Jackie has been collecting little mice from a gallery in Milford on Sea. Each morning these charming little creatures, noses in the air, have been found in different locations. One of Flo’s Christmas Dragonology books contained a model which could be removed, assembled, and hung somewhere. Put these two facts together and you might be able to work out where the mice had moved to in their nocturnal flit.
This antique structure, served by an ancient train, stretches across the sea where a ferry takes over the transport of passengers to Southampton. We took the train on our outward journey, and walked back to the High Street, seen from the pier, and back to our car.
Renovation work on Hythe Pier is a continuing process. Much of the planking has been replaced, although some is still in need of replacement. The waiting room exterior could do with a lick of paint, although the interior has a charm of its own. Older, rusting pier supports are visible from the modern stainless steel railings. One method of raising funds lies in the planking engraving which contains many messages, such as memorials to dead people, marking of visits, and at least one proposal of marriage.
The train from a bygone era, with views across Southampton Water, still carries travellers the length of the structure on its rust-coloured rails, and, of course planes that were not invented when it began its service, cross the skies to and from the airport.
When I overhead a comment in a conversation between two gentlemen walking along the footway, I realised they must be talking about the car transporter ship, Hoegh Osaka, which had run aground on Bramble Bank at 21.30 yesterday evening. The snippet was ‘all the press photographers are on Calshot Spit’. Naturally, we sped off to Calshot where the ship still lay stranded. The vessel had been on its way to Germany, when the grounding occurred and twenty five crew members were rescued.
The small beach at Calshot was swarming with sightseers. Anyone who has followed my ramblings across Westminster Bridge will know that I tend to be more interested in what is going on with the viewing crowds than in the attractions themselves. When, indicating the watchers assembled on the shingle, I offered my observation that ‘there’s the picture’, to one of the photographers, he simply smiled and kept his lens firmly aimed at the stricken vessel and its attending tugboats. This little village was packed with cars lining the roadside and the grassy banks alongside the beach huts, one of which, after Dylan Thomas’s ‘Llareggub’ from ‘Under Milk Wood’, was named ‘LLamedos’. (Read them backwards).
On our return journey, Jackie dropped me at Milford on Sea and I walked home by way of the Nature Reserve, Sharvells Road, Blackbush Road and the back of Shorefield.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s exquisite penne bolognese followed by a choice of syrup or raspberry jam sponges with custard or cream. Jackie’s beverage was Hoegaarden, Ian’s Peroni, and mine the last of the Margaux.