Flying Gulls

Last night I watched the recorded rugby World Cup match between Japan and Samoa; this morning those between New Zealand and Namibia, and between France and Tonga.

I then photographed some examples of our

nasturtiums, blooming until the first frost;

our generous begonias;

our varied dahlias;

our honesty seed pod medallions;

our hardier clematises such as this Polish Spirit;

and our roving Japanese anemones.

Nugget busied himself with his war cries up aloft

Early this evening we drove to Mudeford to catch the sunset.

While the sun was still well above the horizon, the meeting of the two currents between the quay and the Isle of Wight through up violent spray;

gulls glided overhead,

or perched on gravel.

A trio of elegant swans slaked their thirst in the

rippling water of the harbour.

A silhouetted couple left their bench and paused to study their photographs.

Another gentleman stood alongside another seat as the skies glowed gold

then dipped into a pastel palette when a bank of low cloud screened the sun

 

 

from silhouetted flying seabirds.

Later this evening we dined on Jackie’s luscious lamb jalfrezi and savoury rice topped with an omelette. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Brouilly.

One Day In The Garden

Today the sun rose before 8 a.m., took an early lunch, and re-emerged in the evening.

The brighter light picked out the scenes and the plants before my dead-heading of the roses which occupied most of the morning. Clicking on any image to access its gallery will reveal titles and locations.

These post prandial photographs were produced during Phoebus’s siesta.

Apollo’s chariot crossed the sky in time for our pre dinner drinks taken on

the decking.

This gave us a pleasant glow.

This evening we dined on Mr Chan’s excellent Hordle Chinese Take Away Fare with which I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2016. You will have noticed Jackie’s Hoegaarden earlier. She finished it on the decking.

Haven’t We Seen Them Before?

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This being a glorious Saturday in the tourist season, we ventured out early into the forest. Groups of walkers toting huge packs; a solitary jogger; and numerous cyclists were already on the road.

Jackie parked the Modus on a verge in the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive while I wandered among the giant redwoods and the cones underfoot.

A number of benches have been strategically placed, some partnered by marker posts bearing interesting carvings, perhaps from these majestic trees.

Our stopping point was prompted by my spotting a family group on a bench alongside a path. A couple with a dog walked past them and continued on their way. The youngest member of the group rose from her seat and photographed the others. She enjoyed a stretch, and they walked on with their dog.

Many other families could be glimpsed among the forest giants. One couple pushed a baby in a buggy; slightly older children and other dogs scampered along.

Two groups converged, and passed each other with no apparent acknowledgement. Just a moment. Haven’t we already seen the second group on the other side of the road?

On the outskirts of Brockenhurst on our way home, a group of pony trekkers crossing the road demonstrated that it is not just the free-ranging animals that hold up the traffic.

For me, this afternoon’s main viewing event was the Wimbledon women’s tennis final between Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams. Scheduling clashes and delay caused by last night’s epic men’s battles meant I could not watch the tennis on BBC One and the third place World Cup football play-off between England and Belgium on ITV. I settled for the continuation of the Djokovic/Nadal semi final into the fifth set, then the first half of the football, followed by the complete women’s final.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid pork paprika with vegetable rice. She had drunk her Hoegaarden and I had finished the Malbec in the Rose Garden beforehand.

 

Sharing The Duchess Of Cornwall’s Bench

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According to Wikipedia: ‘The WI [Women’s Institute] movement began at Stoney Creek, Ontario in Canada in 1897 when Adelaide Hoodless addressed a meeting for the wives of members of the Farmers’ Institute.’

‘Born in 1915 out of the ashes of the First World War, the WI was initially sponsored by the government with a mission to help boost food supplies and energise rural areas. But the gatherings proved so popular, it soon took on a life of its own and its members set about righting wrongs, mounting surprising and enlightened campaigns, many of which were light years ahead of their time.’ This is an extract from Emma Barnett’s excellent 24th May 2015 article in the Daily Telegraph.

This year Milford on Sea is celebrating its own centenary in a witty exhibition of art and craft. We visited it this morning.

Most stationery objects around the village green have been adorned with the results of loving labour involving lanate thread and knitting needles. (See the contentedcrafter comment below – also crochet hooks)

Benches and bollards are bestrewn;

bunting bedecks trees and railings.

There are two lighthouses, one bearing a bird.

A gull, reflected in The Village Coffee Pot window, perches atop the pillar box.

Other birds, woodland creatures, insects, a lizard, flowers, vegetables, an octopus, starfish and seashells, cling in abundance to the bollards.

 

Noddy, Rupert Bear, an elf, a guardsman, a little boy, and an elderly couple occupy the benches.

Just when I thought I had covered everything, a woman asked me if I’d seen the spiders in the tree by the car park. I hadn’t, so I wandered down to put that right. There was also a blue tit in residence.

I engaged in conversation with a gentleman resting his backpack on a bench while he studied his Ordnance Survey map. He was from Leicester and, as part of his aim to walk around the coast of England, was undertaking the stretch from here to Mudeford today. The Duchess of Cornwall seemed quite happy to allow him to share her bench.

Paul and Margery came for a visit this afternoon. We enjoyed our conversation as usual.

This evening we dined on roast belly of pork, Yorkshire pudding, crinkly kale, crunchy carrots and new potatoes. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Médoc.

 

 

Donkeys and Ice Cream

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When we arrived home from Elizabeth’s late yesterday afternoon, the house was very smoky, and the garden full of ash, all emanating from a bonfire in the North Breeze garden, which had been almost razed to the ground. The jungle is no more.

Much rain in the night freshened up our garden,

Bonfire in North Breeze garden 2Bonfire in North Breeze garden 1Bonfire in North Breeze garden 4Smoky garden 1

but had not put out the fire which was added to today.

Dahlias

Some parts of our plot and its contents, like these dahlias, still saw the sun,

Smoky garden 2Smoky garden 3Smoky garden 4Smoky garden 5Smoky garden 6Smoky garden 7

but mostly it remained befogged.

By Hatchet Pond

Elizabeth, Danni, and my great nephew Jasper, came to lunch, after which we drove in convoy to Hatchet Pond.

Jasper and Elizabeth 1Jasper and Elizabeth 2Elizabeth and Jasper 1Jasper 1

Jasper and his Gee-ma investigated the lapping wavelets at the edge of the water.

A woman handed the little lad a bag of prawn crackers with which to feed the water birds. As I said, you always receive too many of this freebies with a Chinese takeaway meal. Jasper wasn’t all that interested, so Danni decided to feed them to

Donkeys 1Donkey foalDonkey shadow

the hastily arriving donkeys, one of which was really very young.

Danni feeding donkey 1

She began with a medium-sized one,

Danni feeding donkey 2

which was head-butted away by the largest creature.

Donkey 1

This animal was so aggressive that the crackers were soon chucked on the ground.

Water liliesBall and water lily

Leaving Jackie on a bench, the rest of us walked to the far end of the pond, past the water lilies,

Women on bench

and others seated in the sun,

Jackie, Jasper, Danni, Elizabeth, ice creams, and donkey

in search of ice cream.

Jasper and Elizabeth 3

Elizabeth clutched wipes for protection against her grandson’s drips,

Jasper and Elizabeth 4

occasionally licking her lips in anticipation.

Ice cream melting

Eventually she was handed the melting cone.

Donkey close-up 1Donkey close-up 2Donkey close-up 3

After this, the aggressive donkey rested its muzzle on my lap.

We dined on Mr Pinks’s fish and chips, gherkins, and pickled onions. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, while Elizabeth and I finished the Douro.

Jasper, Elizabeth and Danni

Danni has just e-mailed me our selfie on the bench.

 

Deadheading

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Isan Thai

Isan Thai, here photographed by Barrie Haynes, has been in business for just a few weeks. Here is its brochure description:

Isan Thai001

It deserves to continue.

This is where we spent a most convivial evening and excellent meal yesterday evening, at 129 Parkstone Road, Poole. We joined Barrie and Vicki; their relatives Alan and Rosemary; and friends John and Lynn. We were pleased to meet the group with whom we had relaxed conversation. The staff’s greeting was warm and the service friendly.

My choice was tempura king prawns followed by Tom Saap with spare ribs, and egg fried rice. I drank Singha beer.

Walking in the Sea002

Barrie presented me with a copy of his recently published novel which I had read in draft. I will, in due course, write a review of it.

We have been asked how we keep the garden flowers in such good condition. There are several reasons for this. The first is the thorough soil replenishment carried out by The Head Gardener; secondly, plentiful feeding, thirdly her watchful battling with disease and insects, then constant watering, and finally

Jackie dead heading petunias

deadheading. This occupied us both today. As can be seen, our new garden chairs double as clothes driers.

Deadheading is the removal of spent flowers before they come to seed. If they are left alone the plants will stop producing the wherewithal for regeneration. The idea is to prevent this and thus lengthen the flowering season. Jackie, to whom I am indebted for this information, also tells me that those flora that do not need this maintenance are termed ‘self cleaners’.

Petunias and geraniums

The petunias in the basket needed just a little work. The dead petals are at the bottom right of the cluster. I often spot such blemishes on the photographic images, then have to deal with them and retake the shot. I was lucky with this one in that I could use it as an example.

Begonia

Begonias,

Rose Mamma Mia

and roses such as Mamma Mia need daily attention.

Japanese anemones

The Japanese anemones have only recently begun to bloom, but their turn will come.

Aluminium dump bench

We found a spot for the aluminium dump bench bought a day to two ago. When its peeling black paint has been removed and the seat repainted it will be as good as new.

Dump bench

It replaced the other rather rickety one on the grass. This has been relegated to the Dead End Path. The bricks underneath this earlier dump purchase will function as supporting pillars. Aaron’s fencing can be seen in the background.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips, pickled onions, and gherkins. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and Bavaria mixed. I didn’t, considering that I consumed enough Singha last night to cover me for this meal as well.

Post-Katie Recovery Process

This morning we began the post-Katie recovery process. Once we could reach the broken greenhouse this is what greeted us:

Broken greenhousePerspex broken

Some of the perspex had blown round the house and, torn, come to rest against the front gardener’s arbour. In reassembling all this we could have done with a three-year-old who would have recognised where all the bits went.

Gate dislodged

The concrete base for the iron gate had been uprooted and the structure knocked sideways.

Finch

We entertained a pair of finches of some sort.

The really pleasant surprise was that large areas of the garden went unscathed. The area around the house took the brunt of the gales.

View across Heligan Path

The Weeping Birch Bed,

Heligan Path

The Heligan Path,

View across grass to Dead End Path

and the borders around the grass patch, were all unharmed.

Side path

Side path and lifted concrete

Continuing this afternoon we rebuilt the frames on the side path. The second view shows the lifted  concrete mentioned above.

Agriframes Gothic Arch

We then provided additional support for the fallen arches, and heeled them in. Through the one in the front garden can be seen the pot of daffodils returned to their perch;

Jackie adjusting arch on Dead End Path

and here Jackie adjusts that across the Dead End Path.

After this we transported the last two bags of cuttings, filled on Sunday by Aaron and Robin, to the dump, returning with two wooden folding chairs,

Stove and log bin

and a galvanised bin just right for carrying logs, which was just as well because it will be a week before we will receive our tank of oil.

I managed to load up this container before Shelly popped in for a visit.

It seemed a bit harsh to expect The Head Gardener to cook after such a day, so we dined at Lal Quilla in Lymington. My choice was king prawn Ceylon, and Jackie’s chicken sag. We shared special fried rice, egg paratha and onion bhaji; and both drank Kingfisher. The meal and service were as good as always.