Water, Water…… Hardly A Drop To Drink

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The best part of the day was taken up with body maintenance. We began with a drive to New Hall Hospital and a post-operative examination by Mr. Kask, the surgeon, who pronounced progress satisfactory. We did not take a diversion on the way back home because I had a G.P. appointment after lunch.

There was one complication during the knee replacement that I have felt indelicate to mention before. The insertion of a catheter is routine there. They couldn’t get mine in. A urologist was summoned to do the deed. An enlarged prostate was considered to be the problem. This was news to me. Rather unpleasant symptoms continued for the next three weeks. Given that my other knee replacement is due in about four months, it seemed a good idea to deal with the prostate post haste. That is why I saw G.P. Doctor Jansen this afternoon. She prescribed antibiotics, asked for a urine sample, and made a referral to Mr. Guy, the urologist at New Hall.

After this, Jackie drove us into the drier and drier forest. On the road to Exbury a very small grey pony tagged along with his bigger cousins, foraging for what fresh greenery could be found.

Squirrel in dried up pond

Not far on a squirrel squatted on the bed of a pool that normally contains paddling mallards and larger ponies up to their knees in the water they drink.

Couple in water

There was, however, no shortage of seawater at Lepe beach, where synchronised swimming

and solitary sailboarding was under way.

Back on the Exbury road, a group of small cattle found some potable water, slaked their thirsts, and pestered the traffic.

The rice Jackie produced this evening – so packed with chopped omelette, chestnut mushrooms, peppers, onions and peas – was a meal in itself. It was, however, accompanied by pork spare ribs in barbecue sauce. Neither of us imbibed.

What Are His Chances?

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Derrick with napkin holderNapkin clip

Jackie tells me that Becky spent months searching for a silver napkin clip, and, just in time for my birthday, found one by James Dixon & Sons Ltd from 1962/3. Presented to me by our daughter and Ian in the restaurant yesterday evening, this is intended to protect my shirts from spillage when I am watching Bargain Hunt on TV at lunchtime.

After said lunch today, I slept through most of the antiques programme and the news. Later Jackie drove us through the forest.

The fly-ravaged ponies and their foals sought shade from the heat wherever  they could. This group of two mares and their foals at the corner of Burley Lawn sheltered in silence. The adults could not open their infested eyes, and their infants clung to the mothers’ flanks, seeking the breeze and screen created by  the parental twitching tails.

At Chapel Haye, where a young girl brought out water, another group spilled across the road.

Ponies and foals drank from the dregs of the dried bed of  Latchmere Stream at Furze Hill, and foraged on the sun-dappled banks.

Donkey foal on Roger Penny Way

The animal death count on this seven mile stretch of Roger Penny Way exceeded 120 last year. What, we wondered, were the chances of this little chap not making the list. Donkeys are apparently impervious to the heat, so he was quite comfortable on the tarmac.

This evening we dined on succulent roast chicken; herby sage & onion stuffing: Yorkshire pudding; mashed potato; Chantenay carrots; chestnut mushrooms; and runner beans. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Newboy.

 

Parched

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Early this morning Jackie drove me to Lymington Hospital where I underwent a posterior capsulotomy. This was nowhere near as nasty as it sounds. Sixty four summers ago I suffered a cricketing injury to my left eye, the story of which is told in ‘Cottenham Park‘. This developed in the need for a cataract operation some forty years later. Now a laser adjustment in order to reduce subsequent cloudiness. I had been warned to expect this. It was all very painless.

So comfortable was I that we continued into the forest where we encountered ponies and a foal on the lake at Pilley. Today, this former gravel pit does not look like a body of water. As recently as February ponies and cattle drank freely from water that lapped the banks and reflected the buildings alongside. That is how it has always looked to us in the past.

Today, the terrain was so dry that the young foal among these ponies would have taken some convincing that once where, like the crows, he was foraging among dried up mud, he could have enjoyed a paddle and a drink of bathwater. Much of the forest is now as parched.

This afternoon we enjoyed a visit from Margery and Paul.

Later, Jackie and I dined on Southern fried chicken fillets, roasted potato wedges and five varieties of baked bean. Mrs. Knight drank her customary Hoegaarden and I drank an unaccustomed English wine  she had brought back from her Somerset trip. This was Barebones Vineyard Newboy 2016

 

 

 

 

Those Damn Flies

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The Head Gardener rarely spends much money on a plant. It was therefore an event when, three years ago, she splashed out on a very poorly, potted, plant at Redcliffe Garden Centre. She was very excited this morning to report that the Dierama Angel’s fishing rod, has bloomed for the first time under the Cryptomeria tree.

The Sunday Gardener’s website  has an excellent page on how to grow this garden gem.

This afternoon we drove around the forest.

Cyclists photographing ponies and foalPonies and foalPonies and foalPonies and foal

On Beechwood Lane near Burley we encountered a pair of cyclists photographing a group of ponies with a slumbering foal lying on the tarmac.

Spotting a bench beyond the trees under which the animals were sheltering, I walked across and perched on it to continue photographing the equine group. It was a while before I noticed that I, too, was being focussed upon.

While most of the horses were happy under their canopy,

one grey peered persistently, hungrily, at Jackie through the window of the Modus.

Quite suddenly, the whole troop, having sensed activity in the garden opposite, set off and stationed themselves, tails swishing, hopefully by the gate.

The twitching tails are the ponies’ fly whisks. I’m sure I heard this animal curse those damn flies as it violently shook its head and mane instead.

Derrick photographing from logsDerrick photographing from logsForest scene by Jackie

Once again, I hadn’t realised that Jackie was photographing me from my new vantage point on a row of logs.

Eventually, no food forthcoming, the horses set off down the lane. So did we, in the opposite direction.

Our dinner, however, was forthcoming this evening. We enjoyed breaded chicken fillets, potato wedges, baked beans and a Cimarosa New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2017

 

“Ursula Andress, Eat Your Heart Out”

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Late this gloriously hot and sunny afternoon Jackie drove us to Eyeworth Pond in search of ducklings.

Cattle

Cattle chewed the cud on the verges of Canterton Lane.

Ponies on road

We made good time to the pond, but an equine trio delayed us taking the last right turn.

A delightfully friendly couple enjoying a picnic in the shade pointed out several paddles of ducks and ducklings. Strong pigments splashed over the surface of the water and the shallow bed.

Jackie alerted me to the arrival of a couple of ponies and a foal. If only I could have made the constantly twitching youngster aware that the flies he was desperately trying to escape were taking off from the flanks of the mare to which he clung.

The young lady by this time had entered the water attempting to catch tadpoles. As I took a couple of these shots I exclaimed “Ursula Andress, eat your heart out”.

This evening we dined on a thick crust pizza to which the Culinary Queen added more cheese and salami, served with plentiful fresh salad.

A Matter Of Scale

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In ‘What’s In The Folds?’ I featured an introduction to Solent Grange. We returned to the site this morning to develop the theme in better light.

Cyclists

The cyclists ahead of us on the lane from Keyhaven give an indication of the narrowness of the Solent Way where the development is situated;

Van and pillars

the small van in this picture has just passed the totally over the top entrance,

which, although beautifully crafted with skilled brickwork and well moulded statuary, is far too large for its position.

Further scale is provided by this couple walking their dogs. We chatted for a while. Their view of the pretentiousness of these structures was similar to mine. The woman had had a knee replacement a year ago and was very well now. The further sets of pillars to the right are those that on the day of our last visit bore a pair of white lions equal in stature to the sculptures on either side of the entrance which, according to the developers, is to be gated.

https://www.royalelife.com/milford-view describes ‘Solent Grange by Royale [a]s a fabulously-located luxury bungalow development for the over 45’s.

Later this afternoon we took to the forest. On such a hot day, ponies, like these just outside Brockenhurst, cluster for shelter beneath trees. Foals tend to lie sprawled panting on the grass. It was Jackie who noticed that in this group it was the grey, happy to cast a shadow, that didn’t mind the sun.

In a garden across a green some distance from the road at East Boldre can be seen a rather spectacular verdigris coated sculptured fountain devoid of water. Given the surrounding space the proportions do not offend. It is, perhaps, all a matter of scale.

My choice of Tesco prepared meals this evening was beef lasagna. Jackie, who also provided good helpings of fresh salad, chose ham and mushroom tagliatelle

 

 

 

 

 

As If There Were Not Enough Foals

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This afternoon Jackie drove me to New Hall Hospital for a session with Claire, the physiotherapist who was very pleased with my progress. The flexion in my left knee has been increased by 20 degrees in the last two weeks. She adjusted the height ofd my crutch handle because she noticed that I lurch sideways on it because it was a bit too low.

As usual we took a cross-country route back home.

Thatched cottage, pony

We passed a picturesque thatched cottage with roses round the door. It faced a green with strangely uneven terrain that was carpeted with

ponies and cattle

Black Baldy cattle

including Black Baldies.

Cow investigating garden

Further along the lane a cow investigated someone’s garden while the next door neighbour had difficulty driving into hers because another blocked her access.

The Fighting Cocks at Godshill was surrounded by even more donkeys and foals than usual. Some of the youngsters clung to their mothers’ flanks, others flopped on the grass. As if there were not enough foals littering the verges, one eager asinine gentleman attempted to participate in the creation of another. He was rebuffed, and brayed his displeasure.

Donkey and foal

When these two set off to cross back over Roger Penny Way, we were a little disconcerted. We needn’t have worried. Having slalomed around numerous equine cousins, all vehicles at this point progressed at a snail’s pace.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid chicken jalfrezi served with boiled basmati rice.