“Look. That Man’s Taking Photographs”


Barry & Owen Van

Leaving their van in our front drive


and their slip-on shoes outside the door,

Barry and Owen, who are New Forest Chimney Sweeping & Repairs, having first serviced Mistletoe Cottage next door, provided us with their trademark clean and efficient job.

Barry 1

A dust sheet is laid down;

Barry and Owen 1

face-masks making father, Barry, and son, Owen, sound like Star Wars stormtroopers are applied;

Barry and Owen 2Barry and Owen 3Barry 2Barry 3

a shield is fitted into place, and the soot vacuumed out, leaving the room spotless. As you can see, there was no need to cover furniture. The job was completed and the equipment cleared away in about an hour. If you need a chimney sweep look no further than http://www.findachimneysweep.co.uk/sweeps/new-forest-1-cg-7641-qualified/?area=&service=

This afternoon we met Elizabeth at Lavender Farm at Landford, where we wandered around, enjoyed refreshments, and purchased a few plants.

Trails on glass 3Trails on glass 1Trails on glass 2

Beside the car park lies a very long greenhouse on the inside of the glass windows of which tiny trail-blazing cartographers have etched uncharted territory.

Lavender Farm 1

Apart from the many plants laid out for sale, there are a number of more formal herbaceous borders;

Climbing rose

various climbing roses;

SalviasSalvias and Elizabeth 1

splendid displays such as these salvias placed in a bed in the midst of a brick path. Jackie, in red, investigates plants for sale in the background of the first view, while Elizabeth approaches in the second.

Gladiolus and metal sculpture

Glorious gladioli abound. This example is embraced by one of the many metal sculptures.

Banana leaf

Potted banana trees have been reduced in price.


Unusually this elderly gaura stands guardsman erect.

Lavender Farm 4Lavender Farm 3Lavender Farm 5

There is a large freely planted area through which it is possible to wander,

Lavender Farm 6

take photographs,

Children at Lavender Farm 1Children at Lavender Farm 2

or run around among the lavender.

Lavender Farm 2

Many visitors come to spend a pleasant time seated at table with friends, tea, coffee, and cakes.


A spectacularly colourful coleus

Coleus and sparrow

sat in a shiny bright blue pot close to our table. A sparrow walked around it. The background blackboard already advertised Christmas lunch.


Elizabeth couldn’t eat all her scone, which was broken up and tossed on the decking for the little bird and its companions.

Mother and child

Some of the dining areas were under cover, such as one sheltered by a thick transparent plastic material. As I passed this, a mother, exclaiming “Look. That man’s taking photographs”, brought her daughter to peer through it. She was amused at the result.

Before Elizabeth returned home, the three of us dined on Jackie’s superb spicy lamb jalfrezi with fried onion rice, followed by chocolate eclairs and vanilla ice cream. Jackie drank Hoegaarden; Elizabeth, alcohol free Becks; and I finished the Fleurie.


  1. We don’t have a fireplace, but those chimney sweeps are certainly neat and efficient.
    The garden is beautiful–I couldn’t decide which photo I liked best.

  2. Really like the photos, especially the climbing rose. May I honor your photo with a Haiku?
    Your post was quite entertaining and as always, I loved your finish.

  3. Whenever I come upon a reference to Chimney Sweepers I am reminded of Charles Lamb’s essay. But what you have got here is people from the Star Wars generation. You have made the banana and the colourful coleus pop out of the screen. You must be a particularly strapping photographer –no wonder you get notice by pretty people!

  4. I called the chimney sweep, and he came. He said where’s your chimney? I said, why would I need a chimney if I haven’t got a wood burner? Some people are just plain stupid.
    I like the snail trails on the windows!

    1. Many thanks, Bruce. In the Shambles in Sydney, 2008, I was amused to see all the open fires from the mid 19th century in a small preserved terrace – the temperature was 40+

  5. So interested in your chimney sweepers, as a plumber, I use local chimney sweepers, to prepare an old chimney for a gas fire installation.

  6. Clif just cleaned our chimney—we heat almost entirely with wood. He does it the old-fashioned way by going on the roof and using brushes. We’re not sure how many more years he’ll be able to do this, but so far, so good. Lavender Farm is lovely.

  7. I haven’t lived in a house with a real working fireplace since I was a youngster, although we hope to put in a wood stove with a cook top here someday. The Lavender Farm is very beautiful and friendly looking.

  8. I like the work of the “trail blazing cartographers” upon the greenhouse’s glass walls, Derrick. 😃
    The brightly colored coleus and salvia were highlights. The purple flowers standing “en garde” were cheerful.

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