‘Carer Fills The Dosset Box’

After yesterday’s trip I have to accept I can no longer just wait for my right knee to heal itself. Today, apart from a drive to the GP’s, I have furniture walked, with not a glimmer of polish. Given that Jackie is awaiting surgery on her left knee, she has speculated that we might do quite well in a three-legged race.

Once again, I am grateful that we live where we do. A phone call to the GP surgery in the morning resulted in an emergency appointment with the excellent Dr Simon Moody-Jones; medication prescribed, and collected; a recommendation that I dig out a stick I had used before the previous surgery; and back home with a completed application form for a perhaps optimistically termed walk-in x-ray in the afternoon; all in time for Bargain Hunt at 12.30.

A Dosset box is designed to contain medication marked to help people remember whether they have taken their pills or not. Little compartments are laid out according to days of the week and intervals in the days. The idea is that carers can fill them for patients otherwise unable to carry out the procedure. Whilst in hospital after my hip replacement five and a half years ago, I thought it amusing to tell a nurse that I had such a box, because we thought it a good idea for anyone. Jackie was fascinated to read in the notes on the clipboard at the foot of the bed, that ‘carer fills Dosset box’.

Obviously taking this allocated role to heart, she inserted Co-codamol for the pain, Naproxen for the swelling, and Omeprazole to counteract potential stomach damage from the Naproxen, to see me through the week ahead.Jackie's V sign whilst filling Dossett box

I am not sure quite what I said to earn the silent inverted gesture that went with it.

This afternoon we were in and out of Lymington Hospital’s X-ray unit in about twenty minutes, most of which was occupied by me walking from the car.

On our return I was delighted to receive an alert informing me that, under a blog post entitled ‘Dissection of a Wedding Party’, my friend Alex Schneideman on www.alexschneideman.net has produced enlarged images of individual portraits of the members of the group in my ‘Revealing The Ancestors’ post. Alex’s site is well worth a look.

We had never thought of Kenwood as a producer of dishwashers when we bought one on special offer from Curry’s. We had an initial problem getting it going but that was fixed under guarantee. What has always been metaphorically, and today literally, a pain has been that the tray runners don’t operate smoothly and are held in place by plastic wheels which frequently fall off into the rear nether regions of the machine, and are very difficult to manoeuvre back into their correct positions. A fiddly enough process at the best of times, today, feeling as if one of the knives had also fallen from its container and lodged itself in my knee, I had to give up and hand the job of recovery to Jackie.

She was then able to load up the dishwasher, normally my job, with the pots, crockery, and cutlery from our delicious evening meal of her lamb jalfrezi, egg fried rice, and vegetable samosas. Jackie drank T’Sing Tao and I drank Kingfisher.


Early this morning an engineer came to fix our Kenwood dishwasher. Apart from a minor gap in its intelligence, there was nothing wrong with it. The problem was a kink in the pipe letting out the water. The machine didn’t know how to tell us this, so it informed us that there was some loose wiring and we should unplug it and call in an expert. After what was probably the man’s easiest job of the day, Jackie drove us to Christchurch in search of a small lawnmower. We reconnoitred both Stewarts and B & Q. As is was pensioners 10% discount day at the DIY centre, they won. We bought a small Bosch model. On the way back my lady dropped me in New Milton where I deposited a jacket at Johnson’s cleaners, and walked back via Ashley.

On this day of sunshine and showers I was hit by a deluge in Lower Ashley Road.

As raindrops formed expanding circles in the pavement pools a group of road menders gleefully continued their work in the refreshing downpour.
By the time I was walking along Christchurch Road the rain had stopped and the sun shone. Jackie had stopped off at Tesco’s for some shopping, and passed me. I did not decline her offer of a lift, and squelched into the car.

Our vine path sparkled in the sunlight.
This afternoon I delved into my slide boxes in order to produce another in my posterity series of photographs. When, on 16th March last year, I first wrote about our time at The Peel Institute I had reproduced a photograph of myself with a bunch of roses I had just picked from the garden that was taken by Jessica on Christmas Day 1974, I could not find the slide and used a rather poor copy of the picture. Here is today’s scanned version:

We had moved into the building in Lloyd Baker Street in August of that year.

A children’s playgroup could then be seen in the garden, and in

May 1975, Jessica was reflected in the window of the youth club. We learned later that the second husband of Jessica’s Aunt Elspeth had previously taken parties of boys from the club to climb Snowdon from the cottage in which we were staying when the photograph featured on 7th July was taken.

In August 1974 I photographed a sunset over the St Pancras skyline which is now changed beyond all recognition.
This evening’s dinner consisted of Jackie’s superb sausage casserole (recipe), mashed potato, and crisp Brussels sprouts and carrots, followed by choux buns. She drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Rawnsley Estate red wine.

A Ploughing Contest

Yesterday’s ploughing reminded me of that misty morning of 26th September 1992 when I took a set of photographs of a ploughing contest in Southwell in Nottinghamshire. I could not find the negatives, so I scanned the prints. These images were in such good condition that I had no adjustments to make.
Ploughing contest 26.9.92 001Ploughing contest 26.9.92 002Ploughing contest 26.9.92 003Ploughing contest 26.9.92 004Ploughing contest 26.9.92 005Ploughing contest 26.9.92 006Ploughing contest 26.9.92 007Ploughing contest 26.9.92 008Most of the contestants were very skilfully handling horse-drawn ploughs. The powerful animals were splendidly tacked.Ploughing contest 26.9.92 011Ploughing contest 26.9.92 012
Those tractors that were in operation were not as well-equipped as Roger’s modern one from yesterday.
Ploughing contest 26.9.92 015The Abbey Life cart became stuck in the mud. Watching the efforts to free it, I thought it unfortunate that all the heavy horses were otherwise engaged.
Ploughing contest 26.9.92 009Jessica, Michael & Heidi, Ploughing contest 26.9.92 013
Becky 9.71 002Jessica, Michael, and Heidi could be seen in the sparse distant crowd, and nearer at hand.
Backtracking a further 21 years in my slide collection, I traced a couple of out of focus photos of Becky in the original mob cap mentioned yesterday. This prototype was trimmed with lace from Jackie’s wedding dress. Here is the most acceptable image:
Sam, The Lady Plumber, came this morning and fitted new taps and hoses to the guest bathroom, and fixed the shower to the wall. She confirmed that the freestanding bath in our en suite room should be fixed to the floor, which it isn’t. Now we have an unblocked shower, we are unlikely to climb into it again. Apart from the two occasions mentioned on 24th April, this has never been used. It is free to anyone who would like it. Sam is quick, efficient, pleasant, and careful with your money.
Newt 1Newt 2Having this morning established that I had, indeed, begun to unearth a complete row of concrete slabs yesterday, I set to and extracted a few more today. The future rose garden is looking more and more like a building site. Removing all the unwanted materials will be a long. slow, process.
As she was scraping earth from a building block that had been buried several inches down, Jackie disturbed a drowsy newt, hiding in a crevice. Very, very gingerly, she cleaned up the stone, and, with a trowel, transferred her amphibian friend to the side of one of our tiny ponds. She took the photographs herself.
Later this afternoon we bought a new shower head and flexible hose, from City Plumbing in New Milton, for the shower Sam had worked on, and went on to Curry’s at Christchurch to order a Kenwood dishwasher, the fitting of which will be our plumber’s next assignment.
It was, of course, Jackie who attached the shower head. Sadly, the Mapperly family will not be able to avail themselves of this facility tomorrow, because they all have bad colds and need to defer their visit.
This evening we dined at our local pub, The Royal Oak. I enjoyed possibly the best sirloin steak ever in an hostelry, whilst Jackie chose her favourite butterfly chicken. My dessert was apple crumble served in a cup with a jug of custard to dispense when you had made room for it. It was delicious. Jackie also enjoyed her Mississippi mud pie. She drank peroni and I drank an excellent rioja.