On September 22nd. I published a photograph of a seed-like object, asking for readers to identify it. On the picnic table this morning we found evidence that it was edible and contained enough roughage to facilitate immediate evacuation.
Jackie and I drove to Cheriton for lunch at the Flower Pots Inn, still wishing to sample the meals we had been denied yesterday. We were so struck by the scene in a tapestry of undulating fields en route that we stopped and watched vast numbers of seagulls flying in the wake of two ploughing tractors. That great French philosopher, Eric Cantona, would no doubt have been most impressed. Further on along Salt Lane we came to a standstill rather than disperse the meeting of female pheasants that was taking place in the middle of the road. No doubt they were discussing the respective merits of their beaux who were foraging in the adjacent field. Slowly becoming aware of our presence they proudly stepped aside, taking all the time they needed.
Food at the Inn was very well cooked, albeit not wide-ranging in choice. I opted for beef and ale hot-pot which was served with either bread or rice. Spying a couple of women tucking into plates containing appetising chips I asked if I could have some. ‘We don’t do chips’, was the reply. ‘Oh, I thought I could see some over there’, said I. ‘You can, but you can only have them with sausages and beans. We don’t do separate portions. It clogs up the kitchen,’ responded the barman. Since Jackie and I and the two women were the only diners this seemed a bit unfriendly to me. Jackie was very happy with her baked potato with prawn filling and salad. The Pail ale was excellent and Jackie enjoyed her Stella. The service was pretty disinterested and I did not get the impression that new customers were to be encouraged. The two women, except at a couple of points when they lowered their voices in a confidential manner, spoke in voices so loud that they must have considered everyone else, namely us, wished to listen. We certainly had no option. There was a very different sense about these raised voices than there had been yesterday in The Farmer’s Home when one member of the party was clearly hard of hearing.
This evening Jackie and I dined at Eastern Nights. She drank Bangla and I imbibed Cobra.