Was It Something In The Water?

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This morning was spent Christmas shopping in New Milton and in Brockenhurst

Stream

Jackie parked the car in Butts Lane, Brockenhurs and I walked alongside the stream beside it.

Water level guage

At the far end a ford leads to Park Close. The water level gauge shows

Water level gauge and reflections

it is quite shallow at this point.

Ripples on stream

Vehicles are able to cross easily, and send ripples along the waterway.

Reflection in streamReflections in streamReflections in stream

Trees,

Reflections in streamReflections in streamReflections in stream

buildings,

Reflections in stream

and fences rippled in the water.

Rose hips

Wild rose hips wound over the wooden bridge rails.

Chaffinch

A chaffinch took advantage of shrubbery camouflage,

Stream

spanning the stream.

Pigeon

This didn’t conceal a wood pigeon.

Feather on water

Perhaps this bird had lost a feather.

Jackdaws

Jumping jackdaws scratched around on the bank.

Pigeon

Although I saw no birds in the stream, the pigeon had a bath in,

Jackdaws

and the jackdaws drank from, a pool beside a house. Was it something in the water?

This evening we dined on barbecued pork spare ribs, prawn toasts, and Jackie’s exceedingly savoury rice. She drank more of the sauvignon blanc and I drank Mendoza Parra Alta malbec 2016.

 

 

 

Gordleton Mill Hotel

Little Bo Mouse

Another mouse has left the suffragette group. Having noticed that a flock of sheep had strayed from Lidl, she has become Little Bo Mouse and herded them onto the mantelpiece. Before you ask, we inherited the ghastly orange colour.Raindrops on feather

Yesterday evening Jackie heard an horrific screeching coming from the far end of the garden. This morning, after overnight rain, I discovered feathers scattered over the back drive, demonstrating that a bird of prey had swooped and stripped a pigeon of its gor tex raincoat.

Being a dull, overcast, day, it was not the best to explore the garden of The Mill at Gordleton, but we were very pleased to have been introduced to this establishment by Giles and Jean, and are encouraged to visit the garden in brighter weather. It is open to the general public under the National Gardens Scheme every Monday. As we were lunching in the hotel restaurant we could, of course, have a wander around.

The restaurant is excellent, offering friendly efficient service and superb food, home, or locally, produced. Jackie and I don’t normally eat a large lunch, so we confined ourselves to a ploughman’s lunch with which I drank Ringwood’s Best. A splendid variety of three course meals and good wines would have been available.

Inside and out, the hotel is an art gallery within the grounds of an idyllic garden that has the River Avon running through. There is, as would be expected, a mill race.Gents Loo

Even the gents loo is tastefully appointed.

Wooden horse

A wooden horse stands in the vestibule,

One last game painting

and original paintings, like ‘One Last Game’, adorn the walls.

Shelf arrangement

Shelves are filled with tasteful objects,

Fish table decoration

and the centrepieces of the dining tables are metal sculptures.

Female sculpture

After having been greeted by the rear end of a crouching female sculpture,

Jackie, Jean and Giles in gardenRiver Avon

the building is approached by crossing a bridge over the River Avon.

Ducks entering riverDucks in river

During our two very rainy years the banks were flooded, washing down sand which offered  three white ducks a route to the water.

Tree and gyroscope sculptures

The garden is scattered with sculptures, such as this blossom tree and gyroscope,

Woman and dragonfly sculpturesDragonfly sculpture       and the metal woman and dragonfly.

Millings chandelier

The Millings Chandelier, suspended over the river is viewed by humans from another bridge, and by a sculpted swan from the bank.

Dragon's head sculpture

Close by, a dragon’s head is fixed to a tree,

Wasp sculpture

and a whopping great wasp clings to another.

Secret garden gate

Through a sculpted secret garden gate,

Magnolia stellata

we are led to glorious seasonal shrubs like this Magnolia Stellata.

This evening, first Becky and Flo, then Mat and Tess arrived to stay over for Easter celebrations. We all dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips, mushy peas, pickled onions, and wallies followed by Tess’s moist Chocolate Reese’s brownies. We shared a bottle of Valdepenas Senorio de Canova tempranillo 2013. It would be pointless of me to attempt to detail any of the fast-moving hilarious conversation, which would be a bit like trying to keep track of modern cinema advertisements.

Shanklin

It was on 3rd November last year that I featured two large format photographic prints of a holiday to Shanklin in September 1968. Today, in my trawl through my colour slides for posterity, I reached the batch from which these were extracted, and scanned a dozen.Sun on wet sand 9.68Derrick's shadow 9.68Shirley's feet  9.68

Fun on the sun-kissed sand included me plying my camera; and Shirley substituting golden granules for flip-flops. I don’t remember whether anyone tickled her feet with the feather. Judging by the amount of sand scuffed up, it is of course possible. Incidentally, I just cannot get on with that style of sandal, expected to cling to one’s feet by means of a single post planted between the big toes and those next to them. I find them most uncomfortable. And I can’t keep them on.Jackie and Michael 9.68 001Jackie and Michael 9.68 003Michael 9.68 001Michael 9.68 002

The most delight of all was, of course, taken by Jackie and Michael, doing what has to be done with bucket and spade. The expression of my buried son doesn’t really indicate distress, given that the interment was at his request. He was hamming up a bit, because the following cheeky grin is far more reflective of his mood.Jackie and Michael 9.68 002

They also had a paddle in the sea, the other side of which possibly threw shingle up onto Hordle beach, which I have photographed on numerous occasions almost half a century on.Eyes 9.68

We visited other places on the island, such a Blackgang Chine, a scary tourist attraction featuring a ghost train running past enormous eyes that peered out of the darkness.Michael 9.68 003

I’m not sure where was the model village that Michael explored.

Who would have dreamed, in those far off days that Jackie and I would one day be living just a mile away from a clear view of the Isle of Wight which we had once explored?

This evening we dined on Jackie’s luscious sausage casserole; crisp carrots, brussels, and cauliflower; and creamy mashed potato. Dessert was cherry crumble and custard. I drankChateau Clos Renon Bordeaux Superieur 2012, and Jackie didn’t.