Meds Week 1

Until now I have kept quiet about last Thursday night’s fall, when I tripped on the steps into the bedroom carrying laundry and attempting to switch on the light; I cracked my head on the bottom of the door frame into the en suite bathroom, cut my ear, already thick from years in the rugby second row, and flayed a large chunk of skin from the back of my right hand. This looked very nasty. I then had to heave myself up to the bed – the ability to turn onto my knees and and use them was the best part of the event.

Jackie did her best to clean up the major wound and seal it with Melolin – so successfully that, although it wasn’t supposed to, it adhered to the flesh. After being bandaged up until today this was rather painful and not going to move.

Fortunately I had an appointment with the excellent, caring, and efficient, Gp. Doctor Moody-Jones for a follow up on my UTI sample lab results, who explained that there was no infection, gave me another physical examination which confirmed this, asked me to produce another urine sample for further lab work , and to book an urgent blood test at Lymington Hospital – this I did after Doctor Moody-Jones introduced me to Elaine, one of the practice nurses, who very gently cut away the skin-lined plaster, confirmed it uninfected, and re-dressed it. She also made me appointments for two changes of dressing. The ear and the bandaged hand will be apparent in the photographs Jackie produced over lunch at the Royal Oak.

Our neighbourhood pub, after its second flood in twelve months, very shortly after Matt and Carol’s taking over has been subject to repairs until this very opening day. The front doors are now fitted with flood defences.

A usual, Jackie took these photographs, including some of the interior.

The full menu was whisked away before we ate, so the only menu she photographed was that of Bar Snacks.

We both enjoyed our chosen meals – Jackie’s crispy chicken burger,

and my fish and chips. Mrs Knight drank Diet Coke and I drank a zesty Cornish beer termed Proper Job.

The very attentive service was friendly and efficient; the gentle background instrumental recorded music suited the relaxed atmosphere. We were their first customers since reopening.

There will no doubt be many more, including me.

Later this sultry afternoon we took a short forest drive.

Sluggish water slowly streamed across reflective waterlogged fields along St Leonards Road;

a pair of Mallards practised ducking and diving in the pond beside Exbury Road;

foxgloves adorned the ramshackle shed at Pilley.

Jackie will enjoy a salad this evening. Probably because I consumed half of her chips as well as my own, I needed no more sustenance.

Changing By The Second

Wild wind howled and piercing precipitation rattled the roof throughout the night and well into the morning.

Jackie photographed and I e-mailed this image of crooked hand from our 200 year old long case clock to Martin Fairhurst of Dials in Lymington who will repair it. Even with the bend the clock keeps perfect time and chimes seven minutes late according to the point of the digit, as if there were no crook in it.

After lunch I made a start on a month’s ironing. When the sun sneaked out I unplugged the iron and we sped after it. Since it had made the effort we would have been rude not to.

The field alongside South Sway Lane, once home to pony Gimlet and her foal,

was now occupied by a nomadic Mallard family.

A drain was overflowing, suggesting that the lane itself will be flooded soon. Last year it became impassable.

The rain had definitely not conceded the skies. Rainbows followed us around

The fast-flowing, rippling and bubbling Balmer Lawn stretch of Highland Water had overflowed its banks. Within seconds of my striding out to photograph it the clouds rolled in, rain hammered down, and my woollen jacket soon took on the scent of damp sheep.

On the signal of the click of my camera a reflective crow was instantly on the wing.

Just around the corner the sun emerged once more, cast long shadows, and burnished trees against a dark slate sky.

Lulled into a false sense of security I walked across a muddy field to photograph ponies sheltering among the trees. They knew that I would soon be walking through torrential bead curtains.

Houses and trees were silhouetted against the clouds’ bonfire smoke. The skies were changing by the second.

I heard gleeful laughter emanating from a parked people carrier whose occupants were impressed by the ponies. As I raised my camera in polite request

the mother of the boys cheerfully wound her window down and, with a smile, said “put your tongue back in”. This was, of course, the signal to stick it out further. Although rain still rolled down the vehicle it had stopped falling from the skies.

As I drafted this post the heavy rain clattered throughout against my window.

This evening we dined on oven fish and chips, green peas, cornichons, and pickled onions with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Coonawarra.