Who’s The Daddy?

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As soon as the shops were open this morning we set off on a slipper hunt for my hospital stay. We found a pair immediately at Stephan Shoes in New Milton. We then travelled to the Community Centre in Milford on Sea, where I might have left my blog card case the other day. There was no-one in the office. Next port of call was Peacock’s Computers who had not yet received a dongle they had ordered for my MacBook. I was also unable to send e-mails and left the machine for James to solve the problem.

Ah, well, I had bought the slippers, and James did solve the problem later.

Whilst I was occupied with the computer Jackie waited for me in the car park behind the High Street. I walked the long way round: past the war memorial and through the graveyard of the parish church of St Thomas the Apostle. Pigeons and other birds occasionally perched on the gravestones, and candelabra lit the chestnut trees.

We then took a drive through the forest. Sun-dappled lanes through which we traversed included Barnes; Undershore, where we happily negotiated motor cars and cyclists; and Shirley Holms alongside which field horses enhanced the terraced landscape.

The more open stretches of Shirley Holms were alive with grazing ponies. I focussed on a family group. The smallest foal clung steadfastly to its chestnut mother. A larger, very similar, junior wandered a little further afield from his white (grey) parent. It seemed to me that the grey coloured adult more attached to these last two was probably a stallion, suggesting that there was no need to ask “who’s the daddy?”. A woman on horseback approached us from further down the slope.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb pasta arrabbiata with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Malbec.

 

Forgotten And Neglected

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Aaron

Aaron worked as hard as ever in the garden this morning. Lest it be imagined that he never takes a break, here is photographic evidence that we do allow him the statutory minimum.

It was not that long ago that I last photographed the garden from our bathroom window. This Wisteria was not then in bloom.

Our ubiquitous heucheras have now all sent up their flower stems.

Some of those are in the Rose Garden where the bushes are burgeoning, Roseraie de L’Hay bearing the first buds to open.

Numerous aquilegias are also standing proud;

one clump stands beside the shady path, still bestrewn with fallen camellia flowers.

The Viburnum Plicatum in the West Bed has also sprung to life in the last few days.

Sparrow on roof

Our resident sparrow still guards his family from the rooftop.

In order to prevent the risk of infection when, this coming Friday, my left knee joint is to be replaced by a man made model, I will have to wear new slippers. In search of a pair, we drove to Sainsbury’s at Christchurch this afternoon. Their sizes stop at 10, so we will need to try again when more shops are open tomorrow. We didn’t waste our trip out. Jackie set us off to the North of the Forest.

Leaving the A338 at Mockbeggar Lane, Ibsley, we were intrigued by a notice suggesting that what Jackie discovered to have been St Martin’s Church was having a Closing Down Sale. In fact, as Wikipedia tells us, the church itself has been deconsecrated. Following the listing the church became the art gallery which is having the sale. Jackie entered the shop and pronounced it a purveyor of artificial flowers, anything of good quality being over-priced.

I, therefore, contented myself with a study of the surrounding graveyard. It seemed to me that the preponderance of dandelion clocks calling time on the neglected tombs of forgotten eighteenth and nineteenth century residents of the parish, was somewhat appropriate.

 https://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/101350890-church-of-st-martins-ellingham-harbridge-and-ibsley#.Wvhu0i-ZNBw give us this information concerning its Grade 2 listing: ‘Parish church. 1832 by John Peniston surveyor, on site of old church. Brick with
some blue headers, east wall partly reused dressed stone, plain tile roof. Plan
of single cell chancel and nave with north and south porches and small west tower.
To east end Y-tracery window in chamfered opening; corner buttresses. To each side
of 6 bays, pointed lancet in chamfered opening,except to west,buttresses between
bays and at each end except between west of centre bays which have gabled porch
with pointed, chamfered opening. West end has small cross-section tower in centre
with similar window, and offset belfry stage with west and east bell opening and
gabled roof. Inside brass of 1599 on floor by altar, tablet to Mary Ann Gray 1757
in brick paviour central aisle. On south wall monument 1627 to John Constable of
2 large kneeling figures between 2 columns to wide open pediment, both hold vine
with busts of their children. C18 Perpendicular style font. On north wall tablet
1757 to Cray. At east end prayer boards, above west door Royal arms board.
Gallery at west end of timber with later screen under to form vestry.’

Jackie informs me that all the mentioned features are still there inside, covered by the gallery’s wares. What now, I wonder?

A small herd of deer grazed in their usual field at Ogdens. When I poked my lens in their direction, one doe pricked up her ears and gave me a stare, decided I was harmless, and returned to her dinner.

On our way home down Roger Penny Way we noticed an interesting vehicle pulling into the car park of The Green Dragon. This was a Morris Cowley bullnose, first produce in 1915. Before entering the pub the driver placed a chock beneath the near side front wheel. I surmised that the vehicle was possibly not fitted with a handbrake.

Cadnam Lane was littered with sheep and the occasional punk pig. One of the pigs masqueraded as an outsize sheep; others, occasionally raising a sleepy snout, snoozed by the wayside.

This evening we dined on roast pork with superb crackling, new potatoes, carrots, and broccoli, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Concha y Toro Malbec

 

 

 

 

I Hadn’t Seen Rahul

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This morning Jackie drove us to the GP surgery at Milford on Sea where we were given our flu jabs. There is nothing like joining the priority group above a certain age for letting us know where we belong.

Afterwards we travelled on for a short trip in the forest.

Gates CottageGates Cottage 2

Fence

Gates Cottage, with its attractive picket fences is nicely situated

Mead End Road

on a bend in Mead End Road near Lymington.

Cattle peering through hedge

Inquisitive as always, a pair of cattle, possibly Herefords, peered through a hedge alongside the driveway to Greenslade Farm opposite the thatched cottage.

Bracken

Bracken in the hedgerows wears its autumn hues.

Mead End Road continuation

We turned off into another lane,

ScaffoldingHousing development 2Housing development 3

and returned home via Hordle Lane where the new housing development

Housing Development 1

has changed forever the view from All Saints Parish Church,

Autumn leaves 2

the graveyard of which

Autumn leaves 1

is donning its autumn splendour.

This afternoon we returned to NatWest in Lymington where I collected the Australian dollars I am sending to Orlaith for her fifth birthday.

Jackie waited in the car for me at the bottom of the High Street while I wandered down photographing the seasonal displays.

St Thomas and All Saints graveyard 1St Thomas and All Saints graveyard 2St Thomas and All Saints graveyard 3

I began with the graveyard of St Thomas and All Saints church, containing some of the souls we remember this evening;

Holly berries

where holly berries proclaim the season.

Bunting Halloween

Like Pizza Express, we take the opportunity to amuse with spiders and ghouls carved from pumpkins featured on this bunting;

Pizza Express window

and scary creatures peering from their window.

Dogs Trust window

The Dogs Trust display also includes a discreet poppy.

Costa Coffee window

Inside Costa Coffee, a wandering pumpkin selects a snack from the cabinet.

English and Continental Chocolates window

English and Continental Chocolates’ cornucopia includes a number of witches of which Burley would be proud.

White Stuff Halloween display

Living up to the outlet’s name White Stuff displayed an albino pumpkin.

Save The Children shop window

The Save The Children shop favoured horror.

Lounges Coffee Shop and Rose Garden Crafts

Across the road Lounges Coffee Shop and Rose Garden Craftsstruck a lower key.

Drydock window

This crafted pumpkin is in drydock.

The Gilded Teapot window

It is probably appropriate that The Gilded Teapot’s window should show falling leaves.

Rahul in High Street 1

In common with a number of our towns and villages, Lymington remembers those souls who never came back from Flanders, by fixing a poppy to each lamp post.

Rahul in High Street 2

It wasn’t until I cropped and enlarged the two images that I realised that I had photographed Rahul, one of the delightful Lal Quilla waiters. He is on the left, speaking on his mobile phone. On his way back down the hill a little later he stopped for a chat, neither of us being aware that I had immortalised him. I will make some prints for our next visit to the restaurant.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy chilli con carne with wild rice and peas. I drank more of the Fronton.

 

 

 

Conversations

Mrs. Reynard is looking most uncomfortable lately.  Perched on her pile of sticks this morning, she was gnawing away at her rear end, which is now on one side completely devoid of fur.  The patch the magpie was pecking on 26th. May (see post) is now rather raw.

On my normal route to Colliers Wood to catch the tube for lunch with Norman, in Morden Hall Park, I met Benjamin and his mother.  This eloquent and cheerful little chap was on a dinosaur hunt.  He was taking his task very seriously and wanted to know if I’d seen one, especially ‘a big one’.  He declined to produce his hunting roar for the photograph.  Perhaps because I am not a dinosaur, although some people may quibble with that.  Well, Benjy, I didn’t see a dinosaur, but I did find a very big slug.  His picture is at the top of this page.

One of the most amusing regular announcements on the Underground was given out at Green Park.  A long list of severe or minor delays is intoned.  This is always followed by: ‘There is a good service on all other lines.’  ‘Which are they?’, I ask myself.

Seated reading on a bench near the mainly Somali area of Harlesden, I picked up one cent of an euro, thinking it might come in handy in the Sigoules supermarket.  I hoped it wasn’t a Greek one.  It was fortunate that I wasn’t on my feet, for these days I wouldn’t bend down for anything less than a tenner.  I remembered once diving for a ten-bob note at a bus stop in Worple Road in case Chris got there first.  For anyone too young to remember, that’s 50p in today’s money.  But, then, you could do a great deal more with it.

A middle-aged woman came and talked to me.  She began by saying I looked so peaceful that if she had a camera she would photograph me.  I hoped she wouldn’t notice the one hanging round my neck.  She went on to eulogise about the beauty of the thousand year old church that lay behind me.  She spoke of recent renovations, and I realised that the graveyard is looking much better kept these days.  It is a sad reflection of our times that the building was not open for my inspection.  She was on her way to visit her father, now suffering from dementia, in a care home.  On her regular visits she does a lot of the feeding and caring herself.  This woman was not complaining and initially spoke appreciatively of her father’s carers.  She did, however, say it would be nice if they thanked her, because they were paying the full ‘feeding rate’.  According to her this former Southern Cross establishment has been taken over by a Methodist organisation.  It has a new manager who is trying to improve things.  From the sound of it she has her work cut out.  Once this daughter learned that I had been in Social Work she told me about some of the attitudes and systems she found problematic, asking me what I thought.  For example, did I think it unreasonable that he was not allowed to ‘poo’ until 11 a.m?  I most certainly did.  Apparently the staff would rather he ‘pooed in his pad’, which they could clean up afterwards, than disrupt other morning routines.  She felt that his personal dignity was suffering.  My beard didn’t put her off expressing her conviction that it was normal to want to shave every day.  Presumably there are days when her father can and cannot shave.

Norman served up a dish of delicious Catalan chicken accompanied by a fine rioja, and followed by apple strudel.  Perhaps not entirely by coincidence we discussed the writing of Iris Murdoch.  I have not read her philosophy, but have most of her novels, except the last.  This was so badly reviewed by critics who could not make any sense of it that I decided to give it a miss.  Some time later we learned that she was suffering from the same condition as my conversationalist’s father.  For anyone working with dementia the biopic ‘Iris’, starring Jim Broadbent as the long-suffering and somewhat bewildered husband, and Judi Dench as Iris, is essential viewing.  No-one living with the condition would need, or probably wish, to watch this fine portrayal of the slow realisation that all is not well and the gradual decline into frustrated helplessness.

This evening Jacqueline came over for meal, and, given that she had recommended the Watch Me to us, we just had to take her there.  The food was as good and reasonably priced as always.  As I don’t normally eat another meal after a Norman lunch, this was stretching it a bit for me.