The Wind Gets Up

Having now reached episode 7 of The Crown series 2, we have decided that enough is more than enough. There is too much intrusive invention for our liking.

This morning I visited Sears Barbers for Peter to cut my hair. Knowing that later today we would be in for a storm which I believe has been named Brendan, we left home an hour early to watch a clear blue sky constantly changing as the relentless wind whipped the waves, scudded the clouds, and precipitated driving rain.

As we approached the coast, passing the White House perched against the indigo skies,

a lichen covered thorn hedge gave testimony to the purity of the nevertheless untamed air.

Even just after 9.30 a.m. the coast road was devoid of daylight

as dark clouds dominated.

A few dog walkers hastened along

beneath skies changing by the minute.

Some gulls struggled on the thermals,

while others hunkered down on the car park tarmac;

I do hope it was a piece of bread that this one gathered up for breakfast.

The waves were simply choppy at first,

but soon increased in ferocity.

The rain was brief but did send me back into the car before we moved further along the coast where

surging spray pounded the sea walls

their cream-laden fingers grasping at

the sturdy breakwaters.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s particularly spicy pasta arrabbiata and tender runner beans with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Concha y Toro Casilliero del Diablo 2017.


‘Strike While The Iron’s Hot…….’

A comment from my blogging friend, Mary Tang, on yesterday’s post led me to contemplate first names. Mary has met many people who share her prenomen. Apart from my Uncle Derrick, I have only come across three others who share my spelling. Strangely enough, they also all had the same surname.


The first Derrick Knight to create a certain amount of confusion was a documentary film maker who began working in the 1950s. Some of his films were used in Social Work training. I never met him, and I didn’t make films. But I needed to convince a certain amount of Social Workers that it wasn’t my name on the credits. The above photograph is borrowed from Guy Coté’s site.

When my picture appeared on Google’s images page heading the story of a man on Death Row, this causes a little consternation for half a day.

The one namesake I did actually meet put a flier through our letterbox sometime in the 1970s when we lived in Soho. He was the proprietor of a new shop called Knight Games, just opened in Dean Street. I just had to walk round to meet him. Imagine our joint amazement when I entered the establishment and we found ourselves staring at our doppelgangers. We were the same height, the same build, the same hair colouring, with similar features, and wearing similarly framed spectacles.

This morning a courier called Phil delivered my brother Chris’s chair which Frances has sent me from Wroughton in Wiltshire.

On a warm, wet, and overcast afternoon, after visiting the bank in New Milton, Jackie drove us out to Ace Reclamation at Parley, beyond Christchurch.

As we negotiated the bumpy potholes of the mile and a half long track to this architectural salvage outlet, Jackie observed that ‘you must really want to get to this place to come down here’.

Puddle Ace Reclamation

Once we had parked outside the truth of this came home to me as we clambered over a pallet laid alongside a large puddle in the entrance. I was reminded of Walter Raleigh spreading his splendid cloak over one such, so that Queen Elizabeth I wouldn’t spoil her shoes.

Ace Reclamation yard 1

The yard and and the sheds comprise a cornucopia of reclaimed artefacts. A giant cock perches above an old telephone box. New corrugated iron sheets are piles alongside covered planks. Pub and Post Office signs are suspended above various garden ornaments of dubious provenance. Just opposite The Crown, for the past two years, has stood a very tasteful item of garden statuary. Not so today. The figure I had intended foe Jackie’s Christmas present had been sold.

Ace reclamation yard 2

We had a look around anyway, if only to confirm that we had aimed for the best piece there. The red Egyptian replica bearing implausible bare breasts didn’t quite cut the mustard, although one of the staff members did suggest she might.

Ace reclamation yard 3

Neither did we fancy the two huge dogs standing between an assortment of vacuum cleaners and an ancient bath. They appeared to be guarding an assortment of doors, roof tiles, and paving.

Chairs etc

Another hound, set up a warning clamour when I presumed to photograph a jumble of chairs, radiators, bath, mirror, and fireplaces. Fortunately, he was penned in.

Carding machine

Autumn leaves adorned part of a carding machine

Fire grates

and a heap of rusting grates.

Planks and posts

Wooden planks and metal posts stood opposite them.

Some items are deemed requiring protection from the elements. These are kept inside,

Clean me please

which can get rather dusty.

Fairground horses

A string of fairground horses line up alongside everything including the kitchen sink.

Don't put it off sign

Finally, pinned to an arrangement of doors was a sign pertinent to our predicament today. Examples of various fireplaces were also displayed.

As a parting quip the manager advised me to ‘strike while the iron is hot next time’.

We drove on to Lyndhurst where we intended to buy another present. We didn’t find that either.

Never mind, we dined on a juicy chicken and bacon pasta bake, with a medley of roasted vegetables. I drank Cimarosa Reserva Privado malbec 2013.

House Rules

One of the rounded posts allegedly holding up the arch supporting roses, clematis, and honeysuckle at the entrance to the front garden has rotted away. In fact it had itself, until hurricane Bertha struck, been made apparently secure by the plants themselves. It needed attention.

Arch supportBuilding upon yesterday’s successful D.I.Y., I decided to deal with the problem. Firstly we needed a trip to Milford Supplies for a metal stake to hold the three inch square beam we had found in the garden. We were delayed at the store by a very heavy shower which kept us inside the shop, and raised my hopes of too wet a day to carry out the job. Although it is only a couple of miles distant from Old Milton, where we were shopping, there was no rain at home. So I just had to get on with it.

Now, it is important that you understand the rules that apply to Old Post House D.I.Y. If at all possible, you must make a bodge of it. I did my best to comply with what was expected of me, although I have to confess that I couldn’t bring myself to set the supporting timber in a position reminiscent of the Tower of Pisa. I did quite well in the incompetence department when hammering the holder into the ground. It wouldn’t go in very far because it soon met concrete. Shifting it a bit further away from the post in need of a splint seemed to do the trick. I merrily hammered away with a heavy mallet until I almost jarred my wrist off. Further concrete I suspect. This meant that, although the metal stake was firm, it did stick out of the ground a bit. That was a result. It wouldn’t look right. Success.Arch support base

The next rule is that if you actually purchase material, instead of picking up anything that might suffice, you must leave the label, price tag, and bar code, in place. This, after all, ensures that at least that small area will remain clean. Compliance with this regulation was easy. The new piece of metal bore all three.

Arch support gate catchThe best technique of all is to recycle something that has previously fulfilled another purpose. The galvanised nail protruding from the rotting post presumably held, or was intended to hold, some part of the trellis. It would have been very infra dig to have removed the pointed hazard, or indeed, the gate catch that has remained in situ long after any gate had been removed. The screws were rusted in anyway, and I am hacked off with applying a hack-saw. Jackie just bashed the nail down a bit, and, in any case, the catch was useful for threading the strap through. I think this achievement offset my having put the pillar in straight.Arch support top

Finally, if you are recycling a beam of wood, and one end of that has also rotted, on no account trim it for the sake of appearances. With any luck the foliage will soon cover it.Phantom through golden archesHouse through firScooby

While Jackie and Flo drove off to New Milton for more jewellery making materials, Scooby Scooby in patioScooby on the prowlScooby chewing grassand I went for a good sniff round the garden. I felt rather relieved that I was not a blade of grass.

This afternoon, Elizabeth dropped in for a cup of tea, in good time to meet Giles and Jean who had come to admire the garden and have a meal with Jackie, Flo, and me. We dined on Jackie’s famous fish dish of smoked haddock, mashed potato, piquant cauliflower cheese (recipe), carrots and runner beans. There was a choice of apple and blackberry crumble or lemon tart, or both. I drank Chateau Chataigniere bordeaux 2012, and the others, except Flo who didn’t. imbibed VinaSol Torres 2013.