On this fine spring morning we took a trip to Mudeford.
Gulls lined up to welcome us as Jackie drove towards the quay.
A pair of serene cygnets sailed across the calm harbour, while a hunched egret tried to pass itself off as a gull.
Currents meeting on the open sea created spray-tipped turbulence
towards which a speedboat motored.
A silhouetted group was breaking up on the quayside,
with its usual stacks of crab pots, buoys, and ropes.
Along the coast at Avon Beach solitary walker ignored the spray, while, try as it might, by kicking up sand, a dog was unable to distract its owner from her mobile phone.
We continued into the forest where, in the vicinity of Burley, grey ponies dotted the landscape.
Having laboured up a steep hill, a trio of cyclists seemed relieved to coast down the other side.
When we returned home I ventured out into the garden for the first time since my surgery. During my tour I was delighted with the array of hellebores, cyclamens, and snowdrops that have proliferated in the last month.
This evening we dined on pork chops baked with English mustard and almonds from elsewhere; roast potatoes and parsnips; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; and tender runner beans with tasty gravy.
On a bright afternoon of sunshine and showers Jackie and I took a spin in the forest.
Various flocks of birds in different locations skimmed the clouds in the changing skies, taking rests atop the naked trees.
Cattle in a field alongside Bockhampton Road stood in a muddy, waterlogged field. As I watched
one, with the backing of another three, began a gentle crooning rendering of
Reflecting on the fact that there is no speed limit on Harpway Lane and other similar roads, Jackie pointed out that on a speed awareness course she had learned that this was because they had never had an accident. That was a little comforting to hear.
Beyond the hedge it was apparent that a farmer was branching out into a new kind of livestock.
Someone must have been talking about sheep in London Lane, Ripley, for their ears were burning.
This bank at Moyles Court School was just one example of a drift of snowdrops.
Ponies, as usual, occupied the green at South Gorley.
When these two made for my open window I decided to wind it up.
We continued on to Gorley Lynch where donkeys
and ponies kept the shrubberies in check;
and, until they heard the click of my shutter, there were a number of vantage points for observing distant deer.
The stream visible in the last of the deer shots flowed across one drive and reflected its bordering trees.
There is often limited passing space on the forest lanes. On the way up from the ford at Frogham we just sat and waited for this woman and her dog.
Back at home we dined on more of our Hordle Chinese Take Away meal from trays on our laps while we watched the recorded Six Nations rugby match between England and France.
We have been invited to a special meal in celebration of the 30th anniversary of
our favourite local Indian restaurant. Unfortunately this is tomorrow – less than a month since my knee replacement surgery. We therefore cannot manage it. This morning, featuring the above photograph, we made a card for Raja and his staff and placed in the post on our way to my physiotherapy appointment with Claire at New Hall hospital.
Progress is very encouraging. Both walking and flexibility are a great improvement on the first operation last May. I just wouldn’t have been able to sit comfortably at the restaurant tables.
The day, as evidenced in my photographs, was dismally damp and misty.
Even mistletoe was unable to brighten the lane through Bodeham,
Dripping snowdrops were more successful.
Mallards and a moorhen didn’t mind the weather over this stretch of the River Avon,
where an egret (I think) wandered and a cormorant (I think) watched from a treetop.
A circling kite was occasionally glimpsed above the naked trees.
Woodgreen Common was rather obscure.
As we headed towards Godshill we witnessed exciting catching practice. A gentleman playing frisbee with a circular ring skimmed it through the air where his triumphant dog leapt to catch and return it.
Someone had left a cap on a bench overlooking what would have been a splendid view in better light. The Godshill road itself was so shrouded in mist that a recently fallen tree was barely visible.
Fog lights were essential on the high risk (of animal deaths) Roger Penny Way, where some impatient drivers continued to follow the 40 m.p.h. speed limit.
This evening we dined on an excellent takeaway meal from New Forest Tandoori. My choice was king prawn madras with special fried rice; Jackie’s was prawn curry with pilau rice. We shared a paratha. I drank sparkling water and Jackie didn’t.
CLICK ON ANY IMAGE IN A GROUP TO ACCESS ITS ENLARGED GALLERY, PHOTOGRAPHS IN WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN THEIR PAGES AND CHECKING BOXES AT BOTTOM RIGHT. JUST CLICK ON THE OVENS TO ENLARGE THEM
After I finished drafting yesterday’s post, Richard added the second cupboard fixed to the gravity battens. The horizontal battens in the side-on view will take the panel similar to that held in place by the clamps at the right hand end.
Having increased the capacity of our modern fuse box, our craftsman is rationalising all the kitchen wiring and switches. Having re-plastered the section of wall removed yesterday he then fitted new switches. Standing on a stool he fitted a row of labelled switches for the cooking appliances, then, crouching in the box to take the cooker, laid the cables.
Most of Jackie’s greenhouse cuttings have survived; sweet pea and poppy seeds have germinated.
Bergenias, snowdrops, primulas, and irises can be seen throughout the garden beds.
The earlier daffodils are coming into bloom;
and prolific camellias are burgeoning.
By the end of the day, Richard had installed the new ovens. The appliance visible at bottom right of this picture is the dishwasher which will be installed tomorrow. He had his customary tidy up after I took the photograph. We left him to it while we drove off to dine at Lal Quilla.
At the restaurant I handed Raj the prints for his wall. My main course was lamb jalfrezi; Jackie’s was the Lal Quilla Special of minced lamb and chicken; we shared mushroom rice and egg paratha, and both drank Kingfisher. Raj would take no payment.