Late Afternoon Sun

An early end to the Test match and rain falling for most of the day prompted me to read eight more chapters of ‘Little Dorrit’, and consequently to scan eight more of Charles Keeping’s excellent illustrations.

‘Mrs Sparkler began to wonder how long the master-mind meant to stay’ is another two page spread.

‘Lying in the bath was the body of a heavily-made man’ sandwiches the text between the ends of the bath.

‘Mr Clennam, I think this is the gentleman I was mentioning’

”Young John surveyed him with a fixed look of indignant reproach’

‘Arthur turned his eye upon the impudent and wicked face’ which we now all recognise.

‘The gate jarred heavily and hopelessly upon her’

‘She staggered for a moment, as if she would have fallen’

For ‘The old house collapsed and fell’, the artist had no need to draw the building – he simply produced the effect.

Late in the afternoon, the sun emerged and drew us into a forest drive.

All along Sowley Lane

shaggy ponies tore at the hedges for sustenance;

colourful cock pheasants played Chicken crossing the road;

and snowdrops scaled the banks of the verges.

The pink-tinged water of the lake now surrounded bordering grasses;

and similar tints touched the puddle reflecting a gate above it.

Sunset. was arriving over St Leonard’s Grange

and lingered slowly for a while on our return journey.

This evening we dined on oven fish and chips; green peas; pickled onions and gherkins, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Garnacha.

Happy New Year!

Early on what would prove to be the brightest part of the day, Jackie disappeared into the garden and returned with

a range of frosty photographs, each of which is identified upon accessing the gallery by clicking on any image.

By the time we drove out to Elizabeth’s to wish her a socially distanced

the weather was becoming quite gloomy. My sister rushed out with her mobile phone, took this photograph, and e-mailed it to me. We stuck the poster in her lawn, had a brief chat, and drove away.

Jackie then parked beside the old quarry lake which I circumperambulated with my camera.

Shattered sheets of ice filled puddles on the verges

and scattered over the reflecting surfaces of the larger body of water, along which mallards floated.

Hard underfoot, pony poo, passed for Pontefract cakes direct from the freezer.

According to Jackie, seated in the Modus while I wandered among their less pampered equine cousins,

an inquisitive quartet of be-rugged field horses gathered at their gate to see what I was up to.

I was engaged in photographing the hardier breeds feeding on grass and gorse.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s onion rice; tempura prawns; and chicken tikka, with which she drank more of the Rosé and I drank more of the Malbec.

Damp Decorations

I am not given to blowing my own trumpet but when, having printed off all the photographs of spaghetti that I had taken yesterday,

I got the television going this morning I may have repeated “I done it” more often than was absolutely necessary. This prompted Jackie to reciprocate at every opportunity. We are not, incidentally normal a.m. watchers, but I was so scared that I wouldn’t manage this that I made it my first task in getting the room back. Jackie, on the other hand, had been beavering away rather earlier.

We spent much of the day returning our sitting room to its customary comfort.

All afternoon we were beset with heavy rain, including after dark when Jackie drove me to Byron Road to photograph their traditional

Christmas lights, some of which were reflected in

car windows or

puddles.

Among all the more secular themes there were a number of nativity scenes.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s Fish and Chips and Tesco’s wallies with which we both drank Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018.

Colour Coordinated

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM. REPEAT IF REQUIRED

We are in the midst of a fortnight of predicted rainy days.

Puddle

at 8.35 this morning it was necessary to employ flash to photograph the weather gauge puddle in the gutter outside our front garden,

Winter flowering cherry

and the delightfully resilient winter flowering cherry that, at this rate will bloom until September, when it first blossomed last year.

I thought, “blow this. With all this un-desisting rain descending, I’m pissing off to London” – figuratively speaking, you’ll understand, through the medium of scanning another dozen colour slides from the Streets of London series. The weather there in July 2005 was rather better than it has been here today.

Harrow Road W2/Warwick Crescent 7.05

From 1974 to 2007, I was a frequent visitor to Beauchamp Lodge, the tall, nineteenth century building on the corner of Harrow Road and Warwick Crescent. Having joined the Committee in 1974, I soon found myself in the Chair which I occupied for 15 years. Afterwards I rented rooms for my Counselling Practice. This establishment has periodically featured in my posts, but I have not previously mentioned the Katherine Mansfield connection. One of the many incarnations of the building was as a hostel for young women music students, one of which, in 1908-9 was the famed New Zealand writer, the subject of an April 2013 newspaper article in the Ham & High, subtitled ‘The turbulent love life of a very serious writer’.  Who knows? On one of my overnight stays I may have slept in what had been her bedroom.

Radnor Place/Somers Crescent W2 7.05

Last year the lease of a small (approx.15 square metres) lock up garage to the rear of Somers Crescent W2 was sold at auction for £30,000. There was just 23 years to run, with a ground rent of £25 per annum.

Southwick Place/Hyde Park Crescent W2 7.05

Hyde Park Crescent W2 7.05

According to its website ‘St John’s Hyde Park is a Church of England Parish Church in the Hyde Park Estate in W2, Paddington, Westminster, Central London. It is a Modern, inclusive, liberal catholic Anglican church in the Diocese of London.’ I have a, now faint, jagged scar on my forehead incurred on entering the car park of this church. The story is told in ‘The London Marathon’.

Archery Close W2 7.05

Archery Close W2, is another frighteningly expensive street in Bayswater.

Connaught Street/Portsea Place W2 7.05

Connaught Street runs from Hyde Park Square to Edgware Road,

Connaught Street W2 7.05

where the Maroush Deli is actually located, and where many Lebanese establishments are to be found.

Hampden Gurney Street W1 7.05

On the opposite side of Edgware Road lies Hampden Gurney Street. Are these smokers still puffing?; has the gentleman scratching his head discovered where he’s going?; is one of the three women seeking accommodation?; is the driver of the linen van parked on a red route making a delivery?; did he get a ticket?

Quebec Mews W1 7.05

Gustavian, on the corner of Quebec Mews and New Quebec Street was clearly having a facelift. Is this the Swedish interior design company? Re the name of this Mews, see elmediat’s comment below

James Street W1 7.05

The Café Appennino at 38 James Street W1 is currently listed as inactive. I do hope they did not fall foul of dodgy drains.

Barrett Street/James Street 7.05

The Greene King Local Pubs website tells us that ‘The Lamb and Flag in Marylebone is located on the forefront of the renowned restaurant area, St. Christopher’s Place. This Georgian listed building does not hide its beautiful heritage, as wood panelled walls line the interior, dating back to 1813.’ The young man with the shoulder bag will do well to avoid a collision with either of the two preoccupied persons approaching him, and end up in the lap of the barmaid cleaning the table.

Berkeley Mews W1 7.05

I was so grateful to the young lady approaching me with rather obvious trepidation along Berkeley Mews, for being so well coordinated with the contents of the truck and the traffic cones. She relaxed when I pointed out why I found her so attractive a subject.

Jackie had made enough pasta arrabbiata yesterday for two meals. Served with the addition of green beans, we enjoyed the second this evening. The Culinary Queen presents her apologies to those who asked how she makes it, because it’s always different and she can’t remember this one. That may, of course, have something to do with the Hoegaarden she had just imbibed. I drank more of the Paniza, but then, I’m not the chef. We will make sure the next one is fully described.

‘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.

Derrick-645x300

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.

Reflecting On Centuries Of Building

Jackie drove me to and from New Milton for me to travel to The Tas Turkish restaurant in The Cut to lunch with Carol.

For a little variety I walked from Waterloo Station through the early Victorian terraced streets to the East of Waterloo Road.

Roupell Street SE1Roupell Street SE1 2Cornwall Road SE!

Typical is Roupell Street which has Valentino Hairdressers on one corner and Konditor and Cook’s attractive bakers on the other. Typical of the mid-nineteenth century, these dwellings have no front gardens and a narrow hall leading to the rooms inside. These two bedroomed properties can be found on the market for more than £1,000,000. I can assure those readers across The Pond that the correct number of noughts is shown here. The street lamps are probably reproductions.

Victorian chimneys and modern block

Modern glass fronted blocks tower above the London stock brickwork and terra cotta chimneys of their older neighbours. Since London is a smoke free zone the chimneys are probably retained for cosmetic purposes.

Chimneys, aerials, cables

Telephone cables and television aerials add touches of two further centuries to the original buildings.

Wootton Street Railway arch

These side streets are lined with railway arches over which lines run into the terminal railway station. This proximity renders the tranquil nature of the historic little streets, off the bottlenecked The Cut, quite surprising.

Reflected terraces

In Cornwall Road a shorter wall of glass reflects the terraces opposite,

Reflections of blocks

and in Webber Street, alongside The Old Vic, a more lofty block carries the images of others on the opposite side.

Puddle

The flats in The Cut, reflected in a puddle on which float recently fallen autumn leaves, were built in the period between the new and the old. The soggy dog end spilling tobacco into the bottom left of the picture is a common sight, now that smoking is prohibited in workplaces or public buildings.

Crane

A working crane, like this one beyond the end of Short Street, is not an uncommon sight.

Carol and I enjoyed an excellent meal with our usual pleasurable conversation. Although we chose different starters, we both savoured the tasty chicken casserole, and moist baklavas, with a glass each of the house wines.