SOLD

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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

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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.

 

Stubble

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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

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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

Breakfast

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.