Goater and Rono battle it out; a “magnificent doll” – not selected; a day at Slimbridge; the rarest bird Gran ever saw; a “nice experience for Rick”; Christmas with the neighbours; Gran – path-beater; mittens for the VG manager, and Gran’s “little Wood Duck”.
The two families, Barry’s and Jane’s, depart Chandler’s Ford after the celebrations for Grampa’s 80th and Gran is left feeling lonely. She says on August 25th 1981, just after the Brenans have left, “I dashed up to my whist drive, missing only the first hand and received a great welcome. I did not want to be at home with all the family gone”. However, Barry returns that evening, she says:
… to do some high house painting outside for us tomorrow and lured me down to the New Forest for some moth-hunting. I was already very tired but I would never refuse such a chance so packed up some supper and left at 7.15.
Mother and son have a fairly unsuccessful time “sugaring” oak trees with treacle at Tantany Wood, attracting few moths and they return home by 10.30. Gran, as usual, puts out food for the Hedgehog last thing, “after which”, she writes, “I tumbled, exhausted but soul-satisfied, into bed!”
House-painting is delayed until the afternoon of the following day. Gran admits that, “Though tired, but unwilling to admit it, I accepted Barry’s offer for me to go along the river this morning and it was very beautiful, very warm, and the water clear”. They also spend a brief time at Shawford Down looking without success for Chalkhill Blues, and Gran notes, “… the area is now so overgrown with coarse grass, the little downland foodplants have no chance”.