The Spanish Invasion

Strong winds and heavy rain rampaged through the morning, keeping me occupied with administration and ironing, while Jackie did the shopping.

Just two of the administrative events are worthy of note. It is rather more complicated than I would have thought to close a French bank account which is in credit with no unpaid cheques outstanding. This has been exacerbated by what turned out to be a standard letter contradicting what I had been advised on the telephone. Phone calls and letters have been involved. I was advised to ignore the latest letter. I should be receiving a statement and a transfer of funds soon. We’ll see.

A further telephone call related to the setting up of a funeral plan. Well, you never know.

Soon after lunch the rain ceased and an assertive sun shouldered the dismal clouds aside, sending us off in search of bluebells.

Opposite the shadowy woodland of Shirley Holms

Doves on roof

Jackie spotted a pair of white doves on a farmhouse roof.

Bluebells and hellebores

In 1588 the Spanish Armada failed in their attempt to conquer England. A peaceful invasion is, however under way in the form of their national bluebells. These in our garden are bigger, stronger, and lighter in colour than

the English ones that still line the hedgerows and stock the woodlands of Boldre and other parts of the forest.

Muddy tracks have been left by the recent rain, but it is now warm enough for horses in fields to discard their rugs.

As we drove through East End the leader of a trio of three cows fixed our Modus with a stare and bellowed instructions to get out of the way.

An egret occupied the beach at Tanners Lane against the backdrop of rape fields on the Isle of Wight.

This evening we dined at The Royal Oak. Jackie enjoyed an excellent beef burger in sourdough bread with French fries and salad. My equally good meal was superbly cooked haddock, chips and peas. My heap of chunky chips with skins was extremely daunting and Jackie couldn’t finish her fries. She drank Amstell and I drank Malbec.



  1. The English recently did their own invasion of Spain after discovering it was cheaper to live there than at home. Whether still the case, I know not.
    I love areas where animals expect to have, and get, right of way.

  2. Blue bells are quite a pleasant invasion as compared to the nasty Spanish Gorse that infests a lot of Australian countryside.

  3. I enjoyed seeing the photos of the trees very much – and nice to have a glimpse of the Isle of Wight.

  4. Your bluebell woods are so very pretty in spring and seeing them growing wild along the roadsides was always a pleasure! I’m amused at the bolshie cow, good on her!

  5. I didn’t know until very recently that there’s a Spanish bluebell invasion. I think the ones we get here might be Spanish too. That cow has very unusual facial markings.

    1. Thanks very much, Jane. Apparently we have a lot of hybrids now, too. I can’t really tell which are which. Never seen such bovine markings before

  6. From the concocted machinations of the humans to the tranquility of the Isle of Wight, where the dinosaurs hunch in eternal sleep. Beautiful.

  7. An enjoyable read, Derrick. I particularly enjoyed your shaded woodland photographs. A subject I’d never thought of tackling, but I find them full of interest.

  8. The Bluebells in my garden have survived the bad weather better than the poor old tulip, Interesting info re origin, I had always regarded them as quintessentially English. The things we learn on here!

  9. I could deal with that kind of invasion, but I tend to yank them out in our garden. Smart to plan for the inevitable – your survivors will thank you.

  10. The bluebells are lovely. I like the yellow splash of the rape fields. Was your wine good?I’m a fan of Malbec.

  11. If you ever go to Penzance, there is pub there with scorch marks on the wall behind the bar where the Spaniards set the place on fire!

  12. I absolutely adore those bluebells!

    Hey, do you think you might be an exception to the rule? “A further telephone call related to the setting up of a funeral plan. Well, you never know.”

  13. I’m afraid I tend to pull up a few bluebells from our garden….. I also know they are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act…..
    But I’m not a landowner, selling them on.
    I do think they look pretty though, in the bluebell woods.

  14. Thank you for another look at your lovely countryside and of course, Jackie’s handiwork in the garden! Any idea why the color is lighter? the soil?

  15. In search of bluebells sounds like a lovely way to spend an afternoon, Derrick. The cows with an attitude amused me.
    I really like the photo of the egret at the beach.

  16. We have a few Spanish bluebells in our garden and they seem to spread more quickly than our native lovelies. I am trying to get rid of the former and encourage the latter. I love your photos of the bluebells and the cows.

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