Clustered Together

The rain having subsided this morning, Nugget emerged from his wet-day quarters to assist Jackie in thinning out the Oval Bed. As the Head Gardener clipped away at spent stems and leaves her little friend entomophagous friend, eyes everywhere, pounced with deadly aim on disturbed insects.

After lunch, I retouched the last three of my mother’s early holiday photographs. The first picture above shows Mum with Grandma Hunter and Uncles Ben and Roy at Conwy, c1926;

the other two feature Mum with Uncle Roy, Joan Heald, and another, and finally with Roy, at the Manchester Whit Walk, probably in 1927.

This afternoon Jackie drove us into the forest.

Opposite The Rising Sun in Bashley this small car caused consternation among a riding group as it drew up alongside them indicating its intention to turn left through the string. Even had it intended to wait it was far too close to these animals.

It was an afternoon for young riding groups.

Ponies and cattle enhanced the landscape across Mill Lawn alongside Mill Lane, Burley.

Our destination was the undulating Forest Road along which I took my thirty minute walk.

There a string of long-suffering ponies, attracting some drivers and passengers, annoying others, spilling onto the road sheltered under spreading tree branches.

clustered together, often head to tail, as a protection against irritating flies. Parked alongside this mass of alluring equine flesh, Jackie herself was forced to move on for her own protection from the irksome insects.

She drew level with me soon after I photographed this crow. I was grateful to return to the Modus.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla where two new waiters served us with the customary friendly and efficient service. My choice of main meal was king prawn Ceylon; Jackie’s was the house special mixed meats; we shared a paratha and mushroom rice, and both drank Kingfisher.

Round The Bend

This morning Dale from Crestwood visited and measured up for the new flooring in the sitting room. This friendly, personable, gentleman received knee replacements shortly before me and is back to carpet fitting, which is encouraging. When we discussed dates and I mentioned that we were very flexible, a snort-guffaw ensued from Ian.

Mr and Mrs Steele returned home to Emsworth after lunch when I continued grappling with

retouching this further image from the 1926 Conwy holiday of my mother, her parents, and siblings. Here Uncle Roy determinedly clings to a toy train; Uncle Ben clutches a boat; and I am not sure what Mum is holding. Grandma photobombs from behind her daughter. Elasticated socks don’t seem to have been invented then.

This badly scratched and spotted single image represents two hours work. I didn’t fancy tackling another today.

Jackie had spent much of this hot and humid day watering plants in containers. Later I took over on the final stint.

Early this evening we took a drive into the forest, buying fish and chips from Mr Pink’s on the way home. We ate these with pickled onions and, in my case Calvet Cru du Beaujolais 2016 to drink, before I uploaded the photographs and finished the post.

Ponies largely grazed in the shade alongside Pilley Street.

Ponies at East End surrounded vehicles outside a row of houses.

Further along the road quite big calves tried to latch on to their mother’s udders whilst on the move. The cattle seemed oblivious to the flies crawling over their faces.

Vociferous crows ran about seeking pickings.

How on earth this pony guarding over her foal can tolerate her dreadful flies is beyond me.

On the road from Beaulieu to Brockenhurst a bunch of cattle blocked the road. As Jackie steered us round the black calf in the centre, the creature paused for a scratch.

Rounding a couple of bends we stopped and waited for the arrival of this moving herd.

Soon they came into view, rounded the bend, and continued down the hill.

Ice Cream Or Cream Tea?

Today we enjoyed lunch at Woodpeckers with Mum, Elizabeth, Danni and Ella.

Three of us chose roast chicken with all the trimmings; Elizabeth went for nut roast;

and some of her parents’ liquidised spaghetti bolognese found its way into Ella’s mouth. Danni’s delightful photograph demonstrates that her daughter still has to learn to feed herself while the infant’s great grandmother continues to manage the task. The four youngest adults chose pineapple and almond sponge with ice cream for dessert. Mum settled for the ice cream.

After the meal Jackie had a squeeze;

then G-Ma Elizabeth held Ella while Great G-Ma played ball with her.

I was pleased that Danni e-mailed the photographs.

Later, Jackie and I drove to Annie’s in Barton on Sea to drop in a print of a photograph I had taken of her with Frances a couple of years ago. We travelled on to Waterstones in Lymington to collect a book, and I took the opportunity to photograph some street scenes.

There was much evidence of mobile phones being implemented for conversations of which

others took place in person.

Shoppers passed up and down the street;

some had difficulty crossing the road in charge of a buggy;

one young woman appeared to be contemplating that she may have made the wrong choice between ice cream and a cream tea.

On a lane leading to Church Lane, Boldre raiding group ahead of us – in particular one young lady on a very frisky animal – were demonstrating excellent control of their horses. They pulled over to allow us to pass and I waited on Church Lane to take these shots.

Once more they paused to allow us to pass, and we stopped for me to photograph cattle, a horse, and a red plastic trug in a field of ragwort.

They soon caught up with us and I felt the need to claim that I wasn’t stalking them.

Even the normally full flowing stream beneath the road bridge seen above is looking rather shallow.

This evening we dined on scrambled egg on toast with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Malbec.

No Deep End

Late this morning Jackie drove me to Birchfield Dental Practice in New Milton for a routine check. Mr Hefferen pronounced no treatment required. We continued on to brunch at Hockey’s Farm Shop. There is always a bit of a wait there, but everything is cooked from scratch and is of very good quality. And we are seldom in a hurry.

These donkeys dozing in the shade at South Gorley were not thinking of going anywhere fast.

The Fighting Cocks on Roger Penny Way at Godshill enjoyed its usual entourage of asinine attractions

for visitors with an array of cameras.

After a series of strokes one foal found a little grooming was in order.

This little chap had been performing the cartwheels that seem to be necessary for new babies, but steadfastly refused to repeat it for my camera.

Another was more interested in lunch, until becoming unplugged when sated.

Probably the youngest new arrival

flopped not far from its mother who was hungry herself.

This creature vainly sought shelter in a rather narrow gap.

Many forest pools, like this one across the road from the pub are drying up in this prolonged warm spell of weather.

Having stepped out of the car to photograph the area around the pub, I decided to walk along this rather uneven terrain for approximately half an hour. Despite the numerous warning signs along this road there is still hit and run appeal for witnesses involving a pony fatality further along.

Taking paths trampled by the animals,

I made a few diversions into the surrounding woodlands,

where a Red Bull can nestled among the buttercups.

When I’d just about had enough, the Modus in the car park of The Fighting Cocks still seemed far off. I became somewhat slower. Eventually I looked up and spotted Jackie in the car on the opposite side of the road. She revealed that she had had her binoculars on me and had liked the look of neither my gait nor my face. I was certainly pleased to see her.

Continuing the journey along Roger Penny Way by car, as usual we were wary of ponies stepping out. The group at the bottom of the hill would be bound to be followed by others. They were.

In order to avoid the bottleneck that is Lyndhurst, we took the Minstead route where sunlight illuminated these ferns.

Cattle and ponies, one suckling, shared pasturage at Boldrewood,

until the bovines decided the grass was greener on the other side.

This intrigued an approaching family of cyclists.

A solitary deer had no competition along Rhinefield Road.

The mother of this foal sporting a typical Mohican foraged behind the ferns, while her offspring was being photographed by a gentleman behind a tree, and another from a car window.

Ponies sharing the sheltered pool outside Brockenhurst with Highland cattle clearly see it as politic to allow the larger, hairy, beasts first paddle while they patiently wait their turn in the shade.

One poor unfortunate was not having a good day. Attempting to take a drink, it had been butted away by another equine, only to find itself nose to nose with a Volkswagen.

Normally reasonably full, this animal paddling pool currently has no deep end.

This evening we dined on Forest Tandoori Lamb jalfrezi, chicken shashlik, and pilau rice; Tesco’s vegetable wontons; and paratha fried in oil from a little shop in New Milton. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank an excellent Angelica Sur Malbec 2016 given to me for my birthday by Shelly and Ron.

On Eyeworth Pond

Much of this very hot day was taken up with dead heading and watering.

Soon after 4 p.m. Jackie drove us to Eyeworth Pond and back.

At this time, ponies and cattle, although they did emerge later, made use of what shade they could find. These were spotted en route to Fritham,

where other cattle lay down in their field.

Foals are growing up fast. On a green above the pond this one manages its own grooming.

Water lilies are now beginning to bloom on the pond,

where a few ducks paddled.

Most of these birds, however,

occupied a dormitory on the bank.

Bright sunlight produces abstract reflections on the surface.

Motley cattle grazed on the hillside as we drove back up to Fritham and, via Hordle Chinese Take Away, to home.

With our usual excellent fare from Mr Chan, we both drank Tsing Tao beer this evening.

Mutual Grooming

This morning I printed a copy of this photograph for Aaron;

I then e-mailed this image, taken from “Sherwood Forest Snowballs”, to Michael’s children;

and scanned and sent this print of Michael and Louisa taken at Oxton in May 1999 to my daughter.

This afternoon we took a short drive in the forest, ending up at Burnt House Lane, Pilley where we helped Elizabeth and Mum sort some of our mother’s belongings.

Cattle foraging on the verges wandered onto the road at Sowley;

Further on, a miniature pony joined the big girls on the road in front of us.

Dog roses are now prolific on the hedgerows.

Valerian clings to the walls of St Leonards Barn.

Nearby a phalanx of cyclists sped down and up a steeply concave hill confronting us in such a manner that Jackie was forced to stop and let them pass.

Pilley Street was occupied by a swarm of donkeys, some of whom, not realising it was Sunday, waited listlessly for a bus; another pair engaged in mutual grooming.

There was enough left over from last night’s takeaway Indian meal for us to dine on that before setting off to Evereton Nurseries where I was to

collect my prize for the Festival photographic competition from Louis. Unfortunately my three digital images had not been considered, because the organisers had been locked out of the e-mail account and did not know who had entered. They asked those they thought might have entered to resubmit. They didn’t know about me. The winner was one of those digital entries. It was not on display. Never mind, I received a round of applause and an engraved glass.

Elizabeth came for the presentation and returned home with us to drink more of the Galodoro. Naturally I Christened my prize.

Forest Fauna Forage

Before breakfast this morning Gay and Mick toured the garden,

where the light played with the eucalyptus bark.

Later Gay sent me some of her photographs.

After breakfast we led our inlaws on a search for New Forest wandering animals.

Donkeys at East End were out in force. The last of these images was sent to me by Gay.

Ponies and cattle shared the moor at East Boldre. Again the last of these pictures is by Gay.

A couple of foals accompanied a group of ponies, eventually joined by a few cattle, at Beaulieu Road.

Bringing two facing vans to a standstill, the cows drifted between them.

During yesterday evening’s conversation, Mick spoke of his keen interest in Australian avifauna, some of which he has taught to speak. I was therefore pleased to point out this wagtail which is different from those found in Perth.

Gay photographed Jackie and me together as, having directed the couple to the road to London, we parted company and saw them on their way.

This evening we dined on perfect roast beef; creamy mashed potato; crisp Yorkshire pudding; crunchy carrots, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli; and tender runner beans. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Carmenere.