Becoming More Difficult For Them

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Someone in our National Health Service is on the ball. After recent x-rays of my knees I was given an appointment to see an orthopaedic clinician on 17th May. I tolerate pain beyond what is sensible so that seemed a long way off. This morning I received a phone call cancelling that. They have looked at the x-rays again and decided I need an urgent referral directly to a surgeon. I was given a choice of about a dozen venues. I wound up with an appointment on 16th of this month – that’s next Monday – ooh-er.

We experienced another dull, damp, day, although the rain had desisted by this afternoon when we went for a drive in the forest.

On the banks of the stream at Ibsley a pair of mournful bedraggled ponies foraged.

Like many other fords this one was awash with fast-flowing water. Two riders walked their horses across. Vehicles splashed through with varying degrees of trepidation. The best spray of all was produced by the gregarious children’s story writer Susan Rigden whose work can be found on the Amazon Kindle site. I hadn’t been ready to catch it. Telling her this began an enjoyable conversation. Susan had brought her retriever, Elsa for a bath in the stream after a walk in the woods. Elsa wasn’t interested, but was eventually cajoled into a cursory dip.

The sward at North Gorley was most waterlogged. A herd of usually inquisitive cattle had bagged the driest area. Some were young enough to suckle.

Apart from the brown pony sleeping upright on the reflecting road, the equine creatures were up to their ankles in sogginess.

Whenever we pass the ford at Frogham the field-kept horse is munching on hay. On more recent visits, its less pampered cousins have been taking their share. They also provide a holly pruning service. The boniness of this latter group and the number of ponies eschewing soggy grass and opting for the higher, prickly, foliage, indicates that obtaining food is becoming more difficult for them.

Mr Chan’s establishment, and another, being closed for another ten days, Jackie was forced to go on a hunt for a Chinese takeaway this evening. She found Oliver’s at Old Milton which was very good. She drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Casillero del Diablo.

 

 

Creating A Splash

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Today was another wet one. The New Forest is so waterlogged as to promote empathy for those unfortunates who chose to come here for the Easter holidays.

Lymington Plant Centre has clearly seen better days. Perhaps the daffodils that line Pitmore Road outside it had once come from stock.

Roads and paths were reduced to watercourses; bedraggled horses churned up mud to droop at their hay troughs; cattle grids overflowed.

Armstrong Lane in Brockenhurst was just one flooded thoroughfare.  Trees were reflected in the normally dry terrain on the other side of Burley Road.

Their mirrors joined up with the River Weir and another stream to swell the fast flowing water across the ford.

Jackie took one look at two boys cycling through the torrent  and decided to turn the Modus around and find another route.

She waited whilst I photographed other ambitious drivers,

then drove on the the aptly named Waters Green over which a raucus jackdaw chorus performed for the benefit of soggy ponies, one of whom still sported its curlers.

A fine looking chestnut was occupied clipping a hedge.

This evening we dined once more on Jackie’s splendid lamb biriani with black lentil dhal. I consumed more of the 16 Little Black Pigs.

The Weather

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Early this morning we attended to bits of my body.

First, Jackie drove us to the GP surgery in Milford on Sea where I set in motion a long overdue referral for an orthopaedic assessment of my knees, and learned that I am on a list for a cataract adjustment to my left eye. I should be fully bionic soon. Next was a visit to our dental hygienist for a routine treatment.

We then returned to Hockey’s Farm Shop for a box of eggs we had left on the table yesterday.

Today the weather was decidedly soggy with occasional rain. Just one pony appeared to have ventured out. As it struggled to find nourishment along the verges of Holmsley Road it must have regretted the lack of

one of the rugs its more pampered field residents were still wore. They didn’t all even have to find their own food.

These latter animals were kept at South Gorley, so let us here return to Holmsley Road, the forest floors on either side of which are now full of temporary pools covering the terrain and reflecting branches, trunks, and mossy roots.

Crossing the A35 we come to Holmsley Passage, bordered with its own pools of precipitation and wind-blasted branches.

A woman with a dog strode down the hill and across the swollen ford just in time to enhance my photographs.

At Gorley Lynch, light rain seeped from silver-grey skies, supplementing ditchwater flowing across the crumbling road, and brightening moss on the thatch of the house alongside the farm café. This was in stark contrast to the cerulean canvas that had covered the building the day before. Note the mistletoe in the tree. There is much of it about the forest.

This evening we dined on Hockey’s Farm hot and spicy pickled onions accompanying Mr Pink’s fish and chips, and pineapple fritters in Lyle’s golden syrup. I drank Don Lotario gran reserva Navarra 2009.

Lenses Trained

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Yesterday we spent a very pleasant evening at Lal Quilla with Richard and his delightful wife, Marianne. The food, service, and ambience were as splendid as ever. My choice of main dish was Goan lamb shank; the others’ were Davedush, Haryali chicken, and fish curry. We shared onion bahjis, a peshwari naan, an egg paratha, mushroom and special fried rices, and a sag aloo on the house. Kingfisher and a lime drink were imbibed.

When people move house they often take the opportunity to dispense with unnecessary items. We didn’t. We are prompted by the new kitchen to do so. I decided today to empty the cupboard under the stairs which was rather loaded with belongings stuffed in it and forgotten about. Having bitten the bullet with such as bags of bubble wrap, a mosquito curtain, and an Epson printer, we came to a standstill and will sleep on the rest. Not literally, you understand.

This afternoon we went for a drive in the forest.

We often take Holmsley Passage from the A35 to the Burley Road. This steeply undulating narrow winding lane is at first bordered by woodland. It is crossed by three running streams one of which requires a footbridge beside a ford. A cattle grid marks the change to moorland. At the Burley end a pair of horse riders waited cheerily to cross from one side to the other.

Opposite Burley cricket green a solitary pony was undaunted by the task of keeping the grass down.

Although the road between Ringwood and Bramsgore was itself reasonably dry, the lesser thoroughfares leading off it were largely waterlogged. Reflective pools abounded. Some made access to homes a little hazardous.

Photographers on hill (silhouette)

On the outskirts of Burley we spotted three silhouettes on a hill, all figures with lenses trained across the moor. We couldn’t see what had caught their attention.

Ponies on road

During my years of running across London, I would often determine my route according to the state of traffic. For example, I might swing right if the lights were against me. So it was today, when we saw ponies chomping on the hedges of a narrow lane which they crossed at will.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish, chips, and pickled onions. We haven’t found our pickles yet.

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.

 

 

 

‘Wait For Me, Mum’

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This morning I tidied up after some of Jackie’s cutting back yesterday, and was then rewarded by delicious scents from the roses as I dead-headed them.

Elizabeth came to lunch and dinner. This afternoon the three of us drove out to Hyde where we enjoyed refreshments in the café, and the ladies bought plants from the farm shop.

Ford 3Ford 1Ford 2

 We drove on for a while, crossing the ford at Frogham. The stream under the road was as shallow as we have ever seen it.

Tractor wheelsTractor wheel

The rusting tractor parts up on the bank were in no danger of inundation,

Pony mare and foal

and a pony mare and foal set off to find refreshment elsewhere.

Mare and foal crossing road 1

On Roger Penny Way, bringing the traffic to a halt, another pony led her offspring across the road.

Foal running across road after mother

As she bent down to chomp the grass a cry of ‘Wait of me, Mum’ rent the air and the little foal began frantically running after its oblivious parent. I have never seen a foal run before.

Foal hiding under mother

Further on, having similarly crossed the road, another little pony took refuge under its mother, producing a rather deceptive image.

Elizabeth photographing

Before returning home we took a diversion to Bank, near Lyndhurst, where Elizabeth and I took some photographs.

Lane

My sister and Rob had lived here when they were young adults, and she took us on a nostalgic wander along the lanes

Forest scene 1Stream 2Stream 3Stream 1

and into the forest with its somewhat depleted stream.

This evening Jackie produced an excellent meal of poached haddock; swede, parsnip, and potato mash; piquant cauliflower cheese, carrots, and  runner beans. Jackie and I both drank Bergerac blanc sec 2016, and Elizabeth chose Louis de Camponac cabernet sauvignon 2016.

P.S. See wfdec’s comment below. He has identified the ‘tractor parts’ as a timber jinker. Many thanks to John.

“That’s What Having A Horrible Daughter is Like”

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We spent the morning on garden maintenance tasks.

Jackie tidying Wedding Day roseDerrick tidying Wedding Day rose

Jackie, with minimal assistance from me, retrained the Wedding Day rose

Wedding Day rose on Agriframes Arch

on the Agriframes arch.

Japanese maple 1Japanese maple 2

We then reversed the process in that The Head Gardener weeded a route through to the red Japanese maple that was looking very poorly, if not somewhat wizened. She then stood ready for me to pass bits lopped or sawn off.

Japanese maple 3Japanese maple 4Japanese maple 5Japanese maple 6

The final result didn’t look too bad.

Urn on brick pillar

We then finished rebuilding the pillar for the urn in the Rose Garden.

View across grass from red tulips

Here is a view across the grass patch between tulips and the eucalyptus.

This afternoon we went for a drive in the forest.

Ford

A stream kept one of the Brockenhurst fords under water. That is probably one SLOW notice that is unlikely to be ignored.

Father, daughter, dog at ford 1Father, daughter, dog at ford 2

As I stood on the footbridge to take this shot, a family descended into view. Mother and son joined me on the bridge while father and daughter, dog in tow, entered into a coercive conversation. The dog appeared to want to go in the opposite direction.

Father, daughter, dog running through ford

It was not long before the reason for this became clear. These three dashed across the water filled ford. When I quipped “I didn’t get that. Could you do it again?”, Dad declined. However he did add “That’s what having a horrible daughter is like”. In the ensuing conversation I was given permission to post both the photographs and this statement.

Car driven through ford

An obliging motorist, without being asked, then drove his car through the water.

Child's shoe and socks

Further on, at Boundway, we spotted evidence that a child had left the woods sans socks and at least one shoe.

Woodland Shadows 1Tree shadows 2Tree shadows 3

The high sun cast shadows of the trees onto the undulating leafy terrain.

Brimstone butterfly in flight

A brimstone butterfly fluttered about. Can you spot it here?

Logs, gorse, trees 1LogsGorse

Loggers had been at work above the gorse laden hills overlooking Wilverly.

Cattle among gorse

I think the white figure here was one of a couple of cattle. They were a bit far away for me to be certain.

Wasps' nest 1Wasps' nest 2

Soon after we left this area, Jackie alerted me to a wasps’ nest on an outbuilding.

This evening we dined on Mr Chatty Man’s Chinese Take Away fare with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden while I drank more of the madiran.