Although the temperature was warm outside this morning and the winds as strong as they had been throughout the night, there was no rain until it bucketed down from about 11 a.m. onwards. I therefore accompanied Jackie as she delivered the elderly Modus to the dealer and collected her sprightly four year old Hyundai i10.

In the meantime Ronan and a colleague from Tom Sutton Heating fixed an oil leak by fitting a faulty valve, and I remained inside for the rest of the day while heavy rain continued into the night.

I submitted

to Denzil Nature for this week’s challenge. All but the first picture are from my archives.

Reminiscent of Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” is “Markheim”, the next of the Robert Louis Stevenson’s stories in my Folio Society collection, which I read this afternoon.

As Michael Foreman’s illustration shows, we learn pretty quickly that Markheim is a murderer, trapped by his fears into remaining in the victim’s shop wrestling with the consequences of his guilt and the temptations of the personification of his conscience.

The building itself, empty but for the corpse, brings dread as the perpetrator, anticipating there may be someone else within, searches for further riches which he knows he would squander.

Haunted by his imagination and his need for redemption, Markheim struggles over how to respond as the moment of discovery draws nearer. I will leave the author to reveal this.

Later, I watched the second half of the rugby World Cup match between Italy and Uruguay.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s wholesome chicken and vegetable soup and fresh crusty bread, with which I drank more of the Côtes du Rhône Villages and no-one else did.

The Treasure Of Franchard

Knowing we were to expect gale force winds today, Jackie laid down garden chairs and Flo furled the parasols yesterday, but, because they have such heavy bases did not lay them down.

The gusts did it for us. 75 mph winds came through The Needles, just about 5 miles from us as the crow flies. They will continue throughout the night and most of tomorrow.

It is a measure of some improvement in my cold that I did venture out, if only briefly, onto the patio for these photographs, but no further.

On another afternoon of reading I enjoyed “The Treasure of Franchard”, a moral tale of the potential problems of riches. This short narrative of 8 chapters in my Folio Society collection of Robert Louis Stevenson’s stories contains delightfully descriptive bucolic prose, and penetrative insights into humanity.

Through the developing relationship of a loquacious doctor and a taciturn, yet questioning, boy the work is more obviously philosophical than some of the other stories. Ultimately it is the boy who emerges as the tutor.

Michael Foreman’s illustration features the pivotal finding of the treasure which is the vehicle for the lessons for the various protagonists.

This evening we all dined on Subway sandwiches produced by Flo and Dillon with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Séguret Côtes du Rhône Villages 2021

The Rajah’s Diamond

With my cold reaching its peak and today’s weather pattern repeating that of yesterday I spent the day seated indoors.

First I watched a recording of last night’s rugby World Cup match between England and Japan, then read “The Rajah’s Diamond” story from the Folio selection of Robert Louis Stevenson’s tales.

In a four part story, with humour and mystery the author traces the passage of an item of great wealth and its effect on the lives of a number of people with whom it comes into contact. We see that it is an object that tempts into crime and deception bringing no happiness.

Once again Michael Foreman’s illustrations capture the essence of Stevenson’s characters and events created in the author’s usual flowing prose.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s cottage pie and beef pie with boiled new potatoes; firm broccoli and cauliflower, crunchy carrots, and meaty gravy with which the Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the GSM.

From Thunderstorm To Sunshine

With thunderstorms raging outside and my having been the last to succumb to the common cold that has worked its way through the household, I stayed inside and watched World Cup rugby starting with a recording of last night’s match between Wales and Tonga; then live matches between South Africa and Romania and between Australia and Fiji.

This evening the sun emerged and Jackie photographed

the hour before twilight. Each image is entitled in its gallery.

This evening we all dined on roast lamb; boiled new potatoes, firm broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, mint sauce, and meaty gravy, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the GSM.

Where Can She Put Them?

Early this morning I watched a recording of last night’s rugby World Cup match between New Zealand and Namibia.

When I walked round the garden afterwards the temperature was hot; the air humid; the skies overcast.

This, and the amount of colourful blooms (all identified in the gallery) demonstrate that summer has no intention of being pushed aside by autumn.

Jackie has been quietly collecting bulbs to bury for next spring. As I noticed her most recent purchases I could not help wondering

where on earth was she going to put them? As usual these locations are identified in their gallery.

This afternoon I watched the live matches between Samoa and Chile, and between Wales and Portugal.

For dinner this evening we all enjoyed a third sitting of Jackie’s chicken jalfrezi meal, without the samosas. She drank Hoegaarden and I Drank François Dubessy GSM 2021.

The Suicide Club

Early this morning I watched a recording of last night’s rugby World Cup match between France and Uruguay, which was more of a contest than had been predicted.

Later Jackie drove me to and collected me afterwards from my friend Giles’s house so we could enjoy a conversation.

In the meantime, realising that our Modus is becoming too frail to carry us around any more, Mrs Knight visited the Hyundai garage at Everton where she chose a replacement younger model which we secured with a deposit this afternoon.

Afterwards I photographed a spider that I am holding back for Denzil’s upcoming Nature Challenge.

I then finished reading “The Suicide Club” by Robert Louis Stevenson, being the third in The Folio Society’s collection.

This is really the tale of a deviously scheming serial killer who inveigles victims into sham situations encouraging them to dice with death. We have intriguing mystery; fearful dread; fanciful locations, and gullible prey in what is a three part detective story. Stevenson uses light and shade to evoke the atmosphere of the developing murder mystery. He describes the settings in detail, using fairly lengthy yet flowing prose, with a keen ear for conversation and other sounds.

As usual, Michael Foreman’s watercolour illustrations picture the author’s work admirably.

I hope the prose samples alongside these examples do not give too much away.

This evening we all dined on more of Jackie’s chicken Jalfrezi meal with the addition of tandoori paneer; with which we each finished our respective beverages.

Beautifully Balmy Day

This morning I published

for Denzil’s Nature challenge.

Jackie took advantage of the bountiful shade on this beautifully balmy day to plant up her salvia Hot Lips cuttings, while I

wandered around with my camera producing a random range of pictures, each of which bears a title in the gallery.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s chicken jalfrezi, boiled rice, parathas, and vegetable samosas, with which she and I each drank more of yesterday’s beverages.

Wild Animals

Thousands of pictures of New Forest ponies feature in my posts. Although they are owned by commoners with pasturing rights they are all wild animals and roam free throughout the year.

Here is a random selection for Denzil’s Nature challenge. Each image bears a title in the gallery.

The same applies to donkeys.

Deer are just wild, but more elusive,

as are squirrels.

These cane toads were pictured from our hotel window in Barbados in 2004,

as were these green monkeys.


We have enjoyed excellent, efficient, and smooth on line repeat prescription service from our local pharmacy adjacent to our GP surgery for a good number of years. Until some weeks ago all changed. There were more people than ever working in the background behind the counter; apparent computer problems; missing prescriptions; people in queues having been told to come back next day – one man 3 days running; a generally harassed atmosphere. I was never inconvenienced myself, except for having queued behind the unhappy people, when previously queueing had been rare; Jackie had suffered from the “try again tomorrow” syndrome, as had someone else in the family – regularly.

When we visited this morning I asked to speak to the person in charge to ask about what was going wrong. I would have had to drive 45 minutes away to do this because that is where the new owner was now based. Our independent company had been taken over by another of that ilk.

My conversation with staff was most amenable and I was given the new owner’s address. They would welcome a complaint from me. Bigger is clearly not better.

Today’s weather was similar to yesterday’s. That is generally overcast until we returned home from a late afternoon forest drive when the sun put in an appearance for the evening.

A tractor working over a field of many pheasants sent the birds scattering across Sowley Lane.

Along St Leonard’s Road a group of donkeys foraged above and within a dry ditch.

One of two foals, having untangled itself from a barbed wire fence crossed to the other side of the road;

the other, probably quite surprised by the presence of a bus we have never seen here before, allowed the vehicle to pass.

From the car, Jackie photographed honeysuckle in the hedgerow and the younger foal suckling.

I contributed a stem of valerian growing from the fourteenth century stone wall of St Leonard’s Grange and a cluster of conkers soon to fall.

This evening we all dined on succulent roast chicken; sage and onion stuffing; boiled new potatoes; crunchy carrots and cauliflower with which Jackie drank Lambrusco and I drank Mas d’Anglade Montpeyroux 2018.