A Good Read

Much of the day was spent continuing with the filling of the bookshelves. By the time we had finished last night we were both under the impression that we hadn’t been out that day. We’d both forgotten the mere four hours spent on the IKEA trip which we had in our minds relegated to the day before.
I can categorically state that we have not left the house today. We made a great deal of progress on the novels, but not as much as we at one time thought. When we completed the Novels M box  we thought we were more than half way through this major section. I was somewhat perturbed at the shortage of Is. Surely I had more than one Hammond Innes and another Christopher Isherwood. The task is possibly numbing our brains a bit, so I didn’t persist. I should at least have wondered where John Irving had got to.
So….. With only the two aforementioned Is to separate Harris from Joyce, we continued merrily along through to M. Neither did it occur to us that there should be more Hs. What about Hemingway and Hoban?
Determined not to make the same error (you will by now have realised, as we did, that something was awry) with N, we searched and searched for it. That box remained elusive. What we did find, however, was H to J.
Novels J on shelvesOne of the beauties of the Billy bookcases is that the shelves are adjustable, so that different sized books can stand alongside each other in their correct alphabetical order. These can be adjusted as you go along. It is also helpful to leave a few gaps so that when inserting an additional volume or two there is enough room on the shelf without having to move everything along, and consequently risk having to readjust the height of the shelves ad infinitum.
If you have omitted a large section like H to J there is no way you have left enough spaces, so there is more pulling out of studs to lower or raise the laminated chipboard on which to perch the books. This is quite a laborious process, and if you haven’t estimated the space correctly, you have to do it over again. Having gone through this experience once, we had a determined effort to find N. The Novels N box was, of course, in the least accessible spot in a far corner surrounded by Reference, History, Philosophy, etc., etc. I got in and heaved it out.
Have I mentioned that when I first met her Jackie was a librarian? I thought not. Well, she was, and this is proving to be quite useful.Crinodendron Hookerianum
After lunch Jackie researched the Internet and found that the unknown shrub near the bottle brush trees is a Chinese Lantern Tree or Crinodendron Hookerianum. I updated the relevant post.PierisLace cap hydrangea
We also have a beautiful magenta pieris and and a mature lace cap hydrangea.
Two more discoveries from the treasure trove of Safestore Storage boxes are a photograph and a drawing.
The photograph is a heat-sealed print on board. It is too large for my scanner, so I have here taken the image directly from the August 1971 colour slide.Michael reading 8.71

Michael is reading to Jackie and me at 76 Amity Grove.Michael reading to Mat 10.73

Two years later I made this quick charcoal sketch of him reading to Matthew.

Late this afternoon Shelly dropped in for a visit and brought a few of the plants and garden ornaments we had left at her home.

Jackie and I dined on fish, chips, and mushy peas, followed by a Post House Mess, the ingredients for which are similar to a Firs Mess.

A Fascinating Collage

This morning Jackie and I set about building a garage door screen  with parts of the IKEA wardrobes, supplemented by battens sawn from an old wooden pallet. We needed nails to  fix the laminated chipboard to the wood. This entailed a trip, on the recommendation of Giles and Jean, to Milford Supplies in New Milton. Being Jackie’s favourite kind of shop, she bought a few more things as well.
Now, when it comes to such practical tasks, when I say ‘we’, I really mean Jackie, with me standing around looking awkward and supplying the occasional bit of muscle, not, I must admit, always in the required direction. She, you see, is much more experienced with tools and has a far greater spatial awareness. The child’s teaching toy involving posting different shapes into a box with various openings would have come far more naturally to her than to me.
Garage door screenThe concept of fabricating a make-shift wall, against which to place the bookcases, from the materials at hand, was all Jackie’s. I did, however, under expert forepersonship, largely carry out the task, whilst she ironed and trimmed her curtains; fixed some toilet roll holders which were actually straight; and prepared an excellent fry-up for lunch.Face flannel collage
When we discovered a collage involving scraps of wood, a face flannel, and copies of the Daily Mail firmly gunged to the concrete floor, I was all for allowing it to stay put under the laminate that was to cover that bit of the ground. Jackie, however, much more of a perfectionist when it comes to such matters, set to with a hammer, chisel, and screwdriver, and at least gave us a flat surface.
During the lunchtime break I took another tour of the garden and photographed more plants for my readers, please, to identify.

The comfrey we know:ComfreyBottle brush tree and unknown shrubBottle brush tree and unknown shrub 2Unknown shrub

The shrub to the left and behind the two pictures of a bottle brush tree, however, defeats us (update: Jackie has identified it as Crinodendron Hookerianum, otherwise known as Chinese Lantern Tree).

Further behind, and to the left of these shrubs, is a cherry tree that has suffered in the winter storms. When I get around to the garden I will need to cut off the broken section. The bright green leaves surrounding this, has been identified by Tess, a New Zealander, as belonging to a hebe with a name beginning with K which I can’t remember.

This evening Jackie fed us on prawn and lamb jalfrezi with savoury rice, paratas, and vegetable samosas. She drank her usual Hoegaarden, whilst I enjoyed a couple of glasses of Louis de Camponac cabernet sauvignon 2012.

For the preparation of this jalfrezi follow that for lamb given on 22nd January, and when it is cooked, add frozen prawns and simmer for about five minutes; and if using fresh prawns, until they turn pink.Thrift & beach hutsCliff top, beach huts, fisherfolkjpg

After our meal we drove to Hordle Cliff to watch the sun sink beneath the horizon. From the thrift-covered cliff top we could look down on beach huts and on fisherfolk settling down for the evening on the shingle.SunsetGulls at sunsetcropped-gull-at-sunset-29-4-14.jpg
Couple at sunset

Crows and gulls fought over scraps tossed from cars whose occupants had brought their meals on wheels. One couple left their car and became silhouetted against the reddening sea.Crow on bench

A sated crow took a rest on a bench set to view the Isle of Wight, in which the bird appeared rather disinterested.