Mobile, cigarettes, chips, and coke


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.


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.


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.


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.







  1. I was thinking that car, should the driver be accused of something nefarious on this particular day, would be very glad to have your photographic alibi to hand…… I wonder if the ponies have a morning meeting and some bright spark moves they decide to see how large a hold up they can create today……. The stone steps have that lovely curve worn from hundreds of years of boots going up and down them. Good on you for adding your steps into them!

  2. Love seeing how Henry VIII’s castle transformed over the years. The stone steps photo is my favorite. The head looks quite real and is unnerving. A delightful visit. Thanks.

  3. A fine tour indeed. Here in Montana, my wife and I were once held while a cattle drive took over the road for nearly a mile. There are currently more cattle in Montana than people. I loved the tour of the castle.

  4. You have effectively passed down the feeling of being fettered in the jam by the series of images of the backside of that car. But the trip to Calshot Castle was a suitable reward. The images of the wax gent, soldiers’ space and the view from the top are lovely.

  5. The pictures of Calshot Castle were so very interesting, we don’t any old Castles in Australia, mainly we have a few Coastline defensive Forts, from early 1900’s.

  6. I bet Aaron would have fixed that room up in a lot less than 5 years.
    I believe I saw this castle on the History or BBC channel recently, been watching a whole series of them, never knew we had so many.
    Just love those ponies, wouldn’t it be delightful if they knew the trouble they caused, and carried on just as they do?

  7. Oh, those ponies. Also, while I have seen and even used many an outhouse, I have never seen a garderobe. I’ve only read about them. Thanks for expanding my horizons. 😉

  8. Ponies, castle, and Mr. Chan’s–delightful!
    We often see how houses change over the years, but I guess I never thought about castles. That barracks room was quite utilitarian. I wonder what the room looked like in Henry VIII’s time.

    1. Thanks, Diane. Unfortunately there are a number of animal deaths each year. The speed limits are 40 mph, which, if adhered to are too fast anyway. Often it isn’t.

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