Clear Water

Pink sky streaks sent me out in the bright, chill, morning with my camera,

and perhaps led me to the hues of gladiolus, Dr Ruppel, Mamma Mia, Lady Emma Hamilton, this particular climbing rose, pelargonium, and carpet rose.

High up in the copper beech I think it was a blackbird serenading.

We took an early drive into the forest, and, enabling me to wander around the banks of Ibsley Water, Jackie parked her modus near the ford.

Angled sunlight cast long reflections on the rippling surface and penetrated the clear water to the shingle bed.

The gnarled oaks beneath Rockford Sand Pit have almost shed their foliate canopies.

While Jackie sat in the car an inquisitive jackdaw eavesdropped on her

animated conversation with a friendly robin. Our red-breasted friends do seem to be lingering in the woodlands.

Elizabeth visited us this evening and stayed for dinner which consisted of Jackie’s wholesome shepherd’s pie; crunchy carrots; firm Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower, with meaty gravy, followed by apple and gooseberry crumble and custard. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and my sister and I drank Adam Mason South African Merlot 2019.

Up The Lane

This morning I finished reading the justifiably Pulitzer Prize- (for Non-Fiction, 1963) winning work ‘The Guns of August’ (1962) by Barbara W. Tuchman. With painstaking research, shrewd judgement, and skilful prose, the author analyses and describes the first month of the First World War. We are so accustomed to books and films about the madness of the four years’ destructive trench warfare that I found Ms. Tuchman’s tour de force most informative.

I knew the war had been sparked off by the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, but had no idea why such a conflagration had followed. This book explains the reason and the method.

Germany had been preparing for war on both Eastern and Western fronts for two decades. It was simply accidental that the blue touch paper was lit in the east.

We learn of the desecration of the Belgian neutrality, the courage of its population; the invaders’ belief in the spread of fear as a method of quelling resistance, and their means of exercising it; the speed of the German advance; the infighting within and between the leaders of the allies.

Tuchman closes with an eye to the following four years. I would have welcomed such a work on them.

The details of manoeuvres would probably be more fascinating to serious students of military history than to me, for I found the passages of descriptive writing rather more to my liking.

My Folio Society edition contains copious notes, clear maps, and two batches of photographs which are not really of good enough quality to reproduce here.

On another comparatively mild afternoon we visited Elizabeth and invited her to dinner, which she accepted with alacrity.

We returned home via South Baddesley from where we could view the Isle of Wight in the distance,

and autumn scenes in the fields.

Beside the unnamed lane down which I walked lay moss covered fallen branches.

Gradually a jogger came into view running up the lane. Soon after he passed Jackie’s parked Modus, my Chauffeuse followed me down and picked me up.

As we neared Lymington I photographed a silhouetted tree line.

This evening we dined on succulent roast gammon; creamy mashed potato; piquant cauliflower cheese; crunchy carrots; and tender green beans, with which Elizabeth and I drank Chevalier de Fauvert Comté Tolosan Rouge 2019, and Jackie drank Hoegaarden.

Close Encounter Of The Covid Kind

On an unseasonably mild morning of sunshine and showers we drove into the deserted forest where Jackie decanted me at a few unpopulated points where I wandered with my camera.

Had we been in a hurry down Beckley Road we might have had a closer than comfortable encounter with an approaching van.

Fortunately Jackie had parked on a verge while I photographed autumnal woodland with its yellowing leaves fallen on soggy ground and clinging to dripping trees.

Our next stop was along Rhinefield Road where I rustled leaves underfoot while seeking further fall images.

Passing under the A31 and pausing on Linwood Road I walked back to photograph

reflections in a recently replenished pool, whilst taking in

pleasantly hazy landscapes,

one of which camouflaged a pair of grazing ponies.

Cattle hunkered down among the gorse.

We continued through Appleslade where

the glowing hillsides whispered to the sunlit trees opposite a naked windswept silhouette.

From our high vantage point I watched a close encounter as a pair of horse riders approached and, hopefully keeping social distance, crossed paths with a pedestrian couple. Perhaps they passed the time of day.

On the road above Ibsley ford as I photographed

sunlit woodland we could hear cries of children playing in the grounds of Moyles Court School, like others, currently being kept open. This is not so for pubs, which must be disappointing for the staff of

Elm Tree on Hightown Road who have installed a magnificent poppy display in the now closed garden.

Nick has continued painting woodwork in the sitting room

and wrestling with preparation in the kitchen.

This evening we dined on a second sitting of Hordle Chinese Take Away’s fine fare, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Malbec.

“Unplug It”

This post this morning https://throughthecolouredglass.wordpress.com/2020/10/30/a-suitable-boy/

on the acclaimed novel

prompted my thoughts to return to my own copy – a first edition from 1993. I concur with Vibha Lohani’ s assessment of the novel and suspect that her comparison of it with the TV series, although I haven’t watched it, is accurate.

I am rather proud of the author’s complimentary letter appraising my Crossword puzzle featured in “Hoisted By My Own Petard”

Another earlier post of mine features “The Magnificent Seven”, a book about London’s Victorian landscaped cemeteries on which I collaborated with author John Turpin.

On yet another mournful monochrome morning it seemed incumbent on me to tackle my scanner problems. Following the highly technical advice of Sherry from port4u who suggested I should “unplug it’, I managed to achieve the correct settings for colour slides and was therefore able to begin a project featuring.

photographs which did not make it to the book. Rather fortuitously, these images were produced in November 2018.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s vegetable and egg packed savoury rice with a rack of pork ribs and prawns – some tempura and some spicy, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Corbieres.

“Behind You!”

Early this morning we took a trip in the driving rain which was to continue well into the afternoon. The time span of these pictures was about one hour beginning with the first on Southampton Road just after 10 a.m.

Jackie parked beside Royden Lane so that I could photograph a tree and raindrops falling and spiralling in puddles on the tarmac.

Noticing how muddy it was, as we entered Lower Sandy Down Jackie opined that this might not be a good idea. Round the next bend we encountered a van which, in view of the activity alongside it, was not going anywhere soon and provided reinforcement of her speculation. She, perforce, backed up and performed a multiple point turn.

We turned into the Balmer Lawn carpark beside Highland Water for me to photograph more raindrops in more puddles and give my hair a thorough rinse after my earlier shampoo.

At first it was just me and the crows, but soon a family group wearing suitable gear and sharing umbrellas wandered in among the oak trees.

Out of the corner of my left eye I noticed what Jackie, from the car, had imagined was the family dog speeding to catch them up. My resident Expert on Rare Breeds identified this as a Middle White which was on the endangered list. Even though it was alone, I doubt that it was the last one on earth, or even mud.

“Look behind you,” I cried, thinking that the humans might be in danger, or at least would like to see a pig in a pool.

The animal occupied them for a while until they wandered off and it stopped

for a scratch on a post.

Beechwood Road to Bartley offered fine woodland views.

We have never seen such a forlorn group of damp donkeys as those attempting to shelter under dripping trees at the Cadham Lane corner of Cadnam Common. Autumn leaves even adhered to their hides.

A single pony sporting a leaf sticker on its flank blended well with the colours of the Common

where cattle on the road attempted to persuade us to stay a while.

This evening we dined on oven battered haddock and golden chips; green peas; Garner’s pickled onions and Tesco’s wallies, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Trigales Spanish red wine.

Pork Scratchings

On our visit to Mum at Woodpeckers Care Home this morning she may have had difficulty remembering what she was meant to be doing this week, but her reminiscing was pretty sharp. It was sometime in the 1980s that I ran The Paris Marathon and she hadn’t been there but she told us all about it. Even more detailed was her description of how her father earned his life-saving certificate in Manchester in the 1930s. He had been in the process of shaving when my uncle Ben rushed in to tell my Grandpa that three girls had fallen into the deep water in the disused marl pit. George Hunter, one cheek still lathered, dropped everything and ran up the hill to the pit. One girl was lost; one another man failed to resuscitate; the third was saved by my grandfather.

A transformer was being changed by the electricity company in our area and we knew we would have no supply until mid afternoon. We therefore drove to Friars Cliff to try lunch at The Beach Hut Café. The car park was full so we turned away and continued to Hockey’s Farm Shop for brunch.

On the way to Friars Cliff Jackie parked in Lake Grove Road so I could wander round the lake that lies beside the B3058 along which the man in the last picture in the gallery was walking into New Milton. Two different groups kept their distances beside the water and a young woman pushed a buggy in their direction. Mallards paddled; two-tone trees and silhouetted bridges reflected; pebbles glistened in the water; cyclamen clustered among the dappled woodland.

Pannage pigs crossed the road at Ibsley;

some enjoyed a reflective paddle;

two busied themselves scratching against low wooden posts.

Despite doubtful clouds the rain desisted.

At Hockey’s Jackie photographed samples of autumn produce being sold in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust.

As readers will know, ponies have the right of the way in New Forest roads like this on on the way up to Gorley Common.

Any vehicles approaching another on an uphill climb where passing is not possible without backing up or finding a place on the verges has the right of way anywhere.

This was ignored by a van driver who descended the hill at a rapid rate forcing Jackie to reverse a considerable distance. When we encountered him later swinging round a bend far too fast in our direction in another part of Gorley we expressed the vengeful wish that he was late and hopelessly lost.

An autumnal scene with horses and another silhouetted equine pair compensated for the actions of the bully.

‘Little Thatch’ at Hyde has some time recently been gutted by fire.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s scrumptious chicken stoup and toast, followed by rhubarb and ginger ice cream.

An Illusion Of Road Sense

In order to enjoy what might be our last day of autumn sunshine Jackie drove us into the forest this afternoon. We took the Undershore route to Pilley and beyond. Fallen leaves glowed on the passing spaces necessary on this narrow lane, and on pools and the footpath alongside Lymington reed beds.

As we passed a field along Church Lane, Boldre, I glimpsed working horses within it. In order to create these images it was necessary to poke my camera lens through spiky hedges and spikier still barbed wire. Some of the animals wore their winter rugs. I assumed those without such protection were the hardier forest ponies. I’m not sure what they made of my  protuberance. One stood and stared; others wandered away.

Burnished bracken spoke to golden oaks at Puttocks Bridge car park where

the lowering sun caused chestnut ponies’ pelts to metamorphose into rich velvet pile.

The mother of one foal crossed the road and ventured into the woodland on the other side. At first the youngster remained with its older companion;

then ambled across the road and nosed around among the fallen leaves.

The road here runs over the stream also spanned by the eponymous bridge, where a small family paddled in the shallows

while I admired the reflected trees, leaves, and skies.

Apples worthy of tempting Eve hung enticingly just out of reach of

the pony on the pavement initially fooling me into thinking it had developed road sense.

No such luck. Suddenly the creature stepped out in front of a car brought to an abrupt halt, and dawdled off along the tarmac. (The reason there are two sets here is revealed below)

Another adult led another youngster into the road. The skittish foal rushed along the pavement on the other side, 

chasing the chestnut before veering off to the left, presumably having spotted something more interesting.

Following elmediat’s helpful advice in his comments on yesterday’s post I have had one more try at enabling these images to be enlarged by readers. One amendment I noticed after drafting all this was that my images were cropped for alignment in the galleries, so, for example, the picture of the pony stepping in front of the car lost the all-important glimpse of the vehicle. Without cropping the shapes are also altered. I have left the very first set cropped, in order to check whether this is how they are presented, or whether the random selection we previously enjoyed is shown.

I still receive the ‘somewhat embarrassing’ message when I try to look at a preview, so I can’t check whether the enlarged viewing is possible before posting. If it is not, I will revert to the old system until the new is forced upon us. I am sure you will continue to let me know.

This evening we dined on roast chicken; sage and onion stuffing; Yorkshire pudding; roast potatoes and parsnips; tasty Brussels sprouts; and rainbow carrots; and gravy with meaty bits in it. This was followed by mixed fruit crumble and vanilla ice cream. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Madiran.

A Penchant For Dried Leaves

This afternoon Jackie drove me to the GP’s in Milford on Sea to order a repeat prescription.

We travelled via the winding, sunlit, autumnal, Barnes Lane.

We then turned back to the north of the forest.

Had the new traffic calming been installed on the road through Bramshaw, we wondered, in order to protect

the wandering donkeys always in evidence?

I have often seen them chewing prickly shrubs,

but a penchant for dried leaves was a new one for me.

Perhaps the efforts to slow the traffic had also been for the benefit of the basking, scratching, cud-chewing, cattle on and around the green, some of whom regularly diced with death.

The pannage period was not past for this parcel of pigs snuffling alongside Roger Penny Way. I was quite pleased to have positioned myself for these two shots, because I needed to venture down a soggy slope stepping over fallen, lichen covered, branches. Regular readers will know what happened last time I descended a much drier slope in a bit of a hurry.

Elizabeth is staying with Mum for a few days. Jackie and I dined on her splendid beef, mushrooms, and onion pie; Yorkshire pudding; new potatoes; roasted parsnips and butternut squash; and crisp cauliflower and carrots, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Calvet special release Merlot 2017.

Pink Seas

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE IN A GROUP TO ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT
Yesterday I finished reading ‘An Orderly Man’, the third volume of Dirk Bogarde’s autobiography. Incidentally, Elizabeth informs me that these first editions fetch up to £150 each on various internet sites.
This volume deals with the author’s work with various international directors and his blossoming as a writer.
Elizabeth and Jacqueline left after lunch to collect Mum from hospital and settle her in at home. Jacqueline is to stay overnight with her.
Meanwhile, Jackie and I went for a drive.
 

We stopped at Sandy Down to admire the splendid autumn reds and golds.

The silhouetted confetti descending from the skies was revealed to be rapidly falling leaves.

 St Andrew’s Church at Tiptoe, still ensures that we will not forget those who died fighting for our future in the First World War.

Some time ago, Jackie had stumbled upon Tutton’s Well at Sanpit whilst surfing the net for something else. She drove me there as a surprise. The tablet photograph tells the story of this historic phenomenon. It seems too much of a coincidence that a nearby village is called Purewell, but I cannot trace a connection.

We then visited Mudeford Quay and Harbour where a perching gull secured an excellent viewpoint from which to observe boisterous waves buffeting bobbing buoys.

Other gulls flanked skeins of geese honking overhead

Moody skies permitted the sun an occasional appearance.

Shortly after sundown pink seas reflected rosy clouds above.

Elizabeth arrived home soon after we did. She brought positive news about Mum’s immediate comfortable return to her familiar surroundings.
This evening we dine on Jackie’s excellent beef pie with deliciously meaty gravy; new potatoes; crisp cauliflower, carrots and tender green beans. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden while Elizabeth and I drank Chateau Pinenc Minervois 2017.
 
 

Florence’s Autumnal View

EACH IMAGE CAN BE ENLARGED WITH A CLICK THAT CAN BE REPEATED
This morning Jackie drove me to Lymington in order to collect my laptop following its successful surgical treatment by James Peacock. On leaving Peacock Computers I joined my lady in the St Barbe Museum & Gallery café where she showed me this

article from yesterday’s New Forest Post.

Sway Tower ,which has featured in many of my posts, has remained steadily standing sans oscillation for over 130 years.

Here it was this morning nestled among

Autumnal trees.

On our subsequent forest drive there was such a dearth of ponies in evidence, that we wondered whether the animals had scented the impending storm.

If so, a solitary trio on Hinchelsea Moor had not got wind of it.

One wandered across the road to rejoin its chomping companions.

This afternoon Jackie produced her own Autumnal photos of sculpture Florence’s view down the paths.

This evening we dined on New Forest Tandoori takeaway fare. My choice was king prawn vindaloo with egg fried rice; I also enjoyed a share of paratha, naan, and mushroom bhaji. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, while Elizabeth, Danni, and I drank Calvet limited reserve Merlot 2017.