Robins In The Hedgerows

Ian returned to Southbourne for work this morning. After lunch Jackie and I drove to Tesco for some shopping, and continued into the forest. As we turned into Hordle Lane yellow-brown ochre clouds flung a hatful of every kind of precipitation at our windscreen as photographed by Jackie. Sleet and snow were lashed by briskContinue reading “Robins In The Hedgerows”

Whose Carrots?

On this third dull afternoon as winter attempts a resurgence tomorrow Jackie and I took a forest drive after collecting repeat prescriptions from Milford Pharmacy. Alongside Angel Lane, where we spotted our first clump of bluebells, a pair of forest horses lunched on hay heaps. Silent crows perched beside Milford Road. Jackie photographed me photographingContinue reading “Whose Carrots?”


This afternoon I posted Later, I read more of ‘Bleak House’ and scanned three more of the inimitable Charle Keeping’s illustrations to my Folio Society edition. ‘She fell down on her knees’ ‘Mr Grubble was standing at the door to his tavern’ ‘Not only was the portrait there, but we found the original thereContinue reading “Multitasking”

A Knight’s Tale (119: The Foxton Staircase)

I continued tracking my son along the Oxford Canal into July 2003, beside landscaped abstracts of furrowed fields. Beyond Oxford, Sam took to the Grand Union Canal alongside which the footpaths were often completely overgrown, albeit with pleasant wild flowers, such as meadowsweet and willow herb. The many butterflies flitting about included gatekeepers, red admirals,Continue reading “A Knight’s Tale (119: The Foxton Staircase)”

Grandfather Smallweed

Much of this afternoon was spent on the administration required to access the funds from Mum’s estate. An hour was spent in Barclay’s Bank in Lymington. Before then, Ian, who had driven me, pointed out that I had erroneously entered Lloyd’s Bank. We then had to find Barclay’s. Next, I had to wait for theContinue reading “Grandfather Smallweed”

The Manfreds At The Regent

Last night’s concert by The Manfreds at Christchurch’s refurbished Regent Theatre was a wonderful event. Becky had left a letter for my old friend Tom McGuinness, one of the two original members of Manfred Mann, the other being Paul Jones, both men defying their eighty years. My daughter had informed Tom that I would beContinue reading “The Manfreds At The Regent”

A Knight’s Tale (117.1: A Friendship)

Firm friends at St. Mary’s, Russell Road primary school, Tom McGuinness and I went up to Wimbledon College together and gradually drifted apart because our adolescent interests were so different.  We spent many happy hours in each other’s homes, often swapping gruesome American horror comics. We made forbidden trips such as once when, still in primaryContinue reading “A Knight’s Tale (117.1: A Friendship)”

Spontaneous Combustion

Today’s Royal Mail post brought the probate grant documentation. I will begin the work of collecting and distributing the assets next week. This afternoon I posted Later I scanned the next four of Charles Keeping’s inimitable illustrations to ‘Bleak House’ ‘Rolling up the slip of paper, Mr Guppy proceeds’ ‘Mr Jellyby groaned, and laidContinue reading “Spontaneous Combustion”

A Knight’s Tale (118: The Long Walk Begins)

In March 2004 my son Sam completed a solo row of the Atlantic, covering 3,000 miles in 59 days.  In doing so, at the age of 23, he became the youngest person ever to have rowed any ocean and won the solo race.  The previous summer he had taken delivery of his specially crafted boat atContinue reading “A Knight’s Tale (118: The Long Walk Begins)”