The First Thirty Seconds


This morning I amused myself with retouching the scan of another ancient black and white print.  This was number 34 in the ‘through the ages’ series. This photo would again have been taken by my maternal grandfather.  You can tell that because Grandma’s unmistakeable legs are in the foreground. Chris and I are building sandcastles, and Jacqueline is, as in number 33, looking in a different direction, possibly out to sea.

Jaqueline, Derrick, Chris and Grandma's legs

This photograph was probably taken in 1951 at Whitby where Grandpa often took us for days out when we were staying with them in Durham.  Chris’s right hand isn’t melting in the heat.  Early cameras just didn’t freeze action the way modern ones do. That is why those posing for portraits in bygone days wore such fixed expressions.

It is an apparent truism that houses are sold in the first thirty seconds of a viewing.  This was certainly so in the case of The Old Post House.  Which meant that we still had a lot of unanswered questions about details we hadn’t really looked at on our first visit.  For example, we didn’t know where in the kitchen the cooker was.  We therefore arranged another appointment to investigate various issues this afternoon.  Today we were introduced to the male part of the owning partnership and were free to wander as we wished.  I have to say that the repetition simply enhanced our feelings of that first half minute.  We also walked around the garden again, and were even more pleased with it.  Both the house and its grounds have a sense of rambling, which appeals to us both.

The warmer, but drizzly dull, day was not conducive to testing my recovery with another walk, so the house visit was today’s outing.

Not far from Downton, in Old Milton, lies a Lidl, one of our favourite shops.  We just had to investigate that too, so did a bit of shopping on our way back to Minstead.

Pork paprikaThis evening Jackie produced perfect pork paprika sweetened with chopped parsnips and enhanced by Tess’s ( best pronounced the Kiwi way as Tiss’s) harissa, with which I finished the merlot.  Flavoursome bread pudding and custard was to follow.


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