Rippling Highland Water

On the first morning of a predicted run of warm, sunny, weather, we took a drive into the forest.

This car that wound up in a ditch on Lymore Lane had probably been driven by someone pulling over to let someone pass on the other side without realising that the verge would drop.

Roadworks holding up Traffic on Christchurch Road enabled me to photograph buttercups, dandelions, their clocks, and cow parsley on the verges.

Cattle occupied the moorland at one end of Beaulieu Station Road; thereafter ponies roamed among the gorse until they suddenly took off in the direction of Lyndhurst.

We stopped at the dappled Balmer Lawn where I kept a diplomatic distance from the couple on the ground, and discretely focussed on

the now receded rippling Highland Water.

This afternoon I published

We had been regulars at The Wheel Inn, Pennington, when It had been a community pub; Covid lockdowns destroyed it. This evening we visited The New Wheel Inn under its new management.

We had been somewhat disconcerted when we couldn’t find a spot in the car park which was packed with vehicles. I entered the bar to investigate and found, when I was greeted most warmly that most of the cars belonged to people who had just popped in for a drink. Very soon their cars departed, leaving space for Jackie. We were given a choice of tables and I was engaged in conversation with a very friendly couple while Jackie scanned the menu and ordered her glass of San Miguel.

My chosen beverage was an excellent Merlot served at the right temperature.

As usual in such locations Jackie photographed the interior ambience including various menus and an Only Fools and Horses poster signed by Sir David Jason.

The Assistant Photographer thoroughly enjoyed her chicken Katsu curry, rice, and a poppadom, as did I

my well filled chicken and ham pie with chunky chips in a basket, seasonal vegetables, and tasty gravy.

It is clearly still a very friendly pub with first rate food, delightful service, and no piped music. We are pleased to have returned.

The House That Jack Built

Heavy rain and gale force winds persisted overnight and into the day, although we were treated to

some sunshine in most changeable weather as the afternoon went on, following a trip to Pennington’s Morrison’s to buy bread and tea.

This horse rider acknowledged with a wave each driver of passing traffic who slowed and gave him a wide berth on Pitmore Lane,

which, like a number of roads retained waterlogged stretches through which motorists, crossing tentatively sprayed water, rippling the surfaces.

Cattle alongside Holmsley Camp Site off Forest Road, included the English Longhorn variety with their crumpled horns.

Here is the source of the title.

Along Beckley Common Road we scattered a flock of pheasants.

This evening we are on our way to dine at Britannia Thai Restaurant in Milford on Sea.

We Had Been Conned

Anticipating more showers after a short spell of sunshine this much clearer morning we took an early trip down a very wet Lower Pennington Lane and back.

Vehicles en route along Christchurch Road continued to splash sprays of standing pools over themselves and others.

The occasional dog walker waded among the overflow from the

rippling reflective rivulets running down the gutters joining runnels across the pock-marked tarmac.

Overhead branches relinquished onto ruffled runlets ripped leaves that sank beneath or imprinted themselves on the mirror of accumulated rainwater.

Vehicular lights, front and back, gleamed on the fluid surface.

Skeletal trees were silhouetted against the constantly changing skies.

Further down the lane waterlogged open fields were a more natural element for honking Canada geese, cawing crows, more silent waterfowl, and squelching cattle.

I was forced to wait in the car before photographing these fauna because the only shower – a heavy one blurring the windows – that we experienced during the rest of a sun-filled day hit me head on as I ventured out. Clearly we had been conned by the meteorologists.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s herby penne Bolognese with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Italian red wine.

Flies Come With The Territory

The red climbing rose ascending the lopped cypress has lagged behind the white Generous Gardener on the opposite side but recently began making up for it.

On another searingly hot day, after a Tesco shopping trip, having succeeded in finding accessible water yesterday, we set off to Mudeford in an attempt to do the same. No such luck. Every car park was fully occupied; other drivers slowly circled around hopefully; each area of grass swarmed with pedestrians.

We therefore fled to the forest, where, wherever we drove, animals clustered together sheltering where they could;

along Bisterne Close;

up Forest Road;

and at Burley Lawn, where cattle had commandeered the favourite spot, accepting the flies that go with it.

A grey pony had no intention of giving up its post in the middle of Burley Street.

Becky and Ian having returned from Southbourne last night made up the full complement for dinner this evening, which included Maple flavoured racks of pork spare ribs; Jackie’s colourful savoury rice; and corn on the cob, with which the Culinary Queen drank Zesty, Ian and Dillon drank Warsteiner, and I drank Trivento Mendoza Reserve Malbec 2021.

Who’s Up Here?

Whoever has again begun to decorate the letter box on Pilley Street must have applied this before the recent Women’s World Cup Soccer final.

It was a most unusual herd of cattle grazing on the green there that, instead of displaying their customary curiosity and approaching me for a better view, quickly moved off at a trot and showed me clean sets of heels and bony hips.

Shetland ponies on the opposite side of the road simply pressed on with their important pasturage business.

Who was perched upon South West Cradles’s crane in New Road, Blackfield but Superman and Wonder Woman?

This evening we dined on Jackie’s colourful fried vegetable rice with tempura prawns, two hot and spicy types of the shrimps preparations, and vegetable spring rolls, with which she drank more of the chardonnay and I drank more of the GSM.

Getting Cold Feet

Fierce gales that gusted throughout the night had somewhat lessened this morning, although they set up again with increased fervour, beating a tattoo on the unflinching Modus, as we set off for an afternoon forest drive.

An unusually long tailback on Christchurch Road gave us the opportunity to turn round and head for home, but we persevered. Eventually we saw that the cause had been a stationary large lorry with flashing lights which reversed into a side road in which was an emergency police car and another vehicle blocking the road. We have no idea what had happened, But of course drove past.

In a field alongside Sowley Lane entered by muddy ruts bearing puddles, on the surfaces of which swam gradually increasing raindrop ringlets,

a soggy group of horses silently tolerated their damp surroundings.

Further along the road a small herd of cattle cropped the verges and chomped branches stripped from trees with their lichen and ivy coated trunks surrounded by dripping ferns alongside

a glistening five-barred gate.

From May to October I customarily adopt footwear of sandals without socks. Throughout this July I have been getting cold feet. This is predicted to continue until September.

Becky left before tonight’s dinner to return home to Southbourne. She had made some flavoursome chicken stock with which Jackie cooked this evening’s sticky savoury rice to accompany meaty barbecue spare ribs and tender baby sweetcorn. The Culinary Queen drank Vineyard’s Juicy Spanish Rosé, while I finished the Douro.

Hale Purlieu And Godshill

Yesterday having been Bill’s 90th Birthday, Helen hosted open house today, so, carrying gifts, Jackie and I visited for a short time in the afternoon where we also met John, Stephanie, Billy, Max, and Rory; David and Jenny; and, briefly, Rachel. Helen provided plentiful snacks and a variety of beverages.

We retuned home through the forest via Hale, where cattle were in the

process of leaving the green and following walkers down the rocky sward of the hill.

Further on along the Purlieu ponies on the march rustled and thudded

in the woodland, or, with frisky foals, clopped along the tarmac flanked by mossy roots on raised banks and sculptural piles of similarly greened logs.

On the approach to Godshill we encountered another mare and foal. Note the wooden posts intended to deter drivers from parking on the verges.

We arrived home in time to see the last set of the Wimbledon Men’s tennis final between Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokavic.

Then we all dined on Jackie’s lemon chicken and savoury rice with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Passamano Frappato Syrah 2021.

The Early Ponies Catch The Shade

I headed off the worst of the rising heat with an early dead heading session this morning, before Jackie and I set off for a sultry forest drive.

Beside dappled Holmsley Passage a splendid stand of Foxgloves could be spied through the trees. I wonder whether that ice warning sign will now be redundant.

The driver of ponies and trap on the equally brindled Bisterne Close pulled over for Jackie to drive past.

Marbled banks sloped on either side of Beechwood Lane where rooftop chimneys were discerned among lush undergrowth and a mossy log decayed on the verge.

Shade at the corner of Burley Lawn is at a premium on such a day.

A pair of ponies spooked by passing traffic risked losing their spot when they nipped across Chapel Lane and took their chances on the streaked tarmac.

Another troop, including a foal, heading for shelter were to be disappointed,

and forced to wait in the hope of chances of returns.

Further along stippled Chapel Lane cattle made do with the verge, occasionally spilling over to upset tourist traffic.

In addition to continuing his meticulous clearance of the gravel paths,

Martin this morning loaded his van with the bulk of the garden rubbish and took it away for us. He will do the same next week.

With the help of Wayback Machine I reinserted three missing pictures and added a header to the following post:

This evening we dined on Jackie’s first class beef and onion pie; potatoes sautéed with onions; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; firm Brussels sprouts; tender green beans; horseradish sauce, and meaty gravy, with which the Culinary Queen drank more of the Blume and I finished the Malbec.

Tail End Charlie

When my struggles to pay a couple of bills on line, although ultimately successful, this afternoon had reduced me to a state of apoplexy, Jackie suggested a forest drive. This seemed a good idea.

We had driven up to and beyond Penn Common without finding anything of photographic interest until we found fauna galore down

Newbridge Road, where Jackie parked the Modus and I wandered

among the cattle in the woodland where winter- shaggy curious cows and calves roamed, scratched, canoodled and occasionally disrupted traffic.

Further down the hill was the domain of ponies, also sporting their extra thick coats brought on by our recent cold spell.

A few of these had crossed the road to converse with field horses at their gate.

As we approached Bramshaw a string of Saddleback piglets escaping from a pen somewhere streamed across the road in front of us. Jackie wound down her window for me to catch them rushing by on the muddy verge. I almost missed Tail End Charlie who had put on a spurt in an attempt not to be left behind. He had even missed out on the complete colouring carried by his porcine cousins.

Later this afternoon, with the usual help from SueW, I recovered pictures to the following posts:

This evening we all dined on tasty roast gammon, piquant cauliflower cheese, creamy mashed potato, crunchy carrots, tender runner beans, cabbage, and leeks , with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Coonawarra Shiraz 2021.

Santa’s Float

On another cold, albeit slowly brightening, day Jackie and I took a forest drive just after 11 a.m.

Autumn leaves flocking on the still, silent, surface of Pilley’s icy lake will need a thaw before they begin their slow, rocking descent to the bed beneath.

Sage green lichen clung to branches

and decorated damp ivy coated trunks;

lesser limbs became embedded;

spectral skaters scraped converging rimy streaks across the frozen water,

while shaggy Shetland ponies quietly grazed.

The majority of this stubby little herd had rectified their recent absence from Bull Hill

which they now shared with curious cattle.

This bovine fixed me with a customary stare, then turned and

crossed the road. I tried not to take it personally.

Lymington River is tidal and therefore not frozen, and able to ripple and reflect the weak sunshine and Santa’s float.

In an effort to reorganise her fridge and larder, the Culinary Queen produced a varied menu for this evening consisting of left over helpings of my Susan’s chicken, of Shelly’s beef stew, one of her own earlier penne Bolognaise dishes from the freezer. She and I opted for the Bolognese while the others enjoyed some of everything. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Cabernet Sauvignon.