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.

Back Drive Progress

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We spent the morning of another dull, overcast, day continuing the general tidying of the garden.

Many new aquilegias are fully or partially blooming.

Over the last few days Jackie has been fine-tuning my weeding of the back drive. In addition to digging up a few more invading brambles, most of my work this morning was transferring the Head Gardener’s piles of weeds to the compost heap. We just need to apply an herbicidal spray to the gravel and the job will be done.

More irises;

Geraniums Johnson's Blue

geraniums like these Johnson’s Blue from Gloucestershire’s Hidcote Gardens;

and hostas, heucheras, alliums and bluebells are some of the plants that line these borders. We thin out the profuse alliums every year.

This afternoon we voted at the local County Council elections where we were informed that the turnout was looking like 20-30%, which was about average. I ask you.

This took place at Milford on Sea church hall. Jackie then drove us to the clifftop where

we thought the pink thrift, despite the gloom of the day, was looking quite colourful against  the grey water reflecting the slate sky.

Pigeon on clifftop

A small pigeon had come to contemplate the calm sea,

Walkers on beach

and a few walkers wandered along the beach below.

The caged structure to our left of the pigeon is intended to keep the public away from the crumbling cliff edge.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla in Lymington. The welcome, the service, and the food, were as good as ever. My choice was lamb dansak with special fried rice; Jackie’s was prawn and mushroom biriani; we shared a plain naan, and both drank Kingfisher.

Once More Unto The Beach House

Jackie delivered me to New Milton station this morning, for me to travel to Waterloo. A little more than an hour later, she collected me and we collected a waistcoat from Fagan’s and some paint from Milford Supplies.

After watching the messages of the station indicators switching from ‘delayed’ to ‘cancelled’ and back again for the best part of the hour, I postponed my meeting with Norman and joined the queue for refunds forming at the shuttered ticket office while the clerk was enjoying his coffee break. Eventually those of us who wanted it got our money back.

Scooby and crow 1Scoobby and crow 2

After lunch I accompanied Becky and Scooby on a walk at Barton on Sea clifftop. Scooby, as usual, frolicked with other dogs, then wandered along the edge of the cliff, far too close for my comfort, until, pretending he hadn’t heard, he disdained the challenge of a crow to approach nearer.

Shorefield Sales Office

On our way back we passed Ian who had been walking down to surprise us. He joined us in the car and we drove around Shorefield Country Park, then investigated the sales office.

Welcome table

This evening we dined at The Beach House, where the welcome was superb.

JackieIanBecky and IanDerrick

The meal, pretending to be no more than pub food, was good; the ambience and service excellent; the prices very reasonable with no exorbitant mark-up on the wines. My choice of starter was very good whitebait; my main course was a good Cornish pastie; my sweet two scoops of ice cream, one of honeycomb, and the other rum and raisin. I drank an excellent Montepulciano.

The Beach House

Late on this crystal crisp clear blue sky morning Ian drove Scooby and me to Marine Drive, East, Barton on Sea, whence we walked along the clifftop.

Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight was again sporting a pastel palette,

Dog walkers

as we joined other dog walkers, many of whom are now familiar to Ian and Scooby,

Scooby encounters another dog

whose stance and cocked ears at one fresh encounter betrayed the slight concern that possibly brought about his first bowel-emptying session.

Cliff erosion 1Cliff erosion 2Scooby on clifftop

He exhibited no such nervousness in dashing along the steadily eroding edge.

Walkers

A few other pedestrians strode down below.

Sun on sea

There, waterborne sunlight dazzled,

Beachcomber Cafe

as did the windows of the Beachcomber Cafe where we stopped for coffee.

The Beach House entrance 1The Beach House entrance 2

This afternoon we paid another visit to The Beach House in order to introduce Ian to its exquisite ambience. Clicking on these images will reveal some of the stained glass that adorns this oak panelled building.

Stained glass window

More of this can be seen in the Sun Room where we took our tea, coffee, and cakes, at no further cost than Costa’s.

Sunset in lounge

Sunset through lounge window

The sunset could be enjoyed from the lounge,

Sunset through dining room window

the dining room,

Sunset through back room window

the back room,

Sunset through Sun room window

and the Sun Room,

where we enjoyed our refreshments whilst, through a protective glass screen we observed

Isle of Wight through Sun Room window

The Isle of White,

Isle of Wight and garden from Sun Room window

the garden,

Pigeon in pines

and silhouetted pigeons (this photograph is Becky’s).

Foyer

The foyer, photographed from the first floor gallery, shows the aforementioned oak panelling that also lines all the corridors to the bedrooms.

Although the personnel were different, the service was as efficient and friendly as we had found yesterday.

For our dinner this evening, Jackie produced a superb beef casserole; cauliflower and broccoli cheese; perfect boiled new potatoes; and crisp carrots and green beans. I finished the El Sotillo, Ian drank Peroni, and Becky drank zinfandel rose.

Late Afternoon

Trees and shrubsClouds over Barton Common

This afternoon Jackie dropped me in the Barton Common car park as she drove off to the Beachcomber Cafe where I was to meet her, Becky, and Ian, after they had partaken of coffee and cakes whilst I floundered through the mud.

Stream

A bridge has now been placed over the stream running through the common,

Footpath waterlogged

where the footpaths are waterlogged,

Footpath muddy

or so muddy as to make me fear that my walking shoes were in danger of being sucked off.

Clouds, sea, puddle

At one point a pool reflected the sunlight over Christchurch Bay.

Bench in scrub

The more open areas are populated with numerous memorial benches.

Ponies

Before threading my way through the kissing gate leading to the golf course, I encountered a rather soggy group of ponies chomping the grass,

Pony

or chewing lichen off the gnarled tree branches. This pony’s collar is reflective and a crucial aid to motorists at night. Although the common is securely fenced, you can never rule out the possibility of these animals finding their way on to the road.

Seascape 1

Once through the gate, I took the footpath alongside the course down to the clifftop.

Clifftop 2

Surfers walkingClifftop 1

More of the footpath has been eroded in the year since my last walk along this way.

Sea and clouds 1Sea and clouds 3Sea and clouds 4Sea and clouds 5

On the final stretch of my journey, I monitored the late afternoon sun peeking through the yellowing clouds.

This evening we dined on Becky’s brilliant beef burgers and weird wedges with garlic and herbs. These burgers are built with layers of salad, mayonnaise, cheese, and pickles. I drank more of the El Solitto, Jackie drank Hoegaarden, Ian drank San Miguel beer, and Becky drank Lyme Bay strawberry wine.

Crumbling Cliff

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.

Car park/unstable cliff

The cliff on which it was perched was unstable.

Cliff topCliff top 2

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.

Cliff Instability Study

A notice explains the Cliff Instability Study,

Theodolite 1

part of which required this theodolite to be placed where it is.

Bob Dunn's bench

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

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.

Crumbly cliff and remnant of wall

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.

Theodolite 2

Another view of the theodolite from the other side of the stairway shows how precariously it is placed.

Man looking out to sea

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.

Weak Salmon Skies

This morning I pasted the South End section into the garden album and printed the Patio set of photographs.

This afternoon I had another needle stuck into my arm. So did Jackie. These were our flu vaccinations at the GP surgery. So efficient was the service that appointments were one minute apart. At reception we were  given a red sign reading FLU. As we approached the woman at the far end of the waiting area who told us to roll up our sleeves, I felt like a mediaeval leper wearing his ‘unclean’ label.

Ushered in on the conveyor belt, Jackie and I were allowed into the torture chamber together, and pricked in quick succession. It was all very jolly.

It was now barely twenty minutes to the early sunset. Jackie drove us along the clifftop to Barton on Sea, where I disembarked and wandered about photographing the weak pastel salmon shades of the sea and skies. The wind was still, and the temperature mild, enough for me to be wearing an unbuttoned jacket.

Sea view 1

Sea view 2                                                                                                                                       These first two views tell the story of the gradually collapsing coastline. The recent falls in the foreground display the stones still to fall, and the terraces down to the coast, bearing plenty of greenery, show the different levels that have collapsed earlier. As always, clicking on these images will show more detail. The Isle of Wight is on the first horizon. The other looks across its eponymous bay towards Christchurch.

Sea and sky

Sea, sky and clifftop                                 The next two pictures have similar orientations.

Tree and sky

This tree has bent to stronger winds than those of today.

Sky over static caravans

Clouds, sea and clifftopThe concrete path on the land of the Hoburne Naish static caravan site in the foreground of this picture, comes to an abrupt end where it collapsed into the sea.

Walkers

Down below, a trio of walkers strode along the water’s edge.

After this, we drove on to Highcliffe with a bag of work for Highcliffe Watchmakers. Two items, being clocks, were ruled out immediately. The very obliging craftsman didn’t ‘do clocks’, but he knew man who did. His diagnosis on my Tissot watch was that the winder needed a tweak. This did the trick. He then replaced the strap, and inserted a new battery into Jackie’s watch. All he charged was the cost prices of the strap and the battery. Nothing for telling me there was nothing wrong with my watch.

We went on to Sainsbury’s outside Christchurch where we bought some baby clothes.

Our dinner this evening consisted of Jackie’s delicious lamb jalfrezi, onion bhajis, and naan. I drank Old Crafty Hen.