All Will Become Clear

Ellie has a favourite position when clinging to her mother: she pivots her right arm inwards at the elbow and curls up the fingers behind her.

Yesterday I photographed the phenomenon.

This morning Martin removed most of the last of the patio paving and will need to hire a skip to take it all away before he can continue. Depending on the accuracy of the less than optimistic weather forecast he will carry out his normal more than simply gardening tasks tomorrow.

In the meantime I underwent an eye dilation procedure at Boots Opticians in New Milton. The purpose of this was to confirm or disprove the recent assessment about a developing cataract.

An instillation of Tropicamide increased the size of my pupils, enabling my optometrist to view the inside of my eye more easily.

Jackie was able to record this increase with her mobile phone while we waited in nearby Costa Coffee, and is therefore to be congratulated on working out how to e-mail her observations to me.

The original assessment was confirmed. I will need neither surgery nor new specs – at least until my next annual check – and was given the comforting view that “many younger people would really like [my] eyes”.

Blurred vision and temporary photophobia persisted this afternoon, but all will become clear tomorrow.

This evening we enjoyed second sittings of yesterday’s Hordle Chinese Take Away fare, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Nightingale


Today Jackie drove me to and from New Milton for my trip to London to visit Luci and Wolf.

I travelled from Waterloo by the Northern Line Underground to Clapham South.

Luci met me at Costa Coffee opposite the station

and drove me to The Nightingale for lunch. This characterful Victorian pub still sports the etched windows of the period.

We both enjoyed fish, chips, and mushy peas. I drank Doom Bar, whilst Luci drank a pleasant non-alcoholic beer. I had no need for further sustenance this evening.

Giving Wolf time to complete his own lunch in the rather splendid care home that is Nightingale House, we visited him first in his well-appointed room, then for tea in the establishment’s cafe. The couple showed me Wolf’s photograph book containing top quality prints made by my friend’s son Simon.

Derrick and Wolf c2009

I share one page with Wolf. Luci took this photograph c2009.


In the meantime Jackie produced a recipe for her Pork Paprika, as requested by our friend Jessie. I sent this on to the intended recipient.

A Further Piece Of Quirkiness

Jackie gathering flowers

3rd April 2014
On a wander round the garden this morning, I added periwinkle to the photographic gallery of our plants. Gathering daffodils, Jackie stands on what we were to name the Heligan Path, because it was so overgrown that we did not know it was there.

Curry/PC World delivered the fridge/freezer promptly as promised. Until they came we continued moving stuff around. This involved carting some furniture upstairs.
I telephoned Neff customer support line in an unsuccessful attempt to be talked through disenabling the child lock on the hobs. Although the woman who tried to help me was very helpful it didn’t seem to work. It was fun seeking out the relevant model number, which would enable her to know how to advise me. This, you see, was on the underside of the equipment that now formed part of the kitchen surface. Clearly I had to take out the drawer underneath, but then, how was I to read the figures? Lying prostrate on the worktop and sticking my head into the narrow space didn’t seem to be an option.
This is where the Canon S100 camera came into its own. I held it under the plate, and after several goes, managed to obtain one image that was not too blurred for me to read the number.
Later in the morning we gathered up some spring flowers to take to Pippa in Spencers as a token of our thanks. This personable young woman found time to have a friendly conversation.
We then visited Costa coffee for some Wi-Fi time, and I posted my blog entry for 1st. An antique shop didn’t have a suitable replacement door knocker. If you are thinking of visiting before we find one, flip the letterbox repeatedly and yell loudly.
Back home we continued the cleaning and sorting. I then tackled the scary task of attempting to set up the home hub in preparation for its activation tomorrow. It remains to be seen how successful I have been. In the process I think I discovered a further piece of quirkiness. The previous owner had his office in the living room where there is a television aerial socket, but, as far as we can tell, no telephone point. The only place allocated for a telephone appears to be in the bedroom above. In the hope that we will be able to access the hub wirelessly through the ceiling, I set up the telephone and hub, I hope, in the upper room. Our predecessor definitely used his laptop in the room below. If that doesn’t work for us we may not be able to contain our screams of anguish.
My next task was to clear a path to the washing machine. This was no mean undertaking.
In the evening we set out on a search for any Chinese restaurant that was not Lotus in New Milton. There were a number of takeaways scattered about, but we felt we had earned a sit down. Following circuitous diversions across the forest, we were led to the Yenz in Brockenhurst which was very classy. The establishment was rightly proud of its head chef. The food was excellent, and the T’Sing Tao beer thirst quenching.
Back at Old Post House we just about managed to climb the stairs to bed.

A Little Inconvenience

Has anyone had a modern lavatory seat fitted that does not soon become loose and start swivelling round to give an unstable perch?  I’m hard put to think of any.  One unfortunate consequence is the need for frequent brushing of the porcelain sides because you are not sitting in a position from which a direct descent into the middle of the waiting water is possible.

Loo seatHaving become tired of the inconvenience, I got down and tightened up the offending nut.  Now I was surprised that the loose one was on the right when the seat always swivelled to the left.  Jackie, being of a far more practical bent, said ‘of course’, when I marvelled at this.  When I thought about it, it was obvious, really.  How successful I have been remains to be seen, because the four winged nut was clearly meant to be hand-tightened.  Perhaps that is the problem.

After this, and later on today I printed another batch of card-sized photographs.  In between these sessions we needed another trip to our GP surgery.  Jackie has been feeling distinctly below par, and this morning correctly diagnosed her virus.  The Lyndhurst surgery offers an excellent and patient-friendly service.  Brian, the triage nurse had been helpful to me when I had an eye infection soon after we arrived here.  He makes an appointment to telephone the person in need, and keeps it.  I didn’t need to go in.  He prescribed medication and it was soon ready for collection in the local pharmacy.  Today he correctly determined that Jackie needed to see a doctor, and made an appointment for an hour later.  All the doctor had to do was confirm that Jackie has shingles.  We collected the prescribed medicine and went on to Hobbycraft in West End to buy more card blanks and little transparent bags for the individual masterpieces.

A drink was necessary for Jackie to start on her medication, so we visited Haskins garden centre next door to the craft shop, for a coffee.  Now, I am not an aficionado of mass coffee outlets, and after the Starbucks experiences of 30th July, am pretty wary of them.  Beverages at Haskins are provided by Costa, and I didn’t really want one anyway, but made the sacrifice to keep Jackie company. Costa coffee Knowing I wasn’t particularly thirsty she, who bought the drinks, ordered medium sized ones.  I chose Americano.  This was American in more than name.  If mine was medium, I’m very glad we didn’t have large ones.

I was only joking yesterday when I said Margery’s bread would never be eaten.  Margery's breadWe started it with our late lunch today.  It is delicious, having a chocolate brown colour, a firm texture, and a touch of sweetness.  I am not knowledgable enough to name it.  Maybe the description will help in  its identification.

It seemed to me that the appropriate meal this evening for someone suffering from shingles would be a curry cooked by someone else.  Accordingly, we drove to Ringwood to patronise the Curry Garden, where we enjoyed the usual high standard meal accompanied by Kingfisher beer.

Of course, had we eaten at home we would have had to clear the card-making debris from the dining table.  That was another good reason for eating out.  We have completed 22 new cards today, although they still await my inscription.  Far more have been printed ready for Jackie’s part in the process.