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Somewhat encouraged by the lack of adverse effects on my knackered knees after the long, flat, walk round Keyhaven and Lymington Nature Reserve, I decided to take the somewhat shorter, yet undulating, route through Honeylake Wood. At about halfway I ventured into the undergrowth, after which I turned back.
A pedestrian gate breaking a hedge serves as an entrance to the field leading to the wood.
The hedge was reflected in the muddy verge beside Christchurch Road.
A bent and aged oak on one edge of the field bowed beneath the prevailing wind,
which even around mid-day bit into me as I crossed to the wood.
On my way in the leafy path offered welcoming shelter,
while a sight of Downton’s cottages as I left it gave notice that home was near, if not in sight.
Often springy underfoot, the forest floor,
over which squirrels scampered,
was, especially near the stream, occasionally waterlogged.
The wind roared overhead. There was much evidence of broken trees,
and, although some autumn leaves had not yet reached the ground,
others glowed in the sunlight
which played among the trees.
The bridge had been so severely damaged as to deter anyone from leaning on the rickety rail; a sapling had been converted to an entrance arch.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s classic sausage casserole, creamy mashed potatoes, and crisp carrots, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. I drank Basson Shiraz 2014. The others didn’t drink their Kronenbourg 1664 until afterwards so that didn’t count.
A minute particle of my casserole splashed up from my plate and onto my grandfather shirt. Jackie and Ian swooped on me to supplement the stains and Becky grabbed the camera. I was set up, I swear it.