The Nature Of The Weather

Fairly early in a drizzly morning of gloom seeping from still rain filled skies we set off for a shopping trip to Lyndhurst.

This was Vaggs Lane. The smudged trees on the left hand side were beyond the reach of the windscreen wipers.

Father Christmas now stands upon the Tiptoe postbox on Wootton Road.

The moorland alongside the A35 to Lyndhurst looked decidedly hazy.

The High Street did not look tempting for shoppers,

yet some stalwarts persevered,

even if only, briefly, to window shop.

A Big Issue vendor seemed to have given up on finding customers. (The Big Issue is a rather good newspaper focussing on the issues of housing and homelessness. The profit goes to the homeless vendors).

The postbox decorations outside the Lyndhurst Tea Rooms, where we brunched, were also serving a fundraising purpose, in an attempt to preserve the Foxlease Activity Centre, more information on which is given on the site at the bottom right of the banner.

The Fox & Hounds pub alongside featured seasonal window boxes and The Forage across the road strung a garland of baubles.

A black bird watched from above, no doubt rejoicing in the fact that it did not have to

dice with death walking across the road.

In the interests of conveying the nature of the weather I have resisted the temptation to brighten all these images.

This evening we all dined on Mr Pink’s crisp fish and chips, pea fritters, and Mrs Elswood’s sandwich gherkins. Once she had prised

her bread and butter pudding from the top rack in the oven, Jackie’s dessert was to follow. I finished the Côtes du Rhône.

Pool Patterns

Straight after lunch on another dimly lit unseasonably warm day we revisited

a largely lifeless Lyndhurst High Street where we shopped once more in Down to the Wood and this time in the Antiques Centre; and Jackie managed to resist entering Tasty Pastries.

On our return through Boldrewood one of the pottering ponies produced pool patterns blended with knobbly branches.

Enticed by a pink streak slashing the distant sky we diverted to Barton on Sea for a look at it.

This evening we dined on slow roasted boned and rolled breast of lamb; small new boiled potatoes, crunchy carrots, cauliflower and broccoli; and tender runner beans, with which I drank more of the Pomerol while Jackie abstained.

Window Shopping

This morning I posted

After lunch on this gloomy, yet warm, day we drove to Lyndhurst for some Christmas shopping. The High Street was so unpopulated that it was only

when I wished to include visitors in photographs that I could do so,

leaving shop windows to my lens.

The Stag’s electronic Santa was not a real person.

Jackie was real, but I also focussed on her. In the second picture she is aiming for the Camping shop, where we made a purchase; and who did we see when we emerged into the street but

Danni and Ella – and “Where’s Jackie” (11) – and Jack in their car.

Alongside Rodlease Lane on our return home stood a pair of inquisitive field horses.

This evening we dined on more of Jackie’s jalfrezi and pilau rice with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Malbec.

High Street Gallery


This afternoon Jackie drove Elizabeth and me to Lyndhurst so that my sister could replenish her cabinet at the Antiques Centre. This gave me the opportunity to perch on a bench alongside the high street where I was able to watch the world going by, and, of course photographing visitors galore. This selection of photographs is virtually random. Although each bears a title in the gallery


You will see in each shot what catches your own eye or imagination. I will just highlight the sequence where a couple of dog walkers approach Paws in the Forest from one direction, and pass a little girl, coming down the hill with her mother, and enjoying an ice cream , some of which drips onto her forearm.

This evening the three of us dined on Jackie’s splendid sausage casserole; swede mash; crunchy carrots, and firm cauliflower. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and Elizabeth and I drank Mendoza Parra Alta Malbec 2017



Apple Or Ice Cream?


Knowing that today would be the hottest May bank holiday on record prompted a trip to Lyndhurst for a spell of people watching.

On our way, Jackie parked opposite The White Hart in Milford Road on the outskirts of Lymington so that I could walk back to the roundabout and photograph the bluebells and other wild flowers on the banked verges. As I returned to the car along the footpath, a couple of cyclists approaching me from behind asked me to “excuse” them. I was unable to move out of the way, even if I had been so inclined. They were forced to pop up onto the grass, but thanked me anyway.

Eventually Lyndhurst High Street and its traffic became so crowded that it was impossible to focus on anything from my perch on one of the benches beside the pillar boxes, so we went home.

The High Street is approached down the hill beside the parish church of St Michael and All Angels. The Antiques Centre stands next to Down to the Wood where Romsey Road forms a T junction. On this corner people tend to stand to make up their minds which way to go next.

Often, like this couple pausing at Paws in the Forest, they will wander up the hill and return with an ice cream purchased at

the outlet advertising its wares with its outsize cone. One little girl chose an ice cream to match her blue sandals.

Cornets were definitely the treat of choice, although one gentleman preferred an apple.

Judging by the number of mobile homes, some carrying bicycles, in the perpetual stream of traffic, many travellers were making their way back to London or to Southampton.

Woman with mobile phone

At least one mobile phone was in evidence.

Man carrying toddler

One gentleman was in need of liquid fuel as he carried his toddler.

Family groups

and others, walked aided or unaided, with or without dogs, occasionally pushing bikes, thronged the pavement, crossing the road when there was a gap in the traffic.

This afternoon, I joined Jackie for her gardening break in the Westbrook Arbour, facing the Phantom Path. These views met our eyes.

With this evening’s meal of pepperoni pizza and plentiful salad, I finished the pinot noir since I had preserved some from our drinks on the patio. Jackie had consumed all her Hoegaarden.





Lyndhurst, considered to be the hub of The New Forest is home to the National  Park’s Visitor Centre, and consequently many gift shops ideal for Christmas shopping.

We arrived there after sunset yesterday afternoon,

which made the shop windows even more enticing than usual.

After a few last purchases, Jackie drove us on to West End where we visited Mum, and stayed until her evening carer arrived to settle her down for the night.

We then dined with Elizabeth at Jewels Indian restaurant which lies between West End and Bitterne. My choice of meal was king prawn jalfrezi, Jackie’s chicken shaslick, and Elizabeth’s a fairly mild lamb dish. We shared an onion bahji starter, a peshwari naan, and egg fried rice; and all drank Kingfisher.

After a domestic day of boring things like ironing and hoovering, we dined this evening at Daniels Fish Bar in Highcliffe. We were persuaded into partaking of the Christmas menu, which meant that our cod, chips, and mushy peas were topped and tailed by mince pies and breaded mushrooms. We both drank tea.

Blackberrying Donkeys


I had an interesting conversation at my bank this morning. For some months now there have been placed several bowls of sweets on the counters, for customers to consume. I commented that they still had these on offer. ‘We do look after you’, was the response. ‘Hmm’, I observed. ‘Do you know what letter I received this morning?’ ‘No’, was the reply, ‘I left home before the postal delivery’.’The bank is no longer paying interest on current accounts’, I informed the teller. I was transferring money to France. I doubled the amount. My money might as well be under the mattress.

This afternoon Jackie drove us to Lyndhurst to buy birthday presents, after which we went on a driveabout.


As we left three spiders were waiting in the centre of their webs in the front garden. When we returned, almost three hours later, none had moved.

Lyndhurst High Street 1Lyndhurst Hight Street 2

It is still hot and humid in our environment. With children back at school, the family holiday season is over, but Lyndhurst High Street was still teeming with older visitors,

Ice cream eaters on bench

many of whom were enjoying ice creams

Ice Cream Cone

purchased from one or other of the thriving purveyors.

Goose Green window

The street is well stocked with gift shops, of which Goose Green is a fine example.

At the top of the High Street, on the corner opposite the church of St Michael and all Angels, stands the Lyndhurst Antiques Centre in which Elizabeth holds a cabinet. We took the opportunity to view this and were very impressed with the quality of her stock. We did buy one of the birthday presents from another dealer. It would be too much information on this post to reveal the details.

Down to the Wood 1Down to the Wood 2

Next to this centre there is the double-fronted Down to the Wood, stocked with well-made wooden items. We have shopped there in the past.

Antique car

On the road in the vicinity of Beaulieu, a number of elderly, stately, open-topped motor vehicles were taking the warm air. Some were going at quite a lick, but not as fast as this dodgy photograph suggests.


Also pictured through our car windscreen were some of the many donkeys blackberrying in the hedgerows. You or I might carefully select our berries, pick them off one by one, and drop them into a container brought along for the purpose. Not so these equine creatures. They just chew the whole branch. We had to stop and wait, so I didn’t need to rush the shot.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious Lamb jalfrezi, parathas, and onion rice with an omelette on top. I drank Mendoza Parra Alta malbec 2016.