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This morning I checked with Owen the chimney sweep that the 20″ swan’s nest baskets available at Gordleton Barn would not be too wide for our chimney, and that Streets ironmongers in Brockenhurst could supply smaller ones if necessary. Jackie and I therefore made a further visit to the barn. Unfortunately Richard’s offerings were too deep.
In order not to have a wasted journey I photographed the hub of the cartwheel that decorates the front of the shop.
In the muddy field alongside Hordle Lane on our way out, my driver, who has eyes everywhere, spotted a group of cock pheasants engaged in a stag party.
This particular farmer is not rambler friendly, but at least he has attached a warning notice to a newly erected electric fence. That is the yellow blob in the foreground above.
From Gordleton, we proceeded to Brockenhurst and Streets, Jackie’s favourite kind of shop. (Yes, that is our car in need of a wash, but it will only become filthy again on one trip around the wet, salted, roads.)
The windows, alone, are most enticing.
There we bought an iron grate of the correct size, and ordered a house name sign.
The burnt gorse and waterlogged terrain near Sway offered yet another scene that would have inspired Paul Nash’s war paintings.
At Flexford, the Avon tributary that flows through the grounds of Gordleton Mill was overflowing so as to provide snowdrops with more liquid refreshment than they would probably have liked.
The stream rushed over and around the banks, swirling around trees and shrubs, and even threatening to bath the horse on higher ground. Fresh green catkins were suspended safely out of reach of the spate.
Sheep on a hillside seemed to be out of harm’s way.
I was rash enough to leave my Canon SX700 HS in the car. Jackie therefore amused herself by taking photographs of me photographing the scene,
and speaking to a woman whose job it was to look after the horses. She carried what I took to be a sack of feed. She confirmed that the river was much higher than usual, and that the land was considerably waterlogged.
Wondering what the Isle of Wight might look like in this rainy weather, we diverted to the coast before returning home. The island was invisible, but the horizon on the edge of the fields presented interesting layers of mist.
Our route up Downton Lane was temporarily blocked by the delivery of two mobile homes to Shorefield Caravan Park. This convoy of very long container trucks was led by a brightly lit escort.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s chicken jalfrezi of which many an Indian chef would be proud; her flavoursome pilau rice with added egg and mushrooms; and vegetable samosas. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank Chateau Les Croisille Cahors 2011. This smooth. full bodied, wine was a gift from Shelly and Ron.