Dicing With Death

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What does Aaron have in common with a bee? You might be forgiven for imagining that it is that they both have very high work rates. That would be a good answer, but incorrect.

Aaron lopping cypress 1Aaron lopping cypress 2Aaron lopping cypress 3Aaron lopping cypress 3Watching our friend, unlit ciggy between lips, firing one-handed from the hip with his petrol-operated chain saw as he tackles the reshaping of our cypress tree, may provide a clue,

Aaron lopping cypress 5Aaron lopping cypress 6

especially when you see the height of his tripodal ladder.

Aaron tidying upAaron tidying up 2

Aaron always clears up along the way. Today he dragged branches to the Back Drive where he cut up a few logs for his client, Susan, leaving the rest for the ‘burn site’ of the dump.

Lopped branch on cypress

This branch demonstrates his clean cuts,

View from patio showing Aaron's completed work on cypress

while this view from the patio displays the finished shape.

Persicaria Red Dragon

The persicaria red dragon baring its bloody fangs in the Dragon Bed,

Crocosmia solfaterre

and the crocosmia solfaterre are among the plants that will now receive more light and air.

Fly on Winchester Cathedral 1Fly on Winchester Cathedral 2

In the Rose Garden, an intrepid fly scales the walls of Winchester Cathedral,

Geraniums and Summer Wine

and geraniums in the stone urn beside the potting shed enjoy a glimpse of Summer Wine.

Japanese anemones

 Japanese anemones appear to grow a foot each day.

Bee and spider's web 1Bee and spider's web 2Bee and spider's web 3

The bee skirting a hopeful spider’s web, in order to work on a verbena bonarensis, provides the answer to my opening  conundrum. Each in his own way is successfully dicing with death.

Later this afternoon we pulled up some brambles. As I walked along the Back Drive to deposit them in a bag for the dump, I almost stepped on twin juvenile collared doves sunning themselves on the gravel. Naturally I hurried indoors for my camera. When I returned they seemed to have disappeared. They were, however, simply playing hide and seek, foraging among the pebbles.

Collared doves juvenile 1Collared dove juvenile 2Collared doves juvenile 3Collared doves juvenile 4

Not yet old enough for timidity, almost in tandem, they carried on about their business and left me to mine.

Sweet pea

Here is a sweet pea for Bruce.

This evening we dined on Mr Chan’s Hordle Chinese Take Away fare. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the cabernet sauvignon.

 

 

Late Summer Blooms

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While Jackie, weeded, watered, and planted, my main gardening task today was extensive dead-heading. If anyone spots any heads I’ve missed in the following photographs, I’ll thank you for not mentioning it.

Petunias, geraniums, erigeron

We have many petunias. These, with geraniums and erigeron, grace the sitting room wall.

Petunias and fuchsiaPetunias geraniums, and lobelia

These, in a basket hanging over the shady path, blend well with a dangling fuchsia and lobelia above;

Begonia and petunias 1Begonia and petunias 2

accompany begonias,

Dragon Bed

like these above the Dragon Bed,

Petunias

or are planted in beds.

Dahlia Bishop of Llandaff

Dahlias, such as Bishop of Lllandaff,

Dahlias, phlox, etcDahlias

and some I can’t identify are cropping up everywhere.

Dead End Path 2Dead End Path 1

This last trio grace the West Bed alongside the Dead End Path.

Bee on dahlia

A furry bee is cleverly camouflaged by the red and yellow one.

Bee on carpet rose

Other bees explore a carpet rose

Bee on salvia

and a salvia,

Salvias, cosmos, etc

two varieties of which are potted at the corner of the Kitchen Bed.

Crysanthemums

These chrysanthemums speak to the phlox behind.

Geraniums

I have no idea how many geraniums fill this stone urn nearby. Last autumn they were all little broken stems that the Head Gardener stuck in soil and nurtured through the winter.

Hibiscus

Hibiscus, Japanese anemones etc

Hibiscuses and Japanese anemones such as these on opposite sides of the Brick Path are typical of late summer blooms.

Penstemon and Festive Jewel

Another happy juxtaposition is that of the penstemons and Festive Jewel in the Rose Garden.

Fuchsia Lady in Black climber and hydrangea

The climbing fuchsia Lady in Black, against the pink hydrangea backdrop, has begun its ascent up the new arch beside the greenhouse;

Clematis

while the White clematis climbing the obelisk in the Kitchen Bed still flowers.

Shady PathPhantom PathThe Heligan Path

Jackie has produced her own individual signage for our paths,

Cryptomeria Japonica

and such as the Cryptomeria.

Palm Bed

Finally, here is a view across the Palm Bed.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s lemon chicken, breaded mushrooms, boiled potatoes, crunchy carrots, and crisp spring greens. One of the advantages of being a wine drinker is that, after a tipple on the patio, I have some left for my dinner. It doesn’t seem to work like that with Hoegaarden. I drank Cimarosa, reserva privada cabernet sauvignon 2012.

 

 

 

Ancient And Modern

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We spent most of the day with Becky and Ian at Emsworth.

Following a wander about the town, we lunched at The Greenhouse Café, then walked down South Street to the harbour, returning to Becky and Ian’s flat in North Street.

Tattoo Studio

Opposite the flat a new tattoo studio has recently opened. Its slogan perhaps reflects its targeted clientele. During the last decade or so this test of endurance has become all the rage.

M.R. Starr butcher & fishmonger, tandem cyclists and reflection

M.R.Starr butcher & fishmonger and bead curtain

edibleemsworth.co.uk describes M. R. Starr in the High Street as a high class butchers/fishmongers serving both the general public and local restaurants. The rear rider on this passing tandem seemed content with her apple. Note the bull woven into the bead curtain screening the front door.

H.H. Treagust and sons butchers

Further along the street stands another butcher’s whose website tells us that ‘H. H. Treagust & Sons is a family run butchers that has been trading for 90 years. It was founded by Harry Hurst Treagust in 1924 and is now owned by Richard (Great-grandson). Richard together with son Benjamin, wife Suzanne , cousin Raymond Treagust and John Pugh continue to maintain Treagust’s reputation of providing top quality goods and service.

To mark this 90th year on the High Street, son Benjamin has expanded the range of sausages available – HARRY’S Posh Pork Sausages “Flavours For All Seasons.”  So check out the blackboards for this weeks special!’

Mungo Brooks Emporium

Becky is often used as a consultant for charitable organisations setting up events material on line. One of her useful messages is the advice not to mix fonts. Perhaps those responsible for the recently new image of Mungo Brooks Emporium could have used her services.

Jackie, Derrick, & Ian in Mungo Brooks Emporium window

In this second picture Jackie has joined Ian and me in the reflections.

Public Library

Those readers capable of deciphering mirror writing will know that the public library is situated in Nile Street.

A Victorian Chapel to St Peter,

The Greenhouse Café 1The Greenhouse Café 2The Greenhouse Café 3

a cinema, and a theatre are all previous incarnations of the excellent Greenhouse Café where we enjoyed our lunch. It will come as no surprise that my choice was the all day big breakfast.

Dog in boot

Becky had asked a gentleman leading a rather large animal what it was. ‘It’s a dog’ he replied. This caused great hilarity. He wasn’t sure of the breed because it belonged to his sister. Becky identifies it as an American bulldog. A little later we observed it being stuffed in a boot.

The Coal Exchange

We walked past The Coal Exchange pub on the way down South Street to the harbour.

Bicycle bell

The tiles outside provided a tasteful backdrop to the brightly coloured bell attached to the bicycle leaning against the wall.

Flintstones Tearooms 1Flintstones Tearooms 2

At the bottom of the Flintstones Tea Rooms was doing very well;

Harbour 1Harbour 2

a small sailing vessel was being laid to rest against the harbour wall.

Eagle lectern St James's Church

We spent a short time in the Victorian St James’s church, with its splendid brass eagle lectern,

Stained Glass window St James's Church 1Stained Glass window St James's Church 2

its typical stained glass of the period,

Communion Table St James's Church

and its modern communion table.

Back at home this evening Jackie and I dined on pizza and salad.

The Great Escape

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With the return of the sunshine I carried out a little more tidying in the garden, especially dead-heading of roses, including

Rose Absolutely Fabulous

Absolutely Fabulous,

Rose Crown Princess Margareta

Crown Princess Margareta,

Rose pink climber

and a pink climber recovered by Elizabeth.

Wisteria in Kitchen Bed

This wisteria occupied the Kitchen Bed when we arrived three years ago. Despite the Head Gardener’s best efforts it has never flowered.

Chilean lantern bush

The Chilean lantern bush, on the other hand, is once more producing blooms;

Pieris

and new shoots are emerging on the pieris on the grass patch.

Gazebo Path

Although the agapanthuses took such a battering from the recent storms that they wound up in a vase indoors, some still line the Gazebo Path.

Snapdragons, geraniums, lobelia

Little blue lobelias peep out from beneath rich red snapdragons and geraniums the Back Drive barrier,

Lobelia Queen Victoria

while their taller relatives named Queen Victoria tower in the Oval Bed.

Ginger lily

We have a number of ginger lilies.

Hummingbird moth

The warmth of the sun brought out numerous insects. Hummingbird moths hovered among the pink phlox. I needed many unsuccessful attempts to acquire this less than wonderful image of a constantly flapping creature I think is new to our country.

Red Admiral on verbena bonarensis

Verbena bonarensis blooms attracted both stable, lightweight, Red Admirals

Bee on verbena bonarensis 1Bee on verbena bonarensis 2

and bees that teetered somewhat.

Bee on salvia farinacea

Bees also plundered salvias,

Bee on bidens

bidens,

Bee on geranium palmatum

and geranium palmatums.

Insect on cosmos

I could not identify some tiny creatures like this one on a cosmos,

Insect on bronze fennel

or this one cleverly camouflaged by bronze fennel.

Sweet peas and gladioli whiteFly on sweet pea, gladioli

A fly was attracted by the ensemble of white sweet peas and gladioli.

Rudbeckia distributed

Rudbeckia snaked from bed to bed in this picture for which I must apologise to the Head Gardener because I did not remove the fallen branch before making it.

Spider 1

This spider was in for a disappointment.

Wasp on web line 1Wasp on web line 2

I could almost hear it licking its chops as it prepared its larder for the wasp that seemed ensnared by its web line.

Wasp and spider 1Wasp and spider 2Wasp and spider 3Wasp and spider 4Wasp and spider 5Wasp and spider 6

The tiny spider perfected the trap as its larger prey frantically twisted, turned, and span in its efforts to escape being drawn in.

Wasp and spider 7

Eventually the prospective dinner hauled itself to safety, and sped off, leaving the hungry spider to creep into hiding and lurk in wait for another victim.

This evening Jackie produced an excellent dinner of chicken Kiev, savoury rice, tasty ratatouille, and crisp runner beans. She drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Bordeaux.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leaves On The Water

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We just had time this morning to transport the contents of two orange bags of clippings to Efford Recycling Centre before steady rain descended for the rest of the day. After a trip to Sears barbers in Milford on Sea for Peter to cut my hair, I scanned the next dozen colour slides from November 2004. One image wasn’t really good enough, so I deleted it.

Mepham Street SE1 11.04

Mepham Street SE1 stands beneath the main entrance of Waterloo Station. The BFI IMAX cinema that towers above the railway is described thus by Wikipedia:

The BFI IMAX is an IMAX cinema in the South Bank district of London, just north of Waterloo station. It is owned by the British Film Institute and since July 2012 has been operated by Odeon Cinemas.[1]

The cinema is located in the centre of a roundabout junction with Waterloo Road to the south-east, Stamford Street to the north-east, York Road to the south-west and Waterloo Bridge to the north-west.

The BFI IMAX was designed by Bryan Avery of Avery Associates Architects[2] and completed in May 1999. The screen is the largest in Britain (20m high and 26m wide). It has a seating capacity of just under 500 and a 12,000 Watt digital surround sound system. Although the site is surrounded by traffic and has an underground line just four metres below, the architects and engineers accounted for this in their design and the entire upper structure sits on anti vibration bearings to prevent noise propagation.

The cinema won several awards at the time of opening, including a Design Council Millennium Product Award[3] in 1999 and a Civic Trust Award in 2000.[4]

In 2012, the screen was replaced and a digital IMAX projector was installed alongside the existing 70mm projector. In July 2012, the BFI announced that Odeon Cinemas had been selected to operate it for the next five years, with the option of termination after three years. Odeon will maintain the film programmes, and booking of tickets online and per telephone. This also gives customers the opportunity to watch Operas on the giant screen. The BFI will retain a great deal of power over the cinema’s operation however, including parts of the film schedule and the technical operation.[5] The name will remain the same.

To start this move to mainstream cinema, the BFI London IMAX theatre celebrated by having sold 66,000 pre-booked tickets for The Dark Knight Rises in just 5 weeks, giving a total sale in tickets of £1,000,000 even before the premiere of the movie.’

Perhaps it is a little early to discover whether the five year contract has been renewed.

Boyce Street SE1

The Waterloo Station entrance is viewed here from Boyce Street SE1. In the early 20th century, the station was completely redesigned and rebuilt, reopening in 1922. The Victory Arch over the entrance commemorates World War I.

Midland Road NW1 11.04

The redevelopment of Kings Cross, St Pancras, and their environs was under way in 2004, as shown in this picture of Midland Road NW1. Maybe the man in the hard hat has left the heavily craned background for a lunch break.

Euston Road/Mabledon Place NW1 11.04

On the other side of Euston Road, at number 130, on the corner of Mabledon Place, stands the headquarters of the Public Service Union, the second largest in UK.

Kingsway WC2 11.04

I often walked across Kingsway WC2 on my way to my consultancy work at Portugal Prints,

St Clement's Lane WC2 11.04

the entrance to which is shown here on the corner of St Clement’s Lane.

Little Turnstile/Gate Street WC2 11.04

My route took me past Ship Tavern at the corner of Gate Street and Little Turnstile WC1. londonremembers.com tells us that ‘this tavern was established in the year 1549. During the proscription of the Roman Catholic religion it was used as a shelter for priests and services were held here secretly. The neighbourhood was once notorious for the gambling houses of Whetstone Park. Famous visitors have been Richard Penderell, who aided King Charles’s escape, Bayford, shoemaker and antiquarian. The woman Chevalier d’Eon, who lived as a man, and Smeaton the builder of the first Eddystone Lighthouse. It was a centre of Freemasonry and a Lodge with the number 234 was consecrated here by the Grand Master the Earl of Antrim in 1786.’ The hostelry was rebuilt in 1923.

Whetstone Park/Gate Street WC2

When I photographed Whetstone Park a traffic warden was no doubt relishing writing out this parking ticket. Maybe someone got the wrong idea from the name of the street.

Remnant Street/Lincoln's Inn Fields WC2 11.04

That little area led me to Lincoln’s Inn Fields and to the above-mentioned Portugal Prints.

London Mews W2

The Dickens Tavern, on the corner of London Street and London Mews WC2, boasts of being London’s longest pub. It certainly goes on forever, possibly the whole length of the mews. It is, of course, not very wide.

Leaves on canal 11.04

I must have ventured onto the towpath of the Regent’s canal when taking one of these walks, because another photograph of leaves on the water has crept into this set.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips, Garner’s pickled onions, and Tesco’s wallies, followed by strawberries and ice cream.

Tree House Construction Manual

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The weather in Newark in June 1992 was drier than it is at the moment. Today I therefore scanned a batch of colour negatives produced during that month.

Building Tree House 1

Building Tree House 2

The erection of a rather splendid tree house in a false acacia tree in the garden of Lindum House had begun before I began to record it. Sam and Louisa had enlisted the help of brothers Gavin and Ian to begin the project.

Building Tree House 3

Louisa was a willing hod carrier, bearing planks for the flooring;

Building Tree House 4Building Tree House 6Building Tree House 7

further invention was employed for hauling up greater quantities. You may be forgiven for imagining that William Heath Robinson exerted some influence on this ingenuity. One rope was extended from this tree to another on the other side of the lawn. Attached to this was another bearing a faggot of heavy planks hauled across by Sam, in the bottom left of the picture. Gavin, up aloft awaited its arrival. This took me back to Kennards department store in Wimbledon which had a similar system for conveying cash from counter to office. As will be seen from this photograph you cannot keep a lawn while children are young and you have to accommodate a swing and goalposts.

Building Tree House 8Building Tree House 9

Gavin and Ian began the task of heaving the floorboards up to the required level.

Building Tree House 10Building Tree House 12Building Tree House 13Building Tree House 15Building Tree House 16Building Tree House 17Building Tree House 18Building Tree House 20Building Tree House 20

Sam was soon up there to add his muscle;

Building Tree House 21

Building Tree House 23Building Tree House 24

eventually the materials reached the required level.

Building Tree House 26

The next storey was soon in place.

Building Tree House 27

The roof bore the combined weight of Sam and James Bird.

Building Tree House 28Building Tree House 29Building Tree House 30

Louisa then joined in the test.

Building Tree House 31Building Tree House 32Building Tree House 33

Up to seven or eight children would sleep overnight in this three storey house.

A sequel to the story of this adventure is told in ‘The Tree House’.

This evening we dined on minted lamb steaks; roasted sweet potato, peppers and mushrooms; new potatoes, carrots, broccoli and greens. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank a 2015 Bordeaux.

 

Play Of Light

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Willows garden 1

Willows garden on Pilley Hill is situated on a steep but manageable incline. The house is perched in the middle of the plot with the effect that the rear beds are on the highest level and the land descends to the lily pond at the bottom.

We visited this colourful exuberance yesterday afternoon. In 2003, the current owners, Elizabeth and Martin Walker, bought a small bungalow with a natural ditch where the

Lily pond 2Lily pond 1Willows garden 4

pond is now situated. The current house was built in 2005.

Willows garden 3Hydrangea

Unusual varieties of hydrangea are one feature.

Herbaceous border 1Herbaceous border 2

The herbaceous borders, on a grand scale,

Bees on dahlias

attract bees

Visitors admiring herbaceous border 1Visitor admiring herbaceous border

and visitors alike.

Dahlias 1Dahlias 2

Some of the dahlias are really quite strident.

Thistle

There are huge thistles

Ferns

and swirling ferns.

Willows garden 5

Plentiful seating was arranged. You could even sit under a parasol and employ your mobile devices;

Willows garden 7

you could sit side by side across the pond and watch the other visitors,

Couple crossing bridge

perhaps walking over one of the bridges,

Heron sculptures

passing a pair of hidden herons;

Jackie and Labrador

or you could sit quietly enjoying your cream teas, provided you were able to ignore the silent pleading of the resident Labrador.

The women washing up and giving out refreshments were not permitted to handle money, so you had to move across the room to pay the keeper of the coffers. This prompted me to recount the story of ‘A Retirement Project’.

Bamboo

Some of the plants would have graced a much hotter environment. A clump of bamboo soared to the skies,

Banana tree

and a banana tree,

Light through banana leaves 1Light through banana leaves 2Light through banana leaves 4Light through banana leaves 5

as we departed, proffered the light a leafy playground.

Balloon in oak tree

The final surprise was the balloon tree.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla where my main course was king prawn naga and Jackie’s was chicken hariali. We shared special fried rice, a paratha, and an onion bahji; both drank Kingfisher.