“This Is Susan….”

One of the lessons we have learned while clearing cupboards for Kitchen Makers to replace is that cupboards can very quickly become dumping grounds for items we will never use again, but always think may come in handy one day. It is quite evident that anything lost in a closet for seven years probably will never see that day. We virtually emptied the vestibule depository this morning. Some of the contents will go to a charity shop, more was put out for the bin-men due tomorrow.

On yet another shirt-sleeves November afternoon, after we collected the Modus with its M.O.T. pass certificate from the garage, we drove out to Pilley to attempt to trace the crochet artist whose work on the letter collection box has been regularly featured on this blog.

On the way to the Community Shop where I would make enquiries, we passed the Boldre War Memorial Hall where a stream of crocheted poppies draped in the form of a bell appeared to ring a silent tribute to the fallen in World War One. Even the horses were remembered on the accompanying banner, and, as Quercus says in his comments below, in the purple poppies interspersed.

At the shop I met a flat refusal to divulge any details of the crochet artist who did not want any publicity. When I explained that I wanted the creator to learn of the world-wide complements she had received from my blog, I was told that her work had already featured in local and national newspapers, but she remained anonymous. I expressed every respect for her wishes but would like her to receive the message. Caroline, who was the guardian of an identity that was not even known throughout the village, readily agreed to convey this and took my name and phone number in case the lady concerned would like to talk to me.

She pointed out the rainbow in the window that the artist in yarn had made for the shop.

Driving further into the forest, as we were leaving Beaulieu we stopped in Twiggs Lane where I photographed

reflections in a stream that ran under the road.

Turkeys, geese, and chickens occupied a somewhat soggy farmyard in Beaulieu Road, Marchwood.

We arrived on home territory in time to press on to Ferndene Farm Shop where I stayed in the car as usual, and Jackie did the shopping. She returned with company.

While I was still seated, my wife stuck her head through the open driver side window and said “This is Susan….” “Yeeess….” was my quizzical response. “She reads the blog…..and she knew…..?” “Bryan Snalune”, added Susan as she poked her head through the window.

Well, I just had to disembark and join in the conversation.

Our new friend, a resident of Highcliffe, had also made a late-in-the-day trip to Ferndene. She had wondered whether it was me she had seen in the Modus. When, inside, she recognised Jackie, even masked, from her pictures in the blog that clinched it so she introduced herself. It also emerged that her cousin is Malcolm, the partner of Brother-in-Law Ron’s sister, another Jackie. As we acknowledged, it’s a small world. I didn’t mention that, in Balham, she must have been a neighbour of our late friends Wolf and Luci in Clapham.

We reminisced about Bryan, one of my favourite teachers, with whom she had worked during his headmastership. When Susan learned that he had died she looked him up on the internet and found him on the blog, which she has followed from that time.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy pasta arrabbiata, garnished with her home grown basil, accompanied by Hoegaarden in her case, and the last of the Douro in mine.

Seeking Shelter

On a dank, drizzly, morning we visited Lymington High Street early to buy birthday presents. We had to wait half an hour for one shop to open, so I took the opportunity for a spot of people watching.

Cyclists negotiated other traffic;

a number of toddlers rode in buggies;

some were prepared for rain, while others improvised with coats;

one couple contemplated care options;

a blue bird alighted on a mobile phone;

crossing the road required nifty footwork;

two pairs of sandals were well synchronised;

W.H.Smith’s was being decorated;

it looks as if someone was late;

a child was introduced to Costa Coffee.

I was just about to photograph this friendly gentleman’s dogs as he moved off. When I told him so, he stopped, turned the buggy round so I could photograph both children and dogs, and engaged in an enjoyable conversation with Jackie and me.

When the weather brightened somewhat this afternoon we drove to Pilley for the intermittent check on the views across the lake.

Whoever crochets the cover for the post collection box on Pilley Hill has remembered that we are still meant to be in summer.

The lake is even drier than our last visit; blackberries are burgeoning on the far side, in company of yellow ragwort.

As I walked around the even more receding water line I could see the movement of animals beneath the trees. Upon investigation I discovered the group of Shetland ponies who must have trooped all the way down from the Norley Wood end of Bull Hill, where we normally encounter them, clearly seeking shelter and proximity to liquid refreshment.

This evening we dined on the last of the cottage pie supplemented by a pork chop each and fresh vegetables, with which Jackie drank more of the Sauvignon Blanc and I drank Chevalier de Fauvert Compté Tolosan Rouge 2019

Kingston Market Stall

When trying to phone Bev and John last evening, I could see a dialling signal on my new super duper Samsung Galaxy mobile, but heard nothing. The call ended sign then came up. Jackie phoned me. I got no ring tone. She was switched to Voicemail. She left a message. I did not receive the message, and could not ring Voicemail to receive it. This situation had probably been going on for a couple of days, since I last received a call.
This morning Jackie drove me to O2 at Christchurch where the problem was rectified. ‘What had I done?’, I asked. The helpful Philip replied: ‘Nothing’. He explained that the phone was like a computer, and every so often had a blip and had to be reset. Then it was necessary to locate the reset button and press it. I ask you! I had actually noticed this facility last night, but been scared to activate it.
After this we collected my dry cleaning from Johnson’s in New Milton, filled up with petrol, and returned home for a spell of tidying and watering in the garden before Jackie drove back to Christchurch via Walkford for lunch with her two sisters.
bee on eryngium planumHoverfly on eryngium planum 2The hot autumn sunshine this afternoon brought bees and hoverflies buzzing around, especially enjoying the blue eryngium planum.  Leaves of snake bark mapleThe turning leaves of the snake bark maple are as attractive as its fascinating bark. Unfortunately this exquisite specimen appears to be dying, despite the surgery we performed earlier.
By August 1972 I had left the Social Services Department of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, and was working in Southwark. We still lived at Amity Grove in Raynes Park and I was still in touch with former colleagues, all of whom I encouraged to attend a crafts stall in Kingston market. This stall, and its holders, form the subjects of the next pictures in my ‘posterity’ series, all colour slides taken that month, and scanned and reproduced later this afternoon.
Jackie crocheting 8.72Jackie, and her friend Linda, had spent months crocheting, knitting, and working with pottery, cotton cloth, felt, and leather to produce a dazzling display of wares for sale.Market stall 8.72
Clothes, mob hats, and shoes for children, pottery mugs and pendants, and the then fashionable chokers in various materials were tastefully arrayed in the sunshine. Jackie’s art-work provided the faces on the models. The prices reflect the then recently post-decimalisation era, heralded in by Prime Minister Harold Wilson on 15th February 1971, when, in effort to bolster the pound, sterling went metric.
Jackie with Michael, Linda and Joan at market stall 8.72Joan and Jackie at market stall 8.72Linda at market stall 8.72In one photograph, Jackie and Linda can be seen smiling at a studious eight year old Michael, while Joan Wilmot, one of my ex-colleagues, turns her back to examine the goods.
In the final photograph, Linda is rearranging some crocheted flowers.
This evening, we dined on fish, chips, mushy peas, and pickled onions. Mine was followed by a colossal cream slice Jackie had brought me back from Stewart’s Garden Centre where she had lunched with Helen and Shelly. We both drank Cuvee St Jaine, an excellent dry white table wine.