This morning I walked the church path via Furzey Gardens road loop. I had a long chat with Audrey and passed the time of day with two horse riders. That was it. This afternoon we decided to ignore the weather and amble round Blandford Forum in Dorset. It was far too cold to amble. As we got out of the car we knew that. We concentrated on our shopping. Jackie parked in a car park marked ‘town centre’. It didn’t look much like a town centre and we weren’t sure where to go. We asked another woman who had the same problem. We found a small sign pointing to what looked like a back alley which actually took us over a fast flowing stream, under the overlapping floor of a building, into what seemed a poorer part of this Georgian town. We were soon in the town centre, diving from charity shop to charity shop in an attempt to get warm. We didn’t leave them empty handed. The woman from the car park was in each and every shop. I also found a framer’s where I bought a frame for the Mottisfont Trout (see post of 23rd) picture; a branch of Wessex photo who stocked the inks for my Canon printer; and a computer shop where I bought a mouse mat. In the stream we crossed to reach the shops, someone had obviously decided there was not going to be much solar energy around this year. The advertising board had been dumped in the water. Practically everyone in town was swathed in scarves, wearing gloves, and sporting a variety of overcoats. Even the black headed gulls in their summer plumage looked as if they had made a mistake. One seemed particularly confused by it all. It was a shame that we were just too cold to do justice to wandering round this attractive and historic town, but we saw enough to know that in better weather it is worth another visit. The young man in Wessex photo, not stocking it himself, had telephoned the Ringwood branch to see if they had A3+ paper size. They didn’t, but would happily try to get some for me. We stopped off at Ringwood on the way back to order some. In the Blandford branch of the photo shop a man carrying a portable device that I recognised but couldn’t quite place, stood aside patiently waiting whilst the one shop assistant served another person, then me, made the phone call, talked paper sizes with Jackie and me, and began with the next customer. I think that if the helpful young man hadn’t asked the visitor what he wanted at that point, he would have been waiting there still. He wanted to read the gas meter. Photograph number 10 of the ‘through the ages’ series is a reminder of a much warmer time. This, I believe, was taken by Ann Eland on one of our joint holidays with her and Don, in Brittany in September 1982. By then I was being asked whether I had highlights put in my hair. Jackie produced a superb lamb jalfrezi, pilau rice, and cauliflower bhaji for our dinner this evening. We both drank Kingfisher. I then ate sticky toffee pudding, and she had chocolate cake.