A Very Wise Chicken

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Bantam chickens 1

Yesterday afternoon at Hockey’s Farm shop, a clutch of bantam chickens basked atop their coop.

Bantam chickens 2Others, now identified by Bruce Goodman as Sussex, stabbed at a swinging cauliflower.

I trust they will forgive me for having forgotten them.

With winds at 57 miles an hour and more than 60 m.p.h. gusts, we were drawn to visit Milford on Sea this afternoon

Waves 1Waves 2Waves 3Waves 4

for a look at the waves.

Seascape with Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight sailed along the horizon

Skyscape with Isle of Wight

 beneath the sliver-lined clouds.

Couple on promenade

A couple walked along the renewed promenade above the replacement beach huts;

Sea foam under steps

against the sides of which sea foam slapped and rolled up the steps to the beach.

Photographer in group in windPhotographer

A number of other photographers fought the winds

Sea spray 4Photographing the spray 1Photographing the spray 2

as they captured the blustery elements, or each other.

Photographing a watcher 1

Jackie watched this elderly person leaning on the bench and taking in the sea air for quite some time. She thought the woman was enjoying the activity rather more than her younger companions.

Boy braced against wind

This young man

Battling the wind

enjoyed testing himself against the gusts;

Couple with damp dog

a bedraggled dog hung its head;

Couple in rain

and a couple struggled across the car park.

Woman in car photographing

Some more sensible souls, operated their cameras from the safety of their cars.

Woman in car laughing

This  young woman laughed uproariously when I called her chicken.

Sea spray 3

Having an inkling that I might get a bit wet,

Waves advancing on car park

I leaned into the wind, spray lashing my face and my camera, and advanced to the sea wall as the waves came in from the Solent,

Sea spray 2

crashing over the wall

Sea spray 1

and me.

Soaked to the skin, I acknowledged that my friend in her car had really been very wise. This amused her even more. Back at home I changed into dry clothes.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s sublime lemon chicken; sautéed new potatoes, onions, and mange touts; and crunchy carrots and broccoli, with which I drank Ebeia Ribera del Duero 2015 from which Jackie abstained.

 

 

Mine, All Mine.

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This morning we dumped two more bags of garden cuttings in the Effort Recycling Centre.  Some of the branches had required sawing, so I cut up a few logs first. Afterwards we visited the GP surgery in Milford on Sea to make appointments for flu jabs; then drove back to New Milton to arrange an eye test at Boots Opticians.

We were then free for a forest drive.

Holmsley Passage

Holmsley Passage is beginning to show touches of autumn.

Cyclists

A pair of cyclists freewheeled, two abreast, down the hill into Burley, swinging round to their left.

Moorland with poniesPonies on moorland 2

Russet ponies on the moorland beyond the village merged with the brown bracken.

Waterlogged moorWaterlogged moor and cyclist

Patches of the terrain are becoming waterlogged,

Leaves in pool 1

with plants disappearing under water,

Waterlogged moor and ponies 1Waterlogged moor and pony 1Pony beside pool

and grazing animals not having far to travel for a drink.

Ponies on moorland road 1Ponies on moorland road 2

As usual the ponies ambled at will across the road,

Ponies on moorland verge 1Ponies on moorland verge 2

since they knew the grass is greener on the other side. A grey ambled along to join the others.

Cow 1Cow 2

Cattle stood staring on the verge;

Cow 3

Cows feet in ditch water 1Cow's feet in ditch water 2

waded in ditch water in order to reach the shrubbery,

Cow 5Cow 4

one letting me know what she thought of my intrusion;

Cow on road 1Cow on road 2Cows on road

or just took ownership of the road outside

Brunch

Hockey’s Farm Shop where we enjoyed a wholesome brunch. The garment on the back of the chair is placed there for the use of customers who may feel cold.

Gloucester Old Spot 1Gloucester Old Spot 2Gloucester Old Spot 3

Further down the road, lacking competition for the mast, a lone Gloucester Old Spot sow snuffled along snorting “mine, all mine”.

This evening we dined on fish fingers, chips, and baked beans. Jackie finished the Tsingao and I finished the minervois.

 

A Safe Distance

Quote

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This morning, Poppy demonstrated her recently acquired proficiency in completing puzzles – and in the process rather enviable flexibility.

Poppy 1Poppy 2Poppy 3Poppy 4Poppy 5

Here she works on one that she could not manage on her last visit.

Kneeling is an activity I avoid at all costs these days. It is an unflattering process involving a certain amount of grunting, grimacing, and agonising grinding of joints. However, in order to change the angle of focus of these photographs, it had to be done.

This is not a performance our granddaughter had witnessed before.

Poppy 6

She rapidly leapt to her feet, sped across the floor and observed the phenomenon at a safe distance. When assured that Grandpa was not a serious threat

Poppy 7Poppy 8Poppy 9

 Poppy calmly returned to her task with evident satisfaction.

Soon afterwards she adopted her daytime attire and led her parents back home to Upper Dicker.

bouquet

Helen and Rob had not seen the beautiful bouquet they had sent us, so I photographed it and e-mailed the image to them.

This afternoon, Shelly and Ron visited with another splendid floral tribute and congratulatory card.

Threatened with a return of high winds from tonight, we later returned chairs and hanging baskets to the comparative security of ground level.

This evening, Jackie and I dined on her savoury rice with spare ribs, spring rolls, and noodles. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Minervois.

Wait For Us

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This morning Jackie and I kept our appointment with Neils Dagless of Dagless and Whitlock. He witnessed our signatures on the mortgage documents. There was no charge for his service, but we were asked for a donation to the Oakhaven Hospice. We were happy to do this.

Becky and Ian, who had stayed the night, returned home after lunch. Matthew, Tess, and Poppy will remain with us until tomorrow.

Later this afternoon we posted the papers to O’Neill Patient in Stockport, then drove into a dank and dismal forest.

Hinchelsea Moor 1Hinchelsea Moor 2

Drizzling rain mist lay over Hinchelsea Moor,

Ponies in mist 1Ponies in mist 2Ponies in mist 3

and Wilverley Plain where we could just discern a few ponies,

Cow crossing car park

a damp cow crossing the soggy carpark,

Calves following mother

and its calves, passing a browsing pony,

Calves following mother

and lowing “wait for us”, as they followed.

Pony at Wilverley Pit

At Wilverley Pit I photographed one pony standing silhouetted,

Woman photographing pony

remaining stationary whilst another photographer followed suit.

Man petting pony

A young man patted a pony showing considerable interest in the snack he was eating.

Pony encounter

Having been satisfied, the creature reported prospects to another,

Man feeding pony

which was then equally successful.

Cars and pony

Cars kept their headlights on;

Man, dog, pony

and a few intrepid dog walkers ventured across the vanishing moor.

This evening the five of us dined on Hordle Chinese Take Away fare. All except Matthew and Poppy drank Tsingtao beer.

 

Twice In A Blue Moon

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Sun disc bordered by trees

This morning I made Tess a birthday card with a print of this photograph from a couple of days ago.

Jackie with Twice in a Blue Moon

Among various cards and presents we received this morning was this aptly named rose, Twice in a Blue Moon, from Becky and Ian.

Just after midday we drove off to Ringwood to get married.

Becky, Matthew, Ian, Tess, and Poppy were all waiting for us in the Registry Office car park. Jackie and I had a pre-ceremony meeting with one registrar, and the other showed members of our small group to their seats.

Becky, Poppy, IanIan and MatthewMatthew

When we entered the room we found that our guests had spread themselves out so as to fill all available space.

Jackie, Derrick, Becky, Registrar Naomi

Our delightful registrars were as amused as we were.

Matthew and Poppy 2

Registrar Carol took us through the service in a relaxed and friendly manner while Rachel wrote up the registry entry and our certificates. Poppy sat with her Dad, clutching the ring boxes, until she was summoned by Carol announcing “Poppy you’re on”.

Matthew and Poppy 3

Derrick, Jacky and Poppy 2

Poppy, Jackie and DerrickPoppy, Jackie, Derrick, Becky, Ian, MatthewMatthew and Poppy 4Poppy and registrar CarolBecky, Derrick, Jackie, PoppyDerrick, Jackie, Poppy

Derrick, Jackie and Poppy 1

She came forward and, photographed by her mother, performed her tasks admirably.

Matthew, Ian and Becky

The others looked on with pleasure;

Matthew and Poppy

then Poppy removed Matthew’s ring.

Becky photographing Jackie and Derrick

Tess also photographed Becky photographing

Derrick and Jackie 1Derrick and Jackie 2

the bride and groom after the ceremony;

Becky and Poppy

and Becky and Poppy entering the courtyard,

Derrick and Jackie 3Derrick and Jackie 4Derrick, Jackie, Becky and Poppy 2Derrick, Jackie, and BeckyDerrick, Jackie, Becky, and Poppy 1Becky, Derrick, Jackie, Ian, Tess, and Poppy

where confetti was thrown and further photographs were taken.

Poppy

We then repaired to the Inn on the Furlong. On the way Poppy took a rest on one of the sculptured seats in the square.

Matthew and Derrick 2Matthew and Derrick 1

In the pub, Tess photographed Matthew and me,

Poppy 2

and I photographed Poppy

Tess and Poppy

and Tess doing “Cheers”.

We ended the day sharing a Kurgee Lamb meal at Lal Quilla, where Raj and Rahoul shared our delight. I may report further on that tomorrow.

Anyone interested in interpreting today’s title is referred to ‘Reincarnation’.

 

Preparing For Ophelia

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(Gwen and Yvonne, divert your eyes when it comes to the culinary coda)

Compared with what has been inflicted on Wales and Ireland by the albeit waning hurricane Ophelia, we have got off lightly.

Chairs lain down

This morning we made our usual preparations for protection from strong winds, notably laying down chairs, pedestals,

Pelargoniums and marigolds

and hanging baskets.

Towards midday a fleeting glimpse of a bright red version of yesterday’s solar discs was seen peering from behind the billowing smoke

Clouds 1Clouds 2Clouds 3Clouds 4Clouds 5Clouds 6Clouds 7Clouds 8Clouds 9

 that was dark slate-coloured clouds. By the time I had gathered up the camera the sun had disappeared. The temperature was so unseasonably warm as to give the impression that there was, indeed, a fire somewhere.

Birds flying against clouds

I suspect that the birds thought they must be having a sleepless night;

Clouds and weeping birch

but the weeping birch still hung unmolested.

By early afternoon the sky had lightened and the sun played upon the garden.

Pansies

These pansies still brightened

Patio planting

the pots outside the kitchen door.

Fuchsia 1Fuchsias etc

Fuchsias are among the flowers still blooming beside the greenhouse.

Pelargoniums 1Pelargoniums 2Pelargoniums 4

Various pelargoniums,

Pelargoniums 3

including this sweetly scented one;

Begonias

and begonias still defy the coming of the first frost.

Petunias

Delicate striped petunias thrive in the Cryptomeria Bed;

Dahlias

and white dahlias in Elizabeth’s Bed.

Rose Just Joey 2

Among the rejuvenated roses are Just Joey,

Rose Aloha

Aloha,

Rose Lady Emma Hamilton

Lady Emma Hamilton,

Rose Mamma Mia

Mamma Mia,

Rose Peach Abundance

and, photographed later, when the wind was getting up and making this spray elusive to the lens, Pink Abundance.

Weeping birch in wind 1

The weeping birch was now waving about,

Cordyline Australis

as was the Cordyline Australis.

Weeping birch 2

I wondered how many of these leaves would be in place in the morning.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s divine liver and bacon, new potatoes, cabbage and mange touts, with which I drank Chateau Bonhomme minervois 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slinking Into The Trees

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Today’s weather pattern was similar to yesterday’s, that is mostly overcast with the sun emerging late in the afternoon. The emergence was rather later this time, and

Sun through clouds 1

the orb lacked complete confidence as it vied with the smoky clouds.

Ponies

Once again we ventured into the forest where, on the moors near Holmsley, I disembarked to mingle with a group of ponies.

Foal adolescent

One of this year’s earliest foals was growing into a fine young chap.

Foal adolescent 2Foal adolescent 3

He seemed rather brighter when the sun burst through;

Pony 1

as did his blonde companion.

Pony - woman in background

A woman in the background hurried through this shot in order not to spoil it. I told her that, on the contrary, she had made it.

Pony and bracken

I followed the animals as they forced their way through their bracken camouflage,

Pony crossing roadPony crossing road 2

and crossed Holmsley Passage

Ponies 2Ponies 3

to try the fodder on the other side.

Ponies 4Pony 2Ponies 5Pony 4Pony 6Pony 3Pony 7Oak leaf and ponyPony 8

I spent some time with them here.

Walkers with dogs

A group of walkers with a couple of small dogs passed by

and I turned to rejoin Jackie in the Modus. She was not where I had left her. I set off down the hill in search. Soon I saw her driving back up. Not having seen me slinking into the trees, she had gone in search of me. As she said, at least she had not been trying to preserve a table in a crowded café, which has sometimes been her lot as I have gone a-wandering.

Sun through treeSun disc and landscape 1Sun disc bordered by treesSun disc over horizonSun disc over landscape 2

On our return to Lymington we took a diversion to Goatspen car park to watch the skies taking on a smoky pink hue as the solar frisbee skimmed across them.

Jackie and toadstoolsToadstools 1

Jackie was delighted to spot a group of large toadstools.

We dined at Lal Quilla. My main meal was lamb Ceylon; Jackie’s, chicken sag; we shared special fried rice, an egg paratha, and an onion bhaji. We both drank Kingfisher. The food and friendly service was as good as ever.