Shooting One-Handed


Soon after Mat, Tess, and Poppy returned home I watched the recorded thrilling final quarter of the Six Nations rugby match between England and France; and the second half live of the Wales v. Italy game.

It has been a dull day, but one that was dry enough to wander round the garden and view our ever increasing daffodil, camellia, and hellebore blooms. I am indebted to an exchange with Cheryl to give me the confidence to hold up the bowed head of the single hellebore. The photo cyan speck on one of my fingers came from my Canon printer ink as I changed the cartridge when printing for Aaron a set of the photographs I took of him pruning roses last week.

The moss-covered branch seen here is what is left of a New Zealand hebe that had snaked along the bed during the time the West Bed was largely overgrown. To its left a new stem, having reached the light, stands proudly covered in foliage which will soon produce flowers.

Jackie, Dillon, Flo, Ian, Derrick, Becky

This Mother’s Day evening Jackie, Becky’s mother, and Becky, Flo’s mother were joined by Flo, Dillon, Ian, and me for dinner at Lal Quilla. We’d mostly finished our meals before I remembered my camera, and waiter, Raoul took this photograph. My main course was king prawn Ceylon. We shared onion bahjis, various rices, two ponir dishes, parathas, and naans. Kingfisher, red wine, lemonade, and water were drunk.

“Look, He’s Posing”


This morning Jackie drove us to Lymington for me to take photographs that might be suitable for the walls of Lal Quilla restaurant. Raj had asked me for some a couple of days ago.

I began with a few featuring the building itself.

Gosport Road

The surrounding area includes Gosport Street, and

Quay Hill,

Painter Quay Hill

where the painter working on Sophie’s stopped to pass the time of day with a passer-by.

Quay Hill 1

 The King’s Head stands on the corner diagonally opposite Lal Quilla, at the point at which the High Street turns at right angles into Gosport Street. The tavern’s website tells us that

‘Despite dating back at least 300 years, many of the original features of The Kings Head can still be seen today.

The pub is known to have originally also been a bakers back in the day and even now the old bakers oven is still standing, along with the old well which is featured at the centre of the pub.

When you visit The Kings Head you will see the long-lasting beams made from Napoleonic Ships that only add to the character of this old English pub.

The pretty courtyard that we see today was previously used for fish-drying, whilst the buildings adjacent to the yard were an abattoir and fishermans house.

Despite these drastic changes over time, the inside of the pub has remained somewhat the same and the great open fire that cannot be missed is at least 300 years old.

It is these characteristics that, when you visit, make it easy to imagine the pub back in the 18th Century as a regular haunt for the smugglers and sailors that would frequent this famous sailing town.

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you may even see one of the old regulars who used to pick up pots in exchange for ‘grog’ as he has been said to return occasionally as the pubs very own friendly ghost…’

I doubt that Raj, the manager, would want all the pictures I have produced, such as those of two alleys that can be seen from inside the restaurant, but I did need to indulge myself.

Quay Street lies at the bottom of Quay Hill. The driver who left his van at bottom right of the second picture was to be disappointed when he attempted to deliver a package to a closed shop. Winter hours in these establishments are somewhat restricted. The Boat House Café featured in the first scene is where we brunched,

People on bench

after I had wandered along the quay photographing a row of people seated on a bench;

Young woman on wall

a young woman crouching cross-legged on a concrete wall;

Shadow of young woman

and another casting a long shadow as our paths crossed.

Train crossing harbour

The train aiming for the Isle of Wight ferry traversed the harbour.

Lymington Quay 1

A pair of oriental tourists walked towards The Ship Inn,

the windows of which rippled in the water.

We drove on through the forest and found ourselves at Pilley Bailey, where, knee deep in water or autumn leaves, a group of ponies enjoyed their alfresco lunch.

Pony crossing road

One of these animals decided to cross the road. As I turned to watch it, I noticed

a trio of alpaca and dog walkers.

Alpaca walkers 4

One of the ungulates stopped still, staring in my direction. “Look, he’s posing”, cried his guide, as she strained at the leash.

Clouds on horizon

We were a little late to catch the sunset at Barton on Sea, but the bank of clouds resting on the horizon gave a differently dramatic effect.

This evening Jackie, for our dinner, produced roast chicken, mashed potato, green and runner beans, cauliflower, carrots, and ratatouille. She drank sparkling water and I drank Chateau Bonhomme Minervois 2016.


In The Verges

Today was sunny and warmer. I made my way this morning down to Roger’s footpath and back. This was more of a hobble than a ramble, but the swelling on the knee has subsided and I have left off the Ibuprofen.

To be found in the verges of Downton Lane are:Crocuses





More celandinesDaffodil

DaffodilsGrape hyacinth

Grape HyacinthsBudweiser can

and drink cans, like this one from Budweiser which will soon be nestling in ladies’ bedstraw.Celandine blue

We have blue celandines in the garden, whereNew bed

Jackie has continued work on the new bed,Chain

and we have erected a plastic chain to enhance the barrier at the end of the drive. This seems at least to have deterred a plumber’s van.


When the tits give them a chance, chaffinches are now visiting the bird feeders.

This afternoon Jackie drove us to Lymington Hospital for my pre-assessment to see whether I am fit for surgery for the fasciectomy. After completion of a questionnaire, checking of blood pressure and pulse rate; measuring height and weight and calculating BMI; taking swabs from nostrils and groin to check for MRSA; applying an ECG; taking blood tests; and anything else I might have forgotten, it seems that I am. The operation should take place some time in April.

Elizabeth came for a visit and, later, we drove off to Lymington’s Lal Quilla in our separate cars, and enjoyed the usual excellent meal and friendly service, including a chat with the chef who really loves his work. My meal was king prawn naga and special fried rice. We all had onion bhajis for starters and drank Kingfisher.

The Lost Earring

On a moist and murky morning I accompanied Jackie to Lymington Hospital for a follow up examination after her recent x-ray. She saw a thorough and helpful physiotherapist who will now refer her for an MRI scan of her knee.

Serious rain set in for the afternoon during which I scanned another batch of uncatalogued black and white negatives. As far as I can tell I took the photographs in 1982, probably whilst on the Fontaine holiday.

Among this collection are five images featuring Jessica’s hair, her neck, an earring, and a bikini strap. I couldn’t pick out a favourite.

Jessica's hair, neck, cord 1982 01Jessica's hair, neck, cord 02Jessica's hair, neck, cord 03Jessica's hair, neck, cord 04Jessica's hair, neck, cord 05

Can you?

Soon after this series was taken, Jessica lost the earring. Has anyone seen it?

Purely by coincidence, we repeated what we had done on our last trip to Lymington Hospital, and returned to the town in the evening to dine at Lal Quilla where we enjoyed just as good a meal with friendly and efficient staff as we had had on our first visit. We both drank Kingfisher.

Lal Quilla

Quay HillScarf on lamppostThis morning Jackie drove us to Lymington Hospital where she had her knee x-rayed. We were very impressed with this well-laid out building, making it easy to find the walk-in service, and the efficiency of that provision when we arrived. Afterwards we parked behind the High Street and walked down to the quay, where Jackie sat on a bench whilst I wandered around; I then walked the length of the main street, seeking Canon printing ink suppliers. I bought some in W.H.Smith’s and ordered another in Stephenson’s. We then met up back at the car park.

In New Street, Jackie spotted a scarf lying in the road, and I tied it to a lamppost. It was still there on our return. If it belongs to you, I hope you recover it before the promised storms arrive.

High Street and Quay HillQuay reflectedQuay 1Quay 2Quay and flagQuay with gull on postQuay with gull rflectedGulls reflectedMallardsBoatsJackie on bench

Many boats were moored in the harbour, but there was little activity other than that of gulls and mallards.

Zooming the third picture above will reveal, on the left-hand edge of the High Street, Lal Quilla Indian restaurant. We thought we would give it a try this evening, and drove back to Lymington. We were not disappointed. My choice of king prawn naga and special fried rice, Jackie’s of prawn sally with mushroom rice, the popadoms, the onion bajis, and the egg parata were all excellent. We both drank draught Kingfisher. The service was friendly and engaging. Even the chef asked if we had enjoyed our food.

P.S. I am grateful to Lakshmi, another WordPress blogger, for pointing out that Lal Quilla is the Hindustani name for what we call Red Fort. This is how it is described by Wikipedia:

‘The Red Fort was the residence of the Mughal emperor of India for nearly 200 years, until 1857. It is located in the centre of Delhi and houses a number of museums. In addition to accommodating the emperors and their households, it was the ceremonial and political centre of Mughal government and the setting for events critically impacting the region.[1]

The Red Fort, constructed by Shah Jahan, was built as the fortified palace of Shahjahanabad, capital of the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan,[2] in 1648. Named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone, it is adjacent to the older Salimgarh Fort, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546. The imperial apartments consist of a row of pavilions, connected by a water channel known as the Stream of Paradise (Nahr-i-Behisht). The Red Fort is considered to represent the zenith of Mughal creativity under Shah Jahan. Although the palace was planned according to Islamic prototypes, each pavilion contains architectural elements typical of Mughal buildings, reflecting a fusion of Timurid, Persian andHindu traditions. The Red Fort’s innovative architectural style, including its garden design, influenced later buildings and gardens in Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab, Kashmir, Braj, Rohilkhand and elsewhere.[1]With the Salimgarh Fort, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007 as part of the Red Fort Complex.[1][3]

The Red Fort is an iconic symbol of India. On the Independence Day of India (15 August), the Prime Minister of India hoists the national flag at the main gate of the fort and delivers a nationally-broadcast speech from its ramparts.[4],’