Waiting For The Dilation


A wander round the garden this morning yielded


spears of crocosmia, tulips, and daffodils piercing the soil;


crocuses opened further;

Primulas and snowdrops

and varieties of primula.

Daphne odorata

Daphne Odorata remains wary of the possibility of a cold spell.


The winter flowering clematis Cirrhosa now cascades down the gazebo,


while, in the Rose Garden, Winchester Cathedral has bloomed for several months; Mum in a Million and Festive Jewel are in bud;

Spring sculpture

and the sun shines on “Spring”

This afternoon Jackie drove me to Lymington Hospital and back, for my eye appointment. I received efficient treatment, the nurse being rather more friendly than the consultant, but it is not his bedside manner that I suppose one looks to. After the nurse’s checks, she administered drops intended to dilate my eyes. They were effective, and, according to Jackie, gave me a sexy air. On hearing this, the gentleman sitting next to me asked her to look at his.

The consultant advised me that the laser treatment to my left eye was, as I thought, required. Apparently another cataract is forming in the right eye. I was asked if I wanted it done. No advice was given. I declined. I now await a date for the operation to the left eye.

Further administrative confusion occurred, in that a handwritten notice on the wall advised that, as stated in the appointment letter, we may have further checks carried out after the examination in order to save repeated visits. These could take three hours. Neither my nor anyone else’s letter carried such information. However this didn’t happen.

Waiting for the dilation to take effect gave me sufficient time to finish ‘The Locked Room’, being the third short novel in Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy. In the penultimate chapter the author suggests that all three of these works are the same story. He also uses the word ‘absurd’ on a number of occasions. It is. We are lulled, in this final episode, into thinking we might be reading something that makes sense. The writing flows with excellent descriptions and presents a plausible situation involving apparently real people and their relationships. A childhood friendship, for example, is beautifully told. There is, as usual, no ultimate clarity as nonsense finally prevails. Not that I could follow, anyway.

Tom Burns’s illustrations were, however, a delight, true to the text to the end.

           For our dinner The Culinary Queen produced succulent pigs in blankets; sublime sage and onion stuffed roast chicken; firm Yorkshire pudding; creamy mashed potato; toothsome manges touts; and tender runner beans. Good gravy, too.  With this, I drank Wolf’s Leap merlot 2016.


  1. How exciting to see spring bulbs emerging. We don’t get as much drama here as our gardens are mostly green all year round. I do have some deciduous trees and by them I tell the seasons.

    Take care of those eyes; we need them.

    Pigs in blankets?

  2. I hope your eyes are taken care of easily and well. Thanks for the lovely photos and dinner description–again and again I want creamy mashed potatoes after reading of them here!

    I am unsure what my tolerance for absurdist material is these days. If it is plain that that is what it is, then I am fine with it. If it saws between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ like a thread that may fray and part, I find it tedious and do not have the tolerance to put up with it these days.

  3. How lovely that spring is springing forth in your region–and thanks for sharing! 🙂
    I’m glad you were able to finally have your eyes examined. I guess the sexy eyes did not interfere with reading or posting. 🙂

  4. I’ve never liked getting my eyes dilated. Ugh..I have to go to the dentist tomorrow. Not exactly the best way to spend a day off from work. Thanks for the lovely photos, Derrick!

  5. A good meal after a tiring day. I am sympathetic with Auster’s approach, even if that isn’t my style. Life, especially in the United States, has become pretty darned absurd.

  6. It must be spring in your part of the world, judging by the show of flowers. I think your seasons parallel ours, here in Southern Canada. We are in our gloomy season, as you could no doubt tell by my post last week!

  7. I have the same kind of problems with my eyes – so boring, and pairs of glasses everywhere, waiting to be lost… Sigh. I’ve had the Paul Auster trilogy for years, and always put off reading it. I don’t know if your review will tempt me…

  8. Regeneration after winter is in progress. Your report on Mr Austen’s trilogy is alarming. There is only so much you can bake the cake of absurdism. Having said that, the handwritten notice and the confusion about follow-up tests at the consultant’s is nothing short of absurd either.

    1. Many thanks, Laleh. I am honoured, but am afraid I cannot do justice to the requirements of the award. I already spend many hours keeping up with those blogs I follow and answering comments on mine. I just don’t have the time to add anything else.

  9. I am very envious of your healthy looking Daphne. Mine always end up getting very leggy, does the Head Gardener have any advice? Last year three cuttings took and although only a couple of inches high are already flowering in the cold frame. Perhaps I’ll have more luck with those.

    1. Thanks very much, Jessica. This is the first one the Head Gardener has ever been able to grow, and this is only its second year. She says she can’t really give advice, but I’ll continue to feature it, and if Jackie has any thoughts, let you know.

  10. “No advice was given” by the specialist. I would have thought that those very clever people would have, over the years, learned that a little bit of communication – one on one – is often a tiny bit helpful.

  11. Things don’t seem to be going to well for you at the moment, do they chum?
    Ah well there’s always the delights of the table, as prepared by the CQ, to keep you happy.

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