Friday, 28 July 2006

Hoovering the Flow'ry Mead and other narrow escapes.

In the last two days I have changed my mind and my plans three times and thereby avoided three local news-worthy accidents.

Yesterday to the county town, the fair Dorchester. With a friend's help we did the weekly supermarket food shop first, rather than going to M&S and the chemist, before the supermarket shop, before my appointment with the wise Doctor of Osteopathy. Half way round the supermarket it suddenly got very weird; the noise level shot up, the aisles quickly became crowded and by the time we got to the check-out it was the equivalent of four market days shoved into one. Looking over my shoulder there was a sea of people stacked up behind me. Outside the front window a policeman was herding people backwards, then the tannoy requested all shoppers to leave the store immediately, on police advice. As we were half way through the check-out procedure we were rushed through, half the items not charged for and out the door. There had been a gas supply puncture, and the whole town centre was cleared. Had all these people decided to pop into the supermarket during the evacuation for a bit of shopping before the potential explosion ! IF we had followed my first plan and gone to M&S etc first, not only would we have scarily been in the middle of the crowds being pushed back, more importantly I would not have got my weekly food shop done.

Today I had planned to go to a country fair for the day but cancelled it as too far, too hot, too expensive, too too much. At the fair today was a big news-worthy accident, roads closed, tail backs, people stuck in traffic for ages. We may have been on that road at that time if we had gone.

Instead, I planned to ask the PA's help to clear the garage, fill the van and go to the local recycling centre. No, changed my mind again, that would have been a waste of lovely afternoon; not quite so hot and with a light breeze: smoke from today's fire at the recycling centre was seen ten miles away, the surrounding area was evacuated and road diversions were in place.

Smiling angels, hovering near, thank you *

Instead of all that, I have been Hoovering the Flow'ry Mead and many little creatures had narrow escapes.

A wonderful 'walk' up, down and around the ramparts of the local hill fort; the surrounding area first cleared for crop growing in approximately 4,000 BC (before Christ not before Cart-Horses), the hill settlement begun around 800 BC and and Romans invading and setting up camp in 43 AD.

Now the National Trust manage the chalk downland surrounding the ramparts, and today the tall grasses are seeding, the dragonflies hovering around the pond created half way up the wooded slopes, and masses of low and tall growing flowers are thickly colouring the green sward with swathes of purple, pink, red, blue, white, pale yellow, a table spread for masses of butterflies, bees, and all kinds of insects, especially crickets.

If I had been walking I would have been able to tread lightly on the earth, but trundling along in the wheelchair was a bit like 'hoovering' (not as bad as vacuuming) and I had a skirt full of crickets, of all kinds, who came for the ride and jumped off when they had had enough. Shield bugs with bronze backs glinted in the sun and I avoided those, changing down a gear or three to a slow meandering pace to see them in time, but the green ones had to make their own escape. When we arrived back at the car my wheelchair footplate had caught a dozen tiny whorled baby snails, the stripey ones, which we carefully prised out of the crevices and returned to bits of suitable habitat. They had a narrow escape.

We ended the afternoon at a farmer's new venture. Due to various farming regulations, he cannot make a profit from his herd's creamy milk, so he has diversified into ice-cream. Proper iced cream, with real Pistachio nuts, good Chocolate, local Strawberries, tropical Coconut and Papaya, and amazing Liquorice. Bliss. A good end to a meltingly hot week.


* The Angels sit in trees and fan a breeze
from Hermes wings at ankles,
attached for convenience.

Shoulder wings were suited best to thermals;
sitting here only zephyr wings will do
where ankles are glimpsed by ladies
dreaming below the leaves and boughs,
unbending under their gossamer load.

Songs sung at Nativity are not here,
just whispers, sighings, calmings;
all comes clear.


Blogger The Goldfish said...

Phew! Lucky escapes indeed.

I love proper icecream, but liquorice? I have tried almost every liquorice product there is for the obvious medicinal reason, including liquorice with lemon or peppermint and chewing the root (ugh). But icecream? Now that's something I need to check out.

Saturday, 29 July 2006 at 16:16:00 BST  
Blogger Sally's Life said...

Ah Pontefract Cakes !

Liquorice ice cream is subtly stunning; it has to be taken slowly (not easy on a meltingly hot day), because the initial taste on the tongue is mellow, like the colour, a dark sand, and only when the ice cream has melted off the tongue and down the throat does the strong black liquorice taste hit the roof of the mouth, bounce off the sides and settle again on the tongue. It is amazing. And one does not tire of the sensation, each slurp is as good as the last.

Ice cream unfortunately is one thing you cannot order over the internet. If ever you are in Dorset, go to Barford Farm, sit in their garden and know you are in liquorice heaven.

Saturday, 29 July 2006 at 23:14:00 BST  
Blogger BloggingMone said...

God, Sally, you must be living in an accident prone area! Congratulations to you and your guardian angels for some wise decisions. I am almost certain that I would love liquorice ice cream. Did one of you ever have liquorice marsh mallows? I could kill for them...

Sunday, 30 July 2006 at 10:48:00 BST  
Blogger Lily said...

Please can I have a coggy on your next excursion, it sounds like heaven!

Sunday, 30 July 2006 at 13:01:00 BST  
Blogger Sally's Life said...

Hope - what is a 'coggy' ?

Sunday, 30 July 2006 at 13:19:00 BST  
Blogger Lily said...

lol, giving someone a coggy generally refers to giving them a lift on the handlebars of your bicycle. I'm not sure where I'd perch on your wheelchair but I bet it would be fun!

Monday, 31 July 2006 at 18:24:00 BST  
Blogger Sally's Life said...

Coggy - I would never have guessed that one ! Next question - "lol" ?Even my Yorkshire/Derbyshire roots are stumped by this exchange.

But yes, it was fun, although more ponderous (slow) than zooming up and down hills on a bicycle. Going for a walk sat down I think allows more attention to be given to what is on the ground - and I am closer to it !

We are blessed with hills in Dorset - Hod and Hambledon are too steep to try, but Maiden Castle is my next goal - that's the one that from the air looks very similar to (one of ?) Picasso's Blue Nude(s).

Monday, 31 July 2006 at 22:41:00 BST  
Blogger Lily said...

Oh dear, I slipped into my lazy instant messaging habits with 'lol' - its short for 'laugh out loud' - not tyke-speak at all! I love the idea of a sedentary walk, especially having a dog that pulls as much on the lead as mine does - I could just strap her to the armrest and let the chair do all the hard work!

Tuesday, 1 August 2006 at 12:54:00 BST  

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