The Button Box


This morning Jackie drove me to New Hall hospital for another encouraging physiotherapy session. I had been feeing apprehensive about this one because three weeks ago I stopped taking pain relief or using a crutch. The consequence has been pain which has caused me to skip most exercises. In fact, my progress continues. I can now straighten the leg completely and flex it to 110 degrees – 10 short of the target. The muscles are strong and the hamstrings not tight.

Before setting out we had shared a conversation with Elizabeth reminding me that many of us retain a certain number of items that might come in useful one day, yet never again emerge from the forgotten container in which we have stored them. One such is my

Collars box

Collars box hailing from the days of detachable shirt collars.

From my early days as a single parent I had removed buttons from every worn out item of clothing before binning the garment, and retained these fasteners in case of need as replacements. I had quite a collection which virtually filled this box.

Then along came Jackie and convinced me that I was never likely to use any of them. Clothes today were sold with much more secure buttons, and in any case, always came with replacements. Most of my collection was dispensed with,

Coins, notes, buttons

and the box filled with other knick-knacks including foreign and obsolete coins and Singapore dollars from my Australian trip of 2007.

On just one occasion the button box, and my habit of cutting these items from shirts before throwing them away was to prove beneficial. More than 20 years ago now, I was forced to concede that my favourite shirt was too frayed at the collar and cuffs to be worth saving. I placed it in a waste bin. Mum, who was staying with us at the time, fished out the shirt and, knowing where to seek the buttons, found them all, repaired the cuffs, and turned the collar. That was a pleasant surprise the like of which was to be repeated a month ago.

Some time during the winter, my favourite linen jacket impressed upon me that its collar and cuffs really were too far gone to face another summer. I binned it. Months later, soon after my return from hospital, Jackie amazed me by sitting on the sofa repairing the garment. Unbeknown to me she had retrieved the discarded item, bided her time, bought some suitable bias binding,

Jacket collar and cuffs

and patched the collars and cuffs.

This evening the three of us dined on Jackie’s succulent cottage pie, crunchy carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli. The Culinary Queen drank Beck’s Blue and Elizabeth and I drank Casillero del Diablo Reserva Merlot 2017.

After The Drift


When Aaron and Sean cleared space for the promised greenhouse, they stacked the cut branches at the end of the Back Drive.


I chopped or broke them into manageable sizes and filled two of our large orange containers with them. There is still enough for two more bags. Jackie and I took them to the dump and returned with a very large saucer for a big planter tub.

Bee and small wihite butterfly, verbena bonarensis and fuchsia

Bee on verbena bonarensisWhile I worked, big black bees and Small White butterflies were equally busy alongside me among the fuchsias and the verbena bonarensises in the New Bed.

From the recycling centre we went on a driveabout.


At Sway we came across a group of ponies bearing the identification marks showing that they had experienced The Drift.

Pony 1

When I featured this annual event, I explained that tails were clipped, collars replaced, and branding applied. This animal displays all three.

Pony 2

It was actually quite difficult to show the cuts on the tails because they were constantly being used as fly whisks.

Pony 4

Wherever the creature had rolled in the mud, it had besmirched its nice new collar;

Pony 3

whilst this one’s bath had obscured its brand.

We visited Milford on Sea to investigate the fortunes of Mr Pink’s Fish and Chips since its recent fire. Unfortunately it is closed until further notice.

Hurst Point Lighthouse

The shingle and the rocks along the coastline were well populated, as can be seen by this shot of Hurst Point Lighthouse, the story of which can be seen here:


Others were bathing in the water,

Couple on shingle

seated on folding chairs,

People on beach

reading newspapers, or flashing tattoos.

This evening we dined on duck breasts in plum sauce; roast new potatoes in their jackets and peppers in chillies and herbs; and crisp carrots and green beans. I finished the Fleurie.