In Need Of Milking

Martin’s cementing material was frozen in the bags this morning which he consequently spent

cutting out the shapes he would not be able to firmly set in place until Sunday.

Note the ice chips on the covered paving.

Ellie, who has now mastered the art of hand to mouth coordination,

was mesmerised by the open fire.

Martin told me that the roadsides were festooned with icicles formed by the showers of spray thrown up by vehicles during Monday’s deluge. Jackie and I therefore took a trip to investigate.

Some years ago now, a teenage girl was killed in a car crash along Hordle Lane.

Some soft toys still linger in the trees in her memory. One had fallen among the icicles by the roadside.

Further icicles and ice patterns decorated the corner of Woodcock Lane and Silver Street

along which these wintry decorations dangled from trees, draped verges along which they were reflected in the gutters, and rose from grasses on stumps.

We drove along Bashley Cross Road to Ferndene Farm shop to buy some eggs. A fallen branch bore dripping icicles.

Sway Road hosted various ice sculptures reflected in the gutters,

some dripping from a fence post like the udders of a cow in need of milking.

Further along this road autumn red-gold merged with winter’s snow-white.

This evening we dined on bangers and mash; fried bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms; boiled carrots, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Coonawarra Shiraz 2020.

Splashed Stalactites

This morning Nick Hayter performed more painstaking preparation work on our kitchen. Apart from exemplary decorating he exhibits enviable flexibility.

An Antipodean friend, in order the more safely to transport some important paperwork to another part of the UK, e-mailed the documents to me to print out and post in snail mail. This mission was carried out this afternoon. Jackie drove me to Everton Post Office where I posted the package.

The overflowing ditch at the corner of Woodcock Lane sports an excellent puddle with reflections and the possibility for passing motorists to splash potential stalactites to drip in sub zero temperatures.

Striated skies streaked over Walhampton.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy chicken jalfrezi and pilau rice with vegetable samosas. I drank more of the Recital.

Fine Floury Precipitation

This morning,

while Nick Hayter continued decorating our kitchen after Barry had repaired the leaking roof, I watched the fourth day’s play of the Test match between India and England at Chennai broadcast on Channel 4.

This afternoon we drove to Grove Pharmacy at Christchurch Hospital for Jackie’s first Covid-19 vaccination. Her procedure was even quicker and smoother than mine.

We took a short diversion through the forest on our way home. With the temperature having plummeted to 0 degrees centigrade we experienced very fine snow throughout our trip.

Just outside Burley the moorland pools were iced over and bearing locked in branches.

The one shaggy haired, muddy legged foraging pony we encountered seemed oblivious of the falling fine floury precipitation.

Deer on Burley Manor lawn hugged the fenced boundaries, maybe seeking shelter from the hedges beyond.

Our next stops were at Otter and Everton Garden Centres where we bought a solar lamp and a shepherd’s crook on which to hang it for Elizabeth whose birthday it is today. We delivered them and stuck them in her lawn.

We have noticed a new phenomenon, one example of which Jackie photographed alongside Jordan’s Lane. It seems that cars are throwing up spray from the pools on the tarmac which have frozen in the process of dripping.

This evening we dined on oven fish and chips, baked beans, pickled onions, and gherkins, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Languedoc Montpeyroux Recital 2018.