Flounces

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We are experiencing a little colder spell at the moment, and, this morning drove out to the forest in bright, crisp, sunshine

Woodland

At the top of Mead End Road, on the outskirts of Sway, lies Boundary car park, leading to a wooded area

Ponies in landscape

overlooking moorland on which, today I spotted just two distant ponies – a grey and a chestnut.

Reflections in pool

Flecks of ice still lay on the reflecting surfaces of recent pools

and crusted the muddy paths trodden by the horses

on their way down the slopes.

Horse riders

One pair of riders chose to keep their mounts on the road.

The lengthy log stacks, with the application of saw cuts, splits, lichen, fungi, moss, ivy, and painted lettering, contain much abstract potential.

Tree stump

This two-faced stump looks both jubilant and resigned at having evaded the final felling.

Reflections in pool 1

Reflections in waterlogged terrain, such as this at Wootton enhance much of the forest floor.

At this point an extended area sported the silvered flounces of a can-can skirt.

This evening we came back for a second sitting of Jackie’s splendid pasta arrabbiata with which I drank Reserve des Tuguets Madiran 2014.

 

 

A Menacing Hoodie

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This morning I made a birthday card for Orlaith, using this photograph taken by Holly a few days after her daughter’s birth.

Holmsley Passage 1

Jackie drove me to New Milton to post it this afternoon, and on afterwards for a forest trip via Holmsley Passage.

Pony in landscape

Beside the passage this pony

Pony stamping bracken 1

caught my attention

Pony stamping bracken 2

as it appeared

Pony stamping bracken 3

to be scratching

Pony stamping bracken 4

the bracken. Actually it was stamping it down so it could get at the grass. Too much bracken is harmful to horses.

Birch trees

Birch trees

Landscape with trees 1

stood out on the moorland,

Holly berries

and holly berries brightened the woodland opposite.

Holmsley Passage 2

As we continued along the road,

Mobile phone mast disguised as a tree 1

we noticed a strange tree in the distance.

Mobile phone mast disguised as a tree 2

This was the Burley mobile telephone mast in disguise.

Milestone

At the end of the Passage, according to this milestone just one mile from Burley,

Pool in landscape 1Pool in landscape 2

we turned off right along a cul -de-sac on which we discovered a pool

Reflections in pool 2Reflections in pool 1Reflections in pool 3Tree and reflection

reflecting

Trees and leaves on groundShadows on autumn leaves 1

the surrounding trees.

Fungi

Fungi sprang from fallen logs;

Branch against pool

a dead branch dangled.

Poolside possible Drift site

An enclosure beyond the far side looked rather like a Drift pen.

Trees and bracken 2Trees and bracken 1

The road led to the enticing woodland

Landscape Clay Hill

and undulating landscape of Clay Hill.

Woodsmoke over Bashley

The mist rising above Bashley on our return had a distinct aroma of woodsmoke.

Cloudscape

We diverted to Keyhaven where the clouds looming overhead

Clouds reflected in pool

were reflected in the waterlogged tarmac,

Figure on Hurst Spit

and a menacing hoodie lurked on Hurst Spit.

This evening we dined at Mansoori Heights, a recently opened Indian restaurant in Milford on Sea. It was very good. Jackie’s main meal was paneer shashlick; mine was prawn vindaloo; we shared a starter platter, egg rice, and a methi paratha, and both drank Kingfisher.

 

 

 

Feeding The Birds

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Mat arrived with Poppy this morning. Our granddaughter was walking about and talking scribble. She was straight into toys.

She likes playing with the mice;

but was soon absorbed with the seal box and its fish contents, making lots of cooing noises.

Halloween Table

Stopping for beverages at Beaulieu Farm Shop, where there was an Halloween table on display

Gulls

we took a packed lunch to Hatchet Pond so Poppy could see the gulls,

which Jackie began to feed with the stock of seed that Matthew had supplied.

It wasn’t long before the hopeful donkeys came over for what they saw as their share. They were even more interested when our lunch appeared. Matthew  correctly observed that that was why we were discouraged from feeding the asses..

Poppy wandered around clutching her food, which, naturally, was liberally smeared around her mouth.

Mushroom

A rather large fungus mushroomed through the turf.

Matthew feeding swan

Matthew used an interesting method of feeding the swans;

then took his daughter to look at the water.

He and Jackie then began a swinging game which had to be constantly repeated.

Thinking Poppy might like the tyre swing on Tanners Lane beach, we made that the next visit. She wasn’t happy with this swing, which was a little too advanced for her, but she was quite content to wobble about the shingle.

Yachts across Tanners Lane beach

Across The Solent we could see a string of yachts passing the Isle of Wight.

After our offspring had returned home, Jackie and I dined on her perfect pork paprika with wild rice, followed by chocolate eclairs. She drank Hoegaarden and I finished the shiraz.

Kingston Connections

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Given to me by Barrie earlier in the year, Neil Grant’s book ‘Village London Past & Present’, which I just finished reading, was a perfect adjunct to David Lawrence’s ‘Bright Open Spaces’.

The author’s style is both informative and entertaining, and the book is lavishly illustrated with photographs from the past and what was, to Mr Grant when published, the present. Much is made of the pace of change at a time when the Millennium Dome and the London Eye were both buildings of the future. Indeed, when studying photographs labelled ‘today’ in 1991, I found myself asking questions. Even my own ‘Streets of London’ series begun in 2004 is now history.

100 years ago, the metropolis was indeed a series of villages, and residences of, say Wimbledon or Dulwich cling to that term today. It is hard to believe that the un-idyllic Camberwell once harboured an eponymous beauty in the form of a butterfly.

Having lived and worked in various of London’s villages for most of my life, I am familiar with most of the book’s coverage. I have chosen just one area of the capital to illustrate this post and outline my connections.

Let me begin with 1966, the year when, as an Assistant Child Care Officer, I entered Social Work. My post ‘An Attachment To The Gates’ tells of what I did to the gates of Kingston’s Guildhall. For a good laugh, it is to be highly recommended.

Kingston Market

An important town in the Middle Ages, Kingston has probably the oldest continuing market in the country. It was in August 1972 that Jackie and her friend Linda set up a stall in this market, displaying their own hand-crafted goods. I encouraged my work colleagues to admire the contents.

Anglers at Kingston

Sometime later in the 1970s, Matthew was seriously into fishing. It is perhaps possible that it was somewhere near this bank of the Thames, seen in about 1890, that I accompanied him on such an outing. I was somewhat relieved that we didn’t catch anything.

Kingston was also where we carried out most of our mudlarking.

Today’s heavy rain had desisted by mid-afternoon revealing

Weigela and allium

a humble white allium paying obeisance to a weigela;

rose Jacqueline du Pre

bejewelled Jacqueline du Pre;

rose Absolutely Fabulous

sparkling Absolutely Fabulous;

Fungus on dead tree root

fungus breaking out on the dead tree root;

Dianthus Sweet William

the dianthus Sweet William;

clematis Doctor Ruppel

and clematis Doctor Ruppel.

Cow parsley

Anyone having read last year’s posts may be aware of a slight difference of opinion between The Head Gardener and her serf about the wisdom of welcoming cow parsley into our garden. This year Jackie has reinforcements. Apparently these plants are now in fashion. Naturally I now offer not even token resistance.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s choice chicken jafrezi, mushroom rice, and parathas. She drank Hoegaarden, and I drank Llidl’s Bordeaux superieur 2011.

 

Bricks In The Hopper

Hellebore, snowdrops, ferns, heuchera

As our garden awakens, hellebores, snowdrops, ferns, and heucheras stretch their limbs and jostle for position.

Hellebore

Some hellebores, petals perhaps frost-bitten, raise their heads,

Jackdaws

possibly having been alarmed by our jackdaws jousting over the rooftop chimneys,

Fungus on maple

What was once a maple on the grass had been cut back by our predecessors. Although we have some new shoots the stump now bears some fascinating fungus. We hope that is not a sign of the tree’s imminent demise.

HopperDuring the recent heavy rain, a hopper at the front of the house overflowed. Today I decided to investigate the blockage. The device contained a couple of pieces of brick that seemed to serve no purpose except partially to block the down pipe. I removed these items and Jackie filled a bath upstairs and let it flow into the pipe. All seemed to be running smoothly. Unfortunately Jackie had lifted the manhole cover to the septic tank.

This system, for homes not on national mains drainage, operates via sections of piping across the garden. There are three such covers. When we had our houseful at Christmas, we had experienced some overload in the waste pipes, creating an unsavoury heap in this first access point. Buckets of water, we thought, had solved the problem.

238490DF00000578-0-image-8_1417020292158

The residue in that pit, now solidified, resembled sand formations in the Arizona Desert,

which is why, having broken it up with a metal post, kicked up a stink, and begun to apply further buckets of water filled by Jackie,

Drainage access

I decided it was more sensitive to refrain from photographing the site until it was cleared. It had been necessary to pour the water down at speed, which incurred a certain amount of splash-back, best nimbly avoided.

The bucket drill was applied to each of the other access points, in order to ensure that the coagulated substance had been coaxed along the pipes. If that hasn’t cured the problem we will call in the experts.

This evening we dined once more on Jackie’s superb, well-matured, liver and bacon dish, served with mashed potato and swede, carrots and green beans. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank Louis Virion Costieres de Nimes 2014.

After dinner, I watched the highlights of England’s earlier rugby match against Italy.

Afternoon In The Forest

This morning Aaron made a start on decorating the stairs and landing.

Afterwards Becky drove me, Jackie, and Ian to Abbot’s Well at Frogham, where we lunched in The Foresters’ Arms.

This was another comparatively mild day of rather more sunshine than showers, making for constantly changing light. Our accommodating daughter complied with my various requests for photography stops.

Reflections in pools 1Reflections in pool 2

Roger Penny Way runs from Cadnam roundabout to Godshill and beyond. The first stop was to record arboreal reflections in recently formed forest pools.

Ponies reflected in pool 2

Ponies reflected in pool 1Pony reflected in field 1

At Godshill, ponies were reduced to grazing around the edges of more pools that now covered their grass patch.

Landscape 1Landscape 2Tree in landscape 1

Soon after Godshill we turned left and drove up to Abbots Well where we disembarked and wandered around for a while.

Walker in heathland

Other walkers soaked up the landscape.

Ian in landscape

Ian can be seen emerging from the bushes here,

Fungus on tree

where bright yellow fungus was to be found.

We lunched in The Foresters’ Arms, where the already excellent food has gone up several notches in quality since our last visit more than a year ago. My burger stack with quite the best onion rings I have ever tasted, superb chunky chips, coleslaw and salad was plentiful enough to suffice for the day’s sustenance. I drank Wadsworth’s 6X. Ian had the same opinion about the same choice of meal, and drank Kronenberg. Jackie also enjoyed her scampi and chips (small appetite size), and Becky her roast beef (kid’s portion). The two ladies shared coffee and coke.

Ponies in field

On our return, on the way down to the ford from the pub, we passed a field containing horses that are not wild. That they were not wearing rugs is a reflection on the mild weather.

Thatched house

Road

On a corner of the road stands a typically thatched house.

Pony 1Pony 2Ponies 1Ponies

This time, when we passed Godshill the ponies were feeding in full sunshine.

Woodland Settings

Mist veil

As I stepped out of our front door this morning I was attracted by a veil of mist hanging over distant trees. This determined a left turn and a walk across the field of brassica, through the woods to the road near Taddiford Farm, and an about turn back to home.Downton

Footpath normalFootpath filmFootpath vividFootpath B-WFrom the middle of the field I looked back to the strip of houses that is Downton. Our blue painted house is visible on the far left. Also in evidence is the Downton Service Station sign. Father Christmas, perched on the garage roof of ‘Badger’s Meadow’, surveyed the traffic on Christchurch Road. On my return, I had a long talk with Mark, the owner, who had moved here some years ago from Worcester Park.

On a whim, I photographed the same woodland scene on four different camera settings. The first was automatic, then came the positive film effect, then vivid, and finally black and white.

StreamTree shieldsCrossing a bridge over the stream, and seeking to create the impression of non-existent sunshine, I continued to play with my settings. So absorbed was I, that at one point I inadvertently retraced my steps earlier than I had intended. Fortunately this was soon corrected.

The more recently planted trees sported tubular shields, no doubt to protect them from nibbling by wildlife, probably of the cervine variety.

Woodland 4Woodland 6FungusSawn trunkLeaf carpetFootpathWoodland 1Woodland 2Woodland 3Woodland 5Woodland 7Woodland 8Woodland 9

Foresters had sawn others, some of which bore interesting fungus, lichen, or simply discolouration, and fallen leaves carpeted the paths, which were not particularly muddy.Misty trees

The mist still shrouded the more distant trees.

Ian went out for his walk just before the rain set in for the day. He returned looking like a drowned rat, which was interesting, given that we had just seen a real one disappearing into Scooby’s favourite corner of the garden.

New Forest images

One of my stocking presents was a copy of ‘New Forest’, Georgina Babey’s contribution to the Tempus Publishing Images of England series. This is a fascinating social history of the area through the medium of captioned photographs. I devoured this at opportune moments yesterday and today. The cover illustration is a detail from one showing ‘a steam engine transporting logs in Lyndhurst High Street during the First World War. The Steam engine is called Queen of the South and was owned by M. Slater of Eling. It is standing opposite the Stag Inn’. The buildings behind the transport are still there. One is now Honeyford’s butcher’s.

Yesterday Jackie roasted two turkeys, but we didn’t even finish one. With all the other goodies provided for yesterday’s lunch there was plenty left over for us to graze at will today. A delicious mixed meat and vegetable broth in the evening completed the day’s nourishment.