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We began the day with a trip to Everton Nurseries to buy four more slabs of reconstituted stone for the new bench base. Sadly, artificial Halloween pumpkins and other scary things were being arrayed at the entrance. What has happened to the pleasure of making your own carving? Sadder still, I noticed a heap of dog turds in the car park. Someone had allowed their dog to dump where others may wish to tread. I informed a staff member who picked up the offending material with a plastic bag.
I soon cheered up as we drove through the forest.
Somewhere near Bramsgore an Austin 7 was being carried on a low trailer.
We stopped on Charles’s Lane near Ringwood, where Jackie had noticed rows of gnarled boles of trees that had lived and died over centuries of accumulated hedgerow boundaries. I spent a pleasant time wandering up and down photographing these,
and the forest scenes beyond them. Leaves are just beginning to fall and ferns are turning brown.
I have been unable to discover any history of this lane, but we feel that, judging by the ancient hedgerows, it is a very early one.
One cyclist ascended the slight incline and disappeared round a bend in the road;
another whirred into sight and whizzed downhill.
The rapid machine gun fire that was acorns spattering the tarmac had me ducking for cover.
Soon, even this rattling was eclipsed by the clopping of horses’ hooves. I stood on the verge, expecting perhaps a couple of equestrian carriages to round the distant bend. What appeared were a group of riders who slowed as they approached,
and thinned out to a string, the young lady bringing up the rear being led by a rope.
Having, I thought, exhausted photographic possibilities I returned to the car. On the way the familiar clip clop indicated that the riders were returning.
Their leader paused for a chat, a comment that it was “a lovely autumny day”, and a wave goodbye.
Off they returned, on past
the walls of a now demolished railway bridge, an overgrown example of ‘Beechingisation’.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s excellent cottage pie, crunchy carrots and cauliflower, with most flavoursome first Brussels sprouts of the season. I finished the malbec.