Last Friday I watched three short comedy performances at the Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church performed by the MDG Players and their friends from Romsey. Unlike the previous performances I’ve seen, this was a variety of plays with different characters and plots, with different styles of comedy. [Read more…] about Review: An Evening of Entertainment with Chandler’s Ford MDG Players and Friends from Romsey
Did she see the princess? A late “fall”; Christmas 1947; “Minnies” and “Tommies” and a letter from Arthur Rackham.
Inside the front cover: “Semper Fidelis. Remembering always, Adrian, my friend”. On November 19th Gran writes:
I went to Ampfield just after dusk for a glimpse of Princess Elizabeth as she passed through on her way to Broadlands Park, and was surprised to hear a blackbird in full song.
Martin Kyrle, one of the authors of Jottings from the Trans-Siberian Railway, is best known locally as a former Liberal Democrat Councillor. He served on the Chandler’s Ford committee for 50 years. He wrote his new book based on notes he kept as he travelled and long term friend, Michael Roberts, took the photographs. [Read more…] about The Trans-Siberian Railway: Martin Kyrle and Michael Roberts
A rare bird in the Forest and a new one on the coast; prowlers in the garden; no more Red Squirrels, chestnut gatherers and Ampfield lovlier than ever.
On October 7th 1947 Gran copies four pages of Ruskin’s positive views on the human character of the love of nature. She follows this with: [Read more…] about Forty Years in Chandler’s Ford – a Journal (Part 9)
The United Kingdom is a fusion of four old countries that have fought wars together and with others. It has had kings, princes, invaders, usurpers, pretenders, bishops, priests and parliamentarians who have fought among themselves. Going back into archaeological time and pre-history and even in legend there have been conflicts of people and ideas of which we know little. No wonder that the country is littered with old castles, battlefields, abbeys, forts and earthworks. [Read more…] about Ruins, what to Do with ’em?
Another visit to Kingston upon Thames; approval for the Winchester by-pass; war-time house-sharing; a rare plant appears in the garden and harvest festival celebrated at Compton Church.
On the 21st, there is a description of the autumnal bird movements and also of the colourful shrubs around Hursley at that time of year. Spindle is Gran’s favourite shrub, the fruits “just becoming that lovely shade of rose”. [Read more…] about Forty Years in Chandler’s Ford – a Journal (Part 8)
Spring in Chandler’s Ford always reminds me of why we chose to move here – it’s so pretty! Dropping my children off when they were at Thornden always meant a detour along Nichol Road to see the blossom trees. [Read more…] about Spring has Sprung!
The joy of reading includes the discovery of genres new to you, leading to a wealth of new stories to enjoy. I have just finished reading my first graphic novel – Blood and Valour by Matt Beames (story), Marcus Pullen (art) and Guy Stauber (covers).
[Read more…] about Blood and Valour: Comic Book Review – Allison Symes
This market is carefully managed, with the needs of regular local stallholders in mind, and features around 12 stalls selling locally-produced food and crafts (no traders). [Read more…] about Review: Chandler’s Ford Produce and Craft Market
She never met William Rufus, but remembered House Sparrows in numbers, a doodlebug lifting her roof and could hear the ocean liners as they left the docks.
Gran spends August 4th 1947, at Romsey Horse Show. There is no mention of how she got there nor of her company, but they found Broadlands, where the show was held, delightful when they walked around it during the interval. And they made a visit to Pepperbox Hill that day too, returning “towards dusk as the sparrows were chattering in the hedges and the crickets chirping”.
[Read more…] about Forty Years in Chandler’s Ford – a Journal (Part 7)
I went to see a West End theatre production recently. But I didn’t have to travel to London or pay a small fortune for my ticket; it was at Thornden Hall and the ticket was only £15.
This was one of the National Theatre Live productions – live theatre beamed to cinemas around the country. [Read more…] about West End Theatre in our own Backyard
I love interviewing authors and reading interviews in publications like Writing Magazine. There is always something to learn from how other writers work.
One interesting comment about my recent joy of radio post came from Chippy when he discussed Desert Island Discs and felt it was a good show because it wasn’t just about people plugging things. The best interviews are those that encourage the interviewee to reveal more about what motivates them.
Late last year, I was interviewed by fellow writer, Jacci Gooding. I thought I would share some of the interview here and discuss what I liked about the questions. It is an interesting experience being on the other side of the fence.
When I was a boy, some houses had cellars. Outside the house a grating covered a chute down into the cellar and the coal delivery man dumped his sack of coal down the chute. [Read more…] about Ferns, what are they good for?
I love radio. I rarely watch TV these days. It has to be something special to make me turn the box on and that’s usually a Doctor Who!
(And yes I am sorry Peter Capaldi is going – I’ve liked an older Doctor being in charge of the Tardis. That’s nothing against David Tennant, Matt Smith of Christopher Ecclestone, all of whom were great, but for a Time Lord meant to be over 900 years old, having an older actor playing the role fits). [Read more…] about The Wonderful World of Radio by Allison Symes
Orchids in Beattie’s Field; High Brown Fritillaries; flowers of Southampton’s bombed sites and a squawking Nightjar chick!
Gran has made a few visits to the Punchbowl area on the Petersfield Road lately, looking for orchids and other wild flowers. When describing her finds, she always uses the plants’ scientific names – but many of them are well out of date today. For instance, she finds Habenaria conopsea, which must be Fragrant orchid – a plant now recognised as three separate species, and with a different Generic name. When at the Punchbowl, she:
…resented the arrival of noisy, chattering people on motorbikes who were apparently quite unaware of the beauty of sight and sound all round them, which they had so rudely disturbed.
This afternoon I bumped into Dom Hooley, joint manager of Eastleigh Basics Bank, at the Fryern Arcade of Chandler’s Ford.
Dom told me that Waitrose rang him yesterday and said it would be donating their food to Eastleigh Basics Bank tomorrow. [Read more…] about News from the Fryern Arcade: Waitrose; Waffles and Cream
Apparently now the SO53 postcode area is deemed one of the most desirable places to live in the UK.
(You’re right, the SO53 postcode area covers the Chandler’s Ford and Hiltingbury neighbourhoods.) [Read more…] about SO53: One of the Most Desirable Places to Live in the UK
Last year, I endured an internal crisis. I could no longer cope with the daily news about the war ravaged Middle Eastern region. The images of suffering got unbearably graphic by the day. When I thought I had seen the worst, another scene would break my heart in two. Existential questions such as ‘Can I really call myself educated when I ignore the suffering around me?’ troubled me. But then, I do have a family to look after and a hefty mortgage; responsibilities that limit most of us. [Read more…] about Building Bridges through Volunteering
Once in a while, I get some strange questions from readers. (Yes, I love your questions.)
Today I’m sharing three of these questions here, and hope some of you could help.
About former Red Lodge nurseries
Lift and divide overgrown clumps of herbaceous perennials that were not split in the Autumn.
Overcrowded clumps of snowdrops and winter aconites can be lifted and divided after they have finished flowering. [Read more…] about Wellie’s Gardening Tips for March