The air was much colder today, and the weak sun only briefly penetrated the mist after mid-day. Even late in the morning, as I walked to Lyndhurst via Mill Lane and Pikes Hill, the landscape beyond the first layer of trees was obscured. At the top of Mill Lane one pony chomped under a flowering prunus whilst another looked as if it had done battle with a bramble.
The plan today was that I would walk to the Post Office in Lyndhurst to arrange postal redirection, and retire to the car park where Jackie would meet me with the Modus. In the event, I made good progress and didn’t take long in the Post Office, so I was half an hour early and sat on a bench watching the people go by. A mother was teaching her little daughter how to cross the road, by looking both ways I imagine.
I had phoned Malachi a couple of days ago to ask him what he would like me to send him from England for his birthday. He thought ‘something to do with stars’ would be ‘cool’. I was very surprised to find just the thing in Lyndhurst, so it looks as if another trip to the Post Office will be in order to send the parcel to Perth.
Jackie drove us on to Milford on Sea for lunch in the Needles Eye cafe, from which the Isle of Wight and its Needles were not visible.
Passing through Downton we stopped to investigate the entrance to a quarry which was not far from our new house. Gravel is being excavated a good distance from the house, and I was reassured by the gentleman on site who, reasonably enough, wondered why I was taking photographs.
There are a number of posts along the beach at Milford on Sea bearing notices warning of underwater obstruction. Each of these when we arrived was occupied by a gull. One of these perches was in dispute. The resident was assailed by two rivals. A noisy three for all ensued. Before the argument was settled it was continued on the wing. When the victor reclaimed its throne it kept swivelling its head around, keeping alert and ready to repel further boarders. In case you didn’t know, the collective noun for seagulls is a squabble.
After lunch we drove back through Downton and stopped off to visit Apple Court Nursery and Garden which is very near where our new home will be. Rightly termed ‘one of Hampshire’s loveliest gardens’ it is a well established all the year round garden on which the owners and staff were working in earnest. Only open from March to October on Fridays, weekends and bank holidays, we will certainly visit it again. Jackie found it particularly helpful in learning what is likely to thrive in our new garden. The answer is most plants that like a neutral soil. Today we saw a quantity of spring bulbs, camellias, magnolias, and euphorbia.
Particularly impressive was the Japanese garden with its small lake filled with monstrous carp.