Seeking Camouflage

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The sun has returned after several days’ absence. I wandered around the garden with a camera. These photographs reflect the current conditions in our plot.

Hibiscus 1

Hibiscuses are now in full bloom. This one is at the front;

Nasturtium

as is this yellow climbing nasturtium sharing the garage frontage with

Hanging basket and clematis Star of India

hanging baskets such as this container of geraniums an lobelia blending with the clematis Star of India behind them.

Dahlias, lobelias, and fuchsia chequerboard

There are quite a few dahlias reaching up to meet the Chequerboard fuchsia sharing the basket suspended from the wisteria arbour with the paler blue lobelias.

Clematis Polish Spirit and buddleia

A buddleia peeps through the Gazebo arch festooned with clematis Polish Spirit;

Eucalyptus

nearby petunias hang from the eucalyptus.

Leicesteria

Leicesteria drop earrings dangle in the West Bed

Japanese anemone

which also contains white Japanese anemones Jackie planted a couple of years ago to contrast with the ubiquitous pink ones.

Begonias and lobelia in hanging basket on dead snake bark maple

Begonias swing from the dead snake bark maple.

Gladioli Priscilla

Priscilla gladioli have survived the rains in the

Through the New Bed

New Bed.

Petunias and geranium

These petunias and geraniums stand on a brick plinth in the Weeping Birch Bed;

Petunias, geraniums, etc

opposite them a pot on the corner of the Raised Bed contains more of each with many blooms behind them.

Crocosmia etc

The crocosmia in this shot greets you as you leave the Rose Garden,

Rose Garden featuring Just Joey

this view of which is focussed on Just Joey.

Elizabeth's bed with Altissimo

Altissimo, in the centre of this shot looking into Elizabeth’s Bed, has sent out a lower than normal stem.

Palm Bed

Yellow rudbeckia takes centre stage in this section of the Palm Bed.

Comma butterfly

This bronzed Comma butterfly appears to be seeking camouflage from the dead little fir tree

Gazebo Path

in a pot on the right hand side of the Gazebo Path.

Perhaps last night’s power cut improved tonight’s evening meal. A consequence was that the lemon chicken Jackie was marinading remained in the lemon juice overnight. We enjoyed this with her special fried rice and runner beans. I finished the pinot noir. Jackie had drunk her Hoegaarden on the patio as an aperitif.

 

 

 

North Of Regent’s Park

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Today I scanned the next dozen of my Streets of London colour slides from October 2004.

Regent's Park Road NW1 10.04

Tasteful washes decorate the facades of these houses in Regents Park Road NW1. This street in the Primrose Hill area of London is stocked with a multitude of long established independent shops of all kinds.

Fitzroy Road NW1 10.04 2Fitzroy Road NW1 10.04 1

One such establishment is Fonthill Pottery at 38 Chalcot Road on the corner of Fitzroy Road NW1.

Gilden Crescent, NW5 10.04

Between Chalk Farm and Gospel Oak lies Gilden Crescent NW5, in Kentish Town. This wall on the corner of Queen’s Crescent features local children’s mural of the eponymous Post Office.

Marsden Street NW5 10.04

British pubs are being closed at an alarming rate in the 21st century. The Newberry Arms on the corner of Marsden Street and Malden Road NW5 is just one example. Soon after I took this photograph, the boarded up building was demolished, and by 2010

had been replaced by this block of flats.

St Leonard's Square NW5 10.04

St Leonard’s Square, NW5 is on the other side of Malden Road. Graffiti covers this dirty grey wall, rubbish lies on the pavement, scaffolding runs up the side of the building, the entrance to number 22 is narrow and lead directly onto the pavement, and someone has to live there.

Chalk Farm Road NW1 10.04

It was quite early in the morning that I crossed Chalk Farm Road NW1, yet these two building workers had already earned a break.

Bridge Approach NW1 10.04

This Bridge Approach NW1 is to the railway bridge at Chalk Farm.

St George's Terrace NW1 10.04

The Queen’s Pub on the corner of St George’s Terrace, NW1 and Regent’s Park Road is just yards from the Primrose Hill open space. The area must be considered a reasonably safe one in which to leave such a bicycle chained to railings.

Prince Albert Road/Townshend Road NW8 10.04 2

Prince Albert Road/Townshend Road NW8 10.04 1

Prince Albert Road, NW8 houses rows of apartment blocks like these on the corners of Townshend Road,

Prince Albert Road/Eamont Street NW8

and Eamont Street. They all provide views over Regent’s Park on the opposite side of the road. It was when walking along that street on my birthday, 2005, that I met a woman waiting at a bus stop. I had to work very hard to convince her that, two or three hours after the London suicide bombings, it was not unreasonable that the bus services had been suspended.

It had not been our intention to dine on Hordle Chinese Take Away fare this evening, but our electricity supplier had other ideas. There is no gas supplied to our hamlet. We experienced a complete power cut for three hours, at the point when Jackie was in the midst of cooking a chicken dish. She has just abandoned that project and gone out to hunt down one of Mr Chan’s excellent meals.

 

 

At The End Of The Day

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Another wet day was spent distilling these last few scans from 120 more colour negatives from Michael and Heidi’s wedding reception of 5th October 1991.

Michael and Heidi 5.10.91

Here they are toasting each other before cutting the cake.

James and Che 5.10.91

James and Che were often in the frame.

Rob 5.10.91

Rob, my former brother-in-law, I thought, belonged in a Film Noir masterpiece.

Adam, Danni, and Frances

Adam and Danni, his children, are framed by ruby-clad sister-in-law Frances and their mother’s colourful dress.

Jack Jewell 5.10.91

Jack Jewell was clearly highly amused.

Brian Littlechild 5.10.91

Our friend Brian possibly saw the joke,

Wolf 5.10.91

 

Wolf was looking his usual dapper self.

Alex 5.10.91

Alex

Jack jnr 5.10.91

and Jack

Jacqueline 5.10.91

are my sister Jacqueline’s youngest two children;

James and Che 5.10.91James and Che 5.91

her eldest being James, who, once more appears with Che,

Louisa, Danni, James, Che 5.10.91

who was a great draw for Louisa and Danni who, I am sure, willed him awake.

Chris 5.10.91

Chris,

Mum 5.10.91

Mum,

Fiona 5.10.91

and my niece, Fiona,

Derrick 5.10.91 2

were all candidates for the culprit who temporarily relieved me of my camera. Well, they were all near enough.

Mike and Heidi wedding 5.10.91

At the end of the day Louisa was at least one bridesmaid who felt the need to put her feet up.

This evening we dined on beef burgers, sautéed potatoes and onions, baked beans, and breaded mushrooms. I brought back most of the bottle of pinot noir from the pub yesterday and drank a little more with this meal. Jackie had already consumed her Hoegaarden as an aperitif.

 

 

 

What Was In That Glass?

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This morning we visited Caroline and Keith Martin in Highcliffe, where we enjoyed seeing the developments in their garden during this, their third summer there, and having a convivial conversation over coffee and biscuits.

The weather was dull and overcast with showers of varying velocity. It was, therefore, back to the photographic archives for me. Two days ago I had featured preparation for Michael and Heidi’s wedding on 5th October 1991. Today, choosing to present a few in monochrome, I scanned more colour negatives, moving on to the reception.

Derrick 5.10.91 2

This must have been taken the evening before.

Sam 5.10.91

On the day, Sam had an important ushering role.

Michael and Heidi 5.10.91 1

I managed a couple of not very successful shots of the bride and groom on the lawn,

Chris 5.10.91

then mingled with guests like my brother, Chris;

Don 5.10.91

my friends Don,

Steve 5.10.91

Steve,

Maurice 5.10.91

and Maurice;

Laura and Kate 5.10.91

and relatives like Jessica’s nieces Laura and Kate,

James and Che 5.10.91

and my nephew James and his son Che.

Cath, Derrick, Joan, Michael, Heidi, Werner, Jessica 5.10.91

Matthew made this image of the top table, including Heidi’s sister Cath, me, Heidi’s mother Joan, Michael, Heidi, her animated father, Werner, and Jessica. Cigarettes had not been outlawed in 1991.

Michael and Joan 5.10.91 1

Something had clearly amused Michael and his mother-in-law.

Michael speech 1

The groom certainly enjoyed his speech,

Michael speech 3

as did his wife,

Michael speech 2

and father-in-law,

Heidi, Werner, Jessica, Mark Banks 5.10.91

who paid close attention, along with Jessica, and Best Man, Mark Banks. The bride appeared rapt.

Michael and Joan 5.10.91 2

Joan was happy to receive a beautiful bouquet.

Jessica 5.10.91

I then continued with my photographic duties.

Becky, Mum, Elizabeth, Frances 5.10.91

Becky sits beside my mother. Elizabeth is on her feet between Mum and our sister-in-law, Frances.

Alex and Louisa 5.10.91

My niece, Alex, must have borrowed someone’s top hat, and I really hope Louisa was being very optimistic with an empty glass of champagne;

Danni 5.10.91

and I dread to think what Danni had spotted in this one

Adam 5.10.91

I can’t believe my nephew Adam was ever that small.

This evening we dined at The Monkey House. Jackie enjoyed a brie starter followed by gammon steak; mine was whitebait followed by sirloin steak. Jackie drank Amstel and I drank Le Fou pinot noir 2016.

 

 

An Early Post Box

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The Dragon Bed sign

A couple of days ago Jackie made a new sign for The Dragon Bed, and left a photograph on my camera.

Paul and Margery made a brief visit at lunchtime in order to deliver a birthday present ordered from their last exhibition. Both were looking in fine fettle.

Afterwards, Jackie drove us around the forest.

HeatherHeathland floor

Like many other plants this year, the heather seemed to be blooming early.

Ponies and heather 1Heather and poniesPonies and heather 2

Not that the ponies noticed.

Ponies and heather 3

They just kept their eyes on the grass.

Ladywell 1

On the outskirts of Burley we took a pot-holed drive down Tyrell’s Lane,

Ladywell 2

where I was struck by the topiary fronting a house called Ladywell. This reflected the thatched roofing

Peacock thatch

which bears a peacock motif on top.

Gunnera

Next door, Tyrell’s Way’s garden sports a magnificent gunnera.

Sheep

As I have occasionally mentioned, sheep are inquisitive creatures. This one in a field at the end of Tyrell’s drive, even lifted its head from its grazing at my approach.

Sheep models

This was in stark contrast to the low maintenance ovine mother and child occupying a garden in Furzley, who completely ignored me.

Shetland pony 1Shetland pony 2

Stony Cross Plain, just north of the A31, seems to be the province of Shetland ponies,

Shetland pony 3

one of which thought that a discarded tissue was not to be sniffed at.

Shetland pony foal 2

A recumbent foal

Shetland pony foal

occasionally stirred itself to stand. This creature has become accustomed to flies,

Pony and foal 1

which is more than can be said for its younger cousin at Nomansland, still skipping in confusion at the irritation.

Jackie at Powder Mill post box

A visit to Eyeworth Pond revealed nothing of interest, except for this post box near the Royal Oak, that we had not noticed before. Shultze gunpowder factory operated near the pond from the 1860s until the early 20th century. This receptacle was erected to make the postman’s life easier, in the days before delivery vans. It was recently restored by the Forestry Commission.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s roast chicken, savoury rice, breaded mushrooms, tempura vegetables, and salad. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the cabernet sauvignon/tempranillo.

Preparing For The Nuptials

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Heavy rain fell overnight. Although it lessened during the day, it continued to irrigate the garden.

This meant a trip into the photographic archives. Today’s selection for scanning was from colour negatives of Michael and Heidi’s wedding on 5th October 1991.

Michael, Becky, Derrick, Sam, Matthew, Louisa 4.10.91 2

Some of us stayed at Michael’s overnight. This provided an opportunity for the rarity of a photograph of me with all my children together. Jessica probably took the photograph. Louisa sat on her favourite lap,

Matthew, Sam, Louisa 4.10.91 1Becky, Matthew, Sam, Louisa 4.10.91 1Becky and Matthew 4.10.91 1

and she and Sam gave Mat their full attention. Perhaps Louisa was a little worried that Sam’s ruffling could get out of hand. Becky seems to have come into some money.

Derrick and Matthew 5.10.91 1

On the morning of the event it was time to get togged up. Matthew needed assistance with cuff links.

Becky 5.10.91 1Jessica and Becky 5.10.91

Becky and Jessica sported splendid pink and white lilies.

Matthew and Sam 5.10.91 1

Soon, Sam and Mat looked the business, with white carnations for their floral adornment.

Heidi 5.10.91

Meanwhile, at her parents home just up the road in South Croydon, Heidi was preparing herself,

Heidi and Louisa 5.10.91 1Heidi and Louisa 5.10.91 2

Louisa,

Heidi, Louisa, and other bridesmaids 5. 10.91

and her other bridesmaids, who, like the Royals they felt, appeared on the balcony for the benefit of their public.

This evening Jackie and I enjoyed her chicken thighs marinaded in hot chilli sauce; mushroom rice; runner beans; and a melange of peppers, a courgette from Elizabeth’s garden, and leeks bound by flour and egg. She drank Hoegaarden, and I drank Pyrene cabernet sauvignon/tempranillo 2011.

 

Mobile, cigarettes, chips, and coke

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Aaron, this Sunday, had removed two overhanging branches from a neighbours fir tree, and had dismantled an old temporary greenhouse cobbled together from panels found on our plot. Early this morning we chopped the branches into manageable chunks to fill an orange bag and, along with some of the panels, and a rather rancid bathroom cabinet left by our predecessors, removed them to Efford Recycling Centre.

This effort entitled to us to spend the rest of the morning in the forest.

Ponies in traffic 1Ponies in traffic 2Ponies in traffic 3Ponies in traffic 4Ponies in traffic 5Ponies in traffic 6Ponies in traffic 7Ponies in traffic 8Ponies in traffic 9Ponies in traffic 10Ponies in traffic 11Ponies in traffic 12

We consider ourselves fortunate to have reached Beaulieu and traversed it. The ponies had other ideas. Switching from side to side of the narrow approach road, they caused the longest tailback we have ever experienced here.

Pony on the move

One animal broke into a run when it saw that its companions had

Ponies in traffic 13

reached the wide verge, just outside the village, where we normally see them. If you are bored with all these rear views, imagine what else i was going to do as we fell into line? Do you know that number plate off by heart yet?

Ponies on road

Fortunately, once through Beaulieu, we were travelling in the right direction to be unhindered by a less mobile group.

Entrance

After this, we set off for Calshot Castle which was open for visitors. Originally built for King Henry VIII the castle was extended and refurbished in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.

R.A.F. Medical Corps uniform

The entrance door above leads to the shop where admission tickets may be bought. My first thought was to pass the young woman seated at her desk studying her mobile phone and approach the young man in the corner for tickets. Rapidly reorienting myself I purchased our admission from the young lady, who was, in fact, most engaging. In particular, she had a very tactful way of asking whether we were pensioners, and didn’t use the word once. The gentleman was wearing an R.A.F. Medical Corps uniform.

Head

Entering a room marked ‘Cell’, I found myself in an office, upon a shelf in which was evidence of a recent decapitation.

CannonJackie and cannons

Through the cannon turrets

Paddle boarder

I spied a paddle boarder who wouldn’t have had much chance of penetrating the defences.

Doorway up

We ascended steep stone steps leading

Barracks 1

eventually to a large central room that had, in the last lustrum of the 19th century, been converted to a barracks.

Barracks 2

Each man was allocated his own meagre space containing a metal framed and sprung bed that didn’t look too comfortable.

Tudor chimney and stove

The room contained a coal burning stove fronting the repaired remnants of the Tudor fireplace.

Barracks roof

A number of stone-roofed alcoves

Watching container vessel

were brightly lit by windows from which I could observe visitors watching a container vessel

Watching container vessel and kayaker

and a kayaker down below.

Pointing couples

What, I wondered, had attracted the attention of these two pointers? In the foreground of this shot lies the moat that surrounded the castle.

Garderobe

A corner on this level contained a garderobe. This, primarily, is a locked chamber containing dress and other stores; by extension a bed-chamber, or a privy. This was a very dark room, and the only image for which I used flash. Otherwise you would not have seen the hole, once covered by a wooden seat, which received human excreta to slide down into the depths below.

Top flight of stairs

The final set of steps bore a sign warning of the uneven roof above. I was more concerned about the steps themselves.

Iron door

They led to a stout iron door, one of several that stood one the gun platform up there.

Jackie on battlements

Here is evidence that Jackie made it to the top.

Boats and passers-by 1Boats and passing couple

These images of stored boats, passers by,

Wooden stakes

wooden stakes,

Lifeboat Centre

and a family investigating the lifeboat centre we have to suffice for mine.

Vehicle carrier, ferry boat, yachts

Our trip ended with a brunch in the Activity Centre Café, from which I watched a ferry boat and a couple of yachts crossing the path of a car transporter;

Cigarettes, chips, and mobile

and a family group enjoying their lunch in the sunshine.

This evening we dined on Mr Chan’s Chinese takeaway with which Jackie drank Blue Moon and I finished the Bordeaux.

 

 

 

 

 

Destruction

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Yesterday afternoon, Jackie had been in the garden for some considerable time. This in itself was not exactly unusual, but I did think I should go out and ask whether she knew that it was raining. “Not in my greenhouse, it isn’t”.

Entering the construction myself, I saw her point, or rather her viewpoints.

When the sun emerged this morning from the previously leaden skies, I sat in the greenhouse with my camera.

View through greenhouse window 3

A number of the photographs contain confusing reflections.  Although I will allow viewers to work out most of these for themselves, I think it only fair that I should point out that the house in the first shot is not really on the other side of the

View through greenhouse window 4Dragon and begonias through greenhouse windowDragon and ivy through greenhouse window

Dragon Bed,

View through greenhouse window 2View through greenhouse window 6

from another corner of which the view leads across the garden past the gazebo and the bottle brush plant.

Crocosmia etc through greenhouse window

Crocosmias,

Nicotiana etc through greenhouse window

nicotiana,

View through greenhouse window 10

day lilies and buddleia, among others, are all in view.

View through greenhouse window 5Begonias through greenhouse window

These two baskets hang over the Head Gardener’s Walk.

View through greenhouse window 8

Jackie is particularly pleased that her orange cone is visible from her hide,

View through greenhouse window 7View through greenhouse window 9View through greenhouse window 12

while, turning just a few yards to her right her eyes wander across the Kitchen Bed to the patio;

View through greenhouse window 11

or the clematis festooning the Agriframes Arch.

After lunch we dumped the contents of two more orange bags of clippings into the container bins at Efford Recycling Centre, then went on a drive around the forest.

At Thorney Hill we encountered a string of ponies seeking shade under trees on the edge of their field.

Horses in shade 2

Only one wore a fly protection mask, although

Horse 1

others could have done with something similar, and

Horse with muzzle

an apparent biter had earned a muzzle.

Burnt out car 1

By the roadside at Avon a burnt-out car, having charred the nearby fencing,

Refuse disposal notice

bore a Council Refuse Disposal notice.

Burnt out car 2Burnt out car 3Burnt out car 5Burnt out car 6

Burnt out car 4Burnt out car 7Burnt out car 8Burnt out car 9Burnt out car 10

It seemed to us that the vehicle had already suffered destruction.

This evening Jackie produced, pork slices cooked in piri-piri sauce; marvellous mushroom, onion, and egg rice; and tender runner beans. She drank Blue Moon, and I drank a 2015 Bordeaux.

 

The Mud Map

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In her comment on my recent post ‘By Request’ our friend Mary Tang  opined: ‘Bravo, Derrick. Glad we did not lose you in a ditch. Now we need a mud map

The website mud maps.com thus explains what Mary considered essential to this blog:

‘mud map : a saying from Australia

The term mud map  is an old Australian bush saying. It dates back to the early years of European settlement when much of the continent was still unexplored and unchartered by white men.

To outline directions to each other, when outback travellers met up by chance they used to draw maps in the dirt or in the mud after it had rained. These in turn became known as mud maps.

In those days it was a lonely life droving and travelling around the bush and the chance to stop and chat for a while around a campfire with a friendly face was something to be savoured and enjoyed.

mud map : what it means

Often while sitting around a campfire at night fellow outback travellers would share stories, trade information and pass on the latest news. This news may have been the latest gold rush or possibly a recent flood and so the map drawn on the ground became the focal point for describing the event and where it was.

The term mud map has remained in the Australian language particularly with people from the bush. These days however the maps are usually hand drawn on paper although you may occasionally see someone squat down and actually draw a map in the mud.’

Jackie therefore spent all day yesterday updating her original drawing of our garden map, now somewhat out of date.

Garden Map complete

Two years on, this complete layout, is what she produced.

Garden Map crop 1

This crop shows the entire plot, without the back drive, including the house and front garden, complete with key;

Garden Map crop 2

this one shaves off the road and much of the key;

Garden Map crop 3

while this one features the back drive and its borders.

Jackie has traced the original version; transferred it to a large sheet of paper to include the whole of the Back Drive; added a considerable amount of detail and further symbols; and extended the key. Perhaps the more notable additions are the Rose Garden in the top south east corner, and the herbaceous borders flanking the drive. The work is not exactly to scale, but it is a close approximation.

In order reasonably satisfactorily to reproduce this cartographical masterpiece we Blu-Tacked it to our neighbours’ wall along the southern end of the Back Drive in order for me to photograph it. I just about managed that before the rain came down again, thereby saving it from becoming a veritable mud map.

Isn’t it wonderful when blogging friends prompt inspiration?

This evening we dined on Mr Chan’s choice Chinese takeaway with which I finished the malbec and Jackie drank Blue Moon, a wheat beer brewed in the Belgian tradition in Denver, Colorado,and sold in the Co-op at Hordle, Hampshire.

 

Sunshine And Showers

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Knowing that we were to expect heavy rain all weekend, and that the first hour or two this morning would offer sunshine and showers, we drove out to Mudeford seeking what light there was.

Cloudscape

This proved to be interesting. The sun came and went, offering dramatic cloudscapes over the sea;

Beach huts

over the beach huts;

Mudeford, clouds 2

over the harbour;

Mudeford clouds

and over the small town.

Car going through pool

Recent downpours had left pools for cars to drive though.

Boats moored 1

Moored boats bobbed on the choppy wavelets in the sheltered waters,

Speedboat

over which sped a powered vessel.

Waterlogged boat 1

A number of little rowing boats had filled with water

Capsized boat

or capsized.

Gulls (juvenile) on upturned boat

One, overturned, provided a resting place for juvenile gulls.

Setting up stall 1Mallet and staySetting up stall 2Open carSetting up stall 3

We felt sympathy for holidaymakers wrapped in waterproofs, and even more for the intrepid stallholders setting up for the weekend’s Art and Craft Fair.

Mudeford, jogger

Almost oblivious of the industry going on around them, a jogger,

Dog walkers

a pair of dog walkers,

Couple on shore

and a loving couple, continued about their business.

Paddleboards

A heap of bright red paddle boards awaited rental customers.

Crab potsCouple looking at crab pots

The usual fishing paraphernalia lined the quayside. This couple examined

Crab pot 1Crab pots 2

crab pots;

Ropes and linesRopes, rusty stakes, buoy

ropes and lines;

Flags

fluttering flags;

Buoys 1

and buoys reflecting sunlight

Buoy and reflection

or themselves mirrored in pools,

Queuing for ferry 1Queuing for ferry with reflection

as were visitors following the first young lady forming a queue for the ferry.

Couple looking out to sea

Around the side of the quay the couple I had just passed gazed out to sea.

Backlit figures on quayBacklit figures on quay – Version 2

The most dramatic light of the visit fell on a group beside the car park.

Sailboats

As we left Mudeford for a late breakfast at Friar’s Cliff’s Beach Hut Café, three sail boats set out to sea.

Sailboats

They had made it safely to Friar’s Cliff by the time we reached there.

Concrete plinth base

On the cliff top at Steamer Point lie three very large circular concrete bases.

Military communication satellite station plaque

Their story is now explained on an engraved metal plate fixed to a rock.

This evening we dined on chicken tikka and boiled egg salad. Well, we had had a large, late, fried breakfast. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I drank more of the malbec.