Chances Of Making It Through Christmas

This Wednesday weather was warm, wet, yet unwilling to welcome the slightest sign of sunshine.

Jackie and I visited Lyndurst for a little Christmas shopping then enjoyed

brunch at Lyndhurst Tea Rooms, after which we took a trip by car into the dripping forest.

A clutch of chickens at East Boldre

gave the cold shoulder to

a pair of geese who were no doubt discussing their chances of making it through Christmas.

Peering through the misty precipitation from the end of Tanner’s Lane I presumed that EU regulations have not  restricted the activities of the sole fishing boat trawling  The Solent at that point.

On such a day as this, loggers burning branches at Norley Wood surely had no need of the flames to keep them warm.

A string of ponies blocking the road at Pilley conveniently stepped aside, just giving me time to bring up the tail.

We retuned home via Burnt House Lane, where there was no flame in sight.

Tomorrow morning, Elizabeth will be driving Mum to a respite care home in Netley. In readiness for this, friends Pauline and Jo sent Elizabeth this photograph, attached to a text with the caption

Cheering up your Mum.

On the wall to the far right of this picture is a charcoal portrait of Elizabeth watching our first television that I made about 60 years ago.

This evening we dined on smoked haddock; creamy mashed potatoes; piquant cauliflower cheese; moist ratatouille; crisp carrots; and tender runner beans. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and Elizabeth and I drank Western Cape Malbec 2018.

A Sodden String

Mum was quite perky when Jackie and I joined her at her home in West End late yesterday afternoon. Two carers were in attendance, one, shadowing the other, cooking our mother’s evening meal. Mum has chosen to go into respite care for another attempt at rehabilitation, rather than continue to struggle at home. Social Services have, we are told, accepted that she should not have been discharged home without far more care than, without seeing her, they were prepared to fund. They will now contribute to full time care, although this will by no means cover the total cost. Further discussion is to be undertaken on Monday.

Jackie and I collected an excellent takeaway meal for Elizabeth and ourselves from Jewels Indian restaurant in Bisterne. This was very good. My wife and I returned home before the waking nighttime carer was due to arrive. My sister was to spend another night with our mother until Jacqueline arrived the next day.

I was totally oblivious of Jackie photographing me watching Bargain Hunt after lunch today.

Elizabeth’s commitment to Mum over this crisis period has meant that she has been unable completely to move into her new home in Pilley.

Jackie and I transported her craft materials to Burnt House Lane this afternoon. These are mostly items for bookbinding and photography. I could barely lift the black iron book press at bottom left of the stack.

We have received plenty of rain in the last few days – enough to begin to leave pools on the lanes, such as Elizabeth’s own Burnt House one.

Shallow wavelets are sent rippling,

and spray spouted, by passing vehicles.

On our return home we were brought to a standstill on Bull Hill by a string of sodden ponies trooping down the road. The grey behind the bushes was soon to join them.

While we were dealing with Elizabeth’s belongings the Barbarians were playing rugby against Argentina at Twickenham. Having recorded the match, I was able to watch it later.

Elizabeth joined us for dinner and will stay a few more days. We dined on Jackie’s excellent beef pie; potatoes, mushrooms, and onions au gratin; and crisp carrots, Brussels sprouts and runner beans. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden while my sister and I finished the Cotes du Rhone.

 

Two Historic Houses

A heavy overnight storm left strong winds to send clouds scudding across bright blue skies throughout the day.

http://www.prestonherts.co.uk/page202.html gives this information about a post-war gift to Britain from Sweden:

‘After World War Two, Britain embarked on an emergency programme to quickly replace homes that had been destroyed during the war – ‘Churchill’s Temporary Housing Programme’. It was the age of the ‘pre-fabs’ -temporary homes, many of which are still inhabited today, more than sixty years later. Included in this construction plan were less than 3000 timber-built homes which were imported during 1945/46 from Sweden as ‘flat-packs’, to be erected on site.

These ‘factory homes’ were the gift of the Swedish government for Britain’s support during the war. They were supplied in sections using ultra tough Baltic pine. In Spartan post-war Britain, they were a sensation -fireplaces in every room; fitted wardrobes in every bedroom. Many sprang up in rural settings – as an inducement to village dwellers to stay put, rather than be seduced by life in towns. They had a minimum life-span of over 150 years, but out of 2,444 built, only perhaps half remain.

 They are snug and warm – being insulated by a buttercup yellow natural felt made from sheep’s wool. Trust the Swedes to provide efficient means of combating the cold! Most DIY jobs can be completed using a hammer and nails.

 Their unique place in twentieth century architectural and social history is such that English Heritage is seeking to list some, as forerunners of modern ecological housing. The sense of light and spaciousness, warmth and sturdiness has encouraged many to choose to continue living in them.’ 

Some of these dwellings remain occupied in the New Forest village of Pilley.

Elizabeth, Estate Agent, Jackie

One, at 17 Burnt House Lane, is the first of two prospective purchases we accompanied Elizabeth in viewing. My sister and Jackie are here in the front garden.

Elizabeth, Estate Agent, Jackie

Behind them can be seen the well placed conservatory.

Windows

As a holiday let the house has been very well maintained, both externally and

Lounge, 17 Burnt House Lane

internally.

Roof tiles

The original roof remains intact.

Field

This parched field stretches along the opposite side of

the lane.

With much to think about and discuss, we lunched at the Walhampton Arms, Lymington. The meals were rather more substantial than we had anticipated, so we won’t need much more than a sandwich later this evening. My choice was juicy and tender steak and Otter ale pie with chips, broccoli, and tasty gravy. Jackie enjoyed a massive cheese and pickle baguette with salad and chips (which she hadn’t anticipated); and Elizabeth’s goats cheese tartlet was also large and served with salad and chips. I drank Razor Back, which is the revamped name of Ringwood’s Best bitter; Jackie drank Diet Coke, and Elizabeth coffee and water.

After this we were held to a slow trip along the A337 on our way to Eling, by a string of decked out ponies and traps.

Consequently we were a little late for viewing 10 Eling Hill, the Grade 2 listed building dating back to the 16th century that was the next viewing Elizabeth had arranged.

10 Eling Hill

From the agent’s brochure I scanned the front view of this end of terrace property,

10 Eling Hill

and its beamed lounge.

We had viewed two houses each of different historic interest. The first, safe from future surrounding development in the New Forest National Park, with its specific significance as a gift of gratitude to this country after the Second World War; the second, in a small attractive hamlet surrounded by the spread of Totton and Southampton, yet having stood for more than four hundred years.