On another mild, sunny, morning we visited Mum in Woodpeckers Colten Care Home.
Firstly, Jackie parked in Butts Lawn along which I wandered with a camera.
At one end the ford water left its mark on the measuring gauge.
I walked alongside the rippling, fast-flowing stream watching swaying underwater weeds, scum-forming bubbles, and leaves whizzing by putting me in mind of Hans Andersen’s “Little Tin Soldier” in his paper boat speeding along the gutter. Sunbeams revealed autumn leaves and pebbles carpeting the bed, and a red-brick house was reflected in a roadside puddle.
At the other end stands a Telephone Box Book Exchange decorated with children’s drawings and a notice of Lockdown Precautions advising that the library contents will not have been sanitised.
The stream continues under the road bridge beside a splendid oak. The wooden railings are reflected in the crystal clear water.
Attempting to claim the last resilient leaf clinging to a maple on Meerut Road the gentle breeze tugged and twisted in vain.
‘Morant Hall, also known as New Forest Hall, once stood on the Lyndhurst Road approximately opposite Greenways Road, Brockenhurst.
Soon after the establishment of the Lady Hardinge Hospital for Wounded Indian Soldiers in c.1914 at what is now Tile Barn the facilities quickly became overcrowded. The hospital had tented and galvanized roofed buildings as patient accommodation and had commandeered Balmer Lawn and Forest Park Hotels.
Morant Hall was set up to take some of these patients in an attempt to relieve some of the overcrowding treating the Indian troops of the Meerut and Lahore Divisions, who fought on the Western Front, and were patients at the Lady Hardinge Hospital. The hall became known as the Meerut Indian General Hospital and was managed by a committee of local citizens and could provide accommodation for up to 120. …..Meerut Road in Brockenhurst [is named] in their memory.’ (Gareth Owen in https://nfknowledge.org/contributions/morant-hall-meerut-indian-general-hospital-morant-war-hospital/#map=10/-1.57/50.82/0/24:0:0.6|39:1:1|40:1:1 )
Despite the current Covid-inspired lockdown Colten Care continue to provide visiting facilities. We can see my mother through a glass screen for half an hour once a fortnight.
Mum was wheeled in and provided with a rug which she didn’t need to use. Jackie, who sits socially distanced beside me, and the garden behind our open door are reflected in the screen. Mother was on good, talkative, form.
In Sway Road, not far from Woodpeckers, a family of donkeys enjoyed scratching and tearing at the shrubbery. One left its post in order to discover whether I bore any treats.
This evening we dined on a rack of pork ribs in barbecue sauce, salt and pepper prawns, and Jackie’s savoury egg rice, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Cotes du Rhone Villages.