We began the day with an early trip to Milford on Sea Pharmacy.
Cloudscapes over the Solent and Christchurch Bay were ever changing. The Isle of Wight, invisible not so long avows nicely silhouetted against clear blue sky beyond bands of white cotton and degrees of indigo clouds. Cerulean patches peeped through others. Empty cruise ships waited outside Southampton for Covid-19 restrictions preventing them from taking on passengers to be lifted.
Similar skies prevailed over Keyhaven Harbour
and Hurst Spit, along which a couple of heavy lorries churned up dust before descending to
Numbers of walkers and their dogs stood out against the constantly changing skies. Beneath the truck in the third image featuring the spit can be see a husky dog and its human companions.
This group raised considerable attention and a number of questions which the gentleman holding the lead was happy to answer.
After lunch Jackie worked on her water features in the garden while I cleared up a little: transporting clippings to the compost; lifting wind-floored owls, none of which had been damaged; and gathering slender fallen branches.
Having now read the first five chapters of
in which Mr Dickens begins to introduce his characters, I scanned the above frontispiece – ‘It was a clear evening, with a bright moon’ – with the title page and five more of Mr Keeping’s illustrations.
‘The old lady, naturally strong-minded, was nevertheless frail and fading’
‘Neither of the three took any notice of him’ – as the artist shows us.
‘ ‘You have seen the gentleman in this way before, miss?’ ‘
‘He touched the tip of his high nose, by way of intimation that he would let Mr Pecksniff into a secret presently’
Notice how Charles Keeping, in ‘Mr Pinch set forth on a stroll about the streets’ establishes perspective as the lines of the detailed foreground donkeys recede into those of the suggested distant chimneys.
Just before dinner I dashed outside with my camera
to photograph a fleeting sunset.
Dinner then consisted of three prawn preparations, namely tempura, salt and pepper, and hot and spicy; Jackie’s flavoursome savoury rice; served with fresh salad, with which the Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Cabernet Sauvignon.