Well Wound-Up

Here are some of the piles of patio rubble awaiting the arrival of a skip to remove them.

The low concrete wall at the perimeter will be removed and replaced by sleepers which Martin will source.

In the meantime he has focussed on the Rose Garden.

As the water fountain is powered by a solar light this was removed,


and packed away in the Head Gardener’s shed for the winter.

The Pink carpet rose is far more prolific throughout the warm months than we had imagined and has to be cut back regularly from the paths over which it spreads.

We therefore decided to risk moving it. (There hadn’t seemed much point in righting that planter while the gales still raged).

Our friend had great difficulty in carrying out this process today, since its roots spread easily as much as its branches.

The bed is now devoid of this plant, thus allowing its neighbours more space.

It now resides along the eastern fence, behind other pruned bushes.

Just before lunch I emerged, well wound-up and emotionally exhausted, from the NatWest Bank in Lymington, having spent most of the morning in there, attempting to send a small amount of Australian dollars on line. Knowing I would not be able to manage the task without help, I visited this, the only surviving branch of three within several miles of home – I only turned to On Line banking because of this paucity of places into which one could walk and speak to a real person.

The very helpful, calm, and patient, cashier was immediately available to help me through the process of achieving my object for the first time on my new Samsung Galaxy. She really didn’t mind how often I tapped the wrong keys or hit the right one a quivering second time. Eventually we got there. She warned me that I would get a call from the fraud department who would be alerted because I was using an unfamiliar device and sending foreign currency for the first time.

This happened almost immediately and my guide led me to a separate room to have the conversation. Then the wind-up began. Firstly I had repeatedly to request the agent, clearly rattling off scripts at a rate and in an, albeit English, accent which would have tested my perfectly good hearing even if she hadn’t intermittently lowered her voice; secondly I wasn’t able satisfactorily to answer all her security questions which would have required access to my files at home. And here was I naively expecting to be asked my mother’s maiden name. On two occasions she left me on hold while she consulted “a colleague”. The upshot was that they would reject the payment and advise me not to try to make the payment again. She had no answer to my question about how I was to get the money to Australia. I blew my top and said I would go back to helpful cashier. This agent knew I was still in the bank and that I had been helped in what had been my first effort at using the phone – at least I had told her, but why should she believe me?

Now, I fully appreciate that the fraud check was necessary, that the agent, who did keep apologising, was doing her best and was never rude or pushy, but what is an elderly gent to do when progress has passed him by?

The original cashier eventually carried out the process from her own computer for which I will be charged a fee. When she asked if that would be OK I said wearily “I don’t care”.

This evening we dined on battered haddock and oven chips, onion rings, baked beans, pickled onions and gherkins, with which we both drank South Point Sauvignon Blanc 2021.