Along The Coastline

This morning I scanned

the next six pages of Charles Keeping’s version of ‘The Highwayman’ by Alfred Noyes.

By mid-afternoon Jackie finished the first stage of her planting of the new raised bed – by replacing the bulbs and primroses which had to be dug up to make space for it.

Afterwards she drove me to the Ear Clinic at Milford on Sea where a build up of wax was successfully removed. We travelled back

along the coast. The temperature was much colder than of late, the bright sunshine sparkled on the sea; gulls zoomed low; sailboarders skimmed against the backcloth of the Bournemouth skyline; dog walkers silhouetted; and a little boy scooted.

We travelled on to Barton on Sea. A cyclist rested on a bench while I walked down to water level and wished I could have a rest on the way back up. The bench half way down the steep slope was already occupied.

Before going home we diverted to Ferndene Farm Shop for various items.

Elizabeth came to dinner this evening, when we enjoyed second helpings of Jackie’ s casserole from yesterday with fresh vegetables. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden while my sister and I finished the Douro. We spent the rest of the evening sorting out English politics.

A Green Christmas

On a very damp and dull afternoon we drove to Fagan’s in New Milton for Jackie to buy me a Christmas present.

Later, when twilight was approaching we visited Milford on Sea to see the decorated village green.

The blustery weather was already wreaking a certain amount of havoc on the displays. I needed to tie back the laces holding the snow onto the first of the litter bins and couldn’t straighten the fallen figure on the second.

As Pam Wright is attributed for the work portrayed in the second gallery, each of the individual Christmas trees carries a similar notice telling us whose project it is.

All the dedicated benches bear decorations. One notice made me smile.

The Nativity scene is very artistic. A Father Christmas figure has fallen into Jesus’s crib.

Others adorn a row of posts lining the car park.

Elizabeth came to dinner which consisted of Jackie’s well-filled beef and mushroom pie; crisp roast potatoes; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; firm Brussels sprouts, and meaty gravy. This was followed by Sicilian lemon tart. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden while my sister and I drank more of the Malbec poured from another bottle.

Scratching And Suckling

Sue W’s post https://nansfarm.net/2020/09/09/plant-life/ reminded me of a story from before my WP days, which I thought should be told.

Sometime in the late 1970s I travelled to King’s Lynn on the Norfolk coast in order to deliver a speech about Social Work to the nuns of a convent about ten miles away. From London this involved a lengthy train journey and cab rides. The town was etched in my memory because it had suffered from the North Sea flooding of 1953. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2013/jan/31/devastation-east-anglia-1953-flood-in-pictures

The last passenger train was, as far as I remember, about 6.30 p.m. This was confirmed by the sole station staff member. I arrived in such good time that I went for a walk, returning to see a train departing.

I became further perturbed when I saw the single employee pedalling away. I caught up with him and asked if that had been my train. With a look of terror he informed me that there was only the night train to come and cycled off in haste.

There was a long wait ahead of me. No dining establishments were open. There was a cinema – showing ‘Stand Up Virgin Soldiers’. I bought a large cup of popcorn and settled into my seat – one of three now occupied.

The film was meant to be funny, but I wasn’t in the mood.

The night train got me home in the small hours of the morning.

Fast forward to this morning, when Jackie and I visited Milford on Sea Pharmacy for repeat prescriptions, after which we did not linger on the coast,

the car parks of which were fast filling up with older visitors watching the sun glinting on the waves against a backdrop of Hurst Castle, and those

entertaining pre-school age children at the seaside.

Leaving Milford, cyclamen continue to decorate the roadside verges.

It was donkeys, some quite young, that dominated the roads like Jordan’s Lane at Pilley, where they indulged in suckling and scratching on any available surface.

We both spent some time watering pots and Hanging baskets.

This evening we dined on roast pork, parsnips, and potatoes; crunchy carrots; tender cabbage and green beans, with tasty, meaty gravy. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2019.

Ferndene Farm Shop Is Open

This morning I received an e-mail from our brother-in-law, Ron Salinger, attaching this photograph of a ship’s boiler exposed on Highcliffe beach last Thursday, 9th April, at the town’s lowest tide of the year. It is probably from Grampus, a tug wrecked in the 1920s.

Today the air was still hazy shortly before 9 a.m. when we drove to Milford on Sea hoping to find the fruit and vegetable shop open.

On the way there I photographed walkers and their dogs heading east along the cliff top.

Jackie photographed me against The Needles

from outside the empty car park. Note the closed sign on the money machine.

The view looking west towards Hurst Castle was layered in haze. The Isle of Wight image is another from Jackie.

Ever since we arrived here seven years ago I have chronicled crumbling clifftops. April is dubbed the month for showers. We have had none this year.

Consequently cracks clearly indicate the next rocky chunk to cascade down below.

Milford’s fruit and veg shop remains closed. We next tried Ferndene Farm shop where,

while I remained in the Modus, Jackie joined an orderly queue maintaining its two metre gaps as it turned a right angle at the corner of the main building. The occasional shopper exhibited some confusion and was given advice and explanation by vigilant staff including

a charming young man

who was on hand to dispense sanitiser for those not wearing gloves.

The system worked smoothly on a one out and one in basis. This gentleman concentrated hard on his boxes of eggs.

The plants outside were in excellent condition, although it was less easy for buyers to observe the requisite distance.

The Head Gardener was overjoyed as she returned to the car clutching crates of plants and robin food.

The ponies outside The Rising Sun at Bashley on our return home needed neither to queue for their sustenance

nor to keep social distancing.

A couple of weeks ago Jackie began tidying the patio.

On Sunday Aaron replaced the blue wooden furniture, and yesterday The Head Gardener photographed the area’s current condition.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious cottage pie; crunchy carrots and cauliflower, and tender runner beans, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Mezquiriz reserva Navarra 2013.

Sharing The Duchess Of Cornwall’s Bench

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE IN A GROUP TO ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT

According to Wikipedia: ‘The WI [Women’s Institute] movement began at Stoney Creek, Ontario in Canada in 1897 when Adelaide Hoodless addressed a meeting for the wives of members of the Farmers’ Institute.’

‘Born in 1915 out of the ashes of the First World War, the WI was initially sponsored by the government with a mission to help boost food supplies and energise rural areas. But the gatherings proved so popular, it soon took on a life of its own and its members set about righting wrongs, mounting surprising and enlightened campaigns, many of which were light years ahead of their time.’ This is an extract from Emma Barnett’s excellent 24th May 2015 article in the Daily Telegraph.

This year Milford on Sea is celebrating its own centenary in a witty exhibition of art and craft. We visited it this morning.

Most stationery objects around the village green have been adorned with the results of loving labour involving lanate thread and knitting needles. (See the contentedcrafter comment below – also crochet hooks)

Benches and bollards are bestrewn;

bunting bedecks trees and railings.

There are two lighthouses, one bearing a bird.

A gull, reflected in The Village Coffee Pot window, perches atop the pillar box.

Other birds, woodland creatures, insects, a lizard, flowers, vegetables, an octopus, starfish and seashells, cling in abundance to the bollards.

 

Noddy, Rupert Bear, an elf, a guardsman, a little boy, and an elderly couple occupy the benches.

Just when I thought I had covered everything, a woman asked me if I’d seen the spiders in the tree by the car park. I hadn’t, so I wandered down to put that right. There was also a blue tit in residence.

I engaged in conversation with a gentleman resting his backpack on a bench while he studied his Ordnance Survey map. He was from Leicester and, as part of his aim to walk around the coast of England, was undertaking the stretch from here to Mudeford today. The Duchess of Cornwall seemed quite happy to allow him to share her bench.

Paul and Margery came for a visit this afternoon. We enjoyed our conversation as usual.

This evening we dined on roast belly of pork, Yorkshire pudding, crinkly kale, crunchy carrots and new potatoes. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Médoc.

 

 

Making The Most Of Milford Seafront

This morning I accompanied Jackie to the GP surgery where she was prescribed antibiotics for what is now a chest infection. Afterwards, she drove us to the car park alongside the

Needles Eye Cafe

 Needles Eye cafe where she sat with a coffee whilst

Upper promenade 1

I ambled along the upper and lower promenades.

Hazy sea

The fog warning sounded as I took this hazy picture of the Isle of Wight and The Needles, after which the cafe has been wittily named.

Man and dog

This gentleman was perhaps searching for a sight of the island whilst his bored best friend was suggesting it was a waste of time.

Walkers

A group of energetic retirees strode out, past the barriers that border the lower promenade where concrete huts once stood.

Public Convenience

Dog walker

Should they be taken short, a state of the art Public Convenience ushers in the prospective

Making the most of Milford seafront

rebuilding of the, now removed, damaged beach huts.

Throughout the day, Paul and I continued exchanging material for the forthcoming The First Gallery exhibition and flyer.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s, fish, chips, and pea fritters. Nothing was imbibed.

Portrait Of A Village

Hellebore 1Hellebore 2A sprinkling of rain refreshed us as we wandered round the garden this morning, discovering everywhere a fine varied crop of hellebores in full bloom.

This afternoon Jackie had a coffee date with Helen. Although the high temperature in Milford on Sea was only forecast to reach 3 to 4 degrees, we were to expect sunshine and showers, so my lady drove me there before going on to Highcliffe to meet her sister. It seemed to me that this would be an opportune time to wander about the village with my camera. No-one had mentioned that the showers would be hail and sleet, the first of which struck as Jackie drove away. I spent the next two and a half hours alternately circumperambulating the one way system and the green; taking shelter when necessary; and sitting on wet benches; but I was rewarded with suitable light.

Milford on Sea 1Milford on Sea 2Milford on Sea 3Milford on Sea 4Milford on Sea 5Milford on Sea 6Milford on Sea 7Milford on Sea 8

The Red Lion pub can be seen in the above picture. The village also boasts The Smugglers Inn, past which a woman with a walking aid carried home her shopping. Other residents, some with dogs and some with children, were similarly occupied.

Woman outside The Smugglers InnGrey haired womanWoman with dog

One woman was forced to keep tugging her dog away from the gutter as she passed the Post Office. The Telephone and pillar boxes stand beside The Old Smithy which is now a gift shop.

The Old SmithyTelephone and pillar boxes

The usual airborne warfare took place over the rooftops as gulls battled for perches.

Rooftops with gullsGlassware in The Village windowDoll in The Village Window

There are a number of good quality antique shops like ‘The Village’ which has interesting china and glassware in one rain-spattered window, and one of those dolls which are so lifelike as to appear ghoulish to us, in another.

Woman and child outside charity shopCharity shop windowMarjory's window

The Charity Shop received regular visitors, and Marjory’s Florist and Fruiterers next door displayed rich red rhubarb and, I think, persimmons.

Child's portrait in Lynk PhotographicLynk Photographic

The eyes of a stunning child’s portrait gleamed through the glass window of Lynk Photography Studios, which occupies an attractive building on a corner site.Entrance down steps

To the rear of this building steep steps lead down to someone’s cocooned entrance door.

Green and benches

At the high point of the green can be found other residences I though worthy of note, such as:Green Cottage

Green Cottage,

Myrtle Cottage

Myrtle Cottage,

Milford Cottage

and Milford Cottage.

Polly's Pantry window

Towards the end of my photoshoot, driven by sleet and hail, and attracted by its appetising window display, I, almost literally, since the dining area is quite a bit lower than street level, dived into Polly’s Pantry where, in convivial company with friendly service, I enjoyed a warming pot of tea. Some two hours before this I had exchanged greetings with a plucky, disabled, elderly gentleman who, with the help of a wheeled walking aid made his cheerful way along the undulating pavements. He did say it wasn’t very pleasant weather, but hardly in a complaining manner. This was Percy who, as I sat at my table, opened the door and manoeuvred his frame down the step where he was warmly welcomed as an obvious regular, and assisted to his seat, by the young lady who happily entered my shot of the shop. Nick, the young proprietor bakes all the cakes you see in the picture.

I was rather relieved when Jackie arrived to take me home to thaw out and, later, to enjoy her delicious lamb jalfrezi and glorious savoury rice, accompanied by Castillo Albai reserva rioja 2010.

 

Laundrette Or Launderette?

4.9.14
Clematis Hagley's hybrid
Clematis Hagley’s hybrid has bloomed at home in my absence. It has been chewed a bit.
Bournemouth is not a city you would wish to negotiate by car unless you had to, even if you could follow the utterly confusing signage failing to lead you to it. With further research it may be found to rival Southampton, but I don’t fancy carrying out the investigation.
My capacity for emulating Dan’s Grandfather was so extremely limited that I needed a trip to the seaside town to visit the O2 guru for him to take me through the basics of the Samsung Galaxy. On the phone Paul, the wise man, gave me the address and said it was ‘just down from Marks and Spencer’s’. With a print-out of the Google map, it should have been easy to find. It wasn’t. After driving round and round in circles for a while, we decided to abandon the car in a multi-story park. Jackie walked to the sea front whilst I ambled up the steep hill to find 5 Commercial Road, which wasn’t where the Google arrow indicated. A helpful woman directed me to the site in a pedestrian precinct around the corner. We’d never have found it by car.
Paul acquainted me with the simplest of operations offered by the device, then, figuratively, of course, held my hand while I phoned Jackie to tell her we were all done and I was on my way to meet her.
From O2, I walked through the Pleasure Gardens to the sea front for our rendezvous. Jackie then drove us home. That public amenity is most impressive. Photographing flowersPleasure GardensCosmos in Pleasure GardensCosmosSightseers sat on benches, walked around, played mini golf, ate ice creams; and, with camera lenses, their own eyes, or fingers, admired the splendid flower beds. Beautiful cosmos lined the railed footpaths.
Later this afternoon, taking the Shorefield/cliff top/Park Lane route, I walked to Milford on Sea and back. My link between the cliff path and Park Lane was The Beach House. Isle of Wight and The NeedlesThis recently refurbished hotel/restaurant has a clear view of the Isle of Wight and The Needles. Footpath closedA dangerous footpath remains closed.Red on beachTowing boats
People sat on or walked along the beach, and a group of youngsters dragged rubber boats to the water.
I have often been confused about the correct spelling of the name of that establishment offering coin-operated washing machines and dryers for the use of members of the public who do not have the use of such facilities at home. The producers of the 1985 comedy-drama film ‘My Beautiful Laundrette’ favoured one spelling.Peg's Beautiful Launderette Peg, in Milford, seemed to be slightly misquoting the film title in the name of her launderette. However, whoever painted the signs on the windows favoured film director Stephen Frears’s version. What does it matter anyway? Many people say ‘laundryette’ (my computer didn’t like that).
Our evening meal consisted of lamb curry, cauliflower baji, and boiled rice, with which we drank Cobra beer. I have never eaten a cauliflower baji as both crisp and succulent as this one of Jackie’s.

I Think He Was Warning Me Off

Last night those, unlike me, who were awake to see it experienced the phenomenon known as supermoon. The moon in these circumstances is larger and considerably brighter than normal.  According to Wikipedia ‘A supermoon is the coincidence of a full moon or a new moon with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, resulting in the largest apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from Earth. The technical name is the perigee-syzygyof the Earth-Moon-Sun system. The term “supermoon” is not astronomical, but originated in modern astrology. The association of the Moon with both oceanic and crustal tides has led to claims that the supermoon phenomenon may be associated with increased risk of events such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, but the evidence of such a link is widely held to be unconvincing.’.
MoonA series of photographs I discovered in my camera suggested that Flo had been up and about at the relevant time.
This morning Jackie drove Sheila and me to Milford on Sea, and home via the beach and Sea, spraySea and breakwaterThe Needles Eye Cafe where the ladies drank coffee whilst I wandered along the wave and spray buffeted shingle. Sea foamBalls of the foam that the Japanese call sea flowers reached the car park as they rolled along in the wind which had torn them from the creamy surface of the water.
Ongoing workBoards along the footpath give details of the damage wrought in the February storms, and an update on the ongoing work. Today the winds were strong enough to make the destruction of concrete beach huts entirely credible. Back in February, barriers were erected around the damage site. Signs suggested a rather optimistic timescale for the necessary work to be completed.Site of destroyed beach huts There has been considerable delay which will, no doubt continue for some time, because of wrangling over New Forest District Council’s plans to replace all 118 huts. The buildings are privately owned, but on council land. Many of them have been discovered to contain asbestos. The Local Authority wish to replace them all and charge their owners what a repair would cost. Some owners think that replacement is unnecessary; some residents consider them an eyesore anyway and would prefer their removal. I can see this debate outliving some of the protagonists.
ScoobieFor lunch, the rest of us enjoyed pizza and salad, whilst Scooby gnawed at the bone from yesterday’s lamb joint. I think he was silently warning me off.
This afternoon Jackie drove us all to Boscombe, in order to view the:
Boscombe Police Box notice                Boscombe police box and Community Support OfficersFlo and ScoobieCommunity Support Officers were in attendance, and Scooby was happy to be held up by Flo.
Boscombe beachBoscombe beach figuresWe drove round to the cliff above the beach, where Jackie and Sheila remained in the car Boscombe beach figures - Version 2and Flo and I walked for a while with Scooby. On this extremely blustery day there was very little activity on the beach far below.
Back home Sheila was to take us out to The Royal Oak for dinner. When we arrived we were told there would be a 45 minute wait for food. We didn’t want to wait that long so we drove on to The Crown at Everton which was closed. Next stop was therefore The Plough at Tiptoe, where Jackie and Flo enjoyed the half rack of pork ribs, Sheila the scampi, and I the mixed grill. When you’ve had the mixed grill, that’s it. You do not risk dessert. But Jackie and Flo scoffed creme brulee and Sheila ice cream. I drank Doom Bar. There was Becks for Jackie, Apple juice for Flo, and sparkling water for Sheila

The Perfect Camouflage

BegoniasDahlia mauveThis morning our plants enjoyed some welcome rain; I identified, scanned, and retouched twenty black and white negatives from my unsorted collection; and Jackie shopped for Dahlia peachLilyPetuniaRose Compassionand prepared our evening meal. Burghers of Calais 1982 1When, on 24th October last year I visited the site of Rodin’s Burghers of Calais, I mentioned some missing prints I had made in the 1970s. In fact I was confusing them with some black and white ones from 1982. This were among the negatives I worked on today, and I reproduce one here. Anyone familiar with the work will recognise that the position in which I needed to stretch myself for this shot would probably be beyond me now.
This set of negatives can be safely dated at early summer 1982, by the same method of deduction as the colour ones featured on 20th July. A trip to Cannizaro Park alongside Wimbledon Common with the Shnaps family provides one theme. Girls in park (cartwheel) 1982I think it must have been in the park that the unknown girl was about to turn her cartwheel.Matthew & Sam, Maurice, Jessica, Beverley, Becky 1982Matthew & Sam, Maurice, Jessica, Beverley, Becky 1982
Jessica, Becky, Maurice and Beverley, with their boys, brought up the rear as Sam delightedly raced into his brother Matthew’s arms.
Becky 1982 2Michael 1982 3There were also a number of pleasing portraits of my other offspring, Becky and Michael.
The Zebby board books were a great favourite. Never having seen them before or since, I think I bought them in one of London’s many remainder bookshops. Michael & Sam 1982 2Michael here reads to Sam, whose excited expression suggests this book was ‘Where’s Zebby?’. Sam must have spotted him before he emerges from behind the upright railings that offered him the perfect camouflage. Board books are heavy duty and can withstand a considerable amount of attempted mutilation from young fingers and teeth.
On a bright and blustery afternoon, having missed the post at Shorefield, and wishing to ensure that Alice received her birthday gift on time, I walked on along the cliff top to the Needles Eye cafe and up Sea Road to the Milford on Sea Post Office. I missed that one too. Never mind, my granddaughter will forgive me.MotorboatCouple on folding chairsGroup on beachCouple on shingleCouple walking shingle
I returned to the path overlooking the sea via Park Lane, and thence home. Motorboats sped along the solent, and hardy holidaymakers sat watching the waves or walked along the shingle.
I know you will all be keen to learn what Jackie cooked during the day and served up this evening. Now I can reveal that it was her trademark juicy lamb jalfrezi (recipe), and it was delicious. It was accompanied by vegetable samosas, mini poratas, and boiled rice; and followed by mixed fruit crumble and custard. The proprietors of the Shaan in Newark would approve of our choice of dessert. Jackie drank Kingfisher and I drank Cobra.