Only The Crows


I spent most of the day grappling with long-distance legal professionals over a small remortgage. I cannot summon the energy to detail this, but it has been going on for weeks and has only been necessary because I am too old to secure a mortgage from my bank. I have grown heartily sick of prevaricating, incompetent, and mendacious professionals who are happy to take your money while providing a useless service.

It is thirty years since I last negotiated such a loan. In those days you could walk to an office, speak to a person, and trust thatΒ  what you were promised would be done. I don’t think I need tell anyone how it is now, in our progressive, unprincipled, digital age.

ImpatiensDragon Bed

Jackie spent much of the day in the garden where she reshaped and added plants to the Dragon Bed section beside the greenhouse.

By 4.30 p.m., for the sake of my sanity, I was desperately in need of a ride in a motor car. Jackie happily obliged.

Group on beach 1

We began with a look at the sea at Barton. One member of a group on the beach seemed to have brought along a tent;

Man and dog on beach

another man played with his dog;

Couple on bench 1

a couple sat together on a bench;

Walkers 1


Man and dog

one with a golden retriever, kept to the path along the clifftop.

Meeting of dog walkers

Whenever a group of dog walkers meet, they swap engaging stories about their pets. Sometimes the animals are not so friendly. Lily was in trouble. She was admonished as being very naughty for nipping one of the others.

Crumbling cliff 1

Cliffs are still crumbling.

Crow 1Crow 2

Only the crows (if they are rooks forgive me – I don’t know the difference)

Crows on crumbling cliff 1

can truly feel safe on them.

As if to prove this statement, one of these took off, and clung precariously to the loose pebbles.

Jogger and beach

Down below a jogger on the beach path

Jogger checking watch

checked her watch without breaking her stride.

Ponies on road 1Ponies on road 2

As we travelled inland, ponies periodically exercised their right to ownership of the roads.

Sunset 1Sunset in wing mirrorSunset 2

Sunset smiled over Roger Penny Way on our return.

Later, The Raj in Old Milton provided our takeaway meal with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the malbec.



      1. Never mind the banks; when I was newly single in 1999 Vodafone refused me service because I had no credit rating (i.e. I had no debt).

      1. Yes – excellent shot – no wonder she is so thin, running with all that extra stuff – watch, water bottle, phone, I think. The only thing I run with is a tiny iPod attached to my clothing. And I am not thin. Perhaps I should take up the extra baggage.

      2. WHAT? 9 mile runs to work? With baggage? I’ll assume there was a shower available? What an amazing thing to be able to say that you did. And I am not surprised. You, sir, have gumption!

  1. Great photos, again, Derrick!
    It’s remarkable how many processes and tasks have changed. I went to renew my passport and the passport office refused to take cash. Since I don’t use credit cards, I just stared at the woman, open-mouthed.

  2. Sorry about your remortgage
    In Maine, we have small local banking institutions called Credit Unions and they function very much like the old-lenders you describe. The beautiful pictures indicate the day ended better than it began.

      1. That’s where we got our second mortgage, and it went very, very smoothly. Love our Credit Union.

  3. Personally I think it’s time to start divesting all ‘savings’ and ‘investments’ and keep all your cash under a mattress again πŸ™‚ I like today’s shots and the way they showcase people doing enjoyable things together or alone -except for maybe Lily of course. The world goes on despite political, commercial and social craziness.

    1. Many thanks, Pauline. Recently, when the Bank tried to persuade me to transfer money to a special account, I did actually say that it would be safer under a mattress.

  4. I’m glad you got to get out after your frustrating hours with the mortgage person (or people). My niece recently had a similar experience with various people not doing their jobs while trying to get a mortgage.
    The photos are beautiful. I agree the woman running is a wonderful shot. I like the crows, too. They don’t look like they’re plotting a murder. πŸ˜‰

    Indian food and Malbec sounds like a fine end to the day.

  5. Wonderful that you were able to get out and about and forgot about your troubles, and going to the beach is always the best way to relax.

  6. I have never been able to get credit, a mortgage, a loan… anything – which is why I don’t even have a retirement fund – not even a credit card (they have turned me down numerous times!) I never earned any more than the week’s living costs! Once, a while back, the bank manager asked me “What do you own?” and he had a good laugh! I can, however, understand your frustration.

  7. Prevaricating, incompetent and mendacious…You have chosen apt tags for the murder of (c)rooks. These scavengers of society are country cousins after all, waiting for the chance to dip their beaks in the flesh of their clients. Such magnificent ponies, such brooding nightfalls!

  8. Don’t you drive Derrick? Perhaps you can harness one of those lovely horses/ponies to a nice little trap and take some of the pressure off of the C.Q.
    Is that a lovely little cavalier King Charles spaniel, in that group, with a beagle, sticking his nose round the corner?
    Dog people always like to have a chat with each other, it’s what adds to the pleasure of your dog taking you for a walk.

  9. I understand your pain and frustration. I feel no regret in naming The Woolwich (Barclays) as the source of my pain, with months of worry and the agent here has not yet contacted me to tell me the house is mine, despite me getting the house 3 weeks ago now – the keys were left in the doors of the empty house for months! No wonder you needed to get out. I am glad you had such a womderful drive in such lovely countryside.

  10. It is hard to reconcile the way that modern banking is with the notion that we have progressed. My brother (who lives in Thailand) recently closed his HSBC account in favour of the TSB who have a small branch near my mother with a real live Manager in it. It remains to be seen if this calms his blood pressure which had been severely compromised on several trips to Britain by the Bank. Bon courage and I wish you well. On another note, The Bean wants to show her solidarity to Lily – she feels she is unjustly treated on the occasions when I admonish her for less than decorous Behaviour amongst her fellow canines ?

  11. Excellent first paragraph and you get my vote. Derrick! The tent might conceivably be somebody sleeping outside for the Jewish festival of Sukkoth which is around now, at least if ‘Neighbours’ is to be believed. Rooks have a buff-white base to the bill and they tend to be more gregarious with huge noisy colonies in the tops of roadside trees. They also like looking for road-kill at the side of motorways.

  12. I couldn’t imagine what it’s like to get or refinance a mortgage these days – I’m too old and crotchety to do that again!!

  13. Too old? That’s a first for me. Progressives will drive away our initiative, our creativity and our independence. Pardon my rant. I’m still amazed at the time independence of horses. Maybe they ignore progressives. ? best regards, steve

  14. What a terrible time you had! I am pleased the drive to the beach restored your equilibrium. Since my husband’s retirement we have a very nice man from the Pru who visits us (for a fee – but he’s worth it) and he advises us on everything financial. We trust him and it is so good to talk to an advisor face to face instead of on-line or even over the phone.

  15. I am sorry the remortgage process is distressing. Things have changed over the years, and not always for the better. If only we could take the best of the old ways and bring them along with the best of the new.

    Beautiful photos of your day, and I always love to see the ponies. πŸ™‚

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