Needless to say, the BT e-mail problem that, four days ago, I had been promised would be resolved within 72 hours was not. I therefore spent an hour on the phone this morning, first with an advisor in Belfast, then with one in Cardiff. I won’t bore you with the details, save to say that when back running I had 997 e-mails to check.

Later, Shelly and Ron visited with presents for Jackie’s birthday which it is today;

and to enjoy a guided garden tour. Further details of the pictures are given on the gallery which can be accessed by clicking on any image.

A few days ago I had given Jackie a Birthday Card using a print of a mushroom made by Matthew Chalk of https://www.blackstone-chalk.co.uk and his nine year old son, Arthur.

“I want one”. She had said. I kept shtum.

A day or so later I mentioned that I wanted her to take us for a drive today. She did. To Matthew’s workshop in Tunbridge near Romsey.

The first squeal of delight came when I pointed out the mushrooms I had commissioned, and said “Happy Birthday”. She picked one up, carried it to the car, and returned to bid farewell to Matthew and Arthur who kept their physical distance.

“What about the other two?”, I asked.

“Three!?” came with the second squeal.

At the moment they stand on the patio – a temporary home so Jackie can see them through the sitting room window.

On our return home we took a turn through the forest via Minstead, where

two ponies attempted to enter the car. Note the flies on the first one’s nose as she asks Jacke for entry. The other tried the windscreen, then turned to the driver’s window. Jackie wasn’t quick enough to close her window before her visitor started scratching its chin on the glass.

Leaving the village taking the lane to the Emery Down way we greeted two cyclists, the second towing a trailer containing two little boys. Note the rhododendron Ponticum which currently lines many of the hedgerows. Muffins, the thatched house and garden, was Jackie’s favourite house when we lived in Castle Malwood Lodge.

Further along we encountered a group of assorted ponies and a little brown foal on the road. The mother of the infant became quite stroppy with one of the other mares and it became a bit lively so I re-entered the car until a truce was declared.

We continued through Emery Down, turning right to Bolderwood where

rows of deep pink foxgloves swayed among the giant redwoods of the Ornamental Drive.

For dinner this evening I slowly heated Jackie’s luscious liver and bacon casserole from the freezer while boiling new potatoes, carrots, and cauliflower to perfection. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden while I drank Carles Priorat 2016.

Published by derrickjknight

I am an octogenarian enjoying rambling physically and photographing what I see, and rambling in my head as memories are triggered. I also ramble through a lifetime's photographs. In these later years much rambling is done in a car.

114 thoughts on ““Three!?”

  1. Happy Birthday, Jackie !

    I wondered what Hoegaarden was until I researched it and found out that it is a Belgium beer first brewed by monks in the 15th Century.

      1. I think carrots is the only one that likes clay πŸ™‚ I will make compost and after few years I can have something to help flowers to grow. Problem is all the compost we can buy is peat! Don’t want to destroy earth to have flowers in my garden.

  2. Please pass on my best wishes for a wonderful birthday to the Head Gardener. A big pat on the back for you as you evidently chose a gift that greatly pleased and made her squeal with delight.
    PS Those two horses were merely trying to wish the birthday girl a happy birthday

  3. What, no birthday cake?

    I wasn’t able to post birthday cards for April and May this year, and Jackie being just over the edge of May also missed out. And given the dearth of flights and the backlog of mail one assumes nothing much is moving internationally for a while yet. Still, there’s always next year πŸ™‚ Happy Birthday Jackie – I have mushroom envy!! I’m looking forward to seeing them in place and with something to give a size comparison.

  4. Wishing Jackie a Happy Birthday! The three mushrooms are a wonderful gift.

    That is a beautiful little thatched house and land. You lived there once?

    That is a rather forward forest horse sticking his head in your car window!

    1. Thanks very much, Lavinia, from us both. I’m sorry to have misled re the thatched house. It was a flat in Minstead that we had rented for a while. I have now corrected the text.
      Despite being warned not to, visitors feed ponies from their cars.

  5. Oh I love the mushrooms. I should feature mine, carved as a Christmas gift from our retired family vet. Not quite on the same scale as yours.
    Happy Birthday, Jackie. πŸŽ‚

    I’m glad you retreated from the ponies, you would not want to be on the receiving end of a stray horse kick!

    I noticed your e-mail post is back to normal. Any explanation from BT?

    1. Eventually it was discovered that when I binned BT Broadband and kept the landline for e-mails I then had two accounts – the one that should have been closed and another called Premium. BT themselves had now switched to a Yahoo thingy and I had been recently instructed to make some adjustment. Guess what? The instruction was sent by e-mail πŸ™‚ Thanks very much, Sue.

  6. Oh wow I love the mushrooms. I have a fairy and gnome garden where it would be perfect. πŸ˜‰
    I get teary when I stroll through your garden pictures…sigh

    I guess if we hadn’t relocated and moved houses 22 times in 36 years of marriage…Then again, Norm has been very happy in the RAAF and in some ways it’s kept us together and gave us experiences no garden can.

  7. Happy Birthday, Jackie! YAY! I’m so glad you were birth-ed! You are a joy to the world!
    πŸŽ‰ 🎈 πŸŽ‚ 🎁 πŸ₯³

    Love the mushrooms…so beautiful…and what a great addition to the garden! πŸ™‚
    Boy, Mr. Knight, you are a fun-guy to give your beloved such a wonderful birthday gift! πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€

    I think the ponies just wanted to wish Jackie an up close and personal Happy Birthday! πŸ˜›

    I will do something today to celebrate Jackie!!! πŸ™‚
    (((HUGS))) and Birthday-(((HUGS))) πŸ™‚

  8. {{{hugs}}} and Happy Birthday wishes to Jackie. What a wonderful birthday gift…. the mushrooms are deeeelightful! I love the rows of deep pink foxgloves, Derrick. How gorgeous! Thank you for always brightening up my day! ❀

  9. Happy birthday, Jackie. So much to love in this blog post. What a wonderful gift for a gardener and such beautiful photos of the garden. But why in the world would ponies want to enter the car?

  10. Happy birthday Jackie, and what a thoughtful and delightful gift Derrick….. I’ll toast to the birthday girl, at dinner tonight with a glass (or two) of “Sheep Shape” Cabernet Merlot 2017, Cheers to Jackie…

  11. Happy birthday to you, Jackie, and every good wish for many more to come. Your mushrooms are fabulous! The wood is especially nice — the grain is very appealing. Do you happen to know what kind of wood it is?

    1. Thank you very much, Linda, from us both. The mushrooms were made from a local ash tree. Matthew only uses reclaimed timber. Ash trees have suffered a lot in recent years. Before sanding and waxing he very gently applies a blow torch to bring out the grain.

  12. Happy birthday Jackie. And congratulations Derrick. You’ve nailed the present again! You have such an eye for what will delight. And you lived in that lovely cottage? (hear my squeal of delight? – or envy).

  13. Happy Birthday, Jackie! Congratulations, Derrick on the excellent birthday present shopping! Good job on the pony photos, too! Someone has been feeding those Ponies from their car.

  14. A delightful gift – so fitting for the Head Gardener and your beautiful garden. I have never seen foxgloves in the wild and am impressed by them.

      1. I have cranked up an old laptop which supports Chrome. Important because the problem was beginning to affect a few more blog sites that I follow.

        Classic Editor is still there so I can still use my PC for writing and posting and reading other bloggers like me still clinging to the old ways!

  15. A delightful post. How nice of you to acquire the 3 mushrooms as a gift!
    You know very well that pony wanted you to take him to me. Poor thing doesn’t realize how far away I am. 😏

  16. A happy, happy birthday to Jackie! I love her new mushrooms and the foxglove grove brought out the ‘Oh wow!’ years of having a Southern American boyfriend has made natural.

  17. Sorry I missed this but please forward a belated B’day wish to Jackie. I got a kick out of that nosy equine and can visualize the chin scratch on the window! Glad he didn’t try cribbing the glass. Oh, and those mushrooms are delightful.

  18. Wonderful photos. Such a beautiful area. My parents had problems with their BT email last week too… The only thing that worked was deleting cache, cookies etc and then they were finally able to log in.

  19. I love Rupali’s wishes for Jackie, I can’t top that!

    I also love the very cool gift(s) you gave to the Monarch of the garden on her special day.

    I do not love your dinner, but will defend your right to eat the ‘l’ foods when you want to. ❀

  20. It’s not every day that a Head Gardener can say she got THREE ‘shrooms for her Birth Day! … I hope they are as fabulous in real life as they look from this side of the camera. πŸ˜€

  21. Happy birthday to Jackie.

    When there are horses in your post, they have a lot of my attention.


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