After a noisy thunderstorm during the night, the day dawned bright and clear. I walked the circular route to Milford on Sea and back. Indicative of the brisk pace I was able to maintain in the cooler weather, this round trip took just over 90 minutes.
The pines along Sea Breeze Way cast lengthy shadows across the terrain, and the sun that caused this also enriched the colour of the
leaves now beginning to fall in the Nature Reserve, where the footpaths are becoming rather soggy.
On my way back along the cliff top, watching very choppy seas, I leant into a very forceful head wind which made me think I should have taken this route on the outward journey. Then I would have been blown along. Perhaps I should have emulated the crow which, flying low, may have gained some shelter from the land. Not being able to fly, except in my youthful dreams, I would have had to walk along the shingle, and today I didn’t have time for that.
Back at home, I joined Jackie, who had already made a start on the continued clearance of the back drive. We have almost finished the task.
Later this afternoon Jackie drove us to the Montague Arms Hotel at Beaulieu where we met Elizabeth for a cream tea.
As we arrived at the hotel two donkeys left the forecourt, wandered around the corner and across the road and came to catatonic rest outside someone’s house.
The Montague Arms is a splendid building with a beautifully maintained garden. Whilst waiting for my sister I wandered out and spoke to the gardener who was pleased with my appreciation of his work. He didn’t stop all the time we were enjoying our refreshment. We could have played croquet on the immaculate lawn, had we felt so inclined.
For refreshment, the ladies each chose cream teas, Elizabeth’s beverage being Earl Grey and Jackie’s English Breakfast. The scones looked delicious, but I, thinking we would be eating out later, originally declined. My lady and my sister, however, each persuaded me to have half of one of theirs. With these I drank a bottle of Ringwood’s Forty-niner.
After this, having all agreed to go on afterwards to The Family House in Totton for our evening meal, we took Elizabeth on a tour of Beaulieu, which, of course, doesn’t take very long. We introduced her to Patrick’s Patch which contained more seasonal produce than last time we visited in November last year.
Chard and dahlias were still in their beds, and an attractive arrangement of miniature pumpkins was on display.
I travelled with Elizabeth to the restaurant to be sure she would find the car park where we arrived at the same time as Jackie, and had our usual excellent meal in homely surroundings. We all drank T’singTao beer. Afterwards we parted company and Jackie drove me home.