Jackie and I took a trip out to the New Forest this morning, winding up at the delightful village of Minstead. Many picturesque houses have thatched roofs; there is a pub called The Trusty Servant, which features in the Good Pub Guide; and it boasts a village shop. In the very heart of the forest it looked particularly beguiling this morning in the clear autumn light. A herd of deer had gathered near the roadside, and wild ponies turned up around every corner.
We had to cut this outing short because I had left half Mum’s albums in Morden yesterday. We therefore had to drive back up there to collect them. The journey was comparatively quick and we celebrated by lunching at Martin Cafe (see post of 14th. May). I spoiled myself with the chips option, whereas Jackie feasted on a vast baked potato overflowing with baked beans served with a plentiful fresh salad. By the time I had decided to display my meal to the world, I had made inroads into the chips and mushrooms.
On our return, just keeping ahead of the storm generated by hurricane Nadine, we had a coffee before beginning to turn the vine house into a garden room for tomorrow’s memorable event. The storm broke as we were trimming the vines, giving us a musical background of rain spattering on the glass. Trimming vines makes your hands very sticky and consequently it is most awkward trying to fish your mobile phone out of your pocket without messing up your jacket. Picking the last of the grapes we took off all the old stems from the rather ancient vine, brought in a few chairs, and swept the place up. Jackie brought the blue painted table in from the garden.
Jacqueline joined us this evening for a meal of Elizabeth’s spaghetti Bolognese. Elizabeth and I drank Roc des Chevaliers.