South Sway Lane

This morning Jackie drove me to the surgery at Milford on Sea where I received my booster Covid vaccination with no problems. We then continued on forest drive.

I stepped out of the car at South Sway Lane, where a fine specimen of buttercups lined the verges opposite the ubiquitous cow parsley,

and carpeted fields with a distant horse enjoying the comfort of fly masks. I

had been initially attracted by the crop of yellow irises.

Two dark bay ponies shared the nearest field. One hopefully trotted over to

investigate me, bringing cloud of flies of a like mind. How this patient creature must have envied the more pampered field horse which was protected from the pesky insects.

On the opposite side of the road moon daisies lined a verge beyond which lay a landscape swathed in varicoloured grasses.

A couple of friendly cyclists sped down the dappled tarmac.

Jackie was struck by the cathedral quality of the oak roof beams spanning Rodlease Lane. She stopped to produce the portrait style photograph, while I made the two landscape versions, one, of course, looking backwards.

A trio of ponies tripped among the daises on the verges of Sway Road.

As we arrived home I noticed what beckons to those who drive past our front entrance.

For dinner this evening we all three enjoyed more servings of those we had yesterday, with more pie filling for Flo and fresh vegetables for us all. Jackie drank Tsing Tao beer and I drank Swartland Shiraz 2020.

From High Street To Forest Roads

This morning I received an e-mail containing photographs from my brother-in-law Ron Salinger from his Spanish holiday with Shelly.

These featured a celebration of the victory of the Battle of Albuera, known as the bloodiest battle of the Peninsular War.

Here is a link to the extensive Wikipedia entry on the event:

Afterwards, Jackie cut my hair. Should anyone wish to inspect it it is featured in one of the Lymington High Street shop windows to follow.

Just before lunch I posted

A problem has developed with the communication between Jackie’s camera and its memory card.

I therefore visited Wessex Photographic in Lymington High Street in order to have the problem investigated. The ever helpful Luke established that the fault lay with the card, and sold me another at a mere fraction of the cost of a new camera.

Jackie and Flo then popped into Oakhaven Children’s Shop while

I wandered around with my camera.

After a while they took refreshment in Hazy Days coffee shop;

I continued my meandering until joining them to partake of sparkling water.

We then drove into the forest in search of a foal. Thinking we were to be thwarted we stopped to focus on a group of donkeys invading a garden in East Boldre.

Further along a foal appeared with its mother and a group of other equines.

In these latter two galleries those titles of Flo’s pictures bear her name.

This evening Flo enjoyed second helpings of Jackie’ s beef pie while her grandparents reprised the Culinary Queen’s liver and bacon. Both meals were served with boiled potatoes, crunchy carrots, firm cauliflower, and tender runner beans. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, Flo, water, and I, more of the Douro.

A Knight’s Tale (134: Kilcullen Would Have Been Too Far Away)

One evening we were given a trip from Port St Charles into the Atlantic Ocean.

Kilcullen towing New Horizons

Flanked by the lowering sun we then encountered Kilcullen towing New Horizons.

Quite why John Peck and Fraser Dodds, who manned the rowing boat New Horizons, needed the attentions of the support boat at this point, I am not sure, for they are given in the statistics of the Ocean Rowing Society as having completed the race.  Kilcullen, you see, is one of a group of vessels deputed to be on hand in case of need by rowers in distress. I understand that, because they tended to stay behind the slowest competitors, these yachts would be a good 500 miles away from the leaders.

Sunset 1
Sunset 2
Sunset 3

Very soon after this, we experienced one of the dramatic gold and indigo sunsets that Sam had enjoyed during his 59 days at sea.

Kilcullen in sunset

By this time the crew of Kilcullen were relaxing in silhouette.

Crabs 1
Crab 2

The next morning a cast of crabs danced the side shuffle on the rocks.

Sam, always having been one of the leaders, told us how the waves could toss his little boat considerable distances through the air. 

The purpose built rowing boat was designed to keep upright. Provided. That the windows to the small cabin remained closed.

One morning my son was woken by the hailer of a cargo vessel asking whether he needed assistance. He informed them that he had no need of it. Off they sailed.

Then, out of the blue, the ship turned and sped back towards Pacific Pete.

Just imagine the bow wave. This didn’t send Sam’s boat any distance. Instead it sent it in a circular spin in which it rolled over twice.

Had the windows been open Sam and his boat would have joined his camera on the bed of the ocean into which it had slipped. He didn’t mention this on one of his weekly telephone calls to me.

Where’s Martin?

Martin and Jackie spent several hours between them this morning weeding and clearing; I chipped in with some of each and mostly dead heading, largely concentrating on

the Rose Garden, of which I wish I could convey the scents.

After lunch I recorded the general scenes, as usual titled in the galleries.

View east from Heligan Path. Where’s Martin?

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent beef and onion pie; boiled potatoes; crisp cauliflower and carrots; tender green beans; and meaty gravy, with which the Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Douro.

Summer Time

Just before lunch I posted

This afternoon, while Jackie and Flo toured the garden centres in successful search of trailing plants for hanging baskets, I pulled up a few weeds and photographed

some of our flowers, all of which are titled in the gallery.

The New Wheel Inn is the now privately owned and refurbished incarnation of the Wheel Inn Community Pub, our favourite which was a casualty of the first Covid lockdown. This evening we dined there. The changes to the building are minimal, but all fresh, clean, and in keeping with the original.

We dined there this evening. Food and service were good. I chose sirloin steak with all the trimmings which was cooked as I had asked; Jackie’s main course was meaty belly of pork with perfect crackling and green cabbage; Flo’s, fish, chips, and peas. Flo and I each followed this with orange bread and butter pudding with brandy custard; Jackie’s dessert was cheesecake. Jackie drank Heineken, Flo, J2O, and I, Ringwood’s bitter.

A Knight’s Tale (133: The Official Welcome)

At last Sam arrived into Port St Charles and

successfully brought his boat into dock.

He sat aboard for a while, preparing himself for his first touch of land for two months.

Then came the official welcome of Ken Crutchlow, Secretary of the Ocean Rowing Society, filmed by Dixie,

Before doing anything else Sam was required to report to border control. This involved walking along a narrow quayside to present his passport to a man in a little office. As he was rather wobbly, he needed my assistance to reach this point. It was, of course, a great privilege to be selected to provide such support.

After this we lined up for group photographs. Here Jessica, Louisa, and I join Sam and Ken.

Here, I relayed the result to the Nottingham Evening Post.

Before repairing to the bar, Sam caught up with me, his mother and his sister.

Here he is in the beach bar.

Each evening for the rest of our stay, we began with potent rum punches in the main dining area upstairs. After a few of these, Ken would always cry: ‘Samson Knight. Who named that boy?’

We were to learn in particular how the voyage had not been without its narrow escapes.


This morning, after visiting Ferndene Farm Shop, Jackie and I took a forest drive.

On the verges of Chapel Lane a group of ponies including a foal caught the attention of a couple of friendly cyclists.

Two little Shetlands shared the pasturage with their larger cousins, one of whom did her best to concentrate on taking in her share despite the attentions of

her young offspring, first suckling, then

persistently nuzzling,

before standing off for a scratch.

Further on, we followed an equestrienne trio towards

Barrack Lane with its adjacent landscape.

A small herd of crème caramel cattle containing calves basked in a field at Norley Wood.

This evening we dined on tender fillet steaks; crisp oven chips, succulent fried onions and peppers, and firm garden peas, with which Jackie drank, Hoegaarden, Flo drank water, and I drank Azinhaga de Ouro Reserva 2019.

Trawling Charity Shops

Flo is seeking items to use in making a baby’s mobile. In particular she is collecting beads. One very good source of such material is Charity Shops which now populate most of our High Streets. One such is New Milton’s Station Road.

This afternoon Flo walked the length of the road investigating these outlets,

while I wandered up and down with my camera.

As usual, all the pictures are titled in the galleries.

This gentleman apparently absorbed in the Mencap window

revealed his lassitude as he departed with his companion leaving the store.

This gentleman patiently waiting to cross the road carries his own tribute to Queen Elizabeth II’s upcoming 70th Jubilee celebrations at the beginning of June.

While walking along the street I picked up a wallet from the gutter. This contained a certain amount of identifying material but nothing of monetary value. In an effort to return it to its owner, possibly one from Australia with South London connections and a long name unpronounceable by this Englishman, I took it to the local police office,

where I was confronted with instructions as to how to proceed. I left the wallet on top of the box.

I expect you have all spotted me.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s most wholesome stewp consisting of chicken and goodness knows what else – all somehow blending perfectly – with crusty fresh bread and no alcohol required.

BEWILDERMENT – Richard Powers

I hardly ever reblog. This is such a positive review from a blogger I rate highly that I am doing so for the benefit of my readers who may not follow Anne

Something Over Tea

Richard Powers does not need the accolades plastered on the beautifully designed cover of his novel, Bewilderment, published by Hutchinson Heinemann in 2021.

It is an astonishingly wonderful read that takes us through what could be a bewildering array of journeys with the easy guidance of a master storyteller, who keeps the reader on track throughout by sticking to short and manageable routes.

We explore unbelievable worlds on planets way beyond our ken; relationships that are deep and entwining; the long-term effects of both politics and the economy on the environment; as well as shortcomings of conventional education:

The father and son regularly fall foul of education rules and battle with the idea of Robin being home-schooled as a possible solution. He [Robin] was calm as a skiff on a windless pond. I was capsizing. I wanted to shout, Give me one good reason why you can’t sit in…

View original post 233 more words


This morning I finished reading

The book carries a useful introduction by Susan Hill and skilful woodcuts by Joan Hassall, who has produced a good likeness of the writer on the frontispiece.

Although I had previously read most of the longer works of Elizabeth Gaskell, one of my favourite Victorian novelists, I had never read this little gem before. This was begun as a brief entry into Dickens’s magazine, Household Words, and until the author was later persuaded to turn it into a novel was to remain as such. She did produce the novel which originally appeared in book form in 1853. Mrs Gaskell’s elegant prose and skill in story telling has produced a romance which is much more than the original concept of a description of the fading genteel society of mostly contemporary women and their subtle intrigues, clashes of personality, petty squabbles, and keen gossip. The characterisation is rounded and the people mostly engaging. There are joys and disasters, all finally brought to clear conclusions.

The captioned illustrations are interspersed among the text, while

a variety of relevant vignettes bring to a close many of the chapters and ultimately the book.

This evening we dined on roast chicken thighs marinaded in Nando’s lemon chicken sauce; a flavoursome combo of savoury rice from Becky and Jackie; a firm broccoli, followed by New Forest strawberries – the tastiest we’ve ever known – and cream. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Fougères.