Double Yellow Lines

Steady, light, rain seeped from slate skies throughout the day.

This morning Jackie worked in the greenhouse while I ironed, read, and photographed raindrops on

our unidentified peach rose,

wallflower Sugar Rush Purple,

and a tiny primula.

This afternoon Jackie drove us to Keyhaven.

You may be forgiven for thinking that this is a picture of yachts moored in the harbour. In fact it is a photograph of Hurst Castle in the mist beyond them.

Here are a few more boats and buoys;

a silhouetted walker rounding the sea wall;

and some mizzled (it’s a Cornish word, WP) landscapes.

Saltgrass Lane is normally closed when flooded. Today ducks swam on the waterlogged flats;

a murky gull flew overhead;

another hazy walker could be glimpsed on the spit; and other waterfowl extended their search onto the shallow spate.

Intrepid turnstones contemplated shifting these boundary boulders,

and investigated the possibility of lifting the saturated tarmac.

A solitary swan swam along the cambered verge,

occasionally pausing to slake its thirst.

Note the double yellow lines indicating that parking in this road is forbidden at all times. Swans have diplomatic immunity.

This evening we dined on smoked haddock fillets; cod fishcakes in parsley sauce; piquant cauliflower cheese; Dauphinoise potatoes and a splash of colour from orange carrots and green runner beans. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Breede River Valley Pinotage 2017.

 

 

Hatchet Pond At Dusk

Today’s Christmas rose is this peach one from the patio bed.

The neighbouring clematis Cirrhosa Freckles festoons the grateful gazebo.

The now solitary pigeon still perches praying for the return of its deceased mate.

Nugget now spends much of his time outside the stable door where he enjoys sole use of the feeder by the house which is too close for other birds to risk.

“Where’s Nugget?” (56)

“Here I am”, he says.

While Jackie worked on the Christmas decorations I finished the cards which we posted later in

a suitably capped pillar box

at Everton Post Office.

By dusk we had arrived at Hatchet Pond

where other photographers focussed on ducks and swans.

Oh, dear. I seem to have pressed publish prematurely. Tonight we will dine on Jackie’s superb Shepherds pie with carrots, cauliflower and runner beans which will no doubt be perfectly cooked. I will drink Patrick Chodot Fleurie and Jackie will drink more of the Sauvignon Blanc.

A Variation On “Where’s Nugget?”

While I was drafting yesterday’s post Jackie nipped into the garden for a matter of minutes to take photographic advantage of

the last rays of the setting sun. From this end of the Back Drive (take note of the larch beyond the compost bins on the right) she focussed on

the Virginia creeper and accompanying Japanese anemones.

She also caught a pink rose with which I hadn’t been successful earlier on.

 

The golden light in the background picked up the the tips of the cypress tree;

the weeping birch,

Japanese maples,

and more.

Today, while the Head Gardener continued with her bed clearance, taking occasional trips to make sure she was safe, Nugget kept the enemy from the gate.

He perched on a tree midway,

puffed himself up,

had a good shake,

and a preen;

until he decided he looked hard enough to take on

his rival who was switching between the hawthorn and the larch on the Back Drive.

So, for a little variety “Where’s Nugget’s Rival?”

This evening we dined on Jackie’s nicely matured liver and bacon casserole; crisp Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, parsnips, mushrooms, and butternut squash; crunchy carrots; firm Brussels sprouts and green beans, with which the Culinary Queen drank Blue Moon and I drank more of the Saint-Chinian.

 

A False Sense Of Security

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Often other people’s posts, or their comments on mine, jog my memory for events that should be included in ‘A Knight’s Tale’. One such was a post of The Lonely Author, read today. This is my comment on Drew’s poem: ‘A superb poem which reminds me of my Dad. Dad was not a letter writer. Once, after I had been on a week’s holiday in my teens, he presented me with an unfinished, pencilled, missive that he had not posted. It was a beautiful tribute to me as his son. I carried it in my wallet for years – until the wallet was stolen. He has been dead 31 years. I still treasure the lost letter.’ Suitably amended, it has been added to my draft.

Conversations also provide suitable triggers. One with Elizabeth, concerning alarm bells, this morning prompted a retelling of the tale of ‘A Little White Lie’. This is one of the many Soho stories from the 1970s. It has to be included in my life story.

Although Jackie has begun to transfer many of the less hardy plants to the greenhouse,

 many geraniums,

begonias,

roses,

and fuchsias have been given a false sense of security by, despite the lack of sunshine, the shirtsleeves weather we are currently experiencing.

Chrysanthemums, Japanese maples, and the Weeping Birch leaves betray the season;

as does the winter clematis, whose cousin, on the other side of the gazebo has been fooled into another flush.

This afternoon Jackie drove me to Milford on Sea to investigate the situation at Sears Barbers during the recovery of Peter from a recent knee replacement operation. Opening days and hours are to be flexible – may my barber’s knee be equally so soon. We then drove into the forest where

the finger of King Midas stretched across the skies to begin the process of turning the leaves of our deciduous oaks to gold.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb pasta arrabbiata with tender green beans. The Culinary Queen drank more of the Sauvignon Blanc while Elizabeth and I drank Marco Tempranillo 2016

 

The Sun Gleefully Exclaimed

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Well into this glorious October spell we still have a profusion of blooms brightening the garden.

Here is a small selection.

Jacqueline spent the day meeting James and Mark and visiting Mum. Late this afternoon Jackie drove me around the forest.

Two ponies foraging on Sowley Lane were caked in dried mud up to their flanks. We wondered where they had been. In the gradually filling ditches perhaps.

Further on, against the backdrop of the ancient granary barn ruins outside St Leonard’s Grange, another somnolent equine group cast long shadows across the sward.

We passed our home and drove on to Mudeford in order to admire the expected sunset. Ultimately sinking rapidly, the sun gleefully exclaimed at the view.

In the fading light gulls squabbled over food tossed skywards by a kindly couple and gentler hues replaced the earlier golden glow.

This evening, Jackie and I dined on her splendid sausage casserole; sautéed potatoes and onions; and crisp carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Doom Bar.

 

Twice In A Blue Moon

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Sun disc bordered by trees

This morning I made Tess a birthday card with a print of this photograph from a couple of days ago.

Jackie with Twice in a Blue Moon

Among various cards and presents we received this morning was this aptly named rose, Twice in a Blue Moon, from Becky and Ian.

Just after midday we drove off to Ringwood to get married.

Becky, Matthew, Ian, Tess, and Poppy were all waiting for us in the Registry Office car park. Jackie and I had a pre-ceremony meeting with one registrar, and the other showed members of our small group to their seats.

Becky, Poppy, IanIan and MatthewMatthew

When we entered the room we found that our guests had spread themselves out so as to fill all available space.

Jackie, Derrick, Becky, Registrar Naomi

Our delightful registrars were as amused as we were.

Matthew and Poppy 2

Registrar Carol took us through the service in a relaxed and friendly manner while Rachel wrote up the registry entry and our certificates. Poppy sat with her Dad, clutching the ring boxes, until she was summoned by Carol announcing “Poppy you’re on”.

Matthew and Poppy 3

Derrick, Jacky and Poppy 2

Poppy, Jackie and DerrickPoppy, Jackie, Derrick, Becky, Ian, MatthewMatthew and Poppy 4Poppy and registrar CarolBecky, Derrick, Jackie, PoppyDerrick, Jackie, Poppy

Derrick, Jackie and Poppy 1

She came forward and, photographed by her mother, performed her tasks admirably.

Matthew, Ian and Becky

The others looked on with pleasure;

Matthew and Poppy

then Poppy removed Matthew’s ring.

Becky photographing Jackie and Derrick

Tess also photographed Becky photographing

Derrick and Jackie 1Derrick and Jackie 2

the bride and groom after the ceremony;

Becky and Poppy

and Becky and Poppy entering the courtyard,

Derrick and Jackie 3Derrick and Jackie 4Derrick, Jackie, Becky and Poppy 2Derrick, Jackie, and BeckyDerrick, Jackie, Becky, and Poppy 1Becky, Derrick, Jackie, Ian, Tess, and Poppy

where confetti was thrown and further photographs were taken.

Poppy

We then repaired to the Inn on the Furlong. On the way Poppy took a rest on one of the sculptured seats in the square.

Matthew and Derrick 2Matthew and Derrick 1

In the pub, Tess photographed Matthew and me,

Poppy 2

and I photographed Poppy

Tess and Poppy

and Tess doing “Cheers”.

We ended the day sharing a Kurgee Lamb meal at Lal Quilla, where Raj and Rahoul shared our delight. I may report further on that tomorrow.

Anyone interested in interpreting today’s title is referred to ‘Reincarnation’.

 

Soil Transfusion

Dawn

An early bird atop the oak across Christchurch Road admired this morning’s dawn sky which presaged a fine day.

Washing in garden

And so it was. Warm enough to put the washing out.

North Breeze garden 1North Breeze garden 2North Breeze garden 3North Breeze garden 4North Breeze garden 5North Breeze garden 6

My meagre task of the day was to begin the ongoing battle with the triffid invasion from our neighbour, North Breeze.

Bramble uprooted

It is important to tackle the aliens early enough to prevent them from rooting on our side of the ramshackle border, as had this bramble.

Greenhouse

When they burst through the greenhouse glass, as they did in the film (see the above link), then we will surely need to watch out.

It is a sad aspect of this jungle that it was once a wonderful garden, where the ghosts of such as

Rose

this rose,

Blossom

this fruit tree,

Magnolia 1

this camellia,

Magnolia

and this magnolia, battle through to the light.

North Breeze garden 7

North Breeze neighbours the whole of the West side of our property, and turns the corner along the North side of the Back Drive,

Sparrow

where, watched by a sparrow,

Jackie planting back drive

Back Drive border 1

Jackie was putting the finishing touches (just for the moment) to her creative planting.

Soil transfusion

Another regular operation she performs, on which she was engaged later, is soil transfusion. Much of the soil in the garden is rather anaemic and needs replenishing. Here, the surgeon has cut out a poorly section, removed the spent matter, and inserted a healthy supply.

She will then sift through the choked plants she has carefully preserved, extracting the smelly allium bulbs, and replant what she wishes to keep.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s luscious lamb jalrezi with savoury rice and parathas. She drank Hoegaarden whilst I drank Kingfisher.