Wind Subsided, Rain Persisting

I took advantage of the one brief sunny spell after lunch to admire the completion of the Back Drive clearance outside the Back Drive gate that Martin had continued with during yesterday’s Storm Babet.

This provided us with a really good rear entrance.

On the way there I photographed a few post-storm views. As usual each image in each gallery bears its individual title.

The day was so warm that the waistcoat I wore over my shirt was surplus to requirements.

When I came to collect my camera for a later forest drive, I found that the battery needed charging. This meant that my chauffeuse needed to double as Assistant Photographer, carry her camera, and produce all the following pictures.

From the bridge over the stream under Church Street, Boldre she photographed the stream; an English Longhorn bull in a field; Heywood Mill House; and ivy seeds.

On Pilley Street we encountered the usual group of Shetland ponies.

Mushrooms filled with water at Norleywood, where some of the many rhododendrons were now in bloom, at the same time as blackberries.

The broken tree further along the road must have come down in the slightly less recent storm.

Although the temperature remained warm later this afternoon, increasingly steady rain reached a violent crescendo before we arrived home.

Our grandfamily returned soon after dark from another house hunting trip to Scotland, fortunately having avoided the Red Weather warning due to hit the area.

This evening we all dined on second helpings of yesterday’s baked gammon and macaroni cheese meal with the addition of crunchy carrots; and the same beverages.

Weeding Plants And Postage Stamps

Warmed by a climbing sun; my paths eased by Martin’s clearance work; ears soothed by sweet birdsong, occasionally accosted by raucous jackdaws; I dead headed roses and Welsh poppies and pulled up weeds this morning.

Before a trip to Ferndene Farm Shop this afternoon in order to buy three large bags of compost,

I photographed more flowers and garden views, each of which bears a title in the gallery.

Something else has gone digital is our postage stamps. I have been doing my best to ignore this leaflet from Royal Mail, but bit the bullet today and followed the instructions, filled in the form on the reverse, and posted to the recycling centre 32 first class stamps which will soon be regarded as weeds ready for composting. We are promised replacements bearing the relevant barcode.

Becky turned up just before dinner and stayed over.

We all dined on pizzas, salad, and sausage rolls our daughter brought with her. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Collin-Bourisset Fleurie 2021.

Garden From 2014 To Today

This morning I converted the following posts from Classic to Block edits, changing the categories of Fag Ends and Gauntlet to Garden:

A walk in the garden sunshine this afternoon produced

these photographs, each of which bears a title in the gallery. In particular we have rhododendrons, peonies, aquilegias, wisteria, ajuga, and ferns; and I must point out that the shrub with clusters of white flowers is not a philadelphus as I recently incorrectly named it, but a viburnum plicatum.

The featured image did not exist in 2014.

Beckie joined us this afternoon to stay for a few days.

At 7.30 p.m. Jackie is preparing mozzarella sticks, halloumi cheese, and salad to accompany her own baked potatoes and Flo’s coronation chicken for us all to eat on plates on our knees while watching the Eurovision Song Contest which Dillon and I have been prevailed upon to watch for the first time in our lives.

Rapid-Fire Heavy Showers

This morning I converted three more posts from Classic to Block edits. These were:

I gave the first of these a different header picture;

Wayback Machine was useful for the second. The correct pictures were all in my iMac Photos on the relevant date, but since they were missing in the post I didn’t know which of those I had published. Wayback provided the answer. One image was irrelevant, so I deleted it.

I was encouraged by a phone call from James of Peacock Computers saying that he and Owen are continuing to work on some of the issues and tackling the posts from the most recent backwards, whereas I am working forwards from the older ones. This means we are quite well coordinated.

This afternoon I ventured out on a dead heading session but was

soon driven in by the first of a series of rapid-fire heavy showers, spattering patio paving and windowpanes with explosive precipitation.

I read some of Lawrence Durrell’s novel Justine which I had begun a few days ago, then nipped out during a moderation of the deluge to finish the gardening task.

Between periods of darkening cloud sunlight buffed the surface of the

dripping plant pearls, with enough respite for me to capture them with my camera. As usual, each image in the gallery bears a title.

Within seconds after each deluge the brooding skies would change to cloud-scudded cerulean blue.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s classic cottage pie; firm carrots and Brussel’s sprouts with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Bardolino.

Garden Delights

This morning I converted the following posts to Block from Classic edit:

I gave The Camperdown Elm and Ache header pictures, and changed the category of the last two to Garden.

Later I carried out a little dead heading and weeding, and after lunch focussed on the delights I had noticed on my way round. These images all show titles in the gallery

This evening we all dined on tender roast lamb; crisp Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes; crunchy carrots; firm cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts; meaty gravy; mint sauce and redcurrant jelly, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the shiraz.

The Latest Addition

After a Tesco shopping trip this morning Jackie and I took a drive into the forest.

Someone on Sandy Down has recently installed a new fence snaking up round the bend.

Others enjoy rhododendrons – mature pink blooms high in their garden, and for others newer white ones along the verges which also

harbour plentiful golden dandelions and buttercups and white daisies.

In her comments on yesterday’s post Jooles told me about the new addition to the Pilley village herd, so

we just had to go in search of him. While his mother did her best to ignore his nuzzling attempts at suckling she chomped away trying to put flesh back on over her ribs.

This evening we all dined on burgers, chips, sweetcorn on the cob, pickled onions and gherkins, and baked beans, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the excellent Shiraz.

Dead Heading, Weeding, Garden Views

In order to provide detail of the ending of this short story, following requests from several readers, this morning I posted

Today’s sunrise was bright – for a while.

The day progressed in a changeable manner – overcast until rain put a stop to my sporadic weeding and dead-heading; heavy rain;

sunny spells, enabling me to inspect the views with my camera – then more of the same varieties.

All these pictures bear titles in the gallery. The first is Flo’s Fairy Garden in progress; others include wallflowers, bluebells, Welsh poppies, magnolia Vulcan, Jackie’s recent planting of the iron urn, budding rhododendrons, Japanese Maple, tellima grandiflora, cammasia, and various beds.

This evening we all dined on baked gammon; roasted potatoes, including kumara, carrots, and runner beans, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Cumulus Climbing Shiraz 2018.

Ferns Lodge

This morning I printed the forms for Joseph and me to sign to assign Mum and Dad’s burial plot to Elizabeth. This needed to be witnessed by a non-family member. My brother and his wife, Angela, arrived early this evening to carry out this final process, witnessed by David, our next door neighbour.

Before this, Jackie, Flo, and I visited Ferns Lodge garden in Cottagers Lane which was open today under the National Gardens Scheme.

This is my set of photographs of the event;

and here is Flo’s. As usual each image is titled in the gallery.

This evening we all dined on Angela’s Chinese tasty prawn and chicken dishes as starters, followed by Jackie’s wholesome cottage pie, crunchy carrots, firm cauliflower and broccoli, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and Angela and I drank more of the Malbec.

Afterwards, Joseph made the final calculations of distribution to the legatees, and I transferred the moneys to our siblings on line.

21 Chestnut Road

This afternoon we visited another NGS garden – 21 Chestnut Road, Brockenhurst.

This is my selection of photographs;

here are Flo’s. As usual each of these images bears a title in the galleries.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla where the food and service was as good as ever. Jackie’s main course was Lal Quilla Special, Flo’s was Lamb Biriani, and mine was Chicken Jaljala. We shared pilau rice, sag paneer, egg paratha, and peshwari Nan. Jackie and I drank Kingfisher, while Flo drank J2O.

The Enigma Of Arrival

This morning I posted

The rest of the day was spent on finishing reading “The Enigma Of Arrival”, by V.S.Naipaul.

The sub-title ‘A Novel’ is necessary, otherwise, particularly as the first person narrator drives in England as a 17 year old Trinidadian, as did the writer.

This outstanding work chronicles the life history of the man interlaced with that of the writer.

It was the Greek philosopher Heraclitus who believed

Naipaul demonstrates this in the book. Through three decades he follows the changes in the experiences of a Wiltshire village in which he settles; the gradual dwindling of the significance of a decaying Manor House and its denizens; the development of changes to buildings, countryside, and gardens; the comings and goings of residents, personnel, and their relationships; interwoven lives and deaths.

Simultaneously he progresses the evolution of a neophyte to a maturing author through the device of returning to triggered memories and describing them afresh in later contexts, layering them like the patina of a precious, fondly handled piece of antique treen.

The writer contrasts the cycles of natural seasons with those of humanity and its artefacts; plants like ivy return naturally, whereas others, such as roses need careful maintenance, as do buildings.

The language flows beautifully; bucolic and gardening descriptions are thoroughly delightful. His characterisation has depth and understanding.

I would have been very happy to have possessed the skill to have written this book.

As I was drafting this, Elizabeth e-mailed me a few more photographs from yesterday’s trip.

The forest floor picture fitted quite well with Naipaul’s theme.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent sausages in red wine; boiled new potatoes in their skins; crunchy carrots; and tender broccoli, green and runner beans, with which she drank Diet Cola, Flo drank Elderflower Cordial, and I drank Mendoza Malbec 2019.