Ever since she was a small child, Flo has helped her Grannie put up flamboyant Christmas decorations. Festive trees, having priced themselves out of the market last year, are now half the cost they were then. We all got up early to buy one from Ferndene Farm Shop.
It has also become tradition that Grandpa has to be ‘put’ somewhere whilst the ladies create their masterpieces. I was therefore dumped in Vaggs Lane to walk home. As you will know, this was no hardship. I walked the length of this thoroughfare, along Everton Road, and right into Hordle Lane to home.
Burnished beech leaves brightened the sunlit hedgerows along the verges in Vaggs Lane, where a herd of alpacas were outlined by the sunshine.
A Great War memorial stands in Everton Road. The incised names of the Hordle fallen are accompanied by those of the relevant battlefields, some more infamous than others. This morning red roses and cyclamens, and yellow tulips bloomed alongside the wreaths.
The now rather soggy unclaimed bear in Hordle Lane still sits on the wall opposite the children’s nursery, and another tot has dropped the case from her Peppa Pig mobile phone. Further on, an upturned mushroom revealed a pattern of purplish striations.
When I returned home, the front door was furnished with a more joyful wreath than those I had seen earlier. Apart from the dressing, this had been made from foliage from our garden and branches trimmed from the Christmas tree.
By the time darkness had arrived, we had a string of coloured lights in the front garden, and somewhat later the indoor Christmas tree was embellished to Flo’s satisfaction.
We had to dine on a takeaway this evening because the kitchen was full of boxes of decorations. It fell to the Ashley Chinese, The Happy Wok, to provide it. Jackie chose Stella, Flo sparkling water, and I the last of the cabernet sauvignon, to accompany it.
Helen’s comments on yesterday’s post have enabled me to add details of others present in our wedding photograph.
Fortunately for us, the efficient and responsive Downton Service Station lies only a couple of hundred yards from our house. Earning the recommendation given by Giles and Jean, they had the shredded tyre replaced and the wheel changed before I returned from my morning walk to Hordle Cliff top and back.
The Isle of Wight appeared to be enjoying brighter light than we did as I was beset by needle sharp showers.
This afternoon Jackie drove Flo and me to Hythe, alongside Southampton Water to see the poppies adorning the black railings of Prospect Place. The Waterside Poppy Makers, in planning their tribute to the UK casualties of the First World War, aimed to knit or crochet 250 poppies for a memorial display. The poppies snowballed and almost 4,000 were made. They cover the railings themselves, shrubs, and trees. This is the story of the group:
Numerous dedications, on this the first day after Remembrance Sunday, were already tagged to individual poppies.
A commemorative plaque to Second World War Royal Navy Commandos is a permanent feature of the small waterside park. These men embarked from Hythe on 6th June 1944 to take part in the D-Day liberation of Europe. In the forefront of the stack of wreaths resting against the granite stone, lay one created by the poppy making group.
A pair of swans, perhaps hoping for food from Flo, paddled up to the bank. One sported its own poppy colours.
Hordle Chinese Take Away had the honour of supplying Jackie with our meal this evening. She brought some back for all three of us. I always get a result with the beef in black bean sauce. This is because Jackie likes it in principal, but this particular one contains very hot chillies which she finds too strong, so most of it ends up in my bowl, She drank Hoegaarden, Flo preferred J2O, and I enjoyed Parra Alta Malbec 2014.