Have You Lost Your Specs?

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Much of my morning was spent reminiscing with my sister, Jacqueline. A number of my stories are contained in ‘Maureen Potter And Plasticine’.

This afternoon Jackie drove us to Ferndene Farm Shop to buy three large bags of compost. We went on to admire more of Nature’s changing palette.

By mid-afternoon we arrived on Boldrewood Ornamental Drive where the lowering sun still lit overhead leaves. At that time it didn’t quite catch the bracken

which, a little further into the day, glowed on sloping banks at Appleslade;

back along Boldrewood Drive it was really set aflame.

From two different sections of the gravel at Woosons Car Park I rescued sets of spectacles, planting them on posts for the owner’s collection.

The speedy sow who had shown me two clean pairs of heels a couple of days ago, was far more sedate today, as she led her piglets on an acorn foray.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome heart and sausage casserole, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots and broccoli.. Mrs Knight drank Hoegaarden, Jacqueline drank more of the sauvignon blanc, and I finished the Minervois.

 

Pannage Piglet Paddle

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On a day balmy enough for pink roses, honeysuckle, and solanum to be blooming on the trellis in the front garden, and whatever this flower is in the West Bed (see rusty duck’s identification below),

it seemed rather incongruous to take a trip to MacPenny’s Nursery in Bransgore in search of Autumn colour, but we were not disappointed. The bush rose bringing up the rear of this set of photographs sits in the small garden of Robin’s Nest, the nursery’s cafe, where Jackie enjoyed a scone and a coffee while I went for a wobble in the main garden. I think it rather unkind of her to describe my current gait as such.

There is still a month of the pannage period to go. A motley collection of piglets snuffled their way around the verges of Burley in their frantic search for acorns. One actually sneezed. It wasn’t the black one going for a paddle.

This evening, together with Bill, Jackie and I are dining at Shelly and Ron’s. Should there be anything of moment to report I will do so tomorrow.

“Get Off My Drive”

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On the afternoon of this very dull day, Jackie drove me into the forest.

The stretch of Highland Water outside Brockenhurst is beginning to replenish itself, but there is a way to go before the banks are lapped again.

Unusually, more cattle than ponies cropped the surrounding sward. The neat cuts of the equine tails provide evidence that their owners have experience the annual Drift. As I wandered among the animals I thought how much pigs at pannage would enjoy the acorns that littered the ground.

On the outskirts of the village, where there was no mast, a pig with piglets, one of which looked like the porcine equivalent of a teenager, scrabbled about among roadside gravel, until the resident of Clava Cottage emerged with a hockey stick that he waved in their direction, exclaiming “come on you lot. Get off my drive”. The majority of the swine dashed into the stables next door, leaving one little piggie behind. It didn’t seem to notice.

This evening the three of us dined on the Walhampton Arms Carvery. Trying not to think of piglets our meat was gammon and turkey with all the trimmings. Elizabeth and I both drank Nueve  Vidas Merlot 2016 while Jackie drank Diet Coke.

Caution Pigs

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I had been fortunate yesterday to photograph the spray of leaves still occupying this corner of the Phantom Path. This is because the Head Gardener has now cut down the foliage, consisting of crocosmias and day lilies, and replenished the soil, ready for next year’s burgeoning.

One day lily, somewhat careworn, still blooms opposite, in the Palm Bed.

As I took these two photographs, I spotted Jackie in her element, working on the Cryptomeria Bed.

My scanner has been ailing recently. It has now reached the stage where any items placed flat on the platform come out very smudged, if at all, yet it still works well with colour slides. I therefore ordered a new one, which we collected from Century 21 Business Products, Ltd. this afternoon. I’m always scared of new stuff of this nature, especially when it comes with three installation discs, I don’t know what I’m doing, and have no grandchild on hand. Perhaps I’ll have a look at it tomorrow. Or when I next need to scan a single sheet of paper.

On our way home warning signs through South Gorley reminded us that this is the season of pannage, when pigs are set free to forage for mast. The usual lone Gloucester Old Spot sow wandered silently along the through road; a cacophony of grunts and snorts from a couple of sows and a passel of piglets reverberated along Newtown Lane. The piglets especially rushed around at an alarming rate for someone not too steady on his pins into which they threatened to cannonade.

This evening the three of us dined on the Culinary Queen’s delicious, slightly spicy, beef in red wine with roast potatoes, crunchy carrots, and fresh runner beans from the garden. Elizabeth and I drank more of La Vieille Ferme. Jackie had drunk her Hoegaarden with our drinks in the Rose Garden

The Modus Rocks

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This afternoon Jackie drove me to New Hall Hospital for a physiotherapy session. This was another positive outcome. I am now just 5 degrees short of the knee flexion target of 120. There remains tightness in the tendons and muscles used to straighten the leg. Claire, my physiotherapist, thinks that this dates from the hip replacement nine years ago. She has given me exercises for this and another session has been booked to work on it further.

We took a leisurely drive back home.

At Nomansland we witnessed a comic drama. The waste bins in the New Forest are designed to be pony proof. The effectiveness of this was demonstrated by a pony that didn’t know this. While the animal struggled to gain access, some members of a visiting family paid attention to the mare’s nearby foal. Suddenly they began pointing past me. Having given up with the bin, the mother pony had homed in on the family lunch bags. The human mother was alerted and came to the rescue. Others joined in.

Clouds of flies were, of necessity, ignored by the pestered animals at this site;

and by this family group on the verge of Roger Penny Way.

We parked the car by the side of Manor Farm in Cadnam Lane, which was overrun by three sows and a sounder of piglets. You can’t get much rasher than that. These snorting, grunting, trotting, creatures dashed hither and thither scratching their flanks on anything in sight, including the Modus, which they sent rocking. I needed to guide Jackie when she wanted to drive off, to ensure that she didn’t have a pig in front of her car.

This evening the three of us dined on Mr Chan’s excellent Hordle Chinese Take Away fare. Jackie drank Hoegaarden while Elizabeth and I finished the Merlot

Sussing Possible Rentals

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For much of the day, Jackie drove me and Flo around the forest, focussing on the location of a few flats she has found that might be suitable for her to rent. First on the itinerary was one over the antiques centre where Elizabeth has a cabinet.

From there we drove on to Ashurst to survey the forested area surrounding the secluded building. The low sun sent sharp shadows across the sparkling frosted terrain; and brightened reflections in the developing pools. Lichen covered broken branches lay all around.

A pony ripped its way through the bracken in which it foraged.

Once in the north of the forest, we brunched at Hockey’s Farm Shop at South Gorley. There, Flo photographed the alpacas, the donkeys, and the chickens. She was making a video with some still photographs of the New Forest.

A diminutive pony fed from a box on the side of a pen.

Sow with piglets

A contented sow shielded her three day old piglets from prying eyes. A notice warned that she might become grumpy if they were poked.

Donkeys

Donkeys always seem more in evidence to the north of the A31.

Godshill was our next port of call. We are unable to find the selected property, but we did tramp along muddy paths. The car’s access to the most likely location was barred by three farm horses, one of which was particularly large. As we made our way past them, the animals picked up speed and appeared to be racing us down the soggy slope on which mud mingled with equine droppings.

Farm horses waiting for tea

We thought it best to stand aside from these heavy-hoofed beasts. They swung round the bend at the bottom of the hill, coming to a halt at the farm gate. We were informed by the woman apparently in charge of their reception committee that they were assembling for their tea.

We failed to meet Becky and Ian here. After waiting in Godshill Cricket car park watching the moon rise and the sun set, we returned home to find the others there. Our problem was the lack of mobile phone signals depriving us of the ability to communicate on the move, on which we have all become so dependent.

This evening we all grazed on cold meats, cheeses, and salads Jackie laid out on the kitchen table.

 

 

A Day For Ice Cream

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This splendidly spring-like day was conducive to more autumn tidying in the garden, after which we went for a drive in the forest.

Pauls Lane

We hadn’t been down Pauls Lane before. We hoped we wouldn’t meet anyone approaching from the opposite direction.

Horses in field 1Horses in field 2

From a little further on we noticed that, despite the temperature in the teens, all the horses in a field were wearing their winter rugs. There was just room, on a bend, for Jackie to squeeze the Modus onto a bend for me to take these photographs.

Ponies 1

Ponies sheltered under the trees outside the entrance to Settorn’s Caravan and Camping site.

Pony 1

One must have trampled on

Toadstools

this group of toadstools.

Traffic jam 1Traffic jam 2

Burley was so congested with traffic that we struggled to find a spot in the car park.

Tattooed man in group

The families of visitors made us realise that it was half-term.

Witch pumpkin

Previous posts about this village have mentioned the focus on witches, none less than on the approach to Halloween, as demonstrated by this cleverly carved pumpkin. ‘Witchcraft’ tells the tales of the legends of Burley.

A Coven of Witches 1

A Coven of Witches was a great draw for many.

New Forest Cycle Hire

New Forest Cycle Hire was doing even brisker business than usual.

Bike and trailer

This gentleman towed a trailer.

Ice cream choice

One could imagine that small children having first selected their favourite ice cream flavour,

Ice cream purchase

and stood containing themselves while the purchase was made,

Scarecrows outside Country Wines

might have had difficulty not rushing into the neighbouring Country Wines. This shop sported a notice on the open door indicating that the cones were not welcome inside.

Man crossing road with ice cream

It was definitely a day for ice creams.

A Coven of Witches 2

Perhaps this lad needed to consume his before entering the 18th Century home of A Coven.

Odd Spot

Others licked theirs on the move.

Burley Wagon Rides vehicle

As we left the village the Burley Wagon Rides customers were being returned to base.

Piglets 1Piglets 2

A mile or so later a pair of piglets snuffled among the mast.

This evening we dined on Hordle Chinese Take Away’s flavoursome fare, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Corbieres