Mobile, cigarettes, chips, and coke

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

Aaron, this Sunday, had removed two overhanging branches from a neighbours fir tree, and had dismantled an old temporary greenhouse cobbled together from panels found on our plot. Early this morning we chopped the branches into manageable chunks to fill an orange bag and, along with some of the panels, and a rather rancid bathroom cabinet left by our predecessors, removed them to Efford Recycling Centre.

This effort entitled to us to spend the rest of the morning in the forest.

Ponies in traffic 1Ponies in traffic 2Ponies in traffic 3Ponies in traffic 4Ponies in traffic 5Ponies in traffic 6Ponies in traffic 7Ponies in traffic 8Ponies in traffic 9Ponies in traffic 10Ponies in traffic 11Ponies in traffic 12

We consider ourselves fortunate to have reached Beaulieu and traversed it. The ponies had other ideas. Switching from side to side of the narrow approach road, they caused the longest tailback we have ever experienced here.

Pony on the move

One animal broke into a run when it saw that its companions had

Ponies in traffic 13

reached the wide verge, just outside the village, where we normally see them. If you are bored with all these rear views, imagine what else i was going to do as we fell into line? Do you know that number plate off by heart yet?

Ponies on road

Fortunately, once through Beaulieu, we were travelling in the right direction to be unhindered by a less mobile group.

Entrance

After this, we set off for Calshot Castle which was open for visitors. Originally built for King Henry VIII the castle was extended and refurbished in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.

R.A.F. Medical Corps uniform

The entrance door above leads to the shop where admission tickets may be bought. My first thought was to pass the young woman seated at her desk studying her mobile phone and approach the young man in the corner for tickets. Rapidly reorienting myself I purchased our admission from the young lady, who was, in fact, most engaging. In particular, she had a very tactful way of asking whether we were pensioners, and didn’t use the word once. The gentleman was wearing an R.A.F. Medical Corps uniform.

Head

Entering a room marked ‘Cell’, I found myself in an office, upon a shelf in which was evidence of a recent decapitation.

CannonJackie and cannons

Through the cannon turrets

Paddle boarder

I spied a paddle boarder who wouldn’t have had much chance of penetrating the defences.

Doorway up

We ascended steep stone steps leading

Barracks 1

eventually to a large central room that had, in the last lustrum of the 19th century, been converted to a barracks.

Barracks 2

Each man was allocated his own meagre space containing a metal framed and sprung bed that didn’t look too comfortable.

Tudor chimney and stove

The room contained a coal burning stove fronting the repaired remnants of the Tudor fireplace.

Barracks roof

A number of stone-roofed alcoves

Watching container vessel

were brightly lit by windows from which I could observe visitors watching a container vessel

Watching container vessel and kayaker

and a kayaker down below.

Pointing couples

What, I wondered, had attracted the attention of these two pointers? In the foreground of this shot lies the moat that surrounded the castle.

Garderobe

A corner on this level contained a garderobe. This, primarily, is a locked chamber containing dress and other stores; by extension a bed-chamber, or a privy. This was a very dark room, and the only image for which I used flash. Otherwise you would not have seen the hole, once covered by a wooden seat, which received human excreta to slide down into the depths below.

Top flight of stairs

The final set of steps bore a sign warning of the uneven roof above. I was more concerned about the steps themselves.

Iron door

They led to a stout iron door, one of several that stood one the gun platform up there.

Jackie on battlements

Here is evidence that Jackie made it to the top.

Boats and passers-by 1Boats and passing couple

These images of stored boats, passers by,

Wooden stakes

wooden stakes,

Lifeboat Centre

and a family investigating the lifeboat centre we have to suffice for mine.

Vehicle carrier, ferry boat, yachts

Our trip ended with a brunch in the Activity Centre Café, from which I watched a ferry boat and a couple of yachts crossing the path of a car transporter;

Cigarettes, chips, and mobile

and a family group enjoying their lunch in the sunshine.

This evening we dined on Mr Chan’s Chinese takeaway with which Jackie drank Blue Moon and I finished the Bordeaux.

 

 

 

 

 

Post-Katie Recovery Process

This morning we began the post-Katie recovery process. Once we could reach the broken greenhouse this is what greeted us:

Broken greenhousePerspex broken

Some of the perspex had blown round the house and, torn, come to rest against the front gardener’s arbour. In reassembling all this we could have done with a three-year-old who would have recognised where all the bits went.

Gate dislodged

The concrete base for the iron gate had been uprooted and the structure knocked sideways.

Finch

We entertained a pair of finches of some sort.

The really pleasant surprise was that large areas of the garden went unscathed. The area around the house took the brunt of the gales.

View across Heligan Path

The Weeping Birch Bed,

Heligan Path

The Heligan Path,

View across grass to Dead End Path

and the borders around the grass patch, were all unharmed.

Side path

Side path and lifted concrete

Continuing this afternoon we rebuilt the frames on the side path. The second view shows the lifted  concrete mentioned above.

Agriframes Gothic Arch

We then provided additional support for the fallen arches, and heeled them in. Through the one in the front garden can be seen the pot of daffodils returned to their perch;

Jackie adjusting arch on Dead End Path

and here Jackie adjusts that across the Dead End Path.

After this we transported the last two bags of cuttings, filled on Sunday by Aaron and Robin, to the dump, returning with two wooden folding chairs,

Stove and log bin

and a galvanised bin just right for carrying logs, which was just as well because it will be a week before we will receive our tank of oil.

I managed to load up this container before Shelly popped in for a visit.

It seemed a bit harsh to expect The Head Gardener to cook after such a day, so we dined at Lal Quilla in Lymington. My choice was king prawn Ceylon, and Jackie’s chicken sag. We shared special fried rice, egg paratha and onion bhaji; and both drank Kingfisher. The meal and service were as good as always.

Entering Bridgetown

When you have been a townie all your life and you take up residence in an area that has none of the mains services that you have taken for granted, you tend to forget things. Like oil for the central heating. Because there is no gas. Then you tend to run out at a Bank Holiday weekend. And, being Easter, it is still chilly.

Stove

Fortunately we have a wood-burning stove. We have never before used it, but did have the chimney swept last autumn. And did have logs from the many pruning jobs we’ve carried out. All I had to do was get my head round operating it. Probably, if I had moved the church candle a bit further away from the heat it would not have melted. Hopefully we are not roasting the jackdaws that clatter the metal plate above the stove with nesting materials and, no doubt, a few jewels they have nicked. And no, I’m not going up there to find out.

Today was the first of a typical British Bank Holiday weekend, cold, wet, and windy. Just not the job for all those Egg Hunts. It was suitable for what Paul Clarke calls a ‘rainy day post’. Consequently I travelled back in my archives to a rather different day in March 2004 in Barbados, and scanned the next batch of the Bridgetown walk negatives.

bougainvillea 1bougainvillea 2

Bougainvillea continued to spread its various shades of magenta and pink along the roadsides. In the first of these two pictures, the rambling plant seeks the protection of the thorns of the plant to which it clings.

Wall collapsingBougainvillea and building

Others ramble around buildings that have seen better days.

Schoolgirl

I passed a slender schoolgirl complete with backpack on her way to her classes. Her hair had received the typical close attention that the turn-out of all these young people displayed.

Fencing in undergrowth

Although some of the roadside buildings remained rather unkempt,

Tree by roadsideHouses by roadside

others were smarter,

Steps

and even grander.

Road

Those steps, and the increasing traffic informed me that I was nearing the Bajan capital. Was the young woman with her arms folded pondering boarding the taxi/bus?

Traffic policeman

Had she done so, she would probably know what offence the hapless driver went on to commit.

Oleander

Other flowers in the hedgerows and gardens were frangipanis

Hibiscus

and hibiscuses.

This evening we dined on a rack of pork ribs in barbecue sauce, prawn gyazas, and vegetable fried rice topped with omelette. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I drank more of the madiran.

 

 

 

 

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.

Sam Had The Answer

As I sweated in the heat of the day, preparing for a bonfire later on, I thought of the warmth that some of the cuttings pile would provide in the winter. Wheelbarrow prepared for bonfireWhat I was engaged in was breaking and cutting enough of the debris into bite-sized chunks and transporting them to burn in the decommissioned rusty old wheelbarrow, parked in the back drive, which was to contain the burning severed branches, brambles, and shrubs collected over the last two months. Those sylvan limbs that were thick enough to provide wood for the stove, were set aside for later sawing into logs.

First, I needed to clear a path through the undergrowth in the back drive, where the burning was to take place. This meant uprooting the usual suspects.

Early this evening I tramped backwards and forwards from the pile, down the winding brick path to the wheelbarrow, for three hours in which I barely cleared half the heap.Bonfire in wheelbarrow As expected, the tyre of the barrow swelled and burst. It also caught fire, and emitted unpleasant fumes for a while. Otherwise, smoke was minimal and the dry material was consumed pretty quickly.

Pile for burning and hoseDuring our first years in Newark, perhaps 1989, when Sam would have been nine, we used an as yet undeveloped patch of land that had once been part of our garden, for our Guy Fawkes night bonfire. On this particular occasion, the sound of a fire engine came ringing in our ears, making us think someone was in trouble. As it drew nearer and the uniformed crew rushed through the garden we realised it was us in trouble. Neighbours, seeing the fire on empty terrain, had called out the brigade.

Thinking I was in charge, I explained what we were doing. I was asked what we would do if the flames got out of hand. Emerging from the thick undergrowth, up piped the young man who really was in control. ‘We’ll use this’, said Sam, holding up the nozzle of a very long hose he had, unbeknown to me, trailed from our house. The firefighters departed, satisfied. Thanks for getting me out of that one, son (this last word delivered with a Lewis Cove emphasis).

Jackie continued with her planting, weeding, watering, and path-laying; and still found time to produce roast beef; carrots, broccoli and potato mash; fried leeks with mushrooms; boiled potatoes, carrots, and cauliflower, followed by a Post House Pud based on strawberries and raspberries. She drank Hoegaarden, and I finished off some Dad’s Delight, a beer produced for Fathers’ Day.