The Reality

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This afternoon Jackie drove me out to Calshot and back.

Waiting in the queue at the Lymington level crossing gave me the opportunity to focus on one of the hanging baskets that adorn the lampposts of the town.

One of the cattle on the moor near Beaulieu Road Station suckled quite a large calf.

Ower Farm on Calshot Road is a splendid Georgian building.

 

On Calshot beach’s shingle, along which a gentleman led a colour coordinated little girl,

and beyond which yachts enhanced the seascape;

gulls basked, preened, and squawked and saw off a couple of crows. One of the sea birds homed in on an ice cream cone and hopped onto the wooded parapet.

The photograph above of Ower Farm is how an Estate Agent’s brochure may have presented it.

In reality it is hemmed in by Fawley Power station.

This evening the three of us dined on Jackie’s splendid lamb jalfrezi with savoury rice. Mrs Knight drank Hoegaarden, Elizabeth drank Becks Blue, and I finished the Saint-Chenian

 

 

A Rescue Operation

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This morning turned out to be rather longer than planned and required a little more energy than anticipated to be expended. We began with a trip to New Milton for shopping, including a new watch strap for me. We then returned home to collect two large bags of garden refuse for the dump.

It was to be quite fortuitous that we had the bags on board when we set off into the forest from the Efford Recycling Centre.

Lymington River with egret 1Lymington River with egret 2Lymington River with egret 3

Egrets were fishing on Lymington River,

Boats

where the usual boats were moored.

Hoarding mural 1Hoarding mural 3Hoarding mural 4Hoarding mural 5Hoarding mural 2

A long hoarding has been in situ around Threeways in Pilley for quite a number of years has at some time served as an art gallery. Paintings by a variety of artists remain in situ.

Pony 1Ponies 1Ponies 2

Ponies, in return for the freedom of the village, keep the grass in front of the houses cropped short.

Pony 2

There were many ponies in evidence at the road junction at St Leonard’s Road, East End. We weren’t going to get past them, so just watched this grey

Pony 3

leave its post on the centre line, turn,

Ponies 3

Ponies 4Ponies 5

and, passing a companion at the swampy corner, cross

Ponies 6

the road towards East Boldre, leaving another chestnut to take over traffic control duties.

Pony's legs

The pony standing in the pool

Pony eating and drinking

liked a drink with its grass, which took its mind of the fly on its nose.

Pony 4

Another grey advanced on me, no doubt seeking goodies, in which it was to be disappointed.

Ponies 7

Travelling on, we hadn’t covered many metres of St Leonard’s Road before our road was blocked again.

Pheasant cock

Pheasants, both male

Pheasant hen 2

and female, skittered backwards and forwards into the hedgerows,

Pheasants on road

except on Tanner’s Lane, where they gathered in a bouquet.

Tanner's Lane beach

Sunlight sparkled on the water between the mainland and

Isle of Wight and Needles from Tanner's Lane

the Isle of Wight.

Car on shingle 1

Hello. What was this on the shingle beach?

It was Emma’s car, a Twingo.

Watched by her mother, Paula, and two other young ladies attempting to offer advice, guidance, and assistance, the driver had, with her mother and dog, set out for a walk which had to be abandoned. It became immediately necessary to free the vehicle. But how?

The car’s wheels just span on the loose pebbles as Emma vainly tried to climb over them. I helped guide her onto a firmer section, but this involved first having to reverse further down towards the waterline, turning, driving at an angle to the foreground of this picture, then reversing as close to the corner post as possible. Despite her fears, the young lady kept her cool, and almost made it. Several times.

Car stuck on shingle 2

It was then that I remembered the orange bags. By this time Jackie had joined us, so she fetched them. We placed them on gravel behind the wheels. It was still difficult. We then roped Jackie’s hessian supermarket bags into service so we had all four wheels covered.

Car stuck on shingle and dog

Still no joy, until we were joined by another gentleman with rather more knowledge, especially about being very very gentle on the accelerator. Emma turned left at the point in the picture above, and reversed slowly towards the corner. With all hands on the bonnet; backs, thighs and knees straining, we tried again. We had lift off. Emma just avoided reversing into a hedge. We all gave each other hearty hugs, and Jackie and I drove home for a late lunch.

This evening we dined on Hordle Chinese Take Away fare. And very good it was too. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the malbec.

 

 

 

A Blustery Day

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On a day of winds fit to threaten lingering autumn leaves like those on our crab apples, Jackie drove us to our GP surgery at Milford on Sea for our flu jabs (influenza vaccines).

Down at the coast, vociferous waves crashed onto breakwaters and rolled onto the shore and over the sea wall.

Gulls

Even the gulls found huddling on the car park tarmac preferable to facing the buffeting elements.

Dramatic skies, seas, and lighting effects gave yet another perspective to the Isle of Wight and The Needles.

When I had my fill of being coated in salt water in the interests of my art, I rejoined Jackie  in the car, and did my best to clean the camera lenses.

Friars Cliff Beach

We then continued on to Friars Cliff beach where we brunched at the cafe.

Spray on brerakwater

Here the breakwaters also took a pounding,

Walkers and dogs

but four walkers and a couple of romping dogs ventured onto the beach.

The smaller of the two dogs had a debate with its owner about whether it was possible to take refuge in the cafe. This somewhat obstructed my entrance.

 This evening we dined on Jackie’s chicken marinaded in piri-piri and lemon; roasted vegetables, steamed cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, with mashed potato, I finished the madiran.

Hunt For A Owl

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Mat, Tess, and Poppy spent the morning with us before resuming their journey to the Far West that is Cornwall and Land’s End.

We spent much of the time in the garden.

Matthew and Poppy 1

Matthew initially tried to inculcate his daughter into hostility to being photographed,

Matthew and Poppy 2

however, he soon relented,

Matthew and Poppy 3

and she realised he was only joking.

Jackie and Poppy 2

Clutching her transitional peg

Jackie and Poppy 1

she shared the fun with her Grannie.

Poppy 1Poppy 2

The owls in the garden having caught her attention, she scoured every corner for one,

Poppy 3

Poppy 4

being quite exuberant at her successes.

Mat, Tess, and Poppy

The shingle inset in the patio was a good toy, too.

There was one joke I didn’t quite get. You see I am of the wrong generation to understand why Mat and Tess fell about laughing at the hunt for ‘A Owl’.

Jackie explained to me that was required was familiarity with the 2010/2013 TV comedy programme, PhoneShop.

This evening Jackie reprised our meal of yesterday, except that what I had called gammon steak was in fact baked ham. It was just as excellent. Jackie drank Bavaria and I drank Kumala Zenith 2014.

The Headbutt

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Lace cap hydrangea

Here is a lace cap hydrangea in our front garden.

This morning, Jackie drove us to Eyeworth Pond and back. This lies beyond the Royal Oak at Fritham.

Teenagers on bank 1Teenagers on bank 2

A group of friendly teenagers perched on a bank.

Water Lilies

Behind them was a carpet of waterlilies.

Teenagers on bank 3

The group were very happy to have their photograph taken. I gave them the blog details and said they were welcome to take copies. (I hope you enjoy them, folks.)

There was not as much avian activity here as there had been during nest-building time, but I did manage to catch

Blue tit 1Blue tit 2Blue tit 3

blue tits,

Chaffinch

a chaffinch,

Duck and chicks

and a duck steering her two ducklings around the pond.

Someone had left birdseed on a gatepost. This was quite handy for photography.

The chaffinch stepped so gingerly on the gravel that it reminded me of

Becky 8.72

Becky at Iwade in August 1972.

Ponies 1

As I concentrated on the ungainly chaffinch a clattering behind me alerted me to a fast-moving string of ponies passing along the path.

Ponies 2

After a while they returned. One, in the foreground here, laid claim to a clump of bracken.

Pony headbutt

Others who dared approach were given the evil eye, squeaked, and backed off. Just as I was about to focus on its gentle orb, the bravest was given a resounding headbutt by the creature with the mouthful of ferns. The assailant really batted the victim. There was a resounding crack, the hopeful horse staggered off, and I was relieved not to have been noticed.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips, pickled gherkins and pickled onions. I finished the Côtes du Rhône.

The Watcher Watched

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After a leisurely breakfast we left Aaron, his nephew Rory, and Robin working on the fencing while Jackie drove the two of us, Jessie, and Guru to Ferndene Farm Shop for our friends to shop for their return.

Pigs

This was such a hot, heavy, and overcast day that the Ferndene pigs had even less energy than we did.

Pig 1

One managed to snuffle around in a hole;

Pig 2

another was spark out.

The Homestead

Across the road, the thatching of The Homestead is complete.

Yachts on The Solent 1

After this we drove on to the cliff top overlooking The Solent, where a number of yachts sailed in the hazy sunlight. We were able to point out The Needles and their lighthouse.

Group on beach 1

The beach was quite populated.

Groups on beach

One group walked past beach huts, one of which was clearly in use,

Group on beach 2

and settled down near the water’s edge.

Watcher among beach huts

Meanwhile, a gentleman emerged from the hut and raised his binoculars. The watcher was watched.

The above photographs were all taken with the Canon SX700 HS, because I hadn’t anticipated needing the zoom lens, and hadn’t tried out the fixed one.

Back home we continued a very enjoyable weekend over lunch, before Jessie and Guru returned to North London.

Later, I tried out the 55mm lens on the EOS D5 Mk ii.

Chimney pot planter

Every time I pass this chimney pot planted with lobelia shoulders and cosmos crown, I have a sense of being stalked.

Clematis Ville de Lyon

After vigorous bondage from The Head Gardener, the clematis Ville de Lyon now stretches across the side wall of No. 5 Downton Lane along our Back Drive,

Clematis Marie Boisselot

and outside the kitchen window, Marie Boisselot is having a second flush.

This evening, Jackie and I dined on her superlative chicken jalfrezi, boiled rice, and parathas. She drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Fleurie.

Before And After: The South End

Were the barometer on our garden wall in good working order it would no doubt indicate ‘wet and warm’. Perhaps, at 18 degrees centigrade it had the temperature right. Full sunshine, however, we definitely did not experience.

The leucanthemums in the front garden are some of the plants cut back for the winter by the Head Gardener.

Leucanthemum

This one was having none of it.

It may come as no surprise that one album is insufficient for the garden record. Late yesterday afternoon I therefore ordered two more from Harrison Cameras in Chesterfield. They were delivered just after noon today. I call that an incredibly good service. I then stuck the Shady Path section of the story into the first album, and prepared the next set, The South End this afternoon.

The essential surface in this area is of concrete, we think laid down for Post Office vans in the 1930s. Stretching from the Oval Path to the Back Drive, a number of raised beds border and cross it.

Wall of raised bed - a glimpse

We reached this project on 6th June 2014. It was somewhat daunting,

Pile for burning and hose

especially as the burning pile, seen here on 23rd, restricted access.

Jackie in SW corner 3Jackie in SWcorner 4

By 4th July the pile had been cleared and we had made enough progress for a little table and chairs to take its place. The little brick pillar covers a protruding metal spike that we think was part of a washing line post. I eventually hacksawed it off.

Washing line

A washing line is coiled around the makeshift fence that was the original barrier to the back drive.

Jackie in bottom of garden

By 16th, the bed just inside the garden had been cleared.

Aaron shifting rubble

On 22nd March, the barrier down, Aaron assisted in clearing rubble,

planting-barrier 1.6.15

and by 1st June Jackie had begun building a row of planters to replace the fence.

Shingled concrete 6.9.15

The concrete surface, now merging into the drive was shingled by Aaron on 6th September,

Virginia creeper, calibrachoa (Million bells) and fuchsia 30.9.15

at the end of which month the setting was able to burnish the heavily pruned Virginia creeper, the calibrachoa in the hanging baskets, and the fuchsia beneath.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish, chips, and pea fritters, followed by Jackie’s deep, flavoursome, apple pie and custard. I drank Doom Bar.