As, this morning, a skein of geese honked through clouds leaking liquid streams slithering down our roof tiles and window panes, I was reminded of goose dripping, spread on toast when we were small, and consequently of goose fat.
By lunchtime tentative notes of tweeting songbirds intermittently emerging from the shelter of glistening arboreal foliage merged with the trickling tinkle of plant-pattering precipitation, while sunlight penetrated lingering pearls bejewelling
a proliferation of pelargoniums
varieties of fuchsia;
Absolutely Fabulous roses;
snowy white snapdragons;
and sky-bound rose hips I fortunately couldn’t reach to dead-head.
This evening we dined on oven cod and chips, garden peas, wallies, and pickled onions, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the merlot. Dillon and Flo ate later.
Later I carried out dead heading and weeding then read more of Doris Lessing, after which, while Jackie continued her general garden maintenance I wandered around the garden (pictures of which are titled in the gallery)
before watching the highlights of the final day of the New Zealand/England cricket Test match.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent beef pie, Duchesse potatoes, crunchy carrots, cauliflower and broccoli, and meaty gravy with which she finished the Entire-Deux-Mers white wine, Flo drank a mixed fruit cordial, and I drank Ponce de Leon red wine 2020.
After two days of heavy hosting we relaxed in a slumped heap except for Jackie’s short walk around the garden to pick
a few flowers.
This evening we all dined on yesterday’s left overs. Ian and I enjoyed chicken jalfrezi and pilau rice, while the others chose beef in red wine with mashed potato and vegetables; this was followed by Tess’s delicious Christmas pudding and cream. The contents of some half-empty wine bottles were decanted into glasses and finished.
I then uploaded garden photographs I had made earlier.
Pansies and viburnum usually flower all year round, but to find sunny solanum and winter flowering cherry together is not normally expected.
We still have a number of fuchsias in bloom.
Not much damage was caused by storm Barra. One broken and a few redistributed pots and watering cans; fallen strings of solar lights, rose stems, twigs from birch and beech; owls, and a path sign, were all we really suffered. We will right a few pots and garden ornaments and gather up the arboreal offerings when we feel in the mood.
This evening we dined on second helpings of yesterday’s Red Chilli takeaway with the addition of vegetable samosas. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Collin Bourisset Macon 2019.
I’m doing my best to rest my right shoulder today, which severely limited my angles of focus as I held my 35 mm lens to photograph
some garden views on my way to examine
the last of the Head Gardener’s incineration, to which I could make no contribution. The pictures show the final demise of a hollow wisteria arbour post.
I also cannot type much, but the images are all labelled in the galleries.
This afternoon Joe and Angela visited for my brother to sign the final Probate Application forms and to have dinner with us; Elizabeth joined us later and we enjoyed a few pleasant hours together. Angela brought Jackie a beautiful pearl and green gemstone necklace from China, various plant pots, and some of her authentic spring rolls.
The Culinary Queen provided what our sister-in-law called a Saturday, as oppose to a Sunday, roast lamb, roast potatoes and parsnips, Yorkshire pudding, multi-coloured carrots, green Brussels sprouts, white cauliflower – all cooked to perfection – with tasty gravy, followed by a fruit meringue and mince pies. Elizabeth, Angela, and I drank Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2020, Joseph drank Kopparberg alcohol free cider, and Jackie drank alcohol free Nozeco; the last two produced by Angela. Elizabeth brought the red wine.
After a rain shower on another unusually warm and sunny day, while waiting for a call back from Peacock Computers, I wandered around the garden;
produced another batch of photographs including fuchsias, dahlias, begonias, clematis Margaret Hunt, Ginger Lily seedpods. petunias, cosmos, Morning Glory, and the ubiquitous self-seeded bidens surviving from summer 2020; then girded my loins in order to set about the struggle to upload them into WordPress media.
This time only one failed to upload because of an error, but two were relocated from the desktop as incompatible with the new operating system. I was able to put those back where they belonged.
Max from Peacock Computers has arranged a home visit on Thursday.
Buoyed by my earlier success Jackie drove me to Barton on Sea to watch the sunset.
The ten photos I loaded when we arrived home were accepted by WP without a glitch.
Later, we dined on a refreshed reprise of yesterday’s roast dinner, each with our preferred beverage.
Now that the last few days’ brisk breezes have subsided, and with a clear cerulean sky above and cool temperatures below, this morning I gathered up a few fallen branches from the beech and weeping birch trees; some cryptomeria clippings; and Jackie’s piled debris from the rose garden.
After lunch I toured with my camera and, beginning with a couple of the vases the Head Gardener has filled with her red carpet rose cuttings, photographed
some of our continuing survivors, including roses like the unidentified pink.climber, the stronger pink Aloha, the yellow Summer Wine which the bee is seen leaving, and the ever-abundant For Your Eyes only; three prolific dahlias; fuchsias Garden News, Mrs Popple, the tiny all white Hawkshead, and the ubiquitous Delta’s Sarah. The continuation of the blue Morning Glory is particularly unusual, although the fly on its leaf is not so. I completed my collection with a clump of chrysanthemums and Florence sculpture with her baskets of bidens and other flowers surrounded by swaying verbena bonariensis.
Shortly before sunset my Chauffeuse drove us to Barton on Sea’s Marine Drive East
to watch the sun going down. We were not the only spectators.
Later we dined on more of Jackie’s winter stewp, with the addition of chopped potatoes and fava beans, and crusty bread and butter. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2019.
Early this morning the three of us spent some time in the garden where I photographed
a number of blooms, the names of which are all included in the galleries. The blue Morning Glories only flowered for the first time last week. Bees are still plundering the cosmoses.
After this we shopped at Ferndene Farm Shop, and continued on a forest drive.
Pigs and their piglets scurried across the road at Pilley. Louise, who lives in the house on the corner seen beyond the scene including porkers, a Shetland pony and a walker, stood for while at the gate flagging down motorists to point out the piglets they could not see as they approached the cattle grid. Jessie joined me in photographing the animals. Its bright berries enliven a cotoneaster tree on the green.
The beach at the end of Tanners Lane was gathering visitors like the two above; teasels grew in the field at the top of the slope.
This evening Jackie drove us to Mudeford to catch the
Swans were unperturbed by gulls taking flight.
I watched approaching its runway.
Two children sped along the shore on bikes with no pedals (Dandy horse bikes)- today’s hobbyhorses.
This evening we dined on tender roast lamb; crisp Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, sage and onion stuffing; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; tender runner beans, and meaty gravy, followed by coffee cake and New Forest ice cream, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden, I drank more of the Fleurie, and Jessie drank water.