Light-headed

I was wondering round the garden with a camera when Shelly arrived for a morning coffee visit with congenial conversation.

Raindrops bejewelled various pelargoniums,

keeping fuchsias like Mrs Popple, and

 

salvias Amistad

and Hot Lips glistening.

Honesty seed pods sparkled,

 

Penstemons and marigolds are either early or late,

 

while the viburnums Bodnantense Dawn are definitely early,

and rose New Dawn displays a new bud over the Rose Garden pergola.

Like the garden I felt brighter today, although, like Schoolgirl rose, a bit light-headed.

This evening we dined on more of Hordle Chinese Take Away fine fare with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank another glass of the Fleurie.

Under The Weather

Not having yet experienced frost, the nasturtiums still climb the garage door trellis.

The crab apple trees are losing their leaves, revealing their fruit, still eschewed by blackbirds not yet hungry enough to eat them.

The sun was so weak this morning as to be imperceptible in these photographs of the garden views in which autumn colours, especially of Japanese maples, attempted to brighten the gloom.

I, and the garden, felt somewhat under the weather today. As limp and lacklustre as these leaves lying on the gravel, I alternated between reading and dozing on the sofa.

This evening we dined on Hordle Chinese Take Away’s excellent fare. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank sparkling water.

A Reluctant Follower

On another bright but chilly morning Jackie drove me to Norleywood Road for me to walk along it and St Leonard’s Road for half an hour before she picked me up.

Three different alpacas occupied the usual field;

one wearing a rug. One or two of these may be llamas, but I don’t know the difference.

Japanese maples in the garden of Gorse Cottage sparkled with the earlier rain

which had filled the gutter

and the pool now threatening to spill over onto the road junction.

Mushrooms sprang from the verge of St Leonard’s Road.

Jackie had driven on ahead and back-tracked to tell me of cattle and calves on the road ahead. She thought it might be a bit far to walk so offered to drive me to them. I preferred to see how I got on. Eventually I spied them in the distance. They were on the move, and vanished out of sight, which encouraged me to keep going.

Around one bend they once more came into view

and rounded another.

 

One of the calves

seemed reluctant to follow the others.

He looked back wistfully at

his oblivious mother engrossed in guzzling griselinia.

This sawn off tree trunk must, at some time past, have fallen across the road.

On our return we drove to Lymington to buy Christmas presents.

After lunch my Chauffeuse carried me to Sears Barbers at Milford on Sea where Peter cut my hair.

This evening we joined Elizabeth to dine at Albero Italian restaurant in Brockenhurst. My choice of meal was a well filled Calzone followed by Tiramisu; Jackie’s was creamy fettuccini; Elizabeth’s a special fish dish. Both ladies enjoyed cheesecakes. Elizabeth and I shared a carafe of the house red wine served at the perfect temperature; Jackie drank Moretti. The food was very well cooked, and the service friendly and efficient.

 

 

Khaleesi And Karen’s Hair Dryer

On this bright, sunny, day Barry of

was able to complete the work on the Velux window roof.

He tapped down the lead using a tool that had once belonged to Owen’s great grandfather;

tested the result for smoothness in his usual careful manner;

and employed Karen’s hair dryer to avoid the possibility of his normal heater cracking the glass.

This afforded him time for contemplation.

A walk round the garden revealed a somewhat nibbled mushroom sprouting in the stumpery.

Muggle was at home in his larch.

Nugget still looked him up now and then. Otherwise he foraged for himself.

“Where’s Nugget” (46).

Barry sent me the first two pictures on this post, with a set

depicting the completed project.

Note the spirit levels in this one.

Keeping her very discreetly out of our way, Barry brought his delightful spaniel Khaleesi with him, and included some pictures of her.

Apart from a spell on the Westbrook Arbour bench,

she remained in the van.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy sausages in red wine; roast potatoes; crunchy carrots and firm broccoli, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleuri 2018.

 

 

A Craftsman At Work

We already knew that Barry Chislett-Bruce of New Forest Chimney Sweeping & Repairs is a first class, painstaking, craftsman. In the link above Barry and his son, Owen, are shown sweeping the chimney behind the fireplace they installed for us.

The Velux kitchen window has leaked ever since we moved in five and a half years ago. Three other tradesmen have failed to fix the problem. Had I known that this was an issue with which Barry was familiar and experienced I would have asked him first. Today he began working on the job in bright sunshine and continued as the skies darkened in preparation for more heavy rains.

I photographed the man at work today. Rain or shine he will return tomorrow to complete the task.

After his return home our friend sent me bird’s eye view  images of his work. Having removed studs that no-one else had ever looked at, he lifted a section of the frame and used a thick fabric to draw out a significant pocket of water. He brought down this swab and wrung it out over the kitchen sink. This was not merely resulting from recent rain.

Other photographs show the careful lead work at various stages, both while the sun still shone, and later, by which time light rain had begun to speckle the glass.

Barry also sent signs that he had probably enjoyed his mugs of tea, although he had had the temerity to opine that Jackie’s brew was better than mine.

This evening we dined on minted lamb burgers; sautéed new potatoes; and vibrantly hued orange carrots. green beans and sprouting broccoli, with which I finished the Cotes du Bourg. Jackie had finished her Hoegaarden beforehand.

Ponies In Motion

Today the sun shone and the temperature was comparatively mild.

Jackie helped her avian familiar plant an astilbe

and thin out a lamium.

“Where’s Nugget?” (45)

Afterwards my Chauffeuse drove me to Undershore, along which I walked for half an hour until she picked me up.

Undershore, the narrower lane, should not be confused with Undershore Road. Leaving Lymington by the level crossing the former runs left along the reed beds while the latter takes a right turn beside the Lymington River.

The woodland on Undershore’s left hand side in today’s direction of travel stands on soggy, pool strewn, terrain.

Reflecting puddles spread across the tarmac

collecting fallen oak leaves at the verges.

Fungus decorates fallen logs.

In time we will see it sprouting from this recently sawn hollow trunk, branches of which lies on the other side of road across which they probably crashed during the recent gales.

Brambles cast their shadows on larger leaves.

To the right of the lane autumnal oaks gracing the horizon came into view by courtesy of a five barred gate breaking the hedge line.

I have spared my readers the sight of discarded detritus but for this dumped carpet.

A fallen tree gripped by thick ivy tendrils lay across the bridleway entrance. A horse could no doubt have jumped it. Not that I’ve ever seen one taking this route. I couldn’t risk stepping over. Maybe next year.

Shortly after I reached this point my chariot arrived. This was the view from my passenger seat looking across to Pilley Hill.

Returning home via Shirley Holms we paused to take in another autumn landscape,

proceeding past this woodland scene

to the car park area where I disembarked to photograph ponies in the landscape. While some turned their backs on me one chestnut-coloured one remained inquisitive until it turned about and in the usual ungainly manner

flopped to its knees

vaguely watching the trio in the first picture demonstrate the motion of walking horses, until it needed to attend to an itch.

This evening we dined on a meaty rack of pork ribs; prawn toasts, spring rolls, and Jackie’s vegetable-packed savoury rice with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Cotes du Bourg.

 

A Little Autumn Colour

For the last couple of days marauding rooks have raided Nugget’s robin feeder, ripped it off the Japanese maple, and robbed him of his food.

Jackie has baffled the thieves with a pair of hanging basket frames.

In contrast to yesterday’s dismal weather, today was clear, bright, and cold, taking every opportunity to display a little autumn colour.

Here is Margery’s Bed seen from the Cryptomeria Bed,

and sculpture Florence’s view of the house.

Weeping Birch leaves still linger

and the white solanum goes on forever.

 

Some Japanese maples have retained their leaves,

others have carpeted the lawn and paths with them.

The last scene above can be seen from the Fiveways end of the Phantom Path.

Jackie focussed on the grasses in the Palm Bed named for

the Cordeline Australis which is in fact evergreen.

Mrs Popple is one of the hardier fuchsias,

another of which, Delta’s Sarah, still attracts no doubt confused bees.

A number of pelargoniums still look down from hanging baskets, like this overlooking the Dragon bed in which

Ivy twines herself around one of the eponymous mythological figures.

Jackie spent much of the morning trying not to tread on Nugget while they were cobbling together a winter cold frame.

“Where’s Nugget?” (44a and 44b)

Wherever she moved to another location he was there first. Fortunately she took her camera.

“Where’s Nugget?” (44c and 44d)

Jackie also focussed on a sparrow with,

a pied wagtail,

and a white wagtail on the rooftop. I trust one of our birder readers will correct any errors in identification.

Late this afternoon Elizabeth visited to gather up bags of files that had remained in our single spare room since she moved out last year. She stayed for dinner which consisted of chicken marinaded in mango and chilli sauce; savoury rice topped with an omelette; and tender runner beans. My sister finished the Cotes du Rhone and I drank Chateau Berdillot Cotes de  Bourg 2018, while Jackie abstained.