My New Wife

Today was largely spent on the last of our Christmas shopping and wrapping presents.

Jackie made some purchases from Tesco early in the morning, then

drove me to Lymington High Street.

While she waited in the car park I walked down to the Perfumer’s and back.

Among the various shop windows I passed were those of so many charities that I reflected on this trend of our UK high streets, and wondered whether

this apparently derelict premises was destined to join its neighbours.

Our next venue was Setley Ridge Garden Centre where among its displays we found our final gift.

We arrived at the cash desk at the same time as another shopping family, the aunt of which was assumed to be my wife. This caused a certain amount of hilarious banter.

It being Flo’s birthday, we will all be dining with Becky, who has arrived here, and Ian who we will meet there, to celebrate at Lal Quilla.

A Splendid Market

Apart from a trip to Lymington Market, I spent most of the day completing the trimming of the photographs for insertion into the second wedding album for Karen and Barry.

We visited the market to allow Flo and Dillon to wander in their own time, while

I photographed some of the activity and Jackie waited in the St Barbe Museum café. As usual, access to the gallery will reveal individual titles.

On their return, our granddaughter and grandson by marriage put in a good gardening stint, including planting, clearing, and sweeping.

This evening we dined on racks of spare ribs in maple syrup sauce on a bed of Jackie’s savoury rice topped with a thick omelette, with which she drank more of the Pinot Grigio, Dillon drank water, and I drank more of the Shiraz Cabernet.

A Birthday Outing

Nick continued his work today.

First, donning a protective mask, and doing his best to prevent dust from entering our sitting room, he rubbed down the surfaces he had filled in yesterday, then began to apply the first coat of paint which he completed during our absence this afternoon.

After lunch the three of us spent the afternoon visiting the pharmacy at Milford on Sea for advice regarding a stye I have had first beneath my left eye; Otter Nurseries and The Perfumery in Lymington to buy presents for Jackie whose birthday it is today.

Hot compresses were advised for the eye; Flo bought a compost trowel, a kneeler and three plants; I bought some Guerlain perfume.

I walked along the High Street for a while the ladies enjoyed a drink and cake in Costa Coffee. The young girl rather photobombed my shot of the older woman examining her bag.

I photographed reflections from the stream flowing under the Church Lane bridge, on way to drop in to Elizabeth for a. short while.

On our return a group of Shetland ponies were engaged in cropping the green long Pilley Street.

We returned home for a while before setting out again for Lymington to dine at Lal Quilla. The meat in each of our main courses was chicken. Mine Jaljala; Flo’s, Shashlik; Jackie’s, Sally. We shared rices, an egg paratha, a peshwari naan, and saag paneer. Jackie and I drank Kingfisher and Flo drank J2O

From High Street To Forest Roads

This morning I received an e-mail containing photographs from my brother-in-law Ron Salinger from his Spanish holiday with Shelly.

These featured a celebration of the victory of the Battle of Albuera, known as the bloodiest battle of the Peninsular War.

Here is a link to the extensive Wikipedia entry on the event:

Afterwards, Jackie cut my hair. Should anyone wish to inspect it it is featured in one of the Lymington High Street shop windows to follow.

Just before lunch I posted

A problem has developed with the communication between Jackie’s camera and its memory card.

I therefore visited Wessex Photographic in Lymington High Street in order to have the problem investigated. The ever helpful Luke established that the fault lay with the card, and sold me another at a mere fraction of the cost of a new camera.

Jackie and Flo then popped into Oakhaven Children’s Shop while

I wandered around with my camera.

After a while they took refreshment in Hazy Days coffee shop;

I continued my meandering until joining them to partake of sparkling water.

We then drove into the forest in search of a foal. Thinking we were to be thwarted we stopped to focus on a group of donkeys invading a garden in East Boldre.

Further along a foal appeared with its mother and a group of other equines.

In these latter two galleries those titles of Flo’s pictures bear her name.

This evening Flo enjoyed second helpings of Jackie’ s beef pie while her grandparents reprised the Culinary Queen’s liver and bacon. Both meals were served with boiled potatoes, crunchy carrots, firm cauliflower, and tender runner beans. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, Flo, water, and I, more of the Douro.

Misty Morning Mizzle

Late yesterday afternoon Jackie had photographed the porcine weather vane on Bull Hill. Gloomy as it was there was no mist.

We began the day by visiting the Royal Mail Delivery Office very early. Jackie parked outside on Lymington High Street while I entered the office to do battle about the non-delivery card featured yesterday. This related to a package which had not born sufficient postage. I plonked the card on the counter, simply stating that I had followed directions and posted the card to them only to receive it back in our own letter box the next day. Saying nothing, the gentleman I had spoken to walked away and returned with the ‘package’ which bore no postage at all.

When I expressed surprise at what this was I did receive an apology and was not asked to prove my identity. Returning to the car I handed Jackie the item and made my sister Jacqueline’s morning by, through gritted teeth, thanking her kindly for her Christmas card which undoubtedly cost us more to collect than it had cost her to buy.

While waiting for me Jackie had photographed a foggy High Street.

She pulled over at Undershore Road while I continued my conversation with my sister and

photographed some boats on Lymington River.

A pack of cyclists emerged from the mist on South Baddersley Road.

We diverted to Tanner’s Lane

where I stepped out to photograph the beach and its environs, including a flotilla of geese and solitary silent gulls. The honking of the larger birds drew my attention to how quiet the morning was. The only other sounds we heard on the whole trip were the mournful notes of foghorns and the plops of mizzle moisture dripping onto soggy leaves.

Jackie photographed a corner of the beach, and me on the silently sliding shingle.

The drips rippling the eponymous Lake made no sound as we made our way along Sowley Lane.

We drove along St Leonard’s Road to the relics of the Grange. Cattle peered through the gloom, and pigeons perched on the roof of the barn.

Our familiar group of ponies with their Shetland acolyte trotted briskly past, close enough to become more visible.

Those at East Boldre remained obscured.

At East End the thatcher’s fox still kept its quarry in sight.

It was not yet 11 a.m. as we returned home along Southampton Road.

For dinner this evening we enjoyed another helping of Jackie’s delicious beef pie served with similar, fresh, vegetables to yesterday, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Tempranillo.

Seeking Shelter

On a dank, drizzly, morning we visited Lymington High Street early to buy birthday presents. We had to wait half an hour for one shop to open, so I took the opportunity for a spot of people watching.

Cyclists negotiated other traffic;

a number of toddlers rode in buggies;

some were prepared for rain, while others improvised with coats;

one couple contemplated care options;

a blue bird alighted on a mobile phone;

crossing the road required nifty footwork;

two pairs of sandals were well synchronised;

W.H.Smith’s was being decorated;

it looks as if someone was late;

a child was introduced to Costa Coffee.

I was just about to photograph this friendly gentleman’s dogs as he moved off. When I told him so, he stopped, turned the buggy round so I could photograph both children and dogs, and engaged in an enjoyable conversation with Jackie and me.

When the weather brightened somewhat this afternoon we drove to Pilley for the intermittent check on the views across the lake.

Whoever crochets the cover for the post collection box on Pilley Hill has remembered that we are still meant to be in summer.

The lake is even drier than our last visit; blackberries are burgeoning on the far side, in company of yellow ragwort.

As I walked around the even more receding water line I could see the movement of animals beneath the trees. Upon investigation I discovered the group of Shetland ponies who must have trooped all the way down from the Norley Wood end of Bull Hill, where we normally encounter them, clearly seeking shelter and proximity to liquid refreshment.

This evening we dined on the last of the cottage pie supplemented by a pork chop each and fresh vegetables, with which Jackie drank more of the Sauvignon Blanc and I drank Chevalier de Fauvert Compté Tolosan Rouge 2019

Lymington Lockdown Relaxed

Although Jackie remembers one birthday on which it snowed, most of her birthdays, like today, have lived up to the epithet ‘flaming June’. She drove me into Lymington, left me there for an agreed 90 minutes, visited a garden centre, then returned to pick me up.

There I purchased a birthday card (of a pop-up owl she had the pleasure of making up herself) and a vase as the first celebratory tokens. I then walked down the length of the High Street and back up clicking away.

Individual captions can be found with each image when accessing the gallery by clicking on any one.

Regular readers will have noticed the absence of Aaron and his crew who have been very busy. This afternoon he came to carry away a vast backlog of garden refuse and to arrange to make regular visits again.

When we told him the story of the recent attempt to wreck the flower bed by being tossed into it he expressed suitable guilt at having left us for a while. This was, of course, all in good spirit. The return is a great relief.

We enjoyed a pleasant couple of hours this afternoon with Helen and Bill, who visited with presents.

This evening we met Becky and Ian at Lal Quilla, where we dined for the first time for months. It was a very pleasant surprise for Jackie, and involved more presents and delightful conversation. After poppadom starters my main course was Taba Shaslick Jalfrezi. We shared onion bahjis, mushroom and pilau rice, and plain paratha. Kingfisher and Diet Coke were the chosen beverages.

The Charter Market

Early this morning Jackie drove me to Lymington Market so that I could make a few purchases and photograph some of the stalls.

‘The Market was originally granted a Charter (a document providing certain rights to the people of the town) in the mid-13thCentury, which enabled Medieval Lymington to hold its own market.  Farmers, traders and merchants would come from far and wide to sell their goods. This is still true of today’s traders.

The High Street was deliberately designed to be wide enough for a market to be held regularly and this can still be seen in the current imposing Georgian architecture that lines both sides of the High Street, from the Quay in the East and up to St Thomas Church which holds a commanding position in the West.’ (

‘There are 100+ stalls every Saturday from 8am until 4pm, which is popular with local residents, visitors and tourists alike.’ (

My samples will, I think, speak for themselves.

Although the morning was bright, sunny, and of a mild temperature, Jackie reported an eerie silence and lack of birdsong in the garden. The second pile of pigeon feathers in a few days revealed what we had suspected. One of the buzzards that circle over the fields opposite had made strikes.

Nugget, however, remains alive and well.

“Where’s Nugget?” (53)

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid chicken jalfrezi served with plain basmati rice and paratha. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank more o the Fleurie.



Market Day

Lymington High Street descends a steep incline towards Quay Street at the bottom. The good quality Saturday Market stalls are set up on both sides of the street.

Who would be daft enough to struggle through these throngs up and down the hill combining Christmas shopping with a photographic record of the Saturday before Christmas?

OK, OK, you’ve got me. I did my best not to injure anyone.

Jackie drove me to the main car park from which I walked to the High Street. She drove off elsewhere and we rendezvoused in the same place 50 minutes later. This time span was a test of my knees. I just made it.

If there is a way with the new editor to return to the old jigsaw type galleries, I haven’t found it. The default system crops my pictures ‘for alignment’, it says – in other words to produce uniform sizes which mean I lose parts of my images. If I prevent this, the sizes of my images are altered, leaving gaps as above. Once the galleries are accessed (by clicking on any one in a group), the pictures are fine and can be enlarged in the usual way.

The titles of each of the pictures is given in the galleries. I will let them tell their own stories.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent sausage casserole; boiled potatoes; crunchy carrots; and tender runner beans. I finished the Saint-Chinian.

Tall Cupboards


Early this morning, for the walls at Lal Quilla, I made A3+ prints of Raj’s chosen photographs, including Lymington High Street from 24.2.16;

Boats in Lymington Harbour from 31.12.15;

and Fishing on the Quay from 30.8.16.

Meanwhile, Lee was on hand to help Richard with the installation of tall cupboards.

Jackie and I lunched at Hockey’s Farm Shop at South Gorley, where warmth and comfort is available in the form of blankets, teddy bears; and meals such as my “hungry” breakfast and Jackie’s cheese and chutney toastie with plentiful salad.

On our return, a group of ponies attempted to deter us from passing Holmsley Camp Site.

Meanwhile, Richard, alone, had made considerable progress on the tall cupboards. He continued this throughout the afternoon. Just look at that join around the beam. The door, incidentally is one that had to be sacrificed, as our fridge freezer will be positioned in front of it. Note the clamps holding the sides in position. They have been pinned at the back and glued at the front. With a face mask protecting him from sawdust the carpenter cuts the sides to shape and fits them perfectly in place.

My choices of the assortment of instant soups and sandwiches on offer this evening were minestrone and egg mayonnaise, followed by donut.