My New Wife

Today was largely spent on the last of our Christmas shopping and wrapping presents.

Jackie made some purchases from Tesco early in the morning, then

drove me to Lymington High Street.

While she waited in the car park I walked down to the Perfumer’s and back.

Among the various shop windows I passed were those of so many charities that I reflected on this trend of our UK high streets, and wondered whether

this apparently derelict premises was destined to join its neighbours.

Our next venue was Setley Ridge Garden Centre where among its displays we found our final gift.

We arrived at the cash desk at the same time as another shopping family, the aunt of which was assumed to be my wife. This caused a certain amount of hilarious banter.

It being Flo’s birthday, we will all be dining with Becky, who has arrived here, and Ian who we will meet there, to celebrate at Lal Quilla.

On Station Road

Jackie really enjoys the garden view from the stable door.

Here it was early this morning.

At the moment she is putting the rows of watering cans to repeated use on a daily basis.

After I had taken the above photographs my Chauffeuse drove me along Christchurch Road, where we passed

baled hay being loaded up, on our way to

New Milton Residents’ Association Wildflower Meadow. True to form the bees favoured cornflower blue.

Jackie then drove me round the roundabout and deposited me at the start of Station Road along which I walked to a bench providing a vantage point for people watching until she finished shopping at Tesco and carried me home.

I will let the photographs speak for themselves.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent steak and mushroom pie; boiled potatoes; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; tender green beans; and tasty gravy, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank a fine Contenda Shiraz 2017 given to me for my birthday by Helen and Bill.

Just The Business


Especially in the mud and rain, watching me struggle to change camera lenses, or switch devices from a commercial camera bag, set Jackie’s creative juices flowing. She decided to make me a lighter, more user friendly bag. Setting off to scour charity shops seeking a quilted jacket which she thought should be obtainable for about £5.00, she returned with one that had cost £4.99. She ran it through the washing machine , dried it off, and cut it up.

For the last few days she has been creating a gadget bag, every stitch applied by hand.

Lens bag in the making

Whilst we watched the ITV coverage of the Wales v. Italy Six Nations rugby match, Jackie continued sewing the lens bag.

Lens bag

It has three divisions inside: one of each lens and one for the small SX700 HS camera. One lens was on the camera when I took this shot.  But, you never know, I may one day buy another, macro, one.  All the bag now needs are velcro strips to hold the cover in place.


This is what it looks like in situ. Just the business.

This evening, Elizabeth visited and she and I worked on a letter we are writing about the appallingly unsafe shower room that her Social Services department have left our mother with for the last twelve months. I will hold my powder on full details until the powers that be have or have not responded within the next working week.

Sag paneer

Afterwards, the three of us dined on Jackie’s excellent chicken jalfrezi, her savoury rice, and her newly created superb sag paneer. Elizabeth and I drank Chateau Plessis grand vin de Bordeaux 2014; and Jackie drank sparkling water.

A Bouncing Baby Boy

We drove back to Highcliffe early this afternoon, for Jackie to shop and for me to walk.

The contrast between this moist Monday and yesterday’s sunny Sunday was marked.  Highcliffe beach was deserted except for me and a jogger. Gorse, Highcliffe 1.13 I walked along the cliff top first, before descending to the shore by muddy steps beside which the Council had placed a notice claiming that the provision of this facility did not constitute a right of way.  I wondered whether this was some disclaimer of responsibility should someone have an accident. New Bin 1.13 Near the bottom of this path, a correctly labelled ‘New Bin’ had been installed. It is definitely not an old one.  On the shingle, where yesterday Sam and Malachi had watched the receding tide, were wading birds, presumably waiting for their supper to be presented by the sands.Wading birds, Highcliffe 1.13

When I met Jackie at the car park, she had not had time for a full tour of the town’s many charity shops.  I therefore joined her to finish the task.  Among other objects, we discovered more contributions to the toy and dressing-up boxes, and a lampshade to replace a weekend casualty.  As mentioned before, Highcliffe has more than its share of charity shops.  I have probably visited them all by now.  What is extremely noticeable is that none of these establishments has the familiar smell of stale clothes which is so prevalent in their London equivalents.

On the way to our destination Jackie slowed for a female pheasant in the road in front of us.  The bird started, veered sideways, flew straight into the windscreen, bounced off, and continued its journey.  This reminded me of one of my earliest memories, from the summer of my third birthday.  I think it was Uncle Bill who was driving us to Brighton.  These are details which emerged in the later telling among the family, so I’m not quite clear about them.  What has remained vivid in my memory, is the image of my younger brother, with me in the back, deciding he wanted to get out of the motoring car, opening the door and doing just that.  Mum screamed; I dashed to the other side to look out and watched Chris, fortunately in a nappy, bouncing across the centre of the road into the path of oncoming traffic.  Bill brought the car to a standstill.  Somebody rushed out and gathered up the happily unharmed little soul.  Fortunately there were fewer, and slower, cars around in 1945, and the M23 hadn’t been invented.  Mind you, we do now have childproof locks.  The problem with them is that it takes a child to work out how to open them.

This evening Jackie produced an excellent lamb jalrezi with pilau rice.  She drank Hoegaarden and I drank Roc des Chevaliers Bordeaux superieur 2010.