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.