Britain’s Most Expensive Beach Hut

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The wind kept up this morning, but the rain did not return until this afternoon. The light changed by the minute.

Trellis and flowers

As the sunshine came and went, I had to be patient to take this photograph of the front garden trellis which held solanum, roses, rose hips, petunias, lobelia, nasturtiums, and cotoneaster. Only the clematis and honeysuckle have faded from sight.

Bench and dogs

We took a trip to Highcliffe beach. A pair of dogs romped along the clifftop,

Caution Falling Cliffs

where the sign warning of crumbling cliffs will probably need to be moved further inland.

Rainbow 1

When checking on the parking fees, Jackie was greeted by a fairly faint rainbow.

Feeding gulls 1Feeding gulls 2

A building worker shared his breakfast with the grateful gulls, and

Feeding gulls with rainbow 1

the rainbow shifted in his direction.

Pool rippling

Pools rippled in the car park, against which

Seascape with Isle of Wight and Needles

the Isle of Wight and The Needles were virtually misted from sight.

Watching the sea

One young man stood and watched the

Seascape 1

choppy seas

Clouds and sea 1Cloudscape 2

and cloudy skies.

Walkers and dogs 1

I only needed to turn my head inland to look down on walkers bathed in woodland sunshine;

Coastline 1

and twist again for a view of the light on the coastline to my left

Coastline, dog, carrying surfboard

and the sight of a dog that probably didn’t belong to the surfboard carrier.

Shrubs on clifftop

Leaving the scrub behind me,

Steps down to beachSteps down to beach 2

Down steps

Walkers in silhouette, shore

and slopes I descended

Sea shoreWalkers in silhouette, shore

to the shore.

Jogger and dog walker 1Jogger and dog walker 2

On the way down I watched a jogger and dog-walker pass each other.

Walkers, dog, shore

The woman with the dog went on to cross paths with a couple on a lower level,

Jogger, walkers, Ligeguard hut

and a young lady gradually overhauled another pair, as they passed the Lifeguards’ hut.

Seascape and breakwaterSpray on breakwater 2

Waves sprayed the breakwaters, and, unhindered,

Seascape 2Seascape 2aSeascape 3Seascape 4Seascape 5Seascape 6Seascape 7

rolled onto the shingle, now at my feet.

Christchurch Bay, Mudeford Sandbank, Hengistbury Head

Across to my right was a clear view of Mudeford Spit and Sandbank leading to Hengistbury Head. The beach huts visible in this photograph cost as much as £275,000. That’s right. £275,000.

According to metro.co.uk this one went on the market in July this year for £280,000. The article informs us that:

‘For £280,000 you could buy a four-bedroom detached house in Huddersfield or two three-bed cottages with an acre of land in the village of Maerdy, South Wales.

The sandbank can only be accessed by a 20 minute walk, a ride on a novelty land train or by ferry but its isolated position is what gives it its exclusivity and value.

Beach hut owners have to share communal bathroom facilities and can only sleep in the huts between March and October, but can visit any time of year.

Britain’s most expensive beach hut goes on sale for a mere £280,000
Worth a quarter of a million? BNPS

Hut 78 is in a handy location close to the ferry jetty and the communal facilities.

It looks out Christchurch Harbour where the new owners will be able to enjoy stunning sunsets.

The timber home measures 16ft 7in by 10ft 2in and comfortably sleeps four, with a double bed in a mezzanine level.

Solar panels on the roof power the fridge and lights, the cooker runs on bottled gas and there is a water tank that feeds into the kitchen sink.’

Walkers

As I climbed back up to the car park, another couple of walkers greeted me and continued along their path.

I rejoined Jackie who drove us on to Barton on Sea. From there we were called back home in a hurry. We had been told by our mortgage lender to expect a call this morning from a surveyor coming to value the house. His call would be to arrange a viewing. He did call me. He was outside our house. He had been given a time to be there. We hadn’t.

I guided the gentleman round the house and garden. We then returned to New Milton for some shopping and banking, and brunched at Wendy’s excellent café. Then the rain came.

For dinner this evening Jackie produced a tasty fish pie, mashed potato, carrot and swede mash, and sautéed leeks, peppers, and green beans. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Fleurie.

Streets Of London With Diversions

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Rain on French windows 1Rain on French windows 2

Torrential rain and gale-force winds were again the order of the day. Soon after noon, the French windows onto the patio

Rain on kitchen window

and the view from the kitchen were like this.

Naturally I took a trip back to my photographic archives from October 2004. The colour slides were primarily the next batch of the Streets of London series.

Culworth Street NW8 10.04

The 2011 census informs us that there are 175 purpose built flats in Culworth Street NW8 which runs into Prince Albert Road and is therefore a stone’s throw from Regent’s Park. A fair number of them must be in this block.

Lodge Road NW8 10.04

Lodge Road NW8 lies parallel to St John’s Wood Road which houses Lord’s Cricket ground, the world famous test venue and headquarters of Middlesex County Cricket Club. Across the Lord’s roundabout, stands St John’s Wood Church, of which Wikipedia tells us

‘St John’s Wood Church started life as a chapel of ease to St Marylebone Parish Church, and was constructed in 1814 by Thomas Hardwick, who was simultaneously constructing the current St Marylebone Church.[2] Although the church originally had extensive burial grounds, these were closed in 1855 and opened as a public garden, St. John’s Wood Church Grounds, in 1886.[3] In 1898 the building became a chapel of ease to Christ Church on Cosway Street, and increasingly became the centre of administration for the parish.[4]

After bomb damage during the Second World War rendered St Stephen’s, Avenue Road unusable, St John’s Wood Church became a parish church in its own right in 1952.[5] As well as holding regular services for the community, the church has hosted the wedding of Peggy Cripps to Joe Appiah in June 1953,[6] the blessing of the marriage of Paul and Linda McCartney in 1969,[7] and the funeral of Ursula Vaughan Williams in 2007.[8]

A Church Hall complex was constructed in the 1970s, the completion of which was marked with the erection of a statue of the church’s patron, John the Baptist, by Hans Feibusch.[9] Restoration of the church interior took place in 1991 under the supervision of Michael Reardon, when the chancel pavement was relaid in limestone and the present central altar replaced the high altar at the east end of the church.

Ivor Place NW8 10.04

Canon Reverend Francis Holland, an Anglican clergyman, who was keen to advance and extend the provision of single-sex education for girls established his eponymous Trust in 1881. The Francis Holland school in Ivor Place NW1 is one of two managed by the trust. Ivor Place runs from Park Road to

Boston Place NW1 10.04

Boston Place NW1, lying alongside the platforms of Marylebone Station.

Greenland Road NW1 10.04

From St John’s Wood and Marylebone I walked on to Camden Town through Greenland Road

Georgiana Street NW1 10.04

and Georgiana Street NW1.

Rembrandt Gardens 10.04 1

These family groups were, on this day, the first of my diversions from the theme of including street names in the images. The bench offers a view of the Little Venice canal basin, on the other side of which stand the erstwhile Council blocks of Warwick Crescent which were largely sold off to tenants in the ’80s and ’90s, and on further to others during the next decades.

Woman and child on bench 10.04 1Woman and child on bench 10.04 2

Narrow boats travelling along the canal surface at a maximum speed of four miles an hour glide past the park. I forget the name of the man who lovingly tended these gardens for 25 years. Upon his retirement he was replaced by sessional, irregular, maintenance staff seconded from other Council gardens.

Rainbow over Paddington Basin 10.04 1Rainbow over Paddington basin 10.04 2

The other diversion that attracted my camera lens was a double rainbow over the Paddington Basin development. The wrapping on the buildings in progress reflected the colours of the meteorological phenomenon.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s sumptuous sausage casserole, crunchy carrots, crisp cauliflower, and boiled potatoes. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden, and I drank Parra Alta malbec 2016.

 

 

Ever-Changing Skies

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Our friend Geoff Le Pard had asked, in his comment on yesterday’s post, whether the field at Longslade Bottom had flooded as it had in his youth.

South Sway Lane

Jackie therefore, via South Sway Lane, drove us out to investigate.

The area, well mowed by resident ponies, simply hosted a few paltry  pools. It was frequented by dog walkers, rooks, and the occasional gull.

Trees and figures were silhouetted against the sky.

Gravelled slopes led up, either side of the old railway bridge, to the line that is now a footpath.

Footpath

Another path led under the bridge.

Autumn leaves

Autumn leaves still clung to the shrubbery.

On our way home the skies various shades of bright blue and indigo were constantly changing; the virtual black and white over Horseshoe Bottom giving way to a rainbow crossing telephone wires above Brockenhurst,

Skyscape over Hatchet Pond

and golden tinges over Hatchet Pond.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s perfect paprika pork with wild rice and green beans. The Culinary Queen drank sparkling water, and I finished the Arbois.

Caught In The Rain

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Forest road

Landscape with bracken and dead tree

This morning we took a drive into the forest.

It was not long before the first of the day’s many  showers set the burnished bracken sparkling.

Landscape with partial rainbowLandscape with partial rainbow

We were even treated to a partial rainbow forcing its way through the indigo clouds.

House in valley

Deep in the valley a string of walkers passed a solitary house,

Smoke in the distance

while far off, optimistic smoke curled upwards to merge into the ether.

A grazing pony fixed me with a quizzical stare, then continued with the business in hand,

until, sensing the precipitation that was about to send me back to the car, it wandered off and crossed a path to take shelter under a tree.

Walkers on moor

It was then that I heard voices floating across the bracken.

Walkers on moor

They belonged to another group of walkers upon whom the rainbow had cast all the colours of the spectrum.

The rain really hammered on the car as we drove back though the forest passing walkers and cyclists also caught in it.

This evening we dined on roast lamb, potatoes and parsnip; crunchy carrots, cabbage and runner beans; divine gravy, and mint sauce; followed by bread and butter pudding souffle. I drank Almocreve Alentejano reserva 2014.

 

 

Around The Island

On yet another rain-slashed August day, I spared a thought for those holidaymakers who had come to the forest and the seaside for their long-awaited summer break. The last ten days hasn’t bothered me, because my chest infection has kept me indoors anyway, but they can’t have had much fun.

Needless to say this was another day for scanning colour slides, this time from Barbados in May 2004. If nothing else they remind me of sunshine. This set of photographs was made a day or two before Sam was expected to reach the island, having rowed The Atlantic solo from the Canaries.

Unknown plant 5.04

Both Jackie and I think we ought to recognise this plant, but we don’t. Fortunately Mary Tang has identified it as frangipani.

Bougainevillea 5.04

Bougainvillea brightens every landscape.

Sunset 5.04 1Sunset 5.04 2Sunset 5.04 3

A golden sunset is almost a cliche. Not in Port St Charles.

Jessica, Louisa & friend 5.04

Jessica watches as Louisa shows her photographs to another member of the waiting group.

Sunbury bird 5.04

Birds like the Yellow breasted Sunbury,

Barbados bullfinch 5.04

and the Barbados Bullfinch, the only indigenous species, which is found nowhere else, take advantage of nature’s camouflage,

Barbados Land crab 5.04

as does the land crab.

Grackle 5.04 002

The grackle

Sanderling 5.04

and the sanderling don’t seem to need it.

Coconut cutting 5.04

This gentleman demonstrates the method of releasing milk from a coconut.

Caribbean Sea

Just before the expected arrival time even the previously bright blue Caribbean Sea darkened,

Rainbow 5.04

and a rainbow arced over Port St Charles.

I was regularly in touch with Radio Nottingham to deliver live updates from my mobile phone. That night, I opened our balcony doors so that listeners could hear the deafening waves crashing in from the Atlantic.

This evening we dined on barbecue pork ribs, savoury rice, and green beans. Jam tart and custard was to follow. Ian drank Heritage de Calvet cotes du Rhone 2014; Becky drank lime cordial; Jackie, sparkling water; and I, another glass of the pinot noir.

‘Painting With Light’

With extensive cloud cover and intermittent rain this morning was considerably warmer than yesterday, but Skyscape with rainbowIsle of Wight and The Needlesfar less inviting for my Hordle Cliff top walk. Nevertheless a rainbow did attempt to put in an appearance, as did a watery sun over The Solent, which sent ochre coloured waves crashing against the blending shingle on the beach.

GaragesWhoever broke into the garages of the empty Royal Oak pub was bound to have been disappointed, for there was nothing they wanted inside. The deciduous trees on Downton Lane Downton LaneBranchesBarbed wirehave mostly lost their foliage, but the evergreen pines have retained theirs.

Balloon in streamReindeerIn an attempt to cheer up the day an inflated memento from a Macdonald’s Happy Meal bobbed in the stream, and a festive reindeer has arrived in Shorefield Country Park.

The skies had brightened considerably by midday when Aaron Parris of A.P. Maintenance came with a colleague and cleaned out our guttering. I engaged him to complete my work on the back drive, and to level the former kitchen garden.

By 2 p.m. the winter sun was strongly in evidence and the temperature several degrees colder. I took a short stroll down the lane with the object of reprising some of the morning’s shots. These are the results:Downton Lane 2Branches 2Barbed wire 2Balloon on stream 2Reindeer 2Landscape
By 3 p.m. it wasn’t far off sunset.Branches 3Skyscape 1Skyscape 2

Chris Weston, on his training course, described photography as ‘painting with light’. Perhaps these images, all unenhanced, and taken at different times on the same typically English day, illustrate what he meant.

The chauffeur was feeling a little under the weather, so unfortunately we were unable to attend Margery and Paul’s annual Christmas singing party, but trust the usual good time was enjoyed by all.

Since the chef was also feeling a little frail, we dined out at the Rivaaz, where I enjoyed lamb nagin and special fried rice, with a few titbits donated by Jackie from her choice of the buffet meal. We both drank Kingfisher.

The Water Spire

This morning I walked along Hordle Lane, turning left into Stopples Lane. I had hoped to walk across the fields and woods to Peter’s Farm, but could not find my way through. In the spring, I must have traversed a gap in the hedge which is now overgrown. Today, I followed the fenced off wood until I reached the houses, then retraced my steps.

Water spireBurst valveJust before the paddock I heard, then saw, a spire of water, casting a rainbow, shooting straight up into the tree above. Upon investigation, during which I was liberally sprinkled, I noticed that a valve had, perhaps deliberately, become disconnected. Yeatton cottageI knocked at the door of Yeatton Cottage and alerted a resident who undertook to contact the water board. This young woman told me that the large horses did not belong to her and her husband, Horse camouflagedalthough the field and a Shetland pony did. One of the horses, sheltering under an oak, was well camouflaged.

I twice met a jogger, and gave her a running tip, for which she was grateful.

Food to go debrisKFC boxThe verges on both sides of Hordle Lane are littered with debris from food to go. Why, I often wonder, do people come to such a beautiful spot and chuck their rubbish out of their car windows?

Impatiens in forestTree sectionImpatiens grew in the wood. Perhaps someone had dumped their garden refuse into this area, with a much more pleasing result. A natural insect hotel created by the section of a dead tree was open for guests.

Concrete slabSoon after this I began the last push in preparing the rose garden. This involved the two of us transplanting a straggly rosemary bush and a cluster of crocosmia. Digging over the soil is likely to take some considerable time. The small area I worked on today, especially that which had been covered by paving for so many years, had the consistency of iron, and contained copious amounts of couch grass and its sinuous trailing roots. I unearthed another slab of concrete and a few more bricks. Just as I was thinking that I would probably find more before the job was done, I discovered another row of the concrete embedded on its side. Having been unable to shift even the first slab, in the absence of my  Jack Russell substitute, and as Jackie was calling me in to share a six-egg omelette, stuffed with onions and mushrooms, for a late lunch, I decided to call it a day. She said there was no rush to complete this task which could be done ‘at [my] leisure – if that’s the right word to use’.

This afternoon we were visited by Sam, The Lady Plumber, who came to look at the work needed on our guest bathroom before Louisa, Errol, Jessica, and Imogen come for the weekend. Sam(antha) was friendly, quick, and efficient. Maybe she could have fixed this morning’s valve. She will do our work on Thursday.

This evening I lit and tended a bonfire. Many more will be required before the produce of four months of sawing, pruning and clipping has been burnt.

Jackie’s luscious chicken curry and savoury rice was what we enjoyed for dinner. It was followed by lemon and lime merangue pie and evap in her case, and lemon drizzle cake and custard in mine. I finished the chianti, and she drank some Hoegaarden.