Knickerbocker Glory

I did a little bit of dead-heading in the Rose Garden this morning, and watched the Wimbledon men’s semi-finals this afternoon.

Agapanthuses 1Agapanthuses 2Agapanthuses 3

Between matches, I took a break and wandered around the garden, particularly to see how the agapanthuses are coming along. The first image shows them against the backcloth of the Palm Bed, on the edge of which they are situated; the second looks out from that bed; and the third down the Gazebo Path.

Palm bed

Here is another view of the Palm Bed,

Garden view from corner of Margery's Bed

opposite which we have this scene from the corner of Margery’s Bed.

St John's Wort

Saint John’s wort glows at the entrance to the Rose Garden.

Fly on sweet peas

A fly also took a break on a white sweet pea.

Continuing with ‘A Knight’s Tale’ I added some new material and edited extracts from ‘Mugging’

and from ‘Tom’

The picture of Tom has been extracted from this school photograph featured in ‘Did You Mean The Off Break?’ 

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb steak and onion pie in proper short crust pastry, with new potatoes, crisp carrots and spring greens. I drank more of the Fronton, then  became  rather excited when I thought dessert was to be knickerbocker glory, but it turned out to be

Hydgrangea in vase

hydrangea in a vase, so we settled for a Magnum each.

 

The Sledge Run

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I am beginning to find myself reminded by readers, of earlier posts that may have something to contribute to ‘A Knight’s Tale’. One of these was ‘Early Entertainment’, which provided quite rich material that I used in today’s update. Please keep the ideas flowing – I really can’t remember everything I’ve written.

Our general garden maintenance continued today on both sides of a trip to Efford Recycling Centre where we dumped more rotting IKEA wardrobe sections that have served a useful purpose up to now. we went on for a drive.

Stag-headed sculptures 2

Stag-headed sculptures 3

Standing beside a roundabout on the A337 out of Lymington we have often noticed three stag-headed figures standing either side of a five-barred gate. We knew that these heralded the entrance to

Buckland Rings welcome sign

the site of an Iron Age Hill Fort.

Parking on a roundabout on a main road is not a good idea, so we had never stopped before. This time Jackie drove on a little way and parked in a side street from whence we walked back to investigate.

Stag-headed sculptures and dog walker

A gentleman with a dog was passing the sculptures

Dog walker on mound

and walked on around a gentle incline.

Having read how far the walk to the top would be, Jackie opted to return to the car and let me check the lie of the land.

Rabbits on hillside

Or maybe the reason was the sight of a colony of descendants of Iron Age rabbits romping on the hillside.

Buckland Hill Fort pathBuckland Hill Fort path 2

In the event, the steeply undulating nature of the paths riddled with tree roots suggested that this had been a good idea.

Sledge run 1Sledge run 3

Sledge run 4

On the way up, a sign informed us that young people had transformed a disused sand quarry into a sledge run. The area is apparently packed with tobogganists whenever there is sufficient snow.

Buckland Wood roof

What was once farmland around the fort is now densely wooded. Through the trees I glimpsed the roof of what I later discovered to be

Buckland WoodSteps to Buckland Hill Fort central plateau

Not far from there lay a shallow set of steps leading to 
Buckland Hill Fort central plateau

a broad open plateau that had been the centre of the fort.

Cow and calfCow and calf 2

This was grazed by a cow and her calf.

The logs just visible in the steps picture are designed to prevent people parking on the hallowed ground. There is a car park alongside.

Man, dog, cow, calf

I was informed how to reach that from the road by another gentleman walking his dog.

Crow

 Taking an easy route down the hill I watched a crow sweep across the grass tops,

Branch hanging low

and banged my head on a low branch.

Quite sensibly, Jackie declined to investigate the car park, and we went home.

Wikipedia has an informative entry on this historic site: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckland_Rings

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy penne pasta arrabbiata with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Parra Alta Malbec 2016.

The Woman In White

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Early this morning our septic tank was cleared. This happens every eighteen months, and Jackie always feels better when it is done.

Knowing we were in for a hot spell, Jackie undertook extensive watering. My tasks involved the eradication, cutting up, and bagging of niggling nettles, invasive ivy, bothersome brambles, and thrusting thistles.

This afternoon we spent much of the time seated on the patio with guests. First Margery and Paul came to lunch, then Helen came bearing birthday presents for Jackie for tomorrow.

Naturally the garden was a focal point.

Gazebo Path 1Gazebo Path 2

Here are two views of the Gazebo Path.

Rose Just Joey

In the Rose Garden, Just Joey

Rose Winchester Cathedral

and Winchester Cathedral have joined the other attractions;

Foxgloves in Rose GardenMargery, however, registered a protest at the number of foxgloves permitted therein.

Poppy in Margery's Bed

She was, however, pleased to find a poppy in her Bed.

Rose Compassion

Compassion rose now proliferates above the Dead End Path.

Sweet Williams

Here is a smaller version of Sweet William that the one previously featured.

Poplar leaves

The leaves of this variety of poplar are delightful at this time of the year.

Bee on viper's bugloss

As promised, viper’s bugloss does attract bees,

Bee on geranium palmatum

as do geranium palmatums

Bee on yellow Bottle Brush plant

and the still burgeoning bottle brush plant.

Florence sculpture

The strong sunlight gives the Florence sculpture the air of The Woman in White, Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Zippel’s musical based on the novel by Wilkie Collins, that was playing at the Shaftesbury Theatre when I photographed it in September 2004.

Alpaca Poo

Among the selection of presents Helen brought was a bag of Alpaca Poo, a garden fertiliser apparently unpleasant to rats.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome beef in red wine with mushrooms, peppers, onions, and carrots, served with swede and potato mash. Jackie drank Peroni and I drank Reserve des Tuguets madiran 2014.

An English Country Churchyard

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After dinner yesterday evening we popped down to Barton on Sea to view the sunset.

This morning we drove around the forest.

The thatcher I spoke to at East End, where the albeit somnolent donkeys were having fun with the traffic,

replied that the project was “beginning to take shape”.

Jackie on tree seat

Our next stop was at St Mary’s Church at South Baddesley, outside which Jackie sat on a seat cut into a very large tree stump.

Ken Allen gateposts

Gateway and church

Alongside the church stretches a patch of uncultivated land accessed from an open gateway dedicated to Ken Allen 1918 – 2005.

Path from church to playground 1

From here a  path leads down

Playground

to a playground beyond a locked five-barred gate. I was unable to gain any information about Mr Allen or the leisure area that I speculated must be related to him.

It was quite refreshing to discover that the Victorian church itself was unlocked and welcoming. I found the stained glass windows particularly attractive.

Cap on pew

Hanging on the edge of a pew was a gentleman’s cloth cap. If it is yours it awaits your collection.

Primroses, English bluebells, and other wild flowers wandered, as did I, among the gravestones in this English country churchyard.

Angel gravestone sculpture

Most of the stones were quite simple, but there was one angel and child,

and the amazing resting place of Admiral of the Fleet George Rose Sartorius, GCB, Count de Penhafirme who died on 13th April 1885 in his 95th year. This was 70 years after he had served with Nelson at the battle of Trafalgar.

Admiral Sartorius's grave 2 – Version 2

What is particularly astonishing is the knowledge that the credible articulated linked anchor chain winding around the cross was carved from stone.

After lunch Jackie continued working her magic in the garden where I did a bit of clearing up and repelled some invading brambles along the back drive.

This evening we enjoyed our second serving of Mr Chatty Man Chan’s Chinese Take Away with which I finished the madiran. Jackie didn’t imbibe because she had drunk her Hoegaarden in the Rose Garden where we had a drink first.

P.S. Bruce Goodman, in his comment below, has provided a link to Ken Allen, which, incidentally explains that the playground I noticed is attached to a school. This is no doubt why the entrance would be locked during the Easter holidays.

I Felt More Than Somewhat Queasy

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Today I continued the scanning of colour negatives made in Cumbria on 18th August 1992, and last mentioned in ‘Welcome To The World’.

Boats on lake 18.8.92

 We visited a popular boating lake,

on which Jessica rowed our friend Alison Barran.

I have occasionally mentioned my fear of heights. This is described in particular in ‘Vertigo’.

Jessica never gave up trying to get me up mountains. Place Fell, which we scaled on the day in question was a case in point.

A sparkling waterfall fairly near the bottom was not too scary. I could have settled for that.

Granite boulder on Place Fell 18.8.92

The cleft in this granite boulder was an example of the rugged nature of the terrain.

Others littered the sloping hillsides on which hikers had trodden a clear path along which Jessica fearlessly strode,

eventually reaching the summit. In order to avoid any misunderstanding I am honour bound to state that

Jessica on Place Fell 18.8.92 7

I may just about have managed to stand at a high point to depict her gazing across the lumpy terrain,

Jessica on Place Fell summit. 18.8.92

but there was no way it would have been perched alongside this marker cairn.

Indeed I felt more than somewhat queasy enough when taking some of these shots on the way up. Note the sheep in the second picture.

Unfortunately most of the compositions did not lend themselves to cropping out the unsightly date stamp.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s Post House Pie served with carrots, green beans, and cauliflower.  Dessert was lemon Swiss roll and vanilla ice cream. I finished the Bordeaux.

Caught In The Rain

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Forest road

Landscape with bracken and dead tree

This morning we took a drive into the forest.

It was not long before the first of the day’s many  showers set the burnished bracken sparkling.

Landscape with partial rainbowLandscape with partial rainbow

We were even treated to a partial rainbow forcing its way through the indigo clouds.

House in valley

Deep in the valley a string of walkers passed a solitary house,

Smoke in the distance

while far off, optimistic smoke curled upwards to merge into the ether.

A grazing pony fixed me with a quizzical stare, then continued with the business in hand,

until, sensing the precipitation that was about to send me back to the car, it wandered off and crossed a path to take shelter under a tree.

Walkers on moor

It was then that I heard voices floating across the bracken.

Walkers on moor

They belonged to another group of walkers upon whom the rainbow had cast all the colours of the spectrum.

The rain really hammered on the car as we drove back though the forest passing walkers and cyclists also caught in it.

This evening we dined on roast lamb, potatoes and parsnip; crunchy carrots, cabbage and runner beans; divine gravy, and mint sauce; followed by bread and butter pudding souffle. I drank Almocreve Alentejano reserva 2014.

 

 

Find The Moth

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Today was overcast and unseasonably hot and humid. I cut the grass and had a wander around the garden. Many of our plants linger on, refusing to accept the advent of autumn.

Clematis

We still have blooming clematises.

Heligan Path

Although the leaves of the weeping birch are beginning to colour the Heligan Path,the beds bordering it remain colourful.

Rudbeckia

The new rudbeckias stand in a tub as they are having to await the demise of the nicotiana sylvestris which they are intended to replace.

Begonia

We have white begonias.

Bee on sedum 1

Bees continue to plunder the sedums into which they merge;

Moth camouflaged

but the prize for camouflage goes to this moth posing as a dying begonia leaf.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s powerful chilli con carne with rice and peas, followed by Victoria sponge and lemon meringue pie ice cream. I drank Croix des Célestins Fleurie 2014, and the Culinary Queen didn’t.