Drying Up

It is normal practice for someone from New Forest District Council to mark areas of the tarmac for repair with white corner lines. These sometimes stay so long that they can be erased by traffic.

A BBC News item of 17th May concerning Lymington and its environment begins with “Potholes in neighbouring towns have been daubed with penis images in an apparent attempt to speed up repairs.

Hampshire County Council said the graffiti in Lymington and Milford-on-Sea would be removed when engineers assessed the holes.” (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-65623391#)

Varying opinions are viewed in the article.

Today I photographed one in Ramley Road.

This was at the start of a forest drive after a successful hygienist clean of my elderly gnashers.

Dappled lanes enlivened our chosen route;

sunlight splashed the banked verges of South Sway Lane, while

the dribble of the drying stream beneath the ford on Holmsley Passage scarcely rippled what surface remained, and

Healthy grasses elegantly bent their heads beside it.

Cattle cropped the verges of Holmsley Road.

Shadows stretched across Bisterne Close, where the yellow flag irises and white water buttercups were now rooted in a dried up pool on the bed of which I stood to produce the third photograph in this gallery.

While we were out a veritable proliferation of foals had sprouted on Wotton Common. I wandered among them at will but only photographed a sample.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s classic cottage pie topped with potato slices baked with the mince; piquant cauliflower cheese; firm Brussels sprouts, and tasty gravy; followed by Flo’s moist and well textured mango cake and custard, with which the Culinary Queen drank more of the Asahi, and I drank more of the Malbec.

A New Visitor

Having already drafted yesterday’s post I joined the family on the patio chairs being entertained by Ellie in her bath, during which time I wandered off to have a look at Jackie’s planting from earlier in the day.

A creature that none of us recognised flew silently past my left ear and came to rest on a dry stem not yet removed from, appropriately enough, the Dragon Bed. Unusually, it remained long enough for me to return inside to collect my camera and to photograph it. In fact it remained in situ for much of the rest of the afternoon, circling those who disturbed it and returning to its chosen perch. Later research revealed our visitor to be a broad bodied female chaser – a dragonfly native to our New Forest.

Now I was grasping the camera I photographed a few flowers, each of which bears a title in the gallery.

This morning Jackie unclogged the Waterboy Fountain, and this

afternoon transferred the astrantia photographed yesterday in its pot to the soil in the Pond Bed.

After lunch I converted this post from Classic to Blocks edit and changed the category to Garden. I needed the assistance of Wayback Machine to identify missing photographs which I then traced in my iMac Photos, omitting rugby photos taken from the TV screen because they were not crucial to the post and I had had enough,

My gardening tasks today, partly this morning, partly this afternoon, involved dead heading and weeding.

I then photographed a batch of scenes which should put yesterday’s images into context. Again titles are with the galleries.

This set pictures the Rose Garden.

This evening we all dined on Hordle Chinese Take Away’s excellent fare, with which Jackie, Dillon, and I shared Asahi beer.

Finding Their Feet

We began this morning’s forest drive by delivering loaned oil filled radiators to Elizabeth – we took three; she told us she had only lent us two and now was our own. That came back with us and was deposited in our garden shed at the end of our trip.

We were pleased to find that the post box on Pilley Hill was once more decorated with skilful yarn work.

The usual pair of swans glided along Hatchet Pond,

bringing their seven offspring into the mooring bay, in preparation for

a lesson in walking up a slippery slope. Father led the way with arguably the four fittest; followed by mother with three slower cygnets.

Parents periodically paused to preen,

as did this year’s progeny.

In any group there is always a straggler. So it was with this one.

Leaving Dad at the summit with siblings

Mum stepped back down to offer encouragement to the one who had had enough. We moved off before we learned whether or not she was successful,

looked at the waterlilies,

and continued to Ran’s Wood, where

the stream at the bottom of the slope is now drying up.

The roaring and lowing of cattle disappearing behind shrubbery along its path seemed in protest at the paucity of refreshment. Although I could not see them their sound shattered the sweet birdsong, the drone of an overhead aircraft, and the call of a cuckoo.

I settled for shots of ponies on the opposite hillside.

Along Furzey Lane a seated shaggy donkey and a couple of cows basked in the sunshine. In fact, apart from those on the move above, all the cattle we saw were lying down.

Another donkey still sporting winter wear enjoyed a good scratch at East Boldre until

joined by a friendly foal of the other equine kind.

This evening we all dined on tasty baked gammon; piquant cauliflower and broccoli cheese; boiled new potatoes; and crunchy carrots, with which Jackie finished the Viognier and I drank Trivento Mendoza Malbec 2021.

The Holiday Season Is Upon Us

On the first bank holiday weekend of the holiday season in the New Forest there was much traffic on Holmsley Passage this morning: this took the form of

walkers, cars, and cyclists risking twisted ankles while negotiating potholes;

and a pony and trap I tracked approaching down the hill,

exchanging friendly greetings as they passed and travelled on to glide by a string of yellow-clad children on bikes.

A pair of horse riders clopping behind our parked Modus chose to diverge into the moorland rather than to confront either the small equines in harness or the vehicles following them.

Sensing that today would be hot, ponies on the moorland approaching Burley were already attracting visitors, with or without cameras, as they clustered together for their seasonal mutual protection.

Later, I finished reading the first volume of Dostoevsky’s “A Raw Youth”, then converted the following post from Classic to Block edit, changing its category to Garden:

For dinner this evening we all enjoyed succulent roast lamb; roasted potatoes, including the sweet variety; crunchy carrots; firm Brussels sprouts and broccoli; and meaty gravy, with which I drank more of the Côtes du Rhône and Jackie drank more of the Viognier.

A Garbled Mess

This morning I carried out weeding – involving brambles I had to cut down because I could not uproot them – and dead heading as normal.

Later I recovered images for the following posts:

I changed the category of the second one to Garden.

I then spent all afternoon attempting to do the same for:

Anyone who cares to click on this will see what I was presented with, namely a fusion of the required post, including the correct header, with text about another post entitled “Lunchtime”.

I am happy to say that Wayback Machine came to the rescue with the correct post from 30th June 2014. I still needed, with essential assistance from Flo, to edit the full content into the garbled mess above, with the following result:

This evening, with the addition of fresh salad and sprinkled Parmesan cheese, we all dined on a repeat sitting of yesterday’s pasta arrabbiata with which Jackie drank Duca di Sasseta Terre Siciliane Viognier 2021, and I drank more of the Côtes du Rhône.

Different Hair Colour

The pictures posted on https://derrickjknight.com/2023/05/23/village-life/ taken by Flo of her grandmother and Ellie reminded Becky of this one she had herself produced of Jackie and Flo in her own grandmother’s garden in 1997.

She e-mailed it to me last night. Here is the generational repeat. Only the babies’ hair colouring is different.

This morning we shopped at Tesco where, in a combination of the forthcoming bank holiday and school half term there were more than usual customers and less than normal products on the shelves.

There are two volumes to the edition of Dostoevsky’s “A Raw Youth” that I am currently reading. Today I almost finished the first one. I will feature the book when I have reached the end.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s spicy three coloured fusilli pasta arrabbiata with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Les Aumôniers Séguret Côte du Rhône Villages 2020.

A Bed Of Buttercups And Daisies

While attending to my morning start of responding to readers’ comments and reading others’ posts, I was alerted by a question on https://bvitelli2002.wordpress.com to the fact that

had not been updated from Classic to Block edit. I therefore rectified this so that Barbara will be able to view it properly.

After a trip to the Milford Pharmacy on this warm and sunny in a week in which we have been beamed from wet winter to a midsummer period Jackie drove me to Hockey’s Farm Shop for brunch where she

photographed our substantial meals, and, through the open door,

a busy blackbird on the ground and a thatched pig on a roof.

Many may trees, like these at Ogden’s North, are festooned with spreading blossom enlivening the landscape.

The rippling, reflecting, stream at the bottom of the hill seems very shallow during this dry spell.

Back at the top of the slope we looked down on a herd of deer who, even at this distance, got wind of me and scarpered sharpish.

One foal, its mother chomping unconcerned, sprawled on a bed of buttercups and daisies; another pony standing guard in the middle of the road at Ibsley, where, further on, a second infant stood by its Dam.

This evening we all enjoyed a meal of Ashleigh fish, chips, and onion rings; Garner’s pickled onions; and Mrs Elswood’s pickled gherkins.

Robin In Attendance

Jackie and I put in gardening stints early on another warm and sunny day, while Martin continued throughout the day.

Continuing my war with velcro-stemmed sticky Willy, I weeded and dead-headed a little.

Martin came to us on the recommendation of Jackie’s sister Helen. One of the last jobs he carried out for her included extracting a clump of geraniums from her front wall. She gave this clump to Jackie. Today

the Head Gardener separated this into individual plants and positioned them in the soil around the patio border – one can be seen at bottom left of the first two pictures in this gallery.

Accompanied by a pair of Nugget’s progeny

our gardening friend spent the day clearing and tidying more of the Rose Garden. Where’s Martin? (4) is the subject of the first in this gallery.

Here we have pink Festive Jewel with white Madame Alfred Carrière; magenta Roserie de l’Haie with yellow Laura Ford; white Winchester Cathedral; pink Schoolgirl before a yellow climber; pink Shropshire Lad beside Gloriana; peach Crown Princess Margareta; red thornless Zephirine Drouhin; a close up of Roserie de l’Haie; and bright red Altissimo.

This evening we all dined on succulent pork and apple sausages and creamy mash; flavoursome carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts, and tasty gravy with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Bardolino.

Village Life

While we sat round the patio table before dinner yesterday Flo took

these photographs of Jackie and Ellie which she e-mailed to me.

This morning my lady attended a coven meeting with her two sisters,

and dropped me at Milford-on-Sea on her way there, collecting me three and a half hours later after I had taken a rather more than a few photographs and caught a touch of the sun.

Most of the time I sat on the same bench seat although I did walk up and down a bit for changes in perspective.

This first gallery contains a woman sporting shorts seemingly plugged into soothing music; another dressed in a striped tent; another carrying co-ordinated bundles; another, green-clad, clasping car keys; and a gentleman opening his boot.

Car drivers were in and out of the parking spots throughout the morning; cycling was another popular form of transport. The individual gentleman in this group was just setting off having uncoupled his steed from the rack in the first image which later accommodated two others locked together. Interestingly it was only the child in the family group who wore a crash helmet.

Other children, such as this one passing the Charity shop, enjoyed other forms of transport, like the buggy contrasting poignantly with the approaching elderly gentleman’s walking trolley.

The Bridge on the Hill is quite a focal point – notice the wall-mounted defibrillator. The woman crouching down outside went on to visit the outlet, the proceeds of which support the village Community Centre.

Anyone using this crossing, as did this infant crocodile, could not miss the shop.

People also gather outside The Village News, described as a traditional newsagent. This group conversed long enough to test the patience of the dog which was quite happy to sit and watch the world go by.

Dogs are in abundance wherever one goes in this area. The one in the van didn’t have to wait long for its owner to return from the Co-op.

Other shop windows speak for themselves. Note the hat held by the bollard outside Timeless Fabrics which had not opened when I first arrived. I wonder whether the cap will be retrieved.

I spent an enjoyably engaging hour talking with friendly David Heath and his equally amenable wife Janet from Colorado. Janet joined us between periods of visiting the local shops.

The couple walked on past the telephone box book exchange.

A number of men were occupied making deliveries; one in this set used a sack barrow; the postman pushed a cart and entered the shops with armfuls.

The most impressive handling of delivery transport was by Ben who I may not have spoken with had it not been for a near miss we both witnessed. One driver came down the hill alongside which we were sitting, drove across the the double lines evident in the picture above, and suddenly turned right without seeming to see a car approaching from Sea Road opposite. Had the driver of that vehicle not made a screeching emergency stop there would have been a collision.

Ben said that this was a very dangerous corner and such situations occurred all the time. He then revealed that he drove the Co-op van. He had started at 4.30 a.m. carrying out a string of deliveries. Although the vehicle was loaded when he collected it, he unloaded alone at each store he visited.

The manoeuvre that he needed, so skilfully, to employ had to be seen to be believed. He turned left past the Co-op; reversed down Sea Road; came forward into the high street and swung round up the hill; with the aplomb to wave as he passed me on his way.

After photographing one of the ubiquitous feral pigeons pecking up scraps

I noticed a relaxed conversation opposite which was completed with a farewell hug.

This evening we dined on chicken marinaded in Nando’s medium piri-piri sauce and Jackie’s flavoursome vegetable rice, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Borodino.

From Lane Verges To Garden Makeover

Although it was to return after lunch,

the perky sun enlivening the verges of South Baddesley lanes I photographed this morning was soon seen off by colourless cloud cover.

The ferns and other plants bursting from the verges provide veritable rope ladders for sticky willy weeds like those with which we currently grapple daily in our garden.

The borders of Brook Hill are lined with white meadowsweet and hedgerows of various hues,

interspersed with golden buttercups, prehistoric mares’ tails, and decorative grasses;

a persistently pendant broken branch clings to life beside upright horse chestnut candelabra.

Passing ponies on the moorland of Norleywood, we visited Elizabeth at Burnt House Lane

to inspect her garden makeover which has provided a new purpose for a certain amount of the paving removed from our patio

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s colourful savoury rice with tempura, hot and spicy, and salt and pepper prawn preparations, and duck spring rolls, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Giulio Pasotti Bardolino Classico 2021.