It’s An Ill Wind…..


Yesterday evening we dined with Helen, Bill, Shelly, and Ron at Tyrell’s Ford Country Inn and Hotel at Avon, near Christchurch. As the only group in the dining we enjoyed the attentions of a friendly waitress. My choice of meal was liver and bacon, mashed potato, carrots. swede, sugar snaps, green beans, and broccoli. My dessert was Dutch apple crumble and custard. Three of us shared a bottle of red, and three, white, wine.

Storm Doris, having vented all night, eased up enough for me to take a chance on keeping   my lunch appointment at La Barca in Lower Marsh. To this end Jackie drove me to New Milton where the London Train arrived on time.

Waiting for the train

These gentlemen viewed from the waiting room awaiting their transport were no more disappointed than I was.

Block of flats through train window

Soon after departure a tree was reported across the track outside Eastleigh. This afforded me the opportunity closely to examine the pastel shades of a line side block of flats.

After a while we were under way again, the train was only 35 minutes late, and I arrived at the restaurant before Norman had taken off his coat. We both chose artichoke soup for starters; my main course was swordfish steak in a piquant sauce served with sautéed potatoes, sugar snaps, green beans, and broccoli. We shared a bottle of the house Valpolicella. I needed no more sustenance in the evening.

The return journey was rather longer than the outward one. In addition to another tree on the track, there was a 50 m.p.h. speed limit ‘for health and safety reasons’.

Groups of assorted travellers stood on Waterloo Station, eyes glued to the departures board where they could read about delays and cancellations.

There had been many unfortunate travellers without seats on the outward journey. There were fewer of those on the way home, but they were even more discomforted when the food trolley or other passengers need to pass.


Once again I was able to study the trackside. There was graffiti between Waterloo and Vauxhall;

Trees from train

trees waving with the wind,


and an embankment somewhere near Basingstoke.

Jackie had been expecting to meet me at New Milton. This was not to be, because the railway company decided to decant passengers for intermediate stations at Brockenhurst, and send the train non-stop to Bournemouth. She therefore set off for the latter station. As I walked out into the car park I could see a very long traffic queue stretching a long way back in the direction from which I expected her to arrive. I decided to walk to the end of it in an effort to save her getting stuck in it. When I got there I phoned Jackie to let her know where I was. She was approaching from the opposite direction from which there was no tailback. This meant I had to walk on further in an effort to find a place where she could stop.

Sunset was now on its way. Thank goodness for mobile phones.

We chased the sunset to Milford on Sea,

where the spirited waves rushed towards the shingle.

Silhouettes at sunset

I spent a very short time leaning into the wind. This family group who had come to watch the sea stayed out of their people carrier for an even shorter period.

Without Doris, I would not have enjoyed such line-side views, nor such moody sunsets. As they say, it’s an ill wind (that does nobody any good).



  1. There used to be a phrase I heard in my youth ‘That was a Doris of a day’ which meant there had been a lot of double backing and round and rounding going on. I don’t know who Doris was, or why she was chosen. 🙂

  2. I read Storm Doris left some destruction along her way. Glad you survived the storm to take some wonderful sunset photos. Thanks Derrick for sharing your day with us. 🙂

  3. What a day you had, Derrick. How thoughtful of you to try and save Jackie the headaches of sitting in a traffic jam. As my father says, “You’re a good egg.” 🙂 Oh my, the sunset photos are amazing!

  4. I have often thought – ” what did we do before cell phones?” regarding the picking up of people. – We used to say “I will pick you up HERE at THIS TIME.” and if things went awry, there was really no way to communicate the issue. I do admire your effort to meet your Jackie. Good egg, indeed.

  5. That bloke in the last picture at Waterloo, seems to be looking down menacingly at some bloke taking his photograph.

    Love the sunsets,you seem to have greater variation in your sunsets, than we have in ours.

    That bloke using the laptop in the last picture would have got a kind word from me. “Pull your bloody legs in !” Selfish twit! 👿

    1. I took a chance with those Waterloo pictures. No-one objected. It’s the designers of these trains that need seeing too. They are built for Mrs Average. Thanks, Brian

  6. Those are lively pictures of wind-struck folks and wind-swept views. It was as if I lingered with you all day long. It did some good to me too. I noticed food had a precedence today.

  7. Love the family with sunset. You are so busy!-and enjoy such great food. Do the British eat that many veggies all the time? Delish! I can only WISH I ate so well over here. (Excuse me while I make eggs an ham for d inner tonight–the cook is out of town on business…I do get hungry for nice dinners when he’s gone.)

  8. What a well fed traveler and adventurer you are! Such a positive soul you are with a treasure trove of photos. I’m glad you thought of your faithful readers and didn’t come up empty handed from your trip. 😊

  9. Those hopeful passengers at Waterloo station seem as if they are looking skywards in anticipation of the second coming of Christ. Might be more chance of that than their train running on time in a storm.

          1. Yes, I had been at the hospital for a while so had very limited access to internet. It was nice to catch up with your posts 🙂

  10. Artichoke soup is my favourite – made from Jerusalem artichokes and not globe artichokes! I have a forest of Jerusalem artichokes growing here awaiting the depths of winter!

  11. Your meals sounds lovely. I agree artichoke soup sounds wonderful.
    It seemed very unexpected that the train suddenly stopped at a different station. I expect it was very inconvenient for many people.
    The sunsets are glorious.

  12. I traveled back and will comment on a few errant posts missed, Derrick.
    The passengers waiting were very interesting. I see less casual wear in your group photos. Being a work day, I do understand weekends may be different situation.
    Cell phones are so valuable and I don’t know how we lived without them! 🙂
    I really liked the beautiful sunset skies over the water in your photos!

  13. Hi Derrick, I just found your blog, I’m really enjoying it.. I explored that area for the first time last autumn, what a lovely part of the country. I wander and write on east London if you’re interested in such things!?

    1. Thanks, Dan. I’m certainly interested. I have covered much of London in my posts, especially with my ‘Streets of London’ series. I am gradually working my way through almost 1000 colour slides. Thanks for your comments.

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