On The Step

Richard was on his own today. He spent time

continuing to fit the bedroom wardrobe, concentrating on trimming, on the rails, and on the handles.

The first of the above images includes him

working on the safer step he has built to create an easier drop from the former dressing room to the bedroom.

This afternoon Jackie and I visited the Milford G.P. surgery where we received our Covid booster vaccinations.

Dark indigo clouds loomed over the Isle of White, The Needles, and the lighthouse beside which the Jesus sunbeams penetrated the canopy.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla where the service and atmosphere was as friendly as ever, despite the fact that with the staff all masked I can never be sure whether I know them or not. My main course was the hot, sweet, and sour Chicken Jaljala while Jackie’s was the milder Chicken Boona. We shared pilau rice, and egg paratha and saag bhaji, both drinking Kingfisher.

Keeping, Garden, Peacock, Wardrobe

This is the progress Richard and Ross had made on the bedroom wardrobe before they finished last night. I had been unable to add it to yesterday’s post, but did so this morning.

Later I scanned six more of Charles Keeping’s illustrations to ‘Dombey and Son’.

‘Mr Carker the manager’ will be instantly recognisable when he next appears.

‘Florence came and sat by his side’ and

‘Sister and brother wound their arms around each other’ give Mr Keeping opportunities to use flowing folds to indicate their closeness.

‘A vista to the railway world beyond’ demonstrates Keeping’s skill with perspective.

‘Mr Carker, showing all his teeth’

‘Florence smoothed his coarse back with her little delicate hand’

This was interrupted by a session with Max of Peacock Computers in which he remotely controlled my iMac in order to rectify a problem with my BT ID and password being rejected. This is apparently not an unusual situation resulting in lack of access to e-mails.

I then plucked up courage to wander round the garden which has received scarcely any tidying up since the recent storms which brought down the wisteria arbour. I was pleasantly surprised at how well she was looking.

These are a random selection of photographs of how I found it. Each is labelled in the gallery.

The Kitchen Makers gents had reached this stage of the wardrobe assembly before we left them this afternoon to drive to Elizabeth’s home at Pilley to complete further administration relating to Mum’s estate.

By the end of the day the wardrobe was almost finished. The more accurate colours feature in the penultimate gallery.

This evening we dined on smoked haddock; creamy mashed potatoes; tangy cauliflower cheese; firm carrots and broccoli; tender spinach and green beens, with which we both drank Jurancon white wine 2019.

Cheers, Bob

Richard and Ross of Kitchen Makers began the day by finishing the installation of the new sitting room cupboard. The open door photograph is Jackie’s.

We emptied the rather ugly and ill-fitting wardrobe in our bedroom

in order for the men to fit one of their own.

Later, I posted https://derrickjknight.com/2021/11/03/a-knights-tale-58-brick-lane/

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent sausages in red wine; creamy mashed potatoes; tender green beans; and crunchy carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli; with which I drank Bold Vine Zinfandel 2019 and the Culinary Queen drank Blue Moon originally purchased for Bob.

Cheers, Bob.

A Knight’s Tale (58: Brick Lane)

I cannot write about the devastating day which led to the events that follow.

Lolesworth buildings, Thrawl Street

Jackie and I, sadly, parted in September 1972, and, for the first time, I left SW19/20 for East London, where I spent a month with Tony and Madeleine, at whose wedding in 1970 ‘The Bridesmaid’ photograph was taken.  I will never forget seeing, when bereft, and carrying a suitcase, I turned  into Lolesworth Buildings, Thrawl Street, Whitechapel, Madeleine standing on their top floor balcony beating a carpet hanging over the railings in the bright sunshine that caught the flying dust.  Tony tells me this building, c.1880, was demolished in 1979.

Thrawl Street stands off Brick Lane which, since the 18th Century, has received successive groups of immigrants. The French Huguenots fled to this part of London in the 1700s. Irish people and then Ashkenazi Jews followed in the 19th Century. In the later 20th century, Bangladeshi Bengalis from Sylhet comprised the major group of immigrants and gradually predominated in the area. Many Bengali immigrants to Brick Lane were from the Greater Sylhet region of what became Bangladesh.

During the month I lived there I ate almost daily at one of the two or three Bangladeshi men’s cafés. There was just one set meal of a curry and chapattis with a saucer of raw chillis on the side. The price was £1 and it is where I developed my taste for hot chilli. Opposite my favourite of these establishments stood the Brick Lane synagogue, which had begun life in 1743 as a Huguenot church. The building was acquired by the Jewish immigrant community in 1898 and, because of the decline in numbers on account of their moving to other parts of London, closed in 1973, the year after I was there. In 1975 it was sold again, to become a mosque.

Now known as Banglatown, Brick Lane and streets off it are packed with top class Bangladeshi restaurants. When I visited there with Sam and Holly in the early part of this century, we dived into any nearby one simply to avoid scouts sent by other restaurants to seek our custom.

Monica Ali’s excellent novel, Brick Lane, is based on a family of immigrants from the country of her birth, now living in London’s East End.

Before I knew him, Geoff Le Pard posted https://geofflepard.com/2014/06/30/upcycling-buildings-if-only-it-was-as-easy-with-people/ which covers this history in greater depth, and with more photographs. He has added this link to his comment on my post.

Refurbishment Under Way

Yesterday I received a message from Gov.UK headed “Sorry, there is a problem with this service”. Its content was simply : “Your Account is already activated” and a request to access a questionnaire to help them improve the service. I would not receive a reply. I didn’t bother.

Early this morning Richard and Ross of Kitchen Makers arrived to begin working on the first of the refurbishing projects they are to carry out.

This involved stripping out the bodged extension of the airing cupboard; removing much debris; carrying it

down the steep and narrow stairs with little headroom and out to their van; then starting to assemble the new cupboard in the chimney breast.

Because the built-in cupboards are hand made in advance their sections have to be carried round the side of the house, through the kitchen and up that staircase.

The first picture in this gallery shows the shortest of these parts; the next three the difficult task of transporting a higher compartment through the sitting room and up the stairs.

Later, the craftsmen began to assemble the cupboard.

This afternoon I filled in the Probate Application forms.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent sausages in red wine; crisp roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding; firm carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli; with tender green beans. Dessert was pumpkin pie and cream. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Montaria.

Cracking Probate Application Forms

It has been all go today. Dave of D J B Plumbing spent the morning replacing our ailing macerator. Phone conversations with first Nick, then Max, of Peacock Computers revealed that they have found a fast fibre Broadband supplier for me. This will mean cancelling my BT account once it has been installed.

Before lunch I completed the clearance of the dressing room, but for 3 items the men will move tomorrow. When used as a little sitting room it will offer this view of the garden.

When I tried to pay Dave on line I received a message stating that the service was not available and that I should try again later. When I did I was told that there was no match between the name and the bank details. I rang Dave to confirm I had the correct details. Dave confirmed their (WP underlined their in red – again) accuracy. I tried again and it worked.

Elizabeth visited again, bringing cake and a determination to crack the Probate Application forms problem.

She hit the same buffers as I had. This was simultaneously reassuring and rant-inducing.

Eventually we settled for printing out the forms for me and Joseph to complete by hand. There were pages numbered 18 and 20 and an unnumbered one entitled Legal Statement. There was no number 19. This caused considerable confusion until I realised that this statement was probably number 19. The introduction had mentioned that the first set of forms was 26 pages long. After number 20 there was no 21. But there were 6 pages (numbered 1-6) of Equality and Diversity questions.

The second set of 8 pages is the Return of Estate information, for tax purposes. This exhausted my current pack of plain printing paper – it was a piece of good luck that I held just enough for these.

This evening we dined on a thick cheese, black pepper and onion omelette and oven chips followed by pumpkin pie, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Montaria.