Jackie is now providing morning coffee for Brown Brothers Builders, who are painting the downpipes.  I am not sure whether or not Gladys is doing the one o’clock tea (see post of 4th June).  I will soon expect a queue of tradespeople offering their services.

The atmosphere was dull, warm, and humid as I walked the Football Green/Bull Lane loop. Settling down for storm Cattle and ponies on the Green were settling down for the promised storm.

Raq and RuinI had originally planned a different route but was diverted by two collies racing in pursuit of I didn’t know what.  As I neared them I noticed John Edward Bartlett, otherwise known as Jeb, throwing something. Jeb and Rack and RuinOn closer inspection it proved to be a slingshot used to launch a rubber ball.  The dogs clearly enjoyed the game.  When the ball landed inside the roped off area, the smaller animal waited for permission to retrieve it, nipped through the gate, and gathered it up.  I am thinking of submitting my photograph for a Spot the Ball competition.

G. Bramwell Evens, Romany of the BBC, broadcast nature programmes in the 1930s and ’40s.  He also wrote numerous books.  His dog was a spaniel whose name caught the attention of my first brother-in-law, Bernard Murray who, in the 1960s, as a young teenager, named his pet after Romany’s companion.

Jeb described himself as head gardener of Malwood Lodge.  He was happy for me to photograph his activity and offered the names of his collies, ‘for [my] records’.  He had acquired the smaller dog first, and had always wanted to name a dog after Romany’s. He hadn’t told me the story of the name when I demonstrated that I knew how to spell it. He stopped me relating it, so he could do so himself.  The name was Raq.  Obviously being a man after my own heart he could not resist calling the second one Ruin.

Soay sheep with black lambs

When I was introduced to Soay sheep on 29th May, I had been told their lambs were black.  This was very clear today.

A shopping trip to Ringwood was followed by a diversion to Bransgore to have another look at the outside of 93 Burley Road (see 14th June post).  It’s still there.  Back at our flat we sat outside for a drink before our meal.  The temperature today has been 23c and we did not receive the expected rain.  Jackie’s hanging baskets are now full of colour.  Unfortunately they are all clustered on the lawn outside the back door because of Brown Brothers’ work on the house.  We also pondered about the little brown circular patches in the grass.  Probably nothing to do with the builders.  My guess is that they represent the toilet facilities for a small bitch who is brought out at 6 a.m. each morning to be emptied.  They are rather like those Paddy left on occasion on the Lindum House lawn.

Jackie made a delicious chili con carne (recipe) for our dinner.  I enjoyed it with Maipo reserva merlot 2012, while she drank Hoegaarden.

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