Now You See It, Now You Don’t

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Today was warmer and just one uniform shade of grey. This morning we travelled by car to New Milton where I visited the dry cleaners, the post office, and the bank. I collected cleaning, mailed a parcel and some letters, and paid a bill. All rather mundane really.

Jackie drove us on to Mudeford Quay where I went for a wander.

Bench and gulls

On the sheltered side of the quay, not even the gulls occupied the benches.

Crow in flight

A crow took off on my approach.

Boats and Haven House Inn

I imagine most people were patronising the Haven House Inn, beyond the Sailing Club masts

Gull

on the top of one of which perched a gull,

the solitary audience of the jingle jangling rigging orchestral performance.

Most such scavengers harassed those drivers and their passengers taking a break in the car park.

I wonder if anyone has any ideas about what the woman on the spit was seeking. Stones? Shells?

Waves and beach huts

She, of course ventured on the rougher, seaward, side of the harbour, where the waves roared, and no-one emerged from the beach huts.

Waves and buoy 1

A bright orange buoy bobbed on the surface.

Now you see it, now you don’t.

This evening we dined on lemon chicken with perfect carrots, cauliflower, greens, and boiled potatoes, followed by profiteroles. I drank Château Plessis grand vin de Bordeaux 2014.

Overwintering At Lepe

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Breakfast

Late this morning Jackie drove us to Lepe where we enjoyed a brunch in the cafe by the beach.

Gulls scavenged among the pebbles and the seaweed that proved there is a stronger wet smell than that of damp dog.

You see, the seaweed aroma pervaded the air so much that it swamped any scent of the dog that, dashing into the sea on the end of a telescopic leash; in a vain attempt to capsize the honking avian flotillas commandeering the surface of the water; became very wet indeed.

Upon enquiry at the Information centre, I learned that these noisy birds were Brent geese who regularly fly from Canada and Siberia to enjoy what they must experience as a summer holiday in Lepe.

Shipping

There was a fair amount of shipping seen on the horizon,

and approaching the Isle of Wight, which formed the backdrop of a number of these photographs.

Container vessel, yacht, group on spit

A container vessel passed a spit

Group on spit

along which. at low tide a group walked out to sea. I assume they were not aiming to walk all the way to the island.

Helicopter

A helicopter chugged overhead,

Brent geese in flight

where, later, the next flock of geese arrived for their overwintering.

Cottages on hill

Work was being undertaken on a terrace of cottages on the slopes above the beach. These listed dwellings were built in 1828 to house coastguards employed to combat the centuries-old customs of smuggling and piracy. The building nearer the shore was the Watch House.

Driving past them led us to the corner of Inchmery Lane where, perched on the side of the cliff, stood a lighthouse,

overlooking a stretch of beach belonging to a wildlife preservation society.

Taking the left bend visible in the above photograph of the lane, we continued along it, catching glimpses of the sea through the trees on our left.

At Moonhill, on our way to Beaulieu, a pony feeding in the forest caught my eye. I made my way through the trees and caught his. As I set out to cross the road back to the car, an equine companion did the same on its way into the woods. This had the usual effect on the traffic.

Logs

A neat stack of felled tree trunks occupied a cleared area.

For our dinner this evening, Jackie supplemented our second sitting of the Chinese takeaway with her superb egg fried rice. I finished the cabernet sauvignon.

Defending Southampton Water

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On another splendid September summer’s morning, Jackie drove us to Calshot and back.

Man and dog

Calshot Beach had just two occupants: the proverbial one man and his dog.

Beach hut refurbishment

A woman was discussing the refurbishment of her beach hut. What had at first seemed a simple carpentry job had developed into a bit of a rebuild because of the discovery of dry rot and woodworm.

Betsy's beach hut

Betsy, at number one, was able to enjoy the sunshine outside her delightfully appointed summer house.

Beach Hut shadows

These huts threw long shadows in the sunshine.

Boat moored near Calshot Beach

Some boats were moored;

Yachts and cricket stumps

others sailed behind the cricket stumps –  http://www.royal-southern.co.uk/News-Desk/ID/1037/Yacht-Clubs-meet-for-the-annual-Bramble-Bank-cricket-match-in-the-middle-of-the-Solent  –  (Info courtesy of quercuscommunity.wordpress.com), deep on the boundary.

Seaplane

A seaplane droned overhead.

Calshot Castle 1

Calshot Beach is on a sand and shingle spit leading to Calshot Castle,

Calshot Castle through boats 1Rusting tackle

first seen through boats old

Calshot Castle through boats 2

and new.

Masts and lines

These masts belong to members of the Calshot Cats yachting club.

Fawley Power Station

Across the water lies Fawley Power Station.

Photographers on beachCouple on beach

I was not the only photographer interested in the scene;

Tug of war with dog

and crossing a lead with fishing rods, a young man engaged in a tug of war with his dog.

Speed Boat

Turning my attention to the water, I tracked a speedboat

Speedboat passing Red Funnel ferryboat

as it sped past the Red Funnel ferryboat,

Speedboat, yachts, Spinnaker

then yachts, with the Spinnaker (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinnaker_Tower) on the horizon.

Ham, egg, and chips

Since the Olympics breakfast on 19th, I have been unable to face my favourite full English, so when we decided to lunch at the Activities Centre, I opted for ham, egg, and chips, which could be considered as breaking me in gently. Jackie chose vegetable soup and a baguette.

Silhouettes on spit

Whilst enjoying this, I watched silhouettes making their way along a distant sand spit.

Defending Southampton Water

Here is the history of the castle (enlargement should help).

We dined this evening on Chicken Kiev, Jackie’s piquant cauliflower cheese, and creamy mashed potato. I finished the malbec.