Trawling Charity Shops

Flo is seeking items to use in making a baby’s mobile. In particular she is collecting beads. One very good source of such material is Charity Shops which now populate most of our High Streets. One such is New Milton’s Station Road.

This afternoon Flo walked the length of the road investigating these outlets,

while I wandered up and down with my camera.

As usual, all the pictures are titled in the galleries.

This gentleman apparently absorbed in the Mencap window

revealed his lassitude as he departed with his companion leaving the store.

This gentleman patiently waiting to cross the road carries his own tribute to Queen Elizabeth II’s upcoming 70th Jubilee celebrations at the beginning of June.

While walking along the street I picked up a wallet from the gutter. This contained a certain amount of identifying material but nothing of monetary value. In an effort to return it to its owner, possibly one from Australia with South London connections and a long name unpronounceable by this Englishman, I took it to the local police office,

where I was confronted with instructions as to how to proceed. I left the wallet on top of the box.

I expect you have all spotted me.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s most wholesome stewp consisting of chicken and goodness knows what else – all somehow blending perfectly – with crusty fresh bread and no alcohol required.

Race For Life

Another gloomy day and a joyful batch of rediscovered colour slides. The morning’s task – obviously – was to scan them.

These are from Nottingham’s Race for Life in June 2006.

Daughter-in-Law, Heidi is the tall woman in the centre of the throng gathering for the off.

Louisa, Gemma S, Heidi, and Emily raring to go; Gemma and Louisa taking on early refreshments.

Confident granddaughter, Emily, two months after representing Croydon in the Mini London Marathon, meant serious business.

Louisa and her friend, Gemma, were out to have fun, as well as

raise funds for Cancer Research in honour of Gemma’s Dad and Louisa’s mother who was also Heidi’s mother-in-law, and Emily’s grandmother.

Like her daughter, Heidi was comfortable throughout.

It was perhaps a little tougher for some.

Here, the ladies proudly sport their medals. Gemma was Gemma B on the day. She would soon marry Paul S, who stands beside her, as Louisa would soon marry Errol, standing beside her.

This afternoon’s scanning was of the next four ‘Little Dorrit’ illustrations by Charles Keeping.

‘Minnie was there, alone’, giving the artist an opportunity for a romantic, bucolic, scene;

while, in ‘She started up suddenly, with a half-scream’, and ‘Mr Flintwinch gravely pledged him’, we recognise the book’s most evil character (adopting an alias) and the elderly couple from their earlier manifestations.

‘She bounced across to the opposite pavement’ depicts the haughtiness of Little Dorrit’s sister taking offence at the humbler young woman’s escorting a pauper.

This evening we dined on well-baked pork chops topped with almond flakes; sage and onion stuffing; crisp Yorkshire pudding; roast potatoes and parsnips; firm carrots and cauliflower; tender cabbage and runner beans, with spicy gravy. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank Réserve de Bonpas 2019.

The Three Peaks Challenge

Hoverfly on verbascumMost of our verbascums have been ravaged by caterpillars. Some, perhaps protected by hoverflies, have survived. Salvia microphyllaThere are some wonderful scents in the garden. Some simply pervade the atmosphere. Others, like this salvia microphylla, a woody shrub native to Arizona and Mexico, emit their fragrance from crushed, or simply rubbed, leaves. These have odours of mint and blackcurrant. At 7 a.m. this morning, my daughter Louisa set off with her friend Claire to attempt the Three Peaks Challenge. Louisa and ClaireThey must climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, and Snowdon in 24 hours. Having each lost their mother to the condition, they seek sponsorship for Cancer Research. They look beautifully excited don’t they? Louisa is on the viewer’s left. She first climbed Scafell when she was about seven. This was one of my trips made in an unsuccessful attempt, accompanied by Jessica and Sam, to cure my fear of heights. As we neared the summit, the little girl slipped on some scree. That was it for me. Vertigo is much worse when there are children involved. I could go no further. The others made it to the top whilst I remained paralysed.
Today, my lovely daughter, you will make it.
Should any of my readers feel like donating, here is the link: and Claire at Ben Nevis InnLouisa and Paul at Ben Nevis Inn
Jackie shopped early this morning and bought me a nice new pair of gardening gloves. Oh, ‘frabjous (Lewis Carroll in ‘Through the Looking Glass) day’. That meant I could continue clearing the front garden. I made enough progress in this to realise that the invasive lonicera hedge and brambles from next door run down the side of the house at the front as well. I shouldn’t have been surprised really.
Late in the afternoon we drove to West End to visit Mum. The traffic was so bad that the journey took almost two hours. After spending time with Mum we collected Elizabeth and the three of us dined at Eastern Nights in Thornhill, where the food was as good as ever, and the service as friendly. With more staff on than we have known, there was no extended waiting time, either.
On the way home we learned that the two young women and their male companion and dog had scaled Ben Nevis in four hours fifteen minutes, which was bang on target. They looked fit for their next mountain, Scafell Pike in the Lake District.