All our yesterdays

We made a trip to inspect a kennels today but it was not really luxurious enough for Lulu. So on the way back I decided to visit Alresford, where I once lived. Let’s do the time warp, now.

We went back in time – nothing seemed to have changed. The tapas bar where we had lunch was new and good but the town is still dominated by The Watercress Line, the steam railway shuttling between Alresford and Alton. As you can see from the departures board it is not the busiest of lines and there was little sign of The Fat Controller.Alresford Station

WCLineTo my delight my favourite antiquarian bookshop was still going strong – Laurence Oxley. Sadly the eponymous owner passed away 9 years ago but his son soldiers on. I could not resist buying a copy of “The Happy Warrior”, the life story of Sir Winston Churchill as told through Great Britain’s Eagle comic of the 1950s. I am not sure whether Churchill ever met Dan Dare.Oxley


I bumped into some old friends.FriendsAnd we almost bought a bell for the new house.ServantsBut we had to be at the solicitor by 3pm so the sands of time ran out.Alresford clockShirley was very impressed by the butchers shops selling everything from Hampshire Hog to a dozen Partridge. We had already had a close encounter with some guineafowl, who refused to get out of the road. Such is Country Life.

We came down to earth with a bump as we spent (or I did) an hour or more filling in incomprehensible online forms for our next rental. Nevertheless solicitors have been instructed and the battle has been joined.


32 thoughts on “All our yesterdays

    • Alas I am ‘the staff’ Hilary although we may run to a window cleaner for the orangery. What, I wonder, is the difference between an orangery and a conservatory?

      • It could accommodate trees but it almost certainly will become The Lulu Zone. Certainly could be a ballroom – Lulu will play the ‘let them fetch the ball for themselves’ game.

  1. Lovely part of the world. I did once see the Fat Controller on the Watercress Line.
    I’m so hoping that once you’ve signed on the dotted line you’ll be naming your new pile Hardacre Hall.

    • I think we will keep its existing name, Jenny. It suits the property well and is not so pompous as Hardacre Hall. Sounds good but not my style 😉

      I think we need a “Mrs. Ha’s Folly” though.

      • I wouldn’t want you to think that I thought you are pompous, far from it. Just thought there was a certain ring to it – and reminiscent of a Sunday evening period drama …

      • No offence taken Jenny. It does have a ring to it but it’s hardly a hall. The master bedroom is 400 sq ft which is silly but otherwise the house is well proportioned. I’ve given Mrs Ha a budget of 200-250k to adapt it to her taste. We’ll see how she gets on.

  2. Your reports sound promising! All the best with renting/buying a house. Love the old bookstore! I’d probably spend a whole day exploring those shelves.

  3. Great the camera has been unpacked and taken for a spin around the block. The olde england still around. Have you both enjoyed the delights of shepherd’s pie yet?
    Did the solicitor’s office smell of pipe and cigar?

    • The solicitor was not smoking pipe or cigar, Gerard but she was wearing a Chinese-style jacket so maybe she has an opium pipe hidden away.

  4. Alresford with the clock looks like an interesting place. The clock showing the actual time is the selling point for me. I don’t wear a watch anymore. In my little city of roughly 120,000 population, I know of only two clocks that one can see while driving. The clocks are located at two prominent jewelry stores.

    The bookstore is great to see as well. All those old books and I saw some framed prints that looked old and interesting.

    What are you meaning “such is country life?” From pictures that I’ve seen, the English countryside is beautiful. But did you almost run over some guineas?

  5. There are two things about going home, both can be good and bad. They are that a lot of the old places are still there and only a bit changed, and the people are either all gone or too old to recognise.

  6. I could spent an entire day in Laurence Oxley–never heard of it before this blog, but the picture is so inviting.
    As long as the good of returning outweighs the bad, you’re on the right track.

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