Water Sports

The storm which began at mid morning yesterday continues to rage until, we are told, midnight today.

This was the view from our French windows 24 hours after we had laid down the furniture. We had left the blue wooden table standing because we thought it heavy enough to withstand the gales. We were wrong. Against the window behind the figure is wedged someone’s dustbin lid. To have reached its resting point it has to have sailed over a fence as if a giant’s Frisbee and slalomed along one or two of our paths.

Feeling as if I had joined Dorothy in the grip of a Kansas tornado, I made a very brief survey of damage. Aaron had firmly fixed the long, now broken, mirror lying on the gravel to the struts on the fence. Beside it flops clematis Campaniflora, also wrenched from its moorings on the arch spanning the path.

Between that fence and the patio stands an ornamental poplar. Its branches are being severely twisted. Out of shot is a hook attached to wire which is used to hold open the wrought iron gate. I clipped it into place to take the second photograph. With a thunder clap the gate slammed shut when the wire was snapped.

Here is a representative sample of crashed pots and a rose ripped from its ties. A final inventory will perforce be featured tomorrow.

This afternoon, to take her mind off the garden destruction – rather more than I photographed earlier – Jackie drove us to Mudeford, where I discovered that what breaks the heart of a gardener encourages pleasure seekers to rush to become blown about and thoroughly wet.

While their adults hunkered down in the car parks, the younger gulls bobbed about like rubber ducks in a wave bath.

Three or four of these unsuspecting youngsters suddenly appeared toting plastic packaging over which they squabbled.

From the quayside I was able to see both kite-surfers and sailboarders in the distance, operating from Avon Beach.

Crabbing was taking place as usual, however I was tempted to walk along to the beach for a nearer view of those engaged in water sports.

A gentleman rested his waking-boot-clad feet while his muzzled husky took a breather.

The powerful winds had been unable to uproot these secure mooring buoys.

Various groups wandered on and off the warm sands.

Skimming sailboarders and spraying surfers sped across stormy seas.

Races ensued;

other paths crossed.

While the winds were ushering me onwards, the walk to the beach had seemed quite a good wheeze. Not so the return during which, like the gulls in the air I laboured to stay still.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s tasty new “prawns and stuff” – “stuff’ being peppers, tomatoes, and garlic; with Tesco’s firm fish pie; her own piquant cauliflower cheese; and crunchy carrots. We both drank Definition Gruner Veltliner 2017.

Sweet Smell Of Success

On a dull, damp, afternoon we took the Angel Lane route to Milford on Sea to pick up a repeat prescription from the Pharmacy, then drove on to Keyhaven.

Low tide in the harbour revealed seaweed on which gulls preened and one cannibal crow scavenged. Boats tilted and buoys bobbed. Hazy distant views of Hurst Castle and its lighthouse could be discerned.

We left via Lymore Lane where we inhaled the sweet smell of success of oilseed rape farmers as we travelled alongside

their fields and the escapees brightening the verges.

Even greater success has been exhibited by The Wheel Inn at Bowling Green. When we first came to the area five years ago this old pub was so run down as to be totally uninviting. A couple of years ago the local community formed a committee which refurbished the building and created a thriving establishment where we stopped for a drink. An excellent review appears in The Lymington Times of 9th March: https://www.advertiserandtimes.co.uk/wheel-inn-review

Jackie photographed some of the covered salad plants grown by the volunteer gardener for use in the kitchen.

This evening we enjoyed our second sitting of Hordle Chinese Take Away’s excellent food, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank sparkling water.

Pink Seas

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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.

 

 

Crow

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The apparel of the people in today’s photographs demonstrates that, although dry,  the day was once more cold and dismal.

Those walking along Mudeford quay or on the spit were well wrapped up.

We have never seen the water so low at this spot, where the burnt sienna of the exposed sandbank blended with the indigos of the Isle of Wight and The Needles.

It was Jackie who realised the purpose of the red and green buoys was to guide seafarers like these jet skiers, who obligingly arrived to prove her point, round the sandbank.

Gull with crab

A gull made off with a crab.

Not far from the quay is Avon Beach, where, again, those who had ventured onto the sands were swathed in warm clothing.

Crow

A menacing crow lurched awkwardly across the sand.

This evening we dined on a pepperoni pizza topped with additional cheese and tomato, accompanied by salad, with which I drank more of the merlot.

 

 

Gulls And Buoys

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The steady rain we have been experiencing for a few days made way for sunshine by mid-morning, so Jackie drove us to Keyhaven and back.

Many of the roads, like this one leading to the harbour carpark, were waterlogged. I tested my Driver’s patience as I dallied on my way walking round the pool in order to photograph her driving through it. She created quite a splash, but looked rather less happy with the process than did a later driver and passenger.

Gulls on moored boats 1

 

I had been distracted by this scene of silhouetted gulls perched on moored boats with a yacht reflected in the ice-like surface of the water, with a walker on the distant spit.

Jackie parked, and I began to photograph the still, reflected, scenes of boats, gulls, and buoys. Even the birds in flight left their images on the waters beneath them.

Wishing to draw my attention to one particular precariously perched gull,

Mrs Knight gave up waiting for me to reach it, left the comfort of her car, and scattered a group of gulls basking on the mossy wall, thus providing a perfect opportunity for a shot of gulls and buoys.

Against the backcloth of Hurst castle and its lighthouse bird watchers paddled along the sea wall path. The sensible dog in the third picture

climbed the wall. I spoke to her owner, then realised that she had been the driver of the car I had photographed earlier. While we conversed, the dog went on ahead, placed her forepaws on the brickwork, dashed further along, and repeated the pose, as if to call her mistress to play. The woman seemed pleased when I told her that, with the car and her dog, she really was the star of the show.

Dogs in silhouette and waterfowl

Further on, approaching Hurst spit, we spotted a dog walker up aloft, while various waterfowl sped over the surface of the water.

Swans fed eagerly on the shore by the bridge. Had someone scattered food? we wondered.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s perfect pork paprika (recipe) with creamy mashed potato and swede, and firm runner beans. I drank McGuigan Black Label shiraz 2016

 

 

The Schneider Trophy

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This afternoon Jackie drove us to Calshot and back in order to watch the sun go down.

Beaulieu River and Abbey 1

The tide was up in the Beaulieu River, offering reflections of Beaulieu Palace House

Beaulieu River and houses

and of private houses.

Fawley Power Sation and ponies

Along Rollestone Road the ancient and modern meet in the forms of ponies grazing freely on historic moorland and the towers of Fawley Power Station.

Calshot beach and ships 1

We arrived at Calshot shortly before sunset. The tide had ebbed; buoys were beached,

Calshot beach and ships 2

and large vessels glided past,

Sunset and beach huts

towards the low sun that lit the beach huts’ verandas.

Sunset 1

Swirling clouds splashed around the western sun

Sunset 2

while, to the east, smooth water reflected its effects.

Boat reflected in pool

Parked boats were mirrored in pools on the quayside.

Low tide, boats, beach huts

Shallow water glistened

Sunset 3

and gleamed,

Houston House

as did the windows of Houston House

Houston House Plaque

which bears this plaque.

Wikipedia tells us that:

‘The Coupe d’Aviation Maritime Jacques Schneider, commonly called the Schneider Trophy or Schneider Prize (sometimes incorrectly referred to as the Schneider Cup, a different prize), was a trophy awarded annually (and later, biannually) to the winner of a race for seaplanes and flying boats. The Schneider Trophy is now held at the Science Museum, South Kensington, London.

Announced in 1912 by Jacques Schneider, a French financier, balloonist and aircraft enthusiast, the competition offered a prize of approximately £1,000. The race was held twelve times between 1913 and 1931. It was intended to encourage technical advances in civil aviation but became a contest for pure speed with laps over a (usually) triangular course (initially 280 km, later 350 km). The contests were staged as time trials, with aircraft setting off individually at pre-agreed times, usually 15 minutes apart. The contests were very popular and some attracted crowds of over 200,000 spectators. An earlier trophy, also presented by Jacques Schneider in 1910, in France, was the Schneider Cup, which is now in the possession of the RAF College Cranwell.’

and

‘In 1931 the British government withdrew support, but a private donation of £100,000 from Lucy, Lady Houston, allowed Supermarine to compete and win on 13 September against only British opposition, with reportedly half a million spectators lining the beachfronts. The Italian, French, and German entrants failed to ready their aircraft in time for the competition. The remaining British team set both a new world speed record (610 km/h (380 mph)) and won the trophy outright with a third straight win.[7] The following days saw the winning Supermarine S.6B further break the world speed record twice, making it the first craft to break the 400 mph barrier on 29 September at an average speed of 655.8 km/h (407.5 mph).’

Sunset 4

As the sun gravitated towards

Sunset 5

the horizon,

Sunset 6

orange hues

Sunset 7

spread

Sunset 8

and deepened.

Jet trail

A jet trail pierced the indigo backcloth,

Sunset 9

Sunset 10

and the palette introduced red pigments

Sunset 11

streaking

Sunset 12

across the firmament;

Sunset reflected in stream

finally dipping into the stream running alongside Jack Maynard Road.

This evening, for dinner, we enjoyed Jackie’s splendid beef and mushroom pie; boiled potatoes, carrots and cabbage, with which I drank more of the madiran.

 

 

Sunshine And Showers

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Knowing that we were to expect heavy rain all weekend, and that the first hour or two this morning would offer sunshine and showers, we drove out to Mudeford seeking what light there was.

Cloudscape

This proved to be interesting. The sun came and went, offering dramatic cloudscapes over the sea;

Beach huts

over the beach huts;

Mudeford, clouds 2

over the harbour;

Mudeford clouds

and over the small town.

Car going through pool

Recent downpours had left pools for cars to drive though.

Boats moored 1

Moored boats bobbed on the choppy wavelets in the sheltered waters,

Speedboat

over which sped a powered vessel.

Waterlogged boat 1

A number of little rowing boats had filled with water

Capsized boat

or capsized.

Gulls (juvenile) on upturned boat

One, overturned, provided a resting place for juvenile gulls.

Setting up stall 1Mallet and staySetting up stall 2Open carSetting up stall 3

We felt sympathy for holidaymakers wrapped in waterproofs, and even more for the intrepid stallholders setting up for the weekend’s Art and Craft Fair.

Mudeford, jogger

Almost oblivious of the industry going on around them, a jogger,

Dog walkers

a pair of dog walkers,

Couple on shore

and a loving couple, continued about their business.

Paddleboards

A heap of bright red paddle boards awaited rental customers.

Crab potsCouple looking at crab pots

The usual fishing paraphernalia lined the quayside. This couple examined

Crab pot 1Crab pots 2

crab pots;

Ropes and linesRopes, rusty stakes, buoy

ropes and lines;

Flags

fluttering flags;

Buoys 1

and buoys reflecting sunlight

Buoy and reflection

or themselves mirrored in pools,

Queuing for ferry 1Queuing for ferry with reflection

as were visitors following the first young lady forming a queue for the ferry.

Couple looking out to sea

Around the side of the quay the couple I had just passed gazed out to sea.

Backlit figures on quayBacklit figures on quay – Version 2

The most dramatic light of the visit fell on a group beside the car park.

Sailboats

As we left Mudeford for a late breakfast at Friar’s Cliff’s Beach Hut Café, three sail boats set out to sea.

Sailboats

They had made it safely to Friar’s Cliff by the time we reached there.

Concrete plinth base

On the cliff top at Steamer Point lie three very large circular concrete bases.

Military communication satellite station plaque

Their story is now explained on an engraved metal plate fixed to a rock.

This evening we dined on chicken tikka and boiled egg salad. Well, we had had a large, late, fried breakfast. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I drank more of the malbec.