Bad Hair Day

This afternoon Jackie drove me to Eyeworth Pond and back to watch the birds.

Golden gorse glowed in the sunshine on Hinchelsea Moor and many others.

The deciduous trees, like this oak, are all filling with foliage.

Walkers along the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive

gave scale to the giant redwoods.

Mandarin ducks are not native to UK, but we now have a feral population which originates from escapees from collections. These two males brightened an otherwise dull Eyeworth Pond.

Birders tend to place nuts and other food on the posts of the gate to the woodland footpath. A moss-covered log has recently been added. The blue tits, a coal tit, a nuthatch, chaffinches and sparrows were extremely busy today swooping to pick up and dart off with nutriment for the babies in their nearby nests.

A pair of sparrows left a tardy chaffinch on the ground beneath the post upon which they filled their beaks, debating who should set off first. Although not up to his flying bird sequence the last of these pictures is a nod to Tootlepedal.

Alongside Cadnam Lane a couple of pigs have joined

the grazing ponies and recumbent cattle now fertilising the greens alongside Cadnam Lane

One pony demonstrated its ungainly rise from the ground;

a small Shetland was definitely having a bad hair day.

This evening we dined on succulent chicken Kiev; Lyonnaise potatoes with lashings of onions; red cabbage cooked with butter and red wine; and crunchy carrots and cauliflower. Jackie finished the Sauvignion Blanc, while I drank the last of the Carménere.

A Penchant For Dried Leaves

This afternoon Jackie drove me to the GP’s in Milford on Sea to order a repeat prescription.

We travelled via the winding, sunlit, autumnal, Barnes Lane.

We then turned back to the north of the forest.

Had the new traffic calming been installed on the road through Bramshaw, we wondered, in order to protect

the wandering donkeys always in evidence?

I have often seen them chewing prickly shrubs,

but a penchant for dried leaves was a new one for me.

Perhaps the efforts to slow the traffic had also been for the benefit of the basking, scratching, cud-chewing, cattle on and around the green, some of whom regularly diced with death.

The pannage period was not past for this parcel of pigs snuffling alongside Roger Penny Way. I was quite pleased to have positioned myself for these two shots, because I needed to venture down a soggy slope stepping over fallen, lichen covered, branches. Regular readers will know what happened last time I descended a much drier slope in a bit of a hurry.

Elizabeth is staying with Mum for a few days. Jackie and I dined on her splendid beef, mushrooms, and onion pie; Yorkshire pudding; new potatoes; roasted parsnips and butternut squash; and crisp cauliflower and carrots, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Calvet special release Merlot 2017.

We Will Remember Them

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When James of Peacock Computers set up our EE Mobile internet he had searched the house for the optimum site for the modem. This was situated in the single bedroom upstairs, not beside my iMac downstairs. Although I managed to post yesterday with the borrowed dongle, the lead for which is not very long, I could find no signal this morning. A phone call to James produced the necessary advice. He suggested I switched SIM cards, and rather crucially, told me how to do it. These cards were smaller than the finger nail with which I prised out the one for the dongle. That from the EE hub required the insertion of a needle. I carried out the operation with surgical precision, otherwise you would not be reading this.

Sporting a knitted poppy she had bought, Jackie had waited for me yesterday in Costa Coffee in Lymington. Whilst there a woman had asked her if she had made it herself. She replied that that would have been rather mean. They both laughed and her interlocutor told her about

the knitted poppies fixed to the hedge around St Mark’s Church, Pennington.

We visited them on the way to visiting Mum this afternoon. My mother is growing stronger by the day, and was able to swing her legs out of bed as Jackie helped her into her chair.

On our return home we took a diversion up Roger Penny Way, where pannage pigs, beneath pink/indigo clouds, grunted contentedly as they rooted beneath oak leaves in search of acorns. As usual, they wandered across the road at will.

After the ever-earlier sunset we turned back at Godshill.

By the time we reached the darting pigs again, the area was pitch-black, and lit by the searchlights of crawling cars whose drivers were doing their best to avoid taking home roadkill of pannage pork from the eager Exocets darting hither and thither.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s classic cottage pie; crisp carrots and cauliflower; and flavoursome Brussels sprouts, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Joseph Scalzi Corse 2016 while Elizabeth abstained

 

A History Of The World

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Today I finished enjoying another Bodley Head publication of the collaboration between author Anatole France and illustrator Frank C. Papé. The book was first published in 1908, which has significance for one example of the writer’s prescience. Focussed on France as Penguinia this is a satyrical history of Western Europe in general, with a pop at the United States. As usual, I will not spoil the story with details, save to say that anyone with some knowledge of world history, philosophy, politics, or religion will get the gist of this acute analysis of human nature, society, morals, and customs. The writing from M. France is as flowing as ever, and the final Book VIII chilling in its foresight.

A.W. Evans has provided an excellent translation.

Mr. Papé’s illustrations are as skilled as ever. Do not miss any detail of the exquisite, often humorous, main plates,

or this selection of the black and white tailpieces.

Late this afternoon, Jackie drove the two of us around the forest where

as usual, ponies and donkeys occupied the green at South Gorley. Although this village is now barely a hamlet, the large, now residential, building forming a backdrop for the pony scenes was once a school. The fifth picture contains a familiar view of a pony, legs in the air, scratching its back on the grass.

Around the corner, pigs at pannage snuffled up fallen acorns. One, oblivious of the approaching car, leisurely trotted across the road.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips and Garner’s pickled onions. Jackie and I drank Wairau Cove Sauvignon Blanc 2017, while Elizabeth finished the Brouilly.

 

Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud

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This afternoon Jackie drove me to the recycling centre where we dumped my old scanner; on to Otter Nurseries where we bought compost and ordered a new wooden arch for the garden to replace a rather flimsy metal one smashed by the recent winds; and then to Wessex Photographic in Ringwood where I collected a 35mm  lens for my Canon 5D camera Mark II, for which I have never had one previously.

Such a dull day was not conducive to photography, but I really couldn’t be expected to receive a new lens and not try it out.

I focussed on some landscapes at North Gorley, Abbotswell, and Frogham.

At South Gorley I spotted a couple of pigs freed for pannage. As I left the car, another couple stopped with the same idea. The porkers dived into a ditch where one enjoyed a delicious wallow, reminding me of this Flanders and Swan Classic:

This evening we dined on a rack of pork spare ribs in spicy barbecue sauce with Jackie’s superb savoury rice. Mrs Knight drank Hoegaarden while Elizabeth and I finished the Fleurie

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

Forgotten And Neglected

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Aaron

Aaron worked as hard as ever in the garden this morning. Lest it be imagined that he never takes a break, here is photographic evidence that we do allow him the statutory minimum.

It was not that long ago that I last photographed the garden from our bathroom window. This Wisteria was not then in bloom.

Our ubiquitous heucheras have now all sent up their flower stems.

Some of those are in the Rose Garden where the bushes are burgeoning, Roseraie de L’Hay bearing the first buds to open.

Numerous aquilegias are also standing proud;

one clump stands beside the shady path, still bestrewn with fallen camellia flowers.

The Viburnum Plicatum in the West Bed has also sprung to life in the last few days.

Sparrow on roof

Our resident sparrow still guards his family from the rooftop.

In order to prevent the risk of infection when, this coming Friday, my left knee joint is to be replaced by a man made model, I will have to wear new slippers. In search of a pair, we drove to Sainsbury’s at Christchurch this afternoon. Their sizes stop at 10, so we will need to try again when more shops are open tomorrow. We didn’t waste our trip out. Jackie set us off to the North of the Forest.

Leaving the A338 at Mockbeggar Lane, Ibsley, we were intrigued by a notice suggesting that what Jackie discovered to have been St Martin’s Church was having a Closing Down Sale. In fact, as Wikipedia tells us, the church itself has been deconsecrated. Following the listing the church became the art gallery which is having the sale. Jackie entered the shop and pronounced it a purveyor of artificial flowers, anything of good quality being over-priced.

I, therefore, contented myself with a study of the surrounding graveyard. It seemed to me that the preponderance of dandelion clocks calling time on the neglected tombs of forgotten eighteenth and nineteenth century residents of the parish, was somewhat appropriate.

 https://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/101350890-church-of-st-martins-ellingham-harbridge-and-ibsley#.Wvhu0i-ZNBw give us this information concerning its Grade 2 listing: ‘Parish church. 1832 by John Peniston surveyor, on site of old church. Brick with
some blue headers, east wall partly reused dressed stone, plain tile roof. Plan
of single cell chancel and nave with north and south porches and small west tower.
To east end Y-tracery window in chamfered opening; corner buttresses. To each side
of 6 bays, pointed lancet in chamfered opening,except to west,buttresses between
bays and at each end except between west of centre bays which have gabled porch
with pointed, chamfered opening. West end has small cross-section tower in centre
with similar window, and offset belfry stage with west and east bell opening and
gabled roof. Inside brass of 1599 on floor by altar, tablet to Mary Ann Gray 1757
in brick paviour central aisle. On south wall monument 1627 to John Constable of
2 large kneeling figures between 2 columns to wide open pediment, both hold vine
with busts of their children. C18 Perpendicular style font. On north wall tablet
1757 to Cray. At east end prayer boards, above west door Royal arms board.
Gallery at west end of timber with later screen under to form vestry.’

Jackie informs me that all the mentioned features are still there inside, covered by the gallery’s wares. What now, I wonder?

A small herd of deer grazed in their usual field at Ogdens. When I poked my lens in their direction, one doe pricked up her ears and gave me a stare, decided I was harmless, and returned to her dinner.

On our way home down Roger Penny Way we noticed an interesting vehicle pulling into the car park of The Green Dragon. This was a Morris Cowley bullnose, first produce in 1915. Before entering the pub the driver placed a chock beneath the near side front wheel. I surmised that the vehicle was possibly not fitted with a handbrake.

Cadnam Lane was littered with sheep and the occasional punk pig. One of the pigs masqueraded as an outsize sheep; others, occasionally raising a sleepy snout, snoozed by the wayside.

This evening we dined on roast pork with superb crackling, new potatoes, carrots, and broccoli, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Concha y Toro Malbec