Doing The Hokey Cokey

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We continued with the garden clearing after the storm today. It was so hot that it was a case of ‘In, Out, In, Out’ from the cooler indoors to the stifling outside as we continued with the tasks begun yesterday. Hopefully, we are back to normal now.

Dragon Bed and Shady Path

Here is a view of the Dragon Bed and Shady Path;

Gazebo

one of the Gazebo;

Brick Path

and another of the Brick Path. (the tall plant on the left is fennel)

With minor editing on my part, Wikipedia tells us that ‘The hokey cokey (United Kingdom), hokey tokey (New Zealand) , or hokey pokey (United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico) is a participation dance with a distinctive accompanying tune and lyric structure. Originating as a British folk dance, with variants attested as early as 1826, the song and accompanying dance peaked in popularity as a music hall song and novelty dance in the mid-1940s in Britain and Ireland. The song was a chart hit twice in the 1980s – first by The Snowmen which peaked at UK #18 in 1981, and then Black Lace who reached #31 in 1985.’ It remains today a popular feature of cross-generational knees-ups.

The Snowmen, otherwise known as Ian Drury and the Blockheads, had a surprise hit with their Christmas single in 1981. They, and a bunch of assorted children, entertaining an elderly neighbour at her window, danced their hokey cokey in a blizzard. We, lacking an audience, performed ours in a heatwave.

Mr Chatty Man Chan, of Hordle Chinese Take Away, provided our dinner this evening. I drank Doom Bar beer and Jackie drank fruit juice.

Recovery

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As the wind has dropped and the temperature soared, we now enter into a heatwave.

The recovery work in the garden is under way. Clearing fallen branches, staking up plants, watering, and dead-heading were the order of the day.

Palm Bed

Jackie staked up the nicotiana in the Palm Bed for the third time;

Hanging baskets and Palm Bed

Hanging baskets

Hanging basket

it can be seen through hanging baskets settled back in place,

Gazebo Path

but no longer bends across the Gazebo Path.

Pedestal planter

Standing planters have been set up again.

View from Phantom Path across lawn

I have now dead-headed the phlox in the foreground of this view from the Phantom Path, but not yet cut the grass.

Begonia

Fortunately most begonias did not suffer from wind burn.

This evening we dined on meaty beef burgers, crisp chips, a variety of baked beans, and lashings of fried onions, followed by zesty lemon tart and cream. Jackie drank fruit juice whilst I imbibed Moreland brewery’s Old Crafty Hen.

Interactive Issue

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Although the wind has lessened, it is still not conducive to clearing up. In addition to the breakages,

Burnt begonia 1Burnt begonia 2

this is what windburn can do, for example to the leaves and blooms of a begonia.

We did water all the containers and dead head many roses. Perhaps we will be able to do repair work tomorrow.

This morning I scanned the last few of the 1984 London Transport Photographic Competition colour negatives.

Young woman reading on platform 1984

I hope this young woman was not so engrossed in her magazine as to miss her train. Much research has gone into public signage since the 1960s. I believe the station name Battersea Park is in Gill Sans font, considered to be easiest to read on the move.

Boy and girl kicking cans 1984Boy kicking can 1984

Somewhat out of sequence, here are two more shots of the budding footballers kicking cans in Tooting High Street. I wonder if the lad still sports an earring?

Now, back to transport. It would seem to be a good idea, when in a bus station, such as Victoria, to ask a bus driver for directions. This isn’t necessarily so. I enjoyed speculating about the conversation that ensued when two young women did just that. Perhaps you would like to join me, and suggest suitable captions to this sequence.

Bus driver giving directions 1 1984

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Bus driver giving directions 2 1984

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Bus driver giving directions 3 1984

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Bus driver giving directions 4 1984

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Bus driver giving directions 5 1984

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Bus driver giving directions 6 1984

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Flower stall 1 1984

This flower stall is long gone from the station precinct. Having paused for his photograph,

Flower stall 2 1984

the young male customer may well have said to the stall-holder: ‘Smile, you are on camera’. Or………?

Bus Inspector and pedestrian 1984

Is this weary looking traveller attempting to glean information from the bus inspector seeking the relevant information from his breast pocket? What do you think?

This evening we dined on succulent chicken Kiev, creamy mashed potatoes, new potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots and green beans; followed by strawberry tart and cream. Neither of us imbibed.

A Competition

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Although the wind lessened somewhat first thing this morning, it soon picked up again and was not conducive to repair work in the garden. Our sole venture in that direction was to buy some more canes from Everton Nursery. Aaron and Robin began building a log shelter in the garden, after I had travelled to Mole Country Supplies with Aaron to buy materials.

Jackie and I watched the final stages of the Olympic men’s marathon.

It was sometime in 1984 that I entered my one and only photographic competition. This was held by Westminster City Council on the subject of London Transport. I can’t now remember which images I submitted, but this afternoon I scanned a batch of the colour negatives from which I made my selection.

Outside the cafe 1 1984

I began with a scene outside a back door to Victoria Station, alongside a sandwich bar. One gentleman sits on a food crate while another studies the menu.

Outside the cafe 2 1984

The seated man smokes a cigarette,

Outside the cafe 3 1984

then engages in conversation. Is the debate about the plated sandwich, I wonder?

Victoria Sandwich Bar couple 2 1984

A middle-aged couple wait outside the Victoria Sandwich Bar for a bus. In those days the gentleman could have boarded with the cigarette, but would have had to ride upstairs.

Bus to Cricklewood 1984

(Barrie Haynes has provided the following information about this bus: ‘The ‘L’ in RML 891 stood for Long as these buses had an extra bit inserted in the middle, a bit like a stretched 747! She was already around 20 years old and about half way through her life although probably not much remained of the original 891 after a visit to Aldenham.’)

This bus sets off for Cricklewood Garage; the young man in the foreground rides a bike,

Taxi 1984

whilst the passenger in this taxi reads one of the still published broadsheet newspapers, unperturbed by the cabbie’s expression suggesting he knows it will be some time before he manages to clear the environs of Victoria.

Victoria Station 1984

Across the road, beyond the bus station, a younger group lounge outside one of the entrances to the Underground.

Asphalt wheelbarrow 1984

In the terminal station itself platform surfacing was being undertaken. This young man wheeled steaming asphalt across the railway line by means of a temporary bridge.

Street scene 1 1984

Venturing into Tooting High Street, thinking to depict traffic on the congested A24,

Street scene 4Street scene 5

I diverted myself with a street scene involving gleeful children and the multi-ethnic nature of the area in which we lived during that decade.

Street scene 3

In those days, I was unaware of what a difficult manoeuvre it would have been for the elderly gent negotiating his way between such boisterous little people, even though they respectfully stepped aside.

Lambeth Salt

Further along the A24 the box containing Lambeth Salt is in readiness for snow and ice that may cover the streets in winter. This is to thaw the precipitation and give tyres a grip.

Women at Bus stop 1

These two women at a bus-stop are classics of a type, complete with hats, handbags and ladylike gloves. The price of a weekly bus pass in those days would take you just one stop on a single journey today.

Outside dress shop

I certainly didn’t include this shot in my competition entries, but the shop and its prospective customers – a different generation from those above – were there, so they appear on my strip of film.

I didn’t actually win anything. Perhaps my take on transport was considered a little off-piste. There are more images to follow, when I get around to scanning them.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s scrumptious sausage casserole; mashed and new potatoes; crisp carrots and cauliflower; and green greens. Jackie drank fruit juice and I finished the Alentejano.

Havoc

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Gusting 50+ miles per hour winds wreaked havoc overnight and today. They are due to continue until tomorrow morning.

Fallen chairs and potFallen chair and potFallen potFallen pot on decking

Pots and chairs, even the new heavy wooden ones, were blown down,

Nicotiana bent

and the taller plants, such as the nicotiana staked up a few days ago,  were bent over once more.

Begonia

Some stems were broken off and, like this beautiful begonia, found their way into vases known as accident pots. These containers are so called because of the occasional mishaps occurring during ordinary maintenance, not the results of elemental vengeance.

Struggling to steer our own course in the face of the gusting blasts, we did a little recovery work, including tying up roses, and laying down items, such as hanging baskets and more chairs, that were likely to suffer. We left the nicotiana because the cane snapped as I tried to insert it, and I couldn’t be bothered to search out another. Especially for the Head Gardener, this was all rather dispiriting. We don’t, just yet, want to be reminded that Autumn is around the corner.

This evening, for dinner, we consoled ourselves with Jackie’s delicious sausage casserole, crunchy carrots, crisp cauliflower and cabbage, followed by steamed suet pudding and cream. I drank more of the Alentejano, and Jackie drank fruit juice.

Birthday Girl

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Today’s rainy day post begins with this morning’s scanning of some 1983 and 1984 black and white negatives.

In ‘Across One Bridge And Under Another’ I published a colour photograph of Matthew on the bank of The River Thames at Putney with his driftwood find. This was towards the end of 1983. Here are some more of that trip:

Putney Bridges 1983

The railway bridge can be seen behind the road one,

Bus on Putney Bridge 1983

across which still runs the number 14 bus taking in Putney Heath, Fulham, South Kensington, Piccadilly Circus and Warren Street Station. 24 hour service.

Matthew 1983

Matthew was in his element digging around in the bank of the Thames at low tide.

Matthew and Sam 1983

Here he is with Sam in tow,

Matthew and Sam and stranger 1983

taking a pause to discuss finds with another mudlark.

Exposure of this film was completed at the beginning of 1984, on the occasion of friend Tony’s marriage to Liz.

Greengrocer 1984

Outside the venue in, I think, Chelmsford, was a thriving greengrocer’s,

Greengrocer's 1984

haunted by the ghost of Sigmund Freud.

Given that today is Becky’s birthday, it is perhaps fitting that she features in the next few frames, including

Becky 1984 1Becky 1984 2

two in the car park,

Becky 1984 3Becky 1984 4

and two preparing for the reception.

My next task was to make Jackie a set of 5″ x 7″ prints of the photographs from Poppy’s last visit.

This evening, to celebrate Becky’s birthday, we dined with her and Ian at Dynasty in Brockenhurst. My choice of main meal was king prawn Ceylon and special fried rice. Jackie and I shared an egg paratha and we all shared onion bahjis. Becky drank red wine, and the rest of us, Kingfisher.

Away From Its Natural Environment

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Rorschach shadows

It was a bit early in the morning to be presented with a Rorschach test, but that is what Jackie spotted in this morning’s sunlight.

Cosmoses in iron urn

The cosmos and lobelia planting in the iron urn obscures the gazebo path.

Ginger lily

Ginger lilies are now in bloom.

After the early burst of sunlight, the morning was dull, but the skies cleared this afternoon when we visited the last four stragglers in the Hordle Scarecrow Trail. All are individual entries.

Scarecrow 15

There are two more Rapunzels, being No.15 at 22 Stopples Lane,

Scarecrow 20

and 20 at 6, Heath Road.

Scarecrow 21

No. 21, The Pied Piper of Hamelin attracts the rats two doors away at number 10;

Scarecrow 19

Rodents, in the form of entry number 19, Cinderella’s mice, also appear to infest 43, Charnock Close.

River Avon at Christchurch

After this, Jackie drove us to Christchurch, on the banks of the River Stour.

Red arrows 1Red Arrows 3Red Arrows 2

The Red Arrows (http://www.raf.mod.uk/reds/) were performing various routines in the sky above,

Red arrows trail 1Red Arrows trail 2

leaving their trademark trails passing the mastheads.

Kayaker

Various activities included kayaking;

Couple in boat

more leisurely boating;

Feeding swans

feeding the birds,

Swans

like these swans vying for victuals;

Boy kicking pigeon

kicking pigeons;

Little girl swinging on rail

swinging on rails;

Toddler and balloon 2

or toddling along, balloon in tow.

Trio on benchSteps, bin, willow

Some, more sedentary, enjoyed the comforts of benches and deckchairs.

Groups on quay

Woman, boy, girl

Others stepped it out along the quayside.

Group with wheelchair

One young woman enjoyed a ride in a wheelchair.

Couple with ice creams

Jackie and I were not the only ones who enjoyed an ice cream.

Hippo and mallard

Some way from its natural environment, a hippopotamus canoodled with a mallard,

Beach huts and waterfowl

and, in the distance, waterfowl lined up in harmony with the beach huts of Mudeford. Thanks to my friend, Lisa, I now know that the woman on the right is paddle boarding.

This evening we dined on a highly spiced pizza and salad. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I drank Almocreve tinto reserva 2014.