On 11th May I described Imogen’s continuation of the Easter egg hunt. Once she had reprised the hunt several times, she forgot where she’d hidden all the little chocolate rabbits. Jackie found another one this morning.
We ventured on another property window shop today. The first option, at Cadnam, was within walking distance for me, so I set off earlier than Jackie who drove there to meet me. This involved me walking along the A337, which, by virtue of the trees all being in leaf; the verges being covered in summer growth; and wide caravans being driven along the road that has no footpath, is getting pretty dicey for a pedestrian. I decided to take a chance across country at the first opportunity. This was the grounds of Cadnam Cricket Club that could be entered by crossing a cattle grid. The rest of this A road as far as the Cadnam roundabout is fenced off from the forest in order to prevent ponies from straying on to it. It is one thing for them to take possession of the lanes and minor roads, quite another for them to exercise their right of way on major ones.
Where a youthful forest pony cannot pass, a human septuagenarian would best not try. So, leaving the cricket club area I set off into uncharted waters. There was no slip of the keyboard there. Waters it was. Boggy streams criss-crossed the terrain. I was, however, encouraged by a makeshift wooden bridge over one, and pursued the route. Miraculously it bore my weight. The land was a bit boggy, and there were no more bridges, but I did come to an old established footpath that left the line of the road and took its own diagonal off to the right. I was aiming for a property on Romsey Road, which was one of the turnings off the Cadnam roundabout. I figured that this path might just bring me to somewhere on that road and all I would have to do is turn left or right. As everyone knows, I can always be relied upon to guess the correct choice.
A jogger approached me and, without causing him to break his stride, I asked him if I was headed for Romsey Road. ‘I don’t know, I’m not from around here’, was his easy breathing reply. Isn’t that always the way? Soon I could see a road ahead with an optimistic number of cars on it. Old Cross Road at the end of my path took me to what could possibly be Romsey Road. On the other hand………
I crossed the road and enquired at the Cadnam Conservative Centre, to learn that I was in Southampton Road. Ah…… All, however, was not lost. I could see the roundabout on my left. It was but a short distance to my landmark and Romsey Road. All in all, I’d say that was a result. I’d like to claim that it was a little more than sheer good fortune. But I don’t suppose anyone would believe me.
Jackie drove into The White Hart car park as I reached it, then we motored on to the dwelling we wished to see. As always she had walked the walk on the internet and knew that the house was opposite Fran’s Flowers.
A few day’s ago Helen Eale’s posted a photograph of a menu board exemplifying the phenomenon of the wandering apostrophe. Its a problem thats always intrigued me, too. As we tried to park, avoiding Frans dropped kerb, we noticed a beautifully painted sign advertising the establishments ware’s. Jackie felt it needed a bit of amendment, and suggested a nocturnal visit to remove jams punctuation mark. Especially as the handmade sign’s to the left of the professional board, and some of the other produce on that advertisement displayed a certain lack of consistency, I favoured sneaking along with red and white paint and a black permanent marker to make the necessary addition’s.
Having torn ourselves away from this little diversion, we had a look at the house opposite. Unfortunately the estate agent had forgotten to mention that it was faced by a large static caravan, and the photographer had, of course positioned him- or herself so as to ensure that no prospective buyer could imagine that that would be thrown in.
Our next visit was to Bransgore and 93 Burley Road. This is a rather old thatched cottage that from the outside looks pretty attractive. Bransgore is a large village with all the necessary amenities and set in the heart of the forest. Having ogled that, we went on to Sopley for lunch at The Woolpack. Certain visible changes and a notice at the bar informed us that there has been a change of ownership. So, sisters and brothers-in-law, if you have any wine vouchers, you can recycle them, for they are no longer legal tender in The Woolpack. The previous owners had encouraged customers to save tokens for conversion into wine with a meal. Any that have been hoarded are, like Sainsbury’s money off vouchers after a couple of days, obsolete. ‘For the time being’, according to our barmaid, the food will remain unchanged. The chef is still there.
I enjoyed a steak, mushroom, and Guinness pie with chips and vegetables. Jackie’s choice was the gammon steak with egg, pineapple, chips and salad. I drank Doom Bar, she drank Stella. A light salad, accompanied in my case by Piccini chianti riserva 2009, and in Jackie’s by Hoegaarden completed our day’s sustenance in the evening.