The Infant Crocodile

Jackie drove me to and from New Milton today, for me to take an uneventful journey to Waterloo and back, to lunch with Norman at Tas in The Cut.

Raindrops on Pansy

Fresh pansies in the station platform planter bore remnants of last night’s rain.

Alaska Street/Cornwall Road

I approached The Cut by walking across Waterloo Road and down Alaska Street to Cornwall Road where I turned right. The gentleman using his mobile phone was quite happy to appear in shot.

Infant Crocodile

Further along Cornwall Road a multi-ethnic infant crocodile was led under a railway arch,

Railway Arch

beneath which a pair of gentlemen in hard hats subsequently made their way, as the children filed through yellow cased scaffolding supports further up Cornwall Road.

Bus Station exitBus Station entrance

The bright red buses in their station, like Shakespeare’s players, have their exits and their entrances.

Conversation in uniform

A uniformed conversation took place in The Cut,

Young Vic restaurant

where the Young Vic restaurant encouraged alfresco custom,

Bill Posters

and Bill Stickers changed the posters advertising the new programme.

Norman and I both chose tender lamb casserole followed by perfect baklava for our meal, and shared a very good bottle of the Anatolian house red wine.

Waterloo Road

My return to the terminal railway station was taken along Waterloo Road where the foundations of the building alongside the old fire station appear to have been completed.

Lymington’s National Hero

This morning we drove to The First Gallery with the last of the prints for the exhibition,

Seedlings

and Jackie’s donation of labelled seedlings,

Seedlings notes

with which she has included explanatory notes.

Cattle

On our journey via Beaulieu, cattle basked by the roadside at East Boldre.

Margery and Paul’s reception rooms resembled a frame-maker’s workshop, which, indeed they are at the moment. We are assured all will come right on the night. I commented that there was more work going into the mounting of my pictures than in the printing of them. Paul does make exceedingly good frames.

On our return trip, the cattle had been replaced by donkeys, but we had already seen some by the river at Beaulieu, playing host to parasitic jackdaws. It is very difficult to find somewhere to Park in Beaulieu, so, by the time we did so, the birds that had been fiercely  stabbing the hides of the unflinching drowsy asses on which they were perched,

Donkey and jackdawsDonkey

had moved off by the time I had walked back to the scene.

Burrard Monument from Lymington High StreetLymington High Street and Burrard Monument

We have often wondered at the obelisk that we have noticed when walking down Lymington High Street,

therefore passing Monument Lane on the approach to this small town, we decided to investigate. There was barely any passing space along this muddy track which led us to:

Welcome to the Burrard MonumentClicking on the images above and below

Admiral Sir Harry Burrard Neale

will provide enlarged information giving the story of

Burrard Monument

the monument.

Railing stumps

The notice board explains the railing stumps around the obelisk. These are the residue of iron that was commandeered for World War 2 armaments. Buildings, including residential homes, throughout their lands lost their railings, never to be replaced. It is highly debatable how much of this material was ever actually used for the war effort.

Unsown trees have now grown to fill what was once open parkland,

Pool and reflection

Reflection of Burrard Monument

and muddy, reflective, pools now surround its mound.

This evening we dined on roast duck, mashed potatoes, carrots, and Brussels sprouts followed by treacle tart and cream. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the madiran.

Post-Katie Recovery Process

This morning we began the post-Katie recovery process. Once we could reach the broken greenhouse this is what greeted us:

Broken greenhousePerspex broken

Some of the perspex had blown round the house and, torn, come to rest against the front gardener’s arbour. In reassembling all this we could have done with a three-year-old who would have recognised where all the bits went.

Gate dislodged

The concrete base for the iron gate had been uprooted and the structure knocked sideways.

Finch

We entertained a pair of finches of some sort.

The really pleasant surprise was that large areas of the garden went unscathed. The area around the house took the brunt of the gales.

View across Heligan Path

The Weeping Birch Bed,

Heligan Path

The Heligan Path,

View across grass to Dead End Path

and the borders around the grass patch, were all unharmed.

Side path

Side path and lifted concrete

Continuing this afternoon we rebuilt the frames on the side path. The second view shows the lifted  concrete mentioned above.

Agriframes Gothic Arch

We then provided additional support for the fallen arches, and heeled them in. Through the one in the front garden can be seen the pot of daffodils returned to their perch;

Jackie adjusting arch on Dead End Path

and here Jackie adjusts that across the Dead End Path.

After this we transported the last two bags of cuttings, filled on Sunday by Aaron and Robin, to the dump, returning with two wooden folding chairs,

Stove and log bin

and a galvanised bin just right for carrying logs, which was just as well because it will be a week before we will receive our tank of oil.

I managed to load up this container before Shelly popped in for a visit.

It seemed a bit harsh to expect The Head Gardener to cook after such a day, so we dined at Lal Quilla in Lymington. My choice was king prawn Ceylon, and Jackie’s chicken sag. We shared special fried rice, egg paratha and onion bhaji; and both drank Kingfisher. The meal and service were as good as always.

Katie’s Wake

Storm Katie particularly selected our corner of Hampshire to belabour throughout the night with winds of up to 105 m.p.h. Having heeded the forecast our intrepid Head Gardener brought down many of her pots and protected other parts of the garden. Nevertheless, tears sprang to her eyes when she witnessed the devastation this morning.

Cold frames blown down

The cold frames built last autumn had been smashed to pieces and scattered around the side and front of the house.

Daffodils blown down

One pot of daffodils had been blown from its perch on the front Gardener’s Rest.

Arch blown down 2Arch blown down 1

Two arches have been uprooted;

Broken lamp

that in the front has destroyed a solar lamp.

Broken pot 1

Other breakages include plant pots that can no doubt be replaced from Efford Recycling Centre.

Chairs blown down

Chairs

Plant stand blown down

and planters also took a dive.

The wind continued throughout the day, and rain interrupted the sunshine, so we decided to defer the recovery process until tomorrow, and drive out to see how the forest had fared.

Fallen tree 1StumpStump and fallen tree

This scene near Bolderwood demonstrated that the recent falls of forest giants will eventually merge into the landscape, just as their ancestors have done. Perhaps this rotting stump had been shattered by a wind as strong as that which had ripped the trunk off its neighbour.

Fallen tree 2Fallen tree 3

Fallen tree 5Fallen tree 4

Many other such corpses, recent, and ancient, litter the terrain.

Fallen tree clearance

The last of these trees had been cleared from the road that it had crossed.

Traffic on road

Variable traffic,

Runner on road

and a cheerful runner who had just seen a wonderful rainbow, enjoyed the bright light once the rain had stopped pelting down.

Donkeys 2

In Newtown, near Minstead, the dappled coats of donkeys blended with the sunlit tarmac.

Donkeys 1

When living there, we had watched the house in the centre of this picture being built.

Donkey baby

These two had left their basking baby while they wandered off.

Donkeys 3

Further on, we were obliged to stop and watch another trio able across the road they own.

Shattered tree

I have often photographed this tree, when whole, on Seamans Corner green;

Fallen branch

or this scene, further down the road, before Katie struck.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s choice chilli con carne and savoury rice. I drank more of the madiran, and The Cook didn’t.

The Biggest Aspidistra In The World?

(THE TITLE IS THE RESULT OF AN ERROR ON MY PART. AS SEVERAL COMMENTERS HAVE POINTED OUT, MY ASPIDISTRA IS A PLUMBAGO. AH, WELL, IT GAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO INTRODUCE GRACIE FIELDS. I WON’T CORRECT MY TEXT, BECAUSE THE JOKE IS NOW ON ME, BUT THANKS ARE DUE TO ALL MY EDITORS 🙂

Even though today was Easter Sunday, and the weather was blustery and showery with occasional sunshine, Aaron and Robin finished weeding the gravel paths in the garden.

This afternoon I scanned the penultimate batch of Barbados negatives from March 2004.

These were the last few from the Bridgetown walk and the first from around the Sugar Cane Club hotel to which we transferred when realised that our initial choice, at the southernmost tip of the island, was so far from Port St Charles where Sam would be ending his epic row.

Tree

I would be grateful if anyone could identify this rather magnificent tree with its root tentacles.

House 1Houses

Here are some more roadside dwellings, both fixed and chattel examples, all with beautifully rusting corrugated iron roofs;

Bouganvillea

and, naturally, bougainvillea,

Hibiscus 1

 hibiscus,

Frangipani

and frangipani.

Flowers unknown 1Flowers unknown 2

I couldn’t identify these flowers.

I also learned that Gracie Fields’s claim for her brother Joe was probably rather dubious.

Aspidastra

Their aspidistra couldn’t have been as big as this one.

Sun loungers

Our new hotel, near the shores of the Atlantic, was well equipped with sun loungers.

Seascape 1Seascape 2

Seascape 3

The Ocean itself bore out Homer’s description of the ‘wine-dark sea’.

This evening we dined on roast duck; roast potatoes; colourful and crunchy carrots, broccoli and Brussels sprouts; and gravy so full of goodies as to accommodate a standing spoon. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished one bottle of the madiran and poured a glass from the next, with which I will continue now.

Entering Bridgetown

When you have been a townie all your life and you take up residence in an area that has none of the mains services that you have taken for granted, you tend to forget things. Like oil for the central heating. Because there is no gas. Then you tend to run out at a Bank Holiday weekend. And, being Easter, it is still chilly.

Stove

Fortunately we have a wood-burning stove. We have never before used it, but did have the chimney swept last autumn. And did have logs from the many pruning jobs we’ve carried out. All I had to do was get my head round operating it. Probably, if I had moved the church candle a bit further away from the heat it would not have melted. Hopefully we are not roasting the jackdaws that clatter the metal plate above the stove with nesting materials and, no doubt, a few jewels they have nicked. And no, I’m not going up there to find out.

Today was the first of a typical British Bank Holiday weekend, cold, wet, and windy. Just not the job for all those Egg Hunts. It was suitable for what Paul Clarke calls a ‘rainy day post’. Consequently I travelled back in my archives to a rather different day in March 2004 in Barbados, and scanned the next batch of the Bridgetown walk negatives.

bougainvillea 1bougainvillea 2

Bougainvillea continued to spread its various shades of magenta and pink along the roadsides. In the first of these two pictures, the rambling plant seeks the protection of the thorns of the plant to which it clings.

Wall collapsingBougainvillea and building

Others ramble around buildings that have seen better days.

Schoolgirl

I passed a slender schoolgirl complete with backpack on her way to her classes. Her hair had received the typical close attention that the turn-out of all these young people displayed.

Fencing in undergrowth

Although some of the roadside buildings remained rather unkempt,

Tree by roadsideHouses by roadside

others were smarter,

Steps

and even grander.

Road

Those steps, and the increasing traffic informed me that I was nearing the Bajan capital. Was the young woman with her arms folded pondering boarding the taxi/bus?

Traffic policeman

Had she done so, she would probably know what offence the hapless driver went on to commit.

Oleander

Other flowers in the hedgerows and gardens were frangipanis

Hibiscus

and hibiscuses.

This evening we dined on a rack of pork ribs in barbecue sauce, prawn gyazas, and vegetable fried rice topped with omelette. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I drank more of the madiran.

 

 

 

 

On The Road To Bridgetown

Ladybird

Ladybird in window box

I very rarely stage a photograph, so I probably wouldn’t have thought of Jackie’s ladybird shots this morning. She spotted a somewhat sleepy ladybird – not literally of course, because this one already wore its spots – on a rounded pebble in a colourless corner. Thinking it needed something red to set it off, she picked up the pebble perch and plonked it among primulas in the window box on the front wall. The obliging insect stayed put.

We then filled two more canvas bags with hedge clippings and took them to the dump. Our spoils included two large pots and three folding wooden chairs.

Through the medium of donations of plants, seeds, gardening book and tools, the forthcoming First Gallery exhibition intends to raise funds for Southampton public libraries. Jackie will be donating some of the many seedlings that crop up in our paths and elsewhere in the garden. One of these is the geranium palmatum, a splendidly shrub-like perennial.

Geranium palmatum

I made some small prints with which to enable buyers to know what they were purchasing.

Path - dead end

This image of The Dead End Path shows the scale of the plants.

This afternoon I scanned another dozen colour negatives taken on my walk along the road to Bridgetown, Barbados, in March 2004.

Bougainvillea 1

Bougainvillea 2Bougainvillea 3

Most gardens contained a brightly coloured, prolific, bougainvillea, which also adorned the roadside.

Taxi in road

Taxis were really people carriers who happily held the centre of the road as they careered along,

Woman boarding bus

occasionally stopping to pick up passengers at bus stops. Were they actually a variety of bus, I wondered?

Egret

An elegant egret, craning its neck in the undergrowth,

Plane BWIA

seemed oblivious of the BWIA passenger plane flying overhead.

Like the shady tree in the bus stop picture above

Flower unknown 1Flower unknown 2Flower unknown 3Flower unknown 4

I could not identify many other blooming flowers.

This evening we dined on succulent chicken Kiev, creamy mashed potato, green beans, and ratatouille; followed by chocolate sponge pudding and cream. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank reserve des Tuguets madiran, 2012