Rape field

As the golden dawn crept across the rape field on the other side of Christchurch Road that greets Jackie when she opens the bedroom curtains, she commandeered my camera to good effect.

Hat by Lucille

From one of the back bedrooms she looked down onto the lead planter fashioned by Lucille Scott in the form of a wide-brimmed hat.

Clouds at dawn

A little later, I photographed the clouds over the front of the house.

Drawn by the beautiful morning we took an early drive into the forest, where


ponies enjoyed a crisp breakfast;

Reflected traffic

and commuter traffic was reflected in the roadside pools.

Woodland and Modus

Having dropped me off for me to take the above picture, Jackie drove on to a turning space, back-tracked, and parked on the edge of the woodland I was now investigating.

Woodland 1

Woodland 3Woodland 2Woodland 5

Slanting shadows slid across tumbling terrain and plunging pools, and

Gorse and trees

in haze on the other side of the road, gorse conversed with fresh arboreal plumage.

Donkeys 1

Further on, a pair of donkeys dozed on Norleywood village green

Donkeys 2

whilst another couple availed themselves of the street furniture to have a good scratch.

Bluebells English

As we approached Lymington we passed a bluebell wood. Given that there is a fear that the stronger, less delicate, yet lighter hued Spanish breed will subsume our native stock, an indigenous collection is a welcome sight.

On our recent trips to and from The First Gallery, we have several times passed a short man-made pillar in a stretch of moorland bearing a number of signs bearing the word Hilltop. Pooling our combined smatterings of knowledge we realised this was what would be marked ‘trig point’ on the Ordnance Survey maps and was something to do with measuring height, presumably above sea level.

Jackie decided to research this today, and discovered that, according to BBC News, on this very date ‘Ordnance Survey (OS) is celebrating the 80th anniversary of the triangulation pillar, most often known as a “trig pillar” or “trig point” and a welcome sight to many a walker as they reach the peak of their walk.’

Trig pillar

That, in fact, was the real reason we dashed out to catch our little pillar in the morning sunshine. The pillar wasn’t going anywhere, but the light, we knew, would change. As will be seen on the link below, OS no longer use these markers for their original purpose, but they remain helpful landmarks. Many also now bear decoration from the general public. What this particular set of graffiti signifies I do not know.

Trig point number

Each pillar bears an identification number.

Trig pillar top

Most cameras have a tripod mount into which the steadying instrument is screwed. The theodolite, the measuring device used by these early surveyors was clipped to a fitting on the top of the  pillar,

Trig pillar setting

here seen in its setting.

For anyone wishing to explore this subject further, I can heartily recommend

which is lavishly illustrated by photographs, both historic and modern.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent and spicy sausage casserole; creamy mashed potato; and crunchy carrots and Brussels sprouts.  It is worthy of note that the sausages were Ferndene Farm Shop pork with chilli, which afforded a delicious piquancy. The Cook drank Blanche de Namur and I drank Reserve des Tuguets madiran 2012.

Félicité Perpétue

A white rambling rose that we rescued from the jungle, and that Jackie trained along the front garden fence last year, is now blooming rampantly. The head gardener has now identified it as Felicite Perpetue.

Name that Plant website has this to say about its origins:

Rosa ‘Félicité Perpétue’ is a delicate yet vigorous Rambler which has been known since the early 19th century. Antoine A. Jacques  was the head gardener to Louis Phillipe, Duc d’ Orleans  for many years and took care of his estates which included Chateau Neuilly. Duc d’ Orleans( later the king of France) loved plants and had a vast collection for A.A. Jacques to work with. At Chateau Neuilly Jacques made some crosses of roses and named at least 3 which have gone on to become famous on their own. Those roses were  ‘Adélaïde d’Orléans’ in 1826, Rosa ‘Félicité Perpétue’ in 1827 and the less famous ‘Princesse Louise’ was introduced in 1829. 

Our white rambler was named in memory of two black Christian martyrs who died in Carthage in the Roman province of Africa in the year 203.

Perpetua was a young patrician, Felicity a young slave. They had both been baptised by the Bishop of Carthage. The emperor Septimius Severus had forbidden Christianity. The group of catechumens, of which they were part, was arrested with Sature, Saturninus, and Revocatus Secondule. For several months, they experienced harsh prison conditions, worsened by uncertainty about the fate that awaited them. Perpetua was nursing her child, and Felicity was pregnant. Perpetua’s father made a vain sacrifice to the gods in an attempt to save his daughter and her child. Felicity gave birth to a little girl in prison. Three days afterwards, she was martyred and the child was adopted by a Christian of the city. Like their companions, Perpetua and Felicity were sent into the circus of animals, wrapped in a net, and delivered to an enraged cow. The audience, aroused to pity, pleaded for an early end to the torture. The women were then slain. Witnesses reported that, “their faces were radiant and very beautiful, being marked not with fear but with joy.” (This is my effort at translation from articles in French, amended after comments from my poof redders)

The same rose straggles the dead stumps lining our back drive. It will be impossible from now on to pass either plant without sparing a thought for these two young women and their children.

I wrote this piece this morning before Sam came for a visit, all the way from Perth in Australia. He is only in England for a week, and is doing a tour. He will leave us tomorrow morning. Consequently I knew I wouldn’t spend much more time on internet, when we had so much catching up and reminiscing to do.

Becky joined us later this afternoon. She presented Jackie with a laminated miniature mock Ordnance Survey Map containing a reduced copy of her map of the garden. The covers measure 9 x 4.5 centimeters.

From the other side of the room she e-mailed me these images. The official series numbering stops at 204.. The layout and type of information covered exactly replicates the Landranger series.

This evening, the four of us dined on the sausage casserole with which I tempted you yesterday; carrots; peas; and mashed potato; followed by marvellous mixed fruit crumble and custard. Sam and I shared a bottle of Teroldego Rotaliano superiore riserva 2011; Becky drank Black Tower rose; and Jackie drank sparkling water.