The Chicks Have Hatched


One of the consequences of moving house is the need to wonder where to put things. This is very helpful in encouraging one to complete unfinished organisational tasks begun years ago. In about 2008/9, when living in Sutherland Place, I discovered that some of my books and slide boxes had been damaged by damp. The colour slides themselves were sound, but the boxes were on the wet side, so new containers were essential. I bought some, and decanted the positive films from the worst of the moistened ones. Although I had enough new receptacles to take the contents of the last, least damaged, box, I didn’t finish the task until yesterday. All in the interests of reducing by one the number of containers needing a home.

This led me, this morning, to resuscitating the ‘posterity’ series. My first photo-shoot of Jackie was made on Wimbledon Common in April 1966.Jackie 4.66 Here is one of the pictures, with the War Memorial in the background top left.

Before this I walked the whole length of Shorefield Road and Sea Breeze Road, taking in the vast acreage of the Country Park. Highway MaintenanceThe high-pitched screeching of the gulls over the stubble field on Downton Lane gave way to the deafening racket of the rookery, at times indistinguishable from that of a reversing Highway Maintenance vehicle.

Rook over nestRooks and nestRooks and nestsThe lofty nests of the frenetically active rooks are now apparenty occupied by ravenous chicks. The parents flap to and fro keeping their offspring from starving. Each rounded cluster of sticks is guarded by one adult whilst its mate energetically forages.

Building at ShorefieldStudland Common Nature Reserve boardAt the far end of the Sea Breeze section of the park, where building continues unabated, is a meandering stream-crossed woodland walk leading to Studland Common Nature Reserve. Although partly gravelled, the paths tend towards the muddy. Cow and gorse

The ear tags of cattle grazing in Studland Meadow reflected the gorse around them.

On my return I met and conversed with two separate dog-walkers. I was quite relieved that the West Highland terrier poised for attack was on the end of a lead, and had probably already had his breakfast.

This afternoon, as promised, our chests of drawers were delivered by Fergusson’s House Clearance.

The House of the Seven Gables coverBefore dinner I finished reading Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel ‘The House of the Seven Gables’, in the Folio Society edition illustrated by Francis Mosley. First published in 1851 this is an intriguing story rich in characterisation. The author’s skill in story-telling surmounts the wordiness of some of his language commensurate with his time of writing. The reader’s interest is maintained throughout. There is a touch of mystery about both the house and the writer’s tale, and he ties it all up tidily in the end.

Mosley is a versatile illustrator who remains one of my favourite Folio Society artists.

Our evening meal was roast lamb in tasty gravy, served with crisp vegetables. I drank Cimarosa Chilean merlot from 2013.

 


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