The Magic Circle

Yesterday afternoon I was unable to find my camera lens cap. I searched everywhere, including the garden, to no avail.

This morning I spotted its outline in the hem of my dressing gown. I couldn’t fathom how it had got there, or how to extract it.

Slowly, it dawned on me. Two days ago I had photographed the garden whilst wearing the garment. Yesterday, similarly togged, I had spilt coffee all over myself. This had necessitated the Maintenance Department carrying out a magnificent laundering process.

Clearly I had pocketed the lens cap whilst using the camera in the garden. But it wasn’t in the pocket; and there was no apparent split in the hem –

not until I removed the garment and found a split beyond the neck.

The washing machine had behaved like a member of the Magic Circle and vigorously transported my magic circle.

On a warm and sunny afternoon we brunched at The Beach Hut Café at Friars Cliff.

A surprisingly speedy dredger sped off across Christchurch Bay in the direction of Mudeford.

The inevitable boy threw stones into the water;

a small girl stood by the shoreline contemplating getting her feet wet, took the plunge, and thought better of it;

another, having gingerly negotiated the stony beach, was relieved to feel sand beneath her toes;

others enjoyed digging;

or simply wandering about.

One group dried their clothes on a breakwater, while

a surfing lesson was underway;

and distant kayakers approached.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious spinach soup and fresh, crusty, bread. I would refer anyone who thinks that may not have been sufficiently substantial back to what we consumed for brunch. Mind you, Jackie did drink Wairau Cove Sauvignon Blanc 2017, while I enjoyed another glass of the Garnacha

Well Worth The Effort

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Regular readers may have noticed that it is some months since we enjoyed a brunch at The Beach Hut Café on the promenade at Friars Cliff. That is because I have been unable to make the trip down from the clifftop car park.

The first stage, from the car park, is reasonably level, but far enough for me at the moment.

Military communication satellite station plaque

The concrete rings have featured before. This plate explaining their purpose

is screwed to the rock to the right of this path bypassing the rings. The cyclist will slalom round the barriers down

the sloping footpath leading to the beach huts,

and the beach with its clear view of the Isle of Wight and The Needles.

The most difficult part of the descent for me was this very steep incline.

When I ran the fells in Cumbria I would much rather run up than down the slopes. And that was when my knees worked.

Having reached the promenade there is a straight, flat, section between the huts and the benches sited for those who wish to watch the waves;

taking us to the café, which was, as usual, full to bursting both inside and out, although the demography of the patrons is somewhat different from that in the school holidays. In fact, while Jackie joined the lengthy queue for service and I investigated the seating options, the only available possibility was sharing a picnic table with a friendly woman and her unobtrusive dog. Noticing my rather hopeless efforts at jackknifing myself into position, the kind lady offered to seek out a chair for me. She did so. I thanked her and sat down. Jackie then arrived to tell me that there was a free table inside. I thanked my new friend once more and took up a place inside. Shame, really.

The food was definitely well worth the effort. I couldn’t fit my plate containing two rounds of toast and marmalade into the shot.

After this, we had to retrace our steps. The rather bent elderly woman towing her shorn dulux dog kept up a pace neither of us had any hope of emulating.

Jackie had no trouble with the steep slope

but avoided the steps which were my preferred return route.

Our central heating has never really worked upstairs. Knowing weather was about to cool down, we asked Ronan of Tom Sutton Heating to sort out the radiators. He fixed a pressure problem and bled the radiators. A date was arranged for him to fit a new vent to one of them. The next dat the boiler stopped working. Fortunately our shower is electric and we have an open fire and a kettle. We limped through until today when Ronan made an emergency visit. I won’t bore people with the technicalities, but we need a whole new system, which is what I expected in the first place. This will take 3/4 days, need bedroom floors taken up, and be expensive.

This evening we dined variously. Jackie chose Tesco’s pulled ham with mashed potato and carrots accompanied by Hoegaarden; my Tesco’s prepared dish was chicken jalfrezi; Elizabeth enjoyed the last of Jackie’s beef pie. My sister and I both drank more of the Pinot Noir.

 

He Could Have Fooled Me

CLICK ON IMAGES IN GROUPS TO ACCESS THEIR GALLERIES THAT CAN BE INDIVIDUALLY VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING THE BOXES  AT BOTTOM RIGHT.

For lunch today Jackie drove us to Steamer Point from which we walked down to the Beach Hut Café for their plentiful breakfasts of excellent quality.

There was not much activity on the beach on this dull day. A small child was being photographed with a dog;

and rugby tackling practice was being undertaken. The older man told me that he was not athletic. He could have fooled me.

When we returned, Richard had set the new sink in place and was marking out the template for the finished top. His skilled draftsmanship would be sent to the workshop for the final fitment to be made. Everything he does is infused with his early training as a boatbuilder, and his immense pleasure in his work.

Later, he produced similar pieces for the worktops on the other side of the galley and around the former fireplace.

This evening we dined on instant vegetable soup and ham and cheese sandwiches. I drank more of the Cabernet Sauvignon.

“The Seventh Wave….”

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This morning Jackie drove us to Avon Beach at Mudeford and back.

Tossing up spray in their wake, the sage green waves

and the brisk winds offered a couple of surfers a splendid playground,

within sight of watchers on the rocky breakwater.

It was a day on which pre-school children wrapped up their grandparents well and took them for a bracing walk. One gleeful little girl enjoyed defeating the waves in their attempt to soak her. She was even more delighted when I displayed my water-filled shoes and socks and decidedly damp trouser legs. I had not been so nimble. My driver informed me that the seventh wave always ascends further up the shingle than the preceding six. I will try to remember that.

After lunch I deleted more images from iMac’s Photos

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid sausage casserole; creamy mashed potato; and crisp carrots, cauliflower, and runner beans. I finished the Paniza.

 

 

 

We Didn’t Chat For Long

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This morning Aaron, of AP Maintenance, tackled the storm damage. He replaced the back drive barrier plants; repaired Jackie’s screen covering the five barred fence; gathered up fallen branches; and tidied up the cypress,

Cypress

which now looks like this.

Sending wood-chips flying from his chain saw, our friend began by cutting up the branches stretching down to the ground.

Aaron had not brought his ladder with him. He opted to climb the tree rather than go home for it.

Anyone of a nervous disposition may prefer to look away from his exploits up aloft, as he showered me with wood shavings.

This afternoon, Jackie drove us to Lepe beach and back.

The skies there already promised a good sunset.

Photographer and dog

I was apparently not the only photographer who thought so.

 

So crowded was this popular beach that we almost gave up finding a spot in the packed car park, until, as we bounced over the numerous potholes to leave, another vehicle rocked its way out in front of us. Jackie was then able to stay in the warmth of the vehicle whilst I stepped out with my camera.

Many wrapped up families walked and played along the sandy shingle. At water level in the last of this group of pictures is The Watch House, with the Coastguard Cottages on the hill above.

Mother and child

A little girl, not much bigger than her younger charge, staggered over to their mother carrying the distressed infant who had fallen. Maternal solace was then administered.

Another mother instructed her daughter in the art of chucking stones in the water.

A small boy enjoyed throwing up spadefuls of sand, before trotting off to the shoreline and inspecting

the whipped cream sweeping in from the sea.

Leaving Lepe, Inchmery Lane snakes alongside the seashore where, visible through twisted branches, slug-like dunes rose from lingering pools.

We reached Tanners Lane in time for sunset.

As we departed for home, we were delighted to meet Barry and Karen who had just arrived to walk their dogs on the shingle. It was now so cold that we didn’t chat for long.

This evening we dined at Milford on Sea’s Smugglers Inn. We both enjoyed our meals. Mine was rump of lamb with minty mashed potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, and red and green cabbage; Jackie’s was spaghetti carbonara.  I drank Doom Bar and my wife drank Amstel.

My New Haircut

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Today the temperature was unseasonably warm, and the skies overcast. Although we have a great number of flowers still blooming beyond their normal time, I chose this morning figuratively to pick

Dahlia 1Dahlia 2Dahlias 1Dahlias 2Dahlias 6Dahlias 4Dahlias 2Dahlias 3Dahlias 5

a bunch of dahlias from the garden.

Spider and leaf

On my way round my attention was drawn to a fallen leaf, twisting frantically in an attempt to free itself from the spider’s web from which it was suspended. This brought the arachnid scampering down its central line, only to be disappointed in what it had trapped.

Bench in West Bed

I have recently featured developments in the West Bed, cleared of shrubs and an old rose by Aaron, and having two new roses set to climb the arch by Jackie. There is now a new bench ready for positioning on reconstituted stone paving.

Elizabeth came for lunch and dinner. This afternoon we all travelled to Friar’s Cliff Beach and visited the Beach Hut Café for refreshments.

Yacht and couple on beach

A heavy haze restricted rendered the Isle of Wight invisible beyond a passing yacht.

Couple and dog on beach

From Steamer Point nature reserve I watched the couple seen in the above picture  continuing along the beach in the direction of Mudeford.

Man and dog on beach 1Man and dog on beach 2

Other dogs were frolicking on the beach;

Retriever on beach 1Couple and retriever on beachMan and retriever on beach 1Man and retriever on beach 2

one retriever in particular swimming like a seal,

Woman filming man and retrieverWoman filming man and retriever 2

its antics being filmed from the breakwater.

Red seaweed and group of peopleRed seaweed on beach 1Red seaweed en masse

Red seaweed on beach Friar's Cliff Beach

Even as far away as the clifftop car park we could smell the red seaweed that coated the sand

Gull and red seaweed 1

where a solitary gull wandered.

Gulls

This bird was joined by another and quickly took off,

Gull flying

flying out to sea,

Gull on beach

leaving the visitor all forlorn.

Seawater

Bubbling eddies swirled around

Rocks and seaweedFriar's Cliff BeachFriar's Cliff Beach

the rocks swathed in green and red weed.

Seaweed tinged wavesSeaweed on beach and tinging waves

As the waves rolled in they were tinged with red.

Gull leaping waves

The gull bobbing on the wave above leapt to avoid the next one,

Wader flying

and a wader flew off as I approached in an attempt to identify it.

Elizabeth photographing

I photographed my sister focussing on the water,

Derrick Photographing

and she got her own back.

Derrick photographing 2Derrick photographing 3Derrick photographing 4Derrick photographing 5

This served a dual purpose in that we could satisfy the request of LordBeariofBow to feature my new haircut so that he could pass judgement on it.

This evening’s dinner consisted of Jackie’s superb sausages in red wine, creamy mashed potatoes, and crunchy carrots and cabbage. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and Elizabeth and I drank Parra Alta malbec 2016.

 

 

On The Beach

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Jackie often points out potential subjects for photographs for which I take the credit. This morning she alerted me to an array of spiders’ webs on the decking.

Spiders' websSpiders' webs – Version 2

All that was picked up by the sunshine on this example was the lower half of the larger web. Jackie held back a few shadow-casting leaves and I bent a bit to include the lower construction. This is what we jointly produced.

This morning we drove over to Shelly and Ron’s with enough of Jackie’s exquisite chicken Jalfrezi and vegetable samosas to feed up to 40 people at Ron’s 70th birthday party tomorrow. I also gave them a couple of 10″ x 8″ prints from Shelly’s party last week.

Down to the beach

We continued on to Friar’s Cliff Café for brunch. naturally, I shot a few beach scenes.

Not that one.

These:

Bicycles and beachDog on beachBeach scene 1Beach scene 4Beach scene 3Beach scene 2Beach scene 6Beach scene 7Beach scene 15Beach scene 14Beach scene 13Beach scene 12Beach scene 10Beach scene 11Ice creams at the beach hutsBeach scene 18Paddleboarder, jetskierPaddleboarderBeach scene 17Beach scene 16Beach scene 19Three girlsMobile phone readerBeach scene 20

Against the backdrop of the Isle of Wight and the Needles, we have water activities including kayaking, rowing, yachting, paddle boarding, jet skiing, swimming, and paddling. There is lounging in the sand soaking up the sun, sheltering under parasols and behind windbreaks, turning cartwheels, digging with buckets and spades, kicking beach balls; occupying beach huts, enjoying green ice creams, and, of course, employing the screens of mobile phones.

This evening we dined on fish fingers, chips, onion rings, and fried tomatoes. I finished the Cotes du Rhone and Jackie had imbibed her Hoegaarden on the patio beforehand.