A sprinkling of rain refreshed us as we wandered round the garden this morning, discovering everywhere a fine varied crop of hellebores in full bloom.
This afternoon Jackie had a coffee date with Helen. Although the high temperature in Milford on Sea was only forecast to reach 3 to 4 degrees, we were to expect sunshine and showers, so my lady drove me there before going on to Highcliffe to meet her sister. It seemed to me that this would be an opportune time to wander about the village with my camera. No-one had mentioned that the showers would be hail and sleet, the first of which struck as Jackie drove away. I spent the next two and a half hours alternately circumperambulating the one way system and the green; taking shelter when necessary; and sitting on wet benches; but I was rewarded with suitable light.
The Red Lion pub can be seen in the above picture. The village also boasts The Smugglers Inn, past which a woman with a walking aid carried home her shopping. Other residents, some with dogs and some with children, were similarly occupied.
One woman was forced to keep tugging her dog away from the gutter as she passed the Post Office. The Telephone and pillar boxes stand beside The Old Smithy which is now a gift shop.
The usual airborne warfare took place over the rooftops as gulls battled for perches.
There are a number of good quality antique shops like ‘The Village’ which has interesting china and glassware in one rain-spattered window, and one of those dolls which are so lifelike as to appear ghoulish to us, in another.
The Charity Shop received regular visitors, and Marjory’s Florist and Fruiterers next door displayed rich red rhubarb and, I think, persimmons.
The eyes of a stunning child’s portrait gleamed through the glass window of Lynk Photography Studios, which occupies an attractive building on a corner site.
To the rear of this building steep steps lead down to someone’s cocooned entrance door.
At the high point of the green can be found other residences I though worthy of note, such as:
and Milford Cottage.
Towards the end of my photoshoot, driven by sleet and hail, and attracted by its appetising window display, I, almost literally, since the dining area is quite a bit lower than street level, dived into Polly’s Pantry where, in convivial company with friendly service, I enjoyed a warming pot of tea. Some two hours before this I had exchanged greetings with a plucky, disabled, elderly gentleman who, with the help of a wheeled walking aid made his cheerful way along the undulating pavements. He did say it wasn’t very pleasant weather, but hardly in a complaining manner. This was Percy who, as I sat at my table, opened the door and manoeuvred his frame down the step where he was warmly welcomed as an obvious regular, and assisted to his seat, by the young lady who happily entered my shot of the shop. Nick, the young proprietor bakes all the cakes you see in the picture.
I was rather relieved when Jackie arrived to take me home to thaw out and, later, to enjoy her delicious lamb jalfrezi and glorious savoury rice, accompanied by Castillo Albai reserva rioja 2010.