This morning Jackie and I had a trip to Highcliffe, last home to so many people that it is full of shops with good quality second-hand goods from houses recently rendered unoccupied by infirmity or death.
We went in search of curtains, of which the Sue Ryder shop provided three good pairs, and the Oakhaven Hospice a fourth. A wardrobe was also a requirement, because Flo is coming to stay in a couple of days time, and we want her to have a choice of bedrooms. This we found in the hospice where, in November 2012, we had bought our serpentine table. It will be delivered on the relevant day. We brunched in the Star cafe.
Should our granddaughter choose one of the bedrooms at the front she will have a view across fields to a rape crop in the distance. The idyllic back garden was visited this afternoon, among other creatures, by a cabbage white butterfly and a hover fly sharing the sunlight on a hellebore. And is that a caterpillar snaking up between them?
The tulips are now so full-blown that they have a kaleidoscopic quality.
For my fiftieth birthday in July 1992, my friend Giles made me a chequerboard in stained glass. It now enhances the window at the foot of our stairs.
Fifty years ago today Michael was born.
Here Vivien holds him when he was ten days old.
I have given each of my offspring a stack of albums containing photographs of their childhood. When I phoned Michael today, he told me that Alice had produced a slide show from his albums and they were watching it on their computer.
Early this evening I strolled down Downton Lane to investigate the caravan sites, and in particular the shop. Downton Holiday Park is alongside the lane. A larger and more salubrious establishment is the Shorefield Country Park on Shorefield Road. That has a very well stocked Spar, which will be our village shop.
This evening we dined on Tesco’s finest microwaveable curries; lamb rogon josh for me and chicken jalfrezi for Jackie, with Sainsbury’s vegetable samosas heated in the oven. The oven is definitely meant to be low level, because Jackie, who is herself tall, is not high enough to read the symbols on the control dial. I opened a bottle of Isla Negra reserva cabernet sauvignon 2013 and drank some of it.