Patent Love

Our neighbour, Gordon, who lives in Old Rode House, Downton Lane this morning gave us this typed version of an article from The Mansfield and Sutton Times of 29th June 1928:

The highlighted paragraph is the one that specifically features our little hamlet, and is, incidentally evidence that our house was certainly built before the 1930s, as we had been given to understand. I have also scanned the next two pages which describe the life of our area a hundred years ago. Apart from the volume of motor traffic this has not changed much in the intervening years. We do have electricity, but not gas. We are not on mains drainage and dispose of our waste by means of a septic tank. These continuation sheets can be enlarged by access to their gallery.

The few fluffy clouds creeping away from a clear cerulean sky above our garden earlier heralded the cold, bright, day that we were to enjoy. The last image in the above set was produced by looking down on the kitchen skylight from our new first floor sitting room.

We began with a visit to Pilley’s lake where my usual seasonal view bore signs of autumn and a number of ponies

drinking and reflected in the clear, still waters.

Some of the animals wandered across Jordans Lane until a woman left one of the cars and shooed them off.

This was Jules who called her pony over from the far side of the lake and gave him treats – this soon had me surrounded by other equines hoping for the same from me. I had engaged this friendly person in conversation in order to ask her about the foal with the stick in its collar that we had seen yesterday. She had obligingly parked behind Jackie where we enjoyed talking. Jules thought it likely that the small branch would become dislodged. The love between pony and owner was patent.

Assorted equines gathered on the other side of the water.

Donkeys with a foal gathered at East Boldre, where

robins flitted about.

More ponies, casting long shadows gathered on the verges of the beginning of South Baddersley Road. These, we thought, were the group that we often see at St Leonard’s Grange, with their little attached Shetland,

today enjoying an extended scratch on a post, while

one of its taller companions was able to use its hoof.

Defender And Donkeys

While sitting on the loo this morning I had a brainwave. Having struggled yesterday to upload four pages of illustrations into my WP post, but found it not possible to put titles and descriptions into the gallery, I decided to attempt this on my MacBook Pro laptop. First the titles went on smoothly. This left the descriptions. I moved to the new iMac for these. The task was impossible. I returned to the laptop and immediately performed the job. To my mind this proves that the problem is in the iMac.

Later I posted https://derrickjknight.com/2021/10/27/a-knights-tale-57-learning-the-new-disciplines/

This afternoon of another much warmer day than usual at this time of the year, we took a forest drive. Each time we travel along Tiptoe Road when a particular vehicle is parked there we admire its rusted beauty. Today the truck followed us from Hordle until reaching its normal spot. I disembarked from the Modus and spoke to the proud owner. This was Mr M. Rickman who had designed and built

his working pickup.The wheelbase is from a Land Rover Defender; other body parts and number plates are from America; the rear boxed container, Mr Rickman made from wood and iron. Except for the last two pandemic blocked years he shows his creation at the Dorset Steam Fair. He was perfectly happy for me to photograph the vehicle. He said “everyone else does”.

I walked along Cadnam Lane for a while, photographing a woodland bank and

a couple of donkeys negotiating a water filled reflective ford.

When we last visited this spot on 3rd of this month I reported that the handrail on the wooden bridge was dangerously wobbly. It has now been taped off. Here were two more asses who, like those at Ibsley a week ago, had more sense than to walk through the water.

When these hopeful creatures approached me for a treat Jackie photographed me explaining that I didn’t have anything for them. In fact I was too warm in that jacket. The donkeys turned tail, crossed the bridge, and made do with prickly shrubs.

Further along I met another trio of donkeys, one a foal, and another, still young, grooming its forelegs.

This evening we dined on Mr Chan’s excellent Hordle Chinese Take Away fare with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Montepulciano.

A Negative Tattoo

The day dawned dull yet dry; the air cool and cheerless. Nevertheless

Compassion rose, its neighbouring geranium palmatum; rose Penny Lane and her accompanying clematis Dr Ruppel flourished well enough as I made my way into the garden to gather up clippings from the Head Gardener’s morning graft.

After lunch I carried out an extensive but by no means exhaustive dead-heading exercise in the Rose Garden.

Absolutely Fabulous, For Your Eyes Only, Créme de la créme, Laura Ford, Festive Jewel, a pink rambler, and Aloha are among those that received attention.

A little later we visited Otter Nurseries where we bought another wooden bench. This was the last one in the store. It was the display item. As it was already at a reduced price there was no discount, but there was a bonus. Because it was on display we did not have to assemble it ourselves and it will be delivered tomorrow because we couldn’t fit it this form into the Modus. In football parlance this was a result.

Afterwards we continued into the forest where

beside the tidal lake at Beaulieu, a swan family were taking their cygnets for an outing, and

a human family were feeding the ducks.

Outside the Abbey two pregnant donkeys dozed and one dined on hedgerow while her son grazed for his own dinner.

Outside The Oak Inn at Bank ponies gathered on the green

and wandered in the woodland.

One in particular bore a negative tattoo of an intriguing mud pattern.

This evening we very much enjoyed an Indian Takeaway meal from Red Chilli, a new outlet in Old Milton. My main course was probably the best King Prawn Naga I have ever tasted; Jackie’s chicken biriani was equally good. My special rice was very good, and we also liked the sag poneer. There was so much that we have enough left over for tomorrow, including the plain paratha which we didn’t even unwrap. The whole meal passed what we call the poppadom test – if they are good, the rest will be. Mrs Knight drank Hoegaarden while I drank more of the CEO.

Sampling A Dandelion

Early this morning Jackie hoovered the house and I swept the garden paths.

Barry and Karen visited us later, when we enjoyed coffee, cake, and convivial conversation.

“A wobble” has become Jackie’s term for a forest photo foray. It may have something to do with my gait. We went on one this afternoon.

As we turn off Roger Penny Way onto Cadnam Lane we cross a road bridge

over a stream which is very much drying out as a result of our recent paucity of precipitation.

I needed four photographs to cover the stretch of a huge recently fallen tree which, had it descended in the opposite direction would have damaged a nearby house,

seen beyond the evidence of an earlier toppled giant.

Older branches were now covered in bright green moss.

The bright sunshine of this warmer day cast shadows across last year’s autumn leaves and this year’s yellow celandines which also clung to the bank of the stream.

Further along Cadnam Lane we encountered a field full of recently yeaned ewes and their very young lambs.

A young man occupied himself with his mobile phone as he led his pony to its nearby paddock.

Tufts of wool bunting decorated the bramble hedges. Perhaps they had been shed by the mothers before confinement;

perhaps others on the road or in the neighbouring woodland.

Would anyone like to suggest a speech bubble for this squirrel, bearing in mind the creature has its mouth full?

It was another which dashed across the road.

Like all youngsters at this time this donkey foal sought new goodies to eat. We watched it sample a dandelion.

Maybe it was its Dad daring our Modus to come any closer.

This evening we dined on second helpings of yesterday’s casserole with boiled new potatoes; and a perfection of cabbage, carrots, and cauliflower. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Red Blend.

Picnicking

Even at 8.30 this morning garden watering was shirt-soaking weather without having gone anywhere near the sprinkler.

I also produced a few photographs. Jackie said I made life difficult for myself with the camera slung round my neck. As usual, the gallery can be accessed by clicking on any image, each of which may be enlarged. This may be useful to find the camouflaged bee in the last picture.

Later, we set off for a picnic lunch. I should have known that the cattle drinking from the stream crossed by Holmsley Passage would have been inquisitive enough to

leave by the time I extricated myself from the car, and proceed to block the road.

The usual string of ponies did the same with considerably more effect than the bovines. Jackie considered that the traffic problem had been exacerbated by “old man in the road”. Well, it was a little difficult for me to round the obstacles to meet up with my Chauffeuse who had moved on ahead.

Outside Hyde CE Primary School a donkey foal stopped during feeding time for a scratch while waiting to be enrolled into ‘The Family in the Forest’.

Eventually we found a shady car park in Godshill Wood. We hadn’t bought chairs and there were no benches, so we could not emulate other, better prepared, picnickers and stayed in the open-windowed car watching

a trio of ponies clustered together for protection against the myriad of flies they had diverted from our lunch.

Another equine pair took direct shelter beneath the trees.

Occasionally a combination of the carelessly parked grey car and the cluster of ponies presented drivers with difficulty. One young lady left her car and proceeded to push a pony in an attempt to shift the group. She was pushed in turn, declared that the pony was either too hot or too grumpy, and returned her transport which threw up dust as it sped off into the distance.

This evening we dined on Hordle Chinese Take Away’s excellent fare with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Malbec.

“The Royal Stump”

This morning I e-mailed two more entries to the Wessex Photo Spring competition. These are entitled ‘A Paddle’ and ‘The Hind Leg’. (A paddle is the collective noun for ducks in the water; a garrulous person could be said to talk the hind leg off a donkey – with Jackie’s assistance I couldn’t help myself).

Later I photographed the roses on the front garden trellis.

After lunch Jackie drove me to that photographic outlet in Ringwood to collect some paper I had ordered. We then travelled on into the forest and stopped at the recently opened bird hide at Blashford Lakes.

When I entered the building a man inside mouthed “lapwing” and pointed to the window. As I approached it flew away. I observed that I had that effect on birds. He replied that he had had that effect since he was eighteen. Quick to pick up the innuendo I gesticulated in the direction of the two attractive women in his company and offered the opinion that something must have improved. This was met with hilarity. The said waterfowl was decent enough to return for a forage.

I was informed that two somnolent birds bobbing on the water were great crested grebes.

A pair of ducks sharing a spit with a black headed gull soon took to the water. I trust one of my birding blogging friends will help me with identification. (The consensus seems to be Tufted Ducks – see arlingwoman and John Knifton’s comments)

We stopped for a drink at The Royal Oak, North Gorley where the avian propensity for taking flight at the sight of my lens did rather pay off. Two jackdaws perched on the chimney pot were possibly protecting a nest. One decided to decant to the TV aerial when I was in mid-click.

Since we last visited the eponymous Quercus has had to be felled. The pub landlord quipped that they should now be called “The Royal Stump”. Jackie suggested that the slice might attract the attention of a dendrochronologist.

This evening we enjoyed our second sitting of Hordle Chinese Take Away fare with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Garnacha Syrah.

Topiary Training

It was shortly after dawn on this overcast morning when Jackie set out to drive me through the gloom to New Hall hospital for a follow-up appointment with Mr Kask, my knee surgeon. 

Apparently walking on the undulating forest terrain is not affording me enough flexibility in the operated knee. I either need to use an exercise bike or take up again painful bending exercises. I don’t have a bike, so this afternoon I resumed the latter.

Otherwise all is well and I am scheduled for replacement right knee towards the end of January. With any luck I will have two good pins by the end of next year.

On our return journey Jackie parked beside the River Avon near Braemore Bridge on the approach to Woodgreen village.

Admiring the brickwork and tiles of the elderly mill buildings, including a shed roof in need of repair, I watched the mill race rushing under the bridge,

its turbulence sending the water weeds wildly waving beneath the surface of the river

on which swam swans and their cygnets, with a few mallards for good measure.

 Having ascended a steep hill through the village we arrived

at Woodgreen Common where brisk dog walkers and 

leisurely breakfasting ponies enhanced the scene.

On the way to Hale, a fluffy donkey foal was being initiated into topiary training until the trio crossed the road to tuck into tastier brambles.

Jackie parked halfway down the next hill from where I photographed the lane and its woodland environs.

Having bought some potting sand from Otter Nurseries on our return, we drove on to Steamer Point, paid the parking fee, trekked down to the Beach Hut Café on Friars Cliff beach promenade, and read a notice announcing that because of building works only coffee and cakes were available this morning. As we wanted big breakfasts we were somewhat disappointed. 

Not to be daunted we drove back to the Walkford Diner, which was closed because Monday is the day they carry out the cleaning. 

So we filled up with petrol, returned home, and lunched on cold chicken salad from plates on our knees while watching Bargain Hunt which at least wasn’t a repeat.

I have been encouraged by readers’ comments to persevere with the new editor. I still cannot see a preview, so I have to trust that my images can be enlarged.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla where my main course was king prawn vindaloo; Jackie’s was Lal Quilla Special (chicken and minced lamb – rather hot); we shared special fried rice and a paratha, and both drank Kingfisher. The service was as friendly as ever and the food superb.