An Annual Event


This morning I printed a batch of sample photographs from which Raj at Lal Quilla can make a selection for his wall.

These have all featured on previous posts.

At lunchtime Jackie drove us over to Shelly and Ron’s home in Walkford for the annual wreath-laying on Mum Rivett’s plot in the Woodland Burial Ground.

Jackie, Helen, Shelly, Anthony at Mum Rivett's plot

Jackie’s nephew Anthony joined me and the three sisters who laid the wreath. The temperature was cold and it rained throughout.

Afterwards we repaired to Shelly and Ron’s home, where we all spent a pleasant afternoon and early evening, together with the other two husbands. Shelly produced a wonderfully cooked dinner of roast turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes and parsnips, red cabbage, Brussels sprouts with chestnuts, and carrots. I’m bound to have missed something here. This was followed by excellent blackberry and apple crumble with custard; and Helen’s superb trifle and cream made using some of Rachel and Gareth’s wedding cake. Red and white wines were enjoyed, after Ron’s mulled wine.

After the meal we were treated to Ron’s video of the above-mentioned wedding and a cultural trivial pursuits quiz, some of which, between us, we answered correctly.


“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.


Clocks And Whelks

This afternoon Jackie drove us to Lymington, where our two clocks were now ready.

Gosport Street

We parked in Gosport Street and walked down Quay Hill to Dials. The iron barriers on the kerbside ensure that careless photographers cannot step back into the road for wider close-ups.

Loose Ends and New Forest Ice Cream Parlour

Loose Ends, in the left foreground of this photograph, stands next to New Forest Ice Cream Parlour. The ice cream is sold all around the forest.

Jack Rabbits Barber & Shop

Next in line is Jack Rabbits Barber & Shop. Much of the town centre dates from Georgian and Victorian times, the buildings of which have been retained.

Quay HillQuay Hill 2

The quaintly cobbled Quay Hill runs steeply down to the left of this street. Dials is situated at the bottom right hand corner.

Quay Hill

Fascinating as are the shops, some of the buildings, like these, are private houses.

Quay Hill

At the bottom of the hill, next to Dials, is The Old Alarm, where, obscured by the gentleman’s head, is a notice advertising a flat in the building. From the early 19th century, Lymington had a thriving shipbuilding industry, particularly associated with Thomas Inman, builder of the schooner Alarm, which famously raced the American yacht America in 1851. 


This was the first time Jackie had accompanied me to the clock shop. She liked the inside as much as I did, and I had a sneaky plan.

I knew she would fall in love with the grandfather clocks. I left her to do just that while I settled up for Mum’s carriage clock, and Martin returned the wall clock in which he had secured the face which had caused the problem, and for which he made no charge.

Grandfather clocks

Then I bought her favourite, the one with the moon’s phases charted. This marvel was made in Jersey in 1822. It will be delivered and set up in two days time. That’s birthday and Christmas sorted.

After this, Jackie carried the repaired clocks back up the hill to the car whilst I wandered down to the quay, where

Unloading whelks

I once again met the young fisherman in yellow trousers who I had photographed at Mudeford Quay. This time, he and his colleagues were unloading bags of whelks.


I then took advantage of the sale at Blades and bought myself a pair of trousers. They were navy blue, not yellow.

This evening we enjoyed second helpings of Hordle Chinese Take Away’s meal, with which we both drank Cimarosa sauvignon blanc 2014.

Honey Bees And Christmas Lights

Giles visited this morning and stayed for lunch.

Bee on Mahonia


On a wander round the garden he was pleased to notice that the mahonia was still attracting bees.

Rose Jacqueline du Pre

Jacqueline du Pre was enjoying a resurgence in the rose garden.

Before lunch, our friend and I took a walk across the field by the post box, through the wood to the road, and back. My phone battery needed recharging, so I couldn’t take it with us.

It is six months since Jackie and I last dined at the Family House in Totton. We know that because Lennox, the latest member of the family was due a day or two after our visit, and he will be six months old in three days time. We ate there tonight and were amused to see his parents sharing the tasks of running the restaurant and holding their son, given that that is just what Matthew and Tess were doing in their establishment yesterday.

We received our usual warm welcome and excellent food, accompanied by Tsingtao beer.

En route we enjoyed Christmas lights at

Christmas lights 1


Christmas lights 4


Christmas lights 5

and Lymington.

In the left foreground of the Lymington photograph can be seen the gold-painted postbox, so decorated in honour of Ben Ainslie who won his fourth Olympic gold yachting medal in 2012.

As Wikipedia puts it: ‘To commemorate British and Irish gold medal winners at the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Paralympics, various postboxes around the United Kingdom, plus one each on Sark and the Isle of Man, were repainted [by the Royal Mail] from their traditional red into gold. It marked the first occasion in modern times that the colour of post boxes in the United Kingdom had been changed from their traditional red. Originally intended to be a temporary measure, it was later decided the colour change would become a permanent tribute, with boxes additionally receiving their own special plaques.’

This is the story of Ben Ainslie’s: ‘For sailor Ben Ainslie, the Mail initially painted a box in Restronguet Passage, Cornwall, the place [where] he grew up and learned to sail. A member of the public then vandalised a box in Lymington High Street, Hampshire, on the basis that Ainslie was a long time resident and considered somewhat of a local legend. After initially filing a complaint, the Mail relented to a public campaign and decided to officially paint the Lymington box.’

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],’