Scorching

On another very hot, yet progressively overcast morning we drove to Otter Nurseries where Jackie bought herself another very long hose – this time on wheels to reduce carrying it about – for the garden.

We travelled on to Barton on Sea where I stationed myself

on a bench in order to attach my longest camera lens, while Jackie stayed nearer

the Beachcomber café. These two of her pictures show the burnt condition

of the grasses and the thrift that I pictured on the cliff edge from where I

beamed down on a number of visitors wishing to scorch themselves. I wonder what Barbara, Book Club Mom would make of the couple reading in deckchairs?

We each photographed sailboats in the haze against the Isle of Wight, Jackie,

who also picked out the beach huts at Mudeford, choosing The Needles and their lighthouse as her backdrop.

This evening we dined on starters of Chicken in Nando’s Lemon and herb sauce on Jackie’s savoury rice; followed by her spicy paprika pork, boiled potatoes and tender runner beans, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Shiraz.

A Cattle Cluster

Jackie spent much of another very hot morning watering plants; I rendered some assistance with this, but mostly concentrated on dead heading and weeding down the Back Drive.

Before lunch I posted https://derrickjknight.com/2022/07/10/tower-blocks/

Afterwards we took a forest drive.

Along Sowley Lane we followed a tricyclist approached by a motorcyclist and bicyclists whom he acknowledged.

From St Leonard’s Road, with its dry verges,

beyond browning fields we had a clear view of the Isle of Wight and yachts on the Solent.

Tails twitching, cattle clustered, probably as protection from the irritating flies, in a field along Lodge Lane. One bothersome bovine, attempting to mount others, was repeatedly rebuffed.

Sunlight dappled treelined lanes like this unnamed one, which is why vehicles often keep their lights on as they constantly drive from darkness into light, and vice versa.

Among the moorland heather, gorse, and brambles, ponies – also coping with flies in the heat which seems to have exhausted a sleeping foal, consumed their vegan lunch.

After our trip we watched the Wimbledon men’s final between Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios.

Our dinner this evening was similar to yesterday’s except that the Nando’s sauce was Peri Peri Lemon and herb with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Swartland Shiraz 2020.

A Photographer With Two Assistants

This afternoon Jackie took Flo and me for a drive.

We passed walkers among the grass of Saltgrass Lane, along which we

viewed low clouds giving the Isle of Wight the appearance of high mountains fronted by the Hurst Lighthouse and medieval castle; and

figures on the spit continuing along the low tide flats.

Unbeknown to each of us, while Jackie photographed a conversation with an ice cream vendor I focussed on a couple enjoying one of her wares.

The elder Assistant Photographer also photographed a perched black headed gull.

An abundance of wild flowers now carpet the verges of our lanes.

The anonymous decorator of the letter collection box on Pilley Hill has given us an Easter theme.

The last two of these pictures of a pony drinking in Pilley lake were Flo’s work.

Gentle donkeys took care of each other at East Boldre.

Tonight we dined on Jackie’s rich red chicken jalfrezi and equally colourful savoury rice with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Shiraz. Hard boiled eggs were added to the curry for Flo, who did not imbibe. She remembered that once when she was smaller I had made her a boiled egg curry.

On The Step

Richard was on his own today. He spent time

continuing to fit the bedroom wardrobe, concentrating on trimming, on the rails, and on the handles.

The first of the above images includes him

working on the safer step he has built to create an easier drop from the former dressing room to the bedroom.

This afternoon Jackie and I visited the Milford G.P. surgery where we received our Covid booster vaccinations.

Dark indigo clouds loomed over the Isle of White, The Needles, and the lighthouse beside which the Jesus sunbeams penetrated the canopy.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla where the service and atmosphere was as friendly as ever, despite the fact that with the staff all masked I can never be sure whether I know them or not. My main course was the hot, sweet, and sour Chicken Jaljala while Jackie’s was the milder Chicken Boona. We shared pilau rice, and egg paratha and saag bhaji, both drinking Kingfisher.

A Knight’s Tale (49: Shanklin)

In September 1968, I produced this photograph on the beach at Shanklin on the Isle of Wight. An A3+ print now faces guests sitting on our loo.

Also on this holiday

after a paddle, Michael prevailed upon a pregnant Jackie to dig a hole in the

sand for him to climb into.

Three months later Matthew was born, and introduced to his big brother.

Little did I know that, after many years apart, Jackie and I would be living in the New Forest, close enough for me to be regularly photographing the island.

Photographing Windsurfers

After lunch I posted https://derrickjknight.com/2021/09/26/a-knights-tale-40-not-a-book-illustrator/

Later, partly in order to preserve petrol, we took a short drive to Tanners Lane and back. The garage that had been the cause of severe hold-ups two days running as panic buyers queued for petrol, had only a couple of pumps working, so we were able to pass it unimpeded.

Within sight of the Isle of Wight windsurfers were out in force at the end of the lane.

Jackie photographed me photographing them, and also distant passing yachts.

This evening we dined on tasty baked gammon; crisp fried potatoes; moist ratatouille; firm carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli; and tender runner beans. Jackie drank Sud de France Rosé 2020 and I drank Prestige de Calvet Cotes du Rhone 2020.

74 Miles Per Hour

The title represents the fastest speed of the hurricane force winds gusting through The Needles this morning. With our garden in direct line about two miles from these there was no point in going out to investigate the damage, so we drove to Barton on Sea to have a look at them.

Jackie photographed the wind filling my jacket as I stood as near the cliff edge as I dared (not very) to photograph the waves; and this sequence of a Union flag wrapped and unwrapped round the pole by the gusts. Even the crows and gulls kept away.

I managed just a couple of decent shots among the wobbly ones before descending the slope to the promenade below.

Like me, this couple had reached the bottom. I hadn’t tried it for at least two years since my knee surgery.

Flora on the hillsides must have found it difficult to remain rooted.

I had hoped to descend to the rocks below, but this would have meant sliding down the grassy slopes beneath the gravelled path along which others walked. I wasn’t about to risk that.

Choppy waves threw up spray as they battered the sturdy breakwaters and smashed into steadfast rocks. Salty vapour shrouded hazy horizons.

This afternoon I posted https://derrickjknight.com/2021/07/30/a-knights-tale-7-world-war-i/

Even by dinner time the winds had not totally subsided, so we decided that tying up plants and removing broken stems would have to wait until tomorrow. Similarly, we have let the garden furniture lie.

Jackie, however completed her project on clearing the stepping stones through the Palm Bed, and photographed it along with

the sunflower, which has survived.

This evening we dined on plump roast chicken; sage and onion stuffing; crisp Yorkshire pudding; roast and boiled potatoes; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; fried chestnut mushrooms; and tasty, meaty, gravy, with which Jackie finished the Rosé and I finished the Recital.

Bed Head And Bum Flossing

On a warm and sunny morning we drove to the pharmacy at Milton on Sea, and on into the forest.

Starry sun reflecting from a window on the Isle of Wight sparkled on the Solent,

as it gently lapped against the sea wall and Hurst Castle in the distance.

The eroding cliffs, speaking of many more turbulent seas, bear more sturdy rocks, part of the never-ending human efforts to build defences.

Another photographer briefly left his vehicle to make his own photograph.

A large number of ponies kept the grass down for visitors using the Holmsley Car Park.

The more creaky of my readers will recognise the need for this pony to roll backwards and forwards,

acquiring a bed head, in order to rise to its feet.

Nearby, another, in need of a scratch, was practicing the delicate art of bum flossing, as it is known locally, when using posts of a certain height for the purpose.

This was clearly not adequate for complete relief, as further efforts were required until the animal was able to settle down to chewing grass rather than the lingering irritant.

After lunch I cut the grass.

This evening we enjoyed more of Jackie’s delicious sausages in red wine; creamy mashed potatoes; firm carrots and cauliflower; and tender runner beans, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Cotes du Rhone.

Clear, Changing, Light

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

Saltgrass Lane.

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.

“Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day”

Knowing that we are about to experience strong gales for three days I lay down the garden chairs and the new water feature as a precaution this morning, and this afternoon we visited the coast at Milford on Sea to make calmer photographs than we would anticipate for a while.

Although from a distance the sea looked calm enough as I focussed on the Isle of Wight and a woman on the seafront shingle,

it wasn’t that tranquil.

Jackie focussed on me photographing

waves advancing in a rush, and seeping back across the shingle.

As we left, a black-headed gull was perched for takeoff.

Should there be anyone who does not know of Captain Sir Thomas Moore, you are advised to consult https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_Tom_Moore to read about the inspirational gentleman approaching his 100th birthday who, during 2020 raised our nation’s spirits; £34,000,000+ for the NHS; and, ultimately Queen Elizabeth II’s dubbing arm. This man’s favourite phrase, “Tomorrow will be a good day”, has been celebrated in yarn on the Pilley Street letter box.

After passing this, we drove on to Lepe where, from Inchmere Lane

we looked out over the flats, where I photographed

a solitary oyster catcher, and Jackie photographed

a motor boat.

I disembarked beside a seasonal pool on Exbury Road where I photographed

reflections of overhead trees;

fallen branches; and a mossy bank.

Do ducks lay eggs on a bare scratched circular area of ground? If so, I found one.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s chicken and vegetable stewp with fresh bread, followed by her spicy pasta arrabbiata and tender runner beans, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Primitivo Salento.