Flytipping In Honeylake Wood

Vince, a heating engineer had visited a few days ago to overhaul our oil fired system that has never adequately functioned upstairs since we have been here. He got it going properly for the first time, but discovered that a hose had not been fitted to the boiler, a part of which was not functioning anyway. Today he came to fit the offending item.

Jackie drove off to Mat and Tess’s and I stayed in for Vince.

This afternoon I booked the Modus in for an M.O.T. test and walked on through the woods repeating the trip I had taken recently with Giles, who informed me that our local wood rejoices in the name of Honeylake Wood.

Skyscape 2

Even in the slight breeze and the shelter of the cooler trees I had no need of a jacket. Fiercer winds have left their impact on the lie of the oaks.

Wood entrance 1

Wood entrance 2From the beckoning entrance at the far side of the field on Christchurch Road,

Footpath to bridgeStreamthe woodland drops in a gentle incline to the stream,

then climbs to level off before reaching the road to Milford on Sea.

Footpath 1Footpath 2Pines and ferns

There is just one public footpath. The others are marked private.

The occasional startled pheasant squawked, rose from a covert, and lumbered, chuntering, off; a few feet in the air. Despite their slowness, I didn’t manage to catch one.

Flytipping

A pile of builder’s rubbish that had been left in the undergrowth when Giles and I passed this way has been tidied and moved to the side of the vehicle-wide path, no doubt for subsequent removal.

Having enjoyed a plentiful chicken and ham pie, corned beef, and salad lunch, I dined on egg and bacon sandwiches.

Relocation

This morning I added three informative Facebook link comments, one from Becky, one from Lesley O’Neill, and one from Jackie herself, to yesterday’s post.Mice suffragettes

Some of you will remember the nomadic mice from Christmas. Having joined the suffragette mousement, they have now taken up a position on the sitting room window sill.Pheasant

Albeit out of focus and through an upstairs window pane, I was today able to shoot the pheasant which was wandering around the garden as if he owned it. In an attempt to take a clearer photograph, I then walked out into the garden. By this time it was nowhere to be seen, until it squawked, flapped, and lumbered off like the R101, from the next door jungle.

Carpet

Before lunch we drove to Molly’s Den in search of a birthday present, and bought, at a good price, a hand-woven Afghan rug from Khiva for ourselves. The design apparently dates from the 18th century.Downton Lane pines and number 27Downton Lane oaks

This afternoon I set off to walk down Downton Lane. I got no further than Roger’s footpath before retracing my steps to the back drive where I had noticed I had a job to to. Number 27 and its pines basked in the sunshine, as did the still naked oaks.CrocusesPeriwinkle

We now have yellow crocuses and a spread of periwinkles of various types. A crow took off from our mature copper beach, itself still leafless.CrowInsect hotel remains

Most of the insect Hilton hotel rooms have now been stolen. Perhaps, given the number of wood burning fires in the area, I should not have been surprised. Especially as a couple of days ago I watched a van take the diagonal across the end of our drive into the care home on the corner, I decided to relocate the log pile to the safety of the rose garden plot.insect hotel relocated

My original structure had filled five wheelbarrow loads. In retrieving what was left I barely completed two. At least that made the task a little easier.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s superb takeaway fish and chips with pickled onions and mushy peas. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the rioja.

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.

A Gift From Norway

We drove early this morning to Ringwood for a bit more shopping, then went on to visit Helen and Bill in Poulner, after which we meandered around the northern forest villages seeking a particular photographic subject for a card idea that Jackie had.  We returned home along Roger Penny Way.

Leaves of plane tree

Tree LineOakThe plane trees around Ringwood car park are now mostly devoid of leaves, although many of the forest trees remain festooned with persistent clingers. Along Roger Penny Way, the rounded shapes of the oaks and beeches with their golden foliage are set off nicely by the pointed evergreen pines behind them.  The gnarled and arthritic limbs of the oaks are beginning to reveal themselves.

Ponies, cattle, and donkeys were all motionless soon after midday.  All these roamers seem to be growing winter coats.  The equine varieties stood stock still, whereas the bovines lay basking in the sunshine glinting on their variously coloured ear tags.Cattle basking

Helicopter trioHigh above the fields and chimney pots of Ibsley, a trio of helicopters, possibly military, glided silently across the skies.  As Jackie brought the car to a standstill alongside someone’s house, and I leapt out to photograph the airborne vehicles, I rather alarmed a woman who stood quizzically shielding her eyes.  I therefore felt obliged to explain what I was doing, by which time I had all but missed the shot.

Back in Minstead, where the horses of the Freshwater Stud were now wearing man made winter coats, we found the picture we had been looking for all along. Freshwater stud This afternoon I worked on the prints required.

Yesterday, the Christmas season officially opened in Central London with the switching on of the lights to the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree.  Our annual gift from the people of Norway in recognition of Britain’s help during World War Two, the tree has been a feature of the capital since 1947.  This is how I, with my Kodak Retinette 1b, recorded the scene fifty years ago:

Trafalgar Square 12.63

The rows of people to the left of the picture are carol singers.  Different groups still perform nightly carols raising funds for various charities.

This evening we dined at The Family House Chinese restaurant in Totton, on the excellent buffet meal.  Although called a buffet this is rather different in that for £18 a head you do have all you can eat, but you actually select from a normal full menu , and are given all the time you need with breaks in between.  If you over-order and cannot eat it all you pay normal prices for the uneaten portions.  It seems to work rather well.  Once again we remarked on the friendliness of the atmosphere, with the staff seeming to be on very good terms with all the customers.  I always eat the decorative chillis and cucumber.  When taking our first set of empty plates away, the waiter, seeing that I hadn’t eaten the lemon slice, from which I had at least squeezed the juice, suggested he should put it on my bill (as an uneaten portion).  With our meal Jackie and I both drank T’sing Tao beer.