“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.