Garden, Ponies, Cattle, Ornamental Drive

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Late this morning I amused myself by poking my camera through the guest bedroom windows.

This afternoon Jackie and I shopped at Streets in Brockenhurst for a bag of coal, a spark guard, firelighters, gardening gloves, and a wheelbarrow. We continued on a drive into the forest.

 

On the moors along Rhinefield Road we spotted a mare suckling a foal. By the time I left the car and waited for a couple of cyclists to walk up the hill, the late lunch had been completed. The mother wandered off on her own, joining a few relatives. Her offspring gave chase. He then lay down for a rest. Off she went again. Up he rose and continued his pursuit.

 

When the ponies vacated this spot a longhorn cow advanced into it. She was joined by a black companion. These two drew closer together as the next member of the herd approached to commandeer its own pasturage.

Dappled sunlight slipped through the trees along Rhinefield Ornamental Drive reflected in streams running under the road.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid pasta arrabbiata with which she drank Hoegaarden and Elizabeth and I consumed more of the Pinot Noir.

 

Wrecking The Shrubbery

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This afternoon, Jackie drove me around the East of the forest.

A group of donkeys diced with death as they munched on the verges of the winding lanes approaching East End,

where a llama in a field slowly swivelled its gaze in my direction;

and seasonal signs included blackberries ripening in the hedgerows,

starlings gathering on overhead cables,

and pheasants trotting across the moorland.

Three young cyclists came whooping down the approaching slope and up the next,

until they ran out of puff, dismounted, and, with a certain amount of trepidation, negotiated their way past fly-pestered ponies bent on keeping cottages’ grass cropped.

One of the many wandering cattle at East Boldre craned over a white picket fence and set about wrecking the owners’ shrubbery.

Gulls and swans shared Beaulieu’s Hatchet Pond.

This evening we will shortly be driving to The Family House at Totton where we will meet Becky, Ian, and Elizabeth for an excellent Chinese meal.

P.S. The evening was most enjoyable. The restaurant served the usual excellent food; the ambience being as warm and friendly as ever.

 

 

Watch Out

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Setting the mood nicely, a sheet of heavy cloud leaked steady precipitation dripping down our windscreen all the way to New Hall Hospital for my appointment with Miss Melissa Davies, consultant urologist early this morning. Windscreen wipers swept across my vision. After an examination I’d rather not describe, and a full questionnaire I was able to leave with a certain amount of optimism signalled by the clearance of the skies and the emergence of sun separating the clouds. I do have to order a specific blood test and ask my GP to recommend a procedure involving a miniature camera and an anaesthetic.

Feeling rather hearty, we stopped at the charming village of Hale which I photographed without the need to numb my consciousness.

“You’re not photographing that are you?” asked the local resident who did not think the sculpture on the edge of the green looked much like  a pony and foal.

The tree behind the sculpture was planted in 1992 to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II. The brass plaque explaining this is headed ‘Kinges Oak’.

A string of cyclists sped past the green,

on the other side of which a solitary equine representative stood before the school, the students of which will be playing where it stands once they return from the Summer break.

All post in the forest is delivered from little red vans, like the one driven by the postman enjoying a chat with a resident of one of the attractive thatched cottages.

The village is approached by narrow tree-lined lanes. I wondered whether the above brick built structure was the ice house once belonging to Hale House.

From the higher levels could be seen a patchwork quilt flung across the landscape,

above which patrolled a predatory raptor.

A herd of cows dined on the upper slopes.

 

The whole length of Roger Penny Way is punctuated by warning signs alerting drivers to the possibility of animals on the road. One is ‘Watch Out……’ pictured here. This flock had passed the sign when making their way across the road to this pasture. While I focussed on them a large bovine ambled down the centre of the minor road to my left to join its ovine cousins.

Afterwards we brunched at the Walkford Diner. Here we enjoyed huge traditional breakfasts cooked on a griddle. Black puddings and haggis, for example, are imported from Stornaway, and potato scones are just like the ones Mum used to make. Only when inside did we realise that the establishment was run by Ian, who had produced excellent meals at Molly’s Den. These were even better.

It will therefore come as no surprise that I could not join in the ladies’ enjoyment of Jackie’s beef in red wine dinner. (Mum is better and Elizabeth is back with us). I was, however, able to manage the Culinary Queen’s apple and apricot crumble and custard, and a couple more glasses of the Fleurie.

A Good Thing I Wasn’t Waiting For A Bus

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On her way to lunch with her sisters at MacPenny’s Garden Centre, Jackie deposited me, equipped with a packed lunch, a camera, and, in case of necessity, a book at the bus shelter looking down Ringwood Road in Bransgore. This was in order for me to watch the traffic.

A steady stream of cars approached the junction in front of me.

Some were open-topped. It was certainly the day for it.

Vans and trucks tended to publicise goods and services.

Pedestrians tended to walk down to the row of shops on the right side of Ringwood Road and return with purchases.

Crossing the road, especially for those with arms and buggies full of children, was quite a precarious undertaking. The moment had to be seized, although preferably not on the run with fish and chips.

Cyclists of various ages and styles were much in evidence. Some were obviously locals out shopping, others kitted out for a forest ride.

The same applies to motorcyclists.

A camper van carried its own resting place, while a hearse bore a coffin to its final one.

Bringing up the rear are the trailers which carried a variety of loads.

During the 2 3/4 hours I was perched at this spot, the only method of transport not represented at this very busy corner was a bus. It is a good thing I wasn’t waiting for one.

This evening Jackie and I dined on breaded chicken breasts, sautéed new potatoes, and a melange of fried onions mushrooms and peppers. Jackie drank Alta OItalia Trentino pinot Grigio 2017 (courtesy of John Jones), and I drank Camino del Angel Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (courtesy of Elizabeth).

 

Haven’t We Seen Them Before?

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This being a glorious Saturday in the tourist season, we ventured out early into the forest. Groups of walkers toting huge packs; a solitary jogger; and numerous cyclists were already on the road.

Jackie parked the Modus on a verge in the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive while I wandered among the giant redwoods and the cones underfoot.

A number of benches have been strategically placed, some partnered by marker posts bearing interesting carvings, perhaps from these majestic trees.

Our stopping point was prompted by my spotting a family group on a bench alongside a path. A couple with a dog walked past them and continued on their way. The youngest member of the group rose from her seat and photographed the others. She enjoyed a stretch, and they walked on with their dog.

Many other families could be glimpsed among the forest giants. One couple pushed a baby in a buggy; slightly older children and other dogs scampered along.

Two groups converged, and passed each other with no apparent acknowledgement. Just a moment. Haven’t we already seen the second group on the other side of the road?

On the outskirts of Brockenhurst on our way home, a group of pony trekkers crossing the road demonstrated that it is not just the free-ranging animals that hold up the traffic.

For me, this afternoon’s main viewing event was the Wimbledon women’s tennis final between Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams. Scheduling clashes and delay caused by last night’s epic men’s battles meant I could not watch the tennis on BBC One and the third place World Cup football play-off between England and Belgium on ITV. I settled for the continuation of the Djokovic/Nadal semi final into the fifth set, then the first half of the football, followed by the complete women’s final.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid pork paprika with vegetable rice. She had drunk her Hoegaarden and I had finished the Malbec in the Rose Garden beforehand.

 

None Of The Dogs

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This morning Jackie delivered me to a bench on the corner of the green at Milford on Sea an hour before my appointment with Peter of Sears Barbers who cut my hair. Off she went shopping, leaving me to play with my cameras, and returned to collect me afterwards.

My vantage point allowed me to watch a variety of people crossing the road;

Boxes on barrow

One young man, passing The Smugglers Inn car park, toted a pile of boxes on a sack barrow.

Couple turning corner

A couple walked around the corner into Sea Road;

Biker and passenger

another took a similar route by motor bike.

The window of Biscuit House at 64 High Street attracted attention for some; others, more interested in their arms around each other, walked leisurely past.

Dogs were being walked;

one terrier in particular was content to be tied up outside Village Veg while its owners shopped inside. Afterwards a sparring partner was encountered.

Customers of Hurst On The Hill, with another dog, were happy to take their refreshments outside. Maybe they had obtained their cash from the ATM in Winkworth’s wall being passed by this couple. This building was once a bank, then a beauty parlour. The cash machine has been kept in service by each occupier.

Village VegConversation outside Village Charity ShopWalkers outside Village Charity Shop

Various conversations were held outside the small shops, one on a mobile phone as the family walked on.

There was an interesting juxtaposition of bikers and a cyclist, who, later pushed his steed up the hill.

CyclistCyclist tying up bikeCyclist with shoppingCyclist

Noticing another cyclist coming into view, I waited for her to pass a parked vehicle, not realising she would provide a little story. She swung round and came to a halt beside me, tying her transport to the railings at the crossing. It was some time later that she returned, and, sensibly clinging to the bottle, dropped all her purchases which she decanted into the pannier and set off back the way she had come.

Readers will by now be aware that there was not a great deal of road space either at this junction or up the hill between the green and shops. Imagine my surprise, then, at seeing a lorry carrying a LONG Salisbury static caravan up this route. One gentleman walked in front, shooed away vehicles such as an obdurate Land Rover, and guided the skilful driver through his obstacle course.

Man with walking aid

I really admire some of the ageing residents who manage with all manner of walking aids.

Couple at bench, phone box, pillar box

On an earlier visit to my barbers I had watched the telephone box, now taken over by the community, being restored. I wondered what it would be used for. In fact it contains racks for Dementia Information. At the moment they are empty.

Walkers along High Street

Across the road, indicated by its red and white striped pole, is the barbers.

Pointing boy

None of the dogs on leads tugged at their owners. That could not be said of this little boy.

This afternoon I watched the Wimbledon tennis match between Serena Williams and Evgeniya Rodina.

This evening we enjoyed two excellent meals at The Royal Oak. Mine was smoked pork rib, French fries, coleslaw, and fresh, well-dressed salad. Jackie’s was a burger in a brioche, with French fries. The fries were presented in large bowls, the coleslaw in a smaller one. Each meal was served on a large wooden platter with a handle. Jackie drank Amstell and I drank Malbec.