The Catch

Giles had left his cap at our house on his last visit. This morning we drove round to return it. As he appeared to be out, after knocking, I pushed the headgear through the letter box and prepared to leave. A giant snail on the window sill caught my attention and I paused to photograph it. Giles then appeared. He had been chopping logs down the garden.

Snail by Giles

Our friend is very creative with driftwood and pine cones.

Pillar Box

We also had a birthday card to post. The Victorian pillar box nearby was pretty full, and the slot wasn’t really large enough for our item, so we travelled to the post office to leave it in their box.

An about turn took us on to Purewell, near Christchurch where we bought a present at Motorists’ Discount Supplies. We had some difficulty finding this establishment at 5a Sanpit. We could have been spared this, had we parked at Mudeford Quay before our search. This is because, printed on the back of our parking receipt, was a map advertising and locating the outlet.

In the event, we didn’t go to Mudeford until after buying a freezer at Curry’s. This was required because the Cook and Caterer in Chief had realised that we couldn’t stock up for all the Christmas guests we are expecting without something larger than our current equipment.

The weather is still very mild, and although it was high tide the water was calm enough to caress the sea wall with a gentle susurration. Jackie repaired to the cafe whilst I wandered in search of photographic material.

Crow 1

A vociferous crow cawed atop the crab baskets, then,

Gulls in flight 1Gulls in flight 2Gulls in flight 3Gull in flightGulls in flight 4

the air was filled with flocks apparently auditioning for a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic ‘The Birds’. They were squabbling gulls wheeling, screeching, and treading air just beyond the quayside.

Gulls around boat 1Gulls around boat 3

Gulls in flight 5

Gulls around boat 2

I walked round the rows of heaped baskets to see that a fishing boat had come in.

Fishermen with catch

Two fishermen were sorting their catch, boxing up what they wished to keep, and discarding the rest.

Fishermen on boat 1

Since the fishers were definitely both men, I wondered whether they had borrowed the boat from Chloe and Christie out of Poole.

Gull 2Gull 3

Some of the hopeful scavengers made their presence known from the concrete kerb. The noisy fellow was really rather large;

Fisheman and gulls 1Gulls and fishermanGulls and fisherman 2

others, still airborne, scrambled over each other in their eagerness to catch scaly pickings.

Lunch at Haven Cafe

It didn’t take me long to take three dozen pictures, then join Jackie in the Haven Cafe where we lunched on mixed seafood platter, chips, peas, and salad for me, and a jacket potato heaped with cheese and coleslaw for Jackie.

Despite our capacious cafe repast, we managed to dine on a little of Jackie’s splendid pork paprika and special fried rice, followed by chocolate eclairs, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I imbibed more of the malbec, still drinkable after the best part of a week.

That, of course, was after we had installed the new freezer.


  1. I’m searching and searching that first picture, trying to find a tiny snail… I’m like, dude, there is no snail… then I read the caption and realized the snail wasn’t real. I hope you enjoy playing tricks on us old folks. 🙂

  2. Yes, I bet that snail doesn’t munch on hostas. Also, bet that new freezer will be filled lickety-split.

  3. Derrick, it’s hard for me to get past that snail. Can that be real? It looks like a twig. How big is it? We have snails that are about 1.5 inches at best.

    1. Our friend Giles has a wonderful imagination and an ability to see a snail in a pine cone and a stick, I love this work of art.

  4. Derrick, the ride along was quite wonderful. Giles snail creation is one my grandson’s would enjoy. They like creating arrangements out of the pine cones, smooth beach rocks and sea shells on my shelf.
    I love birds, the crow silhouette was lovely on the crab basket. The brown speckled sea gull was beautiful in its feather details. The way you caught them in flight shows mastery.
    Hope company, Jackie and you will have an especially jolly holiday!

  5. Great photos Derrick. Mudeford Quay is one of my all-time favourite places. It is full of so many happy childhood memories. Our family used to camp there in a dormobile when it was allowed. I remember when the little island was a tiny sand dune with one hut on stilts. I must visit it again soon

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