A Touch Of Sea Air


On a bright and sunny morning Jackie drove us out to Flexford Bridge to survey the scene that had been waterlogged on our last visit.

These muddy-looking snowdrops had been struggling to keep their heads above water then.

Snowdrops 1

Banks of others lined the verges of

Flexford Lane

Flexford Lane which offers another view of Sway Tower, otherwise known as Peterson’s Folly.

The numerous catkins no longer bore droplets of rain.

On that earlier day sheep had held the higher ground that led down to the Avon stream;

today they cropped the fields of Bridge Farm.

Pools in track

To reach the livestock I had walked up a pitted byway,

passing a number of derelict sheds,

Trees through hole in shed

holes in one of which neatly framed a group of distant trees.

This afternoon Jackie cut back the clematis Campaniflora in the front garden. Unfortunately this climbs on the arch alongside one of the three manhole covers laid along the pipeline to the septic tank that carries our effluent. She decided to check this one. it was full of thick shit and toilet paper soup. She tipped a couple of buckets down it, to no avail. I took over the task and had the bright idea of shovelling out the mess, putting it in a bucket, and emptying it into the last hole. It hasn’t helped, which means there is a blockage between the first two manholes. It seems that the problem stems from inadequate equipment in the guest bathroom above. I deferred the next stage to tomorrow. It always pays to think about a problem. And I was knackered.

Probably everyone knows that unpleasant aromas linger in the nostrils long after you’ve scrubbed up. Today was no exception. It seemed like a touch of sea air was needed to blast the pong away. We therefore drove out to Calshot

just before sunset,

where a sailboarder was wending his way back to his car.

Against the backdrop of Fawley Power Station, boats and buoys rested on the silt at low tide,


whilst geese honked overhead.

This evening we dined on belly of pork served with boiled potatoes, carrots and broccoli. Jackie drank Hoegaarden whilst I drank more of the Cabernet Sauvignon opened a couple of days ago.


  1. A good bit of sea breeze can blow the worst of pongs away it seems……. a nasty mess for your preferred plumber to see to πŸ™‚ Who’d be a plumber? I wonder if it’s a dying trade …..
    Lovely to see all the snowdrops, even the poor things who are learning how to swim!

  2. Lovely photos. I’m glad you added the shots after your description of your septic problems to help clear our minds, as well as your nostrils. I hope you are able to get a professional to take care of the problem without too much trouble or expense.

  3. I especially like the photo yo took through the hole in the wall. Very nice! Yes, good luck with the plumbing!

  4. The sight of the tower reminds me that there are friends in Sway we didn’t look up. Oh dear.
    Lovely sunset shots.
    Sailboarding is when you have a sail attached to the board, as I did on the Solent on a previous visit. What he was doing is known as kiteboarding or paraboarding.

  5. Derrick, in another life you could so have been a photographer of acclaim. But you’ll have to settle for your loyal WP following which in fact is probably better! I’m meeting my dad in New England next month and we’re going up and down the coast I will be sure to take pictures. I still owe you some from France I remember. xo The sunset shots are gorgeous.

  6. I once drew the short straw at work and ended up bailing a flooded septic tank out with a bucket. It took days to scrub my arms clean. Ah, those were the days…

    At least you have the compensation of a trip to the coast and some great photos.

  7. Ah the folly – you are a stones through from my old home.. I cycled past it every morning on my way to school. It was empty and prettty sorry for itself back then. Mind you it wasn’t what caught the eye back then that is really memorable but as with you what caught the nose. The farm opposite was a goose farm and the ammonia atmosphere cleared out any lingering colds of a morning believe me. Lovely photos as everyone has said.

  8. I need to get to Dumbarton Oaks to se whether the snowdrops have broken out there. Yours are beautiful, such nice signs of good weather coming–in fact, it looks altogether on the verge of spring there. I do hope the sea breeze made up for the stench and that you can figure it all out tomorrow.

  9. We country folk know the perils of a poorly maintained septic tank. Thankfully, that is my husband’s job, as is all things water, electric and car. It’s a good thing: I am a competent person, but in these areas I fail miserably.

      1. Indeed I am. Today he fixed our daughter’s 1997 Volvo. Some temperature nonsense. The other day, whilst (Your word, not mine) he was away, 4 of us couldn’t even figure out how to open the hood. Pathetic! lol

  10. Such a lovely collection of images, Derrick. I liked the snowdrops, trees, derelict sheds and the sea with sin glow upon it. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Jackie! xoxo

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