The New Bed Is No Longer New


On 31st July 2014 Jackie began transporting concrete slabs I had dug out of the projected rose garden

to form a retaining wall for the one compost heap.

By 9th March 2015 we had decided to move the compost and convert the heap, which had been left by our predecessors, into The New Bed.

What you see in this picture is the result of sifting out all kinds of non-biogradable rubbish.

This was the scene the following day. Note the dead tree just behind the bed.

The above images are all included in our before and after albums, to which I added more prints today.

Poppies in New Bed




By 23rd June 2017 poppies and clematises were thriving, as were

New Bed 1

these lilies, the bulbs of which were eventually eaten by a vole

that also saw off the Bishop pf Llandaff dahlias pictured on September 13th, 2018. The white solanum festoons the original dead tree which is also scaled by

the clematises photographed on June 19th this year.

By September 4th Aaron had replaced the flimsy metal arch with a stout wooden one, to which we have attached a small trowel bearing the legend “Aaron’s Garden” – a present from Becky.

Like The New Forest, The New Bed is no longer new.

This afternoon I finished reading

I would concur with these comments on the back jacket.

My second birthday was one month and one day away when the Allies began their landing in Normandy on 6th June 1944. It has taken James Holland’s book to make me aware that the brutal, bloody, battle for France was to continue until I was more than 25 months old, largely because the German, mostly ill-equipped and untrained, often boys, were ordered by Hitler to defend their positions to the end. The occupiers’ command chain had broken down, and they knew they were being ordered to do the impossible against the vastly superior Allies with their incredibly efficient infrastructure. Details of the carnage and destruction make for awesome reading. There are many notes, maps, charts, timelines, and photographs supporting the stunning detail.

This evening we dined on Mr Chan’s excellent Hordle Chinese Take Away fare with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Saint-Chiniian.






95 Tomorrow


Aaron building earth retaining wall

This morning Aaron built a low earth-retaining wall around the greenhouse. As usual, I made him a print of the photograph.

Red seaweed

Mum is afflicted by severe macular degeneration. This means that she now only has peripheral vision, that is that she cannot see the centre of any subject. My ingenuity in producing a Birthday Card was therefore somewhat taxed. I took the centre of one of the red seaweed pictures from 26th September and expanded it. Trimming it to size, Jackie then produced the finished article. The idea was to tell her that whatever she can see covers the whole image.

Birthday spread

Although it is not actually her birthday until tomorrow, when she will be visiting us, a special tea had been arranged for today at Elizabeth’s. Adam, Thea, and Jasper are all ill, so could not attend. Jackie and I stood in for them. Danni and Andy had produced beautifully textured scones, Victoria sponge, muffins; and delightful, egg, tuna and cucumber, and ham sandwiches. Elizabeth had produced a moist carrot cake and cooked her grandson Jasper’s favourite chipolata sausages, so we just had to help out.

Danni and Mum 1

Danni settled Mum in her favourite chair.

Today would have been our brother Chris’s birthday; Mum paid homage to this; and I passed on messages from our cousin Yvonne and her father, our Uncle Ben.

We tucked into the food on offer, and Elizabeth and I drank Calvet merlot 2016 while the others drank teas, coffee, and orange juice. This, of course, meant that Jackie and I could partake of nothing more when we arrived home this evening.

Mum, Jackie, DanniMum

Danni and Jackie assisted with lighting and extinguishing the cake candles.

Finally, the soon to be birthday girl opened her cards, and, with a little help, was able to decipher the seaweed.