At least our winter flowering cherry was happy with another dreary, yet wet, day.

Last night Louisa asked me to send pictures of her lifelong friend Gemma, who will be 40 tomorrow. I sent her three,

of which this is one from my daughter’s birthday party of May 1993.

Three days ago ‘we began with a trip to the Lymington Post Office collection office to claim a parcel undelivered because of a shortage of Β£2 in postage. The good news was that there was no queue. The bad news was that the office was closed. I took an alternative option which was to stick the extra postage on the back of their card and post it back to them.’

This is what we received in the post this afternoon:

The first of these images is of the front of the card addressed to the office with my 3 first class stamps attached. At the current rate of postage that is Β£2.45. The With postage section on the reverse side addressed to us is the direction I followed. Grammar enthusiasts might like to note the superfluous apostrophe in our name. A postman told me that ‘Today’s date’ is the date the post office received the parcel, not the date on which the card was delivered. That was in fact several days later.

I tried very hard to resolve this on line where I couldn’t even access the revised opening times. Of all the options from which to choose to request help there wasn’t one which would cover having received the returned card, clearly addressed to the Delivery Office itself, with no indication of the parcel. And, as usual, there was no way I could find a telephone number.

We decided to go in person. The office was closed. And only open from 8 to 10 a.m. in the morning.

This called for a rainy forest trip.

The anonymous decorator of the Pilley Hill Post Collection Box seems to be celebrating 2022. Maybe it will improve.

Behind Jordan’s Lane alongside which lies Pilley Lake, I enjoyed a friendly conversation with two master thatchers. This cheered me up.

On the lane itself one donkey was guarding her foal while another couple were silently arguing about the bay tree they were pruning. The larger animal kept butting the smaller out of the way.

The Culinary Queen produced another delicious beef pie for tonight’s dinner – and for a couple more besides. Firm boiled potatoes, Brussels sprouts and carrots were the tasty vegetables; onion gravy completed the platefuls which were accompanied by Hoegaarden in Jackie’s case, and Castillo Catadau Gran Reserva 2014 – a delightfully smooth rounded Spanish Tempranillo given by Ian for Christmas, in mine.

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.

91 thoughts on “Thatching

  1. I must commend the thatchers! Bravo for such extraordinary expertise in their profession!!
    The donkeys are sure cute, aren’t they?

  2. The thatchers are doing a great job! Our post office does the same thing, pay up or no delivery. I like the decoration on the post box, very positive for 2022!

    1. I am so glad these craftsmen still exist, Laurie. I wonder how many generations back their skills go.

      I noticed that errant apostrophe also, because that’s what we pedants do, right?

  3. Open only 2 hours in the morning?? I am cranky about that and I’m not even you ha-ha If it’s only open 2 hours it’s gonna be a really long line isn’t it?

    I love your posts because I always see things I’ve never seen before. There’s such thing as an expert thatcher ?! So cool.

    The only time I’ve ever seen donkeys in my life other than the zoo, is a little thing in my area They used to do for fun once a year called donkey basketball.

  4. Maybe the postal workers are recovering from the holidays? Sorry for the hassle, Derrick. I never like “mission unaccomplished.” I enjoyed the outing, though. Thanks for taking us along.

  5. I too have visited the PO delivery office on several occasions. I understood they close at ten to allow the postmen to get back out on the streets and deliver.
    It occurred to me that if your house was still a working post office you’d have probably received your parcel by now!

  6. I enjoyed all of your story and pictures Derrick. I am not surprised by the problem of deliver of your parcel. Something similar here. I am waiting on a parcel from my friend in India, it came to Ireland before Christmas and as there was duty on it €10 it was also not delivered. I went and paid the duty on the last day of the year, but to date no parcel has been delivered. I was told it could take another while until the duty office has cleared my parcel! The strange thing is that never before did I have to pay duty on a parcel from India!

  7. Goodness what a postal saga – I do hope it gets resolved soon and that the contents of the parcel is well worth all the trouble! … And Thank Goodness for the more reliable things in life – the flowering cherry, the New Forest ponies, The Culinary Queen, and the artful camera to record all πŸ™‚

    1. I don’t know about the cost, but there are many thatchers about, so the competition is probably keen. If a thatched house needs a new roof, a similar replacement is required by law. Thanks a lot, John

  8. The knitting bombers throughout the Uk and here in NZ always bring a smile as I love random creative moments. Those men who do that roof thatching are certainly skilled and creative in their own right.

  9. Having taught English for over forty years, I spotted the errant apostrophe immediately. It’s a case of “When will they ever learn?” Our post office is bankrupt, dysfunctional and is not to be trusted, so courier services do a roaring trade. Even in summer your donkeys appear to be woollier than ours, which mostly appear to be very short-haired.

  10. Love that mailbox, the darling gray donkey, and the roof thatching! Your Spanish Tempranillo sounds delicious. Tempranillo is one of my favorite varietals. Cheers to you & Jackie, Derrick! ❀ ❀

  11. UGHS on the postal problems. 😦 Hope it all gets resolved soon.
    Wow on the terrific thatchers! I admire their work!
    Yay for the darling donkeys! I love their faces!
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚

  12. Postal services are frustrating. Here there is no phone number provided for any local post offices or sorting centre. There’s just one 1-800 number which has a recorded message to “press” 1 for this, 2 for that, 3 for something else, then another recording that says, all our operators are busy. Expected waiting time 35 (plus) minutes. The recording gives you options while you wait which sends you back around in a circle and then…blah, blah, blah….

    Good luck, Derrick.

    Love the thatched pictures. πŸ™‚

  13. For goodness sake! I feel for you, Derrick, and can only hope that the contents of the parcel will be worth all the frustration. Fortunately you found thatchers, pruners and and a jolly post box to cheer you up. And a delicious dinner to round off the day 😊

  14. Sometimes postal services are just impossible πŸ˜“ I have sent a greetings card back home and it took 1 and 1/2 months πŸ˜“
    Luckily those thatchers cheered you up πŸ˜‰

  15. I love donkeys, so I obviously like your donkey series.
    But the ones on the roof are fantastic as well. Especially the silhouette-picture you also used as the main picture for this post.

  16. I was in a long post office line yesterday, too. It’s Covid, I think, but the craziness of trying to do something online is not due to a virus. Donkeys always make me smile.

  17. Sigh. I am sorry you and Jackie experienced troubles with bureaucracy again. The forest drive was a nice way to end the day. I love to see thatching in progress, and and the animals are always a delight.

  18. I’m catching up on posts I missed because I had to finish a project. I liked Liz’s idea for solving your problem. I’m glad you were cheered-up by those amazing thatchers, but that little foal would have done it for me.

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