Anticipation

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.Mudeford Quay 1

Early this morning Jackie drove me out to Mudeford Quay for a photoshoot.

Neatly piled up are fishermen’s equipment, such as

Ropes and chains

ropes and chains,

Crab pot

and what I believe are crab pots,

Buoys

and marker buoys.

Yacht and buoy on Solent

It must have been the hazy heat that led us to water for the second day running. Even quite early it wrapped The Needles and their lighthouse in clingfilm as a yacht slipped past the Isle of Wight and a buoy bobbed in the bay.

Holiday accommodation

Holidaymakers were emerging from their picturesque accommodation,

Rowers 1

Rower and lady

but otherwise families had not yet driven in their droves when we arrived and I wandered around watching various aquatic activities such as rowing;

Punting

what I am grateful to several commenters below, to be able to call paddle-boarding;

Yachting

yachting;

Casting

and casting for fish.

Motor boat leaners

Discussion about plans for the day took place while leaning on a boat,

Man on mobile

or by means of the mobile phone. This paddling gentleman was soon joined by two children and a woman who rang to ask where he was. He was amused when I showed him the picture.

Gull

Even the gulls kept largely out of sight, except for one looking startled on the water,

Rooftop with gull

and another surveying the scene from a rather motley rooftop.

Roofing

Nearby, a roofer’s head was already lit by the sun which would soon bear straight down on him;

Watering hanging basket

and The Haven staff were already watering the hanging baskets.

In eager anticipation of the first ferry trip to Hengistbury Head

Down to the ferry 1

Down to the ferry 2

families surged onto the quay

Down to the ferry 3

Down to the ferry 4

and formed an ever-lengthening queue.

Down to the ferry 5

Down to the ferry 6

Down to the ferry 7

The transport arrived on time and eager embarkation began.

Steps

The barriers around the quayside are to prevent anyone taking a dive down the steps leading up to the platform.

Down to the ferry 8

This father looked as if he was feeling the strain;

Down to the ferry 9

until he entered the boat and his partner brought along the empty buggy.

Down to the ferry 10Down to the ferry 11

The last few boarders took their places,

Ferry

and the fully laden boat set off.

Dog, reader, gull

As I returned to the car I spotted a large sandy dog excavating the spit across the water.

This afternoon I gave Jackie token assistance with watering the garden.

This even we dined on the Culinary Queen’s wholesome sausage, bacon, and heart casserole. She drank Hoegaarden and I quaffed more of the Côtes du Rhône.

The Ugly Ducklings

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Bees on poppy 1Bees on poppy 2

There was much competitive activity from honeybees, particularly partial to poppies

as we loaded two bags of hedge clippings and other green waste into the trusty little Modus for transporting to Efford Recycling Centre.

Recycling queue 1

This was to take some time, much of which was spent in a queue of traffic,

Hedgerow 1Hedgerow 2

admiring the hedgerows.

Recycling queue with yacht

On the horizon, through a gap in the trees, can be seen an intriguing land mass.

Isle of Wight from Efford Recycling Centre

We had enough time to watch several yachts floating by. This confirmed that the land is that of the Isle of Wight. The yachts were skimming over The Solent.

After this, Jackie drove us to Hatchet Pond and back to see if the swans had hatched their cygnets. They had.

Swans and cygnets

Here are the proud parents with, according to Hans Christian Andersen, their three Ugly Ducklings,

Swan and cygnets 1Swan and cygnet

Cygnet 1

one of which wasn’t quite sure what to do with its legs.

Cygnets

The Pond was so swollen that the birds chewed grass under water.

Swan and cygnets 2

One of the parents proudly stepped onto the land,

Couple with labrador

and when they both began hissing I thought that perhaps I had alarmed them into protective mode. Not so. They had seen the couple with the black labrador as they walked behind me.

Black-headed gull

Black-headed gulls also frequent this pond.

On our return home, I posted the sixth of my seven photographs in the Filling Facebook with Nature project.

Ponies and photographer

Here it is, first featured on my post of 23rd November 2013.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s piri-piri and lemon chicken; a melange of leeks, onions, and mushrooms; mashed potatoes; and carrots and green beans. This was followed by sticky toffee pudding and cream. I finished the Bordeaux.

The Barbecue

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The human memory can be a notorious trickster. Recently, an excellent story from Bruce, himself a master of trickery, featured custard. This brought to mind the typically insightful and amusing Dennis Potter television drama ‘Blade on The Feather’, which had tickled me and Michael almost forty years ago. This contained five characters, three male, and two female. Having forgotten about the excellent Kika Markham and Phoebe Nicholls, and even the plot centring on revenge and the aftermath of a life of espionage during the Cold War era, I remembered only the three superb male actors, Donald Pleasence, Denholm Elliott, and Tom Conti. Only one scene, I thought, was burned into my brain.

This is the film I searched for on You Tube. We watched it last night. My one scene featured Elliott, Pleasence’s factotum, in the posh family dining room, serving lumpy, yet runny, custard from a pyrex jug, and Pleasance, for this insult, in the most progressively, calmly, abusive manner, calling Elliott a dollop of poodle diarrhoea. In fact this was two scenes I had fused together. You must admit, it made sense. My telling and retelling this story over the years produced a few exaggerations. I would act out the butler extracting a far more coagulated concoction from a saucepan, requiring several jerky shakes to slop it onto the baked jam roll awaiting its coating. I also added a few interpolations between the term ‘shit’ and ‘poodle diarrhoea’ during the early morning brandy deprivation scene. If you have witnessed my performance of this, please regard it as poetic licence, rather than a flawed recollection.

Today, Jackie drove me to New Milton and later collected me from Brockenhurst as I travelled to and from Waterloo to meet Norman for lunch at Tas in The Cut.

Emma Cons Gardens from Taxi Approach Road

Looking over the wall on the taxi approach road far over on the other side of Waterloo Station, I was surprised to see an unusual angle on Emma Cons Gardens, and even more surprised that my little Canon SX700 HS was able to record it. The woman in the distance on the corner of Cornwall Road was walking down The Cut, which I was soon to do.

Barbecue stall 1

At first, however, I was drawn by the charcoal smoke and enticing aromas emanating from the barbecue stall, with its usual queue of hungry workers.

Barbecue stall 2Barbecue stall 3Barbecue stall 4Barbecue stall 5Barbecue stall 6

Naturally, I had to approach the scene and soak up the busy, friendly, atmosphere.

Waterloo Millennium Green

Others had brought their own refreshments.

It was, however, the usual Turkish meal that Norman I and enjoyed at Tas. My selection was the best moussaka I have ever tasted, followed by a delicious dessert the name of which I cannot remember, that included in its ingredients shredded wheat and honey. We shared a bottle of the smooth house red wine.

Geetha is another excellent blogger whom I follow. She was in my mind during my reading of ‘The Cream Of The Jest’ by James Branch Cabell which I finished today. This is because Geetha weaves her dreams into fascinating, powerful, poetry. Felix Kennaston, Cabell’s protagonist, goes further as he becomes so immersed in his dream world that ‘the jest’ is that the distinction between his own real life and the fictional world of his characters is considerably blurred. The sub-title of ‘A Comedy of Evasions’ suggests a secondary theme of Kennaston’s being so fixated on his dream woman that he is unable to sustain love for one of flesh and blood. Or is he suffering from a delusional mental illness?

This 1927 publication is illustrated by Frank C. Papé, a favourite of The Bodley Head at that time. The artist is very skilled at line drawing, and although these appear throughout the book, I have chosen to reproduce here just the endpapers.

The Cream of the Jest endpaper 001The Cream of the Jest endpaper 002

This is because they demonstrate the contrast between Felix’s  dream life and his reality.

11_buttery

Note the bookplate on the bottom right hand corner of the first of these two illustrations.

The website oxfordhistory.org.uk tells us that “No. 11 Broad Street, Oxford, was occupied by Thornton’s bookshop from 1870 to 2002. The building dates from about 1800, and is Grade II listed (ref. 1485/170).

The 1881 census shows Joseph Thornton, who was born in Billericay, as the employer of one man and three boys. Aged 72, he was living over this shop with his wife Clara and daughter Lydia (a governess), and one general servant. His son James was managing a bookshop of his own at 33 High Street at this time.

The business remained in the family until 1983, when it was about to go bankrupt. Wim & Scharlie Meeuws of Holdan Books bought it from John (known as “Young Jack”) Thornton, and altered the shop between 1983 and 1985 to meet fire regulations. The Thornton’s name survived on the shop until the business finally moved out on 1 January 2003.

Thornton’s Bookshop was based at Boars Hill until 2007 and is now at Faringdon, about twenty miles from Oxford.”

Social History From The Loft

Ian, whom Becky had collected to join us yesterday, drove off early this morning to bring his father Peter and stepmother Ally to join the party in time for lunch.

Knowing full well that I would want it, Becky asked me yesterday whether I knew anyone who would like:Warwinter coverthat had been among the many items of interest Flo had found in their loft at Emsworth.

Warwinter slipcase

Beautifully bound, in a split slipcase, stamped with the number 37, this is a portfolio of an edition, limited to 50, remembering:Warwinter 001Warwinter 002

Four of the reproductions are missing. It is to be hoped that they now adorn someone’s wall.

Warwinter Illustration 2

We have No. 2 ‘Townspeople returning from the country with potatoes’

Warwinter Illustration 3

3 ‘The transfer of food from country to town was prohibited’

Warwinter Illustration 4

4 ‘Evacuation ordeal. People rescued their property by every available means’

Warwinter Illustration 5

5 ‘The seventeenth century type barge was the only means of travel’

Warwinter Illustration 7

7 ‘Lack of coal, lighting and food meant communal kitchens’

Warwinter Illustration 8

8 ‘One small stove in every house for cooking, washing and heating’

Warwinter Illustration 11

11 ‘Strange vehicles were used for transport’

Warwinter Illustration 12

12 ‘Trees disappeared during the night’

Warwinter Illustration 13

13 “Haven’t you got any food us?”

Warwinter Illustration 14

14 ‘Our food: sugar beet and bulbs’

We, in the UK, remember that we were subjected to the blitz, as we term the Second World War bombing, but, by and large, we have no knowledge of what the European occupation was like. This set of pictures is a poignant reminder of life in Holland towards the end.

Nine Naughty Nigger BoysBefore the war Black people were rarely seen in England, and immediately afterwards, judging by the dreadful reception of the first Jamaican immigrants who came over on the ‘Windrush’, we seem to have forgotten those, such as the airmen who had fought on our side. It was the consequent ignorance that enabled the letter N to be featured as it was in another of Flo’s findings: First Alphabet and Jingle Book with pictures by Nora S. Unwin and jingles by H.S. Bennett published by The National Magazine Company Ltd. This would not be acceptable today.

Because of the date written inside the front board, Becky had thought I may have possessed one of these as a child. It was of course possible. The inscription inside this one tells us that it was given to Peter by Joy and Susan for Christmas 1946.

A certain amount of hot-bedding went on this evening, because Mat and Tess returned home this afternoon, making way for Peter and Ally. After getting to know each other we all decanted to The Royal Oak for a drink before returning to enjoy one of Jackie’s sausage casseroles, mashed potato, carrots, cauliflower and green beans. For those that had room, this was followed by Tesco’s ‘Down the Rabbit Hole cake’, in the form of the rear end of a rabbit which had benefitted from additional sultanas provided by Flo.Down the rabbit hole cake

Only Ian had room for more alcohol, a Peroni, to accompany the meal.