King Henry VIII’s Favourite Warship


This morning Jackie drove me to New Milton for a visit to the bank, and back to Milford on Sea where we voted in the general election.

Three days of strong winds had wrought their usual havoc on the garden. After lunch we tied up and dead-headed roses; gathered broken branches and taller plants; and generally tidied up. The big beast has also returned, so Jackie blocked up the newest hole under the fence. All this came to a halt when heavy rain drove us inside.

I then worked on representing the tour of the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard that was our last family adventure before Sam, Holly, Malachi, and Orlaith set off for France.

H.M.S. Warrior 1H.M.S. Warrior 2H.M.S. Warrior 3

On the approach to the waterfront, H.M.S. Warrior comes into view. This vessel is a mere youngster compared with our main target of the afternoon.

Nelson Figurehead

We were advised that we would have insufficient time to view the two main attractions. Despite the figurehead of Lord Nelson from H.M.S. Trafalgar (1841) watching over

H.M.S Victory 1H.M.S. Victory 2H.M.S. Victory 3

H.M.S. Victory, the latter vessel was the one we decided to forego.

Sam, Holly, Jackie, Malachi and Orlaith at H.M.S. Victory 2Sam, Holly, Jackie, Malachi and Orlaith at H.M.S. Victory

We did, however, marvel at what we could see without going on board. Orlaith, sporting her new red plaster cast, perches on Sam’s shoulders, while Malachi, Holly, and Jackie stand beside them.

On 19th July 1545, 465 crew members from a complement of 500 drowned in The Solent. They were on board the Mary Rose which, after 34 years of active service, and just having fought off the French invasion fleet, sank with frightening rapidity and with no apparent cause. After years of searching, the wreck was discovered in 1971 and finally raised in 1982. Not until 2016 was the careful preservation work completed.

The museum we visited, by keeping the lighting low, discouraging flash photography, and with carefully controlled air conditioning, provides us with a wonderful experience of what life was like on board. One of the attendants told me that, on the upper levels, at that very moment engineers were working to revive the air conditioning that had developed a fault. I imagine the little modern gadgets visible in some of the cabinets must be monitors of some kind.

Mary Rose model

Suspended on the upper level hangs a model of the ship with an invitation to visitors to draw it. Almost everything else has been brought to the surface from the silt of The Solent.

Deck skeleton 1Deck skeleton 5Deck skeleton 6Deck skeleton 4Deck skeleton 3Deck skeleton 2

What has been revealed of the original vessel is essentially a cross-section preserved by the mud and silt as it lay on its side. There are nine viewing galleries from which visitors may gaze upon skeletal decks first assembled almost 500 years ago. The first of these deck pictures shows scenes of sailors screened on the boards; in the background of the last are visitors looking down from various other levels.

King Henry VIII waxwork

We are greeted at the entrance by a very lifelike waxwork of the monarch himself.

Mary Rose emblem

The first exhibit is a wooden emblem of a Tudor rose, still decipherable after half a millennium beneath the sea.

Cannon 1Cannon and cannonballs

A number of cannons and cannon balls are displayed as if piercing the decks to fire on the enemy.

Surgeon's equipment 1

A number of cabinets are dedicated to the barber surgeon, that essential crew member. We see his cabin furnishings,

Surgeon's equipment 3Surgeon's equipment 4

and various items of equipment.

Bricks etc

Bricks and a galvanised bath lie in a heap.

Dog skeleton and backgammon set

The skeleton of a dog and a backgammon board give a good touch of ordinary life.

Archer waxwork

Another waxwork is of an archer

Archer's outfit

remains of whose outfit lie in one cabinet,


and whose bows


and arrows appear in others.

Pulling a bow

This sturdy-looking gentleman trying out his pulling power blanched a bit when I asked him to repeat the effort for the camera. His arms were aching from his first two attempts.

Pikes and bills

Other weapons are the pikes and bills used to repel boarders.


A brick fireplace

Barrel etcBarrels etcBarrels etc 2Chopping block etcCook's belongingsBasket

Dishes etc 2

Dishes etc 1

Shoes etc

was essential for the cook whose barrels, jugs, dishes, and other utensils were near at hand.

Rigging 1Rigging 2

Many items of rigging were recovered,

Crow's nest

as was the crow’s nest.

This is unlikely to be our only visit.

This evening, back in the 21st century, Jackie and I finished off the last of the Chinese takeaway meal.



Now You See It, Now You Don’t


Today was warmer and just one uniform shade of grey. This morning we travelled by car to New Milton where I visited the dry cleaners, the post office, and the bank. I collected cleaning, mailed a parcel and some letters, and paid a bill. All rather mundane really.

Jackie drove us on to Mudeford Quay where I went for a wander.

Bench and gulls

On the sheltered side of the quay, not even the gulls occupied the benches.

Crow in flight

A crow took off on my approach.

Boats and Haven House Inn

I imagine most people were patronising the Haven House Inn, beyond the Sailing Club masts


on the top of one of which perched a gull,

the solitary audience of the jingle jangling rigging orchestral performance.

Most such scavengers harassed those drivers and their passengers taking a break in the car park.

I wonder if anyone has any ideas about what the woman on the spit was seeking. Stones? Shells?

Waves and beach huts

She, of course ventured on the rougher, seaward, side of the harbour, where the waves roared, and no-one emerged from the beach huts.

Waves and buoy 1

A bright orange buoy bobbed on the surface.

Now you see it, now you don’t.

This evening we dined on lemon chicken with perfect carrots, cauliflower, greens, and boiled potatoes, followed by profiteroles. I drank Château Plessis grand vin de Bordeaux 2014.

A Rapid Change Of Light.


Robin juvenile

Early this morning we had an avian visitor, in the form of a juvenile robin looking wistfully through the kitchen window, during intervals between frantic flapping. Jackie lifted it up and set it free, but didn’t wait for me to get in another shot.

Unbeknown to us, when we visited Lymington Quay a little later, we just missed Frances and her friends Dave and Kay who also spent some time there.

Young man on Mavis Robinson's memorial bench

Initially oblivious of the hydraulic load-lift behind him, a young man dozed on a bench

Ship Inn

against the backdrop of the Ship Inn,

Ship Inn rooftop

with its lichen painted roof.

The Boat House Café

Tourists gathered around The Boat House Café,

Waiting for a cruise

 waited for the cruises to begin,

Train and boats

or travelled on the ferry port train.

Boat detail 1


while more regular visitors prepared the rigging of their boats,


and a pair of kayakers set off between moored hulls.

As the quayside filled up and the hot sun rose in the sky, we set off for the cooler, less crowded, forest.

Boxer Dog

At East Boldre an imperious boxer dog occupied his own personal observation platform. (See comments from arlingwoman and 10000hoursleft below. The dog is an Old English Mastiff)


Cyclists enjoyed their track around the Ladycross Estate near Brockenhurst


where dappled sunlight played on the woodland trees,

Log rising from bog

and Jackie saw a dinosaur emerging from a dried up bog.

Ponies 1

In this weather, ponies tend to shelter under trees, utilising their fly whisks.

Ponies 2

It seems they have learned that those in white clothing need less shade.

Even before we arrived home, we could see mist rolling in from the sea. I didn’t need to suggest we went and had a look at it. My Driver just turned away from the house and made straight for the coast, where

Sea mist with invisible Isle of Wight

the Isle of Wight was invisible,

Beach scene in mist 1Beach scene in mist

and a light pall lay over those on the beach.

This afternoon we received a delightful surprise when the three people we hadn’t known had been at the quay arrived for a visit. We spent an enjoyable few hours together, naturally involving highly satisfying admiration of the garden.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid chicken jalfrezi and savoury rice.

Not a bad day, really.

P.S. Barrie Haynes put the following additional information about the lifting device on my Facebook page:  ‘As an amendment to that, the heavy duty ones (as in this case) do use oil when going down. It is released through a small orifice, thus making the tail lift go down slowly and safely with a heavy load and taking the stain of up to a couple of tons off the operating mechanism. So you were right after all Derrick it’s Mechanical (two big chains) Electrical (separate battery on lorry) and Hydraulic (for safety). For anybody reading this, never use a tail lift on a hired vehicle unless you are happy you know exactly how to do it. They can remove fingers!’

Eyes Peeled

MothAs I attempted, last night, to photograph an interesting moth in the Print Room, the creature flew off. This afternoon, Becky produced this image. When I confessed my failure, a certain amount of hilarity ensued. There is, you see, a family myth that whenever I attempt to photograph anything possessing wings, it disappears.

Once more the rain hammered down all day. I retreated to my slide files and scanned more of those from the May 2004 Barbados trip.

There was great excitement when the day of Sam’s arrival dawned. Jessica, Louisa, Chris, Frances, Fiona, and I boarded the splendid yacht belonging to Stein and Diana. After 59 days alone at sea, our son was coming in ahead of the field. all he had to do was hug the northern tip of Barbados, not too tightly, so he neither crashed on the rocks, nor sped out to Cuba on the prevailing current. Not as simple as it sounds.

Jessica and Louisa 1Jessica and Louisa 4.04 002Jessica and Diana 4.04


As we reached the open waters of the Caribbean Sea, Jessica, Louisa, and Diana dived overboard for an invigorating swim. Although bright blue and bracing, I am told the water was somewhat colder than it looked.

Stein in rigging 1

Stein in rigging 2

Soon, Stein scaled his rigging and took up the role of advance scout, as he scanned the horizon for the small red speck that would be Sam’s boat, Pacific Pete.

Suddenly a sighting was announced, and, eyes peeled, we all peered into the distance. This, as it emerged, is what we saw. Sam is in each picture. Getting nearer all the time.

Sam first sighting 1

Sam first sighting 3Sam first sighting 4Sam first sighting 4.04 005
Sam first sighting 6

Could the heightened emotions on our boat possibly have matched those of our son?

Sam arriving 1

Sam arriving 2Sam arriving 3Sam arriving 4

As he approached, only the long camera lens could discern details which escaped the naked eye.

Sam arriving 5

Eventually, as Sam reached the island, alongside which he had more rowing to do to arrive at the quay at Port St Charles, we could greet each other across the waves.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips, mushy peas, pickled onions, and gherkins. Becky and I finished the white Cotes du Rhone, Ian drank San miguel, and Jackie drank Hoegaarden.