Because our neighbours are on holiday we were able to make an early start on burning branches and foliage. With the two fires approach we had made considerable progress by lunchtime.
This afternoon, I felt like a change, so Jackie drove me to Milford on Sea in order for me to investigate further the Nature Reserve Trevor had guided me to on the 13th. I had speculated that if I continued along this path instead of rejoining the coast road, it would take me to the woodland walk at the far end of Shorefield Country Park. Wonder of wonders, it did. I must be finding my bearings.
The footpath through this area runs roughly alongside a stream, across which a number of bridges lead to various houses, one group of which surrounds a lake, with a warning of deep water in which they are reflected.
Some of the residences bear solar panels in their roofs. These structures are intended to reduce energy consumption from the national grid, by harvesting that of sunlight. I believe most of these are supplied with the aid of a government grant, because the cost of fitting them means that it would take many years for householders to profit from their investment if they paid for them themselves.
I didn’t really see any wild life, although I heard a number of birds. I did wonder, however, what creature might have made a burrow I noticed beside an old tree stump.
Other walkers availed themselves of the footpath, including a couple with what the woman called a ‘very bouncy’ terrier as she restrained him while I passed and they continued on their way in the opposite direction. Crocosmia were growing at the junction where she had heaved on an outstretched lead whilst her dog tugged on the other end.
At two points along the stream, makeshift swings have been attached to trees, so that dangling over the water adds a little excitement to a standard childhood pleasure. As I neared Shorefield, I heard two young cyclists speculating about where they were. I was able to tell them, and was rather amused to point out to them a sign, just ahead of them, asking people not to cycle. They were rather nonplussed at this, and, I think, unconvinced by my observation that there was no sign from their direction so they could ignore this one. I do hope they didn’t push their bikes all the way back.
When I returned home by way of Shorefield, I got the fires going again. Having burned almost all the debris, I sat on a metal frame, possibly part of what, on the house inventory had been laughingly called an ‘unassembled greenhouse’, imagining I would clear up the final soggy bits of vegetation that now lined twenty yards or so of the back drive, tomorrow, The head gardener arrived and asked if she should get me a rake. None of the possible polite phrases I might have used to decline the offer seemed particularly appropriate. To be fair, Jackie did bring two rakes, and scraped up her fair share. This all went onto the fires. We then cut and pulled up many of the brambles that still flourished there, and added added those. Just before sunset the job was done.
Dinner was an interesting medley. We enjoyed brisket of beef marinaded in barbecue sauce, baked beans, and bubble and squeak with a fried egg on top. Profiteroles were for dessert. I drank a splendid Castillo San Lorenzo rioja reserva 2008, and Jackie was also impressed with her Franziskaner Weissbier which has apparently been brewed by monks in Munich since 1363. Clearly the secret of longevity.