St Cross Hospital, Winchester ~ my old friend John Hodges has lived here for 30-odd years

the pyrex dish fully restored after disaster with apricots

Thank goodness I was able to clean all the burnt apricot off the pyrex dish ~ Daddy gave it to me one Christmas ~ he was very much aware that Howard kept a tight rein on our finances ~ another time he sent me four pairs of nylon sheets for the children's beds ~ so kind, so quietly understanding, bless him.   Definitely wintery today but still the nasturtiums are in full flower ~ I can see them from up here ~ bright flames scrambling over the hedge !!  It is John Hodges' birthday so I'd better go and phone him before I forget ~ he was such a good friend to me, to all of us, in our Winchester days ~ just around the time I moved up here, he moved into St Cross Hospital, alms houses dating back to Norman times ~ he's been really happy there ~ the Brothers are seen around Winchester wearing either black or plum robes ~ John loves all that ceremony, history and dressing up.  Yes ~ I 've just had a few words with him ~ his daughter Lottie was with him ~ he is 89 today and still has good sight and good hearing though like me, not too steady on his legs ~ so good to catch up with him ~ he is not a plum but a Black Brother ~ St Cross Hospital was was founded in 1132 !   I'll see if I can find a photo ... here we are !

I've been a bit worried about the electrics by my bed ~ the lamp, the radio alarm and the electric blanket are all plugged into the same adaptor ~ sometimes when I switch the blanket on/off the reading light comes on all by itself ~ that can't be right ~ Johnny is an electrician (well an electrical engineer !) so perhaps he will pop up and advise me ~ it may be OK but best check     . . . time for coffee . . .

This window is absolutely filthy ~ don't think I can reach up to do it myself, not even on steps ~ maybe Sue will do it for me ~ it's awkward having the work top running the lendth of the room in front of it ~ oh dear ~ so many scruffy corners come to light !   I was just reaching a dramatic point in one of the Simon Serrailler novels the other night when the Kindle went blank apart from a large exclamation mark which I realised was telling me the battery was exhausted ~ now I must make sure I charge it up every day ~ so infuriating to be cut off like that especially as re-charging from scratch takes several hours ~ it's plugged in to the computer right now, re-charging ~ I simply can't read any other way ~ books are useless now that my eye sight is so poor.   Mushroom soup for lunch ~ so cheap, so nourishing, so simple to make ~ a good helping left over from yesterday and I've got excellent wholemeal bread ~ yummy !

I've got that wonderful sea shanty record playing as I type ~ Ely Cathedral Choir ~ Will your Anchor hold ? ~  Eternal Father Strong to save ~  and 20 others ~ you've simply got to sing along with the choir boys ~ the portrait on the sleeve is of the life boatman HENRY FREEMAN who we now know lived here in this house certainly in 1881 when he appears on the census returns and on my deeds ~ I may still get a blue plaque from the Civic Society !  I've told you before but you've probably forgotten ~~ Henry Freeman was the sole survivor of a terrible shipwreck in 1861 in which not onl all the crew of the stricken vessel were drowned but all the lifeboat men as well, all but Henry who had been chosen to try out the new fangled cork life belt which saved his life !

Monday afternoon Chris Gill came and sorted out two or three problems on the computer ~ and particularly with the Kindle ~ I was clicking on the wrong button when I was ready for another  book ~ all straight forward now ~ he is such a nice young man and so capable.   Barbara popped in.  A good lunch ~ mince, spud and cabbage ~ heavy flop on comfy newly restored sofa ~ missed Johnny's knock but he'll come in the morning.   Now I must do the ironing before supper.

Tuesday pm : Johnny came in and had a look at the bedside lamp and multiple socket adaptor but could find no problem ~ I'm to tell him if it happens again ~ he also kindly downloaded my AVG security ~ I'd pad for it but can no longer read downloading instructions ~ thank you, Johnny.  Sue came with a shopping trolley full of samples of all her handwork and a wacky cushion for my birthday plus a funny pair of knitted slippers ~ her life is very stressful, poor soul ~ she'd dyed her hair again, streaky orange this time ~ I think it cheers her up !

I seem to have run out of BLUE bags, the recycling ones, but Johnny put a load of my stuff in his so that's a help ~ the bin men usually leave me loads but maybe this week they put them IN the blue bin which I have not ventured across the garden to recently.



Henry Freeman ~ he certainly lived in my house but he is not remotely like my ghost ~ a slim young man with a mop of auburn curls !