21 Chestnut Road

This afternoon we visited another NGS garden – 21 Chestnut Road, Brockenhurst.

This is my selection of photographs;

here are Flo’s. As usual each of these images bears a title in the galleries.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla where the food and service was as good as ever. Jackie’s main course was Lal Quilla Special, Flo’s was Lamb Biriani, and mine was Chicken Jaljala. We shared pilau rice, sag paneer, egg paratha, and peshwari Nan. Jackie and I drank Kingfisher, while Flo drank J2O.

A Surfeit Of Foals

This afternoon Jackie drove me into the forest. She spotted a possibly sleeping foal on the verge of Wilverley Road and parked the car so I could walk back to find the prone animal.

As I reached it it clambered to its feet and sought

the comfort of its mother who twitched her tail, perhaps wishing to deter the suckler and necessitating a hoof-scratch.

On my return to the car I photographed the woodland landscape,

followed by that at Wilverley Pit which accommodated its own scattered herd.

The South Weirs telephone box just outside Brockenhurst has now become a public book exchange as have so many now surplus to requirements because no-one uses them any more.

Another foal on the opposite side of the road from the box took great interest in the roadside furniture, essentially traffic calming devices such as the narrowing of the access negotiated by this

Vintage Hot Rod Society member.

Another foal lay among other ponies on the outskirts of Beachern Wood,

where a squirrel stop-start jerked its way across a five-barred gate.

Ober Water is a little fuller than on our last visit, and reflects the surrounding trees, many of the roots of which have been exposed by decades of rivulets.

Some of those roots even span arms of the stream.

I reached the stage where there were so many foals about that I stopped photographing them.

This exceptional group, planted on a bend in the road and consequently causing traffic to make a very wide berth warranted further attention.

This evening we dined on more of the baked gammon; plump chicken thighs; macaroni cheese; crunchy carrots; tender runner beans; and tangy red cabbage, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Faugères.

Still More To Be Done

This morning Jackie did the lion’s share of the weeding and trimming, while I dead headed a few poppies, generally cleared refuse and added it to the compost bins, and dug out one large bramble. Unfortunately I can’ safely reach many more which will need to wait for Martin next week.

Before lunch I walked around with my camera.

Close scrutiny of these general shots, all of which are titled in the gallery, will reveal that there is still more to be done. The last picture is “Where’s Jackie?” (12)

Much of the afternoon was spent on continuing categorising Books posts.

This evening we dined on tasty baked gammon; creamy macaroni cheese; piquant cauliflower cheese; zesty red cabbage; and crunchy carrots, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden, Flo drank Kombucha Ginger and Lemon; and I drank Faugères 2019.

Sleeping List

This morning I posted https://derrickjknight.com/2022/05/11/a-knights-tale-132-awaiting-the-arrival/

While streaking rain of varying velocity pelted upon us all afternoon, Jackie drove Flo and me to Lyndhurst where our granddaughter bought a selection of craft materials.

On our return home we diverted into woodland around Brockenhurst.

An egret in Highland Water flew off just after I took this shot.

Reflecting pools were already forming on the recently dry terrain; raindrops pelted rapidly increasing circles over rippling reflections on the stream’s surface, clear enough to reveal

the gravel bed beneath;

year upon year of such deluges have exposed bank-side roots of

lichen-covered oaks.

We drove down the gravelled roadway towards Standing Hat, passing cattle, crows, and ponies occupying the woodlands.

Decaying and lichen-clad fallen branches juxtaposed with old and new fallen leaves demonstrated the march of forest ecology.

We watched a sleeping foal’s continuing list, oblivious of its mother’s easing away for her fodder.

This evening we dined on fishcakes with a soft cheese centre; new potatoes with onions; piquant cauliflower cheese; crunchy carrots; and tender peas with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden, I drank more of the Malbec, and Flo drank elderflower cordial.

A Knight’s Tale (132: Awaiting The Arrival)

With about two days to go before Sam’s expected arrival into Port St Charles, excitement was enhanced by

Sunset 5.04 1
Sunset 5.04 2
Sunset 5.04 3

a golden sunset, which is almost a cliché. Not in Port St Charles.

Jessica, Louisa & friend 5.04

Jessica watches as Louisa shows her photographs to Dixie Dean, the Society’s cameraman.

Sunbury bird 5.04

Birds like the Yellow breasted Sunbury,

Barbados bullfinch 5.04

and the Barbados Bullfinch, the only indigenous species, which is found nowhere else, take advantage of nature’s camouflage,

Barbados Land crab 5.04

as does the land crab.

Grackle 5.04 002

The grackle

Sanderling 5.04

and the sanderling don’t seem to need it.

Coconut cutting 5.04

This gentleman demonstrates the method of releasing milk from a coconut.

For a number of years my friend bo Beolens, who has written a number of bird books and who, as Fatbirder, runs an international birding website used my picture of the Lesser Antillean Bullfinch to illustrate his Barbados page.

Caribbean Sea

Just before the expected arrival time even the previously bright blue Caribbean Sea darkened,

Rainbow 5.04

and a rainbow arced over Port St Charles.

I was regularly in touch with Radio Nottingham to deliver live updates from my mobile phone. That night, I opened our balcony doors so that listeners could hear the deafening waves crashing in from the Atlantic. Unknown to me, these were the forces that had caused Sam to drop his anchor to prevent him from arriving during the night.

Along Church Lane

Ten years ago yesterday I began this blog as a daily diary in order to keep my children up to date with my activities. Since then I have taken, different additional directions, largely stimulated by the encouragement and interests of a quite unexpected number of followers and friends from all over the world. Until comparatively recently all posts were uncategorised, making some subjects difficult for new and longer standing readers to track.

One development has been writing about books, often illustrated. This morning I embarked upon the task of changing the category of posts featuring observations about them. “Books” entries will often be found contained within the other activities of the day. A simple example of this is https://derrickjknight.com/2013/09/05/carthage/

Since I have to trawl through almost 4,000 posts to find these, I might take some time.

This afternoon Jackie drove me into the forest for a short trip.

We took the Sandy Down route to

Church Lane. The second of the above images shows a gentleman making good progress on his postprandial constitution; the first is a section at right angles to

a bridge over the stream reflected in the water’s surface.

The lane slopes up to St John the Baptist parish church, where the Ukrainian flag heard flapping in the churchyard on this otherwise silent afternoon adds an extra poignancy to the many others flying in our locality.

Beside the church, ponies crop the verdant fields.

English bluebells still thrive along the way,

between the ancient hedgerow banks along which gnarled roots are exposed.

This evening we dined on well cooked roast lamb; crisp roast potatoes, sage and onion stuffing, and Yorkshire pudding; crunchy carrots; firm broccoli and cauliflower; mint sauce and meaty gravy, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Malbec.

The Enigma Of Arrival

This morning I posted https://derrickjknight.com/2022/05/09/flos-take-on-the-house-in-the-wood/

The rest of the day was spent on finishing reading “The Enigma Of Arrival”, by V.S.Naipaul.

The sub-title ‘A Novel’ is necessary, otherwise, particularly as the first person narrator drives in England as a 17 year old Trinidadian, as did the writer.

This outstanding work chronicles the life history of the man interlaced with that of the writer.

It was the Greek philosopher Heraclitus who believed https://derrickjknight.com/2014/01/25/all-is-flux-nothing-stays-still/

Naipaul demonstrates this in the book. Through three decades he follows the changes in the experiences of a Wiltshire village in which he settles; the gradual dwindling of the significance of a decaying Manor House and its denizens; the development of changes to buildings, countryside, and gardens; the comings and goings of residents, personnel, and their relationships; interwoven lives and deaths.

Simultaneously he progresses the evolution of a neophyte to a maturing author through the device of returning to triggered memories and describing them afresh in later contexts, layering them like the patina of a precious, fondly handled piece of antique treen.

The writer contrasts the cycles of natural seasons with those of humanity and its artefacts; plants like ivy return naturally, whereas others, such as roses need careful maintenance, as do buildings.

The language flows beautifully; bucolic and gardening descriptions are thoroughly delightful. His characterisation has depth and understanding.

I would have been very happy to have possessed the skill to have written this book.

As I was drafting this, Elizabeth e-mailed me a few more photographs from yesterday’s trip.

The forest floor picture fitted quite well with Naipaul’s theme.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent sausages in red wine; boiled new potatoes in their skins; crunchy carrots; and tender broccoli, green and runner beans, with which she drank Diet Cola, Flo drank Elderflower Cordial, and I drank Mendoza Malbec 2019.

Flo’s Take On The House In The Wood

As will be seen from yesterday’s post, Florence accompanied us on our visit to this glorious garden.

She produced her own splendid photographic record.

I am particularly grateful to her for the images created from beside the lake which I, adjudging the descent too precarious, was unable to reach. As usual each of these images are titled in the galleries.

The House In The Wood

This afternoon Jackie, Flo, Elizabeth, and I visited The House in the Wood garden outside Beaulieu, under the National Gardens Scheme. The photographs can speak for themselves, although each one is titled in the gallery.

Beside Hatchet Lane on our return home we encountered our first foals of the season:

both donkeys,

and ponies, one of whom had some difficulty when attempting to suckle.

After the visit Elizabeth dropped off at her home en route and then joined us for dinner, which consisted of Jackie’s succulent sausages in red wine; creamy mashed potatoes; crunchy carrots; and firm broccoli and cauliflower. My wife and sister drank the last of the Picpoul de Pinet; I finished the Fitou; and Flo drank water.

Whose Core?

After a visit to Ferndene Farm shop this morning Jackie drove me into the forest, where, as in Beckley Common Road,

posts protecting verges along lanes are being planted to keep off the eagerly anticipated summer influx of visiting vehicles.

Field horses along this road are already wearing their fly masks protecting eyes and ears from their own less welcome visitors.

I am not sure what crop we can expect to grace this opposite field.

A fairly widespread forest feature is the random apple tree such as these at Thorney Hill,

with its gorse-gold landscapes, and in

Forest Road . We could easily have focussed on many more today. Whenever we do we always speculate on the muncher whose apple core provided the seed for others to enjoy. Was it lobbed from a car?, tossed on a walk?, or chucked from a folding picnic chair?

Forest Road woodland also contains pink-hued hawthorn, otherwise known as may. We are enjoined ‘ne’er [to]cast a clout until May be out’, prompting a time-honoured controversy. A clout is an archaic word for an item of clothing; and cast means shed, as in take off. The proverb refers to putting aside our winter clothing. There is, however, no consensus as to whether the upper case month of May is meant, or the lower case may tree. If the old saw (proverb) refers to May, then ‘be out’ means ‘has ended’; if may, ‘be out’ signifies ‘has bloomed’. This may never be settled. Whichever is correct, today I wore shirt-sleeves, sans undershirt and sans jacket – with neither the English nor the American vest. So, with either interpretation, I have it covered.

Donkeys shedding winter coats cropped the verges on our return road out of Brockenhurst, while ponies kept clear of the tarmac.

This evening we dined on pork spare ribs and Jackie’s savoury rice with which she drank Hoegaarden, Flo drank Kombucha ginger and lemon, and I drank L’Ayrolle Fitou 2019.