The beauty of our National Book Token service is that these gifts can be exchanged in most bookshops, and are valid indefinitely. This was just as well when I discovered one I had received from Maggie and Mike about 20 years ago. I could add it to the W.H.Smith token Ron and Shelly gave me for Christmas. With that in mind, Jackie drove me to Smiths in Lymington where I bought Jonathan Dimbleby’s history, ‘The Battle of the Atlantic’.
Smith’s is really a stationer’s that also sells books, music, and other similar items. It is situated further up the steeply rising High Street than Quay Street and its environs which I have featured on several occasions.
The rooftops of the downward sloping Quay Hill can be seen in the middle distance of these photographs.
Beyond the blue covered scaffolding visible on the left, lies The Angel & Blue Pig, Pub and Rooms, that, like many other buildings, retains its original facade, including the awning covered balcony.
On the opposite side of the road, the old and the new are sharply juxtaposed at the corner of Ashley Lane, where New Look stands by Elliotts. On the lane side of the New Look building, the signage of a long departed outfitters clings to its red brick ground.
A little further down the hill, the gated Solent Mews, with its ancient cobbles, looks intriguing enough to invite investigation on some future visit.
Before returning home, we drove alongside Lymington River towards the Isle of Wight ferry. Gainly would not have been n adjective applied to my clambering over a wooden stile to take this shot.
I was, however, rewarded by the Isle of Wight ferry coming into view.
Using a certain amount of poetic licence, I nipped back over the stile and walked through the car park to what I hoped was the docking area. Again I was rewarded by the sight of the ship coming to a standstill
and, having lowered the drawbridge, beginning with cyclists, unloading its cargo.
Cars, freed by a couple of men in yellow jackets, rapidly followed.
We drove around the back roads a little more, before returning home. This evening, noticing Jackie opening a bottle of Reserve des Tuguets madiran 2012, I mentioned that I thought I still had a glass of the malbec left. ‘You had’, The Cook replied, ‘it’s in the casserole.’ So now you know what I had to drink. The casserole was Jackie’s classic sausages, served with creamy mashed potato and crisp carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli. She, of course, drank Hoegaarden.