A Sunny Interlude

I’m happy to say that James Peacock sorted out our internet problem this morning, in time for me to keep a dental checkup appointment, which was satisfactory.

We celebrated by buying a new washing machine to replace our older one which is becoming cantankerous.

This afternoon I was able to feature yesterday’s forest drive with photographs.

After three days and nights of gales it was refreshing that afternoon to experience gleaming sunlight glinting off

wet leaves and rivulets running down verges such as these in

Undershore, with its

wet leaves,

glistening branches,

and lichen covered trunks rising from high, soggy, verges.

Broken, lichen-green, branches dangled from wind blown trees.

High hedgerows lined one side of Bull Hill

while autumn leaves

and holly berries carpeted the other, more level, equally damp, terrain.

The wheels of most vehicles, like this bus at East Boldre, flung up showers of scintillating spray.

Outside East End the beautifully patterned hides of damp pasturing ponies sparkled in low relief.

One reflective verge revealed an image of a pedestrian gate beside a cattle grid at the Lymington end of Sowley Lane.

While I was making up my mind whether to focus on a flock of pheasants or a female deer in a field, the ruminant fled off into the distance.

This evening we dined on pork spare ribs marinaded in lime and ginger sauce and topped with satay sauce on a bed of Jackie’s colourful savoury rice, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Pierre Jaurant Merlot – Cabernet Sauvignon Bordeaux 2020.

Head To Head

On a bright, crisp, afternoon Jackie drove us to Bisterne Close,

where she parked and sat in the car while I wandered into the forest with my camera, rustling the dried autumn leaves, across which the low sun cast long shadows. One lone cow wandered off into the distance. Golden gorse glowed; a few beech and oak leaves lingered on the branches; some fallen limbs bore lichen and fungus; holly berries shone for Christmas.

Jackie photographed a bouncing squirrel

and a pedestrian me.

Ponies were mostly waiting expectantly at the far end of close. What for was unclear.

This evening we dined on well roasted gammon and parsnips; creamy mashed potatoes; piquant cauliflower cheese; firm carrots; and tender green beans, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Comté Tolosan.

“Have You Seen My Dog?”

The weather today alternated between brief bursts of bright sunshine and darkly hammering heavy hail and rain. We probably picked the best time for a drive into the forest, where,

on Sway Road it was the turn of cattle and donkeys to create traffic mayhem.

I took advantage of the sunshine to photograph autumn at my feet before moving on.

We turned into Black Knowl where Jackie parked and I wandered on down. I had said I would walk back to the car when I was ready, but, because of the showers, she ignored that and followed me at a safe distance. The gentleman walking his dog in this shot exchanged friendly greetings with me as our paths crossed.

Fenced fields flanked my right side,

while open woodland graced my left. The orange mark on one trunk indicates the need for minor foresters’ attention; acorns and holly berries decorate some of the trees, although the acorns constantly clattered the tarmac; fallen boughs and trunks, making their decaying contribution to the ecology, gradually return to the soil from whence they came. The comparatively sheltered ferns cling to their youthful green hue.

Suddenly the sweeping sough of the wind was muffled by rapidly advancing thudding hooves of ponies on the run.

I just about managed to picture a few as they sped, seemingly panic-stricken through the trees.

Soon, a second wave surged ahead, passing a couple of walkers and tearing into the trees. Note the spaniel getting involved. The second of these pictures is Jackie’s.

The clacking and thumping of hooves of the next wave of rather more and larger equines had me taking immediate evasive action by leaping (figuratively speaking of course) into a dry ditch. Fortunately they turned off before they reached me. The idea of photographing them disappeared from my mind.

I then decided it was time for me to return to the car. A small group of humans had gathered at this point. There was some speculation that the animals may have been escaping from a Drift https://derrickjknight.com/2016/08/30/the-drift/ because they are happening about now.

“Have you seen my dog?” asked one woman. We had, of course; it was a spaniel. I pointed her in the right direction and her pet came scampering to her side.

From the comparative safety of the Modus, I photographed the fourth wild wave as it rushed on by.

We had reached Ober Corner, beside a stretch of Ober Water, as usual reflecting the surrounding landscape.

Jackie poked her camera in my direction.

This evening we dined on a second sitting of last night’s spicy delights with an additional tasty omelette and tender green beans with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank The Second Fleet, Shiraz 2018, a smooth full bodied red wine from Australia’s Limestone Coast.

Wetter Than Expected

My plan this morning was to walk along Bisterne Close for half an hour after which Jackie, having dropped me at one end, would follow and pick me up. In gloomy morning light and light drizzle we set off.

The War Memorial in Everton Road, Hordle, had been prepared for tomorrow’s Armistice Day.

The commemorative bench bears stylised pale red poppies and pure white doves of peace.

More poppies grace fences and

freshly mown grass.

By the time we reached Holmsley Passage the drizzle had increased to light rain which

gave ponies a somewhat more than bedraggled look.

Soon the rain had developed deluge dimensions. My readers will know by now that I don’t know when to give up, so we continued to

Bisterne Close.

 

Listening to the increasingly tympanic pattering of raindrops drumming onto the trees, dripping off the leaves, and thudding onto the shoulders of my porous allegedly damp-proof raincoat; peering through specs lacking windscreen wipers, through which I couldn’t clearly see my viewfinder I captured what woodland scenes I could.

Autumn leaves, above

or below, glistened with precipitation.

I resisted the temptation to ask a horse chomping hay for the loan of its cheerful rug.

Here, as on much of the forest terrain, pools were appearing.

Autumn leaves submerged beneath the water where raindrops floated on muddy surfaces until bursting into spiralling increasing circles. I stuffed my specs into my pocket and attempted to employ my dampened eyelashes to provide clear vision.

Fallen trees and their branches, both recent

and longer-lying, settled into their task of maintaining the ancient forest ecology.

while others, now dead, did their bit while still standing.

Some trees sent tentacles in search of rooting soil.

Such bracken as had not yet gathered a fully autumnal appearance was turning nicely.

Well fed birds have not yet been tempted to strip the hollies of their berries.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy pork paprika, savoury vegetable rice, and tender runner beans with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Cotes du Rhone.

 

 

Sufficient Sustenance Elsewhere

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Our crab apples are beginning to line the pavement at the front of the house. In previous years blackbirds have feasted on them. Other birds have preferred holly berries which are falling onto the soil below. This year, it seems, our avifauna are obtaining sufficient sustenance elsewhere.

This morning I took up ‘A Knight’s Tale’ once more. For more recent readers I should explain that, following encouragement from others, I have begun writing the story of my life, taking much information from posts on this blog. As the narrative entered adulthood I became rather uncertain of the direction into which I should take my next step. Childhood had seemed much more straightforward.

Today, for material, I delved into ‘The Drain’, ‘The Folio Society’‘Toytown’, and ‘A Postcard’

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips, with which Jackie fished the Sauvignon Blanc and Elizabeth and I drank Cono Sur Bicicleta reserva Merlot 2017

Far Too Fast For Me

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The day was as radiant as yesterday had been dismal. At lunchtime we brunched at the Walkford Diner which now has sautéed potatoes and onions to be added to any of the standard meals. Naturally we added some to our All Day Breakfasts. We continued on into the forest, where

Thatchers Lane’s hedgerows bore many holly berries and a curved tree stem that Jackie termed “nature’s bench”.

High on Thorney Hill, two horses grazed in a sun-kissed field. As so often happens, first the white one, then its companion made a beeline for me as I stood observing them.

Somewhere about this point the name changes to Braggers. Here heavier workhorses, one sleeping under a tree, occupied another field. Sun streaked across grass and tarmac.

A staggered crossroads soon takes us into Fish Street where a young equestrienne ambling along in front of us was considerate enough to pull over to facilitate our passage. The early Christmas decorations suspended overhead were red painted pine cones.

On the approach to Bashley a solitary Gloucester Old Spot sow sped into the trees. She was far too fast for me, so I focussed on Autumn colour instead.

Tree work at the roundabout on the corner of Bashley Common Road and Sway Road, requiring 4 – Way Traffic Control, provided plenty of opportunity for me to poke my lens out of my stationary window and photograph roadside rose hips. Needless to say, fans of Hampshire’s roads will not be surprised that, of the four affected ways, only ours was subjected to the long tailback.

Elizabeth is spending a week with friends in Edinburgh. Jackie and I dined on the Culinary Queen’s excellent chilli con carne and savoury rice with which I drank Chateau Pinenc Minervois 2017.
 

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.

 

 

 

I Hadn’t Seen Rahul

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This morning Jackie drove us to the GP surgery at Milford on Sea where we were given our flu jabs. There is nothing like joining the priority group above a certain age for letting us know where we belong.

Afterwards we travelled on for a short trip in the forest.

Gates CottageGates Cottage 2

Fence

Gates Cottage, with its attractive picket fences is nicely situated

Mead End Road

on a bend in Mead End Road near Lymington.

Cattle peering through hedge

Inquisitive as always, a pair of cattle, possibly Herefords, peered through a hedge alongside the driveway to Greenslade Farm opposite the thatched cottage.

Bracken

Bracken in the hedgerows wears its autumn hues.

Mead End Road continuation

We turned off into another lane,

ScaffoldingHousing development 2Housing development 3

and returned home via Hordle Lane where the new housing development

Housing Development 1

has changed forever the view from All Saints Parish Church,

Autumn leaves 2

the graveyard of which

Autumn leaves 1

is donning its autumn splendour.

This afternoon we returned to NatWest in Lymington where I collected the Australian dollars I am sending to Orlaith for her fifth birthday.

Jackie waited in the car for me at the bottom of the High Street while I wandered down photographing the seasonal displays.

St Thomas and All Saints graveyard 1St Thomas and All Saints graveyard 2St Thomas and All Saints graveyard 3

I began with the graveyard of St Thomas and All Saints church, containing some of the souls we remember this evening;

Holly berries

where holly berries proclaim the season.

Bunting Halloween

Like Pizza Express, we take the opportunity to amuse with spiders and ghouls carved from pumpkins featured on this bunting;

Pizza Express window

and scary creatures peering from their window.

Dogs Trust window

The Dogs Trust display also includes a discreet poppy.

Costa Coffee window

Inside Costa Coffee, a wandering pumpkin selects a snack from the cabinet.

English and Continental Chocolates window

English and Continental Chocolates’ cornucopia includes a number of witches of which Burley would be proud.

White Stuff Halloween display

Living up to the outlet’s name White Stuff displayed an albino pumpkin.

Save The Children shop window

The Save The Children shop favoured horror.

Lounges Coffee Shop and Rose Garden Crafts

Across the road Lounges Coffee Shop and Rose Garden Craftsstruck a lower key.

Drydock window

This crafted pumpkin is in drydock.

The Gilded Teapot window

It is probably appropriate that The Gilded Teapot’s window should show falling leaves.

Rahul in High Street 1

In common with a number of our towns and villages, Lymington remembers those souls who never came back from Flanders, by fixing a poppy to each lamp post.

Rahul in High Street 2

It wasn’t until I cropped and enlarged the two images that I realised that I had photographed Rahul, one of the delightful Lal Quilla waiters. He is on the left, speaking on his mobile phone. On his way back down the hill a little later he stopped for a chat, neither of us being aware that I had immortalised him. I will make some prints for our next visit to the restaurant.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy chilli con carne with wild rice and peas. I drank more of the Fronton.

 

 

 

Feeding Time

Such is the continuing mild nature of our weather that there was plenty of evidence on the holly bushes of Hordle Lane, along which I walked to the paddock and back this afternoon, that the other avian larders are still well stocked.

Holly berries

The berries are not even refrigerated yet.

Oak tree 1

Oak tree 2Oak tree 3Oak tree 4

The deciduous oaks are, however, displaying their seasonal x-ray images.

Horses crossing field 1Horses crossing field 2

As I leaned on the paddock gate, observing  that the horses were all sporting their protective rugs, they suddenly stirred, turned, and trotted with intent across the field. I didn’t really think I had had that effect on them.

Horses feeding 1Horses feeding 2

Soon afterwards a man and a woman led them to a pen on the far side. Whilst I couldn’t quite see what was going on, I imagine it can only have been feeding time that would provoke such spirited movement. My camera lens confirmed this.

Christmas decorations 1

Whilst writing this I am myself slowly being penned in by Christmas decorations which have a propensity to multiply at will.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s scrumptious sausage casserole; mashed potatoes; Brussels sprouts; and sautéed carrots, potatoes, onions, and mushrooms. Dessert was steamed pineapple pudding and custard. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the malbec.

Crossword Setters’ Pseudonyms

MorganOn this dull, humid, morning I trudged my circular route to Milford on Sea and back. As I approached a shiny blue motor car parked on the cliff top I instantly recognised it as a Morgan, a classic that I had only ever before seen in magazines. The owner was happy to vacate his vehicle for a photograph. This model, built in the 1960s, kept faithful to the original 1936 design.
This made me think about my friend Georgie Johnson. Georgie, to whom I am indebted for a number of the ideas for my advanced cryptic crosswords, chose the name Morgan for her setter’s pseudonym. Like me, fascinated by Arthurian legend, she thus paid tribute to Morgan le Fay, the mythical king’s evil sister. It is of course traditional for some compilers to select the nomenclature of an evil character by which to be known. The far more famous Torquemada comes to mind. Some would say that Morgan le Fay was the aunt of Mordred, whose name I had chosen. Georgie and I briefly collaborated as Gander, a linking of the end of her nom de plume followed by the beginning of my Christian name. Not as revered as the aforementioned Inquisitor, Mordred did make it into Jonathon Crowther’s 2006 Collins publication ‘A-Z of Crosswords: Insights into the Top Setters and their Puzzles’ (ISBN 0-00-722923-2). My section tells the rather marvellous tale of the publication of a puzzle in honour of Sam’s epic Atlantic Row. The timing of Mark Goodliffe and Simon Anthony, editors of ‘The Magpie’, was perfect.
Speaking to the owner of the Morgan reminded me of another classic car story. This is told in ‘I Can’t Put A Ticket On That’.
Studland Common Nature ReserveHollyIn the Nature Reserve, no doubt following the lead of the supermarkets and garden centres, the hollies were stocking up for Christmas.
It has been our practice in the garden this summer to allow unfamiliar plants to remain in situ until we know what they are. On my return home today, one of these that we had thought Carrotmight be an unknown fern, lay stretched out on the dining table. It was an enormous carrot, so misshapen as never to have reached the supermarket shelves.
Our dinner tonight consisted of pork belly in hoi-sin sauce with savoury rice packed with vegetables and chopped omelette. Ginger sponge and custard was to follow. Jackie drank her customary Hoegaarden, whilst I drank Albai reserva rioja 2010.