Talking Heads

I may have mentioned that my Canon 70-300mm lens became stuck just before Christmas, and I took it into Wessex Photographic in Ringwood for a quotation. This has come back. The cost is £70 more than a second-hand one the store had in stock. That being a no-brainer, Jackie drove me to replace my older second-hand model with a newer one.

Afterwards we brunched in Café Aroma, and, through their crystal clear plate glass window, I tried out this newly acquired piece of equipment, by photographing

passers-by.

One gentleman vaped outside the smokers’ shelter,

through the transparent sheet of which I photographed some talking heads.

Suitably sated, we continued into the forest where a light frost still lay in patches. Perhaps because we are so near the coast we haven’t yet experienced this.

At North Gorley a saturated area of turf wore white patches beside a pool covered in semi-melted ice. Reflections rested undisturbed on the otherwise limpid surface.

As the leisurely grazing sheep discovered on Cadnam Lane, frost lingered beside the hedges. Perhaps the equine droppings among the ovine diners had been left by

the string of stubby ponies following their relatively gigantic grey leader down the road. One forlorn little fellow just couldn’t keep up,

until its companions paused for refreshments.

A motley array of cuddly creatures clambered over a farm gate in an endeavour to escape the peacocks within.

On our way home we noticed that The Bell at Bank has a rather cheeky event coming up on 25th January

Jackie said she felt like another Christmas dinner today, so she produced roast chicken; Yorkshire pudding; roast potatoes and parsnips; moist bread sauce; firm sage and onion stuffing; and crunchy carrots and cauliflower. Becky drank Diet Coke, and I drank Famille Perrin Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2016. Ian wasn’t feeling well. Maybe he will eat later.

“Don’t Get Me In Your Picture”

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Our friend Sheila Knight died last week. She had been ill for some time. We will be unable to attend the funeral, but I had been asked to write a tribute. I did so this morning and e-mailed it. It will be entered in a book and read out at the service.

At midday Jackie drove me to Milford on Sea for Peter at Sears Barbers to cut my hair.

Keith Mitchel refurbishing phone box

Opposite the hairdressers Keith Mitchel was refurbishing the telephone box. He told me that the Parish Council had bought it for £1 from the telephone company and were seeking local views on the purpose to which it should be put.

Sun on Solent, Isle of Wight & The Needles

We then travelled along the coast road. Sun sparkled on the Solent. The Isle of Wight and The Needles were nicely silhouetted against a streaky sky;

Speedboat

a speedboat sped across the surface of the sea,

Boys throwing rocks

into which three boys lobbed rocks.

We lunched at Sails café in Barton on Sea.

Reflections in streamReflections in stream 2Stream bed and reflectionsStream and reflections

Travelling north past Ringwood we paused beside Linbrook Lake, and watched reflections in a stream that feeds it.

Woodland brackenBracken

Browning bracken curled in the woodland;

Bracken and spider web

spiders span their webs therein.

Landscape with marina

As we rose to higher land we spied a marina down below,

Landscape with deer

and a sunbathed landscape with deer.

Cattle 1Cattle 2

On a bend entering Ibsley a herd of cattle, mainly Herefords (identified by Bruce in his comments below), sprawled on the leaf-strewn sward.

Cattle 3

The majority of these creatures sported identical black eyes;

Cattle 4

the odd chestnut brown made the exception;

CowCattle tag

all were tagged with their owner’s details.

Boy and dog reflectedWoman, children and dog reflected

Families frolicked in the nearby stream;

Group with shadows

rounding the bend past the cattle visitors were greeted by

Ice creams 1

a van selling a variety of ice creams, some of what this gentleman called “come and buy me colour”.

Cattle on road 1Cattle on road 2

Cattle at Gorley Lynch made their leisurely way along the road. So, perforce, did we.

Pigs 1Pigs 2Pigs 3Pig 1Pigs 4Pig 2Pigs 6Pigs 7Pigs 9Pigs 5

High ground at Ogdens swarmed with snorting, snuffling, mast-seeking pigs.

Woman entering picture

As I aimed to photograph a gentleman jogging past some porkers, a woman opened her car door, crying “don’t get me in your photograph”. Recognising the humour in her voice, I pointed out that she had pushed her way into it. She and her two young girls had stopped to admire the animals which they photographed very well on their tablets. We enjoyed a pleasant conversation during which she expressed satisfaction with her portrait.

Donkey and dog walker

Our way at Frogham was blocked by a donkey, fast homing on on which was a dog walker with a number of charges.

This evening we returned for another excellent Indian meal at Bartlett’s restaurant in the Church Hall at Bransgore. We took our own drinks. Jackie’s was Hoegaarden and mine  Graves.

P.S. See Paol’s comment below for good further information on Herefords

 

An Early Post Box

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The Dragon Bed sign

A couple of days ago Jackie made a new sign for The Dragon Bed, and left a photograph on my camera.

Paul and Margery made a brief visit at lunchtime in order to deliver a birthday present ordered from their last exhibition. Both were looking in fine fettle.

Afterwards, Jackie drove us around the forest.

HeatherHeathland floor

Like many other plants this year, the heather seemed to be blooming early.

Ponies and heather 1Heather and poniesPonies and heather 2

Not that the ponies noticed.

Ponies and heather 3

They just kept their eyes on the grass.

Ladywell 1

On the outskirts of Burley we took a pot-holed drive down Tyrell’s Lane,

Ladywell 2

where I was struck by the topiary fronting a house called Ladywell. This reflected the thatched roofing

Peacock thatch

which bears a peacock motif on top.

Gunnera

Next door, Tyrell’s Way’s garden sports a magnificent gunnera.

Sheep

As I have occasionally mentioned, sheep are inquisitive creatures. This one in a field at the end of Tyrell’s drive, even lifted its head from its grazing at my approach.

Sheep models

This was in stark contrast to the low maintenance ovine mother and child occupying a garden in Furzley, who completely ignored me.

Shetland pony 1Shetland pony 2

Stony Cross Plain, just north of the A31, seems to be the province of Shetland ponies,

Shetland pony 3

one of which thought that a discarded tissue was not to be sniffed at.

Shetland pony foal 2

A recumbent foal

Shetland pony foal

occasionally stirred itself to stand. This creature has become accustomed to flies,

Pony and foal 1

which is more than can be said for its younger cousin at Nomansland, still skipping in confusion at the irritation.

Jackie at Powder Mill post box

A visit to Eyeworth Pond revealed nothing of interest, except for this post box near the Royal Oak, that we had not noticed before. Shultze gunpowder factory operated near the pond from the 1860s until the early 20th century. This receptacle was erected to make the postman’s life easier, in the days before delivery vans. It was recently restored by the Forestry Commission.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s roast chicken, savoury rice, breaded mushrooms, tempura vegetables, and salad. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the cabernet sauvignon/tempranillo.

Shade

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In order to use the services of the Post Office whilst Jackie was visiting the Birchfield Dental Practice, this morning I parcelled up some items the Australian branch of the family had left behind; wrote a cheque for the water bill in Sigoules; and packed up the various documents required for my tax return. I then posted everything.

Afterwards, Jackie took us on a drive through the forest.

Ponies 1

The unfortunate ponies struggled to find relief from the overhead sun, and clustered where they could under trees offering inadequate cover.

Tormented by flies, one of this group scratched against the tree trunks;

the others just bore their discomfort in silence. The beastly insects crawled over these wretched creatures’ eyes, noses, and mouths.

Lane

We could at least benefit from the car’s air conditioning, and choose to venture into shady lanes, three of which are featured for Jill’s benefit.

The domesticated horses enjoyed better shade,

even when grazing.

Ponies 3

Outside the shop at Pilley one string of ponies queued for the phone box

Pony 2

While others kept down the grass in front of the houses. This smaller animal, despite its leopard skin coat, was bullied by one of the larger ones when it ventured away from the gate.

Foal following mother

Foals are becoming big enough for their mothers to leave them to their own devices. One white mare attempted to escape the attentions of her little one, who was having none of it, and, on spindly legs, quickly trotted after her.

Foals

The little ones are still learning to tolerate flies, and twitch about in vain.

Foal 1

The lonely male just went to sleep.

Foal and mare 1

Sadly, juvenile tails are no use as fly whisks,

Foal and mare 2

so our little limpet clung to Mum,

Foal and mare 3

keeping within the sweep of hers.

Beach

We visited Tanners Lane on our way home. Despite the low tide, the appearance of water, against the backcloth of the Isle of Wight, gave the illusion of coolness.

Women and chidren on beach 1Women and children on beachWomen and children on beach 3Women and children on beach 4

Two women and children searching among the shallows, skirted

Boat on low tide beach

a rowing boat

Mooring chain

 chained to the stony shore.

House

This is the last house on the lane.

We had seen dog roses in the hedgerows at Boldre;

Small Heath butterflies

Those on Tanners Lane mingled with blackberry blossom among which Small Heath butterflies flitted. There are two in this picture.

Our evening meal consisted of cold meats, hard-boiled egg, salad, and cheeses.

Now we are going to drink beer on the patio.

 

 

 

Fitzrovia To Farringdon Via Holborn

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Although I am almost recovered from our family illness, and Becky is still unscathed, Jackie and Ian remain under par. I therefore took another virtual reality trip to London through the medium of scanning another dozen colour slides from the Streets of London series made during July 2004.

I forget which of these two shots featuring Welbeck Way W1 depicts buildings in the Wimpole Street. This area of Fitzrovia is rather grand. The cordoned off pavement is, as has been demonstrated before, a common sight in central London. If the young man has just left his bike against the railings, he will be lucky if it is still there when he returns. I also wonder how much longer our streets will be graced with Royal Mail delivery vans. Wikipedia tells that: “The notorious 18th-century highwayman James MacLaine was once a grocer on Welbeck Street.”

Harley Street W1 7.04

Like the above-mentioned Wimpole Street, Harley Street is noted for the large number of expensive private medical specialists who practice there. This photograph was taken from the junction with Wigmore Street.

Dean's Mews W1

https://wcclibraries.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/a-controversial-sculptor-jacob-epstein-in-westminster/ gives the story of this rather wonderful Jacob Epstein sculpture in Dean’s Mews W1. The slight straightening required by this image meant that the street name has been lost. It is fascinating to me that the photograph contained in the wcclibraries post was clearly taken at a different time of day to mine.

Newman Street W1 7.04

This post box in Newman Street W1 is clearly no stranger to advertising material.

Bury Place WC1 7.04

Bury Place WC1 is around the corner from the British Museum; and is consequently a suitable street in which to find a dealer in antiquities.

I wonder who became the new occupiers of 166 Clerkenwell Road, and therefore next door neighbours of the New Seoul Korean restaurant.

contentThe Duke of York in Vine Hill, EC1 was a favourite haunt of “Mad” Frankie Fraser (13.12.23 – 26.11.14) He was a S. London gangster and criminal who spent 42 years in prison for numerous violent offences.

His story is told in  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankie_Fraser, and, more colourfully in the autobiography written with James Morton, available from Amazon.

Vine Hill EC1 7.04

The Duke of York is mentioned on page 147,

Back Hill EC1 7.04

while the Coach and Horses in Back Hill features on the next page.

White Bear Yard EC1 7.04

The Potemkin Russian restaurant on the bendy corner of Back Hill and White Bear Yard could be named after either Catherine the Great’s favourite or the battleship immortalised by Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 silent film. Given that the ship must have been named after the statesman the exact answer is probably academic.

Saffron Hill EC1 7.04

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle features Saffron Hill EC1 in his Sherlock Holmes story ‘The Adventure of The Six Napoleons’, being the Italian Quarter where can be found the Venucci family. Repairs to gas mains are not particularly unusual.

Becky and Ian returned home to Emsworth later this afternoon. Jackie and I dined on the final helpings of her lovely sausage casserole, both mashed and boiled potatoes, and Brussels sprouts and broccoli. Neither of us imbibed.

Eric’s Trampling

Even in the restaurant last night, my camera was not safe from Flo’s clutches. Here is a photograph she took of her mother:Becky

For those of you who have suggested the obvious Birthday/Christmas present, we bought one for this talented photographer a couple of years ago, but she didn’t bring it with her this time.

Letter and Telephone boxes

This morning, albeit painfully, I made it a couple of hundred yards to the post box without a stick. Despite the increasing use of e-mails and texts to communicate in writing we still post letters in these historic boxes. How long the increasingly costly service will manage to survive is open to question. Like most of the country’s telephone boxes this one has fallen into disuse. They remain a tourist attraction in London, but elsewhere the mobile phone has rendered the landmark red cabinets largely obsolete.

No Parking rape fieldGlass jarsCherry blossom

There is a gap in the hedge alongside the field, through which the farmer gains access between the rows of parked cars. Glass jars had been lobbed into the hedgerow where cherry blossom now blooms.

Ornamental cabbage

We have an interesting ornamental cabbage in the garden. I played with maximum saturation on this heavy crop.

Heucheras

The heucheras are now flowering,

Eric's trampling

which is more than can be said for anything planted under the bird feeders where Eric tramples,

Eric 1

before going on walkabout (photographed by Flo yesterday).

The sausage content of Jackie’s classic casserole comprised chipolatas from Lidl combined with Tesco’s finest pork and red onion. The other usual ingredients contributed to the rich, tasty, sauce. Mashed potato; and crisp carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli were the supporting cast. I finished the cabernet sauvignon, while Becky and Jackie drank a melange of rosés.