Watching Sport And Dead-Heading

Very early this morning I watched recorded highlights of the first two days of the current Test cricket match between England and India.

One rose I tend to delay dead-heading is Félicite Perpetue, of which we have two abundant examples. Today I could find not even the slightest reason for procrastination.

Here is the splendid spreading plant in the front garden, before I set about it.

I didn’t manage to complete the task today. The corner in the second picture in this gallery was not visible behind the Modus in my before picture, but I did clear it all.

The lace cap hydrangea now has a little more room to breathe.

I have previously dead headed the pink roses sharing the opposite trellis with Clematis Mrs N. Thompson – those that I can reach.

Jackie spent much of the day on similar work, for example

pruning the Red Bottle Brush tree;

tidying the Brick Path;

cleaning and tidying the decking, including repairing the parasol.

She is particularly pleased with the half dead clematis Venosa Violacea, which she brought back to life having rescued it from Otter’s pity bench.

This afternoon I watched Wimbledon tennis fourth round matches between Jule Niemeier and Heather Watson; and between Cameron Norrie and Tommy Paul.

Then came the highlights of this, the third day’s play in the Test match; before dinner, which consisted of cheese-centred fish cakes, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and new boiled potatoes; with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden, Flo drank water, and I drank The Guv’nor, a very smooth and tasty Spanish red wine given to me by Shelly and Ron.

Umbrellas And Multi-Ocular Devices


Early on this grey, overcast, morning, Jackie drove us to Lymington and back to buy a birthday present.

Lilies and bronze fennel flowers

Upon leaving the house I decided I had not published enough photographs of the front garden. I therefore focussed on these lilies flanking bronze fennel flowers;

Fuchsia Sir Matt Busby

fuchsia Sir Matt Busby suspended over the front porch;


orange nasturtiums potted in front of the garage door;


a purple clematis soaring both them;


white solanum adorning the trellis;

Lobelia and petunias

lobelia and petunias cascading over a hanging basket;

Lacecap hydrangea

and this pink and blue lace cap hydrangea spreading across the right hand corner.

It being market day in Lymington I hoped to have further fun with the camera. No sooner had we emerged from the shop, which must be nameless at the moment, and I brought out the camera, than the rain came down and umbrellas went up. Nevertheless, I persisted, and photographed

Women's tops

a rail of Summery women’s tops;


an abundance of bulbous green and golden melons;


glistening nectarines;


metal bowls of oleaginous olives;


loaves of rustic Mediterranean bread;

Veg cutters

the stall of a gentleman demonstrating veg cutters the colour of which made up for a lack of oranges;


and decorative sandals, the display of which now seemed somewhat optimistic.

Couple under umbrellaWoman with pink umbrellaWoman with umbrella 1Woman with umbrella at fruit stallWoman with umbrella 2Woman with umbrella 3Couple under umbrella 2

Here are some of the umbrellas,

Woman keeping rain off with plastic bag

not forgetting the lady who had forgotten hers.

Reading glasses

Reading glasses may now be obtained without prescription, and are cheaply available on market stalls.

Jackie inspecting specs 1Jackie inspecting specs 2Jackie inspecting specs 3

Jackie has collections all over the house and garden. Naturally she inspected these specs,

Jackie wearing four pairs of specs

and bought £5’s worth of what Becky calls her mother’s multi-ocular devices. The idea is that wearing two pairs gives you twice the strength of magnification. Four is overdoing it a bit.

This afternoon I watched the women’s Wimbledon tennis final on TV.

For this evening’s dinner, Jackie produced steak and onion pie, new potatoes, crispy breaded mushrooms, crunchy carrots, and fresh spring greens. We had drunk respectively Hoegaarden and Banks’s Amber bitter on the patio beforehand. I had some of mine left over to drink with the meal. Jackie hadn’t. But then, her bottles are smaller than mine.






The Headbutt


Lace cap hydrangea

Here is a lace cap hydrangea in our front garden.

This morning, Jackie drove us to Eyeworth Pond and back. This lies beyond the Royal Oak at Fritham.

Teenagers on bank 1Teenagers on bank 2

A group of friendly teenagers perched on a bank.

Water Lilies

Behind them was a carpet of waterlilies.

Teenagers on bank 3

The group were very happy to have their photograph taken. I gave them the blog details and said they were welcome to take copies. (I hope you enjoy them, folks.)

There was not as much avian activity here as there had been during nest-building time, but I did manage to catch

Blue tit 1Blue tit 2Blue tit 3

blue tits,


a chaffinch,

Duck and chicks

and a duck steering her two ducklings around the pond.

Someone had left birdseed on a gatepost. This was quite handy for photography.

The chaffinch stepped so gingerly on the gravel that it reminded me of

Becky 8.72

Becky at Iwade in August 1972.

Ponies 1

As I concentrated on the ungainly chaffinch a clattering behind me alerted me to a fast-moving string of ponies passing along the path.

Ponies 2

After a while they returned. One, in the foreground here, laid claim to a clump of bracken.

Pony headbutt

Others who dared approach were given the evil eye, squeaked, and backed off. Just as I was about to focus on its gentle orb, the bravest was given a resounding headbutt by the creature with the mouthful of ferns. The assailant really batted the victim. There was a resounding crack, the hopeful horse staggered off, and I was relieved not to have been noticed.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips, pickled gherkins and pickled onions. I finished the Côtes du Rhône.

Raindrops On Roses

I began the morning by pasting the next series of photographs into the garden album. I have now reached the end of The North Breeze Boundary section.

On another wet day we went driveabout before lunch. First trip was to the bank to make a transfer for cleaning in Sigoules. We drove on to Efford Recycling Centre to dump two bags of garden refuse that, being too big for composting but not worth burning, fell between two stools. Well, actually I tipped them over into a vast container. For the first time ever, we left the municipal dump empty-handed. This was probably because we planned to load up the car with bags of Humix Manure obtained from Otter Nurseries. This is a mixture of Horse manure, mushroom compost, and something else.

We bought seven bags of the manure, which were so heavy that, having a care for the Modus springs, we transported them in two trips. On Christchurch Road there were roadworks causing considerable hold-ups, so we made a diversion around Pennington and Everton for our final return.

Lacecap hydrangea

The lace cap hydrangea in the front garden is enjoying the rain;

Rose Margaret Merrill

Margaret Merrill is living up to her billing as one of the ten best autumn roses;

Rose Crown Princess Margareta

and Crown Princess Margareta continues making her stately way up the Ace Reclaim arch.

I had taken some photos in the restaurant on Wednesday evening, but they were rather blurred, so I didn’t post them, or send them to Becky, but she asked for them because she thought they were good enough. I e-mailed them to her. Actually, kept small, they are not too bad.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent sausage casserole, potatoes sauteed with onions and peppers, and crisp carrots and Brussels sprouts. The Cook drank Hoegaarden, and I finished the rioja.

In a short while I will be watching the televised third place play-off in the Rugby World Cup, between Argentina and South Africa.

The Fender

Morning glory

The garden looked glorious in the morning light. In fact the morning glories lived up to their name. New flower bedIt was difficult to remember that the newly created bed through which runs the head gardener’s path was a jungle of bramble and overgrown shrubs completely obscuring the fence behind, on which were trained unseen clematises and camellias.Clerodendrum Trichotomum

A clerodendrum Trichotomum is coming into flower. These delicate blooms have various transformations to go through before they are done with delighting us.Fuchsia

A very leggy hardy fuchsia, rescued from the jungle at the far end of the garden now clings to the netting fixed to a tall dead tree stump.Japanese anemones

Most of our Japanese anemones are white, but there are some strategically placed pink versions, like this one growing through the red leaved maple.

Lacecap hydrangea

The lace cap hydrangea attracts insects like the hoverfly in this picture.

I have mentioned before that the small white butterflies flit about barely settling for a second. They are partial to the plants in the iron urn. Small white butterflyIf you have managed to find the hoverfly above, you may care to try your luck with this well-camouflaged butterfly on the lobelia.

Derrick staking gladiolusThis afternoon I read Hisham Matar’s introduction to Ivan Turgenev’s ‘On The Eve’, then started on the novel itself. I also did a little watering of plants, and staked up a gladiolus.

Early this evening, Becky, Ian, Flo, and Scooby, came to stay for a few days. With them, they brought birthday presents for Jackie and me jointly from them and Mat and Tess. FenderThe major shared present was a beautiful copper Art Nouveau fender Lamb jalfrezi, chicken korma, samosas, pilau ricewhich fits quite well in front of our wood burning stove. On each side of the stove itself tands one of a pair of bookends that Becky had given me about five years ago.

We all dined this evening on a splendidly authentic Jackie curry meal, consisting of lamb jalfrezi (recipe), chicken and egg korma, vegetable samosas, and pilau rice (recipe). Hoegaarden and fruit juice was consumed by the others whilst I drank Castillo de Alcoy 2010.

After this Ian and I walked with Scooby around the maize field.

A Good Read

Much of the day was spent continuing with the filling of the bookshelves. By the time we had finished last night we were both under the impression that we hadn’t been out that day. We’d both forgotten the mere four hours spent on the IKEA trip which we had in our minds relegated to the day before.
I can categorically state that we have not left the house today. We made a great deal of progress on the novels, but not as much as we at one time thought. When we completed the Novels M box  we thought we were more than half way through this major section. I was somewhat perturbed at the shortage of Is. Surely I had more than one Hammond Innes and another Christopher Isherwood. The task is possibly numbing our brains a bit, so I didn’t persist. I should at least have wondered where John Irving had got to.
So….. With only the two aforementioned Is to separate Harris from Joyce, we continued merrily along through to M. Neither did it occur to us that there should be more Hs. What about Hemingway and Hoban?
Determined not to make the same error (you will by now have realised, as we did, that something was awry) with N, we searched and searched for it. That box remained elusive. What we did find, however, was H to J.

One of the beauties of the Billy bookcases is that the shelves are adjustable, so that different sized books can stand alongside each other in their correct alphabetical order. These can be adjusted as you go along. It is also helpful to leave a few gaps so that when inserting an additional volume or two there is enough room on the shelf without having to move everything along, and consequently risk having to readjust the height of the shelves ad infinitum.
If you have omitted a large section like H to J there is no way you have left enough spaces, so there is more pulling out of studs to lower or raise the laminated chipboard on which to perch the books. This is quite a laborious process, and if you haven’t estimated the space correctly, you have to do it over again. Having gone through this experience once, we had a determined effort to find N. The Novels N box was, of course, in the least accessible spot in a far corner surrounded by Reference, History, Philosophy, etc., etc. I got in and heaved it out.
Have I mentioned that when I first met her Jackie was a librarian? I thought not. Well, she was, and this is proving to be quite useful.
After lunch Jackie researched the Internet and found that the

unknown shrub near the bottle brush trees is a Chinese Lantern Tree or Crinodendron Hookerianum. I updated the relevant post.

We also have a beautiful magenta pieris and and a mature lace cap hydrangea.
Two more discoveries from the treasure trove of Safestore Storage boxes are a photograph and a drawing.

The photograph is a heat-sealed print on board. It is too large for my scanner, so I have here taken the image directly from the August 1971 colour slide. Michael is reading to Jackie and me at 76 Amity Grove.

Two years later I made this quick charcoal sketch of him reading to Matthew.

Late this afternoon Shelly dropped in for a visit and brought a few of the plants and garden ornaments we had left at her home.

Jackie and I dined on fish, chips, and mushy peas, followed by a Post House Mess, the ingredients for which are similar to a Firs Mess.