Bad Hair Day

This afternoon Jackie drove me to Eyeworth Pond and back to watch the birds.

Golden gorse glowed in the sunshine on Hinchelsea Moor and many others.

The deciduous trees, like this oak, are all filling with foliage.

Walkers along the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive

gave scale to the giant redwoods.

Mandarin ducks are not native to UK, but we now have a feral population which originates from escapees from collections. These two males brightened an otherwise dull Eyeworth Pond.

Birders tend to place nuts and other food on the posts of the gate to the woodland footpath. A moss-covered log has recently been added. The blue tits, a coal tit, a nuthatch, chaffinches and sparrows were extremely busy today swooping to pick up and dart off with nutriment for the babies in their nearby nests.

A pair of sparrows left a tardy chaffinch on the ground beneath the post upon which they filled their beaks, debating who should set off first. Although not up to his flying bird sequence the last of these pictures is a nod to Tootlepedal.

Alongside Cadnam Lane a couple of pigs have joined

the grazing ponies and recumbent cattle now fertilising the greens alongside Cadnam Lane

One pony demonstrated its ungainly rise from the ground;

a small Shetland was definitely having a bad hair day.

This evening we dined on succulent chicken Kiev; Lyonnaise potatoes with lashings of onions; red cabbage cooked with butter and red wine; and crunchy carrots and cauliflower. Jackie finished the Sauvignion Blanc, while I drank the last of the Carménere.

Woodpeckers

Elizabeth moved Mum into

Woodpeckers Residential Home early yesterday evening, so we paid our mother visit this afternoon. Notice the cattle grid at the entrance intended to deter hopeful ponies from obtaining treats from the residents.

Initial reactions are very good. The converted house is well appointed, and the staff caring and attentive, Mum appears relaxed and satisfied, although she does tear up the rather luxurious paper napkins into four smaller sections in the interests of economy. There were three this afternoon, for we were all given tea and cake. Jackie assisted with a pair of scissors.

As we left, Elizabeth was arriving to help sort some of Mum’s belongings.

A stream runs alongside the building and under the drive.

A fine display of crocuses glowed in the front garden.

The home is not far from open moorland where ponies roam

We returned home via Rhinefield Ornamental drive,

where the sun set the trees dancing.

This evening we dined on second helpings of yesterday’s excellent Forest Tandoori takeaway meal.

Garden, Ponies, Cattle, Ornamental Drive

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Late this morning I amused myself by poking my camera through the guest bedroom windows.

This afternoon Jackie and I shopped at Streets in Brockenhurst for a bag of coal, a spark guard, firelighters, gardening gloves, and a wheelbarrow. We continued on a drive into the forest.

 

On the moors along Rhinefield Road we spotted a mare suckling a foal. By the time I left the car and waited for a couple of cyclists to walk up the hill, the late lunch had been completed. The mother wandered off on her own, joining a few relatives. Her offspring gave chase. He then lay down for a rest. Off she went again. Up he rose and continued his pursuit.

 

When the ponies vacated this spot a longhorn cow advanced into it. She was joined by a black companion. These two drew closer together as the next member of the herd approached to commandeer its own pasturage.

Dappled sunlight slipped through the trees along Rhinefield Ornamental Drive reflected in streams running under the road.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid pasta arrabbiata with which she drank Hoegaarden and Elizabeth and I consumed more of the Pinot Noir.

 

Haven’t We Seen Them Before?

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This being a glorious Saturday in the tourist season, we ventured out early into the forest. Groups of walkers toting huge packs; a solitary jogger; and numerous cyclists were already on the road.

Jackie parked the Modus on a verge in the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive while I wandered among the giant redwoods and the cones underfoot.

A number of benches have been strategically placed, some partnered by marker posts bearing interesting carvings, perhaps from these majestic trees.

Our stopping point was prompted by my spotting a family group on a bench alongside a path. A couple with a dog walked past them and continued on their way. The youngest member of the group rose from her seat and photographed the others. She enjoyed a stretch, and they walked on with their dog.

Many other families could be glimpsed among the forest giants. One couple pushed a baby in a buggy; slightly older children and other dogs scampered along.

Two groups converged, and passed each other with no apparent acknowledgement. Just a moment. Haven’t we already seen the second group on the other side of the road?

On the outskirts of Brockenhurst on our way home, a group of pony trekkers crossing the road demonstrated that it is not just the free-ranging animals that hold up the traffic.

For me, this afternoon’s main viewing event was the Wimbledon women’s tennis final between Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams. Scheduling clashes and delay caused by last night’s epic men’s battles meant I could not watch the tennis on BBC One and the third place World Cup football play-off between England and Belgium on ITV. I settled for the continuation of the Djokovic/Nadal semi final into the fifth set, then the first half of the football, followed by the complete women’s final.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid pork paprika with vegetable rice. She had drunk her Hoegaarden and I had finished the Malbec in the Rose Garden beforehand.

 

“C’m’ere”

This morning Jackie drove me to the bank at Lymington to order more Antipodean currency. Since it was such a bright, crisp, day we continued on to the forest.

The moors on the approach to Brockenhurst were alive with strings of ponies basking, snoozing, ambling, grazing among the browned bracken and the now naked trees.

Ponies in landscape 4

 

 

We have an expression, ‘stir your stumps’, indicating ‘get your feet moving’. If you have ever seen one of these cumbersome creatures, forelegs first, dragging hind-quarters, heaving itself to its feet, you may understand what this involves.

Cigarette end and packet on verge

Maybe a cigarette smoker had stood watching this bucolic scene; maybe just lobbed the detritus from his or her car.

Whilst the occasional equine ambled towards me, most continued their silent dining, casting shadows, and collecting bracken clinging to their mud-caked hides.

Although one turned its sleepy head in my direction, donkeys dozing by the roadside on the outskirts of the village itself, seemed oblivious of the passing traffic.

From Brockenhurst we travelled to the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive.

Most of the trees there are giant redwoods or Sequoias planted many years ago.

Impressive as are these mighty evergreens,

at this time of the year their beauty lies far below their lofty summits, among the curling bracken, the fallen leaves, and their stark shadows.

All of a sudden, the peaceful silence of the forest was shattered by a distant raucous bark. I peered through the trees, seeking an uncouth canine. I then realised that the bark spelled out “C’m’ere”. I glimpsed a woman giving chase, but no dog. I do believe a profanity was uttered. Eventually a little white pooch was clutched, harnessed, and led off without a protest.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s praiseworthy lamb jalfrezi and perfect onion rice. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank Chonch y Toro Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2016.

Your Choice

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This morning, including material from ‘Oiling The Lion’, and from ‘The Hornby Train Set’, I continued writing ‘A Knight’s Tale’.

This afternoon, Jackie drove me to Lymington to visit the bank. This is now the nearest NatWest branch remaining open. My chauffeur parked outside and I joined a small queue. We spent quite some time listening to the lone cashier negotiating with a woman about whether or not she should withdraw £10 before Saturday. The problem was compounded by another woman having difficulty in operating the rapid deposit machine. Eventually it was my turn to be attended to. I needed to order some Australian dollars to send to Orlaith for her fifth birthday. This involved putting my bank card into a machine. It was then that I was informed that I was in Lloyd’s Bank and that NatWest was next door. I turned and entered the next building. All went smoothly after that.

We continued on to a forest drive.

Pony on heathPony 1Pony and shadow

At Brockenhurst, grazing ponies,

Ponies and cyclist on heath

leisurely cyclists,

Trees, walkers, pony

and eager walkers,

Walkers, dogs, pony

some with dogs, enjoyed the late afternoon sun

Autumn leaves

that lit the autumn leaves,

Sun streaks

and was a little lower by the time we reached Rhinefield Ornamental Drive, and stretched even longer shadows.

Ponies 2Ponies 3Pony 2

A group of ponies hovered on one verge, contemplating crossing to the other side.

Trees over stream

trees stretched over

Reflections in stream

streams that flowed under the road, and, like Narcissus, admired their reflections.

Forest scene 4Forest scene 5Forest scene 6Forest scene 7Forest scene 8

In photographing the forest scenes I occupied myself deciding whether to offer images in colour

TreesForest scene 2Forest scene

or to convert them to black and white.

Forest scene 3

For this image, colour,

Forest scene 3 Version 2

or black and white?  It is your choice.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious chilli con carne with peas and rice. I drank Arboresque Fronton 2016.

Beside The Breakwater

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This morning I pulled up a chair for Eric Gill, with whom I was soon to part company.

The Four Gospels 1The Four Gospels 7

When, four days ago, we visited All Saints’ Church at Bransgore, I knew that I would present the parish with my Folio Society facsimile copy of the Golden Cockerel Press edition of The Four Gospels, designed and illustrated by Eric Gill. The original was published in 1931. The Folio facsimile, from 2007, comes with a companion volume of essays by John Dreyfus and Robert Gibbings. The reason for the chair is that the work is too large to fit into my scanner, so I had to use a camera to record the book. Gold leaf is applied to the cover, the spine, and the edges of the pages.

The Four Gospels 4The Four Gospels 5The Four Gospels 6

A church that houses Gill’s original stone carvings is surely a suitable home for this book, containing his bold illustrations and superb lettering. Enlarging these illustrations will show the texture of the paper.

The Four Gospels 3

Each of the four evangelists is introduced by his own page.

The Four Gospels 8

All is contained in a strong box bearing the craftsman’s trademark elegantly simple calligraphy.

In order for me to present the book Jackie drove me to the home of Ingrid Tomkins who had shown us round the church. She explained that it would be kept in a safe place to which interested visitors would be given access.

Landscape 1Landscape 2

Afterwards, Jackie and I took a trip into the forest. We drove through the moors towards Burley. Ponies could be seen across the landscape, also bearing the embers of controlled burning of gorse;

Landscape 3

and beside the roads stretching into the distance.

Landscape 4

One cyclist preferred to push his bike up the hill.

Landscape 5

Most of these roads have a limit of 40 m.p.h., reducing to 30 on the approach to villages. Even at 30 m.p.h. collision with a pony could be fatal.

Forest Leisure Cycling

The tourist season is not yet over for Forest Leisure Cycling in Burley,

Sows 1

where a quintet of grunting, snorting, snuffling, scampering young Gloucester Old Spot sows informed us that this year’s pannage had begun. They scratched backs, flanks, and bums against the bollards and street sign as they fell over each to enter Burley Lawn.

Sows 2

Their elegant turns of leg belied their ungainly appearance as they raced to the next possible source of food

Sows 3

upon which, like seething maggots, they all seized at once.

Forest trees

 

We travelled along the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive

Bracken 1Bracken 2

where the bracken is browning

Needles of arboretum 1Needles of arboretum 2

and fallen needles carpeting their tree roots.

Drink can on grass

During the hundred or so metres along the forest verge I ventured, I counted upwards of a dozen discarded drink containers and other detritus;

Stream 1Stream 2

and lobbed into an otherwise picturesque stream

Special Brew cans 1Special Brew cans 2

were more than that number of Carling Special Brew cans.

From here we continued to Kitchen Makers at Sway where Ann took us through two different proposals, both of which look exciting, but one of which is probably ruled out by the shallowness of our drainage system. We are to consider these two options. I told Ann that we have very good reports of her firm from Geoff Le Pard, whose mother had used them twice. Ann had fond memories of Mrs. Le Pard.

We brunched at The Beach Hut Café at Friar’s Cliff. Readers may remember that on a recent visit I chose a meal described as pulled pork burger with chips and salad, and pointed out that this was not what I had been given. My observation was accepted and an undertaking to change what was written on the board was promised. The specials board now features a quarter pound burger topped with pulled pork. There is no mention of salad. I expressed my appreciation of this, which went down well.

Couple on beach beside breakwater

The sea was rather wilder today. There was just one couple on the beach, basking beside a breakwater.

It will come as no surprise that, after Beach Hut big breakfasts, pizza and salad sufficed for our evening meal.