Along The Lanes

The third Test Match between India and England finished very early on this, the second, day, giving me the opportunity to stop watching Channel 4 and for Jackie to take me on a forest drive after purchasing primulas and violas from Ferndene Farm Shop.

She parked on an un-waterlogged section of the verges while I walked olong photographing

still naked oak branches against the sky;

swathes of snowdrops in the woodland, wet enough to harbour

reflective pools; as did the

soggy verges.

Fallen trees among the snowdrops bore moss, holly, and ivy leaves.

I returned to the car and we continued to Anna Lane,

on one side of which two New Forest ponies were penned in a field, perhaps for someone to train for riding;

and on the other side sprawled a lengthy pig farm.

Finally, a splendidly sculptural oak stump stands at a bend on Bennet’s Lane.

This evening we dined on well roasted chicken thighs, crisp roast potatoes, parsnips, Yorkshire puddings, and sage and onion stuffing; flavoursome Brussels sprouts and carrots, with which the Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Shiraz. Bakewell tart and vanilla ice cream was to follow,

Reversing Hokusai’s Wave

Nick continued his meticulous preparation work on the sitting room today. The first four of these pictures show him filling blemishes; in the next he tests his smoothing success; the last shows a filled section of wall. This was all done before we left him to it and travelled to Tyrell’s Ford hotel for lunch with Helen, Bill, Shelly, and Ron, before such a meeting is subjected to the next coronavirus lockdown the day after tomorrow.

We enjoyed congenial company reminiscing and discussing Netflix series, politicians, Covid 19, and suchlike. My choice of main meal was an excellent beef burger served with relish on a wooden plank, and a miniature fish fryer scoop full of well cooked chips. Jackie’s pick was linguini; the others all chose beef (sic) bourguignon. My dessert was apple and blackberry crumble and custard – a popular choice. Jackie and Helen each preferred a rich chocolate thingy. I drank Flack’s Double Drop. The rest of the group drank different beverages and coffee, from which I abstained.

We returned home via

Anna Lane,

continuing to Bennet’s Lane where Jackie parked while I photographed the

effects of the late afternoon sun,

while a solitary plane chugged overhead.

She also allowed me to disembark at Harrow Road, on the other side of Bransgore where I produced more

skyscapes including

this one reminiscent of a reversal of Hokusai’s wave on which I based my logo for Sam’s ocean row, “The Big Sea”.

There was no need for further sustenance this evening.

The Tenacious Rose

The Golden Cockerel Press was an English fine press operating between 1920 and 1961. Its history and further information can be found in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Cockerel_Press.

Tapster’s Tapestry is a little gem of satirical phantasy published in 1938 which I finished reading last night. These two illustrations are of the title page and the jacket, repeating one of the full page illustrations and made of stiff cartridge paper, still intact after 82 years.

Gwenda Morgan’s illustrations are good examples of her period.

As we left the house for a forest drive this afternoon we admired the tenacity of this strongly scented climbing rose clinging to life suspended by a stem broken by the recent storm Alex.

Today was unseasonably warm with sunshine and showers subject to fast moving clouds photographed at various autumnal locations including

Bennets Lane;

Anna Lane;

and Forest Road

with its now replenished reflective pools.

Ponies enhanced the landscape on the road to Burley

where curly tailed piglets buried their snuffling, snorting, snouts in their frantic competitive foraging for acorns.

I am delighted to report that there was plenty of Jackie’s chicken and leek pie for another sitting served with crisp roast potatoes; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; tender cabbage, and meaty gravy. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank Montpeyroux Recital 2018.

I Couldn’t Hold The Camera

The winds coming off The Solent on this hazy morning must have been far stronger than the 58 m.p.h. that had been forecast. I say this because, for the first time, I was unable to stand still on the clifftop , and was constantly being blown backwards. I was forced to sit on a bench which was firmly rooted in place.

The Isle of Wight and The Needles were swathed in haze,

and I needed the security of the bench to photograph the choppy waves sparkling in the occasional shaft of sunlight

that also illuminated the Beachcomber café beside which a woman tossed a ball for her eager retriever.

In the opposite direction another woman walked alongside her canine charge.

Before collapsing onto the bench I photographed a couple’s progress along the promenade. Because I couldn’t hold the camera in the face of the fierce gusts I occasionally produced unexpected results, one of which is the black and white image above;

mind you, in this pairing you might think the shifted angle provided the more satisfying image.

Unbeknown to me the Assistant Photographer followed my proceedings.

She then drove us inland where we could expect the winds to be less forceful.

We followed lanes less travelled like Bennets, Anna,

and London, bearing its usual amount of fly tipping. On this particular corner beside a farm gate I have already pictured a burnt out car, and, further along a trio of abandoned fridges.

This evening we dined on cheese centred haddock fish cakes; piquant cauliflower cheese; firm boiled potatoes and carrots with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Cabernet Sauvignon.

120 Animal Casualties

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE IN A GROUP TO ACCESS ITS ENLARGED GALLERY

This morning a couple of administrative problems fell into place. Although I couldn’t get through to Lymington Hospital on the subject of my ophthalmic appointment, my GP’s secretary managed to confirm that the date for later this month still stands. I also received a new contract and a bill for the last five months electricity supply from British Gas. I still needed to phone them to clarify the figures which seemed to be at odds with the contract. I paid the amount shown.

Despite the day being overcast, we went for a drive in the forest.

Daffodils

Very early blooming daffodils had pierced the sward on a green outside Winkton.

Low grunts and high-pitched squeals alerted us  to an extensive pig farm alongside

Anna Lane

the frighteningly narrow and winding Anna Lane,

on the other side of which lay a field of muted stubble.

Pool

Much of the roadside land at North Gorley – and elsewhere – was waterlogged and nurturing pondweed.

Hyde Lane outside Ringwood is home to a fascinating old barn that is probably not as ancient as it looks. To my mind its structure simply follows the timbering and brickwork of several centuries earlier. But then, I am no expert.

Sheep in field

Further down the lane sheep grazed in a field.

Greenfinch on hedge

A flash of green before she landed on the hedge surrounding the pasturage suggested to us that we were observing a female greenfinch. If you can spot it, do you think we are right?

In Ringwood where I purchased some paper and batteries from Wessex photographic, and we lunched at the excellent Aroma café.

Outside The Fighting Cocks pub at Godshill, we noted that the total for animal casualties in 2017 was 120.

Pony on road

A few yards further on, we encountered a nonchalant pony making its leisurely way towards us.

Pony crossing road

Others crossed the road at will. The headlights of the car on the hill demonstrate how murky was the afternoon.

Landscape 1

We stopped for me to photograph this effect from the top of Deadman Hill.

Ponies 1Ponies 2Ponies 3Ponies 4

I crossed to the other side of the road and experienced a pulsating, thudding, reverberation, emanating from the turf. Suddenly a string of very frisky ponies came tearing up the slope and into sight. Now, these animals are very rarely seen on the move, as they spend their days dozing and eating grass. I don’t mind admitting I was a little disconcerted. I didn’t really want a hoof with all the tonnage it supports landing on my foot.

Pony on Deadman Hill

It was something of a relief when the leader came to a standstill and calmly surveyed the valley below.

Chicken and black bean sauce

This evening we dined on Jackie’s choice chicken and black bean sauce with vegetable won ton starters. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Malbec.