Coastal Canine Capers

Lured into a clifftop car park at Milford on Sea by the prospect of watching choppy seas crashing against The Needles. We were on our way to the pharmacy to collect a repeat prescription.

The parking tarmac was liberally strewn with shingle thrown up from the shore below;

spray surged over the sea wall.

Dog owners tell me that their pets do not like taking a shower. I was about to learn how to encourage them to enjoy one.

Allow them to romp on a gravelly puddle,

and they soon develop a taste for the spray that brings it.

Afterwards, I thanked the owner for allowing me to share his photoshoot.

From Milford we continued to Streets in Brockenhurst where Jackie collected a couple of rubber tap swirls, Just giving me time to keep an appointment for an eye test in New Milton.

Across the road from Boots Opticians is situated Mallard Café. We brunched there, and very good it was too.

We then took a drive into the forest. The light, originally bright and clear, was to fluctuate throughout the day.

At Wootton Heath the sun lit the trees against a backdrop of darkening skies. One tree had fallen.

Jackie photographed Wootton Heath Cottage in its idyllic setting.

A solitary pony enhanced the scene.

This is an area of unmade private roads heavily pitted with potholes filled with rainwater that has also provided

lodgings for mallards

in the proliferation of temporary reflecting pools.

Even when riding a horse the mobile phone is an essential accessory.

A pair of deer darted across Bisterne close, melded into the woodland

turned tail,

and elegantly tripped away.

Later this afternoon I was torn away from drafting this post in order to catch the sun disappearing into Mudeford harbour.

As so often, the cotton-bud cloud clusters to the east bore pleasing pink and indigo pastel shades.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy pasta arrabbiata with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Squinzano Rosso Riserva 2014.

The Watch House


This morning we took a drive out to Lepe, during a brief window of sunshine in a gradually gloomier day.

Jackie dropped me off at the Watch House, from which I walked to the car park, alongside which, in the café, she was enjoying a coffee.

Watch House reflected

Perched on a rocky spit, the occupants of this house, reflected in the water, must have enjoyed an excellent view when on the lookout for smugglers.

Gate to Watch House 1

Grasses by sea

A set of steep stone steps leads down from the road

Lepe seafront with walkers 1

alongside the seafront,

on the other side of which stand the coastguard cottages, still undergoing refurbishment.

A number of pairs walked along the sea wall.

Dark Water Stream

The Dark Water stream flows under the road.

Gulls perched on the wooden breakwaters.


The sea has sculpted some of the piles into abstract forms.

Various vessels sped past the Isle of Wight.

Yacht, walkers, dog

Providing a backcloth to a dog straining to reach a gull, one yacht sailed into the harbour,


and back out to sea.


Turnstones tried their luck on the shingle,

Dog chasing gulls

where a spritely little dog dashed about in vain attempts to catch gulls.


The only bird, another turnstone, that it could have caught hopped around at a safe distance in the car park, on one foot. It clearly found enough food.

Seafront with car park

Alongside the car park,

Man in heavy vehicle

in the cab of a heavy vehicle, sat a worker wielding a pen. Was he, like Jackie, working his way through a puzzle book?

From Lepe, Jackie drove us to Molly’s Den in New Milton where we bought a birthday present and my debit card was blocked. Fortunately I had enough cash to pay for the item. When we got home a phone call to the bank sorted out the problem. I really can’t be bothered to go into what they had done and the hoops I had to go through to put it right.

Elizabeth, Danni and Andy joined us this evening and we all drove to Lal Quilla in Lymington for the usual excellent meal with really friendly service. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and Andy drank diet Coke. The rest of us shared two bottles of the house merlot. After that, if you expect me to detail the meals other than my own king prawn Ceylon and mushroom rice you will be disappointed.

On The Rocks

On another sunny day, insects, particularly flies and bees, were busy in the garden, where

Hellebore seeds

some hellebores are now turning to seed,

Tree peony buds

whilst the tree peonies are budding,


and the euphorbias flowering.

This afternoon Flo added two photographs of bees,

Bee on daffodil

one on a daffodil,

Bumble bee on pansy

and another on a pansy.

Whilst engaged in that, she heard the wings of a dove, turned, drew like Clint Eastwood, and got a distant shot, of which this is a very small crop:Corraed dove landing on chimney pots

Later Jackie drove our granddaughter and me to Milford on Sea where Flo clambered on the rocks and I hobbled along the promenade.

Reminiscent of ‘Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer’ of Nat ‘King’ Cole, ( YouTube it if you are below a certain age) the shingled beach was as crowded as we have seen it.

Girl brushing hair, Flo in backgroundFlo among rocksJPGFlo on rocks 1Flo on rocks 2Flo on shingle

A young lady, legs swinging from the sea wall, arranged her hair, as Flo made her way down to the rocks at the water’s edge, where, after contemplating the waves, she sat for a while watching the spray before getting her feet wet, and slipping up the shingle slope with her customary crouching gait. She explains that stones in the wet shoes made it too painful to wear them, so she had to put them on her hands.

Flo on rocks 5Flo on rocks 6Boy (and Flo) on sea wallFlo on sea wall 3Flo on sea wall 5

Flo left her soggy shoes in the car and found a more bearable barefoot route to sea-smoothed boulders further along towards the Marine restaurant. She explored these for a while and, after waiting for a young boy to finish his tightrope act, ran back along the sea wall. Like the boy, when she negotiated the narrow wooden section, she spread out her arms for balance, and concentrated a little more. Zola Budd, the South African born British Olympic athlete, who competed barefoot in the 1980s, comes to mind.

Couple on sea wall

During all this time a couple basked on the concrete structure, oblivious of anything else.

This evening we dined on pork rack of ribs marinaded in barbecue sauce, with special fried rice, and green beans, followed, some time later, by Magnum ice creams,courtesy of Ian. I drank Louis de Camponac cabernet sauvignon 2014; Becky and Ian chose Echo Falls rose, and Jackie drank an alcohol free one bought by mistake. This latter error was not as disastrous as the alcohol free Cobra I once bought from Sainsbury’s. I don’t mind the lack of alcohol, but I do like it to taste a little like the real thing.