A Knight’s Tale (Positive Postscript)

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.


  1. Thank you very much for the postscript. It’s a perfect epilogue.
    You’ve moved to a beautiful area. I’d forgotten that you house was the post house–an extra bit of history. Too bad you didn’t find any lost letters during renovations. 😏
    I love that Jackie created a garden for your apartment, too.

  2. Thanks for the postscript to “A Knight’s Tale.” I love the flat at Castle Malwood Lodge which Jackie brightened up further with her garden. What a wonderful home and location for spending your twilight years!

  3. I’m so glad you included this postscript! 🙂 What beautiful place, home, times, years, and, oh, the beauty that Jackie and you added to the world! 🙂
    I always get a bit melancholy when I reach The End of a book I’m enjoying…but I love a great happily ever after, too. A Knight’s Tale was that kind of book for me! Thank you, Derrick! 🙂
    You two ✨✨keep sparkling in your twilight years! 🙂
    (((HUGS))) ❤️

  4. Thank you for sharing your road to the Old Post House with us, Derrick. You have lived a good life. I hope your ‘twilight years’ years are filled with as much love and life as those that have passed before. 💞

  5. I am very glad you added this postscript, Derrick. It ties the end of Sigoules into your present home. The Firs, where you took care of Elizabeth’s garden, looks like a beautiful estate. I can see from the flat Danni found for you and Jackie the beginnings of all the gardening to take place at your present home, the Old Post House. May you have many more years together there.

  6. Castle Malwood Lodge Looks the perfect picture. Jackie’s early garden reminded me of my many potted gardens (19) I had while Norm was constantly moving with the RAAF – just itching to create a permanent garden.


      1. Oh, interesting! I’d assumed it had been built as a residence. Apropos of post offices, have you ever read “Why I Live at the P.O.” by Eudora Welty? It is one of my favorite short stories, a tour de force of the unreliable narrator and screamingly funny.

  7. I well remember the legal bind that my English “mother” was left in when her estranged husband died accidentally and she had to cough up death duties. It just about bankrupted her.

  8. Thank you very much, Derrick, for adding this perfect epilog to “A Knight’s Tale.” The pictures of your castle vacation followed by your cozy, charming home balance the previous challenges with a well-deserved happily ever.

  9. Reading the epilogue I have a sense of an eventful and embellished journey coming to an end but it is not without sadness that comes at the end of a riveting book. Castle Malwood Lodge looks majestic. The Old Post House seems to have been waiting for you and Jackie for eternity.

  10. I can see why you fell for your current property but with the Head Gardener’s (and your) hard work outside and in it’s even more desirable.

  11. “Twilight years” sounds so close to closure. I’m not sure I’m ready to decide on that title for these days of my life … But you’re closing a chapter while leaving another open, right? I imagine there’s wisdom in that. We can’t comfortably juggle as many balls all at once as we used to. I have to admit that!

  12. Thank you for this most interesting conclusion to a chapter in your life, Derrick, I love your current lovely and cozy abode to enjoy during your twilight years.

  13. A home and location worthy of you both. You may be retired (at least semi) but I have a hard time applying that description to Jackie, head gardener, fellow photographer, culinary queen and chauffeuse. Great pictures.

Leave a Reply