A Turning Circle

Yesterday evening, the first of the new Covid lockdown relaxations, we dined alfresco at the Lamb Inn in Nomansland.

Outside the pub John, the owner of a coach and horses, and his friends had stopped for refreshment. Our timing was perfect. We may have been somewhat early for our booking, but, had that not been the case we would have missed a treat,

and I would not have had this photo opportunity.

This remarkably disciplined team, at the quietest commands from their driver, executed a perfect turning circle and trotted off round the bend in the direction of Landford.

Jackie also photographed the scene outside the pub, the departure of the team;

and ponies on the green;

as did I, with the war memorial in the top right hand corner.

As we were early we drove to Fritham to watch the clouds breaking up over the landscape.

By the time we were seated the sun was in full view, and the temperature 10C, which is the warmest it has been for several days.

Jackie enjoyed focussing on the hanging baskets, cherry blossom, magnolia, hand sanitiser, the invitation to use the patio door for toilets;

and of course our choices of meal, of which hers was extremely good chicken madras, accompanied by flavoursome rice, mint yoghurt, and mango chutney. I am averse to pub curries because I don’t expect them to taste like the real thing. I could tell from the aromas that I was wrong about this one, which was as good as my Culinary Queen said it was. My well filled steak and ale pie, chips, and peas were equally good. We both chose choice ice cream sundae for dessert. I drank Doom Bar and Jackie drank Carlsberg. As will be seen by all my undone buttons I did not need the layers with which I had come prepared.

On our return home through Bramshaw we needed to wait for a peacock to leave the tarmac and wander across the green in the direction of a confusion of Guinea fowl. Nearby a leather-lipped pony chomped on blackthorn.

We reached Hordle Lane in time to watch the sun subside in the west.

Elizabeth joined us for dinner this evening, which consisted of Jackie’s scrumptious cottage pie with a cheese topping; crunchy carrots; tender cabbage; firm cauliflower, and meaty gravy. Mrs Knight drank Hoegaarden and my sister and I drank Mendoza Malbec 2019.

Our First Meal Out Post Lockdown

This morning’s early light presented us with

glorious garden views from our upstairs windows.

At midday I accompanied Jackie on the big Tesco fortnightly shop; sat reading in the car while she did the business; unloaded the trolley into the car; emptied the purchases into the kitchen, then washed my hands.

This afternoon Jackie took the sprinkler on a whistle-stop tour of the garden, while I took my camera on another.

I pictured begonias, petunias, allium, hemerocallis, phantom hydrangea and phlox, all images of which are named in the galleries that can by accessed by clicking on any one. Each photograph can be viewed full size by clicking on the box beneath it, then further enlarged if necessary by repeated clicks.

Bees have shown themselves to be partial to these alliums.

Outside Bramshaw, on a drive to the north of the forest, we encountered ponies ignoring flies; sheep steering clear of the equine droppings; and donkeys keen to approach us in the hope of treats.

It was the Lamb Inn at Nomansland that had the honour of providing us with our first meal out since the recently partially relaxed coronavirus lockdown began.

My main meal was a tender rib eye steak with a bucket of chips and French fried onions; Jackie’s chips in a bucket were of sweet potatoes served with her haloumi burger. Mrs Knight drank Diet Coke and Carlsberg while I drank Timothy Taylor’s Landlord beer.

Naturally Jackie photographed the hanging baskets and

the sign in the outside dining area which had me wondering whether I was meant to use the letter box.

The Leap



Lamb Inn

Late in the morning Jackie drove us to Nomansland where we lunched in the Lamb Inn.

Even at midday, ponies on the green outside dined on defrosted food, avoiding the refrigerated options.

In the hostelry, beside a fine log fire, and beneath a display of character jugs, I enjoyed a burger, chips, and Doom Bar beer; while Jackie chose a bacon, brie, and cranberry baguette with coffee.

Horse and rider

As we drove away, we passed a rider who led her steed through the gate to her left.

At St Peter’s Church, Bramshaw, the autumn leaves blended well with the groggy lichen-covered  gravestones, mostly dating from the eighteenth century. Steep steps lead up the hill from the roadside; there is also a slope to the side, no doubt for those parishioners who cannot climb.

St Peter's Church wall

Most of the structure seemed to be Georgian in date, although one stone wall looked older,


and I am not enough of an architectural historian to date this fascinating chimney.

Hedge cutting

Thinking it unlikely that the Modus would obstruct anyone, Jackie tucked it in beside the church. She was unlucky. Along came a hedge cutting machine.

Pony jumping

We paused at Wootton so I could photograph a couple of ponies drinking from a stream. As I raised my camera, one leaped from the water to the bank above.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s luscious liver casserole, crunchy carrots and green beans, with creamy mashed potato. She drank sparkling water and I drank Collin-Bourisset Fleurie 2015.


When I posted The Magnificent Seven, I was in France, and not carrying my archived photos from 2008.  I was therefore unable to illustrate it suitably.  Kensal Green 12.08 -4This morning, having stored them on the new iMac, I picked a few at random and added a postscript.  It wasn’t quite a straightforward operation because I had to change the original formats to JPEG in order to upload them.  It took a wee while to work it out.  I don’t fancy my chances of remembering how to do it next time.

In 1995 the B3078, Godshill Road, was named Roger Penny Way after a much respected local highway official sensitive to the forest.  We have often driven along it from the Cadnam roundabout towards Godshill or Fordingbridge.  Jackie has sometimes dropped me off along there for a walk across the heathland to meet her at Frogham.  Our latest investigation into a possible new abode led us to take a turning to the right along this road. Lyburn Cottage About three miles from the Cadnam roundabout lies Lyburn Cottage in Lyburn Road, Nomansland. Lyburn Road This is actually in Wiltshire but still in the New Forest National Park, although the forest itself stops at the cattle grid on the hill at the top of the road.  The now familiar ponies and their droppings trails are directly opposite this. Lamb Inn and Mirabelle Just around the corner stands the Lamb Inn with an interesting looking French restaurant, Mirabelle, next door.  As I read the bilingual menu affixed to a post outside, a French family were leaving, and in conversation with a man I took to be the proprietor. The restaurant separates the pub from the methodist chapel.

The current owner of Lyburn Cottage was painting the outside of the garage, so we expressed our interest and had a good conversation.  Not yet in possession of our money, we explained we were not ready for viewing.  He said we were welcome to walk around the outside and take photographs.  I had a very good feel about this one. Lyburn Cottage garden The gardens are an attraction,Rose climber as are the rose covering the frontage, and the vine over the carport.

We enjoyed a drink and a snack in the pub.  The nearest shop, not far away is in Landford.  This is run by an escapee from south west London who told Jackie some months ago that this was the best move she had ever made.  The publican told me there was a cash machine in the Landford Post Office.  Indeed there was.  The woman serving summoned a man who was eating his dinner inside, and he came into the store to operate it for me.  We took a slow drive back through the forest to Roger Penny Way and home.

When I got soaked a couple of days ago, so must have my camera, for today’s pictures have a kind of woolly effect on the far right of the frame.  On inspection I discovered a smear on the lens.  Hopefully, cleaning it will have done the trick.

Minstead in 17th Century001This afternoon I finished reading Peter Roberts’ ‘Minstead: Life in seventeenth century New Forest Community’, lent to us by David Watson.  Clearly, not much has been written on the subject in the past.  A small forest village has probably not engendered a huge amount of interest  and according to Roberts there wasn’t a great deal of local literacy at that time.  The author has therefore relied heavily on such records as court rolls, wills, and inventories.  We have a picture of people without full employment living off the forest as best they may.  For me the book suffers from a certain adherence to facts and figures gleaned from the records with less attention to interpretation.  It is, however, fascinating.  And it offered an interesting addition to the possibilities of the origin of the word Seamans.  Peter Roberts writes: “The name may originate with J. Seman, a forest officer in the reign of Henry VI.  Whilst this could be thought to dispel the old story of the lane being used by the press gang, an item in the churchwardens accounts of 1666 for two shillings paid to ‘….8 sholgers in the conveying of prest men two Portmuth’ leaves room for thought as to how such tales start’.

Jackie’s juicy jalfrezi and scrumptious savoury rice, followed by New Forest strawberry ice cream, provided our dinner tonight.  I drank Torretta di Mondelli Nero d’Avola 2011, and Jackie her usual Hoegaarden.