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Jackie drove me to New Milton this morning for me to catch the train to Waterloo so I could lunch with Norman. It had been the intention that she would drive me home at the end of the day, but that is not how it worked out. Normally I telephone her when I know an arrival time. I do this on my mobile phone. But I left it in the car.
From Waterloo I took the underground via Finchley Road to Preston Road station and walked through the John Billam Sports Ground to Norman’s home in Woodcock Hill, Kenton.
The litter bin outside Preston Road clearly doubles as an ash tray for those people desperate for a cigarette as they leave the underground where smoking is prohibited.
On the thoroughfare itself a happy child enjoyed her new scooter,
while a large vehicle struggled to negotiate the corner beside All Seasons fruit and vegetable store without squashing the produce.
On the other side of Preston Road, I turned down Preston Waye (sic) which has clearly seen better days. Rubbish bags surrounding the trunk of an ornamental tree
wrapped by a sign warning criminals off rather detract from its autumn garb. The website of Smartwater, the company responsible for the glaring sleeve, claims: ‘We are an international crime fighting and crime prevention company with an established track record for detecting and deterring criminal activity. We have created a wide range of crime reduction programmes utilising our cutting-edge and proprietary traceable liquid products which have been highly successful in reducing crimes, such as burglary, robbery and asset theft. We work extensively with Law Enforcement, both at a local level and internationally, to implement our crime deterrence strategies.’
The drinks can seen on the wall beyond the tree is one of many stretched along the alley.
Like many similar areas, the number of front gardens abandoned to several motor cars, and the rows of refuse bins, suggest multiple occupancy.
A garden where roses still bloomed there was interestingly furnished;
at the bottom of the road were well tended shrubbery and trees,
to the right of which a path leads to the John Billam Sports Ground. Perhaps one of the visiting magpies had investigated the contents of a bag of litter on the football pitch.
A gentleman, like me, no longer able to play the game, made his way along the footpath and sat on the bench he was aiming for.
Beyond the flame red trees, two huge industrial ride-on mowers swung onto the grass. One of their bags blew off and nestled around a bollard.
Further on towards Woodcock Hill, cigarette packets
and fast food packaging mingled with fallen autumn leaves.
Norman and I lunched on pork pie, beef, and ham salad followed by chocolate eclairs. This had been produced by Jackie and toted by me. Our friend provided an excellent Waitrose beaujolais. Before I left, I phoned Jackie to say that I would be unable to call again without my mobile, and would therefore take a cab home from New Milton.
So far, so good. The train from Waterloo was subject to a certain amount of delay because of “trespassers on the line at Totton”. This meant we had to leave our train at Brockenhurst unless we wanted to go non-stop to Bournemouth. There was a stopping train waiting for us, but that was held back to give another precedence.
Once at New Milton, the cab was quickly available.
P.S. More useful information on Smartwater is contained in Osyth’s comment below.