Today we cleaned up downstairs in preparation for our visitors beginning to arrive tomorrow.
I hand-delivered a few local Christmas cards, then Jackie drove me to the framer’s in Old Milton. I was beginning to become rather anxious about a present he was working on. Last week he had said it would be done by the next day and he would phone me when it was done. He hadn’t. It was as well I had chased this up, because he had forgotten about it. He made it his next job and did phone me within an hour, after which we collected it. His work is good, so we will forgive the gentleman. I do tend to be too patient.
From Old Milton we drove down to Barton On Sea, to watch the waves. A sign on a post at the water’s end of the car park explained why it was gradually being truncated.
The cliff on which it was perched was unstable.
As can be seen in these two photographs, the land is, by stages, falling down. The trees give some idea of scale. A couple to whom I spoke told me that they remembered when the cliff itself stretched as far as the point at which the undergrowth now meets the beach. The concrete was once for cars.
A notice explains the Cliff Instability Study,
part of which required this theodolite to be placed where it is.
Alongside the notice is placed Bob Dunn’s memorial bench. For thirty years this man patrolled these cliffs on behalf of the New Forest District Council. I wonder where the edge was in 1979.
Steps now lead down to the beach. In Bob’s time there was possibly an easy walk down the slope.
Part way down the steps I met and spoke with a couple who lived along this stretch of the coastline. They said that the biggest problem was underground springs which caused internal collapse. Their gardens, and those of their neighbours were often flooded. The house remained dry, but greenhouses were often waterlogged.
When I pointed to the remnants of a wall on the top left of this crumbling cliff, they confirmed that there were once rows of houses along here.
Another view of the theodolite from the other side of the stairway shows how precariously it is placed.
This gentleman looking out to sea stands beneath the surveyor’s instrument. the golden edge to the cliff makes clear the most recently exposed section. An enlargement of the photograph shows another theodolite perched on the top roughly in the centre of the view.
Fortunately, we live more than a mile from the sea.
On our return home I cleared our garden paths of cuttings, fallen branches and other debris.
There is always plenty in Hordle Chinese Take Away set meals to last two days. We therefore had our second sitting at that this evening. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank sparkling water.