First Steps

Knowing that this would be our last fine day until next week we took an early drive into the forest before returning to Sears Barbers at Milford on Sea where Peter cut my hair.

Cotton clouds propelled by a chill east wind scudded across cerulean skies.

Bright yellow daffodils lined many of the verges like this one on Southampton Road.


Several ponies stood quietly contemplating the waterlogged moorland alongside Furzey Lane

over which a murder of crows swooped and frolicked.

The car park to Hatchet Pond

was now a lake swirling around warning signs;

denying any visitors taken short access to the public lavatories;

and providing accommodation for mallards and coots.

A grazing pony at East End

kept a discreet distance from a small group of donkeys.

A single sunbeam pierced a thicker cloud cover over Gosport Street as we returned via

the Milford on Sea coast road, within sight of the Isle of Wight,

The Needles, their lighthouse;

and Christchurch Bay

with its sweeping waves.

Walkers with and without dogs occupied the promenade

while crows scratched among the grass.

This afternoon Danni, Andy and Ella visited bringing joy and delightful company.

Our great niece had at home this morning managed a few unsteady footsteps but initially needed  little support early in the afternoon.

Her mother sat helping her play with some of the house toys.

Soon she was wandering freely around the ground floor able to right herself when losing her balance, without falling.

Jackie focussed on Ella’s fascination with the curtains to the French windows and the views into the garden.

Just like any other infant concentration requires an extended tongue.

Danni and Andy were led by their daughter on a tour of the garden.

We all dined on Forest Tandoori’s first rate takeaway food with which Danni and I finished the Tempranillo Barrica; Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and Andy drank sparkling water.






  1. The flooding is becoming widespread I see, and the sea looks quite rough.
    I enjoyed all those photographs even though most of the animals looked forlorn and fed up with the damp weather.

    The photographs of Ella are really lovely, I can’t believe she’s walking, goodness me it seems hardly a moment since she was born.

    1. Thank you very much, Sue. Re the flooding, I am only relieved that we live where we do. Sometimes we have to have photographs to remind us of early progress. 🙂

  2. She’s adorable 🙂 I love seeing little ones out in the garden 🌿 It’s waterlogged here too – even the tops of rocky hills have puddles, which I’ve never seen before. Snow forecast tonight! ❄️

  3. What a flood of rain you must have been having! Ella is gorgeous. I enjoyed seeing her first steps and greatly admire the perfect little feet on which she’s learning to walk.

  4. This is the stage where babies really start exploring the world around them. No longer restricted to the floor (crawling) or a lap. Now, they can roam everywhere and their curiosity usually takes them there.
    God bless her.
    Thank you for sharing this Derrick.

  5. What a wonderful series of photographs to record a wonderful event. It’s remarkable, really, that events like her first steps can be shared with family and friends around the world, when it used to be that only a letter, phone call, or conversation could mark such things. It always was great to hear the stories, but it’s even better to be able to see them.

  6. Your gift for portraiture really shines in these images Derrick. But what drew me in was the daffodils. Outside my window snow is blowing sideways as the first flakes of an expected 40 cm arrive. Thank goodness for the cheery daffodils in your post.

  7. Gorgeous photos of Ella, she’ll be keeping her parents on their toes once she’s gained confidence on two feet. I can’t believe how water-logged you still are and it’s bound to get worse.

  8. All of your photos are beautiful! And your words and descriptions are always lovely to read…very poetic!

    Gotta’ say, though….best photos today…beautiful, delightful little Ella! And her taking some steps! YAY for her big accomplishment! 🙂 Wow! She’s got a lot of exploring to do now…and will keep everyone else hopping to keep up with her! 😀

    Thanks for the smiles! 🙂
    HUGS to you and Jackie!!! 🙂

  9. Ella is lovely and your penultimate photograph is just wonderful….easily worthy of being framed.
    Scratching among the grass, though, are rooks with white bases to their bills which crows don’t have. Supposedly each species also has a different cast to the plumage with a purple tinge for one and a brown for the other, but I’ve never ever seen that.

  10. The photos of Ella are precious. Children that age are so inquisitive! It’s a good trait to keep throughout our lives. The monochrome photo with the man and bird in silhouette is a close second, but I have to say that my favorite of this group is the crows above the waterlogged moorland.

  11. A banner day for all involved. So moving to see the baby grow into a toddler. And what a sweet, sweet face. Yes, hard work requires sticking out the tongue. 😉

  12. That is a lot of standing water! The ducks and geese must have been quite happy. 🙂 I enjoyed the photos from your day.

    Ella is an adorable baby. I love that little pink hat with ears. She is getting around quite well! 🙂

  13. First steps of an adorable child are precious, but the photos of Ella in her flowery outfit in the sunlit garden melted my heart!
    A propos, how accurate are your weather forecasts? Do you actually know that this day is the last fine day?

    1. Our weather forecasts are usually accurate to the half hour or so and to the location. Vastly improved in the last 30 years. Thank you very much, Dolly. Those pictures were really my favourites too, and Danni has put the first of the sitting on the bench pictures on her own Facebook profile photo.

  14. It looks you had a delightful day. Ella is getting so big! It seems like she was just born a short time ago. It seems so early for daffodils. Ours have poked up, but they haven’t bloomed yet. Last year, it was in the end of March/beginning of April when they bloomed here.

  15. Oh, that picture of Ella on the bench looking at the camera with that face of hers. I love it! Isn’t it exciting that she learned to walk at your house? So special that you were all there to share in the fun.

  16. Glad you had a chance to get out and explore in the sunshine. I, too, have been noticing the wild daffodils coming up. It’s especially early for us here to have daffodils in profusion already. Is the timing typical where you are? I love the silhouette photo above, with the person and bird against the water and islands.

    1. Thanks a lot, Crystal. We could expect the very earliest out now, but not so many varieties. I’m pleased you liked the pic. I saw the bird coming and just got focussed in time.

  17. So, just to check, I’m no longer supposed to put my tongue out when I’m concentrating? Why do the young get all the good things?

    I hope you start to dry out soon, I’m feeling guilty at being so dry here.

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