I have been struggling against a heavy cold for three days. It was not until after lunch today that my coughing, spluttering, sneezing, and leaking nose had dried, and my dull head cleared adequately for me to accept the offered forest drive from Jackie. Yesterday I had declined.
It was therefore a shock to step out just after lunch into a gloomy day with a temperature just two degrees above freezing. Winter had crept up.
Although it is Sunday, there was very little sign of life.
The seasonal roadside pools, reflecting overhead branches, like these at East Boldre, are all now replenished; autumn leaves floating on their surfaces and scattered over the sward.
The narrow, winding, Tanners Lane with its ancient hedgerows exposing banked roots is, in warmer weather, popular enough for us to avoid the difficulty of finding a safe parking spot without slipping into a ditch.
The owners of this field have ensured, by blocking the entrance, that it will not be used as such.
This was therefore the perfect day for us to enjoy unhindered access to the beach with its views of the Isle of Wight.
A line of shore birds searched for food along the shallows of the tidal Lymington River.
This evening’s dinner consisted of Jackie’s spicy chilli con carne and rice, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I started another bottle of the Gran Selone before settling down to watch the World Cup football match between England and Senegal.