Monday 19 October 2009

Turn Around, Bright Eyes...

So now you want to see things from the opposite direction? Shall we start from the exit at Waitrose, where two rows of wire framed shopping trolleys stand in interlocked ranks, making the most of being empty?
You can almost hear them groan to one another...
'Did you see what that last shopper managed to cram into my poor insides? I thought I would buckle at the wheels!'
'Huh! You think you had problems? I had one of those awful toddlers fidgeting and complaining in my little seat, kicking at me and screaming into my handle when he couldn't get his own way as we passed the sweetie shelf!'
As each shopper returns their trolley to tuck it on the end of a row, the clatter-chatter noise echoes along the line, a metallic shudder making them sound in unison. A nondescript, hairy mongrel is hitched to the bar that stops the trolleys rolling onto the paving, and he looks bewildered, turning his head left at the clanking noise, but almost as swiftly turning right, as another pair of feet pound past him on the pavement. He remains stoically silent. Been here, done this before.
My personal, trusty Sholley, obediently skirts round the poor animal, under my direction, and together we retrace the route home.

Perhaps I should let you 'see' this Sholley; its two back wheels are fixed, but the front two may be set to swivel like those on a baby's modern stroller. It's basically a metal framed, wide-mesh box on wheels, with a blue and brown checked fabric bag fitted to ensure the shopping is safe, and a firm lid that serves as a great platform on which to balance a small shopping basket. No need for me to use one of the monster sized, Wairose ones for my modest purchases today.

Okay. The road turns sharp left, and here's the pavement with the pigeon droppings and feathers. But we can cross to the other side, and spend a moment or two admiring the latest selection of wares in Tallulah's tiny corner boutique. Colourful clothing is displayed temptingly in the shallow, hip-height window; tops, skirts, trousers, accessories, all with a distinctly Indian flavour, plus overtones of Hippie. The narrow door, which straddles the corner, is open and a lovely aroma of Nag Champa incense sets my nose twitching appreciatively.

For this part of the walk, I have to make certain the Sholley's front wheels are in the fixed position, otherwise it takes on a life of its own and progress resembles a drunken stagger each time there's a slope towards the gutter. There's been a lot of new building along this terrace, but wherever there are undeveloped sections, the down slopes increase in number; hence the fixed wheels. It's only a short street and in next to no time, we're at the Bear Hotel car park entrance, directly opposite the seat-round-the-tree corner we saw on the way to Waitrose's.

On our right, Pallant House, the home of the Nursery School, has children's art work hanging in each of it's windows. Cut out witches zoom around, in honour of Halloween, with a black cat or two and a good supply of pumpkin faces. The road carries on curving to the right, and here's the old brick wall that made me wax lyrical in the previous post. Almost at the end of it, a slatted wood seat, placed in memory of a long dead Havant worthy, invites us to rest a while, so come on, what are you waiting for? Let's sit and have a good look round.

It's a great place for pondering. Overhead, a green canopy of large, palmate shaped leaves stir occasionally in the light breeze. The tree stands near the edge of the pavement, in front of me, close enough for its canopy to spread over this spot like a living umbrella. I'm not sure of the species, but the dappled, camouflage patterns on the bark make me think it's a plane tree of some kind. A plethora of irregular, random shapes in shades of grey-green, khaki, beige and cream, with occasional, tiny patches of light orange, draw the attention to its bark. It looks for all the world like a soldier in camouflage uniform. The trunk is not more than about ten inches in diameter, and doesn't branch until it's over eight feet high, where two big, black knot hole eyes stare down, before the smaller limbs divide, then divide again to look like dreadlocks attached to its forehead.

Across another road away to the right, once I stop admiring this tree, I'm intrigued by three houses in my view that have been standing there for at least a century. They're large, double fronted buildings, the first two with steeply pitched gables, outlined in white. One has flint stone walls, so the pattern is jumbled over its surface, but it's neighbour has had a different building method used, which leaves short, interlocked horizontal lines on its surface, ( imagine you are looking side-on to the pages of a thick-leaved book) so the contrast in texture is extremely pleasing.
The third house is a perfect example of an Englishman thinking his home is his castle. It's a dingy, mid grey, and instead of a pointed one, the roof line is horizontal and crenelated. There were obviously few building regulations in the days when it was first constructed.

A couple of passers by say good morning and smile at me, bring me back to the present. My reverie, and thus yours too, kind reader, is at an end. Upwards and onwards is the order of the day. Do hope you have a good one...


  1. Sholley is a lovely Britishism.

  2. Just beautiful, Jinsky. I feel like I was right there with you.. only I don't have the groceries to show for it. :)

  3. I could hear those trolleys, Jinksy. Yes please, can we see your Sholley?

  4. I'll never look at a trolley the same way!

    CJ xx

  5. don't do this to me, woman! Not only do i not have a Waitrose (the next one is one hour and a quarter's drive away), I only have a village supermarket, on the doorstep, admittedly.
    You have lots of things to look at, I have only green stuff. Lots of people who are willing to stop and chat but I know them all.
    Give me grey, give me schools, give me shops, give me streets.

  6. What a lovely little reverie you had as you meandered along - sorry you had to come down to earth Jinksy. I have never thought of getting into the mind of a shopping trolley = my goodness I bet they could tell us a thing or two. I often look into the one in front of me at the checkout and wonder what on earth the shopper is going to do with it all.

  7. I so enjoyed my shopping outing with you today jinsky, how wonderful to see all that you did, I loved it. Those older homes sound beautiful, thank you for sharing.....:-) Hugs

  8. A few photos of the views and the sholley, please!

    Nuts in May

  9. I want one of those handy dandy shopper's helpers! Sounds so much like what I go through on shopping day. No wonder I dislike it so, lol.

  10. Sorry, Maggie May - my Blog is a photo free zone, but you can see a Sholley on the internet, if you Google the name!

  11. brilliant jinksy!!! you took my mind right inside that piece. i'm going to have a look at a sholley as that is a new one to me as well!!! have a lovely day. steven

  12. I was laughing my head off with the conversation between the two trolleys. It never occurred to me what trolley might have to say about their customers. Many thanks for such a lovely and light-hearted post. It made my day.

    Greetings from London.

  13. Hello Jinksy,

    Your description of the tree is wonderful. I can see the camouflage attire and dreadlocks! I must look more closely when I'm out.

  14. Oh, this is delightful...the trolleys, the always you bring everything to life! I think my favorite is the personification of the trolleys...but your description, your command of language (crenelated, living umbrella, dreadlocks etc) is always a joy to read!!! Good-day to you, too, Jinksy! Always a pleasure to visit and stroll with you, my friend!!! ~Janine XO

  15. Jinksy, I find myself leaning in toward the screen as I read...I am lost in your words...picturing what you say...wondering along with you...transported there! It's almost like an out of body experience! :) Smiles...Wanda

  16. Hi Jinksy. Your post almost made me feel like I was there.

  17. Wonderful, as usual, Jinksy. You never leave me wondering about what something might look like. Your descriptions are perfect for me to build pictures in my mind.

    I, too, am delighted by the word "sholley". Never heard that one over on these shores.

  18. When we walk we have the time to see and take in everything around us, which we are not able to in a car, especially if we are driving. Your post really brings the mundane to life!

  19. What a talent you have Jinksy! You weave your words into an intricate canvas of colours, descriptions and wit. A visit here always leaves me with a big smile. Hope you are doing well. Have a wonderful weekend my friend.

  20. Jinksy,

    You are truly one of the best blogpals a gal could ever wish for!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sending you much love and expressions of admiration~Janine XO


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