To The End Of The Day

Before lunch I sent an e-mail scan of the resubmitted probate form to the relevant Government Department; afterwards I posted the form and a covering letter in snail mail.

From Everton Post Office we took a forest drive.

The landscape with horses in rugs alongside Barrows Lane was nicely lit by the late afternoon sun.

The corrugated iron building is in that same lane; the farmhouse and wonky outbuilding in Mead End Road.

Jesus beams burst from lowering clouds onto the tree lines along Burley Road.

A group of donkeys outside Brockenhurst, chomping on thorny shrubs near where Jack parked the Modus gradually transferred from one side of the entrance drive to the other to try their luck from our vehicle, especially as I had disembarked to photograph them and

the ponies on the other side of the road.

Soon it was time to head back to the pharmacy at Milford on Sea to collect medication then take in

the beginnings of golden sunset tinting the foamy waves, the spray rising from the rocks, and the sturdy wooden breakwaters.

Then on to Barton on Sea as the sun was sinking and walkers watched this phenomenon or turned away from it.

This evening we dined on lefties from Saturday’s Chinese Take Away, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of Hardy’s Crest.

Last Hours Of The Day

While the overnight gale continued to rant, rave, and spatter our windows we spent the morning continuing the decluttering prompted by our domestic refurbishment. I made considerable headway in dispensing with decades of paperwork.

Late this afternoon, when the wind and the rain desisted, we rewarded ourselves with a forest drive.

At the corner of Brock Hill Car Park serving the Rhinefield ornamental drive a victim of the recent winds, ripped from its rooting place and tossed onto picnic tables lay ready to join

others having earlier suffered similar fates to return to the soil from which they sprang.

A bitter wind made the temperature feel colder than the 3 degrees Centigrade that was recorded. The walkers lending scale to the giant redwoods around them were wrapped up well.

We have learned that robins abandon gardens for the forest during winter. They were much in evidence. This one dropped onto a fungus-bearing post.

From Rhinefield we progressed to pass Burley Manor where two groups of walkers caught the last of the sunlight as they crossed the lawn and its dying trees.

The skies were adopting gentle pastel shades, which strengthened by the time we reached

Picket Post, blessed with Jesus beams on the approach to sunset, more apparent across the moors alongside

Holmsley Passage.

This evening we dined on moist roast lamb; boiled new potatoes and the sweet variety roasted with parsnips; firm broccoli; tasty red cabbage; and tender runner beans; with mint sauce and meaty gravy. Jackie drank Hoegaarden while I drank Duck Point Merlot 2019.

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.

Tracking Sunset

The day was still grimly dark by the time we left to deliver Elizabeth a tub of Jackie’s chicken and vegetable stewp. (Interested readers will note that I have changed my spelling from stoup, because stewp is what google recognises and who am I to argue?)

Whenever the vehicle in front of us seems especially slow for no apparent reason, it is quite probable that a cyclist will be pedalling along ahead.

So it was today on School Lane. Even when the towed trailer on the road reached a wide enough section of the narrow winding route to be able to pass safely, the rider pulled more into the centre.

A pleasant young lady riding her pony crossed Pilley Street to open the gate for equine access, closed it again while waving to a van driver, then, with a friendly greeting, entered Burnt House Lane ahead of us.

We found Elizabeth happily working in her garden, enjoyed a short conversation, and set off to track the now almost visible sun towards the setting hour.

Glimmers were seen from Burnt House Lane;

a little lower from Warborne Lane;

Walhampton was blessed with Jesus Beams;

sunset wasn’t far off beyond the silent coastal preservation machinery;

and all but retreated behind the clouds at Barton on Sea.

We had begun our trip following a bicyclist along School Road – on Grove Road, Barton, we tailed a unicyclist who kept well out of our way.

This evening we dined on oven fish and chips and baked beans with which we both drank Marlborough Cabernet Sauvignon 2019.


Much of the day was spent moving furniture and belongings to facilitate access to radiators for tomorrow’s visit by the heating engineers.

Late this afternoon the three of us went for a drive in the forest. We were offered turbulent cloudscapes as a skein of geese skimmed across the sky, and cattle grazed on the moors. Jesus beams burst through billowing clouds.

SOLD sign

A SOLD sign has been erected in front of Elizabeth’s prospective new house in Pilley.

This evening Jackie drove us to the Walhampton Arms where we met Nicki, Andrew, and Paul N and enjoyed their very good company with the splendid carvery meal. we all ate gammon and turkey with Yorkshire pudding and the usual plentiful vegetables. Raspberry frangipani and  ice cream followed. I drank Razor Back.  Cheesecakes and other drinks were consumed by the others.

Elemental Effects


This afternoon Jackie took me for a car ride in the forest.


So much rain has fallen in recent days that some of the roads are becoming waterlogged, making for bright reflections and spray from car wheels. A stream of traffic made its way to and from the East End Arms.


The forest floor does not drain well. Rippling pools lie on the surface.


The high winds have also been punishing. Loggers on the road approaching Beaulieu had been out early this morning cutting up a very large fallen tree and removing its limbs from the path of vehicles.


As we left Beaulieu on the road to Lyndhurst we passed a group of somewhat soggy ponies grazing on the verge beside another pool.

Woman with St Bernard 1

I was just thinking of turning back to the car when a fluffy object I took to be a St Bernard puppy was led past me and across the road. His name was Charles. I know this because he was warned to keep off me. Which was merciful. (LordBeari’s comment below correctly identifies Charlie as a Newfoundland)


No-one warned this pony off when it took it upon itself to cross over and follow me, breathing down my neck, quickening its pace before I managed to open and close the Modus passenger door with me inside.


Soon after this, clouds darkened once more, Jesus beams shone onto the moors, and heavy rain ensued.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s excellent chicken jalfrezi; boiled egg korma; savoury rice; onion bahji’s; and vegetable samosas.




Today I wrote and posted almost the last of the Christmas cards, and Jackie cooked up a mass of beef stew with which she intends to feed 18 on Boxing Day.

Behind the postbox on Christchurch Road, on this late afternoon, a weak sun managed to project impressive Jesus beams over Honeylake Wood.

In September this year, BBC reported that Mark Pettit, a farmer from Gainsborough in Lincolnshire set fire to a section of stubble in one of his fields. Subject to a fine of £5,000, his act was a protest against a ban on the practice that was outlawed in 1993 because of environmental and safety concerns. Mr Pettit claims that most farmers would support its reintroduction to try to control black grass weed, which depletes crops by drawing essential nutrients from the soil. Many other countries, such as Australia, have imposed similar bans. I have not established whether the farmer has been prosecuted.

On the other side of Christchurch Road, sheep are set into the fields to carry out the task of the flames. This seems to be a general practice in this area, and is, I understand, certainly widespread in Western Australia.

Jackie set aside a couple of helpings of the beef stew for our dinner this evening. I filled my Yorkshire pudding with mine. This was served with boiled potatoes and green beans. And very good it was, too. We shared a bottle of rosé cabernet d’Anjou, 2015

A Losing Battle


This morning we drove to Milford on Sea to search out a door handle in the architectural salvage outlet there. The establishment was closed, so we consoled ourselves with


brunch at The Needle’s Eye Cafe. I enjoyed the Maxed up Breakfast while Jackie chose her customary jacket potato with cheese and beans.

Speedboat passing Isle of Wight

Whilst a speedboat laid a trail across The Solent;

Gulls over car park

gulls squealed into the car park;

Sea fishing

and intrepid sea fishers set up their rods;

the sun fought a losing battle with the indigo clouds over the Isle of Wight. Jesus beams provided the brush strokes to the cloudscapes and a slash of light on the water.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s tender beef stew, sauteed potatoes, and crisp carrots, cauliflower, and green beans. I finished the Fleurie and Jackie drank Hoegaarden.