Mountain Sheep, Mountain Bikes, And Archery


On a dank and dismal day, Jackie cleaned out the Wisteria Arbour. This involved swabbing down the furniture, clearing dead plants and sweeping a multitude of leaves.

Jackie in Wisteria Arbour

As I came out to report on a FaceTime conversation with Malachi in Western Australia’s Fremantle I could smell the apple mint in the pot at the bottom right of the picture. The tulip is one brought back from Amsterdam by Danni and Andy a couple of years ago.

Malachi, occasionally punctuated by his sister Orlaith and his parents, read me an excellent story he had written and illustrated, and took me on a virtual tour of their new house.

Such an unspringlike day gave me the opportunity to remind ourselves of the season by following our friend, Barrie Haynes’s, prompt and featuring:


I spent the afternoon scanning the next batch of our 1992 Cumbrian holiday spent at Towcett with Ali, Steve, and James.

On 18th August we climbed the fells from Haweswater where we made the acquaintance of mountain sheep who looked rather more comfortable than I felt.

The youngsters, Louisa, naturally taking the lead, ascended with the help of mountain bikes and the rest of us hiked.

Louisa tackling daunting banana split 19.8.92 1

As we know, Louisa is game for anything, but it looks as if she found this banana split, consumed at Tudor Restaurant, Penrith, rather daunting.

We stayed at Teal Cottage, one of the holiday homes in the grounds of Towcett House, the home of Jessica’s cousin Angie, and her then husband Viscount Hugh Lowther. There, Sam manufactured a bow and arrow and an archery contest soon got under way.

Louisa was first at the butts;

Sam followed;

and James brought up the rear.

I am grateful to Mary Tang for explaining how to remove the date stamp from these photographs.

Mr Pink’s fish and chips in Milford on Sea re-opened a few days ago, nine months after a fat fryer fire requiring thorough refurbishment. We were pleased to welcome them back and take cod and chips home to eat with gherkins and pickled onions. I drank more of the Bordeaux with mine.


The Garden Wakes

Front garden

This morning I continued work on clearing the front garden. This involved digging up more brambles and beginning to reveal the rest of the gravel path. Hellebores and snowdrops have also come into view.

During the trips up and down to the back drive compost and combustible collections, I enjoyed noticing additions to our spring floral display. We have the ubiquitous hellebores, the drifts of snowdrops, the clusters of cyclamen, and camellias in abundance. Insect on crocuses


Pollen is already being collected from crocuses, and the initially pink flowers of the hairy-stemmed pulmonaria have turned their rose-tinted deep blue.Head gardener's pathHellebores

The stone head gardener’s path, which did not exist last year, enjoyed the intermittent sunshine, and even some of the hellebores have lifted their faces towards its warm rays.Mop bucket

This afternoon we took a heap of scrap metal from the garden to the Efford Recycling Centre. Some time ago our plastic mop bucket shattered into splintered shards. In keeping with the family tradition of never returning from the municipal dump with an empty boot , therefore, Jackie bought a galvanised replacement for £2.

In deciding to obtain this evening’s fish and chips from the old fashioned Mr. Pink’s shop in Milford on Sea, Jackie discovered quite the best outlet in the area. The crisp, non greasy, batter covering the fresh haddock, and the glorious golden chips were as flavoursome as they were attractive to the eye. The portions were generous, and the meals were cooked before my lady’s very eyes. We provided our own obligatory mushy peas and pickled onions, and both drank Isla Negra sauvignon blanc 2014.