Cyclists From Earlier Eras

The very dull, dark, morning gave way to at least a lighter afternoon on which Jackie drove me to Patrick’s Patch and back. While she trawled Fairweather’s Garden Centre across the road I wandered around this community garden.

https://nansfarm.files.wordpress.com/2022/09/4th-september-an-early-autumn-fall.jpg

An early autumn fall of crab apples were attracting insects like the fly at centre right;

https://nansfarm.files.wordpress.com/2022/09/4th-september-pumkins.jpg

small pumpkins looked past their best;

https://nansfarm.files.wordpress.com/2022/09/4th-september-blue-wellies.jpg

a figure of a little girl with pigtails and blue wellies

https://nansfarm.files.wordpress.com/2022/09/4th-september-couple-admiring-the-garden.jpg

were glimpsed behind a couple who were pleased to have discovered this garden;

https://nansfarm.files.wordpress.com/2022/09/4th-september-flowerpot-man.jpg

a flower pot man displayed aged globe artichokes;

https://nansfarm.files.wordpress.com/2022/09/4th-september-lady-scarecrow-gardening.jpg

while a stylish lady invited us to look out for ladybirds, of which I found a few

https://nansfarm.files.wordpress.com/2022/09/4th-september-ladybird.jpg

fashioned from painted pebbles;

https://nansfarm.files.wordpress.com/2022/09/4th-september-wurzle-miss-sally.jpg

Aunt Sally and Worzel Gummidge tentatively held loving hands;

https://nansfarm.files.wordpress.com/2022/09/4th-september-crabapples.jpg

nearby apples ripened;

https://nansfarm.files.wordpress.com/2022/09/4th-september-teething-ring.jpg

someone had gone home without a teething ring;

https://nansfarm.files.wordpress.com/2022/09/4th-september-wild-flowers.jpg

their dahlias looked much healthier than ours which have suffered from the drought, and

https://nansfarm.files.wordpress.com/2022/09/4th-september-sunflower-garden.jpg

sunflowers bloomed in several beds.

https://nansfarm.files.wordpress.com/2022/09/4th-september-penny-farthing-1.jpg
https://nansfarm.files.wordpress.com/2022/09/4th-september-penny-farthing-and-lady-cyclist.jpg

On leaving Beaulieu we passed a pair of cyclists from earlier eras. Jackie just had time to drive on ahead and point her camera before these faster than expected wheelers whizzed on by.

Ian returned this afternoon in time to join Becky, Jackie and me for dinner. The young family ate separately this evening.

The rest of us enjoyed chicken marinaded in Nando’s Mango and Chilli sauce with Jackie’s savoury rice cooked in my stock from yesterday’s roast meal. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden; Becky drank Diet Coke; Ian, Moretti; and I, The Swashbuckler Western Cape Pilotage 2021.

Should I Be Concerned?

The garden was refreshed by early morning rain.

Passion flowers and honeysuckle

This failed to dampen the ardour of the passion flowers eyeing the red hot honeysuckle,

Sweet peas

and gave sweet peas a welcome drink.

Rose Aloha

The climbing rose Aloha,

Rose Margaret Merrill

and the bush Margaret Merrill are both in full bloom.

A comment on Houzz GardenWeb forum, posted in July 2007 states that  ‘the Margaret Merrill rose was named [in 1977] after a fictitious character in British advertising, but Harkness had to track down various Margaret Merrills for permission to complete naming the rose’. Margaret Merrill was the nom de plume of a beauty advisor who helped Oil of Ulay (now Olay) sell its beauty products. If you wanted cosmetic advice you wrote to this woman.

This afternoon Jackie drove us to Chandlers Ford for her physiotherapy. I settled down to an hour with Primo Levi’s ‘The Periodic Table’, but I didn’t get very far in my hoped-for completion of this, my current book. Jackie soon emerged with a happy face. She had been told she was doing brilliantly and didn’t need to go again.

Patrick's Patch

On our return we stopped for a visit to Patrick’s Patch in Beaulieu.

Marigold pathFlower beds

LavenderScarecrows and bedsThis is the community garden’s peak time. Marigolds, dahlias, gladioli, sunflowers and lavender are just a few of the flowers we observed as we wandered along the paths, where various imaginative scarecrows were drafted into service.

Annual borderJackie smelling annual border

The Annual Border, with its Painted Lady runner beans, was particularly stunning and, as Jackie discovered, sweet pea scented. We didn’t see a weed anywhere.

Courgettes

Produce like apples and courgettes looked ripe and plump.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious chilli con carne, egg fried rice, and green beans, followed by chocolate eclairs. I finished the bordeaux, whilst Jackie drank Hoegaarden, this last of which, whilst I completed my post, she took up to the rose garden for what has become a nightly drink with Alan Titchmarsh. Like many women of a certain age she is in love with the man. Should I be concerned?

It’s only a rose.

Why Did The Donkey Cross The Road?

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.Pine shadows

Autumn leavesThe 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. Crow and choppy seaPerhaps 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.Montague Arms Hotel

Donkeys outside Monty'sDonkey crossing roadLater this afternoon Jackie drove us to the Montague Arms Hotel at Beaulieu where we met Elizabeth for a cream tea. Donkey

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.gardener 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.Cream tesScones

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. ChardDahliaPumpkinsChard 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.

‘Are They Real?’

The sinus pain that has been unrelentingly situated around my right eye for a fortnight showed some sign of shifting and lessening this morning.  I have not taken Ibuprofen for 24 hours and the antibiotics have run their course.

Beaulieu street

After lunch Jackie drove us out to Beaulieu, around which we wandered.Patrick's Patch  We were immediately captivated by Patrick’s Patch, the welcome sign of which explains it:Patrick's Patch Welcome

Chard, Patrick's PatchWe were struck by the quality of the produce and the preparation for winter.  There is a link with Fairweather’s Garden Centre across the road, which had an extensive and unusual collection of Christmas items, some of which we purchased.

Cottages in the picturesque streets date back to at least the seventeenth century. Parked cars do, however, bring one sharply into consciousness of the twenty first.

One shop appears to sell nothing but Teddy Bears. Bucket, spade, beach balls, hula hoops , ice cream and logsGood quality gifts and groceries are in abundance.  It was amusing to see, outside the Village Shop, a bucket and spade, hula hoops, and beach balls holding their own with a display of more seasonal logs.

The splendid plumage of the ‘locally shot pheasants’ hanging across the shop’s frontage could not be dimmed in death.  A woman passing asked her male companion: ‘Are they real?’.  ‘Of course’, he replied with a measure of disdain. Pheasants hangingPheasant feathers I didn’t think it politic to mention that I had been wondering the same thing.

There is a mill pond at this end of the tidal Beaulieu River on which stands Buckler’s Hard which we visited with Sam and Malachi on 12th January. Beaulieu Abbey If you can avoid the trees and buildings you can get a good view of the thirteenth century Cistercian abbey.

Bonfire

Across the river someone was having a bonfire.  A gull kept its distance from the smoke.

We drove back across the heathland, diverting to shop at the Old Milton Lidl.  This took us past The Old Post House which, we were now delighted to see, advertises itself as with ‘Sale Agreed’.Heathland 2

Heathland

Jackie stopped the car along the road through the heath, so we could again admire the effects of the lowering sun. Heathland shadow As I stepped out onto the plain I came across a warning sign alerting me to the fact that this area had been designated for military training during the First World War, and that there was ongoing work to remove ‘unexploded ordnance’ which meant we should watch out.

Our evening meal was cottage pie followed by rice pudding, jam, and custard.  The final touch was offered in jest, in recognition of my Lower Marsh lunches with Terry Taylor in the 1960s.  I jumped at it.  Jackie finished the sauvignon blanc.  I began Ron’s Lussac Saint-Emilion 2011.  Both these wines were very good.