Travelling into the first streaks of dawn this morning, the usual commuter traffic sped along Christchurch Road in the direction of Lymington;
whilst in our garden the aged gazebo has flecked the clematis Cirrhosa purpurascens with rusty freckles
The proprietor of Fagan’s menswear shop in New Milton has occasionally fitted me from her parents’ outlet, Hunt’s, for big and tall men, in Boscombe. As regular readers will know, the last jacket she produced wasn’t quite big enough. Jackie therefore drove me to Boscombe, where, clearly one of Hunt’s smaller customers, I was able to buy two jackets and order a suit.
This town, now a suburb of Bournemouth, still boasts a fine, sandy beach. As it was a fine, springlike, morning we diverted to the beach.
Benches on the clifftop were occupied by basking companions.
A long zigzagged path led down to the beach. Leaving Jackie on a bench conveniently situated halfway down, I continued to investigate. I walked along to the pier, back up a similar path to the top, and through Bournemouth Rotary Club’s sponsored garden to our parking spot.
On the way down I was intrigued by a collection of inactive heavy plant on the sandy beach. This, I learned, was an effort to reclaim the sand for the summer’s visitors.
I noticed that there was a useful gap in the row of beach huts where a woman slowly pushing a buggy would eventually appear. After waiting for what seemed an age, I got the shot, but the inevitable happened. Masquerading as the proverbial bus, a gentleman emerged from the opposite direction.
I then met a couple ascending the slope. They told me what was happening, and why there was no current activity. Progress on the project is governed by the tides, so the men worked from 10 p.m. last night until 7 o’clock this morning, and would resume at 2 p.m. During this stage they will refurbish the groynes (no, Mr. WordPress, not groins). When that is complete, dredging of sand from beneath the waves will commence. It is expected that enough sand to reach the level of the promenade will be shifted by the month of May. The structure in the distance is the pier.
I was quite lucky to make this photograph. I turned off the camera in order to retract the lens, poked it through the wire mesh you see on the right, turned it on again, and pointed it hopefully at my intended subject. I only needed to straighten the final image a little bit.
It wasn’t long before I discovered that this ingenuity had been unnecessary (It was my Dad’s favourite joke to get me to spell it – as in ‘unnecessary, spell it’ – we always found it necessary to humour him).
Eventually, you see, the barrier came to an end, and it was possible to walk round to the machines;
to delight in the rust colour and textures of the smooth-worn grabbers,
and the weathering of the pointed timber piles.
The occasional beach hut, along the stretch leading to the pier, was being opened up.
The steep, scrub-laden, bank between these huts and the zigzag path was being cleared by a pair of goats.
I was most impressed by the final spring-cleaning effort. This cheerful pair were scrubbing the railings on the path up by Honeycombe Beach.
Water was collected in buckets from a tap further up the slope.
Local Chinese takeaway set meals for two always last us two days. This evening was our second helping of yesterday’s, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I made further inroads into the malbec.