Strictly Come Dancing

This morning Jackie made a shopping trip for more supplies for the day, then drove Louisa to Milford for her to buy a birthday present. Later, I walked down to the Spar shop with my daughter. We then awaited the arrival of Errol, Jessica, and Imogen coming by car from Mapperley.

Jessica and ImogenImogenJessicaThe girls had to be persuaded to eat, because they were desperate to get out into the garden. When they were eventually released, they set about hiding the pumpkins, two of which they had brought with them, and the other three having been prepared by Jackie.

Imogen and Jessica and beachLouisa, Imogen and JessicaLouisa, Jessica and ImogenJessica on shingleImogen, Jessica and dogsImogen and JessicaAgain, they had to be prised from the garden for a trip to the beach. They were, of course, very happy to get there, and enjoyed scaring themselves by confronting the buffeting waves which had the propensity to cover their feet and soak their leggings.

On the cliff top, a painter was intent on capturing the seascape.Painter

Although the day was warm, the wind was strong, and the water cold, so Jessica and Imogen eventually felt chilled enough to return to the house in order to prepare for the bonfire. With a little help from the adults they dressed Guy Fawkes.

Between three and four o’clock Danni and Andy, Jacqueline and Elizabeth, and Mat, Guy FawkesBecky, and Flo all joined in the party. Flo set the bonfire, Imogen and I carried out the effigy and sat him on the pyre, and we all waited for nightfall. When that came, candles inside PumpkinDerrick and burning trousersthe pumpkins were lit, and the fire was set alight. At the last minute I hammed up trying to retrieve my infamous pink jogging bottoms. I was, of course, too late.

The splendid display of fireworks was managed by Matthew, and Flo and Errol assisted in keeping the fire going.

Jackie had catered brilliantly. Everyone was able to choose from chilli con carne, lamb jalfrezi, chicken and vegetable soup, hot dogs, scones, blackberry and apple crumble, and Becky’s flapjacks. Wine, beers, water, and fruit juices were on tap.

The children waived viewing the last three fireworks, because they wanted to watch ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, especially as it was a Halloween special.

Hordle Closed Cemetery

A new discovery was made on my familiar Hordle Cliff walk this morning.

An abandoned bird’s nest perched high up in the hedgerow on Downton Lane where, Bird's nestBlackberry blossomLichen and gorseseduced my the mild autumn, blackberry blossom still blooms, and lichen blends with the gorse. TractorBarbed wire and brambleRoger was out with his tractor bearing new attachments, the purpose of which I do not know. Barbed wire and bramble combined to deter intruders from scaling his five barred gate. A day or two ago, Jackie and I, in the car, had noticed a disused cemetery beside Hordle Manor Farm. On foot, I had not seen it. Today I investigated the Hordle Closed Cemetery.

This is its story:Hordle Closed Cemetery 4Hordle Closes Cemetery 1Hordle Closed Cemetery 2Hordle Closed Cemetery 3

None of the inscriptions on the aged gravestones is still legible.

Cliff warning signOn the cliff top by the rather precarious footpath leading to Barton on Sea, a sign warning of crumbling terrain, and informing ramblers that there is no access to the beach for two miles, is completely obscured by brambles.

Rose CompassionIn our garden we are still enjoying the abundant flora, like this Compassion rose, that was similarly obscured when we took up residence in April.

Whilst I had been wandering, Jackie had produced something to wonder at. Following the Guy skeletondesign of her late father Don Rivett, she had created the skeleton of a guy for Jessica and Imogen to complete on 1st November. On the wall behind this figure hangs a painting on canvas affixed to an adjustable frame that Becky had made for me in the 1990s as a rest for reading in bed.

For those readers who do not know about Guy Fawkes, it is this gentleman who is represented by the effigies such as this one, burnt, usually on 5th November. On this date is remembered the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Guido Fawkes led this failed attempt to blow up King James I by setting a charge under the Houses of Parliament. He was betrayed and the plot foiled. Fawkes was a Catholic, but most of those who celebrate his failure today are probably unaware that they are participating in an anti-Papist ritual, or that some of the fireworks that accompany the bonfire that becomes the miscreant’s funeral pyre are also religious symbols.Catherine Wheel 11.12 The Catherine Wheel, for example, represents the martyrdom of that eponymous saint who was intended to be broken on a wheel. This particularly unpleasant death involved the victim being threaded through the spokes of a wheel so that all their limbs were broken and a lingering demise followed. When the fourth century Catherine of Alexandria was subjected to this treatment, each spoke she touched broke. Her tormentors then gave up and beheaded her.  Perhaps it is just fun to celebrate the anniversary in blissful ignorance.

This afternoon our new BT TV box was delivered, and I did manage to set it up, with Jackie’s help when it came to entering our postcode by using the number keys on the remote control. How was I to know how to enter S from a button containing 7pqrs? BT TV, incidentally now seems to be called YOUVIEW. Early this evening we tested it by watching episode four of New Tricks which we enjoyed. The new system appears much easier to manage and the box is far smaller.

Our dinner this evening consisted of a rack of pork ribs marinaded in chili sauce with Jackie’s savoury rice jam-packed with vegetables. A strawberry trifle was to follow. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank astillo San Lorenzo rioja reserva 2009.