Saltgrass Lane

After an early trip to Sears Barbers for my haircut we continued into the forest, now even damper after another twenty four hours of incessant rain still falling at the start of our drive.

Gulls played in the rippling pools on the surface of a car park with views of

waves through the eroded cliff top and the misty Isle of Wight and The Needles and its lighthouse.

Before we moved on Jackie photographed salty spray soaring over the sea wall. Her last image was produced immediately after the penultimate one, this time obscuring the distant view of the island.

Knowing that Saltgrass Lane at Keyhaven is prone to flooding at high tide and consequently closed at the best of times we decided to visit that narrow road running alongside the shore line. In the event we could not pass through Keyhaven Road,

which was well flooded.

While I photographed this scene Jackie produced images of me doing so, of a woman wading through the pools leading her dog behind her,

and of the van pictured last in my gallery splashing swirling rainwater.

A friendly local resident told us that this was the fourth time her environment had been flooded in a month, and that we could probably reach our goal from along New Lane.

The narrow, potholed, New Lane was not flooded, but was full of birders with cameras on tripods and their vehicles parked on such verges as there were, or exercising multiple-point turns in order to leave. They must have been alerted to a special visitor.

Saltgrass Lane was indeed flooded.

Back at home, rain fell all afternoon.

This evening Ian joined us for an even more enjoyable than ever meal at Lal Quilla, during which Ellie was her most beguiling. Friendly and attentive staff, excellent food, and efficient service is all one could ask for. My main course was prawn pathia with mushroom rice; other favourites were also enjoyed, and we shared onion bahjis, egg paratha, peshwari naan, and various rices. Kingfisher, white wine, J20, and Diet Coke were imbibed.

Fading Light

In the drizzling gloom on the already fading light of late afternoon we drove to Milford on Sea Pharmacy for repeat medication before continuing into the forest.

The decorated post box on Pilley Street now has a Christmas theme.

Further along a small van sprayed some of the pool crossing the road. An oncoming car let this vehicle pass in order to avoid trying the deeper level.

Mallards now own the fully filled and

reflecting lake alongside Jordans Lane.

The thatched Corner Cottage at Norley Wood has an outside decorated Christmas tree.

On our way home the lights decorating the lamp posts on the outskirts of Lymington were coming into their own.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s savoury rice with tempura and salt and pepper prawn preparations and spring rolls, with which the Culinary Queen finished the white Zinfandel and I drank more of the shiraz

“He Is Taking Your Photograph”

It was fortunate that we chose this reasonably bright morning to transport the last garden parasol to its winter quarters in the orange shed, and to carry the wooden patio chairs to the comparative safety of the narrow area beside one side of the house, for no sooner had we finished than the clouds darkened necessitating lights being turned on in the sitting room, and once again we were treated to rivulets flowing down our windows.

After lunch we braved the rain and drove to Milford on Sea, by which time it had desisted somewhat in order for us to watch

flocks of gulls and crows sharing drinks in the plentiful puddles on the car park littered with pebbles dashed onto it from the adjacent stretch of shingle

by the turbulent sea’s tossed up spray-bearing waves.

In the distance on the promenade along which two young boys cycled could be seen a little dog in a red coat.

By the time he and his owner reached our vantage point I was ready for them, and encouraged by the windswept woman who advised her pet that a suitable pose would be in order.

Further into the forest we noticed the brightness the rain had lent to the now sun kissed sage lichen

and red-brown bracken

in the Wootton woodland.

A pair of cormorants conversed on their customary perches in Hatchet Pond.

We arrived home just in time for the next deluge.

This evening we dined on tempura and hot and spicy prawn preparations with Jackie’s colourful savoury rice topped with a thick omelette. We both drank Wairau Cove Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2021.

Down To The Sea

Yesterday evening I watched a recording of the Six Nations rugby match between England and Scotland; this morning one of the match between Ireland and Wales.

After lunch I posted

Elizabeth e-mailed a selection of her photographs from yesterday.

Two ponies;

the cattle by the stream;

and me.

Heavy winds having howled throughout the night, we drove to Highcliffe this afternoon to have a look at the sea, which proved to be very brisk. Intermittent gusts of rain rivalled the flying salt water.

I left Jackie in the Modus and others on the clifftop as I made my way down to the waters below.

This involved negotiating sections of steep, deeply waterlogged steps alternating with slippery slopes. I leaned on the wooden rails to let these surfboarders pass.

Various couples and other groups ventured onto the rocky breakwaters. Some were somewhat sprayed.

A nonchalant crow on the rocks ignored the waters.

While intrepid human surfers frolicked on

the wild waves

A determined little dog thought about joining them, until he lost interest and trotted back to his family group.

This evening, dining on Jackie’s savoury rice with a rack of spare ribs, vegetable spring rolls, and tempura prawns from plates on trays, while seated on the sofa in front of the telly, we watched a recording of the Six Nations match between France and Italy. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Rioja.

To The End Of The Day

Before lunch I sent an e-mail scan of the resubmitted probate form to the relevant Government Department; afterwards I posted the form and a covering letter in snail mail.

From Everton Post Office we took a forest drive.

The landscape with horses in rugs alongside Barrows Lane was nicely lit by the late afternoon sun.

The corrugated iron building is in that same lane; the farmhouse and wonky outbuilding in Mead End Road.

Jesus beams burst from lowering clouds onto the tree lines along Burley Road.

A group of donkeys outside Brockenhurst, chomping on thorny shrubs near where Jack parked the Modus gradually transferred from one side of the entrance drive to the other to try their luck from our vehicle, especially as I had disembarked to photograph them and

the ponies on the other side of the road.

Soon it was time to head back to the pharmacy at Milford on Sea to collect medication then take in

the beginnings of golden sunset tinting the foamy waves, the spray rising from the rocks, and the sturdy wooden breakwaters.

Then on to Barton on Sea as the sun was sinking and walkers watched this phenomenon or turned away from it.

This evening we dined on lefties from Saturday’s Chinese Take Away, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of Hardy’s Crest.

“Would You Like To Look At Some Waves?”

While The Big Bad Wolf huffed and puffed at 60 m.p.h. overhead, battering our windows with driving spittle, and blowing open our front door in attempts to gain entrance; and I had just sat down to write an A Knight’s Tale post, my Chauffeuse asked me if I would like to look at some waves.

So off we went.

Once I had struggled in Paddy’s Gap carpark to prevent my passenger door from being wrenched from its hinges as I prised myself out of the Modus I managed just a few minutes facing the wolf’s huffing, puffing, and spitting

over the sea wall as it lashed the waves and strove to uproot breakwaters

Safe behind her windscreen Jackie’s only problem in photographing the scene was the sweep of her wipers, without which she would have been focussing solely on raindrops.

When I could stand the onslaught no more I turned just in time for a wave of water to slap my back rather than my front,

and to retreat into the car with the same difficulty as that which I had experienced on disembarking.

I spent the afternoon preparing which I posted later.

This evening we dined on an excellent Red Chilli Takeaway meal. Jackie’s main course was Saag Chicken; mine was Tandoori King Prawn Naga; we shared Paneer Tikka, special fried rice, garlic Naan, and Saag bhaji. Mrs Knight drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Rioja.

Devastation And Dessert

Winds of up to 60 m.p.h. howled and heavy rain lashed throughout the night.

Regular readers will know that Jackie’s favourite view is straight down the garden from the stable door.

This is what it looks like this morning through the window in that door.

The wisteria arbour has been destroyed.

We did not investigate further in the garden. Instead we drove to Milford on Sea to look at it.

A bent branch hung down over Downton Lane. The Modus was just able to clear it.

The rain had desisted by 10 a.m. when fierce winds whisked curdling waves sent spray smashing into rocks, breakwaters, and the sea wall over which rapidly liquified spume droplets swelled a saturated shingle lake.

Gulls enjoyed floating on the thermals in the warm air currents.

When I last visited this spot a week or so ago a cleft in this cliff had not been quite so rent.

Later this afternoon Elizabeth visited to help me with the on-line Probate application. My sister is very tech-savvy, but even she came to an insurmountable block, so we gave up and had dinner which consisted of succulent roast lamb; crisp roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; tender green beans; mint sauce, and thick, meaty, gravy, with which Elizabeth finished the Comté Tolosan Rouge; Jackie drank Hoegaarden; and I drank Montaria red wine 2020.

Dessert was Jackie’s spicy pumpkin pie which she photographed after we had eaten half of it.

A Dog Cart

Late this morning I published

We then drove to Steamer Point and

brunched at the Beach Hut Café at Friars Cliff. This has been our first visit since before Covid. I needed no further sustenance this evening.

Many customers dined alfresco. We were the only couple inside, because

we couldn’t find a place to ourselves.

One gentleman made short work of his ice cream.

Some visitors kayaked or swam in the albeit brisk water, turbulent waves of which

tossed spray against breakwater rocks.

A lone fisherman stood optimistically watching his line.

Small groups thronged the promenade.

Dog walkers wandered along the shingle. There is a surprise at the end of this gentleman’s lead.

An ingenious dog cart. Enlargement may help to view it.

Passing a gentleman painting his beach hut,

we bade farewell to the beach, and turned into the forest.

Ponies cropped the verges of Warnes Lane just outside Burley.

Others were to be seen alongside Forest Road,

and, further on, we listened to the squeaking of satisfied pink piglets,

and the scampering snorts of small saddlebacks in search of mast.

Greys And Greens

We had booked to see Mum in the garden today, but it was too cold (11C), so we reverted to the Screen room. My mother was on good form, and able to hear me rather better.

After lunch Jackie drove us to New Milton where she deposited some clothes in Whites dry cleaners and, after a very positive eye test, I ordered some new specs.

The weather was wild, wet and windy when we drove on to Milford on Sea where,

buffeted by blustery winds and unable to see what I was pointing at, I photographed swathes of sweeping storm-tossed waves; billowing salt-spray; resilient rocks; sturdy breakwaters; and Hurst lighthouse. Checking my results really was rather a lucky dip.

Just one grey pony stood out among the varied layered greens of the mushroomed leaves now clothing the distant trees seen as we looked down over Wootton.

After a visit to Ferndene Farm Shop we retuned home.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s well-filled beef pie; boiled potatoes; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; tender runner beans; and spicy ratatouille, with which the Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Malbec.

Battling To Bring Them Down

Fierce winds, having raged overnight, continued for a good part of the day, sending us to Milford on Sea’s coastline,

to photograph the ocean with its spraying, creamy, waves pounding the breakwaters and the sea wall.

Jackie watched the play of my writhing jacket.

A formation of distant kite surfers took us off to Keyhaven for a closer look. Hurst Castle appears in this last image.

Like speedboats the surfers sent up their own spray; wrestled on the shingle with the kites flung into life by the blustery winds; and performed silhouetted aerobatics. Meanwhile sea defence trucks travelled along the spit.

Once the kites were in the air and the time had come for departure the surfers set about battling to bring them down, sometimes one aeronaut anchoring another.

We also enjoyed a closer look at Hurst Castle.

This evening we dined on Mr Chan’s Hordle Chinese Take Away excellent fare with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Mendoza Malbec 2019.

Now I am going to settle down to watch the last Six Nations rugby match, between France and Scotland.