my copy of her poems illustrated by Florence Harrison, published by Blackie and Son 1n 1910, with an introduction by Alice Meynell. Many of the entries are illustrated with full page tipped in colour plates protected by tissue sheets. Others, like ‘Spring’ are topped and tailed by line drawing vignettes.
This gave me the idea of intermittently adding an example to my normal posts, beginning with this one. Thank you for the inspiration, Libre.
A little later, Francesca, from Kitchen Makers, visited to measure and advise on our potential next house refurbishment projects.
After lunch we visited the Pharmacy at Milford on Sea, and went on for a drive.
Pennington Church has a bright crocheted banner along its front hedge.
A fallen tree lies in the stream that reflects branches still intact overhead and is crossed by the Boldre end of Church Lane. I stood on the bridge and photographed some of the
creamy blackthorn froth that currently lathers the spring hedgerows.
A pair of bay ponies slaked their thirst and satisfied their hunger on the edge of the lake on Jordan’s Lane, adding their reflections to those of the surrounding trees and the nearby buildings. The dominant member of the partnership tossed her head and sprayed water in the direction of her companion, as if to say “keep off my gazpacho”.
This evening we dined on oven battered haddock and chips, garden peas, pickled onions, and gherkins, with which we both drank Conch y Toro Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc 2020.
This afternoon I scanned a few more recently rediscovered colour slides from August 2008. These are from a visit to Kew Gardens.
Beside the lake huge gunnera grow; upon it plays a splendid fountain.
The Titan Arum, or Amorphophallus Titanum, otherwise, on account of its putrid pong, known as the corpse plant, a native of Sumatra, is grown in the tropical hothouse. My second image bears a loose resemblance to the unfortunate hooded Elephant Man of Victorian England.
Later, I received a text inviting me to book an appointment for a Covid vaccine at our own surgery in Milford on Sea. This has to be done on line. If I don’t do it I will receive a phone call next week. Having already been offered and booked one in Christchurch I tried to telephone to discuss this. It was, of course, not possible. It looks as if I will take the bird in the hand.
With two more chapters of ‘Little Dorrit’ read, I scanned two more of Charles Keeping’s inimitable illustrations.
First we have ‘It became necessary to lead Mr F’s Aunt from the room’, which offers three different, accurate portraits.
‘Past homeless people lying coiled up in nooks’ depicts a social ill which to some lesser extent is still with us, as demonstrated by this East End Review article of April 15th 2015:
‘The homeless person sleeping rough might be a common image in London today, but in the 19th century there were hundreds spilling onto the streets every night.
Short but powerful, the new exhibition Homes of the Homeless: Seeking Shelter in Victorian London at the Geffrye Museum seeks to illuminate the daily struggle of the bitterly poor in the city 200 years ago. What this exhibition highlights most candidly is the juxtaposition between the Victorian ideal of the home and the reality of destitution in this period.
Some took to sleeping in London’s parks, while others tumbled into shelters and workhouses, where conditions varied massively. Queueing for accommodation was something frequently seen on the streets come dark, even in central locations like Covent Garden, and protests broke out as hundreds camped out in Trafalgar Square.
Touching in so many different ways, the exhibition features paintings, photographs, testimonials and engravings all depicting homelessness in its various guises. The destitute family was a common image, with children evoking particular sympathy, and billboards and newspapers both carried adverts imploring people to give whatever they could to support the city’s more unfortunate souls. The government did, by today’s standards, much to stem the flow of homelessness in the capital, but as the century progressed, the problem became more difficult to contain.
Homes of the Homeless charts this challenge, touching on the different approaches to homelessness – from casual wards where ‘inmates’ could exchange hard labour for a place to sleep, to model lodging houses that were designed to more closely imitate a real home – as well as real people’s reactions to their dire circumstances, collected from investigative journalism and charity reports.
Thoroughly researched and straightforwardly presented, this exhibition is accessible to anyone interested in the history of London. With glaring relevance today, it presents a significant slice of history that should not be overlooked, and an important lesson in charity and compassion. Homes of the Homeless is a succinct, enlightening exhibition in one of London’s most charming museums.’
This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome chicken and vegetable stewp with crusty bread, with which I drank more of the Macon.
On another gloomy and cold morning we ventured out into the forest trusting that the nearer we arrived at midday the brighter the light may become. If anything there was more darkness at noon.
We stopped at Setley Ridge Garden Centre which Jackie, masked up, entered and bought some Christmas presents while I focussed on the displays outside, in the doorways, and through the window.
Afterwards Jackie tucked the Modus onto a verge in Church Lane while I
photographed the fast moving bubbling, rippling, stream with its arboreal reflections.
The old quarry lake at Pilley was once more full enough to provide a still canvas for artistic reflections.
No-one had plucked mistletoe from a fallen tree. I guess there is not much call for it in 2020.
A trio of donkeys spilled over the road at Jordans Lane.
Jackie photographed a driver’s eye view.
Our starter for this evening’s dinner was Jackie’s chicken, bacon, and vegetable stoup. The main course was her succulent shepherd’s pie topped with crisp croquette potatoes; served with firm Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli; and meaty gravy. Dessert was apple and gooseberry crumble and custard. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Merlot.
On our visit to Mum at Woodpeckers Care Home this morning she may have had difficulty remembering what she was meant to be doing this week, but her reminiscing was pretty sharp. It was sometime in the 1980s that I ran The Paris Marathon and she hadn’t been there but she told us all about it. Even more detailed was her description of how her father earned his life-saving certificate in Manchester in the 1930s. He had been in the process of shaving when my uncle Ben rushed in to tell my Grandpa that three girls had fallen into the deep water in the disused marl pit. George Hunter, one cheek still lathered, dropped everything and ran up the hill to the pit. One girl was lost; one another man failed to resuscitate; the third was saved by my grandfather.
A transformer was being changed by the electricity company in our area and we knew we would have no supply until mid afternoon. We therefore drove to Friars Cliff to try lunch at The Beach Hut Café. The car park was full so we turned away and continued to Hockey’s Farm Shop for brunch.
On the way to Friars Cliff Jackie parked in Lake Grove Road so I could wander round the lake that lies beside the B3058 along which the man in the last picture in the gallery was walking into New Milton. Two different groups kept their distances beside the water and a young woman pushed a buggy in their direction. Mallards paddled; two-tone trees and silhouetted bridges reflected; pebbles glistened in the water; cyclamen clustered among the dappled woodland.
Pannage pigs crossed the road at Ibsley;
some enjoyed a reflective paddle;
two busied themselves scratching against low wooden posts.
Despite doubtful clouds the rain desisted.
At Hockey’s Jackie photographed samples of autumn produce being sold in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust.
As readers will know, ponies have the right of the way in New Forest roads like this on on the way up to Gorley Common.
Any vehicles approaching another on an uphill climb where passing is not possible without backing up or finding a place on the verges has the right of way anywhere.
This was ignored by a van driver who descended the hill at a rapid rate forcing Jackie to reverse a considerable distance. When we encountered him later swinging round a bend far too fast in our direction in another part of Gorley we expressed the vengeful wish that he was late and hopelessly lost.
An autumnal scene with horses and another silhouetted equine pair compensated for the actions of the bully.
‘Little Thatch’ at Hyde has some time recently been gutted by fire.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s scrumptious chicken stoup and toast, followed by rhubarb and ginger ice cream.
Such brief sunshine as we were to enjoy today came quite early. That is when we set off for a forest drive.
Two lanes we traversed en route to Beaulieu are named Boldre and Rodlease.
The Gravel Pit Lake at Pilley, almost bone dry last summer, has returned to its normal full state, nurturing white flowers and geese.
Beside Beaulieu Lake we witnessed the annual symbiotic relationship between birds and beasts – in this case jackdaws and cattle. The jackdaw flying away in the first picture has been seen off by a rival for soft nesting material. In spring the animals need to shed their summer coats and the birds need to build nests. The cows remain nonchalant as the birds pluck away.
A short distance away a group of donkeys were being similarly shorn, but by the time Jackie had managed to park the car for my disembarkation, beaks had been filled and birds had flown.
I think a herd of white horned cattle at Dibden must be http://afs.okstate.edu/breeds/cattle/whitepark/index.html/
More familiar black ones wandered at Bartley.
From there we made our way to Nomansland, where we lunched at The Lamb Inn. I enjoyed a massive mixed grill and two thirds of a pint of Doom Bar. Jackie’s choice was halloumi burger with sweet potato chips and salad. She drank a Diet Pepsi.
More foals were in evidence alongside Roger Penny Way. One mare led her offspring across the road to make an introduction to a potential playmate. The acquaintance appeared to be short-lived.
After our most substantial lunch, we needed no further sustenance this evening.
John Wain writes a good story. His ‘The Pardoner’s Tale’, which I finished reading last night, uses the device of a novel within a novel, fusing two stories together by an ingenious means which I will not reveal, but which soon becomes clear. The narrative moves along nicely. Published by MacMillan in 1978, the work traces the transient development of sexual relationships, leaving the reader to use his or her imagination as to the exact nature of the coupling. Following his example I will not provide too much information, thus diminishing the reader’s curiosity.
It is almost fifty years since I last read Chaucer’s tale from which I thought Wain must have taken his inspiration. I therefore read that again this morning. Strangely enough, although about gluttony and other lusts, this cautionary tale did not cover sex. This had me puzzled until I explored the pardoner’s motto: ‘radix malorum est cupiditas’ which translates as ‘greed, or desire, is the root of all evil’. (Don’t get excited – Latin gave me up at school, so I had to look this up.) Thus, our modern author focuses on the desire for ideal sexual relationships.
My Chaucer reading was from my Folio Society copy of The Canterbury Tales (1974)
illustrated with woodcuts by Edna Whyte, and translated into modern English by Nevill Coghill.
On the afternoon of this dismally dripping day, Jackie drove me into the forest where
beside the green at Pilley, sodden ponies scoured pasturage near the replenished old quarry
Cattle, as usual, occupied the aptly named Bull Hill, further down which
a duck paddled among the reflected branches of a tree in a garden where it would have waddled in the summer.
A clutch of chickens raking over a heap of straw across the road scurried off as I approached. Not so the cock of the roost who gave me the evil eye and continued combing.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s toothsome sausage casserole; boiled potatoes; and firm carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli with which I drank Nero d’Avola 2014.
CLICK ON ANY IMAGE IN A GROUP TO ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT. THE FINAL, SINGLE, PICTURE, CAN BE ENLARGED WITH A CLICK OR TWO.
This afternoon Jackie drove Elizabeth and me to Lymington where my sister visited her Estate Agent. Afterwards we carried on to Pilley in order to introduce the prospective new resident to more of her soon to be local fauna. The ladies also visited the Community Shop where much local information was gathered.
The lake is still very dry, although at least one pony was able to soak its feet in the water while drinking and tugging out the weed, before foraging on the bed. When we visited before the recent storm there had not been sufficient water to reflect the houses in the first two pictures. The animal on the far side had quite a trek from what was the bed of the lake earlier in the year, to take a drink.
The customary number of ponies, with foals, occupied the parched grassy area in front of the terrace of houses alongside the shop.
A young girl and boy were enjoying feeding the ponies from bowls. Their mother, like me, having photographed them, was forced to protest that she had no food for the more persistent beggars, and that they should look elsewhere.
We toured the local lanes. May Lane is a cul-de-sac, from the end of which we could see more ponies on Pilley Street.
Finally we enjoyed a drink in the Fleur de Lys, the highly recommended local pub, where we will dine tomorrow.
This evening we savoured more of Jackie’s excellent, hot, chilli con carne. Having downed a pint of Jail ale at the pub I drank water; Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and Elizabeth, more of the Merlot.