Devastation And Dessert

Winds of up to 60 m.p.h. howled and heavy rain lashed throughout the night.

Regular readers will know that Jackie’s favourite view is straight down the garden from the stable door.

This is what it looks like this morning through the window in that door.

The wisteria arbour has been destroyed.

We did not investigate further in the garden. Instead we drove to Milford on Sea to look at it.

A bent branch hung down over Downton Lane. The Modus was just able to clear it.

The rain had desisted by 10 a.m. when fierce winds whisked curdling waves sent spray smashing into rocks, breakwaters, and the sea wall over which rapidly liquified spume droplets swelled a saturated shingle lake.

Gulls enjoyed floating on the thermals in the warm air currents.

When I last visited this spot a week or so ago a cleft in this cliff had not been quite so rent.

Later this afternoon Elizabeth visited to help me with the on-line Probate application. My sister is very tech-savvy, but even she came to an insurmountable block, so we gave up and had dinner which consisted of succulent roast lamb; crisp roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; tender green beans; mint sauce, and thick, meaty, gravy, with which Elizabeth finished the Comté Tolosan Rouge; Jackie drank Hoegaarden; and I drank Montaria red wine 2020.

Dessert was Jackie’s spicy pumpkin pie which she photographed after we had eaten half of it.

Setting Up For The Day

What do you do when you wake up with no internet on the first day of a gloriously sunny bank holiday weekend? And you don’t get it back until 5 p.m?

Speaking for ourselves, we were in the car soon after 8 a.m, beginning with a trip to Milford on Sea Pharmacy.

A blue clematis on the front garden trellis accompanies pink rosebuds.

Thrift, buttercups, and daisies line both sides of the coast road and the cliff edges,

which have suffered further erosion, as demonstrated by the barriers round the steps to the shore.

Jackie parked beside a marigold lined wall in De La Warr Road for me to photograph the thrift.

We anticipated that Mudeford Quay would be flooded with visitors today, but continued our journey to there hoping to be ahead of most of them.

Already, camper vans and many other vehicles were parked and arriving in steady streams.

Various groups were setting up for the day.

A trio of girls still had room to practise cartwheels.

While I was taking these photographs, Jackie couldn’t park, so had to keep moving. When she spotted me and slowed down for me to rejoin her, she was called “a fucking mad cow” by a following driver. It was perhaps a good thing that I didn’t hear this.

Afterwards we visited Ferndene Farm Shop to buy compost and more plants.

This afternoon I read enough of ‘Nicholas Nickleby’ to scan the next ten of Charles Keeping’s illustrations. I could do this off-line, but could neither write the captions nor put them into WordPress. That will have to wait until tomorrow.

This evening we dined on tangy basil-flavoured lasagne and plentiful fresh salad, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Malbec.

Norwegian Rocks

On another bright morning, in preparation for tomorrow’s booked slot in the recycling centre, I carried the next batch of garden refuse bags to the far end of the back drive. We then drove to the pharmacy at Milford on Sea to collect repeat prescriptions, and back along the coast road.

A number of walkers were enjoying our sunny spell. (The lone woman was photographed by Jackie).

Serious erosion continues to pare away at the cliffs. The gentleman in the yellow jacket here was my informant on the subject of the ongoing

sea defence work being undertaken by Earlcote. The huge blocks of stone being transported by a fleet of container trucks, grabbed, and released into place by powerful equipment have been shipped all the way from Norway. These photographs are the result of my collaboration with the Assistant Photographer who is credited appropriately in the gallery titles.

I didn’t have anything to do with this one.

We continued inland to South Sway Lane to collect three bags of horse manure which I later added to the compost bins. In these times of Covid we were both pleased to note that we have not lost our senses of smell.

The far end of the field opposite now holds a horse and foal. The mare kept her back turned, so I couldn’t tell whether it was Gimlet or not.

We filled up with petrol at Loaders Garage in Bashley, where I photographed a vintage car for the amusement of my American readers, one of whom may be able to identify the vehicle.

This evening we dined on another sitting of Jackie’s splendid lamb jalfrezi, turmeric tinted boiled rice, and plain paratha, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Malbec.

Beach Photography

Yesterday our blogging friend Jill Weatherholt posted about EtchASketch. She asked what toys from our childhoods gave us nostalgic memories. Responding to my comment she prompted me to feature the birthday present I gave Jackie on 1st June this year. She happened to mention her father’s Christmas Santa gifts which were designed

something like this kaleidoscope. Twisting the lens would produce different rose windows viewed from the opposite end of the telescopic device. I, too, cherished childhood memories of such objects. This prompted me, with help from Elizabeth, to research the internet for a genuine antique, as opposed to retro, example.

By turning the tiny handle the lucky children of 1870 were able to produce their own variations.

My short walk on this hot and humid afternoon was

along the clifftop at Barton on Sea, where it looks very much as if there has been more soil erosion since I last tramped there. This pair of readers kept a sensible distance.

Another couple carried their dripping ice creams

to the nearest bench where

taking a large bite was in order.

A number of people brought their own seats. Perhaps the lone woman’s companion had gone in search of ice creams,

perhaps from Marshfield Farm on sale at the Beachcomber café. Someone has lost their bobble hat; the child through the fence has retained his cap.

As always, a number of mobile phones were being put to use.

Mallow and grasses border the footpath;

Photographers shared a crow’s eye view of the Isle of Wight.

Various groups gathered on the beach or in the water; paddling, building sand castles, launching balls for dogs, carrying equipment, or swimming.

Others indulged in photoshoots.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy and aromatic chicken jalfrezi; her turmeric pilau rice, fresh onion salad; and paratha from the little shop in New Milton. The Culinary Queen drank Blue Moon, while I drank more of the New Zealand Merlot.

Studio Portraits

Becky, Ian, Scooby, and I repeated yesterday’s trip to Barton on Sea. This time the rain kept off and we walked down to and along the beach, climbing, by way of a fenced off footpath, up to the road near Sails Coffee Shop, and returning along the straight to Becky’s car.

On the grass near the Beachcomber Cafe we met two women and a young girl with a Scooby lookalike.Scooby and JackThe owners released their pets so they could make each other’s acquaintance. The humans chatted whilst the new-found friends frolicked. We soon realised we all Scooby and Jack 2came originally from London. The cameras were not long in coming out, and various owners attempted to cajole the animals into posing. Ian, Scooby, Jack and girlIan was particularly tender as he caressed Scooby’s ear, no doubt attempting to encourage the forthcoming smile. Scooby, Jack, and girlThe doppelgänger, Jack, also responded to his owner’s gentle touch. Eventually, hands were withdrawn, and suitable studio portraits achieved.

Closed cliffWe walked past a heavily eroded cliff and eventually reached a sign explaining that the area beyond it was closed because of the very high risk of landslides. To the right, some way behind the sign, a woman and child slithered down some scree and made their way to the beach. Becky and Ian on cliff pathThey had descended from the road above, and presumably seen neither the warning nor the high fence. They must, however, have slid under the barrier bordering the path up which we ascended. Cliff and beachTo the right of the path could be seen evidence of cliff falls to which some brick buildings and sections of gardens had clearly been lost.Sails Coffee Shop and cliff edge

Sails Coffee Shop terraceBack gardens on cliff topWe hadn’t realised until we reached the top that one of the buildings so near the edge was the terrace on the end of which is Sails Coffee Shop. These are some of the properties that must once have included longer gardens, perhaps evidenced by their shifted footpaths.

The family returned home to Emsworth after our multiple choice dinner. I enjoyed Becky’s penne Bolognese, Lidl’s lasagne, and Jackie’s savoury salad. That is, I had a little of everything. For dessert I opted for Jackie’s apple crumble and custard. Custard tarts, ice cream, fruit salad and various flans were other choices. Ian drank Hoegaarden. The rest of us abstained.