Round The Bend

This morning Dale from Crestwood visited and measured up for the new flooring in the sitting room. This friendly, personable, gentleman received knee replacements shortly before me and is back to carpet fitting, which is encouraging. When we discussed dates and I mentioned that we were very flexible, a snort-guffaw ensued from Ian.

Mr and Mrs Steele returned home to Emsworth after lunch when I continued grappling with

retouching this further image from the 1926 Conwy holiday of my mother, her parents, and siblings. Here Uncle Roy determinedly clings to a toy train; Uncle Ben clutches a boat; and I am not sure what Mum is holding. Grandma photobombs from behind her daughter. Elasticated socks don’t seem to have been invented then.

This badly scratched and spotted single image represents two hours work. I didn’t fancy tackling another today.

Jackie had spent much of this hot and humid day watering plants in containers. Later I took over on the final stint.

Early this evening we took a drive into the forest, buying fish and chips from Mr Pink’s on the way home. We ate these with pickled onions and, in my case Calvet Cru du Beaujolais 2016 to drink, before I uploaded the photographs and finished the post.

Ponies largely grazed in the shade alongside Pilley Street.

Ponies at East End surrounded vehicles outside a row of houses.

Further along the road quite big calves tried to latch on to their mother’s udders whilst on the move. The cattle seemed oblivious to the flies crawling over their faces.

Vociferous crows ran about seeking pickings.

How on earth this pony guarding over her foal can tolerate her dreadful flies is beyond me.

On the road from Beaulieu to Brockenhurst a bunch of cattle blocked the road. As Jackie steered us round the black calf in the centre, the creature paused for a scratch.

Rounding a couple of bends we stopped and waited for the arrival of this moving herd.

Soon they came into view, rounded the bend, and continued down the hill.

I Took A Tumble

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Ronan and Mark of Tom Sutton Heating are well on schedule with our new installation. We have hot water. After another couple of days all will be completed.

Jackie continued her work on garden maintenance this morning and I dead-headed a few token roses this afternoon.

Crown Princess Margareta

and Mamma Mia are two of those that keep on giving;

as is Compassion, kindly climbing over the Dead End Path.

Clematis Sieboldii, masquerading as a Passion flower, has surprised us by blooming in the last few days;

geraniums are keeping pace with nasturtiums;

and bees continue their dalliance with dahlias.

Our National Trust has adopted the practice of placing a thistle on the seat of antique chairs in order to deter people from sitting on them. One of our metal chairs in the rose garden has come apart. Naturally it will be used as a planter rather than despatched to the dump. In the meantime, following the National Trust, Jackie has plonked a pot of chrysanthemums thereon.

Later, we drove along Cowpits Lane, Ringwood, turning into Linford Road, which we had not previously traversed. This proved to be a winding tree-lined lane of which the ponies claimed ownership.

The large foal that appears in the first picture of the long gallery attracted my attention as it began licking the tarmac in the middle of the road. The creature was oblivious of the car waiting behind it. I waved my arms about a bit attempting to draw it out of the way. This was to no avail. The driver emerged from his vehicle and adopted a hands on approach. I turned my back on the approaching animal, as it came towards me. This was in order to remove myself from its path. I was going to have to descend a steeper incline than I would have liked. As to be expected my pace increased to an involuntary run. The terrain levelled out, and so did I.

The concerned driver’s female companion yelled to alert him to what had happened. Slaloming around the grazing ponies, Jackie dashed out of the Modus. She and the driver soon stood on either side of me. I lay on my back, quite comfortably working out how I was going to get up. I rolled over and reached for helping hands. Jackie picked up the camera which had dented my forehead and raised my left cheekbone.

This looked much worse than it was. I only had a small cut and a little bruise. More importantly, I now know I can fall over and get up – quite a fear when you’ve just had a new knee fitted. No cameras were harmed in this production.

Elizabeth stayed at Mum’s tonight. Jackie and I dined on Hordle Chinese Take Away’s excellent  fare. Mrs Knight finished the Sauvignon Blanc and I finished the Cabernet Sauvignon.

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.

 

 

The Modus Rocks

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This afternoon Jackie drove me to New Hall Hospital for a physiotherapy session. This was another positive outcome. I am now just 5 degrees short of the knee flexion target of 120. There remains tightness in the tendons and muscles used to straighten the leg. Claire, my physiotherapist, thinks that this dates from the hip replacement nine years ago. She has given me exercises for this and another session has been booked to work on it further.

We took a leisurely drive back home.

At Nomansland we witnessed a comic drama. The waste bins in the New Forest are designed to be pony proof. The effectiveness of this was demonstrated by a pony that didn’t know this. While the animal struggled to gain access, some members of a visiting family paid attention to the mare’s nearby foal. Suddenly they began pointing past me. Having given up with the bin, the mother pony had homed in on the family lunch bags. The human mother was alerted and came to the rescue. Others joined in.

Clouds of flies were, of necessity, ignored by the pestered animals at this site;

and by this family group on the verge of Roger Penny Way.

We parked the car by the side of Manor Farm in Cadnam Lane, which was overrun by three sows and a sounder of piglets. You can’t get much rasher than that. These snorting, grunting, trotting, creatures dashed hither and thither scratching their flanks on anything in sight, including the Modus, which they sent rocking. I needed to guide Jackie when she wanted to drive off, to ensure that she didn’t have a pig in front of her car.

This evening the three of us dined on Mr Chan’s excellent Hordle Chinese Take Away fare. Jackie drank Hoegaarden while Elizabeth and I finished the Merlot

A Bigger Splash

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The garden was looking very refreshed as I wandered around this morning. Most blooms bore baubles of raindrops.

Bees were making up for being confined in hives by the recent precipitation.

By lunchtime, I had finished reading 

Hibbert’s well researched history is founded on the subject’s personal correspondence and contemporary observations. Like many great men, our national hero comes across has a man of two halves. Undoubtedly kind and generous to his men and to many others Nelson’s relationship with Lady Emma Hamilton was seen as folly by many, and, even as demonstrated by his own letters he must have treated his wife very badly. This Viking paperback of 1994 contains no identification of the painter of the cover portrait.

After lunch, Jackie and I visited the sites of the two scarecrows missing from our last visit. Prince Eric, now wearing a rain hood, perched on a hedge at Ramblers in Woodcock Lane. I am very pleased to be able to report that a rebuilt Frog Prince again sits outside 49 Ashley Lane. His creator informed me that his battered body had lain on the ground and his decapitated head had hung from a branch.

We continued on a drive through the forest. Near Ogdens, a herd of deer got wind of my approach, and, turning tail, slowly picking up speed, elegantly trotted across the undulating terrain to safety over the brow of a hill.

Ponies and fliesPoniesPonies and fliesPonies

Clusters of pesky flies surrounded somnolent ponies gathered together at North Gorley.

Other ponies mingled with visitors to Ibsley ford, some of whom competed to establish who could create a bigger splash.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid spicy pork paprika with savoury rice. The Culinary Queen drank Coonwarra Chardonay 2016; Elizabeth and I chose Villanyi Merlot 2015 and drank some of it.

What Are His Chances?

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Derrick with napkin holderNapkin clip

Jackie tells me that Becky spent months searching for a silver napkin clip, and, just in time for my birthday, found one by James Dixon & Sons Ltd from 1962/3. Presented to me by our daughter and Ian in the restaurant yesterday evening, this is intended to protect my shirts from spillage when I am watching Bargain Hunt on TV at lunchtime.

After said lunch today, I slept through most of the antiques programme and the news. Later Jackie drove us through the forest.

The fly-ravaged ponies and their foals sought shade from the heat wherever  they could. This group of two mares and their foals at the corner of Burley Lawn sheltered in silence. The adults could not open their infested eyes, and their infants clung to the mothers’ flanks, seeking the breeze and screen created by  the parental twitching tails.

At Chapel Haye, where a young girl brought out water, another group spilled across the road.

Ponies and foals drank from the dregs of the dried bed of  Latchmere Stream at Furze Hill, and foraged on the sun-dappled banks.

Donkey foal on Roger Penny Way

The animal death count on this seven mile stretch of Roger Penny Way exceeded 120 last year. What, we wondered, were the chances of this little chap not making the list. Donkeys are apparently impervious to the heat, so he was quite comfortable on the tarmac.

This evening we dined on succulent roast chicken; herby sage & onion stuffing: Yorkshire pudding; mashed potato; Chantenay carrots; chestnut mushrooms; and runner beans. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Newboy.

 

“Ursula Andress, Eat Your Heart Out”

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Late this gloriously hot and sunny afternoon Jackie drove us to Eyeworth Pond in search of ducklings.

Cattle

Cattle chewed the cud on the verges of Canterton Lane.

Ponies on road

We made good time to the pond, but an equine trio delayed us taking the last right turn.

A delightfully friendly couple enjoying a picnic in the shade pointed out several paddles of ducks and ducklings. Strong pigments splashed over the surface of the water and the shallow bed.

Jackie alerted me to the arrival of a couple of ponies and a foal. If only I could have made the constantly twitching youngster aware that the flies he was desperately trying to escape were taking off from the flanks of the mare to which he clung.

The young lady by this time had entered the water attempting to catch tadpoles. As I took a couple of these shots I exclaimed “Ursula Andress, eat your heart out”.

This evening we dined on a thick crust pizza to which the Culinary Queen added more cheese and salami, served with plentiful fresh salad.