The Garden Of Delights

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Derrick

Here is a photograph of yesterday’s Barnet (Cockney rhyming slang – Barnet fair – hair. Geddit?)

This morning Jackie drove me to New Hall Hospital for a physiotherapy session with the excellent Claire who expressed surprise and pleasure at my progress. After she had strong-armed my leg she had taken the straightened knee to just one degree short of perfect, and the bent position to 105 degrees, already acceptable, but aiming for the 120 target.

There had been a nasty motoring accident on the Salisbury road, causing major delays and lateness for my appointment. We therefore took a diversion on our way home. Once we noticed that the signposts in all the tiny villages we wound our way through were pointing to Shaftesbury we realised that something was awry.

Never mind, on the road to Nunton we passed the patterned fields of Longford Farms Ltd,

and the neighbouring rolling landscape.

On the corner of Whitlock rise and the road through Bishopstone, climbing up to the bungalows above, Jackie spotted a sight to behold. She turned the car round and parked in the street beside a garden. I just had to disembark with my camera. At that moment a friendly woman with a small dog carrying out guard duties also left another car. She was the creator of what had attracted us.

She was thrilled that I wanted to photograph this Garden of Delights. She said most people simply take a shot in passing, whilst waving at the figures on the bench, imagining them to be living humans. She asked me to be sure to feature the boy on the donkey. A neighbour had given her the doll to complete the look. The wheels turn in the wind, and at Christmastime the lights are all lit. Local children love it. Having given me the information she entered her house saying she would “leave [me] to it”.

We struck lucky with The Talbot Inn in Berwick St John where we lunched. My pork Madras curry was the best I have ever tasted in a pub, and Jackie found her Italian chicken with spaghetti equally to her liking. She drank Diet Coke and I drank Ringwood’s Best.

The Fovant BadgesThe Fovant BadgesThe Fovant BadgesThe Fovant Badges

Soon after this we found the A30 to Salisbury and set off home. At Fovant we found a good view of the remaining Badges,

The Fovant Badges plaque

which are explained in this plaque. This final image will need the double enlargement to read the detail.

This evening I watched the football World Cup semi-final match between France and Belgium. Following the lunch we enjoyed earlier, we had no further need for sustenance.

P.S. For a short video of the badges see the comment of efge63 below.

 

 

The Card Case

Yesterday afternoon Jackie drove me to New Hall Hospital for my first post-discharge physiotherapy session. We arrived 20 minutes early and I homed in on a large and wide chair with high arms. Jackie informed me it was the bariatric chair. Just the job. What was interesting was that this was tolerable on the knee.

I was seen on time by a friendly, personable, and efficient physiotherapist who asked all the usual questions and tested me out on the bed. She was pleased with progress which she pronounced very good. Strangely enough, the most encouraging statement was that this was “very early days”. To me, that meant that the continuing pain, swelling, and limited flexibility was to be expected at this stage. One sometimes clutches at straws.

The only suggestion the young lady had to make was that I should flex the knee a little more when walking. Perhaps I had been a little hasty with that. I have another appointment in two weeks.

We returned via the lanes of Wiltshire and Hampshire taking us through the New Forest to home.

Dog roses

As always in May, the roadside verges were at their best, featuring among many wild flowers, dog roses festooning the hedges. These were at Hamptworth.

For some months now, I have relied on Jackie to park as near as she can to prospective photographic subjects, whereupon I have disembarked and walked back to the potential scene. This has currently become rather more complicated. Not only has my driver had to find a less than dangerous place to stop, but she has been required to manoeuvre the car so that I can take aim through the passenger window. she has as much to do with these photographs as I have.

Pony and foal

New foals stagger to their feet very quickly, and are forced to learn to negotiate the uneven terrain pretty much on their own. When Mum stands in a ditch, her offspring has to follow as best it can.

Ponies and foals

Foals were also discovering the wider world near Wootton Common. This group of ponies foraged among the buttercups.

Pony and foal

One youngster set off into the woods,

Ponies and foal

then waited patiently for adult company before venturing across knotted mossy tree roots.

That evening we dined on Mr Chan’s Take Away fare, leaving enough for a second helping tonight.

During my years of therapeutic counselling, I would sometimes see one or two clients who could not afford it for a minimal token fee. One of these was a young man who had no income at all. Every so often he would bring me a present. I still have a little fruit knife and some paperback books from this source.

I believe I have mentioned before that Becky has produced blog cards for me to give to people I meet who would like to read my posts.

Card Case

One of my client’s gifts was a beautiful micro-mosaic visiting card case. I used this to carry Becky’s production.

When, almost a month ago, I had visited Milford Community Centre to hand over some of these cards to W.I. members, I thought I had lost this treasured possession. I had not left it at the centre. Today, Jackie had another good look for it, and found it under one of the car seats.

This afternoon Margery and Paul visited and we had our usual enjoyable conversations. Margery, herself a nonagenarian who received a new hip a couple of years ago and now wanders unaided around our garden, is an encouragement by her very presence. She has seen parts of our garden that I have not yet been able to reach.

 

Out On Their Feet Amid The Confetti

Yesterday I forgot to mention the outcome of my visit to Simon Richards, the hand surgeon. That can only be a good sign. He has discharged me, but physiotherapy will continue for some time. The middle joint on the little finger remains bent rigid. He has advised me to practice straightening it with brute force from my right hand. That’s painful. And scary. Rather like holding a newborn baby, I don’t want to break it. But it seems to be working.

Wind still gusts around the garden, but we do have sunshine and showers. Rhododendron

A new rhododendron is in bloom;

Ant on allium

an ant perches on the first of our colourful alliums to arrive;

Thyme and erigeron

the thymes I rescued from the blue sinks last year have thrived;

Spiky shrub

as has the heavily Corokia cotoneaster outside the back door;

clematis Niobe

and the clematis Niobe enlivens the kitchen wall.

The rain, reinforced by a fierce fusillade of hailstones, soon returned and watered my charges for me.Mimulas and cosmos

These mimuluses, hosta, heuchera, and cosmos have yet to be planted up.

I returned to the task of identifying and scanning the prints retrieved from Elizabeth.

Michael and Sam 6.83

Here, Michael and Sam are seated in the garden of Gracedale Road in June 1983.

Sam 1983

Later that year, Sam tucks into refreshments after completing the Furzedown mini-marathon.

This was a fund-raising event for the children’s nursery school. Clearly the professional-looking number tags had been donated by the organisers of the Farnham Castle Marathon, sponsored by Kentucky Fried Chicken. I made a complete black and white portfolio of the occasion for the school. Some parents bought copies. If I ever find the negatives, I think the pictures would warrant their own post.

(I did find the negatives. This post and the next two feature the pictures)

Michael 1984

Sometime in 1984, Michael appears to be watching telly in the lounge of Gracedale Road. Probably an Arsenal football match.

Becky 1984 001

Also in 1984 we attended Tony and Liz’s wedding. Here is a portrait of Becky taken there.

That was the period in which I was converting colour negatives to black and white prints, using an enlarger and chemicals. Goodness knows how, I certainly don’t remember. Now I can do it at the touch of a mouse, so who cares?

Becky 1984 002

This, from the same set, was scanned from a 10″ x 8″ print.

Louisa 1984

Louisa was there too. Here, putting me in mind of the bridesmaid from 1970, she, too, seems to be out on her feet, and contemplating whether the confetti would soften the paving stones sufficiently to provide a feather bed.

There was more than enough of Jackie’s delicious beef stew for my meal this evening. I also finished the Madiran wine.