The Caribbean Sea

Today was another rainswept blustery day, so I returned to my photographic archives and scanned a dozen slides from May 2004. This was the month in which Sam completed his Atlantic Row, which I have featured from time to time. During the few days waiting for him to arrive in Port St Charles, Barbados, and afterwards, I took the opportunity to roam the Island with my camera. There are many more in this set.

Jessica, Louisa, and I began our stay in an hotel some miles from the finishing point, but soon transferred to join Chris, Frances, and Fiona in one in the luxurious developing holiday playground.

This area presented a stark contrast to how the rest of the inhabitants of Barbados lived. Our hotel was surrounded by a compound patrolled by armed guards to keep out people like a coconut seller seated on the wall outside. His produce looked unappetising and he charged fairly optimistic prices.Coconut seller 5.04

Some distance away, a young woman, seated on a rugged outcrop gazing out to sea, was persuaded to rise to her feet.Young woman against spray  5.04 002Youn woman against spray 5.04 003Young woman against spray 5.04 001

map-barbados-360x270-cb1434489582Port St Charles (Speightstown on the map) lies on the Caribbean Sea to the north west of the Island. To the east storms the Atlantic ocean. The two bodies of water meet at the northern tip of the Island. Rowers need to navigate this point with precision. Too wide and the current would would carry them to Cuba, too near and they would be smashed on these rocks. The competitors rowed in pairs or solo. One of the pairs hit the rocks, and had to be rescued.

Caribbean Sea 5.04 002Caribbean Sea 5.04 005Caribbean 5.04 006Caribbean 5.04 009

These seascapes are of the more gentle Caribbean.

Much less inviting was the dark, violent, Atlantic that, on the last couple of days, swept my son so fast towards his final destination that he dropped his anchor to slow himself down in order to arrive in daylight. Not for him, Cuba or the rocks.

Late this afternoon the rain desisted and the sun put in a brief appearance.

Red hot pokers

The red hot pokers were not extinguished,

Day lilies

and raindrops glistened on day lilies,

Dahlia

dahlias,

Clematis Duchess of Albany

the clematis Duchess of Albany,

Gladiolus Priscilla

Priscilla, the gladiolus,

Rose Absolutely Fabulous

the Absolutely Fabulous rose,

and any others you care to imagine.

This evening we dined on a rack of pork ribs in barbecue sauce, and Jackie’s chicken in black bean sauce, stir fry vegetable noodles, and rice noodles, followed by rice pudding. I drank more of the cabernet sauvignon, and Jackie abstained.

Up Close And Personal

On a largely overcast and humid morning I took an amble down to Roger’s footpath and back.

Parsley and fennel

Parsley and fennel are now flowering in the bed opposite the kitchen window.

Nicotiana

White nicotiana spreads its scent across the patio.

Rose Absolutely Fabulous

The Absolutely Fabulous rose now bears numerous fresh flowers.

Violas

Violas suspended from the entrance arch to the back drive soak up the sun’s fleeting rays.

Owl and petunias

I found that a snowy owl has been sneaked in.

Convolvulus

Small, ground-hugging, convolvulus now straggles the verges of Downton Lane.

For the purposes of rearranging the furniture I was permitted to enter the shed this morning. If truth be told, I was probably more hindrance than help, although the Head Gardener was too kind to say so. I was taken back, however, to my very early childhood when, asking my mother if I could help with the housework, I would receive the response: ‘Yes. Sit on a chair and keep out of my way’.

We now have a reasonably tame thrush. Whether this is the result of imprinting during its fearless infancy, or because, when she discovers a nest of snails or slugs she lays them out on the path for the grateful bird, is not clear.

Thrush

However, once our little friend has had its fill, it will often stand, looking hopeful, awaiting a further feed.

On TV, I watched the first, thrilling, women’s Wimbledon semi-final, in which Garbine Muguruza defeated Agnieszka Radwanska 2-1. Afterwards, Jackie drove us to Pocock’s Rose Centre in Romsey, where we bought six more scented roses. These were the white climber, Madame Alfred Carrière, shrubs purple Roseraie de l’Haye, and white Jacqueline du Pré. Two in bloom were:

Rose Creme de la Creme

pale yellow Creme de la Creme

Rose Chris Beardshaw

and delicately muted pink Chris Beardshaw.

Along Romsey Road at Copythorne stands the only building to have been granted the honour of membership of the P.G. Wodehouse Society. This is the Empress of Blandings public house named after the great comic author’s porcine character.

Empress of Blandings pub signEmpress of Blandings mural

It seemed only right and proper to photograph the pub sign and the mural quotation for Ashokbhatia, an erudite and amusing blogger who is a great Wodehouse fan. His writing on the master’s oeuvre alone are insightful and enlightening. And he has more to say besides.

We chose a different route home, and dawdled through the forest around Bolderwood. There the late afternoon sun filtered through the trees, dappling some scenes and throwing the spotlight on others.

Woodland 4Woodland 6Woodland 7

Woodland 5Woodland 8PoniesPonies up closeNew Forest ponies are not known for speed. In fact they often hardly move at all, preferring to stand and sleep or graze. When half a dozen of them rushed towards me at a trot, I was a little perturbed, and retreated to the car. So near came these creatures that I didn’t have room to open the door. This was a bit close and personal for my liking. Eventually they got the message that I wasn’t going to feed them, and cantered off along the road to find someone else to molest.

Hordle Chinese Takeaway provided our evening meal, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden Belgian beer, and I drank English Master Brewers IPA

‘Is it 25 grams?’

Jackie drove me to and from New Milton to meet Alison who came for a short visit. On the way to the station we made a couple of stops intended to be brief.

The first went according to plan, except that the cleaners had been unable to remove barbecue sauce from my white linen jacket. I asked what would happen if I tried Vanish on it. I was told it would be ruined. When we got home, Jackie wasn’t having that, and applied a good dose of Vanish. The success or failure will become evident when the jacket has dried out. Who cares? It was not much use without this last chance, and, you never know, it may have an enhancing marbled effect as water rings make their way across the fabric.

The visit to Tesco for just six bottles of sparking water took a little longer. Jackie waited in the car, whilst I grabbed the bottles. I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw a checkout with nothing on the conveyor belt. I made a dash for it. I had noticed an elderly woman sorting out paperwork which turned out to be discount vouchers. In my haste, I had not observed that she was standing in front of a fully laden trolley. Too late, I realised that she was in fact the queue. A splendid, stout, walking stick lay across her intended purchases. Slowly, wincing at every stretch, she began to unload. Eventually, I took pity on her and filled the belt. I then walked past her to the empty trolley, and placed her purchases therein, as they were checked off and placed in bags. When this was over, I thought I was done. Not so. Her discounts needed to be taken off her bill. The, very pleasant, woman on the checkout, balked at one of them. ‘Is it 25 grams?’, She asked. I had no idea what this meant, neither had my friend, the shopper. However, when the assistant caught my eye, clearly wondering how to deal with this, I said ‘Yes’. She smiled, fiddled with the computer keys, thus suggesting that ‘it’ hadn’t really been 25 grams, and accepted the voucher.

All was well. We were still in good time for Alison.

This afternoon, whilst I dead-headed more roses, Jackie drove to Everton Nurseries to return a faulty arch. It will come as no surprise to regular readers that she returned with further plants for the rose garden. We then plonked them, still in their pots, into position. They included the fragrant roses

Rose - Absolutely FabulousJPG

the aptly named ‘Absolutely Fabulous’;

Rose Schoolgirl

the climbing ‘Schoolgirl;

Rose - Kent

‘Kent’, a carpet rose for ground cover;

Rose - Winchester Cathedral label

and Winchester Cathedral.

Dahlia - Bishop of Leicester

In deference to my birthplace, also included was the dahlia ‘Bishop of Leicester’.

A white climbing hydrangea has been placed in the shady corner beside the orange shed.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s delectable fish and chips, gherkins, and pickled onions. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I finished the cabernet sauvignon.