A Vehicular Stand-off

A week or so ago I searched for a phone ringing to my right. I went through jacket pockets, opened cupboards etc – all to no avail. A while later the same thing happened. Jackie picked up the phone to my left which I thought had been silent. It was then I realised that the surfeit of wax in my left ear was now affecting my hearing; and I hadn’t imagined I would be unable to detect sound direction. This morning I kept an appointment for clearance at the Milford on Sea ear clinic. Most of the stubborn substance was removed, but I was given a date for another visit to complete the job.

We abandoned the idea of a walk along the clifftop because the car parks were filling up fast

and masks were not much in evidence.

Some couples were content to stand and stare at the pastel shades of the Isle of Wight and Hurst Castle in the haze that had set the fog warning sounding during the early hours.

We then tried Keyhaven where we were unable to park even if we had wished to scramble past visitors.

We proceeded along Saltgrass Lane to the spit which was again becoming decidedly overcrowded with visitors, some of whom were unaware that the shallows would deepen when the tide came in.

Once the lane bends to the right past the bridge the only possible passing spaces on what becomes a one track road would be the verges. These were all occupied by parked vehicles.

We soon approached a vehicular stand-off. The dark blue car in front of us sat nose to nose with the light blue model. The third picture in this series shows the intimacy of the snogging session. Eventually, seen in the next two shots, a mid-blue vehicle prised itself from its tight spot, leaving the lighter one the challenge of squeezing itself in. My maternal grandfather was fond of asking anyone who leapt into his vacant chair “would you be in my grave as quick?”. This driver was very unlikely to complete the manoeuvre with any turn of speed. We didn’t wait to see. We just got the hell out of there and went home to lunch.

During the afternoon we engaged in more sweltering watering and dead-heading activities until, early in the evening we drove for a while around the lanes less travelled.

In a field alongside Rodlease Lane

a group of small breeds of pony, one of whom studied us mournfully from behind the barbed wire fence.

In Brockenhurst it was the turn of ponies to block the road, one rather underfed mare still suckling her offspring.

Another had the good sense to stick to the woodland verges.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent sausage casserole; crispy duchess potatoes; and crunchy cauliflower and broccoli, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Mendoza Argentine Malbec 2018.


      1. An interesting thought, Derrick. I just returned from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The usually tourist-heavy areas were as free and open as October.

  1. I love your grandfather’s expression! As for the traffic jam, I would also have gotten the hell out of there and gone home to lunch. The gray pony with the long blond mane looks like a real heartbreaker in a devil-may-care kind of way.

    1. Indeed, Chrissy. We won’t be going near the coast for a while. There was a crash outside our house just as we were leaving for our evening trip. Thanks very much.

    1. It is always a relief when the tourist season is over. This year, quite apart from the Covid risk, we are experiencing far more visitors because they can’t safely go abroad. Thanks very much, JoAnna.

  2. Ahh, driving the less travelled lanes in early evening seemed a very good idea Derrick…. We are in Lockdown again, and even the main streets of Geelong are relatively devoid of traffic….

  3. I realise how quiet the equestrian population is compared to the unmasked hurly burly of the bipeds and their wheeled egos. The pony with long hair is certainly the Rapunzel of her tribe!

  4. A beautiful day! But, OH, my! That be a lot of cars and a lot of people! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
    I saw a face mask that said, “A large group of people is called a No Thanks!”
    I much prefer country lanes and ponies these days. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Glad your poor ear got some help…and hope with the next visit it will be all well.
    Oh, that mare and her baby…sweet…but mama does look thin.
    Duchess Potatoes…ooh! Yum! ๐Ÿ™‚
    HUGS!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. While waiting to leave my parking space I once observed a similar standoff in the supermarket carpark. The pickup area was full so a driver double-parked and refused to move until his wife came out of the supermarket with her trolley! The traffic backed up in both directions.

    I feel so sorry for the animals in this heatwave. In my fields there’s not much shelter.

    A few weeks ago son Joss had the same problem with his ears. Our medical centre told him that during the pandemic they were putting the syringing procedure on hold. I put him in touch with my private audiologist, it cost him ยฃ70.00! But as you’ve just found out deafness can be very frustrating and although he resented paying for it he said it was worth it.

  6. Moet je langs de hOLLANDSE KUSTEN rijden: Moord & Doodslag! Ik overdrijf voor gรฉรฉn spat.
    Verkeersregelaars, die wegen blokkeren, moest van de burgermeester van Den Haag, omdat Scheveningen propvol was, werden ook met de dood bedreigd . . . Mensen, bleven op het strand kamperen, was nog nooit eerder vertoond!
    Nee … Ik ga gewoon weer naar me nest en doe het kalm an … * http://www.friedabblog.wordpress.com * Amsterdam, 12 – 8 – 2020, 13.00 uur … , Hollandse tijd …

  7. When I saw your first photo, my mind instantly went to the state of the US Congress. That said, good for you for getting out of there – it looks like the stuff of nightmares, to me. I totally get the allure of coastal scenery – the views, the sounds, the smell of salty air. We were just saying how it’s been ages since we took a day trip to the Oregon coast. But the crowds at the most popular ones are most definitely a deterrent. Your grandfather gave me the first snicker of the day; โ€œwould you be in my grave as quick?โ€ Priceless… thank you for that!

  8. Interesting photos of the beach crowds. I am glad you took a drive through the forest and captured all those sweet ponies on your camera. Yes, that one poor mare looks a bit thin. Making milk for her growing foal has taken a toll on her.

  9. Sorry about your ear problems – glad there is an easy solution. Whew… it sure was great to get back to the green, the horses, and the Argentine Malbec. Traffic jams like that are one of the reasons we left California for the beauty of Montana!

  10. Better to stay at home if you can – less trouble and, to be honest, your garden is the nicest place in your photographs, bright, calm and free of bad-tempered tourists.

    Our version was “Would you get into my coffin so quick?”

    My favourite Nottingham phrase in relation to death is “There’s no pockets in a shroud”.

    Nice to know your ears are still vigorous. I last had mine done by the practice nurse about twenty five years ago.

    “They aren’t keen on us doing this,” she told me, “because they think it may damage your hearing.”

    I think that’s what she said anyway, but it was difficult to hear with an ear full of water.

    1. This is my fourth time – first was a good 50 years ago. The method is different now – suction. I like the Nottingham phrase. Thanks very much, Quercus.

Leave a Reply