Remembering 7/7


We have a number of hanging baskets around the kitchen doors.

Fuchsia Blue Angel

This one contains fuchsia Blue Angel;

Clematis Warsaw Nike, petunias, lobelia, borage, apple mint

here clematis Warsaw Nike, from its pot clambers up to another containing petunias and lobelia. The white pot contains apple mint, and borage occupies the bed.


Nearby, bidens blooms.

New Bed

The New Bed is now taking on its summer garb. Fuchsia, dahlias, lilies, clematises, and solanum are all in evidence.

As it is my birthday today, I received a lot of messages. Some of these were texts. For the last couple of months anyone trying to phone me on the mobile when I am at home has not been able to receive a reply and has been sent straight to voicemail. I have then received a text saying I have a voice message which I have not been able to access.

I have refrained from boring readers with this, but today I decided to visit O2 in Christchurch in an attempt to resolve the issue. The problem seemed to have been a faulty SIM card. This was changed, and hopefully things will have improved.

While the O2 man was fetching the new card I reflected on another birthday when I could receive no signal on the mobile phone. This was the day of the London Underground suicide bombs. I is hard to believe that was 11 years ago.

This afternoon we enjoyed, within minutes of each other, visits from Helen and from Shelly and Ron They came bearing gifts. Including Bill, each couple had brought a birthday card and presents of wine and a book, and we drank sparkling squashes on the hand-made garden chairs, of which we now have four, and one, otherwise relegated, perfectly serviceable in black plastic.

Cork bookmark002

An additional gift from Helen and Bill was an intriguing bookmark, made of cork, that they had brought back from Portugal.

Ian and Becky’s present to me was a meal for the four of us at Lal Quilla. This was great fun, particularly as the staff entered so well into the spirit of the occasion. My choice of a main meal was Purple Tiger (a king prawn dish) and special fried rice. We shared onion bahjis, parka dahl, and an egg paratha. Becky drank red wine and the rest of us drank Kingfisher.

Birthday cake

At the end the head waiter sang happy birthday and brought me a ‘cake’.


  1. Happy birthday Derrick… must pop in to see you and Jackie one day. I still read your blog. Regards David your old next door neighbour from Minstead.

  2. Hope for many more happy birthdays such as this one: special woman Jackie by your side, family and friends stopping by and a delicious meal out with birthday “cake” as the ending, Derrick. Lovely sum total of several gifts including your health. 🙂

        1. I like Tarka because I can crack the old joke – ‘What’s Tarka Dal?’ ‘It’s just like any other Dal, except that it’s a little otter’ 🙂

  3. Happy Birthday, Derrick! It sounds like you had a splendid celebration–your Jackie, friends, wine, and a delicious dinner!
    (I didn’t realize it’s been 11 years since the London Underground Bombing. I remember driving to Princeton to work and listening to the news on the radio.)

  4. Gentle, joyous thoughts going out to you, my distinguished coeval,. as you mark your natal anniversary…. May all and only good things come your long continuing way.

  5. I don’t celebrate birthdays, just like I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. So, Happy International Chocolate Day, Sir Derrick! Did you know that the Aztecs used chocolate as an aphrodisiac? 🙂

  6. Happy belated Birthday, Derrick. Sounds like you had a wonderful day/evening.

    Just out of curiosity, do you have to water your potted plants every day in summer or do you have a automatic watering system set up?

    At my old apartment, I often spent dusk watering our community garden in the warmer months and I have to say, it was one of the most relaxing tasks.

    (I ran out of internet and couldn’t post, comment etc for the last couple of days, hence the reason for this late comment. This is happening every month nowadays and since I can’t afford a larger internet package, I’d better get used to it).

    1. Thank you, Vicki. We do have a system of hoses for the ground, although, in truth, Jackie does most of the watering. What a pain about the internet.

  7. Happy belated birthday, Derrick! ??
    I am so sorry that I missed your birthday, my dear friend 🙁
    I hope it was a beautiful celebration.
    Hugs and kisses <3

  8. Happy birthday Derrick and many, many happy returns. I see you like samosas and bhajis and parathas, all of which are good to eat during our monsoon season here:)) I think I will make onion bhajis:) And it is sad about all terrorist attacks, at all times, recently in Istanbul and Dhaka. Why do they happen? There are answers but they don’t seem like answers.Best wishes to your whole family.

      1. ☺It is pronounced anyway. In Kannada we call them neerulli baje. Neerulli is onion. Baje is bahji , bhaji or pakora or pakoda ☺

  9. Happy Belated Birthday, Derrick. Your old article (Three Score Years And Ten) only has 3 likes and that looks so weird. Also, I cannot fathom how you & Jackie have so many different flowers.

Leave a Reply