A False Sense Of Security

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Often other people’s posts, or their comments on mine, jog my memory for events that should be included in ‘A Knight’s Tale’. One such was a post of The Lonely Author, read today. This is my comment on Drew’s poem: ‘A superb poem which reminds me of my Dad. Dad was not a letter writer. Once, after I had been on a week’s holiday in my teens, he presented me with an unfinished, pencilled, missive that he had not posted. It was a beautiful tribute to me as his son. I carried it in my wallet for years – until the wallet was stolen. He has been dead 31 years. I still treasure the lost letter.’ Suitably amended, it has been added to my draft.

Conversations also provide suitable triggers. One with Elizabeth, concerning alarm bells, this morning prompted a retelling of the tale of ‘A Little White Lie’. This is one of the many Soho stories from the 1970s. It has to be included in my life story.

Although Jackie has begun to transfer many of the less hardy plants to the greenhouse,

 many geraniums,

begonias,

roses,

and fuchsias have been given a false sense of security by, despite the lack of sunshine, the shirtsleeves weather we are currently experiencing.

Chrysanthemums, Japanese maples, and the Weeping Birch leaves betray the season;

as does the winter clematis, whose cousin, on the other side of the gazebo has been fooled into another flush.

This afternoon Jackie drove me to Milford on Sea to investigate the situation at Sears Barbers during the recovery of Peter from a recent knee replacement operation. Opening days and hours are to be flexible – may my barber’s knee be equally so soon. We then drove into the forest where

the finger of King Midas stretched across the skies to begin the process of turning the leaves of our deciduous oaks to gold.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb pasta arrabbiata with tender green beans. The Culinary Queen drank more of the Sauvignon Blanc while Elizabeth and I drank Marco Tempranillo 2016

 

The Sun Gleefully Exclaimed

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Well into this glorious October spell we still have a profusion of blooms brightening the garden.

Here is a small selection.

Jacqueline spent the day meeting James and Mark and visiting Mum. Late this afternoon Jackie drove me around the forest.

Two ponies foraging on Sowley Lane were caked in dried mud up to their flanks. We wondered where they had been. In the gradually filling ditches perhaps.

Further on, against the backdrop of the ancient granary barn ruins outside St Leonard’s Grange, another somnolent equine group cast long shadows across the sward.

We passed our home and drove on to Mudeford in order to admire the expected sunset. Ultimately sinking rapidly, the sun gleefully exclaimed at the view.

In the fading light gulls squabbled over food tossed skywards by a kindly couple and gentler hues replaced the earlier golden glow.

This evening, Jackie and I dined on her splendid sausage casserole; sautéed potatoes and onions; and crisp carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Doom Bar.

 

Twice In A Blue Moon

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Sun disc bordered by trees

This morning I made Tess a birthday card with a print of this photograph from a couple of days ago.

Jackie with Twice in a Blue Moon

Among various cards and presents we received this morning was this aptly named rose, Twice in a Blue Moon, from Becky and Ian.

Just after midday we drove off to Ringwood to get married.

Becky, Matthew, Ian, Tess, and Poppy were all waiting for us in the Registry Office car park. Jackie and I had a pre-ceremony meeting with one registrar, and the other showed members of our small group to their seats.

Becky, Poppy, IanIan and MatthewMatthew

When we entered the room we found that our guests had spread themselves out so as to fill all available space.

Jackie, Derrick, Becky, Registrar Naomi

Our delightful registrars were as amused as we were.

Matthew and Poppy 2

Registrar Carol took us through the service in a relaxed and friendly manner while Rachel wrote up the registry entry and our certificates. Poppy sat with her Dad, clutching the ring boxes, until she was summoned by Carol announcing “Poppy you’re on”.

Matthew and Poppy 3

Derrick, Jacky and Poppy 2

Poppy, Jackie and DerrickPoppy, Jackie, Derrick, Becky, Ian, MatthewMatthew and Poppy 4Poppy and registrar CarolBecky, Derrick, Jackie, PoppyDerrick, Jackie, Poppy

Derrick, Jackie and Poppy 1

She came forward and, photographed by her mother, performed her tasks admirably.

Matthew, Ian and Becky

The others looked on with pleasure;

Matthew and Poppy

then Poppy removed Matthew’s ring.

Becky photographing Jackie and Derrick

Tess also photographed Becky photographing

Derrick and Jackie 1Derrick and Jackie 2

the bride and groom after the ceremony;

Becky and Poppy

and Becky and Poppy entering the courtyard,

Derrick and Jackie 3Derrick and Jackie 4Derrick, Jackie, Becky and Poppy 2Derrick, Jackie, and BeckyDerrick, Jackie, Becky, and Poppy 1Becky, Derrick, Jackie, Ian, Tess, and Poppy

where confetti was thrown and further photographs were taken.

Poppy

We then repaired to the Inn on the Furlong. On the way Poppy took a rest on one of the sculptured seats in the square.

Matthew and Derrick 2Matthew and Derrick 1

In the pub, Tess photographed Matthew and me,

Poppy 2

and I photographed Poppy

Tess and Poppy

and Tess doing “Cheers”.

We ended the day sharing a Kurgee Lamb meal at Lal Quilla, where Raj and Rahoul shared our delight. I may report further on that tomorrow.

Anyone interested in interpreting today’s title is referred to ‘Reincarnation’.

 

Soil Transfusion

Dawn

An early bird atop the oak across Christchurch Road admired this morning’s dawn sky which presaged a fine day.

Washing in garden

And so it was. Warm enough to put the washing out.

North Breeze garden 1North Breeze garden 2North Breeze garden 3North Breeze garden 4North Breeze garden 5North Breeze garden 6

My meagre task of the day was to begin the ongoing battle with the triffid invasion from our neighbour, North Breeze.

Bramble uprooted

It is important to tackle the aliens early enough to prevent them from rooting on our side of the ramshackle border, as had this bramble.

Greenhouse

When they burst through the greenhouse glass, as they did in the film (see the above link), then we will surely need to watch out.

It is a sad aspect of this jungle that it was once a wonderful garden, where the ghosts of such as

Rose

this rose,

Blossom

this fruit tree,

Magnolia 1

this camellia,

Magnolia

and this magnolia, battle through to the light.

North Breeze garden 7

North Breeze neighbours the whole of the West side of our property, and turns the corner along the North side of the Back Drive,

Sparrow

where, watched by a sparrow,

Jackie planting back drive

Back Drive border 1

Jackie was putting the finishing touches (just for the moment) to her creative planting.

Soil transfusion

Another regular operation she performs, on which she was engaged later, is soil transfusion. Much of the soil in the garden is rather anaemic and needs replenishing. Here, the surgeon has cut out a poorly section, removed the spent matter, and inserted a healthy supply.

She will then sift through the choked plants she has carefully preserved, extracting the smelly allium bulbs, and replant what she wishes to keep.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s luscious lamb jalrezi with savoury rice and parathas. She drank Hoegaarden whilst I drank Kingfisher.

The Eyes Have It

Elizabeth's bed

This morning, when she had finished her work, including planting of spring bulbs, in Elizabeth’s Bed, Jackie joined me in clearing up after yesterday’s installation of the Monet arch. This involved removing more clippings to the burning pile; a slight repositioning of the path edgings; and hoeing and raking the gravel. She had, yesterday evening, retrained selected stems from the two roses.

Open Reach engineer

Open Reach engineer and Monet arch

I had enjoyed a certain amount of banter with a pair of Open Reach engineers who spent most of the day working on a pole outside our house. I suggested that, because of their frequent attendance, they may like to buy a season ticket.

Temporary traffic lights

At least their temporary traffic lights slowed the traffic. We could do with them all the time.

Rose magenta climber

Miraculously, this magenta rose still blooms at the end of the stem shown on the arch.

I understand that certain Australians are under the impression that we have stolen their sunshine. They may appreciate the benefits of what they are missing by seeing that

Bee on dahlia Bishop of Llandaff

our bees still plunder flowers such as the dahlia Bishop of Llandaff;

Sunflower

that sunflowers, impersonating Catherine Wheels, still tower aloft;

Honeysuckle

and that this honeysuckle, very poorly earlier in the year, has recovered after liberal doses of systemic fungicide and insecticide.

Later, I made a couple of prints for Frances, and posted them. She had asked me for a copy of one taken by Jenny on 17th.

Frances 1950sFrances 17.9.15

I was struck by the same pair of sparkling eyes that had smiled at her father’s lens in the 1950s, so I made an additional crop of our sister-in-law herself.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips with pickled onions and cornichons. Jackie drank Festbier, ‘brewed according to German purity law’, and I drank Doom Bar.

Hues Of Blue

On this day, with temperatures around 30 degrees, according to the meteorologists, because of a shift in the jet stream, we are enjoying ‘Spanish weather’.

In case any of my commenters have missed Becky’s observation on yesterday’s post, this is what she added to it this morning: ‘Wow. What lovely followers you have, Dad. x’

Rose - red A small red rose standing in a tub by our front door, and requiring more space, will eventually be transplanted to the rose garden. Taking her first outing since her knee operation, Jackie drove me to the surgery at Milford on Sea, for me to hand in a repeat prescription request. We met Giles in the car park, and had a short conversation. Feeling confident enough to return home without an escort, my chauffeuse, dropped me near the Beach House hotel, and I walked back by the cliff top/Shorefield route. Whilst I was enjoying myself, Jackie continued to Tesco’s for a shop, and watered the hanging baskets on her return, thus saving me that latter task. ThistleConvolvulus

Thistles and convolvulus twinkled in the hedgerows.

Sunlight on The Solent

Sunlight glistened on The Solent’s various hues of blue,

Fence and Solent

its passing vessels, and their wake.

Footpath down cliff

You would need to wander down this cliff path to encounter the dog this woman was walking by the breakwater.

Swimmers

I am not really up to descending to the water’s edge, so was unable to warn the fairly numerous swimmers risking a skewering by the WW2 hazards.

Couple on beach with dogs

Elsewhere sun-tans were sought.

By late afternoon, many of the baskets needed a further soaking. I rendered minimal assistance with this.

Hoverfly on clematis Comtesse de Bouchardclematis Comtesse de Bouchard

A hoverfly, sheltered by a higher bloom in full sun, flanked by budding guards, investigated the flower of clematis Comtesse de Bouchard.

This evening we dined on fillet steak on a bed of onions, garlic, peppers, and mushrooms; chips; and runner beans; followed by mixed fruit crumble and custard. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, whilst I imbibed Louis de Camponac cabernet sauvignon 2014.

Conquering Everest

Soon after dawn this morning, a couple of sleek, dark, lean looking adult starlings led a pair of fluffy fat fledglings onto the roof above their nest. A friendly young blackbird, like the lonely child watching others playing, attempted to join the group. It was chased off by Mum and Dad. Naturally I dashed, such as I can, downstairs for my camera. By the time I returned the birds had flown. We miss them already. Later, Jackie tackled further tidying of the beds surrounding the Heligan Path. I helped a bit, and a bit more in erecting a third arch along The Brick Path. This consisted of nailing an old piece of timber to the dead snake bark maple. We trained the clematis Montana, now devoid of flowers, onto the strut, which we hope will be met by one recently planted at the foot of the tree.Brick path and arches Jackie training clematis Montana Arches on brick pathRose peach climber To the left of this third photograph can be seen a scented peach coloured climbing rose which, seeking the light now available, doesn’t appear to want to join the white rose and clematis adorning the Gothic arch, and now rambles elsewhere. Planting around dead snake bark maple

This afternoon, Jackie planted up the cleared section around the dead tree.

Rose garden paving stage 2 While we were thus engaged A.P. Maintenance, in the form of Aaron and his Dad, Dave, continued laying the brick paving in the projected rose garden. This curve perfectly reflects that of the much older Heligan Path with which it links. Mice conquering Everest Conquering Everest 2015 Those of you who have been following for a while may have wondered what the peripatetic mice have been up to recently. They, and their sheep, now cast as Sherpas, are attempting a conquest of Everest. The base camp has been set up in front of a portrait Jackie drew of her mother many years ago. One rodent perches atop an approach peak that is one of Giles’s stained glass creations, on which flies a flag proclaiming ‘Conquering Everest 2015’. Our double-glazed windows were installed by a well-known firm who claim to fit the best. Get it? We dined this evening on Jackie’s sublime sausage casserole, crisp carrots and cabbage, and creamy mashed potatoes, followed by pineapple sponge pudding and evap. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Louis de Camponac merlot 2014.