Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong

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Sections of my head need tweaking I attempted to manage two of them this morning. Neither was particularly straightforward.

A certain amount of nasal congestion appears to have blocked my left ear. I had made a non-urgent appointment with my GP for this morning. She informed me that both ears need syringing to remove a surfeit of wax On two occasions in the past this has been done free of charge in my GP surgeries. There is no longer funding for this, so I have two choices. I can have a referral to an NHS hospital where there would be a long wait, or I can pay £30 per ear to a private clinic. Thanking my lucky stars that I can afford it, I opted for the private route.

Given the demography of this area, there are a number of Hearing Centres in New MIlton. It would be a simple matter to select one.

While I was at the practice surgery I enquired about the referral letter for the necessary cataract adjustment that was to come from Boots Opticians. This had not been received. Jackie drove me to the optometrist where I was given a duplicate to take back to Milford on Sea. The gentleman kindly put it into an envelope for me.

Although Boots does apparently also deal with ears, it seemed sensible to visit the Hearing Centre directly opposite. After all, they don’t get distracted by eyes.

They don’t do wax removal. Neither does anyone else in the town. I was given a card for The Private Ear Clinic which has bases in Hythe and in Milford on Sea.

Back in the car, I had a look at the optometrist’s referral letter. It had been sent to the wrong freaking surgery.

Back out of the car, I returned to Boots where the eye man owned up to his mistake. I said something to the effect that we all make mistakes and I’d settle for calling him a berk. He altered the address. Jackie was going back to Milford to meet her sisters, so she took the form to deliver to the GP.

Back home I phoned the ear clinic, opted for the Milford venue, and made an appointment.

Where is the clinic?

It is in the hospital alongside the GP surgery. You go in the same door and turn left to enter the main building. One more example of private medicine being carried out in NHS property. I suppose our ailing public body needs the rent, otherwise they may have to sell the building for a housing development that no local people have the means to live in.

Tomorrow I have a quarterly teeth clean arranged. The rest of the time I do it myself. This is also a private arrangement, because even NHS treatment is now costly, and you can’t pick your time. Surely nothing can possibly go wrong.

We did have a light frost a couple of nights ago, but most of the garden has remained unscathed.

After lunch I set about photographing some of the survivors. Did I mention that I became rather damp getting in and out of the car? That is because, although the temperature was much milder, it rained all day. Not to be deterred I started in the front garden, but didn’t get very far.

Solanum

On the trellis we still have solanum,

Rose pink climber

pink roses,

Pelargonium

 and pelargoniums in hanging baskets;

Clematis Mrs N. Thompson

as for Mrs N. Thompson, what is she doing up at this time?

Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums still have strength to scale the front of the garage door

Pelargoniums and solanum

against which lighter pink pelargoniums flirt with another solanum.

Bidens and petunias

Self-seeded bidens venture towards the pavement outside, beneath continually cascading petunias.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s lemon chicken, roast potatoes, cauliflower, and sautéed onions and leeks. I drank Tulga Toro 2013

 

 

Our Industrial Past

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I forgot to mention yesterday that when I returned home I found that my cheque from Laithwaite’s had been delivered.

The Félicité Perpétue rose in the front garden has been sending thorny tentacles across the drive. This morning I restrained them with green wire.

Marguerites

Alongside the marguerites that accompany the rose,

Nasturtium

a nasturtium trumpeted its presence.

Clematis Mrs N. Thompson and solanum

Opposite, the clematis Mrs. N. Thompson and solanums

Bee and honeysuckle

twine amongst the honeysuckle from which bees flit to and fro.

Hollyhock

This new hollyhock is in bloom along the back drive.

In June 1981, I made a series of colour slides of gasometers. I scanned them this afternoon.

Gasometer 6.81008

Gasometer 6.81 2

Gasometer 6.81 1

Here are sections of side views;

Gasometer 6.81 3

and one of a top.

Gasometers

There are glimpses of three in this image.

Gasometer and car wrecks 6.81 1Gasometer and car wrecks 6.81 2

I cannot, for the life of me, remember where these were. Maybe the car wrecks could provide a pointer for anyone who may help identify them;

Snapdragons on wall

or maybe these snapdragons? Perhaps not.

The major problem for anyone attempting to assist is that these emblems of our industrial past may no longer exist.

This is what Wikipedia has to say about our gasometers: ‘A gas holder, sometimes called a gasometer, is a large container in which natural gas or town gas is stored near atmospheric pressure at ambient temperatures. The volume of the container follows the quantity of stored gas, with pressure coming from the weight of a movable cap. Typical volumes for large gasholders are about 50,000 cubic metres (1,800,000 cu ft), with 60 metres (200 ft) diameter structures.’

Today, there are very few left standing. The reason for this is described in this short video made by Tom Scott:

1280px-Gasholders_at_the_Oval

One iconic gasometer, protected, or, listed since earlier this year, is visible from The Oval cricket ground. I spent many a day in the summers of my teens watching the rise and fall of this famous cricketing symbol. Wikipedia provides this photograph.

For our dinner this evening, the Culinary Queen produced smoked haddock, piquant cauliflower cheese (recipe), new potatoes, crunchy carrots, and sautéed leeks and peppers. We both drank Marlborough Oyster Bay sauvignon blanc 2015. Needless to say, it was all delicious.

 

Our First Open Day

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Last night I had several attempts at photographing Jackie’s garden solar lights. She had one preference; I had another.

Garden fairy lights 1Garden fairy lights 2

Only the brave need indicate their favourite.

Knowing the weather would soon change, I took advantage of the early sunshine to wander around the garden and take a few pictures.

Clematis Mrs N. Thompson and solanum

On the front trellis clematis Mrs N. Thompson has joined solanum;

Asiatic lilies and petunias

on the edge of the patio fragrant Asiatic lilies blend with petunias;

Bees in poppy

and poppy plunderers have hind legs like Popeye’s forearms.

We were joined for lunch by Jackie’s two sisters, their husbands, and cousins Pat, Christine, and Olivia.

Buffet

Jackie laid out the buffet food she had prepared yesterday on the table,

Mushroom soup

and cooked a marvellous mushroom soup.

After several platefuls, and a fairly wide variety of alcoholic beverages, the sun having emerged after rain, we had a tour of the garden.

Pat, Shelly, Jackie, Olivia, Christine, Helen

Our guests trooped from the patio past the kitchen;

Pat and Shelly

admired the wisteria pergola;

Gazebo, Helen and PatOlivia, Christine, Pat and Shelly

and took the Gazebo Path.

Shelly

Shelly brought her coffee with her.

Pat, Shelly, Jackie, OliviaPat, Shelly, Jackie, Helen, Olivia and Christine

Passing Florence at Fiveways

Helen, Shelly, Jackie, and Pat

Jackie, Christine, Shelly, Pat, and Helen

Christine, Pat, Jackie, Olivia, Shelly, Helen

the group admired the Rose Garden;

Helen, Olivia, Christine

on her return along the Brick Path Helen paused to savour the scent of Wedding Day.

It seems reasonable to consider this our first Open Day.

Christine and Olivia left early in the evening. Helen, Bill, Shelly and Ron remained a while longer, and Pat stayed the night. ( Actually, I took a chance in posting this before Helen and Bill departed. They also stayed the night ).

We all had a second go at the buffet and beverages.

 

The Shed In Situ

Brick path view This morning, whilst Jackie went shopping, I wandered around the garden waiting for delivery of the garden shed. Clematis Mrs N Thompson and honeysuckleHoneysuckle, calibrachoa, and nasturtuimsNastutium Now that the pink roses on the front trellis have died back, their places have been taken by clematis Mrs N Thompson, honeysuckle, calibrachoa in a hanging basket, and two varieties of trailing nasturtium. Butterfly - Marbled white on verbena bonarensa

A marbled white butterfly, swayed on a wind-blown verbena bonarensis

Rose - ballerina

The Ballerina now dances freely at the cleared entrance to the rose garden.

Succulent

Ground cover, like that provided by this unnamed succulent, is important,

Hanging baskets on kitchen wall

but it is hanging baskets that lift a garden.

Hanging baskets from brick path

Here is a view from the brick path.

Antirrhinum trailing

This trailing antirrhinum sits nicely above the patch of grass,

Petunias in hanging basket

and these petunias lead us to The Head Gardener’s Walk,

Heligan Path through hanging basket

as others, enlivening the dead Snake Bark Maple, overlook the Heligan Path and beyond.

Orange and red symphony

Sometimes, as with this symphony in orange and red, serendipity intervenes. The orange sunburst beneath the cut plastic container is a clever little device with a thread that fits two litre supermarket water bottles, thus keeping a supply flowing for two days.

Petunias and shed

As can be seen from this later shot of The Head Gardener’s Walk petunias, Jackie’s shed was delivered and erected this afternoon.

Two splendid Wimbledon tennis matches were televised this afternoon. I watched them both. Serena Williams took just over an hour beat her sister Venus in straight sets. This was closer than the score looks. Andy Murray then had to battle it out for three hours and more, with Ivo Karlovic, to win a four set match. Murray is by no means a small man, but, slugging it out with the six foot eleven Croatian must be the tennis equivalent of a boxing contest with the giant Italian, Primo Carnera, of the 1930s.

122814primo-carnera-boxeo--644x362

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb sausage casserole (recipe); creamy mashed potato; and crisp carrots, cabbage, and cauliflower. In celebration of her new shed, Jackie drank one of the small bottles of P. Desroches & Cie Brut Champagne Alison had given us. I drank Teroldego Rotaliano superiore riserva,2011.

A Nation Uncomfortable With Being Ahead

Head Gardener's work area

Today, just as humid, was slightly cooler and breezier, which was just as well, because we made a start on clearing the Head Gardener’s work area to make room for the shed to be delivered in two days time.

First, Jackie needed to plant the rest of her prolific purchases, so I took a walk along to the paddock in Hordle Lane and back.

Dry ditch

The deep ditches were now bone dry.

Horses in field

The horses in the paddock, protected by their fly masks, had, early in the morning, no need to shelter under the oak. Watch the one on the left,

Horses

now again summoning the customary energy to investigate my presence,

Horses at trough

then to be first in the queue for the water trough.

Clematis Mrs N Thompson

Clematis Mrs N Thompson (not to confused with my daughter, Mrs E Thompson), now mingles with pink roses on the front garden trellis.

Coreopsis

Jackie has added this strident perennial coreopsis to the rose garden.

Aruncus

A far more subdued aruncus bows respectfully

Weeping birch

alongside the weeping birch,

Crow

from where I was able to snap a crow on the far side of Christchurch Road.

View from Fiveways

Patio corner 1Patio corner 2

These views, one from Fiveways, and two of patio corners, display less recent planting.

This afternoon, on TV, I watched another Brit narrowly miss going through to the fourth round at Wimbledon. This time James Ward lost a five set match to Vasek Pospisil. You have to understand we are a nation not comfortable with being ahead in sport – unless it is cricket against the Australians.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla. My choice of meal was chicken Jaljala with a plain naan; Jackie’s was prawn Sally with the perfect accompaniment of a delicate lemon rice. We shared an onion bhaji, and both drank Kingfisher. Everything was as good as usual.