Who’s The Daddy?

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As soon as the shops were open this morning we set off on a slipper hunt for my hospital stay. We found a pair immediately at Stephan Shoes in New Milton. We then travelled to the Community Centre in Milford on Sea, where I might have left my blog card case the other day. There was no-one in the office. Next port of call was Peacock’s Computers who had not yet received a dongle they had ordered for my MacBook. I was also unable to send e-mails and left the machine for James to solve the problem.

Ah, well, I had bought the slippers, and James did solve the problem later.

Whilst I was occupied with the computer Jackie waited for me in the car park behind the High Street. I walked the long way round: past the war memorial and through the graveyard of the parish church of St Thomas the Apostle. Pigeons and other birds occasionally perched on the gravestones, and candelabra lit the chestnut trees.

We then took a drive through the forest. Sun-dappled lanes through which we traversed included Barnes; Undershore, where we happily negotiated motor cars and cyclists; and Shirley Holms alongside which field horses enhanced the terraced landscape.

The more open stretches of Shirley Holms were alive with grazing ponies. I focussed on a family group. The smallest foal clung steadfastly to its chestnut mother. A larger, very similar, junior wandered a little further afield from his white (grey) parent. It seemed to me that the grey coloured adult more attached to these last two was probably a stallion, suggesting that there was no need to ask “who’s the daddy?”. A woman on horseback approached us from further down the slope.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb pasta arrabbiata with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Malbec.

 

Was It Something In The Water?

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This morning was spent Christmas shopping in New Milton and in Brockenhurst

Stream

Jackie parked the car in Butts Lane, Brockenhurs and I walked alongside the stream beside it.

Water level guage

At the far end a ford leads to Park Close. The water level gauge shows

Water level gauge and reflections

it is quite shallow at this point.

Ripples on stream

Vehicles are able to cross easily, and send ripples along the waterway.

Reflection in streamReflections in streamReflections in stream

Trees,

Reflections in streamReflections in streamReflections in stream

buildings,

Reflections in stream

and fences rippled in the water.

Rose hips

Wild rose hips wound over the wooden bridge rails.

Chaffinch

A chaffinch took advantage of shrubbery camouflage,

Stream

spanning the stream.

Pigeon

This didn’t conceal a wood pigeon.

Feather on water

Perhaps this bird had lost a feather.

Jackdaws

Jumping jackdaws scratched around on the bank.

Pigeon

Although I saw no birds in the stream, the pigeon had a bath in,

Jackdaws

and the jackdaws drank from, a pool beside a house. Was it something in the water?

This evening we dined on barbecued pork spare ribs, prawn toasts, and Jackie’s exceedingly savoury rice. She drank more of the sauvignon blanc and I drank Mendoza Parra Alta malbec 2016.

 

 

 

Kuti’s

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Today was a busy one with not much time to post. Jackie drove us to Emsworth where we decanted into Ian’s car. He drove us, with Becky as well, to their financial advisor in Pagham where we sought his advice on a loan.

On our return to Emsworth we stopped for a drink at The Walnut Tree in Runction in West Sussex.

We then returned to our own car and Jackie drove to Hedge End near Elizabeth’s for her to check out the route for an appointment she has early in the morning. We are staying the night at my sister’s.

Pigeon

We spent a while chatting in her garden, under the beady eye of an inquisitive wood pigeon.

Geoff & Jackie garden

Wondering whether my chair had begun to sway, I eventually realised that the wooden chapel in Geoff and Jackie’s garden had developed a list to starboard.

Kuti's meal 1

The three of us dined at Kuti’s Indian restaurant in Fair Oak. I almost forgot to photograph the excellent spread.

King prawn jalfrezi

My choice was possibly the best king prawn jalfrezi I have tasted. We shared onion bhajis, mushroom and pilau rice, plain paratha, and Bombay aloo. Elizabeth drank Indian Runner beer, Jackie’s choice was Tiger, and mine, Cobra.

Back Drive Progress

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We spent the morning of another dull, overcast, day continuing the general tidying of the garden.

Many new aquilegias are fully or partially blooming.

Over the last few days Jackie has been fine-tuning my weeding of the back drive. In addition to digging up a few more invading brambles, most of my work this morning was transferring the Head Gardener’s piles of weeds to the compost heap. We just need to apply an herbicidal spray to the gravel and the job will be done.

More irises;

Geraniums Johnson's Blue

geraniums like these Johnson’s Blue from Gloucestershire’s Hidcote Gardens;

and hostas, heucheras, alliums and bluebells are some of the plants that line these borders. We thin out the profuse alliums every year.

This afternoon we voted at the local County Council elections where we were informed that the turnout was looking like 20-30%, which was about average. I ask you.

This took place at Milford on Sea church hall. Jackie then drove us to the clifftop where

we thought the pink thrift, despite the gloom of the day, was looking quite colourful against  the grey water reflecting the slate sky.

Pigeon on clifftop

A small pigeon had come to contemplate the calm sea,

Walkers on beach

and a few walkers wandered along the beach below.

The caged structure to our left of the pigeon is intended to keep the public away from the crumbling cliff edge.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla in Lymington. The welcome, the service, and the food, were as good as ever. My choice was lamb dansak with special fried rice; Jackie’s was prawn and mushroom biriani; we shared a plain naan, and both drank Kingfisher.

Looking Up

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This afternoon I printed a batch of photographs for Louisa and one in duplicate for Ian.

Peter and Ally 1.6.16

All these images have appeared on previous posts, but that for Ian, of his father,Peter, and stepmother, Ally, has been cropped from a  group photo from 1st June last year.

The sky had cleared somewhat by then, and I wandered around the garden with my camera.

Raindrop on rose hip

The mist had liquified forming entrancing pendants on rose hips

Raindrop pendant on rose stem

and stems. This one on its finely spun silver chain would grace any elegant neck (I particularly recommend two clicks on this one).

The gazebo was now fully draped by the flowering clematis Cirrhosa Balearica.

Nothing stirred the fine fringes of the weeping birch.

Looking up at these drew my attention to the well-fed plump watching pigeon in the skeletal beech.

This evening we dined on minced beef pie, sauteed peppers and mushrooms, and boiled greens, carrots, and potatoes; followed by bread and Benecol pudding and evap. I drank more of the madiran.

The Beach House

Late on this crystal crisp clear blue sky morning Ian drove Scooby and me to Marine Drive, East, Barton on Sea, whence we walked along the clifftop.

Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight was again sporting a pastel palette,

Dog walkers

as we joined other dog walkers, many of whom are now familiar to Ian and Scooby,

Scooby encounters another dog

whose stance and cocked ears at one fresh encounter betrayed the slight concern that possibly brought about his first bowel-emptying session.

Cliff erosion 1Cliff erosion 2Scooby on clifftop

He exhibited no such nervousness in dashing along the steadily eroding edge.

Walkers

A few other pedestrians strode down below.

Sun on sea

There, waterborne sunlight dazzled,

Beachcomber Cafe

as did the windows of the Beachcomber Cafe where we stopped for coffee.

The Beach House entrance 1The Beach House entrance 2

This afternoon we paid another visit to The Beach House in order to introduce Ian to its exquisite ambience. Clicking on these images will reveal some of the stained glass that adorns this oak panelled building.

Stained glass window

More of this can be seen in the Sun Room where we took our tea, coffee, and cakes, at no further cost than Costa’s.

Sunset in lounge

Sunset through lounge window

The sunset could be enjoyed from the lounge,

Sunset through dining room window

the dining room,

Sunset through back room window

the back room,

Sunset through Sun room window

and the Sun Room,

where we enjoyed our refreshments whilst, through a protective glass screen we observed

Isle of Wight through Sun Room window

The Isle of White,

Isle of Wight and garden from Sun Room window

the garden,

Pigeon in pines

and silhouetted pigeons (this photograph is Becky’s).

Foyer

The foyer, photographed from the first floor gallery, shows the aforementioned oak panelling that also lines all the corridors to the bedrooms.

Although the personnel were different, the service was as efficient and friendly as we had found yesterday.

For our dinner this evening, Jackie produced a superb beef casserole; cauliflower and broccoli cheese; perfect boiled new potatoes; and crisp carrots and green beans. I finished the El Sotillo, Ian drank Peroni, and Becky drank zinfandel rose.

Lymington Quay

On a wet, mild, morning, I inserted the penultimate section into the garden album, and printed the final batch of photographs.

This afternoon Jackie drove us to Lymington quay and back. She left me to find Dials Antique Clocks, recommended yesterday by Highcliff Watchmakers, while she went in search of Peacocks and baby clothes.

Dials antique clocks

We were both successful. Dials has a most picturesque location at the corner of Quay Street. The clock repairer was happy to tackle a traditional clock bought by Michael for Jessica and me about 35 years ago. He didn’t do battery operated digital clocks like Mum’s carriage clock that had become so corroded that, when Elizabeth cleaned it, the contacts fell off. When I explained that it was one I had bought my mother many years ago, and bore my name as part of her identification of presents to be returned to the donor when the time comes, he changed his mind, although warned me of the cost., which is really not a factor. I have, incidentally, told Mum that I don’t any longer give her a present I wouldn’t want back at a later date.

Lymington Quay 1

I left the clocks at the shop and wandered back to the still water.

Boats 1Boats 2Boats 3

The only real sign of life, where the boats were all moored, was of the sea birds.

Gull and smaller bird

A wagtail bravely advances towards a gull.

Pigeon

Speaking of gulls, surely this mongrel pigeon has at least dual heritage.

Swan preening

Swans were busy preening,

Mallards 2

and a pair of sleepy mallards dozed to the rippling sway of their rowing boat.

For our dinner this evening Jackie produced her delicious lamb jalfrezi, chicken tikka, onion and mushroom rice, and an onion bhaji. I drank Old Crafty Hen and The Cook chose sparkling water.