Autumn Reflection

‘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 brΓ»lΓ©e. 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.


  1. I liked reading the page from the book.
    And sorry you cannot close all of the details off with the house yet – how cool
    That you had a home in France – do you ever miss it?

    1. Thanks very much, Yvette. Unfortunately the house was squatted in, so all became tainted and I never wanted to go there again – but I enjoyed my time there before that.

          1. that is so sad – and our culture sure is different – police cannot even help with roadside assistance – which i do understand – but they should have helped with squatters – !

    1. Thanks a lot, Quercus. All it means Is I will have to compose an e-mail in French; take the car 6 miles each way to my nearest bank; walk some distance from the car park to Natwest; stand in a queue to transfer the money; walk back to the car and get my aching leg into it.

  2. That pub sounds wonderful, and a great place to celebrate.
    The photos are lovely. I particularly like the last two with the ponies and the autumn leaves in the background.
    Quite a teaser at the end of the book.
    Sorry about the taxes. Such things seem a pain the world over. Why wouldn’t they include the relevant information to a bill sent outside the country?

  3. I loved the vibrant colors of the leaves, Derrick. We’re still waiting for ours to turn. It was hot for so long, I think they’ll be delayed. I’m happy you had a good day!

  4. You read that book very quickly! I do like a pub that serves good local food – and the garden sounds perfect for little Poppy. Danella is home, coping with the post op discomfort and has a packet of long screws and shorter bolts for her memory chest.

  5. And, please tell Jackie I’m making chili con carne tonight, but I’m using mince chicken, not beef. I’m not sure what I’ll drink with it, but it’ll be an Australian red.

  6. Have a nice nice day Derrick!!!
    There is music in the meadows, in the air–
    Autumn is here;
    Skies are gray, but hearts are mellow,
    β€”William Stanley Braithwaite

  7. Sounds AND looks like a beautiful day! Your nature and animal photos make me smile! They are so healing and peacefulness-inducing! πŸ™‚
    Best wishes on the taxes and banking stuff. All of that makes my brain hurt. We sold a house this past year and are dealing with that. But, it’s nice to only have one house to deal with now.
    I love chili! We make it in winter. Also, stews and veggie stoups. πŸ™‚ We fixed roasted chicken, two kinds of peppers, mushrooms, and two kinds of onions for supper. πŸ™‚
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚
    PS…How is your Mum doing?

  8. That meal does sound delicious. Nothing like seeing horses to ease the frustration of not having enough info to pay your taxes. Such a pain when that sort of thing takes w-a-a-a-y longer than it should.

  9. Well those pictures of the Gun are deceiving, Looks like it’s a fairly new sort of building on the outside,made to look old, Had a faux Tudor look about it and the 15th century is BT; before Tudors; Plantagenets, Henry V Richard III and all that stuff!

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