New Arrivals


Poppy and customers

This morning we all joined the other customers in the cafe. Poppy did actually eat most of what was on her plate.

An hour or so later, Jackie and I set off back home, reaching there early in the afternoon.

Aaron had moved a clump of ornamental grass further back in the Palm Bed,

Chair and candlestick

and removed rust from most of the furniture in the rose garden and painted it with Hammerite. Here we have a reclaimed armchair seated under the arch with a church candlestick behind it.

Pansy 1Pansies

Pansies are flourishing;

Snake's Head fritillaries

the Snake’s Head fritillaries proliferate;


our numerous heucheras now have flowers;

Cowslip, hellebore, violas

and cowslips,

Geraneum Phaeum

geranium Phaeums,Grape hyacinth

and grape hyacinths are new arrivals.

This evening we dined on a Chinese takeaway from Happy Days in Pennington, and, between us, finished the Broadwood’s Folly English white wine.

Back Onto The Cliff Top

The Beach House 1The Beach House 2 On an overcast morning Jackie drove us to New Forest Army & Navy Surplus store in New Milton to buy some weatherproof clothing for her projected sororal camping trip; thence to the bank; thence to Milford on Sea where she dropped me on the green. I rose to my feet and hobbled up Park Lane to The Beach House, through the adjacent shingled footpath to the sea, a short way along the tarmacked track leading back to the village, returning to the hotel where I caught the X1 bus to the bottom of Downton Lane, up which I walked home. Benches on green Opposite the village bus shelter lies an attractive grassed area containing shrubberies, a couple of benches, and a waste bin. Triangular-shaped, on one side it is abutted by houses; on another by a wall alongside a sometimes fast-flowing stream; and on the third by the pedestrian pavement. Forget-me-nots peering through the slats of the benches signified that no-one had sat there for a while.Forget-me-nots and £1 coin So intent was I on photographing the flowers, that I almost missed the miniature bas-relief of Queen Elizabeth II that someone had left there.Trees reflected in stream

Today the stream was so still that trees were reflected in it.

Maintenance work being undertaken in the Catholic church of St Francis of Assisi meant that, for my first time in passing, the front door was unlocked.St Francis of Assisi doorway

May blossom

May blossom now proliferates in the hedgerows;


and mushrooms and mallows alongside the path to the sea.

As I approached the Solent, with the backdrop of the Isle of Wight and The Needles, a group of ramblers strode along the new tarmac footpath recently repositioned and replacing its concrete predecessor which fell into sea last autumn.Ramblers 1

Ramblers 2 Footpath resitedKeep to the footpath Boulders The path now runs parallel to the site of the old one, further inland. It is possible to see the angular join, and to picture where the concrete fell. The area has been landscaped, and we are enjoined to keep to the footpath until the grass has grown. Huge granite boulders have reinforced the side of the cliff open to the wind and waves. The rubberised membrane placed under a fresh application of shingle overlaps the larger stones. Hooded crow 2 Hooded crow 1Lichen on stump On the other side jackdaws still pick their way amongst the grass, taking to the air when one comes too near, and attractive lichen enlivens a dead tree stump. My nagging knee insistently intimated that this hadn’t been a particularly splendid idea, but at least I had got back onto the cliff top. Fishcakes meal This evening we dined on haddock fish cakes with a cheddar cheese centre; fried potatoes; steamed cauliflower; and a tomato, mushroom, peppers, and onion coulis. You have to try the coulis. Her method is the nearest I can get to a recipe from Jackie. Here it is: Chop up peppers, mushrooms, garlic, and onions. Stir fry them until soft. Then add a tin of chopped tomatoes and simmer until done. The cook drank Hoegaarden, whilst the Lord of the Manor finished the Marques de Carano.

A City Gent

rue De La Mayade, Sigoules 1.13Today was beautiful.  Crisp.  Frosty.  And sunny. I began by wandering around the village roads then walking up the D17 towards Pomport. House off D17, Sigoules 1.13 The donkey, grazing with the goats, gave me a cursory glance and continued his meal.  He too must have grown accustomed to my presence. Birdfeeder 1.13A birdfeeder had been filled along the way.   Past the leisure centre on the way up towards Pomport I have often noticed a minor road descending the slope on the left.  This morning, ignoring the sign proclaiming ‘no entry except for access’, I decided to take it.  At worst I would have to retrace my steps.  Passing through trees on either side, after an almost right-angled bend a long, winding, calf-stretching climb past several tracks leading to houses eventually brought me  to a flat plain high above the fields below. Pomport from approach road 1.13 Up there were the inevitable vineyards and, fortunately, a junction at which a right turn led to Pomport.   I exchanged greetings with a jogger on this plateau, wondering whether he too would take an undulating route.  I certainly wouldn’t have fancied running down the hill I had just climbed.  I always found it easier to run up a steep slope than down it.

As I entered Pomport I encountered a large group of ramblers decanting from their cars and changing their outfits. Ramblers, Pomport 1.13 They had all the right gear: walking boots, sticks, and protective clothing.  They reminded me of Jessica togging up for one of her beloved Lakeland walks.  In those days, when I did accompany her, I dressed more like a city gent.  Although now I still sport a waistcoat and suit jacket when the weather requires more than a T-shirt and shorts, I do at least wear jeans and appropriate footwear.

Walking down the twisting and turning D17 back to Sigoules I felt the same sharp wind as yesterday.  Obviously it was behind me on the way up, for I hadn’t noticed it.

Upon my return I cooked a sausage casserole.  As it was made with ‘Rose de Sigoules’  (that’s rose as in the flower, not pink wine} 2009, I drank the rest of the bottle.  I used a glass with a yellow ball in the stem which had contained I can’t remember what produce from Carrefour.  Whatever it was Jackie and I didn’t buy any more of it, so we couldn’t complete the set.

Afterwards, a foursome of Fred, Laurence, Graham, and I watched Italy beat France at Rugby.