Two For Joy

This afternoon we collected repeat prescriptions from the Pharmacy at Milford on Sea.

The Needles and their lighthouse had transmogrified into a red-eyed sea monster.

As equally calm as the Solent was the surface of Hatchet Pond with its skimming waterfowl and shimmering landscape.

While a photographer peered into the sun a friendly gull stood guard on a disabled parking space.

This was useful because the waters of the lake had encroached on the overspill car park, and partially iced over providing looking glasses for the surrounding trees.

A pair of magpies – two for joy – and a nippy little wagtail foraged on the banks.

One chestnut pony at East Boldre cropped the verge while another mowed the lawn beside a stretch of winterbourne water.

Today’s sign of post-operative progress was being able to dine at the table where Jackie served a sweetly savoury sausage casserole containing pork chipolatas and larger varieties with caramelised onion. Also on the menu was creamy swede and potato mash; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; and curly kale.

Speech Bubbles Are Invited

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I trust my readers in the Philippines and the East Coast of America will forgive Jackie and me for choosing to visit the coast on a morning beset by winds of a mere 40 m.p.h.

Palms swayed in the wind at Milford on Sea; granite skies glowered over choppy waves; the Isle of Wight, The Needles, and the lighthouse were lent a translucent quality by the feeble, filtered, daylight and the misty sea-spray crashing on the rocks.

RunnerRunner approaching walkersRunnerRunner

An unperturbed young lady ran along the coastal paths at a respectable rate;

four hardy sailors clung to stays on one side of a red-sailed yacht in efforts to keep the mast upright as it skirted the Isle of Wight, The Needles, and the lighthouse.

I think this was an egret fishing at Keyhaven,

while a preening gull perched on a heap of seaweed.

Two gentlemen passed stacks of colourful boats in the sailing club yard.

Readers are invited to suggest speech bubbles for these two.

In the field opposite Solent Grange stands a large haystack that defied the wind.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s luscious beef pie; creamy mashed potato; and crunchy carrots, cauliflower and cabbage. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden; Elizabeth, Patrick Chodot’s Fleurie 2016, and I finished the same producer’s Brouilly.

 

 

This Later Season

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This morning I learned that my PSA result was clear – no action required. It is an interesting phenomenon that this is one situation in which no news is good news. The GP only contacts the patient if there is a problem. Otherwise the patient has to make the call.

This afternoon Jackie drove me to Sears Barbers for Peter to cut my hair. Afterwards we visited Tanners Lane,

where a few others were having fun. Two women, children, and a Labrador collected shells; a young man walked his dog; two people rowed a canoe.

A gull atop a post ignored the swirling eddies where currents clashed in the otherwise calm waters.

En route to this site we had noticed a glimpse of the view across to the Isle of Wight from Shotts Lane. The second picture reveals the Isle of Wight ferry and smoke from a fire on the island. The cattle in the third image conveniently wandered into shot.

In order to remove the five barred gate from the scene I needed to scale it a bit, then climb down again.

Pheasants in Sowley Lane, no longer dressed in their mating finery, reflected this later season by picking at stubble in a ploughed field. Others sought the shelter of the Becks Farm drive.

Exercising Choices

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I undertook some minimal tidying in the garden this morning. Here are a few photographs of how it looks at the moment:

Daffodils

Many more daffodils are in bloom, including those in tubs and window boxes,

Weeping Birch Bed

and those in beds like the Weeping Birch one

Hellebore

which also has its share of hellebores.

Raindrops on primulas

Raindrops settled still on such as these primulas that survived the snow.

We have many blooming camellias. The shady path is bordered by them.

It could be considered mandatory that a tour of our area should include Big Breakfasts at The Beach Hut Café on

Friar’s Cliff Promenade.

So it was today. Jackie brunched on the marginally more moderate Friar’s Breakfast while Flo, Dillon, and I all went for the Big one.

A number of people were out exercising their dogs;

 others walked, jogged, or cycled.

Efforts at promoting fitness in Mudeford, for these two jet-skiers at least, were rather more strenuous.

Others basked in the sunshine or floated on the wing.

The usual fishing paraphernalia lay in tidy heaps on the quay.

Flags flapped in fortuitously reflective surfaces.

Our last visit was to Highcliffe Castle around which the young people wandered while I peered down the steps to the beach. This set has replaced the zig-zag sloping route used on 6th January 2016, now considered unsafe.

For our dinner the evening, Jackie produced her piquant cauliflower cheese with smoked haddock fish cakes and runner beans. Small portions were in order after our brunch. Flo’s favourite pudding, that gets her all of a quiver, is Grannie’s rice pudding with squirty cream. Naturally, this was served today. I finished the Navarra, and the young couple drank different soft drinks.

 

Knobbly Knees

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If you have no choice but to resort to vast shopping outlets, Bournemouth’s Castlepoint is far more user friendly than most. This is where we drove today for Jackie’s outfit for her niece Rachel’s wedding to Gareth in a few days’ time.

Castlepoint 1

Jackie led the way across the car park to her shop of choice.

Castlepoint 2

Castlepoint 6Castlepoint 7

I followed slowly, taking in the sculptural railings;

Castlepoint 3

the steps;

Castlepoint 4Castlepoint 5Castlepoint 8

the serried ranks of cars;

Loading car

 people loading their purchases before driving away;

Shoppers 1

and shoppers chatting

Shoppers 2Shoppers 3

and walking about.

Shoe mirror Evans

I joined Jackie in Evans. While she chose some shoes reflected in this nether mirror,

Underwear reflected

I allowed myself to be distracted by a full length one,

Reflections in silver balloons

before taking a multiple selfie reflected in silver balloons from Burton’s staircase, which also afforded a view of

Models Wallis

Wallis models below.

Man passing window displayShoppers through Burton windowShoppers in doorway 2Shoppers in doorway 1

Shoppers through Evans window 1

From the first floor of this open-plan shared store I watched shoppers passing by

Shoppers through Wallis window

or just taking a rest.

Cyclist through Burton window

There was even a cyclist

Car Park through Wallis window

skirting the car park.

Coca Cola can

When we returned to our car, this Coca Cola can rattled across the tarmac at the speed of Usain Bolt.

Christchurch Prory gardens

On our way home we diverted to Christchurch, parking in the Priory Car Park. In the gardens alongside stands this commemorative sculpture:

Christchurch Priory commemoration scupture plaque

Christchurch Priory Commemoration sculpture Sde A

Here is Side A;

Christchurch Priory Commemoration sculpture Sides B & C

here Sides B and C;

Christchurch Priory Commemoration sculpture Side D

and here Side D.

Christchurch Quay 1

A gentleman with a stick made his way along the quayside;

Christchurch Quay 2

as did a number of cyclists. I didn’t think to ask this gentleman why he carried a spade.

Christchurch Harbour 1

A motorised dinghy sped towards the sun,

Group on quayside

and a small group walked away from it.

Dog on balcony

A dog on a balcony was set off barking. Perhaps it suspected someone may be stealing the boats.

Boat

A vessel normally used for visitors’ trips hove into view just before we left,

Paddleboarder

while a paddle boarder approached from the opposite direction.

Gull

Jackie was of the opinion that this gull would have won a knobbly knees contest. It would have been a close call between the bird and the lamppost.

This evening we dined on spicy pizza and plentiful salad. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I started on another bottle of the malbec.

 

 

 

The Action Came To Me

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Moat

Jackie and I left Hurst Castle yesterday as we entered, crossing the bridge over the moat. What was once a deep defensive dug-out water-filled trench, now just collects a little precipitation when it rains.

Waiting for the ferry 1

We joined the crowds waiting for the ferry.

Waiting for the ferry 2

The small fleet of pleasure boats plied their way between Keyhaven and the castle. Even as one hove into view there was little movement among the visitors. Each boat only catered for twelve people, so those who were able might as well lounge around on the grass

Ferry arriving

until this arrival

Embarkation

had decanted its load and taken on fresh supplies.

Yachts on land 1 Yachts on land 2 Yachts on land 3

We gained a place on the next one and were soon back at Keyhaven.

Boats in harbour

On board the ferry Jackie had learned the story of the wrecked boat that I have featured in several previous posts. It is seen here with a severe list. The owner of the vessel has apparently died. Before his demise he had sold the mooring to someone at Mudeford. The purchaser has done nothing with it.

This afternoon we drove to Lepe to meet Elizabeth, Danni, and Andy. My sister is embarking on a documentary photographic series on ‘coast’ for her camera club. I had suggested Lepe.

Foal on road

On a wide junction with the Exbury Road outside Beaulieu, a young pony seemed confused. It stood in the centre, not knowing which way to turn, until Jackie stopped for it.

Gull

It had been agreed that we would make our ways to the car park and find each other. A friendly gull guided us to what seemed to be the only available space. Jackie waited in the car.

Beach scene with yachts 1

As I walked along the shingle there was much activity down by the shore at this low tide. Groups gathered in the shallows and yachts were much in evidence.

Beach scene with louring clouds

A louring sky did, however, send some off to the café.

Kite surfing 1

Kite surfers were undeterred.

Andy, Danni and Elizabeth

My extended family members, Andy, Danni, and Elizabeth, were to be found on the shingle at the far end of the car park.

Gull against louring sky

I had decided that, in walking back to inform Jackie, I would amble down to the shore, where the action was. A gull’s presence against the cloud curtain suggested rain was not far away.

People returning from shore 1People returning from shore 2

Indeed, it wasn’t, so, swathed in towels, the action came to me;

Searching the shallows

some pausing to inspect the shallows.

Along with the entire population of the beach, we entered the café, fought for chairs, and drank our choice of hot or cold liquids.

Digging for bait and walking on spit 1

When the sun returned we walked down to the crumbling cliffs for Elizabeth to conduct her recce. There a couple of groups dug for lug worms to use as fishing bait,

Walking on spit and digging for bait 1Walking on spit and digging for bait 2

while others walked along the exposed sand spit.

Kite surfing 2Kite surfing 3

Kite surfers has continued undisturbed.

Geese 1Geese 2Geese 3Geese 4Geese and surf kite

A skein of geese flapped silently by above the scene.

Yachts in sunshine against dark clouds

The darkening sky had shifted enough for a pair of passing yachts to catch the sunlight.

Packing up the kite 1Packing up the kite 2

Soon it was time to pack up the surf kites

Packing up the kite 3

and carry them to the transport.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid sausage casserole, boiled potatoes, carrots, and cauliflower with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Bardalino.

The Roadside Meadow

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Municipal planting has been one of the facilities offered by Local Authorities in these straitened times to have fallen by the wayside. In the metaphorical sense this is not true of New Forest District Council. Last autumn seeds were sown by the side of the A337 and covered with a protective netting. They have now sprung into life.

Wildflower meadow location sign

This is the location of the nearest site to our home, no more than a mile away.

Wildflower meadow wide view 2Wildflower meadow wide view 1

We have been waiting an opportune moment to photograph the most amazing display that is currently swaying in the breeze and buzzing with bees.

Wildflower meadow 27Wildflower meadow 25Wildflower meadow 26Wildflower meadow with bee on poppy 2Wildflower meadow with bee on cornflower 3Wildflower meadow 23Wildflower meadow 24Wildflower meadow 20Wildflower meadow 21Wildflower meadow 22Bee on cornflower 2Bee on poppy 2Wildflower meadow 16Wildflower meadow 17Wildflower meadow with bee on poppyWildflower meadow 18Wildflower meadow 19Wildflower meadow 14Bee on poppy 1Wildflower meadow 15Wildflower meadow 13Wildflower meadow 11Wildflower meadow 12Wildflower meadow 5Cornflower meadow 9Wildflower meadow 1Wildflower meadow 8Wildflower meadow 6For once, I cannot  say any more than the plants do themselves. This array would enhance any cottage garden.Wildflower meadow 7

Having feasted our eyes on these floral delights, we drove on to Barton on Sea to have a look at Christchurch Bay.

Beware unstable cliffs sign

The unstable cliffs sign is not new,

Cliff erosion

but it has perhaps moved inland a little more.

Gull over Christchurch Bay

Only the gliding gulls can travel over the clifftop with equanimity.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s marvellous boeuf bourguignon with swede and potato mash and mange touts. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden while I drank more of the Saint Emilion.