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.

A Mating Ritual

I accompanied Jackie on her Ferndene Farm shop trip this morning.

There was no queue for the food shopping, so Jackie did that first before joining

the line of  plant lovers, Masks were more in evidence today.

Jackie’s floral purchases were limited because there was only one empty plant tray and the trollies were all in use.

Afterwards we drove on to Tesco to fill up with petrol. There was no queue there either.

Ballards Lake lies alongside Fernhill Road on the outskirts of New Milton. Jackie parked first in Brook Avenue, then in Lake Grove Road while I wandered with my camera.

Residents of Brook Avenue enjoy

blooming bluebells  enhancing a splendid woodland view from the fronts of their houses.


One woman seemed to be returning home from a walk with her dog.

Perhaps she had availed herself of the dog poop bin alongside the dappled footpath leading to a bridge over

a shallow stream which

in parts is quite rock dry.

The shadow in this picture is that of another bridge, the crossing of which leads into the


woodland path along which I stood aside for a couple of dog walkers who thanked me for doing so.

The stream featured here is meant to flow under Fernhill Road to link with Ballards Lake.

In fact it is so dry that a scummy surface scarcely swirls after dribbling from drying rocks beneath

the lakeside bridge, one of which posts sports

a child’s sun hat.

I watched a young woman photographing a young child on the far bank.

Later her group seemed to have spotted something – perhaps the infant had gone wandering.

The lake’s surface bore a number of reflections.

On my circumperambulation (yes, I have coined this word) I spoke to several people at a safe distance. The couple above welcomed my attention because the gentleman enjoys the same enthusiasm.

The old gold bands seen curling round the limbs of these oak boughs above the dog walkers were gently rippling reflections from the wake of mallards and their


I think this was a friendly thrush that greeted me. I would be grateful for any birder letting me know otherwise. (I am reliably informed by John Knifton that this is a dunnock – thanks a lot, John)

The screeching black headed gulls that dominated the orchestra around the lake seemed not so friendly.

In fact the name of this avian species is quite misleading. Their heads are chocolate brown rather than black, and even then only during the summer when their white pates develop this pigmentation.

A considerable about of squawking came from their open beaks.

Some adopted the apparently subservient prone shuffle we had seen in our pigeon  day or so ago. Here was another mating ritual.

This evening we dined on a spicy pizza with fresh salad included very flavoursome Ferndene Farm Shop Isle of Wight tomatoes. Jackie drank more of the Sauvignon Blanc while I drank Dornfelder Rheinhessen dry red wine 2018.

Park Life Curtain Call

Today I finished scanning the Park Life prints from 20th July 1996. Here is the third and final set:

Park Life 20.7.96039Park Life 20.7.96040Park Life 20.7.96042Park Life 20.7.96043Park Life 20.7.96044Park Life 20.7.96045Park Life 20.7.96046Park Life 20.7.96048Park Life 20.7.96047Park Life 20.7.96049Park Life 20.7.96050Park Life 20.7.96051Park Life 20.7.96052Park Life 20.7.96053Park Life 20.7.96APark Life 20.7.96BPark Life 20.7.96CThis afternoon, Jackie and I enjoyed a barbecue at Cathy and Rob’s in Highcliffe. This was the first dry day in four, so we were all very fortunate. Very good quality tasty burgers and sausages were supplemented by various plentiful salads, and cakes like Helen’s famous black forest gateau.