Resting Places


My chauffeuse was gadding about with her sisters today, so I had to take myself to Lyndhurst for Prof. Lyon-Maris to check on the freezing of my wart.  I could, of course, have booked a cab, but decided to walk the four miles to the surgery via Emery Down in stages.  The first stop was the bench at The Splash.  A comparatively young man came striding across the grass.  This was Kevin, who with his wife Louise I had met briefly on February 20th.  Today they had driven past and recognised me.  We spoke for three quarters of an hour.  At one point we were surrounded by cattle.  A loud bellowing from a cow alerted us to the fact that her calf had approached us.Cattle and cyclists  She was warning either the little one or ourselves to keep off.  A string of passing cyclists caused the mother to turn her head, and the calf wandered off.  Never take your eyes off your child in public for a moment.

Soon after starting the second leg of my journey I came across a bovine kindergarten siesta. Calf kindergarten Figuratively tucked up in their little camp beds, the youngsters, like many of their human counterparts, didn’t much want to sleep.  One of their carers looked as if she could do with the rest.

As I reached the brow of the hill between Emery Down and Lyndhurst, I was grateful to the friends of Norman Sendall who had placed a bench in his memory on the forest verge.  Norman plaqueThat is where I took my second break.  While I was engrossed in my book, a car drew up and came to a standstill alongside me.  Out stepped Berry to offer me a lift home.  I had to explain that I hadn’t reached where I was going yet.

It was a hot and humid day, so it was just as well I arrived with an hour to spare to sit on the weatherbeaten seat beside the Youth Club in a corner of the carpark, and dry out before stripping off for the doctor. Seat outside Youth Club Forget the benches in the High Street.  They were all occupied by dripping ice cream cones clutched by visitors of all ages.

The professor had a third go at freezing the stubborn wart, and, while he held me captive, gave me a pneumonia vaccination.

Lyndhurst was its usual bottleneck, so The Swan at Emery Down, to which I walked to await a taxi, became my final resting place, where I enjoyed a pint of Doom Bar.Pint at The Swan  On seeing me photograph the beverage in context, a young woman asked, incredulously: ‘Are you taking a picture of your pint of beer?’  When I replied in the affirmative, her small daughter asked me: ‘Are you drunk?’.  Feigning incensement, I pointed to the glass and indicated how little I had yet consumed.  The taxi arrived much earlier than anticipated, so I had to down the rest in a hurry.

Before preparing my scrambled eggs on toast garnished with rather soft radishes, I once again admired Jackie’s planting, the like of which had regularly earned her plaudits from Merton In BloomTagetes and snapdragons As I was about to dish up, the head gardener, who I had expected to eat out with her siblings, arrived home and added fish fingers to the menu.


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