Dinner Deferred

After a visit to the pharmacy in Milford on Sea, Jackie and I took a forest drive.

As we entered the narrow Shotts Lane at a point at which it has no passing space we approached a cyclist speaking with two pedestrians standing across the centre strip which doubles as a grass and weed bed because any vehicle’s wheels have perforce to span it. The bicycle and the three people hugged the hedgerow in order for is to wave as we passed by.

Further along, Jackie sat in the car on someone’s drive while I walked back to take this shot. Twice I needed to follow the example of this trio as I squeezed myself against the shrubbery.

Then the original cyclist, offering a second photo opportunity, whizzed smiling past me.

Cud-chewing camouflaged cattle and calves blended with Bull Hill’s browning bracken.

As it is Dillon’s birthday today we wished to surprise him with a meal at Pilley’s

historic Fleur de Lys. I therefore entered the 11th century pub to make a booking. Unfortunately they do not offer food on Sunday night so this wasn’t possible. I also learned the very sad news that the comparatively new management who took over just as the first Covid lockdown was imposed, and are now faced with the current catastrophic cost of living crisis, will be leaving after about two months. Consequently we will have to postpone our grandson-in-law’s introduction.

Tonight’s dinner was deferred.

Black Looks

This afternoon we visited Elizabeth to have a look at her work on a camellia shrub on which she had sought Jackie’s advice yesterday, and to invite her to dinner this evening. She had done a good job and was pleased to accept the invitation.

On this drizzle-dismal day we drove through increasingly descending precipitation for a short while.

The usual group of Shetland ponies crossed Bull Hill in search of fresh pasturage among the gorse and heather. I got a bit wet wandering amongst them.

Virginia creeper draped over trees blended well with the fence around the land attached to the ramshackle house on Pilley Street.

Alongside School Lane, Portmore, a small flock of Valais Blacknose sheep, a German breed originating in the Valais area of Switzerland, did their best to keep their prized wool dry.

Smoke from a garden bonfire drifted across Hundred Lane, the origin of which I imagine being the Old English subdivision of a county or shire. These divisions had their own courts, and sometimes the term was applied to the court itself.

The Oxford English Dictionary states that the origin of the word ‘hundred’ is exceedingly obscure and that very diverse opinions have been given as to its origin. ’It has been regarded as denoting simply a division of a hundred hides of land; as the district which furnished a hundred warriors to the host; as representing the original settlement of the hundred warriors; or as composed of a hundred hides, each of which furnished a single warrior’ (Stubbs Const. Hist. I. v. §45).

’It is certain that in some instances the hundred was deemed to contain exactly 100 hides of land’ (F. W. Maitland).

As to the extent of the hide itself, the dictionary offers that ‘the general conclusion seems to be that it is equal to 120 acres although the area of the acre may vary.’

This evening the three of us dined on Jackie’s hot and spicy paprika pork; boiled new potatoes; crunchy carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli; and tender runner beans with which the Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden, Elizabeth Hop House Lager, and I Séguret Cotes du Rhone Villages 2019.