“Alice’s Last Day”

On this bright and chilly morning, Nugget was torn away from his perch on the lip of


Jackie’s tulip planting pot

by Muggle’s war cries, which, proudly puffed up, he was required to reciprocate from a higher viewpoint.

“Where’s Nugget?” (49).

Later, we drove into the forest, taking School Lane out of Milford on Sea.

Tanners Lane was to produce two very enjoyable conversations.

The first was with Ed and Alice who were enjoying “Alice’s last day” in Lymington before travelling up to London for an interview for a job in Marylebone which, of course, I knew very well. I wished her luck and gave them a blog card.

The second was with a painter working on number 7.

Jackie and I must have been watching the renovation work in progress for a good two years now.

First there was the roofing of master thatcher A. D. Smith, with renovations by New Forest Oak Buildings


The painter confirmed my observation that the different materials in the walls are being matched and preserved.

Soon work will commence inside. Maybe I will have further opportunities to enter the historic building.

My informant told me that he had been delayed coming to work yesterday because the Beaulieu River had burst its banks. We therefore headed off in that direction.

Cattle basked on the moorland at East End

and grazed on the hillside above

St Leonards Road, for much of the length of which we were required to track a string of veteran cyclists.

For variety in the game of “Where’s Nugget”, I can offer “Where’s the pheasant”, camouflaged in the verge side bracken.

Beaulieu Lake, presumably at high tide

was certainly fuller than usual,

providing a splendidly smooth cygnet paddling pool.

Rowing boats left on the soggy bank of the

now still river must have been put into service during the spate.

Today, another group of cyclists were able to gather round a wooden seat for relaxation, refreshment, and reflection.

I am not quite sure how this post has been published early, that is before we have dined on Mr. Pink’s Fish and chips, drunk Hoegaarden, and finished the Cabernet Franc.



  1. It is very gratifying to see historical building being restored. As always, I am entranced by your reflection photos, Derrick.
    Nugget is in the center horizontally, but to the left vertically. How do you tell the difference between Nugget and Muggle – by behavior?

    1. Thanks very much, Dolly. Well spotted. Behaviour and territory are our only clues. Yesterday a robin rapidly flew off Nugget’s feeder as soon as I approached it. I thought it was most likely a third one which lives over the back.

  2. I was wondering why your post was early, too, but we’ll be in the midst of our Thanksgiving dinner later, so your timing worked as I’m taking a break for cooking and cleaning. šŸ™‚ I was worried when I saw your title, so I’m happy it was just Alice’s last day there. So many wonderful photos here–again, I can’t choose a favorite, though I particularly like the black and white images and the high tide lake with the tops of the bare branches sticking out.

  3. While a river overflowing it’s banks can be most worrisome it does make for some beautiful photos. The pheasant isn’t quite as good at hiding as Nugget and Nugget can’t really hide in a bare tree, especially when he’s all puffed up. Bless him! The silhouettes of Alice and her grieving beau are beautiful. I hope all goes well for them.

  4. Glad to see your post earlier than usual. I normally feel the last one to see it!
    Great to see Nugget again and Where’s the pheasant? was certainly new!

  5. Thank you again for taking us on your photographic tour.
    Hope Nugget wins out against his rival for territory.

    The lake looked very swollen. I hope the river flooding didn’t cause too many problems.

    On this cold and wet day we took lunch Sitting next to an open fire on the banks of a very swollen River Nidd. I would have taken Photos but it was too miserable and wet to hang around outside and the cafe windows were all steamed up!

  6. There hasn’t been much evidence of the sun’s existence here for the past few days so it has been a real pleasure looking at your brighter, though still soggy views.

  7. Your drives and photos through your countryside are always a pleasure to see! Thanks for taking your readers along.

    I always liked thatched roof houses, and wonder what it would be like to have one. Alas, no master thatched roof artisans here! Our roof is metal, which in our climate here is the only type that lasts, and the rain makes a gentle staccato sound. The solar panels are mounted rooftop, which would make it hard to re-roof.

    1. Thanks very much, Lavinia. We abound with master thatchers. Most thatched roofs are listed and have to be reroofed in traditional ways – adding layers rather than removing them. Some mediaeval buildings offer much information about early plants etc.

  8. Hi – the silhouettes with Ed and Alice are excellent – and how fun to meet them and the painter to chat a bit!
    And wow – #49
    For finding nugget – fun series Derrick

  9. you have drawn us into an interesting slice of life as you passed through it and I have enjoyed sharing those experiences.

  10. ‘Tis a wonderful day there, and so beautifully fowl…with Nugget, the pheasant, the cygnet! šŸ™‚
    The sun on the water looks so silvery and glittery! šŸ™‚
    We had a VERY rainy day and night and snow is supposed to be falling in the next few hours…so foul weather here. BUT a wonderfully beautiful day of thanksgiving with family and friends!!! šŸ™‚
    (((HUGS))) šŸ™‚

  11. I’m glad they’re continuing the renovations to preserve this old building’s character. Thank you for these interesting and beautiful photos. I especially love the sweet photos of Alice and Ed that tell a story without words.

  12. Always enjoy seeing your thatched houses pictures Derrick, certain 18th century old world charm about them, notice the wet season has not deserted you completely, great images. Cheers.

  13. The silhouettes are so nice, and I hope they got a chance to log in and see your work. Loved the hidden pheasant! Most especially I enjoyed the views of the house being restored. So glad someone has the money and the time to do a careful, authentic job of restoration. Do you imagine it will end up as a home, or as a business or museum of some kind?

    1. I hope it will be a home, Crystal. We will see. I gave the two young people details of the blog, so I’m pretty sure they will have seen their pics. Thanks very much.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: