Yesterday evening Nugget and a blackbird who had discovered his feeders outside the stable door both emptied their larders while providing meals on wings for their respective nestlings. Jackie felt so bad at being so Mother Hubbard https://youtu.be/30l7EinbOYg that she decided bird food, especially Nugget’s favourite suet pellets, were essential shopping in these times of restraint. This meant an early morning trip back to Ferndene Farm Shop.
I waited in the car facing the thatched house on Bashley Cross Road,
adjacent trees casting dappled shade; and alongside
a gentleman working from home.
Naturally the Head Gardener also bought more trays of plants and three bags of compost loaded into the car by a helpful staff member. We then took a circuitous route home through
largely empty lanes, some bordered by bluebells, silene, and stitchwort;
some boasting rather splendid gardens.
Ponies parleyed in a paddock on New Lane.
Jackie visited Tesco in Old Milton to purchase a few more essential items and parked
outside the Lotus Restaurant.whose enticing window notice failed to tempt us for this evening’s meal.
Our one previous visit there in December 2013 had been enough to last a lifetime. We thought the current pandemic situation was not one in which to reconsider. The Culinary Queen has nevertheless been hankering for a Chinese takeaway meal from Mr Chan at Hordle. We therefore travelled up
Stopples Lane to check whether he had been able to open. Sadly, he hadn’t.
On the way back home we passed a pair of cyclists we had seen earlier.
During a telephone conversation with Mum today she likened the coronavirus experience to that of the Second World War, in the middle of which I was, of course, born; in particular not being able to see people we are close to, and the possibility we may not do so again. I had spoken of how Ella had just grown able to wander around our house and knew where everything was. I wondered how much she would remember. This prompted my mother to describe the distress of a young child she had known at being introduced to the stranger who was her father when he returned home from the conflict.
Mum remains in good spirits and we had a few laughs, not the least when she reminded herself that I was on the phone, not actually present in her room. She had asked me whether I had had to knock on the front door to gain admittance.
Jackie reports that she has seen a couple of juvenile robins in the garden and is convinced that these will be from Nugget and Lady’s January brood; the current feeding is for a second clutch.
For this reason we enjoyed our pre-dinner drinks on the patio, waiting for Nugget. This was a little early for his arrival, but
he joined us later for dinner which, in our case, consisted of cheese centred haddock fish cakes; piquant cauliflower and broccoli cheese; boiled Jersey Royal potatoes; tender green beans, and firm orange carrots, with which I finished the Rheinhessen and Jackie drank more of the Sauvignon Blanc.
This was the Assistant Photographer’s attempt at pairing a blue tit and a robin.