‘Mum’s So Lucky’

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Aaron, who is A.P. Maintenance, made much further progress on the fencing he is now building to repel the abandoned North Breeze boarders.

Aaron fencing

I made him an A4 print of this shot. He was very chuffed with it.

Gladiolus

The sunlight providing the dappled effect soon disappeared, so it wasn’t available by the time I noticed the gladioli Priscilla blooming in the New Bed.

Robin joined Aaron a little later, and they ran out of nails. Jackie and I bought some more from Mole Country Supplies.

This afternoon drove to Shelly and Ron’s barbecue in Walkford, a little later than planned. Jackie had made some wonderful rice and egg salads as a contribution to the event catering. In my keenness to render assistance in the transfer of the dishes to the car I had

Smashed balsamic vinegar

a minor mishap with a fairly full glass bottle of balsamic vinegar that I managed to knock from a cupboard onto the tiles below.

Ever since 18th September 2013 when I perpetrated an even more disastrous spillage, we have had a catch phrase, ‘Mum’s so lucky……..’ This, it’s full form continuing ‘……… to have Dad to help her’, was coined by Becky to describe such an incident. Those words passed my lips as I began the task of clearing up.

We arrived safely, and enjoyed the usual brilliant barbecue with plentiful salads, and desserts. We shared a convivial and entertaining few hours with the usual gang, friends for over thirty years, and relatives, including Helen and Bill, Anthony, Neil,and Donna. I believe a certain amount of alcohol was imbibed.

A Rapid Change Of Light.

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Robin juvenile

Early this morning we had an avian visitor, in the form of a juvenile robin looking wistfully through the kitchen window, during intervals between frantic flapping. Jackie lifted it up and set it free, but didn’t wait for me to get in another shot.

Unbeknown to us, when we visited Lymington Quay a little later, we just missed Frances and her friends Dave and Kay who also spent some time there.

Young man on Mavis Robinson's memorial bench

Initially oblivious of the hydraulic load-lift behind him, a young man dozed on a bench

Ship Inn

against the backdrop of the Ship Inn,

Ship Inn rooftop

with its lichen painted roof.

The Boat House Café

Tourists gathered around The Boat House Café,

Waiting for a cruise

 waited for the cruises to begin,

Train and boats

or travelled on the ferry port train.

Boat detail 1

Rigging

while more regular visitors prepared the rigging of their boats,

Kayakking

and a pair of kayakers set off between moored hulls.

As the quayside filled up and the hot sun rose in the sky, we set off for the cooler, less crowded, forest.

Boxer Dog

At East Boldre an imperious boxer dog occupied his own personal observation platform. (See comments from arlingwoman and 10000hoursleft below. The dog is an Old English Mastiff)

Cyclists

Cyclists enjoyed their track around the Ladycross Estate near Brockenhurst

Woodland

where dappled sunlight played on the woodland trees,

Log rising from bog

and Jackie saw a dinosaur emerging from a dried up bog.

Ponies 1

In this weather, ponies tend to shelter under trees, utilising their fly whisks.

Ponies 2

It seems they have learned that those in white clothing need less shade.

Even before we arrived home, we could see mist rolling in from the sea. I didn’t need to suggest we went and had a look at it. My Driver just turned away from the house and made straight for the coast, where

Sea mist with invisible Isle of Wight

the Isle of Wight was invisible,

Beach scene in mist 1Beach scene in mist

and a light pall lay over those on the beach.

This afternoon we received a delightful surprise when the three people we hadn’t known had been at the quay arrived for a visit. We spent an enjoyable few hours together, naturally involving highly satisfying admiration of the garden.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid chicken jalfrezi and savoury rice.

Not a bad day, really.

P.S. Barrie Haynes put the following additional information about the lifting device on my Facebook page:  ‘As an amendment to that, the heavy duty ones (as in this case) do use oil when going down. It is released through a small orifice, thus making the tail lift go down slowly and safely with a heavy load and taking the stain of up to a couple of tons off the operating mechanism. So you were right after all Derrick it’s Mechanical (two big chains) Electrical (separate battery on lorry) and Hydraulic (for safety). For anybody reading this, never use a tail lift on a hired vehicle unless you are happy you know exactly how to do it. They can remove fingers!’

The Death Of The Heart

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Today, I have been mostly watering plants.

Nicotiana

Nicotiana now soars aloft.

Clematis Diversifolia Hendersonii

Several of our clematises, such as Diversifolia Hendersonii

Clematis Queen Mother

and Queen Mother in the front garden,

Clematis

and Duchess of Albany on the Rose Garden pergola bear hats of invisible pixies frolicking and turning somersaults in the sunshine.

Lily 1

This lily has taken two years to bloom.

Lily 2

Many, like this one, live just one day.

Bee on nasturtium

Bees are drawn to our nasturtiums.

Kniphofia

The kniphofias have poked their way up through the soil,

DDahlias

as have the red hot dahlias in the New Bed. The first is Bishop of Llandaff. I’m not sure about the others.

View from Shady Path

This view from the Shady Path encompasses

Hollyhocks

Margery’s hollyhocks.

While I was watering, Ronan was fixing our boiler, not that we will need heating any time soon.

The Death Of The Heart001

This is the blurb on the back cover of

The Death Of The Heart002

which I finished reading this evening.

When my blogging friend, Lisa learned that I was embarking on this novel she remembered that when she had read it, a long time ago, she had found it sad. I would trust Lisa’s judgement ahead of the book’s publicists.

If this is a story of adolescent love in the thirties, I am glad my teenage years were in the fifties. In my view it was more a tale of isolation and loneliness. I agree with the ‘Passion, misunderstanding…..’ paragraph above, but if this an example of ‘sublime sense of comedy’ it is so black as to be invisible to me. Remind me not to try The Orchid Trilogy.

Having said all this, I must concede that Bowen ‘is a major writer’. The book is well constructed; the prose is elegant; she has a keen eye for detail; and she develops character well. But does she like any of her creations?

Finally, Augustus John’s model has far more spirit about her than the unfortunate Portia.

This evening Jackie enjoyed a meal out with her friend, Pauline (not our NZ one); and I dined sumptuously on scrambled egg on toast and Doom Bar.

Tom Daley

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Jackie continued her creative miracles on the various beds. I rendered sporadic assistance in dead-heading, weeding, clearing up, and humping bags of compost.

Head Gardener's Walk

Here are current views of The Head Gardener’s Walk

Shady Path

and The Gazebo Path, looking across Margery’s bed in which her hollyhocks are now in bloom.

Petunias in hanging basket

Petunias in hanging baskets are ubiquitous,

Lilies 1Lilies 2New Bed

as are lilies of many different kinds in various beds. Currently they share The New Bed with dahlias and clematises.

Rose Garden

In the Rose Garden, before I’d finished dead-heading, the pink carpet rose was laid out before Love Knot, poppies, and petunias;

For Your Eyes Only

and For Your Eyes Only caught the sun.

Particularly in the morning, falling petals are suspended from spidery filaments. Spinning in the breeze some,

Fuchsia on web-string

like this fuchsia, have the appearance of Tom Daley taking off,

Honeysuckle (rocket)

or, such as this honeysuckle, shuttles aiming for space stations.

In case anyone needs to know this is what Wikipedia has to say about Tom Daley:

‘Thomas Robert “Tom” Daley (born 21 May 1994)[2] is a British diver and television personality. Daley specialises in the 10 metre platform event and was the 2009 FINA World Champion in the individual event at the age of 15. He started diving at the age of seven and is a member of Plymouth Diving Club. He has made an impact in national and international competitions from age 9. He represented Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics where he was Britain’s youngest competitor, the youngest competitor of any nationality outside the sport of swimming, and the youngest to participate in a final.[5] In 2009, Daley reached a career best ranking of number one in the FINA World Diving Rankings for the ten-metre platform.[6]

He won two gold medals for England at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, in the 10 metre synchro diving (with Max Brick) and the 10 m Individual Platform competition,[7] and won the bronze medal for Great Britain in the individual competition at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.[8]

After his success at the 2012 Olympic Games and a summer of great sporting interest amongst the public in the UK, television network ITV approached Daley to have a role in their new celebrity diving reality TV show Splash!. Daley made his debut in the show’s premiere on 5 January 2013 as a mentor to the celebrity competitors taking part.[9]

With the increasing warmth, the butterflies are back.

Peacock butterfly on hebe

Here a Peacock performs its trapeze routine on a hebe.

Ronan, from Tom Sutton, came to fix our boiler which has stopped working. Unfortunately there were several issues, one being a faulty control box which he will have to obtain tomorrow. We won’t stink, because we have an immersion heater in the shower.

Tonight we dined on Jackie’s wholesome heart casserole, creamy mashed potato, and crunchy carrots. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden, and I made a start on the excellent Brancott Estate merlot/cabernet sauvignon 2014 given to me for my birthday by Shelly and Ron.

The Headbutt

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Lace cap hydrangea

Here is a lace cap hydrangea in our front garden.

This morning, Jackie drove us to Eyeworth Pond and back. This lies beyond the Royal Oak at Fritham.

Teenagers on bank 1Teenagers on bank 2

A group of friendly teenagers perched on a bank.

Water Lilies

Behind them was a carpet of waterlilies.

Teenagers on bank 3

The group were very happy to have their photograph taken. I gave them the blog details and said they were welcome to take copies. (I hope you enjoy them, folks.)

There was not as much avian activity here as there had been during nest-building time, but I did manage to catch

Blue tit 1Blue tit 2Blue tit 3

blue tits,

Chaffinch

a chaffinch,

Duck and chicks

and a duck steering her two ducklings around the pond.

Someone had left birdseed on a gatepost. This was quite handy for photography.

The chaffinch stepped so gingerly on the gravel that it reminded me of

Becky 8.72

Becky at Iwade in August 1972.

Ponies 1

As I concentrated on the ungainly chaffinch a clattering behind me alerted me to a fast-moving string of ponies passing along the path.

Ponies 2

After a while they returned. One, in the foreground here, laid claim to a clump of bracken.

Pony headbutt

Others who dared approach were given the evil eye, squeaked, and backed off. Just as I was about to focus on its gentle orb, the bravest was given a resounding headbutt by the creature with the mouthful of ferns. The assailant really batted the victim. There was a resounding crack, the hopeful horse staggered off, and I was relieved not to have been noticed.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips, pickled gherkins and pickled onions. I finished the Côtes du Rhône.

Anticipation

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.Mudeford Quay 1

Early this morning Jackie drove me out to Mudeford Quay for a photoshoot.

Neatly piled up are fishermen’s equipment, such as

Ropes and chains

ropes and chains,

Crab pot

and what I believe are crab pots,

Buoys

and marker buoys.

Yacht and buoy on Solent

It must have been the hazy heat that led us to water for the second day running. Even quite early it wrapped The Needles and their lighthouse in clingfilm as a yacht slipped past the Isle of Wight and a buoy bobbed in the bay.

Holiday accommodation

Holidaymakers were emerging from their picturesque accommodation,

Rowers 1

Rower and lady

but otherwise families had not yet driven in their droves when we arrived and I wandered around watching various aquatic activities such as rowing;

Punting

what I am grateful to several commenters below, to be able to call paddle-boarding;

Yachting

yachting;

Casting

and casting for fish.

Motor boat leaners

Discussion about plans for the day took place while leaning on a boat,

Man on mobile

or by means of the mobile phone. This paddling gentleman was soon joined by two children and a woman who rang to ask where he was. He was amused when I showed him the picture.

Gull

Even the gulls kept largely out of sight, except for one looking startled on the water,

Rooftop with gull

and another surveying the scene from a rather motley rooftop.

Roofing

Nearby, a roofer’s head was already lit by the sun which would soon bear straight down on him;

Watering hanging basket

and The Haven staff were already watering the hanging baskets.

In eager anticipation of the first ferry trip to Hengistbury Head

Down to the ferry 1

Down to the ferry 2

families surged onto the quay

Down to the ferry 3

Down to the ferry 4

and formed an ever-lengthening queue.

Down to the ferry 5

Down to the ferry 6

Down to the ferry 7

The transport arrived on time and eager embarkation began.

Steps

The barriers around the quayside are to prevent anyone taking a dive down the steps leading up to the platform.

Down to the ferry 8

This father looked as if he was feeling the strain;

Down to the ferry 9

until he entered the boat and his partner brought along the empty buggy.

Down to the ferry 10Down to the ferry 11

The last few boarders took their places,

Ferry

and the fully laden boat set off.

Dog, reader, gull

As I returned to the car I spotted a large sandy dog excavating the spit across the water.

This afternoon I gave Jackie token assistance with watering the garden.

This even we dined on the Culinary Queen’s wholesome sausage, bacon, and heart casserole. She drank Hoegaarden and I quaffed more of the Côtes du Rhône.

‘We’re On Holiday’

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Rose Desire

Jackie has planted one or two roses on the back drive. Given that they cost £1.49 each at Poundstretcher this one is inappropriately named ‘Dearest’ yet it has surprised us with its powerful, yet delicate, scent.

After a sniff round the garden, my Lady drove me on a circuitous route to Hatchet Pond and back.

Pond reflection 1

Glimpsing a large reflective pool through trees at the bottom of Pilley Hill, I asked to be disembarked in order to investigate.

P

This was the larger building turned upside down;

Pond reflection 3

and this another.

Cow drinking 1Cattle at pool

Cattle obligingly clambered down to the pool to drink.

Cow reflected

They, too, were reflected.

Ponies and foals

Around the next bend ponies and their foals were keeping residents’ grass in order.

Cygnets and gulls

At Hatchet Pond we found that the cygnets are growing up,

Swans and cygnets

but remain uncertain what to do with their legs.

Mother and child, gulls, ducks, jackdaw, poniesChild, duck, gulls, ponies

There were many visitors to the water on this, the hottest day of the year so far.

Swan, ducks, gulls, ponies

Gull and reflection

Swans, gulls, and ducks, of course, live there.

Cattle

Cattle on Hatchet Pond

Cow in Hatchet Pond

Cattle drank and bathed.

Photographer and cattle

I was not the only photographer.

Brothers and sister paddling 1

Boys and sister paddling 2

Two brothers and their elegant little sister were also enjoying a paddle.

Father and boys at ducks and drakesFamily at ducks and drakes

The father and boys played ducks and drakes, and were joined by mother and daughter with whom I had been chatting.

Girl paddling

The delightful little girl announced that they were on holiday.

Donkey and foal

On the far side of the pond a donkey and her foal were snuggling among the shrubs,

Ponies reflected

and grazing ponies flanked an appropriate warning sign.

Incidentally I have often been asked about ownership of the forest’s free-roaming animals. Although they are free to roam they are owned by commoners with grazing rights. This explains the collars and tags usually seen around necks, or, in the case of cattle, pinned on their ears.

Much watering of plants was required this afternoon.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious sausage casserole, creamy mashed potato and swede, and perfect runner beans. This was followed by Tesco’s sublime strawberry trifle which we would have eaten with Jessie and Guru on Saturday had I not somewhat redistributed its constituents by dropping it (with its lid on) on the floor. Jackie drank her Hoegaarden and Bavaria mix, while I drank Gilbert & Gaillard Les 3 Couronnes Côtes du Rhône 2014