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‘A delightful 15th-century pub that simply oozing charm and atmosphere situated in the heart of the Sussex countryside directly on the Wealden Way, one of the most beautiful walks in East Sussex. The Gun has an extensive landscaped garden with wooden climbing frames and swings, ideal for children. Famous for its home-made traditional pies, seasonal game, and continental specialities, complemented by well-kept beers from the barrel as well as a fine selection of wines. All the food is seasonal, cooked fresh and uses local suppliers wherever possible.’
This was where Jackie and I joined Becky and Ian; Mat, Poppy, and Tess for her birthday celebration meal yesterday evening. The establishment lived up to its billing. I enjoyed a rib-eye steak, chips, mushrooms and tomato and rocket salad followed by creme brûlée. I drank champagne and Rioja, and did my best to stay awake as Jackie drove us home.
This is how Dirk Bogarde’s drawing completed his ‘A Postillion struck by Lightning’ featured yesterday, and which I finished reading this morning.
Home owners in France must pay two separate taxes; one for residence, and another for land. Despite my having completed the sale of the house in Aquitaine on 31st March, it seems I must pay the annual land tax from 1st January this year. The sum is in euros and all correspondence in French. I closed my French bank account after the sale. This afternoon Jackie drove me to my English bank in Lymington where I attempted to transfer the payment. The relevant ISBN and Swift/Bic code had not been included on the bill. I will now have to ask for them before I can settle the account.
After this abortive visit we took a short trip into the forest.
Alongside Hatchet Lane, East Boldre, a string of ponies reflected the turning autumn leaves overhead.
Our recent heatwave has burnt most of the bracken on the open moors, but those sheltered from the strong sun on the edges of the woods, like these on the Brockenhurst to Beaulieu road, retain a golden glow, even on such a dull day.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid chilli con carne with savoury rice. Elizabeth and I both drank Cono Sur Biciclete reserva Pinot Noir 2017. Mrs Knight had drunk her Hoegaarden while cooking.