I Will Have Known Three

As our nation and the rest of the world reacts to the death of Queen Elizabeth II yesterday afternoon I am prompted to publish this link to

https://derrickjknight.com/2021/09/06/a-knights-tale-28-three-monarchs-in-quick-succession/

which tells of my headmistress bringing the news of the death of King George VI; the story of how he ascended the throne; and of 10 year old me viewing Queen Elizabeth’s coronation on television.

Three generations of UK residents have never known any other ruler.

With the accession of King Charles the Third I will have known three.

As regular readers will know, Peacock Computers are in the process of taking over the management of my WordPress account. They are experiencing similar difficulties in their communication with the blogging site’s Operator as I had with the Happiness Engineers.

The linked post above has lost one of my photographs. Many are missing from other posts. I really hope this will be temporary. We will see.

Richard of Kitchen Makers visited this morning to fix a leak in out kitchen tap.

This afternoon Jackie drove me to Whites in New Milton to collect dry cleaning – which seemed a bit incongruous on such a wet day.

This evening we dined on salt and pepper and tempura prawn preparations with stir fried vegetables and wild rice accompanied by Peroni in Jackie’s case, and more of the Bordeaux in mine. The young family will eat later.

Decorations Begin

This morning Nick Hayter made a start on decorating the last of the rooms in the house after the Kitchen Makers refurbishment.

He began with the entrance hall and the vestibule; his usual thorough preparation of the surfaces followed moving furniture about whilst retaining pieces for our access where possible. My computer desk in particular was left pulled forward from the wall so Nick could work behind it.

Unfortunately in the process Nick or I between us managed to disconnect us from the internet.

This required a call to Peacock Computers and a visit from Max this afternoon.

Be sure to admire his haircut obtained because he knew a visit to me meant he would be appearing on tonight’s blog post.

Here the two men discuss the problem.

This evening we dined on roast lamb; crisp Yorkshire pudding; boiled potatoes; crunchy carrots; firm Brussels sprouts; mint sauce, redcurrant jelly; and meaty gravy, with which Jackie drank Hofflegen, Flo drank Kombucha, and I drank more of the Barolo. Dessert was strawberries and ice cream.

A Flaw In The Printing

This morning I completed the addressing of the last of the cards for posting.

After lunch I scanned the next six of Charles Keeping’s marvellous illustrations to my Folio Society edition of ‘Dombey and Son’.

‘He caught her to his heart’

‘ ‘I beg your pardon, ‘ interposes Cousin Feenix’

‘ ‘Let go, will you? What are you doing of?’ ‘

‘She wound her wild black hair around her hand’

The drawing of ‘She surveyed him with a haughty contempt and disgust’, shows the gentleman’s unusually sheathed teeth indicating his discomfort;

and, in the foreground of ‘Away, at a gallop, over the black landscape’ the teeth display alarm instead of the usual broad grin.

Because of a flaw in the printing of this page, I have not included the text with the image which is too good to omit.

Max, of Peacock Computers, visited this afternoon to troubleshoot the new landline, and to tidy up the cable spaghetti of the improved broadband system.

Afterwards we posted the cards and bought bread and tomatoes at Everton Post Office.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s substantial chicken and vegetable stewp and fresh crusty bread and butter, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Pomerol.

Really Faster Broadband

A Kelly telephone engineer visited at 7.50 a.m. this morning to install the new faster Broadband. Max of Peacock Computers had not been told, and, of course, wasn’t likely to be available at that time. I was forced to dash upstairs in my dressing gown and don some clothes.

The plan had been that Max would meet the engineer at the house with the new router with which to set up our service. Peacock’s man phoned the supplier at lunchtime when he learned what had happened. Less than an hour later he arrived with the router and worked his magic.

First he activated the Broadband and checked that all was well.

Then he synchronised the TV and the laptops.

In the meantime, Jackie cleared more of the wisteria and

trimmed Paul’s Scarlet rose.

I had moved the patio chairs to their winter quarters between our house and the fence shared with North Breeze.

All today’s photographs uploaded like a dream.

This gave me the confidence to scan another five of Charles Keeping’s inimitable illustrations to ‘Dombey and Son’.

The passive desolation of disuse was everywhere silently manifest’

‘Florence wept long and bitterly’

‘The shutters were not yet taken down’

‘The major wafted a kiss to Cleopatra’

‘An old, worn, yellow, nodding woman, huddled up, like a slovenly bundle’

Although these pages uploaded swiftly and smoothly, I struggled to entitle the images. I am assuming that that remains a WordPress glitch.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s very savoury rice topped with a fluffy omelette; and two preparations of prawns, namely hot and spicy and tempura. The Culinary Queen drank more of the Chardonnay while I drank more of the Douro.

Keeping, Garden, Peacock, Wardrobe

This is the progress Richard and Ross had made on the bedroom wardrobe before they finished last night. I had been unable to add it to yesterday’s post, but did so this morning.

Later I scanned six more of Charles Keeping’s illustrations to ‘Dombey and Son’.

‘Mr Carker the manager’ will be instantly recognisable when he next appears.

‘Florence came and sat by his side’ and

‘Sister and brother wound their arms around each other’ give Mr Keeping opportunities to use flowing folds to indicate their closeness.

‘A vista to the railway world beyond’ demonstrates Keeping’s skill with perspective.

‘Mr Carker, showing all his teeth’

‘Florence smoothed his coarse back with her little delicate hand’

This was interrupted by a session with Max of Peacock Computers in which he remotely controlled my iMac in order to rectify a problem with my BT ID and password being rejected. This is apparently not an unusual situation resulting in lack of access to e-mails.

I then plucked up courage to wander round the garden which has received scarcely any tidying up since the recent storms which brought down the wisteria arbour. I was pleasantly surprised at how well she was looking.

These are a random selection of photographs of how I found it. Each is labelled in the gallery.

The Kitchen Makers gents had reached this stage of the wardrobe assembly before we left them this afternoon to drive to Elizabeth’s home at Pilley to complete further administration relating to Mum’s estate.

By the end of the day the wardrobe was almost finished. The more accurate colours feature in the penultimate gallery.

This evening we dined on smoked haddock; creamy mashed potatoes; tangy cauliflower cheese; firm carrots and broccoli; tender spinach and green beens, with which we both drank Jurancon white wine 2019.

Preparing For Winter

Today was one of administration spent on Mum’s estate; e-mailing photographs; and Max’s home visit from Peacock Computers.

The photographs were for a WordPress interview coming up soon.

I was able to access the Probate Forms on line and actually begin to fill them in. Some sections offered yes or no choices with boxes to be clicked. The very first of these wouldn’t work. Longer boxes required the addition of dates. When these had been typed in the spaces were split into boxes for the individual numbers.

Let’s start with Mum’s date of birth. This was 2nd October 1922. I typed 2.10.1922. This was translated to 2. 10 .1. So I typed 02101922. That worked.

I can’t be bothered to list other problems.

I was therefore most relieved when Max arrived early for his appointment, and I could abandon this task.

This pleasant young man, who fortunately, has the same model of iMac as mine checked everything and established that the core problem is probably the Broadband uploading speed. The downloading, however, is far quicker than he would have expected. I had not realised this difference when I checked the speed myself. When I have problems in transferring from iPhoto to WP I am probably being timed out.

Max has shown me how to transfer photographs through Downloads rather than the Desktop, and is going to investigate the current availability of fast fibre in our area which was not available when we joined EE Mobile.

Before setting out on the Probate fiasco, because we had noticed the expected overnight heavy winds picking up, we began once more to carry out protective efforts in the garden.

Jackie had laid down the patio chairs before the last gale and we had left them lying. This picture shows that the parasol has been removed from its base. Today we removed all three garden parasols and stored them in the orange shed.

After clearing pigeon droppings the Head Gardener covered wooden chairs and benches for the winter. Mind you, today was warm enough for us to work in shirt sleeves.

While Jackie was covering the benches I photographed the garden views from above. “Where’s Jackie?” (10) appears in a few.

We still have a colourful view from the kitchen widow,

the Wisteria Arbour still lurches.

There is still plenty of colour.

This evening we dined on second helpings of yesterday’s Chinese Take Away, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Montepulciano.

At The Trough

James Peacock of Peacock Computers spent most of the morning with me on the phone and at my desk resolving the banking/computer problems. Naturally this has been a great relief.

While James and I clicked on icons and stuff outside the kitchen door our nostrils were treated to the delicious aromas of Jackie’s lamb curry bubbling and steaming on the hob.

This afternoon, continuing what Jackie had begun this morning,

I watered a few pots and hanging baskets while she

chopped the ingredients for mushroom rice.

It was far too hot for any further gardening this afternoon, so we took a short drive into the forest.

A group of Highland Cattle were slaking their thirst in the cattle trough on Wootton Heath. The comments on https://derrickjknight.com/2013/02/27/why-did-the-chicken-cross-the-road/ give intriguing additions providing an explanation of how this London icon found its way into the New Forest.

Most other animals kept out of sight of the scorching sun, as we discovered when traversing

Bisterne Close, where sun dappled woodland scenes were all that was on offer for a photographer.

From Lyndhurst Road we could look down onto field horses, two of which wore masks protecting eyes and ears from irritating flies. As usual the galleries can be accessed by clicking on any image and viewing full size by clicking the box beneath each picture which may then be further amplified.

Photographic clues earlier in the post will make our dinner no surprise when I tell you we enjoyed

Jackie’s excellent spicy lamb jalfrezi with mushroom rice, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Carinena.

It was the Assistant Photographer who, dinners in our dishes, dashed out to photograph what she could see from the kitchen table. I would never have got away with it. The landscape format shows bronze fennel in the Pond Bed; the portrait, fuchsia Chequerboard.

Unquenchable Polish Spirit

This morning Nick from Peacock Computers visited to instal a new router and to repair the interface between our TV and the You View box.

After lunch Barry from New Forest Chimney Sweeping And Repairs came to inspect our leaking Velux window. He asked me to send him two photographs, which I did.

Nugget overtook me on the Brick Path while I photographed white Japanese anemones and red pelargoniums.

Here are more of these anemones, between fading lilies and honesty seed pods.

These fuchsias, lobelia, and petunias suspended from the eucalyptus have recovered by virtue of the Head Gardener’s nurturing;

as has this unquenchable, aptly named, Polish Spirit which has twice survived the still visible windburn of the summer’s storms.

To the delight of foraging bees, new buds continue to burgeon on cosmoses.

A favourite perch for little robin Nugget stands in the Weeping Birch Bed. “Where’s Nugget?” (8)

This afternoon Jackie collected Elizabeth from her home in Pilley and drove her to collect her repaired car from a garage near us. My sister came back with the Culinary Queen and stayed for dinner, which consisted of luscious lamb’s liver (sorry, Yvonne), bacon and onions; creamy mashed potato; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; and tender green beans with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Tesco’s Chilean Malbec 2018. Elizabeth had consumed her quota of Hophead Pale Ale on the patio beforehand. One of the advantages of a flavoursome casserole is that you can have bread and gravy if there is enough liquid left over. I did this tonight.

The Long Jump

For the last few days we have been unable to control the smart aspect of our TV. This has meant we could only watch free to air live and nothing would record. James Peacock of Peacock Computers fixed the problem this morning. Intermittently I listened to England’s innings against New Zealand in the men’s Cricket World Cup.

This afternoon we went for a drive in the east of the forest.

One of the lessons we have needed to learn is when to expect animals to cross the road in front of us. An example of this was found today at East Boldre. Jackie slowed the car for us to see a foal. Suddenly its mother took it upon herself to lead her offspring to the other side.

Litter picking is quite an industry here. The major roads are cleared by paid staff, but areas like Hatchet Pond rely on volunteers. This group enabled their dog to participate by tossing a stick into the lake. The branch was constantly retrieved.

We have come to the conclusion, confirmed today, that the small birds, like thrushes, often dogging ponies’ footsteps, are gleaning worms and other food revealed by the equine activity. Unfortunately I have managed to lose the photograph of a bird with a worm in its beak.

One spritely youngster, from its vantage point on a pony’s shoulders took a leap over the animal’s long, concave back, landing on its sturdy rump.

On Sway Road we were held up by an encounter between a double decker bus and a very long container truck. We had to admire the skill of these two drivers. No doubt the bus driver was accustomed to the situation. It was the man in the truck who had to become a tree hugger and reach out to haul in his wing mirrors before inching ahead.

On our return I listened to the bulk of New Zealand’s innings.

This evening we dined at The Wheel, Bowling Green, Pennington. We both enjoyed starters of Tempura prawns, salad, and sweet chilli dip. Jackie’s excellent Wheel Inn burger, salad, and chips featured the best onion rings she has ever tasted; my cod, chips, and peas was equally good. Mrs. Knight drank Kaltenberg, and I drank Ringwood’s Best. Service was efficient and friendly.

Gone Fishing

The final fatal body blow to my hopes for a daily post during my hospital stay was dealt by EE mobile on the late afternoon of the day before my surgery. Today I began to fill in the gaps with the entry planned for

8th January 2019

On this bright, sunny, morning we set out to enjoy a drive in the forest and to gather a few photographs for my final pre-op publication.

We began by joining a number of bird watchers at Eyeworth Pond near Fritham. Three gentlemen sat on rails, at their lunches, and watched the waterfowl.

Others, like me, photographed

the various tits, including those of blue, marsh, and long tailed examples; thrushes; and a robin, tempted by feeders suspended from branches, and by nuts left on posts, flitting about among the surrounding trees and shrubs, pecking up scraps among the gravel beneath.

Ducks, geese, and a moorhen, occasionally diving for their prey, and surfacing dripping and glistening with pond-water, could certainly be said to have gone fishing.

Ponies basked in the midday sun at Fritham,

where donkeys also grazed

We brunched at Hockey’s Farm Shop before continuing

via Roger Penny Way where pools were filling up for drinking and paddling.

As we drove along the Poulner stretch of Southampton Road, we wondered why there was a seemingly equal body of water being sprayed by vehicles on its surface.

The answer lay in a Christmas tree that still had its lights cascading.

I had, this morning received a message from Alex at Peacock Computers informing me that my laptop was ready for collection. This, of course, meant that I could be on line in hospital.

It was therefore with a certain amount of glee that I sat down to draft this post.

Then came the blow. We had no internet connection and the router was dead. I took this equipment with me to Peacock Computers where James confirmed my diagnosis. Even though it was close to his own closing time, James sped off to the EE shop, attempting to obtain a replacement. After more than an hour of negotiation he returned with a loaned device and an undertaking to repair the faulty article. At least I came home with my MacBook Pro.

I was unable to make the loaned router work. The reason will be revealed in a subsequent post. Eventually I conceded defeat.

We dined on pizza and salad. I drank water.