Lunch At Woodpeckers

On yet another warm and sunny day

Nugget offered the Head Gardener his usual unhelpful assistance, before we joined Mum, Elizabeth, Danni, and Ella for lunch at Woodpeckers.

We all toasted Mum who was on very good form. Everyone enjoyed fish, chips, mushy peas, and tomatoes – except that Mum donated her mushy peas, her tomato, and most of her chips to me, and Elizabeth gave Jackie her tomato. Red and white wine, water, and orange juice was provided, and roses from the garden stood in a central vase. Of the choice of desserts mine was pineapple sponge and caramel ice cream. Teas and coffees completed the meal.

As Jackie and I escorted Mum back to her room I was greatly relieved that my wife had been a professional in the task of transfer from seat to wheelchair and vice-versa.

Regular longer term readers will have seen my 1989 photocopy of the pastel portrait of Dad I made for the anniversary of his death over the night of 25th/26th December 1988 and the story that goes with it. The original hangs on our mother’s bedroom wall.

After saying goodbye to Mum, Jackie and I continued further into the forest concentrating on

Rhinefield Road and the Ornamental Drive.

This sunlit scene blazed from the forest on the way to Emery Down.

Matthew and Poppy arrived this evening and will spend the night. We dined on spicy mushroom pizza and plentiful salad with which I drank more of the Saint-Chinian and Jackie drank M & S Belgian Wheat Beer.

Alice’s Choppers

I drafted this post yesterday in preparation for a tutorial session with a WordPress Happiness Engineer.

This involves more scans of prints from the Isle of Wight holiday photographed on film in August 1980.

I have not noted the exact location of any of these images. Here is a cormorant on a wreck, seemingly claiming to be cock of walk in the second photograph.

Here Alice proudly displays her nice new choppers.

Oliver and Jessica joined others in a horse and cart ride.

This was the first Meadow Brown (I think) butterfly that I photographed.

I didn’t receive a phone call from Mr Happy. I got an invitation by e-mail to a chat session on Zoom. I couldn’t make it work. I spent 15 minutes looking at my own image on screen. I do hope no-one heard my ejaculations.

They Have To Grow Into Their Legs.

This morning, in preparation for an early morning tutorial telephone conversation with a WordPress Happiness Engineer, I drafted a post on the further subject of our August 2000 Isle of Wight holiday. I will publish it after it has been polished up.

This afternoon Jackie drove me to Wessex Photographic in Lymington where I was helped to choose a new printer by a very attentive staff member. One will be ordered for me when the manager returns to the shop.

Later, we drove into the forest. I photographed a few ponies at Bashley. It is Jackie who has noticed that the reason that young foals need to splay their legs to graze is that their legs are so long at birth that they have to grow into them.

Highwood Lane is a narrow winding cul-de-sac. Where possible I left the car and photographed the woodland with its furrowed tracks, its still green bracken, turning leaves, and dappled sunlight.

Nugget, staking out his territory with sweet song – that John Knifton describes as an invitation to a punch-up to another robin – from ever widening vantage points, kept us fleeting company while we enjoyed our pre-dinner drinks in the Rose Garden.

“Where’s Nugget?” (27).

This evening we dined on our second sitting of Hordle Chinese Take Away’s tasty, well cooked, fare with which Jackie finished the Pinot Grigio and I drank more of the Saint-Chinian.

The Early Evening Light

This morning I completed my mega filing task while Jackie carried out more planting under the watchful eye of Nugget

with whom she happily conversed. “Where’s Nugget?” (25).

Beside the Weeping Birch Bed with its kniphofias, petunias, heleniums, and pelargoniums.

The yellow kniphofia is Popsicle Mango; the terracotta one has attracted a wasp.

Small White butterflies and bees still cluster around the verbena bonariensises.

continue to thrive.

Autumn crocuses have arrived.

The Rose Garden, the Palm Bed, and the Oval Bed glow with aureate colour;

spiders have spun fine chains for golden seeds;

Virginia creeper is beginning to take on a ruby hue,

with which penstemons are trimmed.

Early this warm and sunny evening we took a drive into the forest.

I disembarked from the car on the road between Brockenhurst and Beaulieu.

I walked along a gravelled path and over the dry terrain,

the sweeping sounds of my sandals answering those of the jaws of the ponies cropping the grass they shared with a few cattle joining them on their way in from the verges.

This evening we dined on Hordle Chinese Take Away’s usual fine fare with which Jackie drank Blue Moon and I drank sparkling water.

A Square Font

Early this morning I completed the paperwork, including lots of sums, in preparation for a visit to Garry Price, our financial adviser, at his home in Pagham, near Bognor Regis.

Jackie drove us over there where we lunched at The Lamb. Jackie enjoyed her Reuben sandwich, French fries and salad; I was equally pleased with my ham, egg, and chips. My Chauffeuse drank Diet Coke while I drank Doom Bar.

We took Garry’s advice on a mortgage switch then drove to the equally excellent Woodmancote in Woodmancote Lane, Woodmancote, where we met and dined with Becky and Ian before returning home. My meal was a tasty, well-filled, steak pie; new potatoes; green beans, orange carrots, and creamy white cauliflower. I drank an enjoyable tangy local bitter. I hereby invite the others, should they so desire, to report on their own meals in the comments below. (See Becky’s comment)

As we left Pagham we noticed a pair pf swans at home in someone’s front garden.

Taking a slight diversion on our way to Woodmancote, we came across the Church of St Giles, Merston.

Jackie photographed the laminated information sheet about this church dating from the time of King William the Conqueror. Accessing the gallery with a click on either image will facilitate necessary enlargement to read the fascinating history.

Climbing the pulpit for one shot, she also pictured me in the interior.

Her other pictures involved light from windows illuminating the altar area and that of the

square baptismal font dating from the late 12th or early 13th century.

I concentrated on the, mostly memorial, stained glass windows.

An Avian Altercation

The sun made brief appearances during another warm day which we began by driving to Milford Pharmacy to collect repeat prescriptions.

The Needles Loch Ness Monster substitute cast its baleful eye over the proverbial millpond that was the Solent.

A gentleman entertained his frisky barking dogs on the shingle then walked away along the promenade.

We turned up Downton Lane and took a trip into the forest.

I imagine visiting children had enjoyed beavering at dams across the Wootton Bridge stream, even though it is somewhat depleted.

Bracken alongside the road to Burley is beginning to turn golden brown, and is still home to

discarded drink cans.

Donkeys were petted as usual beside The Fighting Cocks at Godshill,

while ponies blended or contrasted with the landscape across the road.

An idle wood pigeon hitched a ride on

one of the thatched pigs wandering across a Sandy Balls roof.

A sturdy Massey Ferguson tractor sent up dust clouds whilst harrowing a recently ploughed field alongside Hordle Lane.

This afternoon, whilst I was engaged in boring administration, Jackie photographed the Westbrook Arbour and its surroundings while Nugget kept her company in his usual helpful manner.

Occasionally spreading his wings he darted after prey;

after due investigation he decided against diving into watered holes;

he perched on trugs and watering cans;

and presented silhouettes from above.

And, of course, he posed for “Where’s Nugget?” (24)

Just before Jackie returned indoors, she witnessed a violent altercation between two robins in a hebe. One was sent packing. We hope it wasn’t Nugget.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla where the greeting was as friendly and the food and service as excellent as ever. My main course was king prawn Ceylon; Jackie’s was chicken Hariyali; we shared a plain paratha, mushroom rice, and Tarka Dal; and both drank Kingfisher.

Heartfelt Reminiscing

We spent another hot summer’s day reminiscing and exchanging mutually beneficial emotional thoughts and feelings with Heidi – the morning at home, and the afternoon at Elizabeth’s.

Jackie packed up one of her splendid cold meats, cheeses, and salad lunches and we drove to my sister’s to enjoy it together with Elizabeth’s wine – a white for Heidi and a red for me.

Much of the memories I was sharing with our daughter-in-law were of our life with my son’s mother who died when he was 17 months old. She knew many of the facts but perhaps not all my thoughts and feelings.

Jackie was able to give Heidi her experience of and perspective on the six early years she spent as Michael’s stepmother.

At Elizabeth’s we were able to look up on Google and on WordPress 79 Ashcombe Road SW19. This was our first family home in which Vivien died.

“He Thought It Fun To Push Me Over” and “One Life Cut Short: Another Changed Forever” are relevant posts.

Michael and his team had built 130A Graham Road SW19 in 2003. We looked this up on the same sources.

Later in the afternoon we led Heidi to the A326 to set her on her way home.

I watched the highlights of the last two days of the final Ashes Test match. Then we dined on Jackie’s cumin-enhanced cottage pie served with firm carrots and broccoli, and tender runner beans with which I drank Saint-Chinian 2017.