Keeping Their Heads Down

Gusts from the recent storms still swept the garden today.

The plastic cover wrapping the garden chairs was sucked in and out like bellows. We did our best to loosen yet still implement the rope ties applied yesterday.

The pink rose seen in the background swayed to and fro;

as did all the trees. The  Weeping Birch limbs lashed like cats o’ nine tails, while flickering Japanese maple foliage frolicked on tightrope branches.

This afternoon we drove down to Milford on Sea for a brief look at the turbulent waves and  spray soaring over the protective walls and raking the rocks below. The Isle of Wight was barely visible, although I could clearly see an intrepid couple walking along the distant sea wall while I struggled to keep myself and my camera steady.

Some gulls swooped and hovered above the waves, but most kept their heads down on the lower ground of the car park.

One photographer sensibly employed a tripod.

From here we continued on to visit Helen and Bill in their new home at Fordingbridge. They have downsized to a bungalow which offers a most comfortable sense of space. With Jacqueline also engaged in selling her house and buying another, there is definitely a sense of sisters on the move.

This evening we dined on meaty beef burgers with sautéed potatoes, onions and mushrooms. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Domaine Bonval Cote du Rhone 2016.

Pannage Piglet Paddle

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On a day balmy enough for pink roses, honeysuckle, and solanum to be blooming on the trellis in the front garden, and whatever this flower is in the West Bed (see rusty duck’s identification below),

it seemed rather incongruous to take a trip to MacPenny’s Nursery in Bransgore in search of Autumn colour, but we were not disappointed. The bush rose bringing up the rear of this set of photographs sits in the small garden of Robin’s Nest, the nursery’s cafe, where Jackie enjoyed a scone and a coffee while I went for a wobble in the main garden. I think it rather unkind of her to describe my current gait as such.

There is still a month of the pannage period to go. A motley collection of piglets snuffled their way around the verges of Burley in their frantic search for acorns. One actually sneezed. It wasn’t the black one going for a paddle.

This evening, together with Bill, Jackie and I are dining at Shelly and Ron’s. Should there be anything of moment to report I will do so tomorrow.

The Independent

On a bright and sunny morning Jackie drove me to Giles’s Fox Hat home, where I delivered the Chesterton material he had lent me. She returned home and came back later to pick me up from the village of Milford on Sea. I had reached there by walking down Sharvills Road, up New Valley Drive and down Barnes Lane. The left knee managed the job quite well, but the calf bleated a bit. Giles had not been at home, but I wandered round his garden that had featured in Milford Open Gardens last June. Here is one of his stunning stained glass creations:Stained glassMaple and poppies

and a shot of maples and poppies enlivening his front plot.

Shoppers

Milford’s shoppers were enjoying the sunshine.

I sat on a bench on the green watching them all go by as I awaited my transport. In the process I engaged in conversation with others on the benches, including a gentleman reading The Independent. When I explained my previous link with the newspaper he said he didn’t solve crosswords, but his wife did. Maybe she had grappled with Mordred. Gentleman readin The Indepent

He was happy to be photographed,

Derrick reading The Independent

but thought it far more appropriate to return the favour.

Back in our gardenThalictrum

shade-loving thalictrum is now blooming,

Sweet William

as are white sweet Williams.

Bee on geranium palmatum

Yesterday, I wrongly identified the geranium that was attracting bees as a palmatum. This is the correct one.

This afternoon I cut the grass and Jackie continued creative planting.

Our evening meal was collected by Jackie from Hordle Chinese Takeaway. It was as plentiful and as delicately or spicily flavoured as usual. My lady drank Hoegaarden and her Knight drank Via di Cavallo chianti 2014.

On A Mission 2

This morning I began the nightmare that is the administration attached to moving house. Most organisations prefer you to make the necessary arrangements on line, but I am of the generation that prefers to deal with real people. This is actually possible, but first of all you have to deal with a machine, You may use a keyboard, or in some cases speech, to answer the robot’s questions. At some point the mechanised voice will politely ask you to repeat either what you have said, or the number you have keyed in. If that happens more than once or twice over a particular point, you are advised to wait for an operator whilst you listen either to dubious music or advertising of the particular business’s services. If you are lucky you are told how many people are ahead of you in the queue or how long the delay may be.

Today’s experience wasn’t that difficult. It began with organising the removal service supplied by the admirable Globe removals who have moved us three times already. No problem. Once we passed the machine hoops, BT gave us a very friendly and efficient woman who sorted out the transfer of their equipment and account to be within four days of the move. Even New Forest Council had the decency to have their demands for council tax and consequent direct debits date from 1st April, to coincide nicely with our departure from Castle Malwood Lodge.

I’m bound to forget something, but at least I have made a start.

After lunch Jackie gave me a 90 minute start for a trip to just beyond Bolderwood. She then caught me up in the car and drove me to our destination and back. I walked to Emery Down by the usual route, turning right at The New Forest Inn. Had I not stopped in Minstead for a chat with Anne, I may well have reached our goal. As it was Jackie reached me just a mile from the Canadian Cross.

Peaty poolMy readers are more than acquainted with the huge corpses of forest trees and their crudely amputated limbs that littered this stretch of terrain. Pools of still water lay beside them. I suspect it was peat that lent its tincture to some of these glassy patches.

PonyA young and beautiful white pony ambled inquisitively across the dried bracken and  watched me walking past.

My Facebook friend, Barrie Haynes, who once lived in the area, had asked me about two maple trees planted either side of the Canadian Cross. Canadian Cross from leftCanadian Cross from rightJackie at Canadian CrossHe wanted to know how they were surviving, and I undertook to investigate. Rene FournierThe Cross is the centrepiece of the Memorial to Canadian Servicemen who lost their lives during the Second World War whilst contributing to the struggle, the outcome of which made my upbringing much safer than it may have been. Barrie wrote that ‘the story goes that two Canadians came back many years [after the memorial had first been erected], looking for the original  cross (which had rotted away). When the new cross was first set up, the maples either side were stolen’. They were subsequently replaced.

I am happy to report that the trees, although leafless at the moment, are thriving.

Please spare a thought for Rene Fournier and his compatriots.

This morning’s tussle with technology was a sweet dream compared to the nightmare that beset me when I began to draft the latter half of this post. iMac’s Safari would not load the page. The message they gave me was that the server had discontinued, probably because it was busy. I was to try again in a few minutes. I did so several times over the next hour. Then I had the first of my brilliant ideas. Perhaps it would work on Windows. It did. Oh joy. I could then write the text. But what about the photos? They were on the iMac. No longer on the camera so I couldn’t try to load them onto my HP laptop. I always delete them from the camera once I’ve put them on the computer.

Then I had my second brilliant idea. I could -mail the photos to myself, put them onto the HP desktop, and upload them to WordPess from there. I did send them successfully. But how, on my newest equipment, was I to transfer the pictures from the e-mails? I couldn’t fathom it.

But. Wait a minute. Do you feel brilliant idea number three coming on? I did. I still had my old Toshiba that Becky hasn’t yet collected. I knew how to do it on that. I thought. In fact I’d already forgotten, but I did manage it.

I couldn’t, however, do much with the image sizes, so I hope you will forgive me. In any case, I trust you will appreciate the effort that has gone into illustrating this post.

The superb bottle of Pomerol, La Croix Taillefer 2007, given to me by Shelly and Ron for Christmas, accompanying Jackie’s liver and bacon casserole (recipe), went some way to alleviating my suffering.

As did the WordPress support system. I had alerted them to my problem. Whilst I was completing this piece, David from WordPress came on to chat. He confirmed what I had been beginning to realise, which was it was an internet compatibility problem. He sent me a link which may help. I’m not up to pursuing this tonight. We’ll see what tomorrow may bring.

P.S. At 3 a.m. the next morning, waking up thinking about it, I rose from my bed and tried the link. It advised me to clear my Safari cache. This seemed a pretty scary thing to do. But I did it anyway. And. Blow me. It worked. The result is I have been able to reformat this page with larger photographs.