Emma Would Have Been Under Water

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When I was awaiting my hip replacement in 2009, my GP offered the opinion that I would never have a blood pressure problem. I wonder what she would have thought about my performance on the telephone today, much of which was again spent in frustrating negotiations about the mortgage. We were just about to set off with two full orange bags of clippings for the dump, when I learned that I had to make yet another call before we could be under way. I made the call. We then arrived at the dump just after it had closed.

A trip to the forest was in order.

Tree turning to autumn 1Tree turning to autumn 2Tree turning to autumn 3Tree turning to autumn 4

Only a few specimen trees were beginning to change into their autumn robes. The others still retained their summer garb.

Cloudscape 1Cloudscape 2Cloudscape 3Cloudscape 4Cloudscape 5Cloudscape 6

Smoky indigo clouds swirled over the moors,

Cloudscape 7

the sun only periodically piercing their cover,

Ponies 1Pony

and lighting up the ponies,

CowCattle

cattle,

Donkey and cattle

Donkeys on road

and donkeys wandering about East Boldre,

Donkeys with apples

where a woman had stopped her car and unloaded boxes of apples for their delectation.

High tide with boatHigh tideMan watching sunset

Tanner’s Lane beach was awash with the highest tide we had ever seen there. As we contemplated this we reflected that, had this been today, Emma might have been under water.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb beef and mushroom pie; sautéed potatoes, carrots, and Brussels sprouts; and broccoli al dente. She drank Hoegaarden, and I drank an excellent Finca Flichman reserve malbec 2015, given to me by Helen and Bill for my birthday.

 

 

Ne’er Cast A Clout……

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Today was rainy enough to warrant another trip back to the Streets of London colour slides from May 2005.

Hadrian Mews N7 5.05

Hadrian Mews, N7 is a gated street in Holloway, off Islington’s Roman Way. It probably pays to be security conscious here.

Epping Place and Granary Square N7 5.05

Epping Place and Granary Square, N1 are off Liverpool Road. The Lighterman bar at 3, Granary Square has mixed reviews.

Sheldon Square W2 5.05

Sheldon Square, W2, in the Paddington Basin development has featured a couple of times before. By May 2005 it was a popular venue for walkers, both real and artificial. The gentleman in the right foreground is destined to stride towards another out of shot, forever sporting his short-sleeved shirt, whatever the weather.

Paddington Green W2 5.05

Over at Paddington Green, Sarah Siddons dominates the scene.

Sarah Siddons 5.05

Two years ago her nose had not looked as complete as this.

Paddington Green W2

It is to be hoped that, from the relaxed attitude of this motorcyclist that the policeman was helping him with directions. Mrs Siddons can be seen to our left of the Telephone Boxes.

The Britannica website has this entry on her:

‘Sarah Siddons, née Kemble (born July 5, 1755, Brecon, Brecknockshire, Wales—died June 8, 1831, London, Eng.), one of the greatest English tragic actresses.

She was the eldest of 12 children of Roger and Sarah Kemble, who led a troupe of traveling actors (and were progenitors of a noted family of actors to a third generation, including a famous granddaughter, Fanny Kemble). Through the special care of her mother in sending her to the schools in the towns where the company played, Sarah received a remarkably good education, even though she was accustomed to making appearances on the stage while still a child. While still in her teens, she became infatuated with William Siddons, a handsome but somewhat insipid actor in her father’s company; such an attachment, though, had the disapproval of her parents, who wished her to accept the offer of a squire. Sarah was sent to work as a lady’s maid at Guy’s Cliff in Warwickshire. There she recited the poetry of Shakespeare, Milton, and Nicholas Rowe in the servants’ hall and occasionally before aristocratic company, and there also she began to exhibit a talent for sculpture (which was subsequently developed, especially between 1789 and 1790, and of which she later provided samples in busts of herself). The necessary consent to her marriage to Siddons was at last obtained, and the marriage took place in Trinity Church, Coventry, in November 1773.

The new Mrs. Siddons, aged 18, then joined a new acting company. It was while playing at Cheltenham in 1774 that she met with the earliest recognition of her powers as an actress, when by her portrayal of Belvidera in Thomas Otway’s Venice Preserv’d she won the appreciation of a party of “people of quality” who had come to scoff. When the theatrical producer David Garrick was told of her acting prowess, he sent a representative to see her. At the time, she was playing Rosalind in As You Like It in a barn in Worcestershire. Garrick offered her an engagement, but when she appeared with him at Drury Lane, London, in 1775, she was a failure. She then went back on tour in the country, where she earned a reputation as the queen of tragedy on the English stage.

In 1782, at the request of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, who had succeeded Garrick, she consented reluctantly to appear again at Drury Lane as Isabella in Thomas Southerne’s Fatal Marriage. This time her success was phenomenal. From then on she reigned as queen at Drury Lane until, in 1803, she and her brother John Philip Kemble went to Covent Garden. In 1783 she was appointed to teach elocution to the royal children. She retired from the regular stage on June 29, 1812, with a farewell performance as Lady Macbeth in Macbeth. On this occasion the audience would not allow the play to proceed beyond the sleepwalking scene, which Siddons was said to have performed to perfection.

  • Sarah Siddons (centre) performing at the Theatre Royal; Edinburgh; etching and aquatint by John Kay, 1784.
  • Sarah Siddons, detail from an engraving by Francis Haward, 1787, after a painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1784.
Sarah Siddons (centre) performing at the Theatre Royal; Edinburgh; etching and aquatint by John …
© Photos.com/Thinkstock’
 Harewood Avenue NW1 5.05
I wish I could remember anything about this bas-relief on the corner of Harewood Avenue, NW1. Perhaps someone will help me out.
Marylebone High Street W1 5.05

Gainsborough Flowers of 43 Marylebone High Street offer same day delivery to anywhere in Australia for orders placed before 4.00 p.m.

Ashland Place W1 5.05

The gentleman using his mobile phone in this shot of Ashland Place, W1 is walking past a small public park in which I sometimes sat, although I never tried the Rajdoot

Paddington Street W1

in Paddington Street, which has many excellent reviews.

Seymour Place 5.05

In 1961 the old Marylebone Police Court moved from Seymour Place into a former swimming baths at 181 Marylebone Road. Marylebone Magistrates Court was closed and transferred to City of Westminster Magistrates Court in March 2007. (https://search.lma.gov.uk/scripts/mwimain.dll/144/LMA_OPAC/web_detail/REFD+PS~2FMAR?SESSIONSEARCH)

Lisson Grove NW1 5.05

We in the UK will never agree on the meaning of ‘ne’er cast a clout until May is out. Clout is an archaic word for an article of clothing. May is both the fifth month and the May or hawthorn tree which blooms in that month. The controversy focusses on whether the aphorism refers to the blossom being out or the month being over. The two people here leaving Lisson Grove appear to be hedging their bets. The tree is in blossom, but the month was not over.

Late this afternoon we drove to Lymington postal sorting office to collect a letter that required a signature. When I eventually name and shame the culprits in the remortgage fiasco, this will be explained.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s marvellous beef and mushroom collage; toothsome carrots, Brussels sprouts, runner beans, and new potatoes. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the cabernet sauvignon.

P.S. See Becky’s comment below for important additional information on the mural. I should have remembered this was the old Woolworth’s head office because that is where George Onley, my club cricket captain from the 1950s and ’60s once worked.

The Latest Project

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This morning Aaron removed another shrub superfluous to requirements in order to make room for a larger than planned base for the West Bed bench. Jackie and I drove off to B & Q at Christchurch for six more bags of sand.

Aaron laying bench base 1Aaron laying bench base 2Aaron laying bench base 3Aaron laying bench base 4

Aaron spent the rest of his time laying the base.

Aaron on bench

When he had finished he sat on the bench and surveyed the scene. As usual, I made him a set of A4 prints.

Phantom Path viewEucalyptus fro West Bed bench

These are the views AP Maintenance’s finest could contemplate.

Fuchsia 5
Fuchsia 6Fuchsia 3Fuchsia 7Fuchsia 8

I enjoyed a fuchsia foray.

Fuchsia 2

Delta’s Sarah defied the neighbouring geraniums to steal the limelight.

Ginger lily

Red berries are forming on the ginger lilies;

Clematis

a blue clematis drapes itself over the Phantom Path arch;

Rose Festive Jewel

and roses such as Festive Jewel enliven the Rose Garden.

Jackie on West Bed bench

This evening we enjoyed a drink on the latest project.

Phantom Path from West Bed benchEucalyptus from West Bed bench

Jackie had been rather dismayed that I should have photographed Aaron’s view of the Phantom Path before she had had a chance to remove the wheelbarrow and wash down the dry cement. It therefore seemed only fair that I should show what we were looking at then.

Diascias

Beyond the chimney pot in the second picture, these diascias decorate a hanging basket.

Garden view from Stable Door

This is our current view from beside the greenhouse.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s special special fried rice, chicken sag, prawn jalfrezi, and roast duck breasts. I drank Concha y Toro Cassilero di Diablo 2016.

 

Jane Austin

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New House painting

Like our ancient New Forest, New House at Redlynch is not exactly new. It is a splendid Jacobean Building, here painted by L. Webb in 1988.

Jackie and guests arriving at New House

Shelly, Jackie, Ron, Chris

It was the venue for Rachel and Gareth’s wedding which we attended today. Here are Jackie, Shelly, Ron, Anthony, Chris, and other guests gathering before

Jackie, Ron, Shelly, Anthony, Chris

ascending the entrance steps.

Donna

Drinks were offered in the hall. Donna was one of those inside.

Austin 12 1Guests admiring Austin 12Guest admiring Austin 12

The arrival of the sparkling Austin 12 was a rival to the ladies’ fascinators.

Richard and Austin 12 1

Richard has spent years renovating this wonderful representative of motoring’s early days.

Richard advertising Austin 12

This sheet explains its condition when he found it, now 20 years ago. It is one of two vintage cars available from Jane Austin Weddings (www.salisbury-wedding-cars.co.uk). Richard is currently restoring an Austin 7.

Hands and bouquet

After a most happy ceremony Rachel, with her bouquet,

Gareth and Ann S

and Gareth, with his buttonhole, mingled with the guests outside,

Austin 12 arrivingRachel and Gareth arriving in Austin 12RachelRachel and Gareth

before setting of to Barford Park Farm Barn in Downton for the reception.

Max

Max was the youngest of the guests, who included

Ann S

Anne,

Shelly

Shelly,

Ron

Ron,

Olivia

and Olivia,

Ian 1Ian 2

who took these photos of Ian.

Derrick and Jackie 1Derrick and Jackie 2

Oh, and Jackie and me portrayed by Becky.

Hog roast serving 1

The wedding breakfast consisted of perfectly roasted hog and superb crackling served with fresh soft rolls, jacket potatoes and plentiful salad. A variety of ice cream flavours were a most suitable dessert. Red and white wines were on offer.

Bill

We were entertained by speeches from Bill, the bride’s father, and from Gareth himself and his best man.

Helen, Shelly, Ann S

Resplendent Helen, here with Shelly and Anne,

Bill and Ann S

and dapper Bill, with Anne, visited the tables.

We returned home, tired and content, soon after the music and dancing began.

Only The Crows

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I spent most of the day grappling with long-distance legal professionals over a small remortgage. I cannot summon the energy to detail this, but it has been going on for weeks and has only been necessary because I am too old to secure a mortgage from my bank. I have grown heartily sick of prevaricating, incompetent, and mendacious professionals who are happy to take your money while providing a useless service.

It is thirty years since I last negotiated such a loan. In those days you could walk to an office, speak to a person, and trust that  what you were promised would be done. I don’t think I need tell anyone how it is now, in our progressive, unprincipled, digital age.

ImpatiensDragon Bed

Jackie spent much of the day in the garden where she reshaped and added plants to the Dragon Bed section beside the greenhouse.

By 4.30 p.m., for the sake of my sanity, I was desperately in need of a ride in a motor car. Jackie happily obliged.

Group on beach 1

We began with a look at the sea at Barton. One member of a group on the beach seemed to have brought along a tent;

Man and dog on beach

another man played with his dog;

Couple on bench 1

a couple sat together on a bench;

Walkers 1

Walkers,

Man and dog

one with a golden retriever, kept to the path along the clifftop.

Meeting of dog walkers

Whenever a group of dog walkers meet, they swap engaging stories about their pets. Sometimes the animals are not so friendly. Lily was in trouble. She was admonished as being very naughty for nipping one of the others.

Crumbling cliff 1

Cliffs are still crumbling.

Crow 1Crow 2

Only the crows (if they are rooks forgive me – I don’t know the difference)

Crows on crumbling cliff 1

can truly feel safe on them.

As if to prove this statement, one of these took off, and clung precariously to the loose pebbles.

Jogger and beach

Down below a jogger on the beach path

Jogger checking watch

checked her watch without breaking her stride.

Ponies on road 1Ponies on road 2

As we travelled inland, ponies periodically exercised their right to ownership of the roads.

Sunset 1Sunset in wing mirrorSunset 2

Sunset smiled over Roger Penny Way on our return.

Later, The Raj in Old Milton provided our takeaway meal with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the malbec.

 

Checking Out The Venue

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Canna lily

Late this morning sunlight burst onto the canna lily given to us by Helen Keenan.

Bee on dahlia

The garden beyond was alive with the buzzing of bees

Small White butterfly on hanging basket

and fluttering butterflies like this Small White three quarters of the way up the lines of a hanging basket

Comma butterfly 1Comma butterfly 2

or this Comma hiding in the shadows.

Dahlia 1

The dahlia in the first picture is one of those

Patio plants

supported by the white pedestal in the patio.

Dappled stable door

Dappled starlight seemed to brighten the Stable Door.

Marguerites, petunias, bidens

Marguerites, petunias, and bidens continue to bloom on the edge of the Dragon Bed;

Petunias

deep violet petunias spill from the Iron Urn;

Geraniums and petunias

while pale pink striped ones accompany similar hued geraniums on the

Cryptomeria Bed

Cryptomeria Bed also sporting Hot Lips salvias.

Dahlia 2

More dahlias continue to bloom alongside the Dead End Path,

New Bed

and in the New Bed.

Ginger lily

A Canna lily lifts its flaming torch over the Palm Bed;

Rose Garden

Blue Ming Marvellous campanula once more lives up to its punning name in the Rose Garden;

Rudbeckia, New Zealand flax, grass

New Zealand flax, rudbeckia, and the remains of a crocosmia Lucifer still provide a sinuous sweep in the Palm Bed;

Clematis Comtesse de Bouchard

and clematis Comtesse de Bouchard flounces once more over the gazebo.

Sedum and fuchsia

Sedum, fuchsias

Herbaceous Border 1Herbaceous Border 2

and asters parade along the herbaceous border.

Weeping Birch

An orange begonia hangs before the Weeping Birch, the leaves of which appear to confirm that summer really is thinking about departing.

This afternoon we drove out to the other Downton, near Salisbury in Wiltshire, in order to checkout the route to the venues for Rachel and Gareth’s wedding on Saturday. The service is to be held at Timberley Lane, Redlynch, which was our first stop. From there we travelled to Barford Park Farm, where the reception is booked.

Cattle

Cattle grazed in the field

Cattle, Barford Park Farm entrance

on one side of the entrance drive.

Landscape 1Landscape 2Landscape 3

The fields on the opposite side of Barford Lane basked in the warm sunshine. What a shame that the forecast for this area on the wedding day is continual rain.

Driving through:

Lover sign

Telephone Box Book Box

on our way home, we noticed that the village public telephone box has now been converted to a book exchange.

Books 1Books 2

Naturally we rummaged for romantic novels.

Jackie's choice of book

Jackie all but made off with her favourite find.

Ponies

The cricket season has ended, but ponies still carry out groundsmen’s duties on the outfield at Nomansland.

The Green Dragon 1The Green Dragon 2The Green Dragon pub sign

We stopped for a drink at The Green Dragon, Brook, then continued on home.

This evening we dined on smoked haddock, piquant cauliflower cheese, crunchy carrots, new potatoes, and runner beans. I drank more of the malbec.

Knobbly Knees

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If you have no choice but to resort to vast shopping outlets, Bournemouth’s Castlepoint is far more user friendly than most. This is where we drove today for Jackie’s outfit for her niece Rachel’s wedding to Gareth in a few days’ time.

Castlepoint 1

Jackie led the way across the car park to her shop of choice.

Castlepoint 2

Castlepoint 6Castlepoint 7

I followed slowly, taking in the sculptural railings;

Castlepoint 3

the steps;

Castlepoint 4Castlepoint 5Castlepoint 8

the serried ranks of cars;

Loading car

 people loading their purchases before driving away;

Shoppers 1

and shoppers chatting

Shoppers 2Shoppers 3

and walking about.

Shoe mirror Evans

I joined Jackie in Evans. While she chose some shoes reflected in this nether mirror,

Underwear reflected

I allowed myself to be distracted by a full length one,

Reflections in silver balloons

before taking a multiple selfie reflected in silver balloons from Burton’s staircase, which also afforded a view of

Models Wallis

Wallis models below.

Man passing window displayShoppers through Burton windowShoppers in doorway 2Shoppers in doorway 1

Shoppers through Evans window 1

From the first floor of this open-plan shared store I watched shoppers passing by

Shoppers through Wallis window

or just taking a rest.

Cyclist through Burton window

There was even a cyclist

Car Park through Wallis window

skirting the car park.

Coca Cola can

When we returned to our car, this Coca Cola can rattled across the tarmac at the speed of Usain Bolt.

Christchurch Prory gardens

On our way home we diverted to Christchurch, parking in the Priory Car Park. In the gardens alongside stands this commemorative sculpture:

Christchurch Priory commemoration scupture plaque

Christchurch Priory Commemoration sculpture Sde A

Here is Side A;

Christchurch Priory Commemoration sculpture Sides B & C

here Sides B and C;

Christchurch Priory Commemoration sculpture Side D

and here Side D.

Christchurch Quay 1

A gentleman with a stick made his way along the quayside;

Christchurch Quay 2

as did a number of cyclists. I didn’t think to ask this gentleman why he carried a spade.

Christchurch Harbour 1

A motorised dinghy sped towards the sun,

Group on quayside

and a small group walked away from it.

Dog on balcony

A dog on a balcony was set off barking. Perhaps it suspected someone may be stealing the boats.

Boat

A vessel normally used for visitors’ trips hove into view just before we left,

Paddleboarder

while a paddle boarder approached from the opposite direction.

Gull

Jackie was of the opinion that this gull would have won a knobbly knees contest. It would have been a close call between the bird and the lamppost.

This evening we dined on spicy pizza and plentiful salad. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I started on another bottle of the malbec.