Emma Would Have Been Under Water

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When I was awaiting my hip replacement in 2009, my GP offered the opinion that I would never have a blood pressure problem. I wonder what she would have thought about my performance on the telephone today, much of which was again spent in frustrating negotiations about the mortgage. We were just about to set off with two full orange bags of clippings for the dump, when I learned that I had to make yet another call before we could be under way. I made the call. We then arrived at the dump just after it had closed.

A trip to the forest was in order.

Tree turning to autumn 1Tree turning to autumn 2Tree turning to autumn 3Tree turning to autumn 4

Only a few specimen trees were beginning to change into their autumn robes. The others still retained their summer garb.

Cloudscape 1Cloudscape 2Cloudscape 3Cloudscape 4Cloudscape 5Cloudscape 6

Smoky indigo clouds swirled over the moors,

Cloudscape 7

the sun only periodically piercing their cover,

Ponies 1Pony

and lighting up the ponies,

CowCattle

cattle,

Donkey and cattle

Donkeys on road

and donkeys wandering about East Boldre,

Donkeys with apples

where a woman had stopped her car and unloaded boxes of apples for their delectation.

High tide with boatHigh tideMan watching sunset

Tanner’s Lane beach was awash with the highest tide we had ever seen there. As we contemplated this we reflected that, had this been today, Emma might have been under water.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb beef and mushroom pie; sautéed potatoes, carrots, and Brussels sprouts; and broccoli al dente. She drank Hoegaarden, and I drank an excellent Finca Flichman reserve malbec 2015, given to me by Helen and Bill for my birthday.

 

 

A Losing Battle

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This morning we drove to Milford on Sea to search out a door handle in the architectural salvage outlet there. The establishment was closed, so we consoled ourselves with

Breakfast

brunch at The Needle’s Eye Cafe. I enjoyed the Maxed up Breakfast while Jackie chose her customary jacket potato with cheese and beans.

Speedboat passing Isle of Wight

Whilst a speedboat laid a trail across The Solent;

Gulls over car park

gulls squealed into the car park;

Sea fishing

and intrepid sea fishers set up their rods;

the sun fought a losing battle with the indigo clouds over the Isle of Wight. Jesus beams provided the brush strokes to the cloudscapes and a slash of light on the water.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s tender beef stew, sauteed potatoes, and crisp carrots, cauliflower, and green beans. I finished the Fleurie and Jackie drank Hoegaarden.

A Murmuration

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An underground problem with installation of the new phone line required further attention today. This necessitated a visit from another engineer who completed the task.

Jackie then drove us around the forest in a very wet late afternoon.

Much rain has fallen during our weekend away. Familiar pools have returned to the forest floor.

The moorland in the rain took on a dramatic aspect as the clouds unloaded their precipitation.

Between Brockenhurst and Beaulieu, the River Lymington has burst its banks.

Sunset is early at this time of the year;

Sunset over Hatchet Pond

it is a reflection of the different light today that this is the same clump of trees beside Hatchet Pond that I photographed at virtually the same time from a slightly different angle yesterday.

A murmuration of starlings

As we waited at the level crossing on the approach to Lymington, an elliptical disc that was a murmuration of starlings slid around the skies.

This evening we dined on roast lamb with roast potatoes and crunchy carrots and cauliflower. I drank Clervigny Arbois, 2014

 

 

Indigo, Sepia, Lightning

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Isle of Wight and The Needles

The four of us brunched today at Beachcomber cafe on the cliff top at Barton on Sea, within sight of The Isle of Wight and The Needles.

The day’s ever-changing light laid a haze over the ponies on Barton Common. Although these animals roam freely like any other New Forest pony, for their own protection, they are fenced along the road through to the coast.

Various walkers cast their shadows across the beach.

I am not sure of the purpose of the stationary working boat that rested on the sun-slashed ocean surface beneath the indigo skies.

The Beachcomber was as well patronised as usual; the food was good, and the service efficient and friendly.

Skyscape

Shortly before sunset  I walked down Downton Lane and along the path through Roger’s fields. The sky bore a strangely sepia hue,

until the lowering sun set the cottages and fields alight,

and sent lightning flashes overhead.

This evening we dined on perfectly roasted lamb and potatoes; stuffing; crunchy cauliflower, carrots, and runner beans; gravy with lots of goodies, and mint sauce; followed by spicy pumpkin pie and cheesecake. Ian drank Peroni; the ladies, Australian white wine; and I finished the rioja.

A Good Arboreal Scratch

We enjoyed another bright and sunny day, albeit a little cooler. A light, short-lived frost had left strings of pearls around our early flowers including

Hellebore

hellebores I had overlooked yesterday,

Prunus pissardi 1Prunus pissardi 2

and prunus pissardi.

This afternoon I watched recorded highlights of last Sunday’s drawn rugby match between Ireland and Wales. This is a very rare result these days, and you have to go back 42 years to the last evenly scored game between these two teams.

After this, Jackie drove us to Ferndene Farm Shop where we bought three bags of compost; then meandered around the forest as far as Godshill and back along Roger Penny Way.

Cloudscape 1Cloudscape 2Cloudscape 3Cloudscape 4

Ponies and magpie

The sun romped in and out of the clouds in the ever-changing skies spilling light and shade over the heathland where well-fattened ponies, with their magpie acolytes, chomped their way across the turf.

Ponies crossing road

When these free-creatures of The New Forest fancied the grass would be greener on the other side, they wandered across the road, exercising their inalienable right to hold up the traffic.

Shattered fallen tree

The recent storms have brought down numbers of trees such as this oak, its trunk shattered, on the approach to Burley,

Oak tree

where another, more dead than alive, still stood,

Pony scratching

and where one pony left its companions foraging whilst it had a good arboreal scratch.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy chicken curry; savoury rice; and vegetable samosas and pakoras; followed by Sicilian lemon tart and evap. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank Fortnum & Mason Saint-Emilio grand cru 2011, given to me by Luci and Wolf for Christmas.

Silhouettes

It is not that unusual for readers seeking contacts or history to stumble across this blog and, through comments, to ask me for information. Yesterday there were two. One man sought a contact with Trinity (Battersea) now Trinity (Oxley) Cricket Club. I, and two others responded. A second person, a woman, wondered whether Jackie’s sister, Helen, was someone she had trained with in the 1960s. I put them in touch with each other. Such is the power of WordPress.

Today, definitely presaging Spring, was even sunnier, and warmer, than yesterday.

Here are some of the garden flowers I did not pick yesterday:

Pansies

We have pretty pansies,

Hellebores 1Hellebores 2Hellebore 1Hellebore 2Hellebore 3

a vast variety of head-hanging hellebores,

Viburnum

several flourishing viburnums,

Primulas

precocious primulas, some a little nibbled,

Camellia

different camellias,

Cyclamen

and cerise cyclamens among others.

At midday we drove to Efford Recycling Centre to dump some of our rubbish, and

Charger and toysMats

as usual departed with purchases from the Sales Area, namely a charger, some toddler toys and rolls of mats for the garden shed.

We then came back to Otter Nurseries where we enjoyed mushroom soup and rolls with the discount vouchers. After this we went driveabout.

Isle of WightIsle of Wight 2

The Needles and Lighthouse

The light was so clear over the Solent that we had the sharpest view of the flanks of the Isle of Wight, The Needles, and the lighthouse, a mile and a quarter away.

Walkers silhouette 1Walkers silhouette 2

Walkers were silhouetted on Hordle West Cliff Top.

Pheasant hens Pheasant hens 2

Driving along Angel Lane we gatecrashed a pheasant hen party.

Cloudscape 1Cloudscape and silhouettes

Back at home, shortly before sunset, sand-clouds gathered over Christchurch Road. This time buildings, shrubs, and trees provided the silhouettes.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s chicken tikka biriani; vegetable pakoras and samosas; salad; and delicious cauliflower bhaji that would have graced any Indian kitchen. The cook drank Hoegaarden and the satisfied customer drank Kingfisher.

Storm Imogen

The winds of Storm Imogen, that reached 96 m.p.h. off The Needles, howled all night and continued at 55-65 m.p.h. throughout the day. Carol had the good sense to suggest I might need to postpone our lunch date. This was very wise as the trains I would need to catch were severely disrupted, and trees were reported down on roads such as the A35.

We were warned against venturing out unless our journey was urgent. I trust you will agree that investigating the views across Christchurch Bay to the Island fitted that bill.

Isle of Wight and The Needles

We began on Hordle Cliff Top where it was impossible to see what I was doing, as I was forced backwards by the gusts. Consequently I needed to straighten this one up in my Mac. The computer that is, not the one I was wearing.

Enticed by the prospect of spray on the rocks at Barton on Sea, that is where I took the rest of the photographs.

Man descending steps

Descending the car park steps was easier than the battle that was the return.

Shoreline and Isle of WightShorelineSpray 1Spray 2Spray 3Spray 5Spray 6

Shoreline 3Clouds and sprayClouds and Sea

Close examination of the images will reveal the effects of the flying spray spattered on my lens.

Clifftop buildings

The buildings on the clifftop clung to their perches,

Dog walker

beneath which one of the very few dog walkers in evidence clung to her hood.

Barton on the news

Back home, the BBC 1 p.m. News, featured Barton on Sea. Actually, the scene looked more like Milford to me, but never mind. I’m probably wrong.

It being Elizabeth’s birthday, we further braved the storms to meet her, Danni, and Andy for dinner at The White Hart at Cadnam. We shared, olives, stuffed peppers, and bread in a balsamic vinegar dip. My main course was rabbit, ham and lentil broth with parsley dumpling. I shared a cheese board with Danni; and good Chilean red wine with her and Elizabeth.