Have I Found A Redshank?

We enjoyed another very hot temperature with clear, pale blue, skies today.

In the garden bees laboured on rudbeckia;

Small White butterflies were ubiquitous;

sun produced X-ray images of such as hollyhocks and pelargoniums;

and cart wheels spoke to the low bark of the eucalyptus.

I wandered around for a while. As usual, titles may be found in the galleries.

Nugget flew at the closed utility room window while expressing his dissatisfaction with Jackie because she spent her time watering plants instead of digging up his breakfast. Bouncing onto the paving below he appeared to have recovered

enough to continue on his own chirpy way.

This afternoon we visited Shelly and Ron with birthday presents, just after Helen and Bill had arrived. We spent pleasant hour together, assisted with the crossword and accepted that we couldn’t put the world to rights.

Giles collected me early this evening for a birding session at the Milford on Sea hide.

As we left by the kitchen door, Nugget, perched on the patio rocker waved us on our way.

Such a hazy mist hung over Sturt Pond that visibility was somewhat shrouded. The Isle of Wight was quite invisible;

walkers on the spit and the bridge were given a nebulous quality.

A crow surveyed the scene from a wooden wire fence post.

We were joined in the hide by 8 year old Will Ryan and his parents.

I managed to identify the spread wings of a cormorant, but

I was at a loss to be sure about the redshank to which this engaging young man did his best to guide me. I may have one or two in this collection. Ornithologists among my readership may be kind enough to let me know. Bigification can be obtained from the gallery.

This evening Jackie and I dined on spicy pepperoni pizza and plentiful fresh salad.

The Garden Wept

Hanging its head, the garden wept early this morning;

to brighten later;

albeit with less than entirely dry cheeks. Bees basked on sunlit blooms;

as did butterflies like this Red Admiral on the lobelia.

Jackie’s planting

of phlox in the West Bed

brought her little robin, Nugget, out in search of goodies. “Where’s Nugget?” (6)

Here we lost internet connection, so I am sending this from The Royal Oak.

Our Industrial Past

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

I forgot to mention yesterday that when I returned home I found that my cheque from Laithwaite’s had been delivered.

The Félicité Perpétue rose in the front garden has been sending thorny tentacles across the drive. This morning I restrained them with green wire.

Marguerites

Alongside the marguerites that accompany the rose,

Nasturtium

a nasturtium trumpeted its presence.

Clematis Mrs N. Thompson and solanum

Opposite, the clematis Mrs. N. Thompson and solanums

Bee and honeysuckle

twine amongst the honeysuckle from which bees flit to and fro.

Hollyhock

This new hollyhock is in bloom along the back drive.

In June 1981, I made a series of colour slides of gasometers. I scanned them this afternoon.

Gasometer 6.81008

Gasometer 6.81 2

Gasometer 6.81 1

Here are sections of side views;

Gasometer 6.81 3

and one of a top.

Gasometers

There are glimpses of three in this image.

Gasometer and car wrecks 6.81 1Gasometer and car wrecks 6.81 2

I cannot, for the life of me, remember where these were. Maybe the car wrecks could provide a pointer for anyone who may help identify them;

Snapdragons on wall

or maybe these snapdragons? Perhaps not.

The major problem for anyone attempting to assist is that these emblems of our industrial past may no longer exist.

This is what Wikipedia has to say about our gasometers: ‘A gas holder, sometimes called a gasometer, is a large container in which natural gas or town gas is stored near atmospheric pressure at ambient temperatures. The volume of the container follows the quantity of stored gas, with pressure coming from the weight of a movable cap. Typical volumes for large gasholders are about 50,000 cubic metres (1,800,000 cu ft), with 60 metres (200 ft) diameter structures.’

Today, there are very few left standing. The reason for this is described in this short video made by Tom Scott:

1280px-Gasholders_at_the_Oval

One iconic gasometer, protected, or, listed since earlier this year, is visible from The Oval cricket ground. I spent many a day in the summers of my teens watching the rise and fall of this famous cricketing symbol. Wikipedia provides this photograph.

For our dinner this evening, the Culinary Queen produced smoked haddock, piquant cauliflower cheese (recipe), new potatoes, crunchy carrots, and sautéed leeks and peppers. We both drank Marlborough Oyster Bay sauvignon blanc 2015. Needless to say, it was all delicious.

 

Hammock And Hollyhock

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This morning we shopped at Lidl, mainly to load up the car with more of their large bags of compost. Quite a number of the on the heap outside the store were damaged and leaking. Some fell on stony ground.

So popular was the photograph of Sam in the hammock from yesterday’s post that I scanned the rest of the set of colour slides made in August 1981. Matthew was wonderful with his younger siblings.

Matthew and Sam in hammock 8.81 1

Matthew and Sam in hammock 8.81 2Matthew and Sam in hammock 8.81 3Sam (and Mat) 8.81Matthew and Sam in hammock 8.81 4

Matthew and Sam 8.81 5

Matthew and Sam in hammock 8.81

Here, his and Sam’s enjoyment of time in the hammock at Meldreth is quite clear.

Sam and Adrian in hammock 8.81

Mat’s friend Adrian was of similar ilk.

Hollyhock 8.81

No, this hollyhock has not crept in from our current garden 35 years on. It was taken along with these others. Does its progeny still soar from the sunlit borders of ‘The Dumb Flea’? (the Drapers’ home where these shots were made).

Clematises and sweet peas

Here in Downton we have experienced very strong winds for two or three days. These have dried up the hanging baskets and broken a few stems. Jackie therefore has been taking a few down. She continued this today, and I did some watering.

This evening we dined on a second helping of Hordle Chinese Take Away. We now know the proprietor’s name is Chan, which is a pity because Mister Chatty Man suits him so well. I finished the Carignan Vieilles Vignes and Jackie drank her Hoegaarden and Bavaria mix. Well, she had to do something with the non-alcoholic beer bought by mistake.

The Unidentified Fir Bed

I began the day by watching a recording of the England v. Australia match in the Rugby World Cup. In case there is any rugby fan in either hemisphere who is yet to watch it, I will say no more.

Jackie working on Unidentified Fir bed

Encouraged by yet another warm, sunny, day, Jackie began work on clearing, and settling down for winter, the bed between the Heligan and Phantom Paths. We will call it The Unidentified Fir Bed, in honour of the large evergreen that enhances it. My contribution was to gather up and shift the debris to the respective compost and combustible heaps; to dig out a tree peony that encroached upon the Heligan Path; and to rake up fallen leaves from the gravel.

Unidentified Fir Bed 1Unidentified Fir Bed 2

In addition to releasing a number of choked plants that had not seen the light of day for a year or two, Jackie discovered another row of large rocks, and a length of perished buried hose from an ancient irrigation system.

Hose in Unidentified Fir Bed

Unidentified Fir Bed 3

This afternoon, deciding to dig over the exposed ground, she found much rubble therein. I, oblivious of this added difficulty, watched TV rugby matches between Argentina and Tonga, and between Ireland and Italy.

Owl on stump

Elsewhere in the garden this morning I had discovered yet another owl perched on a stump,

Grass Patch view

and the aerator acquired from the dump yesterday piercing the grass patch. The pheasant and kiwi didn’t look impressed.

Hollyhock

One of Margery’s hollyhocks still stands sentinel to the left of this scene.

Today’s bouquet of roses includes

Rose Laura Ford

Laura Ford,

Rose Festive Jewel

Festive Jewel,

Rose Absolutely Fabulous

and Absolutely Fabulous.

Wall butterfly

Butterflies like this well camouflaged Speckled Wood (thanks to Paul Clarke for pointing out that this is not a Wall Brown) have not yet given up,

Bee on bidens

neither have the slurping bees.

This evening we dined on cod in mornay sauce with broccoli florets; and crisp carrots, cauliflower and cabbage. We both drank Cimarosa Pedro Jimenez 2014.

The Monet Arch

Oscar, that fine blogging poet of In So Many Words, recently expressed wonderment that I got any work done with all the photography I did in the garden. I wonder, did he know that the camera is a preferred delaying tactic; and that a new rose arch has stood in the hall porch for the last three days, awaiting assembly?

Rose arch at front

The arch leading into the front garden was such a ramshackle structure that it was being held together by the roses, honeysuckle, and clematis it was meant to support. I therefore ordered a replacement from Agriframes. Today we decided to substitute the new metal Monet Arch for the existing rickety woodwork.

Anyone who remembers our last struggle with an Agriframes Arch may well understand our reluctance to begin this project, and Oscar, in particular, will understand my need ramble round the garden first.

The overnight rain had once again left sparkling gems on the flowers:

raindrops on geraniums

on geraniums;

raindrops on begonia

on begonias;

raindrops on trailing antirrhinums

on trailing antirrhinums, less their tails battered by the winds;

raindrops on hollhock

on Margery’s long- lived hollyhocks;

raindrops on giant fuchsia Pink Marshmallow

on a giant fuchsia Pink Marshmallow;

Raindrops on rose Mamma Mia

and on the rose Mamma Mia, to name a few.

raindrops on apple tree

The ripening apples on the tree also benefited from a wash.

The two beds Jackie has planted up in the last week welcomed the nurturing rainfall. These are

Former ficus bed

the former site of the ficus,

Triangular bed

and the triangular bed linking the Pergola and Brick Paths.

View across triangular bed

Having removed some overgrown shrubs from the latter opens up the view through to the Agriframes Gothic Arch.

Japanese anemones

At every corner the sun lit hosts of grateful blooms like these Japanese anemones.

That little wander was just one of the ways we managed to defer tackling the arch until after lunch. Spelling mistakes in the instructions didn’t inspire me with confidence; neither did the fact that the suppliers had equated 1.2 meters with 4 feet.

Monet Arch Parts List001Monet Arch Instructions002

This was the paperwork.

Before anything else, we decided to take step 2. It seemed rather important to make sure we could fit the four posts into gravelly soil with concrete and stone embellishments. This meant heavily pruning the plants in situ, then piercing four holes in the right places. Every time I extracted the hole maker, bits of gravel fell back into it. That was rather frustrating. Next came step 1. We then applied the top section to the four posts of step 2, to check we had them properly aligned. After a bit of tweaking we found we had.

Step 1 was then removed so we could build step 3, and apply it as in step 4.  Eventually, that worked. This meant we were ready to put step 1 in place.

Monet Arch

I trust that is all very clear. The next time we need an arch it will come ready-assembled from an architectural salvage outlet such as Ace Reclaim.

Did I mention that it rained during this procedure? No? Well, it did.

This evening we dined with Giles and Jean at her home in Barton on Sea. Jean produced an excellent meal of Sea Bass, new potatoes, broccoli, and mushrooms; followed by a succulent autumn pudding, being a seasonal variant on my favourite summer pudding. I drank a rather good mourvedre, while Jackie drank Peroni. Naturally we had our usual stimulating conversation.