Rape field

As the golden dawn crept across the rape field on the other side of Christchurch Road that greets Jackie when she opens the bedroom curtains, she commandeered my camera to good effect.

Hat by Lucille

From one of the back bedrooms she looked down onto the lead planter fashioned by Lucille Scott in the form of a wide-brimmed hat.

Clouds at dawn

A little later, I photographed the clouds over the front of the house.

Drawn by the beautiful morning we took an early drive into the forest, where


ponies enjoyed a crisp breakfast;

Reflected traffic

and commuter traffic was reflected in the roadside pools.

Woodland and Modus

Having dropped me off for me to take the above picture, Jackie drove on to a turning space, back-tracked, and parked on the edge of the woodland I was now investigating.

Woodland 1

Woodland 3Woodland 2Woodland 5

Slanting shadows slid across tumbling terrain and plunging pools, and

Gorse and trees

in haze on the other side of the road, gorse conversed with fresh arboreal plumage.

Donkeys 1

Further on, a pair of donkeys dozed on Norleywood village green

Donkeys 2

whilst another couple availed themselves of the street furniture to have a good scratch.

Bluebells English

As we approached Lymington we passed a bluebell wood. Given that there is a fear that the stronger, less delicate, yet lighter hued Spanish breed will subsume our native stock, an indigenous collection is a welcome sight.

On our recent trips to and from The First Gallery, we have several times passed a short man-made pillar in a stretch of moorland bearing a number of signs bearing the word Hilltop. Pooling our combined smatterings of knowledge we realised this was what would be marked ‘trig point’ on the Ordnance Survey maps and was something to do with measuring height, presumably above sea level.

Jackie decided to research this today, and discovered that, according to BBC News, on this very date ‘Ordnance Survey (OS) is celebrating the 80th anniversary of the triangulation pillar, most often known as a “trig pillar” or “trig point” and a welcome sight to many a walker as they reach the peak of their walk.’

Trig pillar

That, in fact, was the real reason we dashed out to catch our little pillar in the morning sunshine. The pillar wasn’t going anywhere, but the light, we knew, would change. As will be seen on the link below, OS no longer use these markers for their original purpose, but they remain helpful landmarks. Many also now bear decoration from the general public. What this particular set of graffiti signifies I do not know.

Trig point number

Each pillar bears an identification number.

Trig pillar top

Most cameras have a tripod mount into which the steadying instrument is screwed. The theodolite, the measuring device used by these early surveyors was clipped to a fitting on the top of the  pillar,

Trig pillar setting

here seen in its setting.

For anyone wishing to explore this subject further, I can heartily recommend

which is lavishly illustrated by photographs, both historic and modern.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent and spicy sausage casserole; creamy mashed potato; and crunchy carrots and Brussels sprouts.  It is worthy of note that the sausages were Ferndene Farm Shop pork with chilli, which afforded a delicious piquancy. The Cook drank Blanche de Namur and I drank Reserve des Tuguets madiran 2012.


  1. Lovely place to live derick,l would love to have a view if the clouds looking like that, all open ,fresh air no crowds, very nice

  2. ‘Your’ trig point has one of those “flush plates” mentioned in the BBC news article. It didn’t explain the symbols: the vertical arrow is a benchmark (in fact, the source of the now-more-widely-applied term “bench mark”), hence, I think, the BM initials. The Ordnance Survey is still based in Southampton (originally, it was a military survey, hence “Ordnance”), and was initially based at what became the Magistrates’ Courts, just north of the city centre (the OS may have been bombed out, during the War, but was running out of space, anyway, hence its move to the [then hardly developed] outskirts). I’m pretty sure, but don’t quote me to save your life, that there was a courthouse on the original OS site (the one from which all others are measured), and that’s the reason why the term “Bench mark” was adopted (“The Bench” being a catchall phrase for all judicial activity).

  3. Some great photos here, Derrick! The hat, the gorse and trees, and of course the donkeys, both scratching and dozing. Interesting survey info as well.

  4. Great photos on your blog today, Derrick, augmented by Jackie’s. I would look out that window and never get anything done.

    That graffiti is a face with drawn brows and bared teeth.

  5. All of these photos are wonderful, Derrick. My two favorite are the haze across the road and the clouds. If only our commuter traffic was as light as yours…sigh.

  6. Fascinating! Thank you for the link to the Retriangulation of Great Britain. Wonderful history and images. I really love the one of the guy shaving 🙂

  7. Beautiful set of pictures – love your title! I wonder what future generations will make of our trig points. Similar to how we regard the white chalk horses I expect.

  8. Each picture is so interesting, beautiful or funny! we have fields like the first picture and I never get tired seeing them, so pretty! The donkeys are so cute and funny sleeping and scratching! Wonderful pictures!

  9. You and Jackie create the most extrodinary days out of the ordinary, Derrick.

    I took pictures, went for a drive, researched something of interest online and ate dinner is an experience of millions of people a day, yet you manage to live it so well and retell it so interestingly. I can’t keep up with daily posts, but I always love reading your blog when I get the chance.

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