Mains Gas

Last night I finished reading ‘Can You Forgive Her?’ by Anthony Trollope. Originally published in serial form, like other Victorian novels, this saga of family and politics was the forerunner of today’s television series. The book was the first of the Palliser sequence. It is longer than most readers would like in the modern world, but it repaid the time investment. I won’t give away any details, but can say that the author writes fluently and keeps us interested in the interrelated lives of his protagonists.
David Skilton’s introduction to my Folio Society edition is helpful and informative.

 I have to say, however, that the illustrations by Llewellyn Thomas were most disappointing. The drawings are heavy, wooden, and badly sketched. I attach two examples to make my point. In the first, we are to believe that the gentleman descending from the carriage is pointing at the other man, at whom he is not even looking. In the other, is it really credible that any of the limbs really belong to any of they figures from which they awkwardly dangle?
This afternoon we attended Birchfield Dental Practice in New Milton where we underwent new patients’ assessments by Matthew Hefferan. More of what is required anon.
Lymington Lifeboat Station
After this we drove to Lymington where I wandered along a section of the harbour opposite the lifeboat station.
Lifeboat jackets
Its shop is seen on the right. Not visible in that shot are the jackets hanging in the window the left.
At the bottom of the slipway pontoon
Reflected bins
stands a row of waste bins that were reflected in the still water on the other side.

 I had to admire the skill required to pack in the rows and rows of moored boats.

The juxtaposition of two signs, not too far apart, rather intrigued me,
so I had to Google:
“The kill cord, or ‘engine safety cut-out switch’ to give it its proper name, is a device used to stop the engine in the event of the helmsperson being thrown out of their seat. It consists of a length of cord or plastic wire connected to a kill switch on the engine or dashboard of the boat.19 Nov 2014

Kill cords: Everything boatowners need to know – Motor Boat & Yachting″
Black headed gull
A few black headed gulls paddling around the silt were the only visible sign of life in and around the harbour.

 The Wight Link ferry made its way out towards the Solent.

Mains gas has not yet come to us in Downton. It was, however brought to the town of Lymington in 1832. This monument celebrates the event and expresses
Lymington gas monument 3
the gratitude of the people to its benefactor.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s Post House Pie, with Yorkshire pudding, crisp carrots, green beans, and broccoli. I drank Lion’s Lair shiraz 2013.


  1. I have always wondered how they park those boats too Derrick.. And once when abroad spent time watching in awe at how those deluxe yachts got maneuvered in the marina
    Wonderful photos.. And hope the Dentist works out fine.. 🙂

  2. I like the way you started and ended with the 19th century–from Trollope to gas street lights.
    Thank for the explanation of kill chords–one might wonder with the other sign nearby. 🙂

    Good luck with the dental work. It sounds like this is more than a checkup and cleaning.

  3. I agree about your rather scathing critique of the unfortunate illustrations in the Trollope – was he a contemporary illustrator and these the originals? Perhaps he didn’t like the story or the author ….

  4. Are you telling me, that poor, overworked, underpaid, Jackie has to prepare and cook your sumptuous repasts without the aid of GAS!

    Ah the evils of cooking with electricity, a burden I’ve had to share for the past 6 years :'(

  5. Serves you right for looking at illustrations in novels. 🙂 I think it is a disgusting practice; at best an intrusion that is always poorly matched with this reader’s imagination. I believe they are meant for illiterate people who may get bored with pretending that they were reading.

    1. You didn’t disappoint me in your scathing comment – cos I know you don’t like pictures in books 🙂 You may not have picked up that I would have liked to have been a book illustrator. 🙂

  6. Although not a boating family, I am always fascinated with the prospects of ‘what if’ and ‘if only we could’ when it comes to boats of any kind. The only actual boating I have done as an adult is two separate trips on a houseboat. My husband and I took 5 kids on a houseboat for our honeymoon almost 29 years ago. It was so fun we all wanted to go again. We went back with them as adults and found we had too many captains aboard! Now I would love to just take a boat with my husband and sail, or go, or sleep somewhere, just the two of us. I digress, I enjoyed the pictures of the boats immensely.

  7. So funny about the sketches Derrick, upon a 2nd look I couldn’t stop laughing with your write up. Just whose arms do they belong?

    1. Also reminds me of a time at a museum in Oakland, CA – there was a magnificent horse painting. But upon closer inspection one of its legs was missing – so funny the horse was 3-legged. The curator explain when they cleaned the painting this is what they found ~

  8. The illustrations by Llewellyn Thomas are a little rough round the edges. True, they’re about a million times better than I could, but then, nobody’s paying me anything for my efforts.

  9. Great gas memorial. We town dwellers take it for granted but in truth I lived without gas for over half my life. One of my Uncles took on a farm tenancy after leaving the Army in 1949 and didn’t even have electricity or a kitchen range. Fortunately my Aunt proved to be up to the challenge of cooking over an open fire for the first few years. 🙂

  10. Interesting to have such gratitude for lamp posts to build a memorial! 🙂
    I liked that you noticed the boats’ parking lot and do feel it is interesting to watch them parked in rows. In my Mom and Dad’s (past) retirement town there is still a restaurant where boats pull up and are disembarked. Then young men park them come back to the restaurant dock paddling on short surf boards.

      1. I grew up along Lake Erie, probably the smallest of the 5 Great Lakes. Did anyone let you know to remember the names of the lakes, their first letters add up to HOMES?
        Lakes Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior. Just a side note. . .

Leave a Reply