Responding To Comments

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Today’s photographic projects were prompted by responses to recent posts.

Pony Round-up 17

Yesterday’s offering included 35 photographs, and of those who favoured the very last one, Laurie Graves, herself an excellent blogger, suggested a large print. I made one of A3+ with a white margin.

Various comments focussed on potential views from the seats portrayed in ‘Seating Arrangements’, the day before. In contrast to the last two days, this one was very dull, but I thought I would oblige, on my perambulation around the garden.

View from aluminium dump bench

Here is the view to the left of the aluminium dump bench, and through the gazebo to the Palm Bed. The Florence statue appears on the right hand edge of the image;

View from Ace Reclaim bench

a are direct sight of her is gained from the Ace Reclaim Bench.

Florence at Fiveways

She has gathered a few more baskets around her. I cropped the close-up because a blue bucket and a hose reel would have been more than The Head Gardener could tolerate.

View from chairs in gravelled patio

From one of the chairs in the gravelled patio we look towards the Oval Bed

Rudbeckia

containing one our clumps of rudbeckia.

Phantom Path

A strategically placed chair faces east along the Phantom Path.

Decking

This time I have included the decking seating arrangement, on which the signs of impending autumn are beginning to fall. (That one is for my friends over the pond)

Dahlia

It is, of course, the time for dahlias;

Bees on ice plant

and for ice plants to attract working bees.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s luscious lamb jalfrezi, savoury rice, parathas, and onion bahjis. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank Heritage de Calvet Côtes du Rhône Villages 2014.

The Drift

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The Boat House Café

On another beautiful late summer sunny day we brunched at The Boat House Café in Lymington. I chose the Full English Breakfast with tea, while Jackie selected a baked potato generously filled with prawns, accompanied by a cappuccino . The food was good, and the drinks enormous, but further visits would be happier when not on a scorching hot day in the height of the holiday season.

Lymington Quay 1

This was the view outside the eating house. Henrietta can be seen at her strawberry stall.

Strawberries and shoe 1

On the wall against which her sign is propped, can be seen a child’s shoe and a small punnet of the fruit. I asked this lovely lady what was the story behind this display. She explained that she was trying to draw attention to the lost item of footwear. She had originally placed a strawberry inside the shoe. Never one to pass up a photo opportunity, I asked her to do it again.

Strawberry in shoe 1Strawberry in shoe 2

She obliged. I was not surprised that someone has loved her enough to adorn her wedding finger.

Lymington Quay 2

The quayside was very well populated; people were occupied

Lymington Quay 3Harbour master crewBoats

boating,

Lymington Quay 4Fishing 1Fishing 2Fishing 3

crabbing,

Feeding ducks

feeding the ducks,

Couple on quayside

or just sitting.

Jackie drove right past our house afterwards and headed off to the forest in search of ponies. As far as the eye could see the sun-blest, purple heather-carpeted moorland between Sway and Brockenhurst was devoid of ponies. We wondered why. It was then that my driver saw the road signs such as: Pony Round-up sign

Maybe we were going to be in luck after all. But which way? We did an about turn and turned left in the direction of Brockenhurst. In the distance a line of parked vehicles came into view. We headed for them. Eventually we came to a track under a railway bridge from which a rather frantic neighing emanated. Jackie parked on the gravelled path and I walked in the direction of the sounds. Having moved under the bridge I came upon the round-up, known as The Drift.

Pony round-up 1Pony Round-up 19

This was an area penned off with very stout poles. An increasingly active and vociferous mass of equine flesh and hides was contained within its confines. Spectators of all ages lined the structure, leaning or sitting on the struts.

Pony Round-up 9

Pony Round-up 8

Seeing the handlers in the pen surrounded by heavy, heaving, horseflesh, hooves thudding on the impacted soil, I wasn’t surprised to read signs saying that anyone attending The Drift did so at their own risk. When I was absorbed in taking the last photograph above, I almost backed into a pony that had been freed.

Brands in fire

A tap on my shoulder alerted me to the fact that if I stepped backwards I would encounter a hot branding iron hanging from the tree behind me. I had noticed a fire, and walked close to the heat of it, but I had not examined it closely enough to notice that it was heating an array of such implements.

These creatures were being given an annual health check. They were rounded up; had their condition inspected; branded; and given a tail trim. Any that had problems were returned to their owners on whom it was incumbent to resolve any problems before letting them back into the forest. Those to be branded with their owners’ initials were either new to the forest, or had been born since the last annual event. I have mentioned before that the animals’ tails are cut in a particular way specific to the area in which they roam. This is the reason for the trim.

Pony Round-up 13

The gentleman in this picture was one of those tasked with trimming and branding inside a smaller enclosure into which the ponies were led in manageable groups. Managing involved prodding with a stick, slapping on the rear, and only occasionally shouting. The horses made far more noise than their carers. Interestingly, those animals which had been in the forest for several years, and therefore knew the ropes, were far less alarmed than the younger ones.

Ponies on road

They also knew that, branded, brushed, and treated to a new collar they would, like those in this shot, be set free to worry the traffic and set off under the railway bridge to Brockenhurst for a good feed.

Pony Round-up 11

Pony Round-up 12

Once a few had been cajoled into the the treatment pen, a little space opened up in the main enclosure,

Pony Round-up 3

Pony Round-up 7

until newcomers filled it.

Pony Round-up 14Pony Round-up 15Pony Round-up 16

Occasionally the seething masses would divide enough for

Pony Round-up 2Pony Round-up 4

human handlers,

Pony Round-up 5Pony Round-up 10Pony Round-up 17

and equine captives to steal the show.

The gentleman in the purple T-shirt on the left of the first picture in this series was my informant today. Further information can be obtained from this excellent website: http://www.newforest-life.com/New-Forest-Drift.html

This evening we dined on pork spare ribs in barbecue sauce with Jackie’s savoury rice and green beans, followed by Bakewell plaits and custard. I finished the syrah.

Seating Arrangements

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Anyone who has followed this blog for any length of time will know that we are prone to buying almost as many benches and chairs as plants. This is because we like to provide points at which to sit and contemplate the views, or simply to take a rest in the shade.

Today I followed the cloud-diffused sun around the garden, photographing a selection of the seating arrangements.

Garden Seats 1

Many, like this pair of chairs in the front garden, were bought very cheaply from Efford Recycling Centre.

Garden Seats 2

This bench, recently moved from the grass patch to the Dead End Path, was from the same source. It is, in truth, a bit rickety, and therefore rests against the butler sinks.

Garden Seats 3

Our four large wooden chairs made by a local carpenter, cast interesting shadows on the patio.

Garden Seats 4

Looking a bit battered after its journey from Newark to two London addresses before being extensively repaired by me two years ago, this bench is a replica of those at Nottingham Castle. It is perfectly sturdy.

Garden Seats 5

Jackie found the cast iron ends of this seat, now resting on the Heligan Path, in the shrubberies. I bought the wood and fitted it together.

Garden Seats 6

A cluster of metal chairs is loosely arranged on the gravelled south end patio;

Garden Seats 10

this one has strayed a bit, presenting a view into the Rose Garden,

Garden Seats 8

where this elegantly ornate chair is one of the features.

Garden Seats 7

Our most recent dump acquisition has replaced the earlier mentioned bench on the grass patch. It is made of light and strong aluminium, but could do with a paint job.

Garden Seats 11

A variety of wooden seats, like this one outside the stable door,

Garden Seats 13

this beside Elizabeth’s Bed,

Garden Seats 14

 these along the back drive,

Garden Seats 15

and this beside the Brick Path facing the Phantom Path, were obtained from the same source.

Garden Seats 16

Others, like this one alongside the Head Gardener’s Walk, came from IKEA.

Garden Seats 17

Beside the same path, in the arched Gardener’s Rest was furnished by the recycling centre.

Garden Seats 12

Aaron recently added touches of paint to this iron bench bought from Ace Reclaim architectural salvage outlet. Beside the Shady Path it looks across the Palm Bed.

This evening we dined on juicy chicken Kiev; sauteed leeks, peppers, and mushrooms; crisp carrots, broccoli and new potatoes; followed by Bakewell plait and vanilla ice cream. I drank more of the syrah, and Jackie drank a blend of Bavaria and Hoegaarden.

A Nature Lesson

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On another overcast morning Jackie and I tidied up the garden with secateurs and broom while Aaron and Sean completed the building of the log shelter. Later, Jackie did some more planting and pruning as I carted clippings and branches to the compost and dump bags.

This afternoon I returned to the scanning of the negatives of the 1985 holiday in Instow.

Stump and barbed wire 1985

A fine fossilised scarecrow in a field was revealed as a gnarled stump crossed by barbed wire.

Bees on kniphofia 1985

Bees congregated on kniphofia.

Roof repairs 1985

A roofer was hard at work in the August heat. This seemed to me to be some traditional method merging slate with other materials. Were they being refurbished or replaced altogether, like those next door? I would be happy to learn from anyone with knowledge of this.

Jessica and Louisa 1985 1Jessica and Louisa 2Jessica and Louisa 1985 3Jessiac and Louisa 4

Our holiday home was a short walk from these houses. Here, Jessica sits with Louisa on the wall featured yesterday, introducing her to the wonders of nature. Tall irises stand proud while yellow roses ramble along the stones.

Jessica and Sam 1985

Sam took his turn, too.

For dinner this evening, Jackie produced lemon chicken with chilli and garlic; swede and potato mash; broccoli; and sautéed leeks, peppers, mushrooms and courgettes. This was followed by rhubarb pastries and ice cream. The Culinary Queen drank a blend of Bavaria and Hoegaarden, and I drank Foremost Hawke’s Bay syrah 2015.

From Ice Cream To Bread And Butter

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Today was dull and heavy with the promise of rain that never came to relieve the oppression.

I took a trip back to the summer of 1985 through the medium of colour slides which I scanned.

Louisa ice cream 1985 1

Here Louisa tackles an ice cream in the garden of our Gracedale Road home.

Louisa ice cream 1985 2

This has featured before, but it was then taken from a print. It is sometimes difficult to get the melting treat all in the the mouth,

Louisa ice cream 1985 3

but is definitely worth trying.

(Who would have thought I would one day be scanning these into an Apple?)

Sam ice cream 1985 2

Sometimes it’s a race against time before it runs down into your sleeve,

Sam ice cream 1985 1

and you are left wondering where it’s all gone.

Soon after these photographs were taken, Jessica and I travelled with the children to Instow, near Bideford in Devon, for one of the holidays we enjoyed with the Henry Pearson family in those days.

Sam and Louisa, Instow 1985 3

This time Sam enjoys bread and butter,

Sam and Loiusa Instow 1985 2

Sam and Louisa Instow 1985 1

and clambers over a stout, cemented, stone wall in the garden of our borrowed house.

This evening we dined on meaty beef burgers, lashings of onions, chips, and baked beans, followed by chocolate sponge pudding with caramel sauce. I drank Doom Bar and Jackie drank fruit juice.

A Cock-Fight

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On another hot day with a glorious cloudless blue sky, Jackie and I spent the morning shopping for birthday presents for Shelly and for Poppy.

First stop was Otter Nurseries where we bought a couple of skimmias for Jackie’s sister,

Rudbeckia 1Rudbeckia 2

and two interesting new bronzed rudbeckias for ourselves. There are plenty of buds on these latter plants for the Head Gardener to bring to perfection in a very short time.

Otter Nurseries 1Otter Nurseries 2

We felt rather sad at the emptiness of such a large, splendidly stocked, outlet on such a day. This was a clear indication that the seasons are changing.

Sammy Miller’s Motorcycle Museum in Bashley Common Road was the next venue. This, we thought, was a suitable establishment at which to find girlie items for Shelly and for our granddaughter.

You may well be surprised at this, if you don’t know that the outbuildings of the museum contain a number of shops attractive to tourists. Whilst I wandered around outside, Jackie bought a pastel blue quartz necklace for her sister, and another item suitable for a one-year old.

Motorcycle Park and petrol pump

There were many motorcycles parked in their dedicated area. This one is alongside one of the antique petrol pumps that line the walls.

Milk cart and urn

Snacks and drinks were being enjoyed in the shopping precinct which was generously supplied with garden ornaments including this milk cart;

Farm cart

a farm cart;

Farm machinery 2

and various items of farm machinery;

Farm machinery 1

more of which was distributed among the animals on the borders of the site.

Duck

A paddle of ducks welcomes cool shade and a running stream

Goat

Goats

There are basking goats, two of which really stink like their cheese.

Goats and chicken

Chickens seem oblivious to this.

Rooster

A vociferous rooster crows continuously.

Turkey 1

Leaving his lady-love in the shade of his shed,

Turkey 2

a plumage plumped turkey

Turkey 3

made his sedate and purposeful way along the front of the pen.

Turkeys 1

Coming to a halt at a wire window he silently confronted the occupant.

Rooster, chicken and turkey

‘Fight. Fight. Fight’, cried the rooster, summoning the chicken audience

Turkeys 2Turkeys 3

as the confrontation continued.

A farmhand explained the situation. Earlier this morning, there had, indeed, been a cock-fight over the hen. That is why the unfortunate challenger was penned up. These creatures are capable of inflicting serious damage in their duels.

This evening we dined at The Raj in Old Milton. My main course was Chingri Bullet with giant prawns that must surely have been indulged with Jackie’s plant food. Jackie’s was chicken sag. We shared special fried rice, a paratha, and an onion bahji; and both drank Kingfisher.

It Had Been Got At

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This morning was overcast, very humid, and oppressive, presaging the rain that would barely dribble in this afternoon. My reluctant effort was to cut off a few dead tree branches that had been twisted by the wind, but not actually snapped off; and to wage continued war on the invading brambles along the back drive.

Later, the sun emerged, but the humidity had not declined, so I just took some photographs.

Petunias 1Petunias 2

Petunias were among those blooms that required a certain amount of dead-heading before I could make a close-up page without offending The Head Gardener’s beady eye.

Rose Emma Hamilton

Roses Emma Hamilton

Rose Hot Choco;ate

and Hot Chocolate are having another flush.

Meadow Brow butterfly on rudbeckia 1Meadow Brown butterfly on rudbeckia 2

I think the butterfly on these rudbeckias is a Meadow Brown.

Greenfinch fledgeling 1

The rustling sound of a scurrying creature outside the back door alerted me to the presence of this fledgling greenfinch.

Greenfinch fledgeling 2

Looking back forlornly and giving up an attempt to hide behind the can it turned around

Greenfinch fledgeling 3

and made for the closed kitchen door.

The wispy, tufted, Mohican hairstyle was reminiscent of the starling chicks emerging from our woodwork in June last year, but the lack of plumage around its head and neck suggested that it had been got at. Ejected from the nest, perhaps? Or maybe necking with the neighbours’ cat?

Whichever it was, I went inside to discuss remedial measures with Jackie. By this time the poor little creature was cowering on the doorstep. I couldn’t open the door without giving the bird another bash, so I walked round to the front door and Jackie opened the stable door round the other side of the kitchen. By this time our visitor had disappeared. We hope it survives.

This evening we dined on our second helpings of Mr Chatty Man Chan’s fare, followed by lemon tart and vanilla ice cream. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Old Crafty Hen.