“Just Like Daddy’s”

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This morning I became a veritable barber in a dead-heading spree.

Front garden from my window

I began with the prolific Japanese anemones in the front garden.

Japanese anemones 1

As I look out of my sitting room window each morning, I think of that excellent blogging poet Pleasant Street, who commented recently that she preferred to see older blooms alongside the fresh ones, “like life”. Although our reason for dead-heading is not vicariously to deny the effects of ageing, but rather to promote new growth, Pleasant certainly has a point. In deference to that I have left the blooms immediately in view to nature.

I also gathered up some of the branches broken by the winds. As the day continued the winds gradually returned to approach the 60 m.p.h. expected this evening.

Palm Bed

Remarkably little damage has so far been incurred. Here are the Palm Bed;

View from circular brickworkKitchen Bed corner

the corners at the house end of the Brick Path;

Gazebo Path

the Gazebo Path;

Elizabeth's Bed

Elizabeth’s Bed;

Solanum and clematis

the solanum and clematis draped on the dead tree;

Dahlias 1

perked-up dahlias;

Petunias and begonias

petunias and begonias in large pots;

Chrysanthemums

chrysanthemums;

Rose Gloriana

and rose Gloriana.

Small white butterfly on verbena bonarensis 2

The Small White butterflies flitted around everywhere.

Molly's Den display 1Molly's Den display 3Molly's Den display 4Molly's Den display 5Party dresses

This afternoon Elizabeth visited and we took a trip to Molly’s Den, where I photographed a few random displays.

Molly's Den display 2

Not quite so random was this scene, taking me back to one Christmas in the 1980s.

Ironing board

Louisa would have been about six or seven when Jessica and I bought her an ironing board. “Just like Daddy’s”, was her delighted cry.

This evening, before Elizabeth returned home, we dined on Jackie’s perfect pork paprika and wild rice. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and my sister and I drank more of the Fleurie.

The Crane

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This morning Shelly and Ron visited with more presents for Jackie. We sat talking on the patio before conducting the obligatory garden tour.

Poplar

The poplar, of which I featured a close-up yesterday, made a pleasing back drop to our conversation.

rose Just Joey

Also yesterday I photographed Just Joey before he had come into his full splendour, which he had done today.

rose Flower Power

Quite nearby, Flower Power, finally released from the being the Big Beast’s convenience, is demonstrating its vigour for the first time.

Shelly smelling rosa gallica

Shelly bent to experience the full fragrance of stripy Rosa Gallica,

Rosa gallica and Laura Ford

sharing it’s bed with the glowing Laura Ford;

Jackie and Shelly

and, later, looked aloft to admire the budding Wedding Day smothering the Agriframes Arch.

Allium

Finally, Jackie proudly showed her sister that the spindly little allium she had last year transplanted from beneath a prised-up brick in the path had, emulating Hans Christian Andersen’s Ugly Duckling, developed into a beautiful swan-necked crane.

After a routine tidying session, we took a trip to Molly’s Den. Jackie has hankered for a couple of stone window boxes with which to replace the plastic ones that sat on the stone wall at the front of the house, except when they were blown down. She suggested that would be what she would like for her birthday. We began at that antiques emporium.

Stone window boxes

These two stood immediately inside the doorway. Obviously we bought them.

But, really! Two stone troughs for a birthday present! That had only ever been subterfuge on my part. While the Head Gardener went looking to make sure they were no better ones among the many other displays, I searched for something that would be a bit more of a surprise.

Gangway

This vast, hangar-like, warehouse is separated into cubicles and smaller display cabinets linked by gangways like this one.

Clothes - second hand

There’s not much you can’t find here; retro and vintage clothing;

Furnishings

furniture and furnishings;

Garden tools etc

garden tools and kitchenalia;

Baskets, kettles, etc

baskets and kettles;

Wedding flowers

bridal accoutrements;

Jackie in rocking chair 1

and a rocking chair.Jackie in rocking chair 2

Now, in situ, underneath the wisteria arbour, isn’t that a more suitable present?

Stone window boxes planted up

Needless to say, it was essential that the window boxes be potted up post haste.

This evening we joined Becky and Ian at the Crown Inn at Everton for a birthday dinner. The food, the service, and the ambience were all excellent. I enjoyed well-filled steak and kidney pudding, crisp chips, and perfectly cooked fine slivers of broccoli and carrots wrapped in a tender cabbage leaf, followed by unbelievably light and moist bread and butter pudding in creme anglaise. I drank a pint of Doom Bar followed by a glass of Delcoeur vin de l;Herault. Should any of the other three feel inclined to report on their meal, I invite them to do so in a comment.

Jackie was given a joint present from Becky, Ian, Mat, and Tess, in the form of a quite magnificent owl. I will photograph this bird when it has been placed in the garden.

 

 

 

 

Mini Marathon Part 1

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Today’s rain was heavier, and steady. We drove to the Post Office in Hordle to replenish my stock of stamps and send the French water payment on its way. The next visit was to have been to the dump with our bags of hedge and other clippings. We didn’t fancy that so we went to Molly’s Den to seek out a belated Birthday present for Jackie. We were successful.

Vintage statue

This is it. No, not the lions.

Too much for us to manage, she will be delivered on Monday.

On our way home we pass fields full of sheep. Today we noticed that they had recently been shorn. Although Jackie observed that it was probably kind to remove the fleece from these creatures at this time of the year, I commented that I would not like to be stripped naked and shoved out in the rain.

Should you wish to see what happens when a sheep remains unshorn, you may like to follow this link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3220414/Enormous-Canberra-sheep-overgrown-fleece-gets-haircut-years.html

Sam 10.83 1

Towards the end of 1983, Sam participated in a mini marathon organised by his nursery school in South West London’s Furzedown. I had photographed the event. I made an album of prints and presented them to the organisers. I thought I had lost the negatives, until I was delighted to discover them alongside the Devon holiday ones I have featured over the last couple of days.

Becky, Louisa, Jessica 10.83

Even when supported by Becky and Jessica, Louisa didn’t think much of the idea of joining in.

Runner 1 10.83

This little chap seemed determined to live up to his numbering.

Sam, Matthew and others

Matthew, on the left, came along for the encouragement. The gentleman on Sam’s right offered his, too.

Man and two children 10.83

This Dad had his hands full.

Sam 10.83 2

No. Sam was not sponsored by Kentucky Fried Chicken. I sported his number earlier.

Man and boy 10.83

Some entrants needed a helping hand or two.

Girl in duffle coat 10.83

Despite appearances, I don’t think this young lady was about to go sprawling.

Runners and pushchair 10.83

Hallo. Number 13’s Dad has hoisted the toddler onto his shoulders, as the leader notches up another carefree lap.

Runner 11 etc 10.83

Sam, meanwhile is in hot pursuit of No. 11 as she drifts past No. 7;

Sam, Mat, and Becky 10.83

those two have Mums in support; Sam has Mat and Becky. Six months earlier they had run alongside me as I completed my first London Marathon.

Jessica, supporters, and Louisa 10.83

In a ring of supporters Jessica steadies the tally board. Louisa, on the right, still wonders what could be going on.

Tally Board 10.83

No. 1 retains his lead,

Runners 5, 3, and more 10.83

while the toddler on the grass appears to have wandered off piste.

I featured a photograph taken later at this event in ‘Out On Their Feet Amid The Confetti’. There it is clear that I had forgotten that Sam was the only contestant wearing a genuine marathon number, and that I had saved it from the Farnham Castle Marathon.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb sausage casserole, crisp carrots, cauliflower, green beans, and new potatoes, followed by apple pie and custard. She drank Hoegaarden, and I finished the madiran.

Which Statues?

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Brick path with urns

Yesterday, Jackie bought two nicely weathered stone urns from an outlet in Molly’s Den, and positioned them either side of the brick path.

Urns

She accidentally let slip that there were four more available. Naturally we had to dash off this morning to procure them.

We also bought two garden statues which could not be resisted. Once more, it was two young ladies who helped us load these latter items onto  a sack barrow, enabling us to transport them to the car. Because of the overall weight, three trips were required to take them home, unload them, and install them.

Jackie and Linda 1

Linda, on our second journey through the antiques centre, was vacuuming the carpet in her section. Seeing Jackie pass with a couple of urns perched on the barrow, she switched off her Dyson, and engaged in a pleasant conversation in which she told us that they had once belonged to her. She had sold them to the dealers from whom we had made our purchase.

Later, we spoke again, and learned that our two items of statuary had also belonged to this cheerful woman who was downsizing.

Garden statuary

Which two pieces from this corner site did we choose? All will be revealed tomorrow.

When finishing a heavy morning’s humping at Molly’s Den, there is only one thing to do.

Brunch

We did it. We consumed the obligatory Molly’s Pantry brunch.

Urn by weeping birch

The rest of the urns are now distributed around the garden.

The statues will be unveiled tomorrow.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s excellent beef pie, glorious gravy; and crisp carrots, Brussels sprouts, runner beans and new potatoes. she drank Diet Coke, and I finished the malbec.

A Silver Lining

This morning Aaron started work on preparing the stairs and landing for redecoration.

Later, Jackie drove Becky, Ian and me to Molly’s Den.

Becky, who has been undertaking extensive and detailed market research since applying for places for a father and daughter team on ‘Bargain Hunt’, the TV antiques competition programme, had not yet visited our local emporium. We came to see this trip as a training exercise. Contestants have one hour in which to make three purchases which are then sold at auction.

Molly's Den wet floor 1Molly's Den wet floor 2

We have experienced enough rain in the last 72 hours to make parts of the Christchurch/Lymington Road resemble a lake. Molly’s Den suffered considerable leakage through the vast warehouse roof. The staff had spent two and a half hours mopping up the water.

Raindrops on table

Most of the items for sale had been rescued, although the odd raindrops lingered.

Jackie and Owl

Becky and brooch

We managed to cover all areas in our allotted hour, but did not make the required number of purchases. I bought Jackie an owl, and Ian bought Becky a brooch.

Jackie, Becky, and brunches

The presentations took place in Molly’s Pantry. When the two ladies received their brunches before Ian and me, they resolved my dilemma about being unable to photograph all the meals together by hamming up repetitions of their earlier delight.

Brunches

Ian and I struggled through the plentiful all day brunches of excellent quality. The chef came to our table and apologised that he had run out of vine tomatoes. He needn’t have worried. The first-rate standard of the sausages, bacon, black pudding, baked beans, mushrooms, wedges of buttered toast, and perfectly fried eggs more than made up for it.

Owls

Jackie bought another two owls.

Cloud with silver lining

On our drive home we were reminded that every cloud has a silver lining. The rain had desisted and the sky was turning blue.

Close perusal of the pictures of Molly’s Pantry fare will render it unsurprising that neither Ian nor I required an evening meal, and a few samosas sufficed for the women.

Schnittlinie

Yesterday’s steady rain changed to showery weather today. One rainfall soaked us as we ran from the car to Molly’s Den; another kept us in the car when, after the Den shopping trip Jackie and I drove down to Barton on Sea.

The return visit to Molly’s was in search of some Victorian glasses for Shelly’s birthday. We found them and also the bonus of present for someone else which cannot yet be mentioned.

Having read the post of our previous visit to this emporium, Barrie Haynes regretted that I had not photographed the play bus. I had not done so because it was swarming with unaccompanied children and I was therefore afraid to do so. This time parents were there supervising their offspring. When I explained that our friend, who has an interest in such things, would like me to photograph the vehicle, they were only too pleased to assist by ushering their infants out of the way to give me a clear view of Bessie’s Play Bus. I ruefully reflected that it would have been much nicer had the ‘ess’ in the title read ‘arr’. So, here you are Barrie:Bessie's Play Bus

The ‘Bronco’ toilet paper of the 1940s was made of a single layer of tissue paper, rough on one side, and shiny on the other. It wasn’t very comfortable, and if you used the wrong side you could get yourself into trouble. Mum’s dress patterns, being rather flimsy, were not much better, but in post-war Britain you used what you could get hold of. Again on our last trip to the cubicles (in Molly’s Den), I had found some framed pattern covers, roughly contemporary with those Mum cut up for us to use when closeted. Today’s find was even better. Dressmaking patternThere were two actual patterns from the 1940s in their covers. I eagerly opened one of them so I could once again feast my eyes on our loo reading material from that decade. These examples were American and only printed in English so I was denied the pleasure of once more seeing the word that had creased us up when we were early learners. When I had shown Elizabeth the pattern covers, and mentioned them on the phone to Mum, each of them had the same initial response to make: ‘Schnittlinie’. Probably aided by the symbol of a pair of scissors at the edge of the line, I was quite proud, all of seven or eight years old, to be able to translate ‘cutting line’. Elizabeth, incidentally, twelve years younger than me, never had the joys of reading the word, but it was already firmly embedded in family culture. Hence her immediate association with it. As a matter of interest, on account, no doubt, of the number of visitors we had recently, Jackie first of all had shopped at Lidl for a replacement stock of toilet rolls, on which we had experienced a run.

I have now taken so many photographs of the Isle of Wight, that I amuse myself by varying Isle of Wight through wet windscreenthe weather, the light, and the viewing angle. The heavy rain on the windscreen gave me a Chrysanthsdifferent option today. It is in the picture, just above the bar of the car park barrier.

The rain eased off enough this afternoon for us to begin to populate the flower bed cleared by Elizabeth over the last couple of days. I dug a space, which involved moving an acanthus further back, and Jackie planted half a dozen chrysanthemums she had bought in Lidl. They don’t look much at the moment, but next year they should be up to two feet tall.

Late this afternoon we drove over to Shelly’s birthday tea party. She had produced a splendid array of canapes, well-filled tasty sandwiches, pork pie, warm quiche, and homemade cakes accompanied by cups of tea and glasses of Cava. She was very pleased with our present. She had in fact told us about Molly’s Den, which added a pleasing touch to our purchase. Jackie and Malcolm were there, as was Pete, and daughter Katie who is about to open her own stall at a similar outlet in Wimborne, so the conversation naturally led to stories of antiques and auctions. It was particularly nice to meet Ron and Jackie’s parents, Ray and Daphne.

 

Her Very Own Seaside

Molly’s Den is the name of a company that runs vast Vintage Antiques emporia in Hampshire and Dorset. We chose to visit the one in New Milton this morning. It offers several hours entertainment and the opportunity to pick up interesting bargains. There is a tea room, a very large play area, including an old bus, for children to amuse themselves for hours. The refreshments and the children’s facility provide welcome respite from wandering up and down the aisles examining the fascinating wares on display in units varying in size from a cabinet to a twelve foot square room-sized cubicle.

Elizabeth pointed out a ‘monstrosity‘, the family term for which is explained in my post of A 'monstrosity'that title. In fact the Molly’s Den one is far more tasteful than the telephone table described in that story.

Birdshit on deskAn unexpected embellishment to a desk caused me to look up to the ceiling in search of an open skylight. There wasn’t one.

As always, exploring outlets for items which for some are history and for me reminiscent of my own lifetime, I was taken back to childhood by some exhibits.The Beano The several copies of the Dandy and Beano on offer dated mostly from the 1990s. We enjoyed them at home in the 1940s and ’50s, but we had to wait for Mum to read them first. In my photograph can be seen two painter’s footprints and Elizabeth and my sandalled toes. That seemed quite a happy coincidence.

I have already featured the practical use Mum made of dressmaking patterns. Dress designsToday I noticed a rack of possible covers which were guaranteed to be contemporary with the tissue paper we sat and contemplated in our early years.Elizabeth reflectedDerrick reflected

There was plenty of opportunity for Elizabeth and me to appear in a reflective mood. I even managed a selfie.Rug

I bought an apparently unused 6 foot by 4 foot pure wool rug with hand-knotted fringes for the incredible price of £18. Jackie capped it with nine Victorian etched glasses for half that price.

For some reason Jackie and Elizabeth were amused at my efforts at photographing the glasses. I was oblivious of this as I concentrated on the subjects and got my lady to hold up a towel in an effort to reduce glare from the window. That particular device was soon abandoned because it produced a coloration that suggested that the receptacles already contained wine.Jackie assisting Derrick photographingWine glasses

Reminiscing about our respective childhoods over lunch led to discussion of those rare trips to the seaside. Jackie’s grandfather, a motor factor, always had a car; but when Elizabeth was very small our Dad didn’t, and we relied on those of uncles. I have entirely forgotten one of our outings, but my younger sister has not. She was too young to remember the venue, but the story, from about 1959, has stood the test of time. Apparently Dad, Chris and I had sneaked a small suitcase onto the beach, unbeknown to our little sister. When we got home she was presented with the container. When she opened it, there before her very eyes was a heap of sand and shells enclosed in a secure space. She had her very own ‘seaside’ with which to play in her London garden.

This afternoon Jackie drove us to Woodgreen near Fordingbridge where nineteen artists feature in Hampshire Open Studios. First stop for us was to Pete and Nicky Gilbert’s idyllically sited beautifully restored home where Pete showed his paintings along with work by Hugh Lohan, Frances Barker, and Yukari. All the paintings, pastel portraits, photographs, jewellery, and woodwork were impressive. Pete’s landscapes and his life’s journey were truly inspirational. Further information can be found on his website at http://www.pgilbert.me.ukPete Gilbert

Elizabeth bought a print of one of Pete’s pieces, more of which are seen behind him in my photograph. She then dashed back for a chopping board.

We proceeded to Coach House Studio to see the work of Andrea Finn, Dawn Gear, Sarah Orchard, Sarah Waters and Wendy de Salis. These included jewellery, ceramics, sculpture, textiles, and paintings.I had a long conversation with Sarah Waters who is developing the creation of fabrics using the combination of yeast and bacteria in a glucose solution. Sarah Waters processSarah Waters textilesSarah Waters fabricsThis produces a mat of cellulose fibres which form a vegetable ‘leather’. One table displayed Kombucha, the process; and another the product, more of which was suspended against the light. Sarah’s website is http://www.sarahwaterstextiles.com

We bought three of Wendy de Salis’s ceramic birds to hang in our trees. Smokebush treeThe sun, playing in the smokebush tree in Wendy’s garden, seemed to know it was part of the group of artists.

Hordle Chinese Take Away provided their usual splendid meal for our dinner. Elizabeth and I drank more of the Cuvee St Jaine. Drank open, and enjoyed, the dry white version.