Lunch At Steff’s Kitchen

Late this morning Jackie drove us to Fairweather’s Garden Centre in Beaulieu where we met Danni, Andy, Ella, and Elizabeth for lunch in Steff’s Kitchen.

The various trees in pools on the road from Brockenhurst were thoroughly irrigated.

Beaulieu Lake was also very full, to the satisfaction of the numerous swans.

Ella enjoyed playing games with her Dad, in particular practising her pointing,

which she also did with me.

We exchanged Christmas presents which, had we been well enough, was planned to have taken place on New Year’s Day. Later, Danni e-mailed photographs of our great niece playing with the one we had given her. I will publish those tomorrow.

Even when Ella had pinched a chip from Andy she worked hard to place it in her bowl before eating it.

Elizabeth and I both chose roast beef dinners; Jackie selected soup and a sandwich; Andy chose something and chips;

Danni enjoyed a potato tortilla.

Ginormous cakes, carrot for Danni,

and Victoria sponge for Jackie, needed to be shared out a bit.

Danni gave Elizabeth a taste of hers,

some of which found its way to Ella’s cheeks.

I was treated to more of this, and to half of Jackie’s.

After a tour round the well stocked shop we all drove to Elizabeth’s for another hour or so of enjoyable conversation.

As we drove along Lyndhurst Road out of Beaulieu,

a bright sun was making determined efforts to climb above scudding clouds.

There are a considerable number of Shetland ponies about at the moment. I counted eighteen along Pilley Street grazing n the green.

As I wandered among them, they took to the road

in order to sample fresh fodder further along.

It was close to sunset when we arrived home, so we drove on to

Barton on Sea to witness it.

This evening we dined on sandwiches and salad. Mine was ham and Jackie’s was peanut butter.

 

 

Pig On The Road

CLICK ON SMALLER IMAGES TO ACCESS RELEVANT GALLERIES

Hoping for the cloud to clear we drove out to the north of the forest late this afternoon.

pony and rider

Between Sway and Brockenhurst a woman rode a New Forest pony. This can only be managed after skillful ‘backing’ or breaking in.

Her steed carried her past a gathering of diminutive ¬†Shetland or ‘Thelwell’ ponies, ignoring both me and the hair in their eyes as they foraged away.

Along Roger Penny Way we learned that pannage continues, as pigs scampered speedily along the verges

and across the road, snouts searching out mast.

Pony

Further along, a group of normal sized ponies grazed on a golf green, as a player prepared his putt. By the time Jackie had parked and I had walked back, a pair of brandished clubs had shooed off the interlopers who satisfied themselves with the roadside where they blended with the golden brown bracken.

Skyscape

We enjoyed dramatic skies across the moors. Blue skies peeped out from lighter clouds, and beams of sunlight pierced the darker ones.

Cattle led by farmer

At Godshill a farmer, carrying a bucket, led his little herd of cattle along the roadside;

Cow running

a deep bellowing emanated from one straggler who broke into a surprisingly spritely sprint, lest it might miss out on whatever was in the container;

Cow and calf

and a cow and calf had managed to find themselves on the wrong side of the road.

By the time we reached Abbots Well the landscape, and the cattle therein, basked in warm late sunlight;

Sunset

the skies on our return home added gold and magenta hues to the darkening slate.

This evening we dined on salmon and smoked haddock fish pie studded with prawns; crunchy carrots and broccoli; and fried leeks and spinach. We both drank Louis de Camponac sauvignon blanc 2015.