About derrickjknight

I am a septuagenarian enjoying rambling physically and photographing what I see, and rambling in my head as memories are triggered. I also ramble through a lifetime's photographs

A Quotation From My Grandad

I have previously mentioned an unfortunate complication arising from my knee replacement operation in May. Today, after some delay and a cancellation, Jackie was able do drive me to Lymington Hospital for a visit to consultant, Mr J. Douglas. After various tests he offered the opinion that my prostate is only slightly enlarged and that there may have been some internal damage caused by efforts to insert a catheter. He was not worried about this, but, given that I cannot have my second knee replacement unless the condition, which might need a catheter designed for this not unusual problem, is confirmed, he has placed me on an urgent referral for further investigation with a camera.

Before this visit we lunched at Redcliffe Garden Centre at Bashley. Written on the roof supports of the establishment’s restaurant are memorable quotations about gardening. Following on from one from Longfellow is this one by

 ‘My Grandad’. Enlargement should make this legible, but for those needing it, here is the text: ‘A face without freckles is like a garden without flowers’.

I chose the steak pie meal. The excellent gravy relieved the impression that the meal was perhaps a bit overheated – it was, however, the last one, and despite appearances tasted very good. Jackie enjoyed her customary jacket potato with tuna mayonnaise and plentiful fresh salad.

We had taken a diversion in the forest. At Brockenhurst, just as I drew a bead on it a heron took off from the bank of a stream outside Brockenhurst.

After the consultation we sped off to the GP Surgery at Milford on Sea to deposit a requisition for medication to relax the casing of the prostate. Naturally this led us to the coast just before sunset.

The Isle of Wight, The Needles, and the lighthouse sat well in their pink and indigo pastel surroundings.

This colour scheme set off the more strident streaks of the setting sun,

opposite which sweeping clouds revealed blue skies.

As usual the heaving sea, the rock-splashing spray, and the crunching shingle reflected the overhead hues.

Soon after sunset the clearer skies revealed a finely drafted crescent moon above Downton.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s choice chilli con carne served with flavoursome savoury rice. Elizabeth drank Hop House Lager and I drank Outlook Bay Central Otago Pinot Noir 2017.

Hay Ho

This morning Aaron of A.P. Maintenance completed his preparation of the Rose Garden for winter that is still being kept at bay.

A week or so back he gave the shrub roses a good haircut. Today he laid our two year old compost around their bases.

Clumps of bright yellow bidens, like these at the foot of our sculpture, Florence;

Little irises, heucheras, lamium, and geraniums;

a fig flowering in the Palm Bed;

and this clematis on the Westbrook Arbour, all speak of the season’s confusion.

This morning I helped Elizabeth load her car with belongings to take to her Pilley house. This afternoon Jackie and I followed this up by unloading them for her. We then continued on a forest drive.

The lake that has been mostly dry during the summer once more bears ripples and reflections.

Bustling goats in a field alongside Jordans Lane competed in a dodgem race for first bite at the bundles of hay clutched under their speeding keeper’s left arm.

On an open space beside Bull Hill a group of stumpy little ponies chomped on their own food.

From here we sped off to Mudeford, arriving just in time for sunset. While I was taking these shots

I was unaware that Jackie was adding her own sequence, featuring me among the silhouettes.

Preening swans,

one with an entourage of gulls, completed the picture.

Elizabeth returned in the evening and we all dined on Jackie’s splendidly hot chilli con carne and toothsome savoury rice. My sister drank Hop House Lager; my wife drank Hoegaarden; and I finished the Merlot

A Go At Grooming

On another wet and windy day, I stayed at home and scanned the last of the colour slides from Jacqueline’s 60th birthday party.

Here is another I have found of Emily adoring her little cousin, Jessica Grace;

more of Sam

and Holly,

seen also with Emily

and Michael,

here speaking to Alex and the blacksmith’s daughter,

who took Emily horse riding.

Jacqueline’s daughter, my niece Alex, runs a stables from home.

Alice got to groom one of the animals

and, led by her cousin Alex, take a ride on another. Oliver, Emily, and Abbie bring up the rear.

Jacqueline’s three sons are Jack Junior;

Mark, seen with his son Matthew,

and with his wife Jo and daughter Abbie;

and James, the oldest,

the father of Iliare (I doubt very much that I have spelled her name correctly).

Adam, Elizabeth’s son, and Thea, now his wife, both drank Kronenbourg

Danni

and Elizabeth enjoyed a quiet moment.

Our brother Joseph and his wife,

Angela, also demonstrated closeness.

 Chris was also with us.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid sausage casserole; incredibly creamy mashed potato; and crunchy carrots, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Elizabeth and I drank Gérard Bertrand Réserve Spéciale Merlot 2017

Nice Weather For Ducks

Christchurch Road was once a quiet country lane. Still serpentine, it has become a major route between Lymington and Christchurch, suffering from the curse of Open Reach, the maintenance arm of BT. No trip around our area is complete without its Open Reach sighting. Often, as this morning, we are held up by

temporary traffic lights and a traffic tailback from one of their vans engaged in repair work along the way. This particular warning sign appears to have sustained several good kickings.

The letterbox affixed to Elizabeth’s entry gate in Burnt House Lane, Pilley, becomes filled with water resulting in sodden correspondence. We therefore drove over for our Maintenance Department (Jackie) to remove it, which she did most efficiently.

Burnt House Lane is also retaining rainwater. Here are views to the right

and to the left of Elizabeth’s house.

Her neighbour keeping a boat in the garden must know a thing or two.

After a short visit to see how my sister was getting along, we ventured further into the waterlogged forest, where, on the road to Burley, we encountered a

flood under the railway bridge serving Brockenhurst, one of the few lines that escaped the Beeching Axe.

Drivers approached the winterbourne waters with care, avoiding the deeper side,

as the seasonal stream sped across the moorland on either side of the bridge.

I had contemplated walking under the bridge to photograph the other side, but thought better of it and allowed Jackie to drive me over. There was nowhere to park the car, so I aimed this one through her open window. It didn’t seem a good idea further to delay following vehicles.

It was not unusual to find, at the corner of South Sway and Flexford Lanes, that the Lymington River had burst its banks and flooded neighbouring fields.

We haven’t, however, ever before, noticed a solitary moorhen meandering among saturated tussocks,

or a sord of mallards paddling across such soggy sward.

Flexford Lane itself clearly reflected its environment.

It was, as the saying goes, nice weather for ducks.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent sausage casserole; creamy mashed potatoes; Tender Savoy cabbage and crunchy carrots, with which Elizabeth and I finished the Malbec.

What’s For Lunch?

On another dismal but drier day, Elizabeth left early to transport Mum to her respite care home in Netley.

A little later Jackie and I drove to Ringwood where I collected some printer inks while she did some Christmas shopping. We met in

Café Aroma where we lunched to our satisfaction.

I chose Italian ham turkey and mushroom pie; roast potatoes and veg,while Jackie’s meal was a jacket potato with tuna and salad.

Santa has learned that hobbits have moved into Ringwood where they have constructed a purpose built chimney. Here he is testing it for size. From the length of his legs he won’t be able to stand up in a hobbit’s house.

Some of the shops have entered into the spirit of the season.

Edinburgh Woollen Mill lies across the road from the café;

a couple of doors away is M & Co.

Ringwood Fabrics brightens The High Street,

as does Townhouse Hair Co.,

across the road from which Roberts Jewellers

rather appropriately rubs shoulders with Anna’s Bridal Gowns.

Arcade Flowers

warrants a second image.

On our way home we took a diversion through the forest.

We were led along the road between Ibsley and South Gorley by string of forlorn looking bedraggled ponies

wrapped in towels, apparently having just got out of the bath.

Even I, after stepping from the car, was able to keep up with them as, heads down, they trudged along the centre of the tarmac.

They wandered hopefully into the driveway of Mockbeggar Cottage, but came away unsatisfied. I imagine they are often provided with lunch there.

They were restricted to their usual trampled fare on the village green.

At Ogdens I was rash enough to open my passenger window to photograph a pair of donkeys on hedge cutting duties at the verge.

This is always a signal for these delightful, gentle, creatures to stick their heads through the window silently asking “what’s for lunch?”. I was quite grateful that they do not slobber.

Having seen what we had for lunch it is only to be expected that Jackie and I dined this evening on small portions of her delicious beef pie meal. Elizabeth will be home later.

 

 

Chances Of Making It Through Christmas

This Wednesday weather was warm, wet, yet unwilling to welcome the slightest sign of sunshine.

Jackie and I visited Lyndurst for a little Christmas shopping then enjoyed

brunch at Lyndhurst Tea Rooms, after which we took a trip by car into the dripping forest.

A clutch of chickens at East Boldre

gave the cold shoulder to

a pair of geese who were no doubt discussing their chances of making it through Christmas.

Peering through the misty precipitation from the end of Tanner’s Lane I presumed that EU regulations have not  restricted the activities of the sole fishing boat trawling  The Solent at that point.

On such a day as this, loggers burning branches at Norley Wood surely had no need of the flames to keep them warm.

A string of ponies blocking the road at Pilley conveniently stepped aside, just giving me time to bring up the tail.

We retuned home via Burnt House Lane, where there was no flame in sight.

Tomorrow morning, Elizabeth will be driving Mum to a respite care home in Netley. In readiness for this, friends Pauline and Jo sent Elizabeth this photograph, attached to a text with the caption

Cheering up your Mum.

On the wall to the far right of this picture is a charcoal portrait of Elizabeth watching our first television that I made about 60 years ago.

This evening we dined on smoked haddock; creamy mashed potatoes; piquant cauliflower cheese; moist ratatouille; crisp carrots; and tender runner beans. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and Elizabeth and I drank Western Cape Malbec 2018.

A Crocodile Crossing

Jackie and I went for a drive in the forest this morning, while Elizabeth took it easy at home. Once again we were fortunate to have ventured out during the short spell of sunshine we were to experience today.

Even as noon approached shadows were long on the approach to Wilverley Plain.

The deciduous oaks still bear most of their golden foliage,

some of which, having floated down on the breeze. glowed among damp grasses rapidly

becoming waterlogged in parts, reflecting surrounding trees and skies.

The large pond beside the telephone box just outside Brockenhurst has been bone dry all summer. It has now filled up again, mirroring gnarled naked arboreal displays and nearby homes.

Three russet ponies kept down the grass near the local postbox propped up by a slightly slanting pedestal.

The two apparently sharing a patch of sward were not as close as it might appear. The darker haired individual, which momentarily lifted its head as I lifted my camera,

firmly nudged the other with its albeit velvety muzzle, indicating it should keep its distance. This was definitely not foreplay.

Having worked up a thirst they crossed the gravel drive to the houses, passed the telephone box, and fleetingly slaked their thirst.

Quite suddenly they turned away and wandered back into the forest.

At the entrance to the village we were held up by teaching staff shepherding a crocodile of children across the road.

We enjoyed an excellent lunch at Holmsley Old Station Tea Rooms. My meal consisted of a well-filled steak and ale pie containing slivers of rosemary, served with chips, fresh vegetables and tasty gravy; Jackie’s was a jacket potato with cheese and coleslaw accompanied by an excellent salad. She drank coffee and I drank sparkling water.

We thought it best to wait for an equestrienne struggling to contain a skittish trotting pony, mane flying, to emerge from Thatchers Lane before we entered that narrow track on our way home.

Later this afternoon Elizabeth returned to Pilley for further work on moving in. On her way back this evening she collected our dinner of cod and chips from Mr Pink’s. My sister and I  finished the Cotes du Rhone and Jackie drank Hoegaarden.