“Look, He’s Posing”

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This morning Jackie drove us to Lymington for me to take photographs that might be suitable for the walls of Lal Quilla restaurant. Raj had asked me for some a couple of days ago.

I began with a few featuring the building itself.

Gosport Road

The surrounding area includes Gosport Street, and

Quay Hill,

Painter Quay Hill

where the painter working on Sophie’s stopped to pass the time of day with a passer-by.

Quay Hill 1

 The King’s Head stands on the corner diagonally opposite Lal Quilla, at the point at which the High Street turns at right angles into Gosport Street. The tavern’s website tells us that

‘Despite dating back at least 300 years, many of the original features of The Kings Head can still be seen today.

The pub is known to have originally also been a bakers back in the day and even now the old bakers oven is still standing, along with the old well which is featured at the centre of the pub.

When you visit The Kings Head you will see the long-lasting beams made from Napoleonic Ships that only add to the character of this old English pub.

The pretty courtyard that we see today was previously used for fish-drying, whilst the buildings adjacent to the yard were an abattoir and fishermans house.

Despite these drastic changes over time, the inside of the pub has remained somewhat the same and the great open fire that cannot be missed is at least 300 years old.

It is these characteristics that, when you visit, make it easy to imagine the pub back in the 18th Century as a regular haunt for the smugglers and sailors that would frequent this famous sailing town.

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you may even see one of the old regulars who used to pick up pots in exchange for ‘grog’ as he has been said to return occasionally as the pubs very own friendly ghost…’

I doubt that Raj, the manager, would want all the pictures I have produced, such as those of two alleys that can be seen from inside the restaurant, but I did need to indulge myself.

Quay Street lies at the bottom of Quay Hill. The driver who left his van at bottom right of the second picture was to be disappointed when he attempted to deliver a package to a closed shop. Winter hours in these establishments are somewhat restricted. The Boat House Café featured in the first scene is where we brunched,

People on bench

after I had wandered along the quay photographing a row of people seated on a bench;

Young woman on wall

a young woman crouching cross-legged on a concrete wall;

Shadow of young woman

and another casting a long shadow as our paths crossed.

Train crossing harbour

The train aiming for the Isle of Wight ferry traversed the harbour.

Lymington Quay 1

A pair of oriental tourists walked towards The Ship Inn,

the windows of which rippled in the water.

We drove on through the forest and found ourselves at Pilley Bailey, where, knee deep in water or autumn leaves, a group of ponies enjoyed their alfresco lunch.

Pony crossing road

One of these animals decided to cross the road. As I turned to watch it, I noticed

a trio of alpaca and dog walkers.

Alpaca walkers 4

One of the ungulates stopped still, staring in my direction. “Look, he’s posing”, cried his guide, as she strained at the leash.

Clouds on horizon

We were a little late to catch the sunset at Barton on Sea, but the bank of clouds resting on the horizon gave a differently dramatic effect.

This evening Jackie, for our dinner, produced roast chicken, mashed potato, green and runner beans, cauliflower, carrots, and ratatouille. She drank sparkling water and I drank Chateau Bonhomme Minervois 2016.

 

Not A Dog’s Dinner

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After a boring morning’s admin, I helped The Head Gardener plant tulip and allium bulbs and flowering chrysanthemums. We then enjoyed a salad lunch and drove to

Lymington harbour,

where the rippling water reflected the boats and the blue sky with its attendant clouds

that had been depicted on the canvas above by a skilled painter.

Rowing boats were moored beside the jetty on the seaward side of which yachts were being berthed.

Squawking gulls landed hoping for titbits.

Other craft were coming and going all the time.

Emerging from the forest of masts, a small ferry boat chugged into harbour,

its master steered it to its mooring,

and the passengers disembarked.

The mother of one family returning to land told me that, on this afternoon of sunshine and showers, they had sailed through heavy rain, so it was only now that the junior pirate had been able to wear his Puffin hat.

Once she had fixed the trophy in place, he trotted off clutching his mother’s hand, while his Dad carried his sibling and everything else.

Walking into the first shot of the ferry boat is another photographer, who, when I showed him my portrait of him, smiled and said: “That’s what photography is for”.

Soon a working boat came into view and came to rest at the fishermen’s corner.

I wasn’t sure what was going on here, but a small terrier’s nose gave her a pretty good idea.

She needed some restraint to keep her away from

 

the slowly jerking crabs piled on top of each other in strong boxes.

One of these living creatures climbed over the lip of its container and landed on its back on the quayside. In my childhood I had often righted stag beetles in the same predicament, but I didn’t fancy providing a helping hand on this occasion.

Instead, I alerted the young man who had brought in his boat, mentioning that I wasn’t going to pick it up. Describing the crab as an escapee, he demonstrated that it couldn’t pinch because their claws were nipped when they were caught. This certainly wasn’t a dog’s dinner.

Before leaving, I walked along Quay Street

to the bottom of Quay Hill, feeling quite pleased that the car was parked by the waterside, so I wouldn’t have to follow the others scaling the heights. The little dog somewhat impeding the older woman’s progress was happy to continue once the younger woman carrying an infant had torn herself away from the shop windows.

On we travelled to the east of the forest. These ponies on the land along Thorneywood Road were soon to be spooked by a vehicle that turned round the bend towards us. This sent the animals running around in rather frantic circles.

Many others were grazing among the gorse. As so often, one smaller variety incongruously tagged onto the big boys.

Gwen and Yvonne may prefer to skip what follows.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s excellent liver and bacon casserole, mashed potato, carrots and green beans. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Reserve des Tuguets Madiran 2014.

Not Much Happening In Lymington

We managed to mess up our clock today. It was losing a minute or two a day so we decided to adjust it. After we had done so we had great difficulty in getting the pendulum back in. When we did, the clock stopped. We calmed down. Eventually. And this afternoon took it back to Martin at Dials.

Christchurch and Lymington Roads are now subject to flooding, so we were given numerous washed by the spray thrown up by cars, and especially lorries, in front.

Ducks at quayside

Apart from the ducks on the quayside water there was not much life in Lymington,

Quay Street

and what there was was covered in waterproofs or wielding umbrellas. Even Quay Street was rather deserted.

Old Solent House doorwayDoorstep

The post person had made a delivery to Old Solent House. The observant of you may be able to discover how I know by perusing the worn stone doorstep.

Ashtray

Forming a right angled corner between this house and Dials is a municipal ash tray. The soggy stubs thereon betrayed the fact that at least two smokers had abandoned their cigarettes.

Shoes in doorway

Further down towards the quay a pair of slip-on shoes had been left outside a closed shop. Although they were under a short porch, I though their owner would probably go home in wet tights.

Gift shop window

Given the nautical nature of the Quay Side Gift Shop window display, it probably welcomed the raindrops through which shoppers, had there been any, would have peered in order to absorb the suitable ambience,

Alley behind The Quay

reflected in the paving of the alley behind The Quay. Chewing gum spots get everywhere.

This evening we dined on a rack of pork ribs in barbecue sauce; Jackie’s egg fried rice; and prawns wrapped in filo pastry masquerading as roast parsnips, that The Cook termed ‘things’. Jackie enjoyed the last of the chablis and I drank Fortes del Colli chianti classico 2012.

Dials

ClockI drafted this post against the unfamiliar rhythmic, sonorous, ticking of a proper, analogue, wall clock that was more or less silenced by the various moves after leaving Sutherland Place in 2009. Martin Fairhurst of Dials Antique Clocks has done a grand job of restoring the timepiece to the condition it enjoyed when Michael bought it for Jessica and me about 35 years ago. Not new then, Mr Fairhurst tells me that the movement is American. I suspect that, should anyone other than Scooby, who is now rather hard of hearing, attempt to sleep in our sitting room, they may benefit from a set of ear plugs. You never know, it might help me to keep awake for an entire TV programme.

As I have shown previously, Dials lies at the foot of the exquisitely cobbled Quay Street in Lymington. Jackie drove me there this afternoon, but, it being Saturday, and market day, the car parks were full, so she had to park some distance away,

Lymington QuayThe QuayQuay Street 1

and I walked round The Quay and up the cobbled slope to the shop, which lies

Karina's

diagonally opposite Karina’s colourful miniature emporium.

The day was overcast and there had been some rain, but not on my promenade.

Clocks 2

Apart from the modern grandfather clock to the left of this browser,

Clocks 1Clocks 3

Dials is a treasure trove of attractive antiques,

Telescope and clocksTelescope, clocks, and visitors

including a centrally placed telescope.

Clock keys

No self respecting horologist would be without a box of intriguing keys.

Pub food in this country is streets ahead of that of my youth, which was either non existent or not much cop (the food, not my youth). Steak and ale pie is one of the staples. Good as this generally is, it cannot hold a candle to Jackie’s steak and mushroom pie in red wine that she served up this evening with roast potatoes and parsnips, cauliflower cheese, crisp carrots and Brussels sprouts, followed by Co-op laced profiteroles. I enjoyed making a start on Montemajone chianti classico 2011, given to me for Christmas by Helen and Bill.

Before And After: The Dead End Path

Becky’s August Birthday meal was twice postponed through illness, as was Ian’s earlier in October. Everyone was fit for Ian’s daughter Heather’s recent one. That is why we drove to Emsworth last night. As far as Becky was concerned, she was just going to Nicolino’s Italian restaurant across the road from their flat with Heather and her husband, Chris. She was open-mouthed when the other four arrived in the restaurant to see Jackie and me sitting there. We enjoyed a very pleasant evening with excellent food and service. My choice was minestrone soup followed by spaghetti Al Pescatore. I had no room for dessert. Valpolicella was my beverage.

 

Quay Street 25.7.15Stump 4Jackie 7.67 002 - Version 2Today was a very wet one. I began by making my final selection of three prints for The First Gallery Christmas exhibition. We need to take them to Paul for framing, and will do that in the next day or two to meet the submissions deadline.

 

These images have all appeared in previous posts. I have chosen them for variety. The first is of Quay Street, Lymington, this July. The walkers are Danni and Andy. The next, a stump, was from our garden on 24th January this year. Finally, we have a portrait of Jackie in July 1967, heavily cropped and converted to black and white

I continued with the production of the next sequence for the garden progress album. This is The Dead End Path.

Garden 7.5.14

 

This shot of the garden on 7th May 2014, shows why the path has its name. Behind the blue painted Butler sink is a low wall separating the path from the patio. In the bottom left hand corner, incidentally can be seen the start of a collection of rubbish from inside the house. This was destined for the dump.

Sinks in path

The above-mentioned sink had two companions on the path leading from the brick path behind it. We moved them on 17th May. I had to empty them before being able to move them at all. A couple of thyme plants therein now thrive on the patio.

Path to sinks

I managed to shift them as far as the low wall, but definitely needed the assistance of Jackie and a lever to lift them onto the wall.

Boundary and sinks

What on earth do you do with two hefty lumps of white stoneware covered in peeling blue paint? Disguise seemed the only option.

Garden

By 16th June, all three of the sinks were suitably clad, at least on the patio side. It is the Gazebo Path that trails away on the left hand side of the photograph.

View along dead end path

The new planting was established by 18th September 2015, but the Dead End Path side still exposes its peeling paint. The Compassion rose to the left has benefited from clearing out the undergrowth which had choked it.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb sausage casserole, mashed potato and swede, piquant cauliflower cheese, and boiled carrots, cabbage, and mange touts. She drank sparkling water, and i quaffed Castilo San Lorenzo rioja reserva 2010.

Then And Now

This morning Jackie drove me down to Milford on Sea to check out The Cave. We had intended to begin the evening there with Danni. Andy, and Elizabeth, before going on to Lal Quilla in Lymington. The wine bar was not taking bookings because they had a quick turnover and expected to be very full this evening because of a fete on the green opposite. What we decided about this will be revealed later.

I walked back by my usual route. Family on beachBoys on beach The beach was filling up with young families. Boys enjoyed what all boys do, throwing stones into the advancing waves. Down to the beachFrom the cliff topBeach scene with kayaksKayakers Others descended the steps, or, like me, stood on the clifftop watching those down below, including the two kayakers whose craft and blades glistening in the occasional rays of the sun. A number of readers of https://derrickjknight.com/2015/07/23/an-historic-view/ have requested an up to date picture of the house. I have taken one that replicates the original shot, and another which shows a later extension. Downton Post Office 1938

For ease of reference, here is the earlier postcard image.

Old Post House

The Post Office shop window now lights our entrance hall, wide enough to double as my study, in which I am sitting now. It is obscured by the crab apple tree in the left foreground. Also hidden is the alteration to the arched front entrance now forming, in part, a second window to our sitting room. The lower half is now an internal wall. What was then a gentle country lane is now the main thoroughfare between Christchurch and Lymington. Naturally the horse and cart has been replaced by a motor car. It would have been more difficult to take this photograph without a vehicle passing through than with several. Only one was not easy. Despite being a Post Office, the building didn’t have a telegraph pole outside in the early 1930s. The first of the two 1950s bungalows can just be glimpsed through the trees

Old Post House extension

The short pavement outside extends from our house to the corner of Downton Lane. There is nothing but a deep ditch on the other side, where I took my life in my hands to take these pictures. The earlier photographer could have set up his or her tripod in the middle of the dusty track. I wasn’t about to try that.

downton-the-cross-road-c1960_d197005_indexIn those early days there was a pronounced bend almost opposite the pub. On our side of the land once existed an old cottage which would have stood in the middle of what is the now straightened road.  The building must have been demolished, with its garden now lying under the tarmac. This tiny 1960 image is the best I can obtain from Frith’s Postcards site. The cottage is in the centre of the picture. Our house, in line with The Royal Oak, is the white speck to the right of it.

First Elizabeth, then Danni and Andy arrived on time for our evening out.. We decided that we would go to The Cave and have a look at the fete. Well, The Cave was filled to bursting and spilling out on the street, with hardly a yard for cars to drive between there and the green, on which it was standing room only, and not much of that. The fete turned out to be  a deafening music festival.Ship Inn

Lymington QuayWe fled to Lymington and began with a drink at Ship Inn opposite the quay. We then dined at Lal Quilla where we enjoyed the usual excellent meals, good service, and usual beverages.

Quay Street

As the night sky darkened to a deeper blue, shop windows glowed, and the street lamps replaced the sun, we walked back down the cobbled Quay Street and returned to our respective homes. Danni and Andy make this picture.