Early this morning I walked down to the Spar shop to buy milk, collect Sheila’s Guardian newspaper, and post her cards. Along the front wall of Cherry Tree Cottage in Shorefield Road stand three trees identical to one in our garden. On previous occasions I have knocked at the door of the house to ask for their identification. No-one has been at home. This morning, I stopped a man who was driving out from there and asked him. ‘I’m no gardener,’ he said. ‘Just golden conifers. We bought them because they are a different colour.’ At least that gave us something to go on. Our research threw up Leylandii false cypresses. Although we are not quite convinced, it is possible that we have one of those.
This morning Jackie drove Sheila and me around: We had toured Bisterne’s similar display last year, so were pleased to find one on our doorstep. In fact, Jackie had investigated the possibility of our entering the competition. Unfortunately, we live on the wrong side of Christchurch Road to be considered Hordle residents. Never mind, that means we count as Milford on Sea and entitles us to the monthly Village Voice magazine, which is quite interesting and contains details of all activities in that area. After admiring today’s hairstyle of Lady Gaga, we bought a map of the trail in Classic Cuts hairdressers at 40 Stopples Lane. At No. 32, Everything Pets featured Barbara Woodhouse with dogs. Charlie Chaplin, we thought one of the best, gave Jack and Dave plugs at the entrance to number 111A. Agatha Christie was backed by two of her creations, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, outside 4 Heath Road. Next door, at number 6, Florence Nightingale was being crucified, thus, as Jackie pointed out, making her the only true scarecrow. At No 10 Dick Turpin brandished his pistol in front of a carriage that was invented long after his time. The competition has three categories: Business, Individual, and Junior. There is a certain amount of duplication in the subject matter. The first we came across was of The Queen. One entry, at 33 Lavender Road was Junior. I particularly like the twist in the body of this one: The other, at 25 Pinewood Road, in which a teddy bear had been conscripted to represent a corgi, was an Individual. I thought it fairly unlikely that Her Majesty would read The Sun. We may easily have missed a second Bear (Grylls), had Sheila not spotted him up a tree at 22 Stopples Lane, and I almost did overlook the brilliant touch of the cricket ball in the Junior entry at 41 Lavender Road, where Moeen Ali stood padded up. At 49 Ashley Lane, Simon Cowell presents his recently acquired offspring to his fans and enemies alike. Hordle Pharmacy also featured this gentleman who they kept inside out of the rain. Possibly the censor had exercised some influence over these two exhibits that revealed rather less hairy chest than Mr Cowell would sometimes prefer. Usain Bolt takes a rest outside No 102. William Shakespeare took a little searching out along a footpath to 20 Larch Close. Someone had had the good sense to provide him with an umbrella, which Moeen could certainly have done with.
A smiling Superman soars over a fence at 62 Everton Road. Further along, at number 14, the forecourt of Hordle Post Office has been converted to Knotty Ash in order to accommodate Ken Dodd and The Diddy Men.
Next door to the Pharmacy lies the W.I. Hall outside which Emmeline Pankhurst has chained herself to the railings.
Anyone wishing to know more about the subjects of these scarecrows is invited to consult a suitable search engine, since they are all Famous People, which was the theme of the competition.
This evening Jackie, Flo, and I dined at The Jarna, where we enjoyed the usual excellent fare.