listed since earlier this year, is visible from The Oval cricket ground. I spent many a day in the summers of my teens watching the rise and fall of this famous cricketing symbol. Wikipedia provides this photograph.

For our dinner this evening, the Culinary Queen produced smoked haddock, piquant cauliflower cheese (recipe), new potatoes, crunchy carrots, and sautéed leeks and peppers. We both drank Marlborough Oyster Bay sauvignon blanc 2015. Needless to say, it was all delicious.

 

The Old Vic On The Green

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

I made my usual journey by train to London Waterloo for a lunch date with Norman at Tas. Jackie drove me to New Milton for the outward trip, and collected me from Brockenhurst for the return.

On a very crowded train I sat with a mother and her three children. The eldest two had their own seats and a little girl sat on her mother’s lap. The woman decided to make room for one of the standing passengers. With great effort, and mild protestations from her small son, she placed the two youngest on her lap on the window seat, leaving the aisle one vacant. She then gesticulated to indicate that the seat was free. There were no takers. It was half an hour before the little girl slid off her mother’s knee into the seat.

I took the Millennium Green route to The Cut from Waterloo Station. This involves walking down steps to the street below.

Buddleias

Buddleias are known as the Butterfly plant because they attract those insects. I call them the Railway Line plant because they invade every aspect of our railways. Here they festoon the wall alongside the approach road.

Caggie

My reward for choosing to walk through the green was meeting Caggie

The Old Vic signScaffolding 1

who was posting signs explaining the scaffolding that was going on.

Thistle

Who’s that getting into shot? Ah! It’s Caggie.

Waterloo Millennium Green

Scaffolding 4

Scaffolding and London Eye 1

Normal life continued around the perimeter of the gardens,

Scaffolding 2

Scaffolding 3

while a team of strong young men set about erecting the frame for the temporary theatre.

Scaffolding and London Eye 2Scaffolding and London Eye 3

I wondered whether passengers on The London Eye would be able to see this activity.

Scaffolding 5

Caggie was certainly keeping a close eye on it.

Scaffoldin 6Scaffolding 7

The staff were positively bustling.

Scaffolding 8

There she is again,

Scaffolding 9

doing the tour.

This fun young woman gave me permission to photograph what I liked. Thank you, Caggie.

At Tas Turkish restaurant, Norman I enjoyed each other’s company as usual. My meal was haddock in a very tasty stew with salad, followed by a piquant cold rice pudding dish. We shared the house red wine, as is our custom.

I dozed away most of my return journey.

Sticklebacks

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

A brief window of sunshine emerged in an otherwise wet and dull day, to enable me to cut the grass, do some dead-heading, and repel bramble invaders on the back drive.

Otherwise I scanned a batch of colour slides from a trip to Richmond Park in May 1981.

Jessica and Sam 5.81 1

Jessica, Sam,

Matthew 5.81

Matthew,

Becky 5.81

and Becky were my companions.

Aquilegia

It was the season of Aquilegias

Azelias 5.81

and Azaleas.

Matthew and Becky and reflections 5.81

When Matthew and Becky began fishing for sticklebacks in the lake, I walked around to the far side to see what I could do with my long lens.

Matthew and reflection 5.81 2Matthew and reflection 5.81 1

Gradually, a certain amount of interest was aroused.

Becky, Jessica, Sam, Matthew and reflectionsBecky, Sam, Jessica, Piper and Matthew and reflections 5.81 2Becky, Sam, Jessica, Piper and Matthew and reflections 5.81 3

Reflections of Becky, Sam, Jessica, Piper and Matthew 5.81 1

Jessica, Sam, and Piper, the dog, soon became involved.

Reflections of Becky, Sam, Jessica, Piper and Matthew 5.81 2

Hello; who’s that behind Sam?

Becky, Sam, Jessica, Piper and Matthew 5.81

The people in the background were more interested in the shrubbery,

Matthew, crowd, and reflections

Becky, Matthew and Crowd 5.81

Reflections of Becky, Matthew and Crowd 5.81Matthew and reflection with crowd 5.81

Reflections of Becky, Matthew and Crowd 5.81 2

but soon there was quite a crowd of spectators,

Reflections of Becky, Jessica, Sam, and crowd 5.81

Reflection of Matthew and observer 5.81

who slowly drifted away.

This evening’s dinner consisted of Jackie’s classic chicken jalfrezi with vegetable rice salad. She drank her Hoegaarden/Bavaria mix and I drank Royale Pays’ d’Oc Merlot 2014.

Licking Into Shape

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED

Parasol on gravelled patio

This morning we bought another parasol for the South end gravelled patio.

After lunch, The Head Gardener watered and I dead-headed The Rose Garden. Here there are two examples of similar but different flowers that she has been pointing out recently.

For Your Eyes Only

These are For Your Eyes Only

Summer Wine

and Summer Wine.

Hydrangea 1Hydrangea 2

Other manifestations are these two hydrangeas. Apart from the subtly different hues, can you spot the difference?

When Jackie and I visited Wimborne Minster on 23rd November 2013, we could not access the Chained Library. This was, however, possible for her and her sisters when they were staying near there recently.

The Chained Library003

Helen bought me a copy of W. A. (Frank) Tandy’s small booklet, which I finished reading today.

Tandy provides a brief introduction to the practice of chaining library books, and details of those, mostly dating from the 16th to the 18th centuries, contained in Wimborne Minster. The earliest volume in the collection is “Regimen Animarum”, a manuscript written on vellum, dated 1343. The books cover other subjects than the expected ecclesiastic ones. Gardening, science, and medicine are examples. I found it fascinating to discover that Sir Thomas Browne’s “The Pseudodoxia Epidemica of 1672” ‘examines the theory that a female bear gives birth to a lump of fat which she then licks into the shape of the cub she wants; it is from this that the expression ‘licking into shape’ originates’.

6453751d0b046bb859fccb8b97bd4e3b

This illustration comes from a mediaeval bestiary, Bodley 764, taken from Pinterest.

In mediaeval times, and the early years of printing, many books were extremely valuable. Most were bound in wooden boards making it possible to chain them in the manner thus described by Wikipedia:

‘A chained library is a library where the books are attached to their bookcase by a chain, which is sufficiently long to allow the books to be taken from their shelves and read, but not removed from the library itself. This would prevent theft of the library’s materials.[1] The practice was usual for reference libraries (that is, the vast majority of libraries) from the Middle Ages to approximately the 18th century. However, since the chaining process was also expensive, it was not used on all books.[2] Only the more valuable books in a collection were chained.[2] This included reference books and large books.[2]

It is standard for chained libraries to have the chain fitted to the corner or cover of a book. This is because if the chain were to be placed on the spine the book would suffer greater wear from the stress of moving it on and off the shelf. Because of the location of the chain attached to the book (via a ringlet) the books are housed with their spine facing away from the reader with only the pages’ fore-edges visible (that is, the ‘wrong’ way round to people accustomed to contemporary libraries). This is so that each book can be removed and opened without needing to be turned around, hence avoiding tangling its chain. To remove the book from the chain, the librarian would use a key.[3]

Chained library in Hereford Cathedral

The earliest example in England of a library to be endowed for use outside an institution such as a school or college was the Francis Trigge Chained Library in GranthamLincolnshire, established in 1598. The library still exists and can justifiably claim to be the forerunner of later public library systems. Marsh’s Library in Dublin, built 1701, is another non institutional library which is still housed in its original building. Here it was not the books that were chained, but rather the readers were locked into cages to prevent rare volumes from ‘wandering’. There is also an example of a chained library in the Royal Grammar School, Guildford as well as at Hereford Cathedral. While chaining books was a popular practice throughout Europe, it was not used in all libraries. The practice of chaining library books became less popular as printing increased and books became less expensive.[3]Wimborne Minster in Dorset, England is yet another example of a Chained Library. It is one of the first in England and the second largest.[4]

Sweet

As I entered this onto WordPress, I enjoyed the scent of our sweet peas standing on my window sill.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s vegetable rice salad with cheese-centred fish cakes. My lady drank Hoegaarden and I drank Kingfisher.

P.S. Cynthia Jobin’s comment below has some interesting additional information on early books.

An Incontestable Explanation

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED

It was an interesting day.

We began by searching out a garden parasol that would meet the exacting requirements of the Head Gardener. Beginning with Stewart’s at Christchurch, where we at least bought a dahlia with this month’s half price offer token, we travelled to Redcliffe Nurseries where we failed again.

Patio parasol

Finally we found the very thing at Everton Nurseries, just along the road from us.

Having spent most of the morning on this, I set about tackling an item I did not recognise on my monthly NatWest MasterCard statement. Having gone through the usual hoops to reach an advisor, she rang me back after taking details, and referred me to someone else, I learned that Laithwaite’s wine merchants had been taking a regular annual subscription fee since I last used their service in 2004. Yes, I know, I should have checked my statements more thoroughly.

NatWest could stop any further payments, but they could not do anything about the last 12 years. Neither could they negotiate with Laithwaite’s. That was up to me. With some reluctance, the adviser gave me a telephone for the wine merchant. There were some digits missing, so I couldn’t get through. Rather than phone the bank again, I thought I’d look them up on line.

Google was down.

I called the bank again. Another person gave me another number.

I phoned Laithwaite’s who couldn’t identify me because they had no account with my card details at my current address. I explained that I had once been a Laithwaite’s customer many years ago. I was asked for the postcode of the address at which I had been living when I last used them. Assuming it was probably our home in Newark, fortunately I remembered it. I would receive a phone call as soon as permission for a refund had been granted.

I couldn’t even write this up until my search engine recovered.

We had a coffee on the patio and I sought solace in plants like various

Dahlia

dahlias, such as Coup de Soleil

Dahlia

and another, whose name escapes me (not that I ever had it);

Phlox

Phlox 1Phlox 2

Phlox

and phlox.

Lilies

The scent of these lilies rivals anything else in the Rose Garden perfume parlour.

In fairness to Laithwaite’s their customer services department sorted this out and rang me back as promised. I will receive a full refund. Apparently they had been sending letters to Lindum House and receiving no reply. I said that I was grateful for their speedy response, but, when I expressed surprise that in those circumstances they continued to take my money, there was an incontestable explanation.

This was an opt out system, not an opt in one. In other words once you have ever opted in  you are in forever unless you opt out. Clear? Clever.

Then Google began operating again.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious chicken jalfrezi and savoury rice, with which she drank Kingfisher and I drank more of the Hawkes Bay Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon.