Dad’s Army -v- the Panzers

Today was a holiday for Mirinda. Actually, she’s been on holiday for the last four days. This means she works on an article she’s been writing, she works in the garden but, most importantly, she doesn’t do any work work.

Each day has been planned to encounter as little stress as possible. And to supply vast quantities of joy.

To this end, today she ordered a Holly Bush brunch – eggs royale, to be exact, though with walnut bread rather than sourdough.

I had to squeeze her food requirements into my normal Tuesday jobs of working out and ringing mum. Which was fine. Though mum wasn’t. Particularly fine.

She has been put on some antipsychotic drugs which have the effect of confusing her totally. She was trying to describe a TV show to me but struggled to think of simple words. In the past, this would have made her angry and aggressive, now it just flows over her. I think she needs to be somewhere in between.

It was interesting that she only wanted to discuss what was on her TV. I introduced the usual topics which interest her (ballet, the past, our garden) but it was all about Puss in Boots and his adventures. Which was a bit dull when she couldn’t finish sentences because of her confusion over words.

Anyway, following the odd phone call, I headed into the kitchen.

I’ve never made hollandaise sauce before. I don’t remember ever poaching eggs either. Though I have opened a packet of smoked salmon on many occasions so that went very smoothly.

Actually it all went very smoothly (thank you, Delia). The salmon, egg sitting on top and the sauce over it all was delicious. As was the walnut bread with soft goats cheese on top. We ate on the terrace. It was that kind of day.

In fact, it was a hot day. The sun beat down and dried the washing lickety split…which is always excellent. We went to Farnham Heath for our daily exercise. And we discovered a mortar pit.

It is a 29mm spigot mortar or, more colourfully, the Blacker Bombard named after Lieutenant Colonel Stewart Blacker who devised them early in the war.

Installed in 1942 this one was for the Home Guard to use in order to fire at German tanks when they arrived. Needless to say, the only tanks that arrived were in around 2014 when I was walking Day-z around Bourne Woods and someone was making a film which included German tanks.

To be fair, the spot where the mortar pit was sited was excellent to cover the road where the tanks drove back in 2014. I guess the location was perfect. And you never know, had things been different, the Panzer Division could have decided to leave the main road and hit the woods.

Obviously, the gun has been removed but the pit is fascinating. It reminded me that Bob has still to write his PHD thesis on British gun emplacements. This means he will need a sub-section on anti-tank mortar emplacements. On spigots.

We were walking down a track we probably haven’t walked down before, which probably explains the mortar discovery. For a while we stood a goodly distance from a woman with a 19 year old dog.

The woman was taking the social distancing a bit far. She shouted a conversation with us which I think we could have easily heard had we been in Wiltshire while she remained in Surrey.

The dog very slowly made his way passed our girls who were intrigued. According to his loud owner, he was always one for the ladies.

Back at home we settled down to watch the National Theatre stream of One Man, Two Guvnors. We saw it back in February 2012 when it first came out. I remembered it as being the funniest thing I had ever watched on stage. I remembered correctly.

We laughed our way through the whole 2.5 hours. It was almost like being at the theatre.

Today’s tulip comes from our front garden.

It was an excellent holiday day. Back to work for Mirinda tomorrow.

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