Water Sports

The storm which began at mid morning yesterday continues to rage until, we are told, midnight today.

This was the view from our French windows 24 hours after we had laid down the furniture. We had left the blue wooden table standing because we thought it heavy enough to withstand the gales. We were wrong. Against the window behind the figure is wedged someone’s dustbin lid. To have reached its resting point it has to have sailed over a fence as if a giant’s Frisbee and slalomed along one or two of our paths.

Feeling as if I had joined Dorothy in the grip of a Kansas tornado, I made a very brief survey of damage. Aaron had firmly fixed the long, now broken, mirror lying on the gravel to the struts on the fence. Beside it flops clematis Campaniflora, also wrenched from its moorings on the arch spanning the path.

Between that fence and the patio stands an ornamental poplar. Its branches are being severely twisted. Out of shot is a hook attached to wire which is used to hold open the wrought iron gate. I clipped it into place to take the second photograph. With a thunder clap the gate slammed shut when the wire was snapped.

Here is a representative sample of crashed pots and a rose ripped from its ties. A final inventory will perforce be featured tomorrow.

This afternoon, to take her mind off the garden destruction – rather more than I photographed earlier – Jackie drove us to Mudeford, where I discovered that what breaks the heart of a gardener encourages pleasure seekers to rush to become blown about and thoroughly wet.

While their adults hunkered down in the car parks, the younger gulls bobbed about like rubber ducks in a wave bath.

Three or four of these unsuspecting youngsters suddenly appeared toting plastic packaging over which they squabbled.

From the quayside I was able to see both kite-surfers and sailboarders in the distance, operating from Avon Beach.

Crabbing was taking place as usual, however I was tempted to walk along to the beach for a nearer view of those engaged in water sports.

A gentleman rested his waking-boot-clad feet while his muzzled husky took a breather.

The powerful winds had been unable to uproot these secure mooring buoys.

Various groups wandered on and off the warm sands.

Skimming sailboarders and spraying surfers sped across stormy seas.

Races ensued;

other paths crossed.

While the winds were ushering me onwards, the walk to the beach had seemed quite a good wheeze. Not so the return during which, like the gulls in the air I laboured to stay still.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s tasty new “prawns and stuff” – “stuff’ being peppers, tomatoes, and garlic; with Tesco’s firm fish pie; her own piquant cauliflower cheese; and crunchy carrots. We both drank Definition Gruner Veltliner 2017.

Surfing The Solent

For lunch today, we joined Mum, Elizabeth, Danni, and Ella for lunch at Woodpeckers.

Ella seemed at home in her throne while she played with Mum’s finger;

afterwards she was happy to be passed around. Danni e-mailed these images to me.

We all enjoyed tender, lean, beef casserole; creamy mashed potatoes; tender carrots and green beans, followed by pear sponge and custard. Apple juice and red and white wines were on offer. Each of us chose our preferred beverage. Mum was given her requested orange juice. Teas and coffees were to follow.

Afterwards Jackie and I continued into the forest. As we left I wondered where else one would find

ponies wandering about outside a care home carrying the outstanding rating of the top 3% in the country?

On Furzey Lane, near Beaulieu, one chestnut pony waited patiently at a gate; and a thatcher’s donkey took a rooftop view.

“Ah. A donkey derby”, exclaimed Jackie as we reached East Boldre and encountered these animals on the road, some making their way to their job of trimming grassy areas and holly hedges, turning up their noses at as yet unripe blackberries equally within their reach.

One unfortunate child, missing a shoe, had been forced to hop home from there.

At the end of Tanners Lane strong winds whipped waves ashore, attracting

both sailboarders and kite-surfers.

I was able to watch a young man and his father set up his sailboard, and, whilst enjoying a conversation with the older man and younger boy,

watch an impressive display of sailboarding. As always, enlargement of these images may be obtained with clicks which will access the galleries.

This evening we dined on piquant cheese and bacon omelettes with toast. Jackie drank Blue Moon and I didn’t.

Dusk Descending

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE IN THE GROUP TO ACCESS THE GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT. FURTHER ENLARGEMENT MAY BE OBTAINED WITH A CLICK OR TWO

Jackie and I visited Mum this afternoon. This was one of her bad days, as she had not slept last night. She perked up whilst we were with her, and is looking forward to seeing Danni and Andy tomorrow.

We headed straight to Mudeford as we left the hospital, and were in time to watch

dusk descending. Apart from a few poor shivering specimens standing forlornly on the car park tarmac, gannet-like gulls swooped, plummeted, pounced to snatch crabbers’ spoils on the quayside. The Isle of Wight was a high-speed train thrusting through turbulent waters. Across at the bay, the streaky setting sun feebly attempted to penetrate deep indigo clouds which eventually scudded off before a palette of pink and cyan.

This evening Jackie fed us on a rack of lamb; roast potatoes and butternut squash; crisp carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts; sautéed peppers, onions, and mushrooms; tasty gravy, and mint sauce. I drank Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, and the others didn’t.