Anticipation

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.Mudeford Quay 1

Early this morning Jackie drove me out to Mudeford Quay for a photoshoot.

Neatly piled up are fishermen’s equipment, such as

Ropes and chains

ropes and chains,

Crab pot

and what I believe are crab pots,

Buoys

and marker buoys.

Yacht and buoy on Solent

It must have been the hazy heat that led us to water for the second day running. Even quite early it wrapped The Needles and their lighthouse in clingfilm as a yacht slipped past the Isle of Wight and a buoy bobbed in the bay.

Holiday accommodation

Holidaymakers were emerging from their picturesque accommodation,

Rowers 1

Rower and lady

but otherwise families had not yet driven in their droves when we arrived and I wandered around watching various aquatic activities such as rowing;

Punting

what I am grateful to several commenters below, to be able to call paddle-boarding;

Yachting

yachting;

Casting

and casting for fish.

Motor boat leaners

Discussion about plans for the day took place while leaning on a boat,

Man on mobile

or by means of the mobile phone. This paddling gentleman was soon joined by two children and a woman who rang to ask where he was. He was amused when I showed him the picture.

Gull

Even the gulls kept largely out of sight, except for one looking startled on the water,

Rooftop with gull

and another surveying the scene from a rather motley rooftop.

Roofing

Nearby, a roofer’s head was already lit by the sun which would soon bear straight down on him;

Watering hanging basket

and The Haven staff were already watering the hanging baskets.

In eager anticipation of the first ferry trip to Hengistbury Head

Down to the ferry 1

Down to the ferry 2

families surged onto the quay

Down to the ferry 3

Down to the ferry 4

and formed an ever-lengthening queue.

Down to the ferry 5

Down to the ferry 6

Down to the ferry 7

The transport arrived on time and eager embarkation began.

Steps

The barriers around the quayside are to prevent anyone taking a dive down the steps leading up to the platform.

Down to the ferry 8

This father looked as if he was feeling the strain;

Down to the ferry 9

until he entered the boat and his partner brought along the empty buggy.

Down to the ferry 10Down to the ferry 11

The last few boarders took their places,

Ferry

and the fully laden boat set off.

Dog, reader, gull

As I returned to the car I spotted a large sandy dog excavating the spit across the water.

This afternoon I gave Jackie token assistance with watering the garden.

This even we dined on the Culinary Queen’s wholesome sausage, bacon, and heart casserole. She drank Hoegaarden and I quaffed more of the Côtes du Rhône.

Chain Reactions

Having read Jane Gardam’s introduction to it, last night I began reading Molly Keane’s 1981 novel, ‘Good Behaviour’.

Early this morning Jackie drove us to Ringwood to make a bank transfer; to visit Ellis Jones solicitors; and to buy some eggs and veg. Rain throughout the night had replenished all the familiar pools, one of which required me to make a wide detour in order in order to pay for parking.

Car park poolTeetering on a low concrete kerb, I was in danger of stepping involuntarily into the swirling water sent rippling by cars driving through it. In those circumstances one expanding ripple is rapidly followed by another which in turn is ultimately superseded by a smaller one.

Back in October, we felt able, at last, to make an offer for The Old Post House. This was because the buyer of the London house part-owned by Jackie had pressed for completion of his purchase before Christmas, claiming he had both deposit and mortgage agreed in principal. It was not an accurate presentation of his position and caused inordinate delay consequent upon constantly moving goalposts. That sale is now complete, and today we transferred our purchase deposit to our solicitor’s client account. We await exchange and completion dates.

It is more than twenty six years since I bought a house in this country and a lot has changed in that time, not just the prices. Never before have I been caught in a chain. I now understand why our English system is considered to be such a nightmare. For those unfamiliar with this, a chain is the term given to the queue that is created by the fact that most people need to sell one house before they can buy another. No-one can be sure that any one purchase will not break down. Thus if I promise you a certain amount of money for your house, you may then promise someone else a figure for their house. I may have undertaken to buy your property based on another person’s promise to buy mine. If  my purchaser reneges, I cannot buy your place, and you cannot proceed with your purchase.

The Ashcombe Road house I bought when I was 21 was my first, and there was no onward chain. All I had to do was secure a mortgage. In 1963 the amount one could borrow was based upon one salary only. It is my conviction that the major reason for constantly rising prices is the relaxation of that regulation, effectively meaning two salaries, and eventually even more, would be required.

It was in 1968 that I bought the second house, in fact the London one mentioned above. Again there was no chain. The price that year was £5,000. It has just fetched £745,000.

There was an ongoing chain in the purchase of the Gracedale Road house in 1980, but, no-one having misrepresented their position, all went smoothly. Again, the transition from there to Lindum House in Newark in 1987, was unproblematic. Perhaps, until now, I have just been fortunate.

Derrick 1962Nothing is certain about photo number 46 in the ‘through the ages’ series, except that it was taken during the period when I was blissfully ignorant about the processes of buying and selling property. Wimbledon Common is the most likely location, and Vivien the probable photographer sometime in 1962.

We also have a term ‘chain reaction’. This is employed when one event, usually a disaster, follows upon another. Whilst I was writing the above notes, I received a call from Wells garage giving the diagnosis on Jackie’s Modus. The water pump had failed. This caused the engine to overheat. That destroyed the head gasket. Oil mixed with water. As, it seems, with everything else on this make of car, labour is intensive because the design is such that, even to change a headlamp bulb requires a complete dismantling job. We are stretched so far on the house purchase that now is not the time to contemplate the purchase of a new car. A quick discussion resulted in the decision to have the car repaired at a cost of £1,200. That sum in 1962 would have been £50 short of 50% of the cost of the first house mentioned above. Given that we had forgotten about stamp duty for house purchases and almost everything seems to have VAT added, I suppose you’d also call the car problem a double whammy.

Jackie on footpathReflections in waterlogged fieldsStream into Eyeworth PondThe late afternoon and early evening were bright and clear. We drove up to Eyeworth Pond near Fritham and walked along the gravel footpath, now, like the surrounding fields pretty waterlogged. On 10th November last year the pond was not as full, and the terrain not as covered in water as it was today. A rivulet feeding the lake had then trickled its way across the heathland through which the path runs. Today the rivulets were new threads speeding into what is currently a fast moving stream that could be heard from a distance. The now familiar devastation to the trees was here, in parts, even more dramatic than in some other areas. My photograph shows what is nothing more than a huge limb torn from a nearby tree, the shattered shards giving an indication of the force with which it had come crashing down.

Chilli con carne (recipe); wild rice and peas; and strawberry jelly in evaporated milk provided our sustenance this evening. I finished the malbec.Waterlogged fieldsFallen branches