On Eyeworth Pond

Much of this very hot day was taken up with dead heading and watering.

Soon after 4 p.m. Jackie drove us to Eyeworth Pond and back.

At this time, ponies and cattle, although they did emerge later, made use of what shade they could find. These were spotted en route to Fritham,

where other cattle lay down in their field.

Foals are growing up fast. On a green above the pond this one manages its own grooming.

Water lilies are now beginning to bloom on the pond,

where a few ducks paddled.

Most of these birds, however,

occupied a dormitory on the bank.

Bright sunlight produces abstract reflections on the surface.

Motley cattle grazed on the hillside as we drove back up to Fritham and, via Hordle Chinese Take Away, to home.

With our usual excellent fare from Mr Chan, we both drank Tsing Tao beer this evening.

Then There Was One

I don’t always remember to take my painkillers. All they do anyway is reduce the acute pain in my knee. It doesn’t take long, however for me to realise my omission. So it was this afternoon when Jackie drove us to New Milton to catch up on some banking. On the way back we stopped off at Redcliffe Nurseries to buy a hoe and various other items. I very soon had to give up and return to the car, leaving the head gardener loose in the store. Afterwards she dropped me off at home to take my pills and continued alone to raid Otter Nurseries.

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We are in for a spell of dull weather, which began today. It failed to dim the colours of the garden, especially as the red and yellow Japanese maples are now in leaf. Against a post on the far left of the broader picture the splash of orange is our first poppy. Very soon, in different sizes, and of varying hues, the plot will be peppered with them until late in the autumn. These pictures will repay maximum enlargement. Fennel, tulips, daffodils, and pansies are among the plants on display.

On 22nd February, an ailing baby bird we had thought to be a pigeon, perished after a frosty night. We then realised that a pair of young collared doves, seeming to be searching where the chick had succumbed, were probably its parents. They have seldom since been seen apart. FeathersOvernight a predator has struck, leaving the feathers of one of these birds beneath our largest bay tree. Now its mate waits its turn beneath the bird feeder alone. Nature can sometimes be so cruel.

Yesterday’s nicely matured chilli con carne and savoury rice with a side of haloumi, followed by syrup sponge pudding and custard provided our evening sustenance. Jackie drank sparkling water whilst I quaffed a little more of the chianti.

He Thought It Fun To Push Me Over

Sightings of foxes have been discussed on Streetlife lately. One person reported six in a pack. Another pointed out that these creatures are loners, not pack animals. I have never seen more than one adult at a time, but have been acquainted with two families, one every spring in the garden of the Phyllis Holman Richards Adoption Society, and a single parent and her children in that of our flat in Morden. These posts were published before I was illustrating them with photographs.

Feathers 1Feathers 3Downton LaneFeathers 2

Are the foxes responsible for the scattering of feathers that are often lining Downton Lane in the morning, or maybe birds of prey?

Does anyone have a view on the loners/packs debate, or on the likelihood of foxes or birds of prey committing the slaughter.

This afternoon I rescanned another batch of colour slides from 1964 and ’65, covering our year in Ashcombe Road, Wimbledon. This was the first house I ever bought.

Here are Vivien and Michael in our garden in March 1965:

Vivien & Michael 3.65Michael 4.65

The following month we celebrated our son’s first birthday. I caught him raiding the vegetable store in the kitchen. That cheeky grin was never far from his face.

Michael 6.65 2

 

In June, at least, we bathed him in the kitchen sink, where he loved sucking on the face flannel.Michael 7.65 2

Like any other toddler, in July he fed himself, his face, and his high chair in more or less equal measure. In those days I did my own wallpapering, including what appears in the background of this picture. It is probably the only time I would ever have chosen such a geometric design as was then in vogue.

Michael 8.65 1

Michael and I laid turves in the garden during August, when, as I crouched to take this shot, he took great delight in pushing me over.

Vivien & Michael (forsythia)  6.65

When in June, I had chosen to wait to snap a forsythia bush until Vivien and Michael had appeared in the corner of the frame, little did I know that this would be the last image of them together.

We didn’t eat this evening. Neither of us felt like either consuming or preparing anything. I had knocked up scrambled egg on toast for lunch, but that was it. Jackie remains in the grip of a virulent chest confection and I spent the afternoon unsuccessfully attempting to avoid succumbing myself. Between five and nine p..m. I flopped in front of the television watching consecutive episodes of Morse and Lewis, and slowly subsiding into somnolence. (No, BBC YouView has not been miraculously restored, so these were repeats on DTV). I then finished this post and went to bed.

Watch this space.