This morning, following the advice Mike gave me yesterday, we went in search of The Old House. Google informed us that this was in Lymington Road in Milford on Sea. It has, of course, quite a different postcode. Jackie drove us up and down this road, and we couldn’t find it. The most likely candidate had a lovely old brick wall, but the house looked a little different from the photograph that had appeared in Country Life, and was one of the few grand houses in this road that did not bear a name. Having seen an advertisement for an antiques fair at the Community Centre, Jackie suggested she left me to search on foot and meet her at the fair. That seemed a good plan.
I wandered into South Lawn Hotel to see if I could find anyone who knew the house. The very helpful staff printed out Google’s directions. These looked promising until they told me to turn left into Church Hill. Church Hill was on the right. It did not cross Lymington Road. So I turned right. The directions took me to River Gardens, actually opposite the Community Centre. The Old House was not there.
I went into the Centre to see whether anyone knew it. Peter who was on the door, didn’t know the property. I had no money, so couldn’t pay the £1 entrance fee. He let me in, so I could update Jackie with lack of progress. No-one could be found who could direct me. Peter suggested I might try the newsagent who may deliver papers there. I did. They didn’t. Back at the Community Centre, Peter introduced me to Chris, who did know the house, and directed me to what had been the most likely candidate. So, back up the hill I trotted.
Having reached my goal, a wonderful 18th Century building, I met Mrs Libby Paling, who was very helpful. She had, of course, been redirecting my bank statements from the stubborn MyBarclays, but now said she would speak to her postman. Mike had told me it was normal practice for postpersons to hand any letters carrying postcodes not on their rounds that found their way into their bundles, to the correct person, but Libby’s postman didn’t do this.
Jackie met me at the top of Church Hill and drove us home.
This afternoon we cut the grass. Jackie’s chosen method was a close manicure with a pair of scissors. I used a pair of rusty but serviceable sheers and a strimmer.
Mum and Elizabeth came for tea and stayed for dinner. We sat on the patio for a while, then did the tour of the garden. A multitude of insects shared our promenade. Most were welcome. That did not extend to the mosquitos. The ice plants attracted different kinds of bee:
Before dinner we sat in the kitchen and opened the skylight. This disturbed a false widow spider that dropped onto my, fortunately still empty, plate. I decanted the arachnid into the garden and washed the dish.
On the clean plate I enjoyed our dinner of exquisite sausage casserole; mashed potato; and crisp broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and cabbage; followed by a choice of blackberry and apple crumble, lemon and lime merangue pie, or lemon drizzle cake. Elizabeth and I drank more of the chianti and Jackie almost finished the lambrusco.