Having completed my story of my place in an era with the Sigoules disaster followed by: ‘Given that, since 9th May 2012, my WordPress blog has been a daily diary and we are now settled in comfortable twilight years in Hampshire’s New Forest, this seems an appropriate time to close the pages of “A Knight’s Tale”.’, following some readers’ responses I will expand a little on the advent of the ‘twilight years’.
For the years 2011/2012 when living in Morden Jackie and I spent weekends caring for Elizabeth’s garden at The Firs, West End, near Southampton.
Once we had decided to move to the New Forest, Danni found the ideal flat for us in Castle Malwood Lodge, Minstead.
There Jackie built her garden outside our apartment on the right hand ground floor corner of the building.
We have William Ewart Gladstone’s Chancellor of the Exchequer to thank for the beautiful place in which we lived while waiting for the proceeds of Jackie’s London home. The lawyer and Liberal politician had the house built in 1880 and became Chancellor in 1886. In this post Sir William Harcourt was responsible for the introduction of death duties as they are today. At that time the Liberals, a different party than the one we recognise, were seeking measures to increase taxation in a more acceptable way than income tax. The modern bereaved inheritors may have a view on that.
The great Victorian Prime Minister planted a sequoia in the garden during one of his visits there. That tree now stands above the others which crowd the land beyond the rhododendron hedges, in an area that now merges with the forest. It is so tall it has become a local landmark.
Eventually on the first of April 2014 we moved into Old Post House, where we began our “twilight years” which are chronicled on my Rambling blog started on 9th May 2012.