A Murmuration

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. THOSE IN GROUPS GIVE ACCESS TO LARGER PICTURES WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE.

An underground problem with installation of the new phone line required further attention today. This necessitated a visit from another engineer who completed the task.

Jackie then drove us around the forest in a very wet late afternoon.

Much rain has fallen during our weekend away. Familiar pools have returned to the forest floor.

The moorland in the rain took on a dramatic aspect as the clouds unloaded their precipitation.

Between Brockenhurst and Beaulieu, the River Lymington has burst its banks.

Sunset is early at this time of the year;

Sunset over Hatchet Pond

it is a reflection of the different light today that this is the same clump of trees beside Hatchet Pond that I photographed at virtually the same time from a slightly different angle yesterday.

A murmuration of starlings

As we waited at the level crossing on the approach to Lymington, an elliptical disc that was a murmuration of starlings slid around the skies.

This evening we dined on roast lamb with roast potatoes and crunchy carrots and cauliflower. I drank Clervigny Arbois, 2014

Back On Track

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

James Peacock of Peacock Computer Systems collected the iMac today and took it off for surgery. In the process he helped me out with the WordPress problem, and I was able to insert into the ‘No Resolution’ post

Sunset at Lymington
Sunset at Lymington
Sunset at Lymington

the sunsets at Lymington.

This afternoon we went for a drive in the forest.

Lymington River

Lymington River
Lymington River

The tide was out on a glassy Lymington River which was bright and clear in the sunlight.

Reedbeds

On the eastern side of the river stand the reed beds, where a solitary swan, tail in the air, dived for food.

Undershore Road

 Undershore Road road runs alongside the river.

Footpath

Jackie parked, at the point above, so that I could take a ramble along a footpath.

Reedbeds from footpath

This narrow way offered on the left a view of the reed beds.

Footpath

Footpath

We have had such an extended dry period that the path mostly remains reasonably dry;

Reedbeds from footpath

although streams meander from the river.

All this work has been carried out on my Windows laptop. I think you could say I was back on track.

This evening we dined on spicy Turkey, lamb and mint sausages, mashed potato, and carrots and runner beans al dente. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I consumed more of the Fleurie.

Drinking Water

Chair, table, camellia, euphorbia

Today I completed the last of the exhibition prints, whilst Jackie continued a commendable amount of garden maintenance, including cleaning up the decking and placing the newly refurbished table between the cane chair and one of the camellias. The prolific euphorbia in the background has been heavily pruned, and one of the recently planted clematises trained along the trellis installed in the autumn is just visible when the image is enlarged.

Pansy We now have a considerable range of blooming pansies that Jackie planted earlier.

This afternoon, we collected the A2 image from Lymington Print and went driveabout.

Leaving the town via Undershore Road we explored the forest and its villages in a fairly small circular route.

Running alongside Lymington River, Undershore is narrow enough to require double yellow lines on both sides. Normally parking close enough to the water is impossible, but we benefited from the gradual decline of the British Pub industry.

The Waggon & Horses

The Waggon & Horses, like so many, is up for sale. This meant we could happily block the entrance to their closed up car park,

Lymington River

and I could photograph the river at low tide

Boats, Lymington River

with its grounded rowing boats.

This, probably the warmest day of the year, clearly encouraged ponies to paddle in potable pools in which they left both reflections and shadows.

Pony in waterPony drinking 1

A grey did so at Boldre

Pony drinking 3Pony drinking 4Pony drinking 2

and a russet-coloured one at East Boldre,

Ponies outside Masseys

where ponies lined the street,

Pheasant

and a cock pheasant, oblivious of the surrounding big beasts, strutted about the turf.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious lamb jalfrezi and savoury rice. We both drank Kingfisher.

The Disembarkation

The beauty of our National Book Token service is that these gifts can be exchanged in most bookshops, and are valid indefinitely. This was just as well when I discovered one I had received from Maggie and Mike about 20 years ago. I could add it to the W.H.Smith token Ron and Shelly gave me for Christmas. With that in mind, Jackie drove me to Smiths in Lymington where I bought Jonathan Dimbleby’s history, ‘The Battle of the Atlantic’.

Smith’s is really a stationer’s that also sells books, music, and other similar items. It is situated further up the steeply rising High Street than Quay Street and its environs which I have featured on several occasions.

High Street 1High Street 2

The rooftops of the downward sloping Quay Hill can be seen in the middle distance of these photographs.

The Angel & Blue Pig

Beyond the blue covered scaffolding visible on the left, lies The Angel & Blue Pig, Pub and Rooms, that, like many other buildings, retains its original facade, including the awning covered balcony.

Ashley LaneNew Look and ElliottsNew Look

On the opposite side of the road, the old and the new are sharply juxtaposed at the corner of Ashley Lane, where New Look stands by Elliotts. On the lane side of the New Look building, the signage of a long departed outfitters clings to its red brick ground.

Solent Mews

A little further down the hill, the gated Solent Mews, with its ancient cobbles, looks intriguing enough to invite investigation on some future visit.

Lymington River 1

Before returning home, we drove alongside Lymington River towards the Isle of Wight ferry. Gainly would not have been n adjective applied to my clambering over a wooden stile to take this shot.

Ferry arriving

I was, however, rewarded by the Isle of Wight ferry coming into view.

Ferry docking 1

Ferry docking 2

Using a certain amount of poetic licence, I nipped back over the stile and walked through the car park to what I hoped was the docking area. Again I was rewarded by the sight of the ship coming to a standstill

Cyclists disembarking

and, having lowered the drawbridge, beginning with cyclists, unloading its cargo.

Cars disembarking

Cars, freed by a couple of men in yellow jackets, rapidly followed.

We drove around the back roads a little more, before returning home. This evening, noticing Jackie opening a bottle of Reserve des Tuguets madiran 2012, I mentioned that I thought I still had a glass of the malbec left. ‘You had’, The Cook replied, ‘it’s in the casserole.’ So now you know what I had to drink. The casserole was Jackie’s classic sausages, served with creamy mashed potato and crisp carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli. She, of course, drank Hoegaarden.

Dead Flies And Sherry Trifle

Geoff Le Pard, who entertains us so hugely with stories on his TanGental blog, would have us believe that he was once a lawyer. This cannot be true. No teenager could have had such a past profession. And Geoff is surely in his teens. Who else could so convincingly represent the mind of a nineteen-yer-old, as he does in ‘Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle’, which I finished reading yesterday?

Dead Flies...026We know that this writer is a master of dialogue, which he uses to great effect in this tale of intrigue, crooked dealings, bullying, and burgeoning sexual angst. It is funny too. I won’t reveal the story, but every time I read the name of the character ‘Nigel Sodding Parsons’ – almost always ‘Nigel Sodding…….’, I heard the voice of the hapless Harold Spittle, and could hardly stifle a giggle. Doesn’t that strike a chord with anyone who has experienced the pungent wit of adolescent relationships?

The setting is on the fringes of The New Forest, where Geoff grew up, and where I now live. The story, with its focus on interplay between the characters, and its rising tensions, could take place anywhere. The period, for those of us who lived through the UK’s scorching summer of 1976, is well described; the heat of the sun synchronising so well with that of Harry’s hormones.

Nice one, Geoff.

Amaryllis

Today, the amaryllis that Frances gave us for Christmas produced its final bloom;

Crocuses

whilst our crocuses are reaching their peak.

Billy

Helen brought her grandson, Billy, for a visit this afternoon. I made a print for him to take home to Stephanie and John, his Mum and Dad.

Shelley joined us later on.

After our guests had retuned to their homes, Jackie drove me,

Lymington River 1Lymington River 2

via the Lymington River mirror,

Hatchet Pond 1Hatchet Pond 2Hatchet Pond sunset 2Hatchet Pond sunset 3Hatchet Pond sunset 4Hatchet Pond sunset 5Hatchet Pond sunset 6

 to catch the sunset reflected on Hatchet Pond,

Sunset on heathland

and the flooded heath near Beaulieu.

This evening we dined on Thai prawn fishcakes followed by smoked haddock and Davidstowe cheddar cheese fishcakes, with ratatouille, carrots, green beans, and mashed potato. We both drank Louis de Camponac sauvignon blanc 2014.