Questions

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Today I scanned the next batch of colour slides from my Streets of London Series. These were all produced in September 2004.

Shaftesbury Avenue W1 9.04

When, in ‘Meandering Through Soho’, I stated that the musical had opened when we were living in Horse and Dolphin Yard, my memory was playing tricks with me. Les Misérables has enjoyed so long a presence in Shaftesbury Avenue W1 that I thought it had been in residence at Queens Theatre during our time there. In fact we left in 1980 and the production began in 1985. Here is an extract from the official website:

‘CAMERON MACKINTOSH’S LEGENDARY PRODUCTION OF BOUBLIL AND SCHÖNBERG’S LES MISÉRABLES IS A GLOBAL STAGE SENSATION.

Seen by more than 70 million people in 44 countries and in 22 languages around the globe, it is still breaking box-office records everywhere. The original London production celebrated its 30th anniversary on 8 October 2015.

Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption – a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit.

Ex-convict Jean Valjean is hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever.

Featuring the songs “I Dreamed A Dream”, “Bring Him Home”, “One Day More” and “On My Own” – Les Misérables is the show of shows.’

Regent Street W1 9.04

My memory also fails me in attempting to recollect the name of the kindly gentleman who was my boss during my brief employment at the Yorkshire Insurance company in Leadenhall Street in about 1962/3. I do, however remember that he bought all his staff ties or other similar birthday gifts from Austin Reed, the upmarket outfitters on Regent Street,

Brewer Street W1 9.04

visible from this corner of Brewer Street. I took this practice to heart, and, when I became a Social Services manager myself, gave everyone a birthday card. Since the staff numbers ran closer to three figures, that’s all I could afford.

Essendine Road W9 9.04

Both Essendine Road W9

Morshead Road W9 9.04

and its neighbour Morshead Road were in the patch for which I was responsible.

Edgware Road W2 9.04

Church Street, forming this junction with Edgware Road remains the location of a thriving multicultural general  market. The far end of Church Street is home to a number of antique shops.

Ham Yard W1 9.04

I wonder if anyone has yet built on this corner plot in Ham Yard W1, a very short walk from Piccadilly Circus, or whether acrobats have continued to cover the beams and walls with graffiti;

Bridle Lane W1 9.04

 why was this gentleman standing guard over the entrance to Bridle Lane;

Devonshire Place Mews W1 9.04

 does this gentleman passing Devonshire Place Mews still smoke;

Sutherland Avenue W9 9.04

 is the baby in the buggy being pushed along Sutherland Avenue W9, like Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole now aged thirteen and three quarters, and about to publish a best-selling diary;

Elgin Avenue W9

and were this couple resting the bench visitors to or residents of Elgin Avenue W9.

This series does often raise a series of questions on which to speculate.

This evening we dined, with usual excellent, friendly, service at Lal Quilla in Lymington. Jackie enjoyed her Lal Quilla special, as did I my chicken jalfrezi. We shared special fried rice and a garlic naan. We both drank Kingfisher.

 

 

Wagons Ho!

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Roseraie de l'Hay staked

Beginning with roseraie de l’Hay, Jackie and I continued our work in the Rose Garden by bashing stakes into the ground and tying the stems to them. Brambles are very sneaky when they send their deep roots down beside roses. The worst of these, masquerading as  the rose, had to be dug out with a trowel and great care.

Rosa gallica and Laura Ford

Rosa gallica, here fronted by Laura Ford, also needed a lengthy stake;

Rose Lady Emma Hamilton

 shorter ones sufficed for Lady Emma Hamilton,

Festive Jewel staked

and Festive Jewel.

rose Laura Ford

Laura Ford,

Laura Ford, roseraie de l'Hay, and rosa gallica

standing between roseraie de l’Hay and rosa gallica,

Dog rose sport

had produced a rambling sport which we needed to remove from its cultivated host. New varieties are produced by grafting onto the wild rose stock. A tendency to revert to the original produces what is called a sport. This dog rose looks wonderful when flung over a hedgerow, but rather detracted from our plantings.

It probably envied Ballerina her gleeful dance celebrating her freedom to roam.

This afternoon we transported two large orange bags of garden clippings to the Efford Recycling Centre, then went for a drive in the forest.

Cyclist 1Cyclist 2

Sometimes we do find ourselves admiring cyclists who tackle the slopes with such splendid effort.

Cyclist, walkers, and cars

Here was another at Burley, climbing

Hill outside Burley

the hill above The Queen’s Head.

Walkers 1Walkers and dog

Walkers were also doing well with this.

Katherine Parr

We, on the other hand, were enjoying a drink in the front garden of the pub. Katherine Parr was the sixth wife of King Henry VIII, and the only one to survive him. It is, we think, her portrait that adorns the inn sign. (See Lord Beeri’s comments below. He is right to put the finger on Lady Jane Gray)

Strike out the first two guesses. Becky, in her comment below, has come up with the definitive answer, from https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/404444/elizabeth-i-when-a-princess.

Dragon on roof of A Coven of Witches

From this point we noticed the dragon on the roof of A Coven of Witches, thus combining the two myths upon which the prosperity of this village is built.

Mask

Even the Art Shop has a scary window.

Burley Wagon Rides 1Burley Wagon Rides 2Burley Wagon Rides 3
Burley Wagon Rides 4

We had stopped here because we could see that a Burley Wagon Ride was about to get under way.

Burley stump

On the approach to the car park, a tree was cut down some years ago. Someone obviously carved the name of the village into the stump. Only three and a half letters remain.

Ponies 1

No forest drive would be complete without at least one pony mooning in the middle of the road.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s deliscious chiken tikka, mushroom and onion rice topped with an omelette, and onion bahjis  She drank Peroni and I drank Isla Negra merlot 2016.

Hot

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Sanjha restaurant

Yesterday evening we dined with Elizabeth, Danni, and Andy at Sanjha restaurant in Southampton’s suburb of Shirley.

My interest was aroused when the others pronounced their meals a little hotter than anticipated.  Then I made a start on my lamb mirchan ma ke, served with egg rice and a plain naan.

Wow!

Regular readers will know of my penchant for the flavours of hot chilies. I’ll invariably opt for a naga dish if there is one on the menu. ‘A dish for customers with iron lined stomach. Cubes of lamb cooked with a blend of red chilli powder and fresh green chilies.’ Thus was my choice as described by the restaurant.

Most of the Indian restaurants with which I am familiar are, in fact, Bangladeshi. This is why I had never come across my meal before. The restaurant is Punjabi, and to be highly recommended.

The manager told me that he would never eat red chilies. The item in question only appeared on the menu to satisfy the men coming out of pubs later on, and up for a challenge. As we left, he volunteered to make it milder next time. I surprised myself by saying that would be a good idea. Cobra beer and water had not extinguished the fire.

It is many years since a burning sensation has accompanied evacuation the morning after a curry. I was mildly apprehensive about this, but can happily report that there was no such experience.

This afternoon we trained, generally tidied up, dead-headed, and watered roses, until the mid afternoon sun, becoming hotter and raising far more of a sweat than last night’s curry, persuaded us to take our own water on the patio.

Rose Garden 1Rose Garden 2

There is still more to be done,

White bench corner of Rose Garden

but we hope that this corner will please Pauline.

This evening Mr Pink’s fish and chips were paired with Garner’s pickled onions for our dinner. Jackie drank Peroni and I finished the Cairanne.

 

 

 

 

Satisfied

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Today Summer has returned in the form of a hot sunny day.

Bee on geranium palmatum

I’m no entomologist, so my identification of the bee-like insects flitting from bloom to bloom should be taken with a pinch of salt (which, traditionally should see off weeds). I am, however, confident that this one on a geranium palmatum is really a bee.

Hoverfly on fuchsia

This is probably a hoverfly using fuchsia Delta’s Sarah as a landing strip;

Hoverfly approaching poppy

and another approaching a pale pink poppy;

Hoverfly in antirrhinum

more likely a wasp lurking behind this white antirrhinum;

Wasps in poppies

and a couple more sampling these new poppies

Herbaceous border

towering in the herbaceous border,

Canterbury Bells

where delicate pink Canterbury bells now stand alongside the deep blue ones,

rose Ernest H. Morse

and roses like the flaming Ernest H Morse

rose Dearest 1

and the gentler Dearest are thriving.

Hole under fence

Unfortunately this herbaceous border, between the Back Drive and the back fence recently erected to keep out invaders from the North Breeze jungle, became the source of my major gardening task. An attempt has been made by an even bigger beast to eradicate Jackie’s recently planted red rambler rose. There was a label giving the name of the rose, but it’s probably been eaten by whatever dug its way under the fence, tearing at the roots and demolishing a large ornamental poppy.

Concrete blocks in wheelbarrow

We decided to be subtle about creating a barrier. To this end I transported two concrete blocks from the other end of the garden,

Red rambler and concrete barrierConcrete blocks barrier 2Concrete blocks barrier 1

extended the hole behind the rose, and popped in the concrete. The subtlety lay in leaving the hole to the left of the rose, so providing the animal with an alternative route. The stem in the foreground of the last of this series of pictures will be tied to its support.

Rose garden

Here is a current view of the Rose Garden showing, from front to back, Absolutely Fabulous, For Your Eyes Only, and Love Knot, flanked by tall pink foxgloves;

Garden view from eucalyptus to Compassion rose

and another from the eucalyptus to the Compassion rose on the arch spanning The Dead End Path,

Jackie tidying Dead End Path

which received the bulk of Jackie’s attention today. She pruned, weeded, raked, tidied, planted, and

Derrick admiring bench supports

propped up the rather unstable bench with bricks which I helped transport from elsewhere. It can now take my weight without wobbling.

Petunias and cosmos

Recent plantings well settled in include the begonias in the foreground of the picture of the Head Gardener at work; these petunias and cosmoses in a tub nearby;

Osteospermum and nepeta

and osteospermums and nepeta in the Oval Bed.

Jackie 1Jackie 2

Eventually Jackie was satisfied that her day’s work was fit to be photographed,

Jackie admiring Dead End Path

and she could sit back and admire it.

This evening we are off to Danni and Andy’s home in Shirley where Elizabeth will join us for a meal at the young folks’ local Indian restaurant. Since it is only my niece who has expressed sleepless distress at not knowing what I had for dinner, and she will be well acquainted with it, I assume that the rest of you won’t mind if I report on this tomorrow. With apologies to those who will be on their breakfast.

 

Embarking On Schooldays

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First thing this morning, Jackie drove me to New Milton for me to do some banking. After this she continued with planting and repairing storm damage in the garden where I carried out minimal tidying and dead-heading.

This afternoon I worked on the next section of ‘A Knight’s Tale’.

This involved editing and re-ordering much of my post ‘Maureen Potter And Plasticine’,

and inserting these two photographs.

I also used extracts from ‘Yesterday’s Bread’, with this illustration;

and from ‘Miss Downs’, adding these two, not included in the post,

and this photograph from ‘Auntie Gwen’

The Smugglers Inn

This evening we dined at The Smugglers Inn in Milford on Sea.

Having made the mistake of ordering two belly-busting courses last time we were here, we  each just had one tonight. Jackie enjoyed ginormous lemon chicken, chips, and salad.

Sirloin steak meal

My choice was superb sizzling sirloin steak served on a bed of onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes set on a steaming dish alongside the plentiful chips, onion rings, and salad on another enormous plate. I drank Doom Bar and Jackie drank Amstel. This time we consumed everything except a few of Jackie’s chips. The lady behind the steam thought this an artistic portrait.

 

 

Fishy Business

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This morning, Jackie went hunting for pond liner to mend a leak in the Waterboy fountain

Brick Path through Agriframes Arch

whilst Aaron cleared wind-battered plants and cut back others encroaching on the paths,

Love Knot and Alan Titchmarsh

Little Rambler

and I dead-headed in the rose garden and beyond. In the first of the above two pictures, the paler Alan Titchmarsh stands beside Love Knot; in the second, Little Rambler’s label stands out.

Rosa Gallica

The bright pink Rosa Gallica is beautifully striated;

rose Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral bears new buds ready to take over from the mature bloom;

Bee on Absolutely Fabulous 1Bee on Absolutely Fabulous 2

and a bee lingered on Absolutely Fabulous long enough for me to get two shots in.

Bee entering foxglove

In fact bees busy themselves everywhere. This one takes itself into a pink foxglove;

Bee on aquilegia

another boards an aquilegia;

Bee on heuchera

another a heuchera;

Bee and shield bug in Bottle Brush plant

and, is that a shield bug sharing a berth with one in a Bottle Brush plant?

Petunias

Elsewhere we have suspended petunias;

Clematis Star of India

ascending clematises like this Star of India;

rosa Glauca

soaring Rosa Glauca;

Campanulas

white campanulas;

Rose Campion

delicate rose campion;

Sisyrinchium striatum

tiny sisyrinchium striatum;

Lilies 1Day lily 1

luscious lilies;

Fuchsia

hardy fuchsias;

Philadelphus 1Philadelphus 2

two different philadelphuses;

rose Dearest

another pink rose Dearest;

rose Wedding Day 1

and Wedding Day

Clematis and Wedding Day

joining the clematis on the Agriframes Arch.

After lunch we motored to Stewart’s Garden Centre just outside Christchurch where, at Maidenhead Aquatics, we found the liner.

Koi Carp 10Koi Carp 11Koi Carp 12Koi Carp 4Koi Carp 6Koi Carp 7Koi Carp 8Koi Carp 9

Koi Carp 5Koi Carp 1Koi Carp 2Koi Carp 3

Outside this outlet there is a large pool around which koi carp, some looking prehistoric, glide, fins flapping, or swoop, tails flipping, fins tucked into their sides, whirling interminably.

We also noticed that Broomhill Garden Buildings had a Spring Sale, where a rather good greenhouse was available at half price. Back home we sped to take measurements of the place where it would go. It fitted. Back we sped and ordered it.

This evening we dined on haddock fishcakes topped with Cheddar cheese; spinach (for the forearms); boiled potatoes, carrots, and green beans.with which I drank Louis Chamandiet Cairanne 2015.

 

 

The North/South Divide

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Today was another dull one with little sun after 10 a.m. This morning we took a motorised stroll through the forest

Breakfast

and brunched at Hyde-Out Café where I enjoyed a tastefully presented full English.

Cyclists on road 1

Just outside Bashley the first bunch of cyclists began disrupting the traffic.

Rubbish in stream

Someone had recently lobbed food packaging into the stream crossing Holmsley Passage, along which we passed the resident of

Modern House

the modern house that was once the site of the crossing keeper’s cottage.

Ponies on outfield 1Ponies on outfield 4

At Burley ponies had been engaged to mow the outfield of the cricket green.

Ponies on outfield 3

Some took a break,

Ponies on outfield 2

and, for one, the task had become all too exhausting.

Braggers Lane

It being the grockle season, only the narrower lanes like Braggers were free of cyclists and other cars designed to send drivers onto the verges.

Cyclists on road 2Cyclists on road 3Cyclists on road 4

More common were crocodiles like these escorted children wobbling along

Irises 3

opposite the irises blooming in Whitemoor Pond.

Foxgloves 1Foxgloves 2Foxgloves 3

Mauve foxgloves stood proudly erect all over the forest.

Orchids and ferns 1Orchids and ferns 2Orchids and ferns 3

On the slopes on other side of the road leading into Bolderwood, where the first two of these pictures were taken, wild orchids clustered among the curling ferns.

Orchids, ferns, and bottleBottle in ferns

Someone had lobbed a bottle into this lovely landscape.

Tree stump

Logging had been carried out in the vicinity of this stump with its moss-covered exposed roots.

Foal and ponies

The A31, that bisected the forest into North and South, spans the road through Bolderwood, bringing the modern world into stark contrast with the historic home of this equine family whose ancestors grazed the forest floors for centuries.

Horse riders

One of two riders crossing the heath on the other side of the main thoroughfare gave me a pleasant smile, after which we exchanged waves.

For our dinner this evening Jackie produced tasty chicken thighs marinaded in lemon and herbs and roasted with peppers; boiled potatoes, carrots, and green beans.