CLICK ON ANY IMAGE IN A GROUP TO ACCESS ITS ENLARGED GALLERY
Having received more from neither the French agent nor the solicitor, I left another voicemail this morning and sent another e-mail. I had still not heard from the GP surgery.
It therefore seemed advisable to take up Jackie’s suggestion of a visit to The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, a rather splendid arboretum just outside Romsey.
Mostly we focussed on the colourful winter garden.
Walkers of all ages and abilities strode, staggered, or sprang about in the spring-like sunshine. Some were wheeled. The last of this group of images shows the scale of
one of Tom Hare’s pine cone sculptures constructed from various types of willow, while
the salix sepulcralis stands near the car park.
Many metasequoia Dawns have been planted.
Other fine specimens include Acer griseum, or Chinese Paperbark maple,
plenty of dogwood, and bamboo Phyllostachys Vivax Aureocaulis.
The Rubus Cockburnianus white bramble is rather fascinating.
Our eager nostrils were assailed by the sweet scent of numerous Daphne bhuloa shrubs.
Hellebores, snowdrops, and the earliest flowering narcissi First Hope thrust through the turf.
We lunched at the establishment’s restaurant where there were no free tables. We ate alfresco, which, on this quite balmy day, was no hardship. We resisted lobbing coins into the pool, although we did leave a tip.
It looked as if the gardeners were also taking a lunch break.
A mother and daughter engaged in conversation on the slope beneath a rather magnificent tree house.
Although there is far more to see for another day, we paid a final visit to the Education Garden which has an entrance arch covered in dragonflies,
and a Spanish oak encircled by painted pine cones.
I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a sun through clouds virtual monochrome.
Upon our return, I found a reassuring e-mail from the agent selling my French house. She is in Australia and not managing to access her voicemails. She assures me that the solicitor is to produce the required document and we have a further ten days after the buyer has signed on 12th.
I then set about sorting out the ophthalmic appointment. First I rang the GP surgery. The receptionist gave me the password. I used it to telephone the NHS appointments line where I learned that the reason I had received another cancellation letter was that my revised appointment letter had come direct from the hospital, not through the appointments line. I suggested it might be in my interests to ring the hospital to confirm that. My adviser agreed that that would be a good idea, though probably not necessary.
I rang the hospital where I got no answer. Whilst I was listening to the incessant ring tone, my phone beeped to inform me that I had a text message. When I eventually gave up on the hospital, I looked at the message. This was a missed call alert. I called the number. It belonged to the Brockenhurst surgery. No-one there had phoned me. “It must be a glitch in the system”, I was told. I rang my own surgery again. As usual, I had to pick a number out of a series of options before I got through. The GP’s secretary had been trying to ring me. She wasn’t available now because she was speaking to someone else. “Please tell me I am not going mad”, I pleaded. The receptionist gave me my second piece of reassurance of the afternoon. But the secretary did not ring again.
Having seen what we had for lunch, it will come as no surprise that our dinner consisted of fish fingers, baked beans, and bread and butter, followed by Jackie’s mixed fruit pie. I drank Mendoza Parra Alta Malbec 2017.