Starting Inside

Today was wet, much warmer, and overcast. This morning I cleared up clippings and fallen branches.

I have more than once observed that, after our first month in Downton, the inside of the house has been neglected for the garden.

Certain items, like the toilet seats, the shower hanging loose in the guest bathroom, its blocked sink, and its quirkily arranged ineffective door lock, required immediate attention.

Bathroom 4

Bathroom 2

ShowerBathroom 3There was neither screen nor curtain for the said shower. In our search for a screen, we decided we had to have a new P bath to match it. This meant retiling. That is the task that Mike, of Perfect Plastering, carried out last week.. We were then left with the doddery daubing on the walls and a floor covered with just about the worst possible colour for a room containing a receptacle for human excreta. Mind you, judging by the state of the toilet seat I removed, there was probably a method in the madness.

You can’t have a nice new bath and tiles without redecorating. And it is getting too unpleasant for Aaron to work outside. So, he will begin by decorating this room. To this end, this afternoon, Jackie and I bought paint from Brewers in New Milton.

Afterwards I entered the Oval Path and Elizabeth’s Bed section into the garden album, and printed up the South End set of photographs.

We enjoyed second helpings of the Happy Wok takeaway meal for our dinner this evening. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Bardolino.

A Bit Of A Bummer

Continuous rain fell today, but the temperature was still very warm.

Jackie drove me to and from New Milton for the London train and lunch with Wolf and Luci. From Waterloo I took the Northern Line tube to Clapham Common and walked to our friends’ home in Hambalt Road, reversing the process after stimulating conversation and an excellent lunch prepared by Luci. We enjoyed a tasty chicken casserole, new potatoes, and a tangy melange of some six or seven flavoursome vegetables. Luci’s seasonal pumpkin pie perked up with black cherries. She and I drank a very good Claret from 2012. Wolf, as always, preferred apple juice.

With more than an hour left of the outward journey, a gentleman preparing to sit on the opposite side of the corridor from me, had some difficulty removing his outer clothing. This necessitated his wriggling his rear end in my direction in a rather ungainly fashion. The aisles on these trains are very narrow. It was only after he had managed to place part of the said stern on his seat that I realised the young man was not. In fact he was so fat that one leg was permanently planted in the gangway. When people squeezed past, it was I who, for self preservation, needed to lurch to my right in order to avoid contact with various anatomical parts, depending on the height and contours of the individuals concerned, and whether their fronts or backs were presented to me. The bunch of keys attached to the guard’s belt could have put my eye out. A bit of a bummer, really.

Wine and charcuterie

I have mentioned before how most public conveniences outside central London are no longer kept open. As I left Clapham Common underground station, I noticed that the railings for the lavatories attached to the building were unbolted and open. For a moment I had thought I may be able to avail myself of the facilities. Before descending the steps I noticed the chairs half way down, the board advertising Live Music, and, more importantly, what WC now stands for. If you care to click on the image you will also see it. This was also rather disappointing. I can only hope that some of the original closets have been retained for the use of current customers.

Clapham Common

The street behind the station, beyond the grass bank at the edge of the common, is also more up-market than it once was. I wonder what the generations of crows have made of the changes.