Preparing For Ophelia


(Gwen and Yvonne, divert your eyes when it comes to the culinary coda)

Compared with what has been inflicted on Wales and Ireland by the albeit waning hurricane Ophelia, we have got off lightly.

Chairs lain down

This morning we made our usual preparations for protection from strong winds, notably laying down chairs, pedestals,

Pelargoniums and marigolds

and hanging baskets.

Towards midday a fleeting glimpse of a bright red version of yesterday’s solar discs was seen peering from behind the billowing smoke

Clouds 1Clouds 2Clouds 3Clouds 4Clouds 5Clouds 6Clouds 7Clouds 8Clouds 9

 that was dark slate-coloured clouds. By the time I had gathered up the camera the sun had disappeared. The temperature was so unseasonably warm as to give the impression that there was, indeed, a fire somewhere.

Birds flying against clouds

I suspect that the birds thought they must be having a sleepless night;

Clouds and weeping birch

but the weeping birch still hung unmolested.

By early afternoon the sky had lightened and the sun played upon the garden.


These pansies still brightened

Patio planting

the pots outside the kitchen door.

Fuchsia 1Fuchsias etc

Fuchsias are among the flowers still blooming beside the greenhouse.

Pelargoniums 1Pelargoniums 2Pelargoniums 4

Various pelargoniums,

Pelargoniums 3

including this sweetly scented one;


and begonias still defy the coming of the first frost.


Delicate striped petunias thrive in the Cryptomeria Bed;


and white dahlias in Elizabeth’s Bed.

Rose Just Joey 2

Among the rejuvenated roses are Just Joey,

Rose Aloha


Rose Lady Emma Hamilton

Lady Emma Hamilton,

Rose Mamma Mia

Mamma Mia,

Rose Peach Abundance

and, photographed later, when the wind was getting up and making this spray elusive to the lens, Pink Abundance.

Weeping birch in wind 1

The weeping birch was now waving about,

Cordyline Australis

as was the Cordyline Australis.

Weeping birch 2

I wondered how many of these leaves would be in place in the morning.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s divine liver and bacon, new potatoes, cabbage and mange touts, with which I drank Chateau Bonhomme minervois 2016.







Around The Harbour

This morning Jackie drove us to Lymington Quay where, after a short wait watching the harbour, we boarded Puffin Billy for a thirty minute tour.


Approaching midday in sultry weather, most visitors were taking a rest on the many available seats.

Mother and son

One of these watchers was prevailed upon to walk her little boy around the quay to see the ducks.

Lymington Quay, boy, and train

He became very excited when the Isle of Wight Ferry terminal train crossed the bridge over the untroubled water.

Conversation on board

A colourful conversation took place on a moored boat.

Family on boat

Lymington Harbour 2

Yachts 1

Yachts 2Once started out on our trip in hazy midday sun, apart from one exception, shapes became more important than colour. A young family in the prow seats watched as we neared the yachts, moored at a cost of £10,000 per annum.

Our friendly guide pointed out the tallest ship, built in 1913, that is on the market for a cool £3,500,000.

Man up mast

We were rather too close for me to photograph the whole thing, so I had to be satisfied with a man up the mast.

Yachts 5

On our return we skirted the opposite side of the harbour, so I took the shot then.


An interesting array of footwear was sported by our fellow passengers.

Lymington Marshes

The exception to monochrome was the view of Lymington Marshes.

Mallards in dinghy

The Mallards hitching a lift on a dinghy insisted on being shown in all their glory.

Back home the sun continued burning, but, now no longer directly overhead, was more conducive to photography.

rose scarlet climber

A scarlet climbing rose has now taken over the wisteria’s arbour.

Poppy 1

Our more flamboyant poppies are now coming into bloom;


this one is reflected by a pink hydrangea in Elizabeth’s Bed.

Rose Pink Abundance

This rose in The Oval Bed is labelled Pink Abundance. We are not sure about the colour description.

Sprinkling Rose Garden

The Rose Garden received a good sprinkling.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s excellent chicken jalfrezi, vegetable rice and samosas; followed by her sponge cake. She drank Hoegaarden, I finished the Fleurie, and Sheila drank water.