Flying Gulls

Last night I watched the recorded rugby World Cup match between Japan and Samoa; this morning those between New Zealand and Namibia, and between France and Tonga.

I then photographed some examples of our

nasturtiums, blooming until the first frost;

our generous begonias;

our varied dahlias;

our honesty seed pod medallions;

our hardier clematises such as this Polish Spirit;

and our roving Japanese anemones.

Nugget busied himself with his war cries up aloft

Early this evening we drove to Mudeford to catch the sunset.

While the sun was still well above the horizon, the meeting of the two currents between the quay and the Isle of Wight through up violent spray;

gulls glided overhead,

or perched on gravel.

A trio of elegant swans slaked their thirst in the

rippling water of the harbour.

A silhouetted couple left their bench and paused to study their photographs.

Another gentleman stood alongside another seat as the skies glowed gold

then dipped into a pastel palette when a bank of low cloud screened the sun

 

 

from silhouetted flying seabirds.

Later this evening we dined on Jackie’s luscious lamb jalfrezi and savoury rice topped with an omelette. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Brouilly.

Bracing Themselves

Nugget tried several times this morning to interfere with Jackie’s planting, but on each occasion

he was called away to attend to his more urgent duties of repelling a would-be boarder from his Weeping Birch station where he did his best to look big and hard as he whistled his deceptively sweet war cries.

After watching the recording of the rugby World Cup match between Scotland and Samoa, I scanned the last eight prints from the Isle of Wight holiday of August 2000.

The waves were pleasantly stimulating when the family entered the water, wherever these shots were taken.

Michael let them crash into him,

although

I’m not sure he saw the last one coming. Where is he now?Jessica, Emily, and Oliver were rather more circumspect as, showered by the spray snowflakes, hands clasped together, they braced themselves against the impact.

This evening we dined at Faros restaurant, Milford on Sea. We received the usual warm and friendly greeting; the service was as efficient and attentive as ever, and the food excellent. We were led to what is now considered as “our table”; Italian red wine was produced for me, and Greek lager for Jackie, with no prompting needed. Jackie’s choice of starter was zucchini fritters, and followed by chicken kebabs, salad, and chips; mine meatballs in a tasty tomato sauce, followed by kleftiko. We had no room for dessert.

It is impossible for anyone who knows the film ‘Zorba The Greek’ to fail to visualise Anthony Quinn when listening to the authentic music in this establishment

 

Kites In The Harbour

I watched recordings of World Cup rugby matches, last night between Fiji and Uruguay; today between Italy and Canada, and between England and USA.

Early this evening Jackie drove us to Mudeford and back.

The oyster shells arranged around a beech tree in The Oaks on Lymington Road, Highcliffe revealed themselves to be a ring of fascinating tree fungus.

Beneath louring skies,

aboard choppy waves spray-soaked,

wet-suited, windsurfers strutted their stuff, while

kite surfers preferred the more sheltered harbour.

A lone little egret picked its way along the shallows.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s deliciously authentic tender lamb jalfrezi and savoury rice garnished with fresh coriander with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Saint-Chinian.

I am copying and resubmitting this post because some people never received it and others could not enlarge pictures. (27th September)

Kites In The Harbour

I watched recordings of World Cup rugby matches, last night between Fiji and Uruguay; today between Italy and Canada, and between England and USA.

Early this evening Jackie drove us to Mudeford and back.

The oyster shells arranged around a beech tree in The Oaks on Lymington Road, Highcliffe revealed themselves to be a ring of fascinating tree fungus.

Beneath louring skies,

aboard choppy waves spray-soaked,

wet-suited, windsurfers strutted their stuff, while

kite surfers preferred the more sheltered harbour.

A lone little egret picked its way along the shallows.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s deliciously authentic tender lamb jalfrezi and savoury rice garnished with fresh coriander with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Saint-Chinian.

Bracing

This morning we drove to the pharmacy in Milford on Sea for a repeat prescription and on to the coast to struggle against the wind of 50+ m.p.h.

The Isle of Wight, The Needles, and the breakwaters held firm against the choppy cream and toffee seas.

The gales failed to uproot the clumps of purple thrift clinging to the clifftop edges.

Walkers with or without dogs battled against the violent gusts;

others perambulated along the shingle below.

A solitary black headed gull shivered on the car park tarmac.

Jackie photographed me bracing myself against the buffeting.

This evening we returned to Hurst Road, Milford on Sea where we dined at the splendid Faros Greek Restaurant, Jackie was careful to ensure that I was the only diner visible in her two internal photographs.

The sky had cleared since this morning, but the wind was as fierce and the sea as turbulent.

Waves were whipped into a creamy spray topping,

careering and swirling up over the sea wall and taking root on the other side of the road, were bunches of what the Japanese call sea flowers. The first example above is situated in the centre foreground of the second picture, two more scud along the wall behind.

The restaurant only opened in February and is already justifiably popular. The staff are welcoming; the service friendly and efficient; the food and wines are excellent and the prices very reasonable.

We had begun our starters before I decided to photograph the Faros fare. Mine was fresh whitebait with garlic mayonnaise; Jackie’s kolokithokeftes consisted of four battered balls before she began.

My kleftiko was tender enough to fall off the bone and remain firm to the bite; Jackie’s Chicken kebabs and perfect chunky chips were equally enjoyable.

Had we known how much delicious loukoumades we would receive for dessert we may have considered sharing one portion. Jackie drank Meantime Hella lager and I drank Heraldique red wine.

Proliferated In The Last Month

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.

Provoking A Squabble

Overnight winds had been powerful enough to blow this planted up stone urn off its pedestal.

Early this morning Jackie drove me to our G.P. surgery at Milford on Sea to order a repeat prescription.

We were not surprised to learn on BBC News that, at 79 m.p.h., the strongest gusts in Britain had rushed through The Needles which still seemed borne on a bed of spray as we passed them. Our home is in a direct line from these rocks, and always shares their buffeting.

The foaming waves of the Solent rolled rapidly towards our coastline, flinging ragged curtains of ocean droplets skyward. A motorboat speeding across the surface, despite its rapid rate, seemed to be bobbing up and down as it appeared to be engulfed.

Gulls reflected in pools in the car parks.

Masts at the Yacht Club stood against the sky at Keyhaven, where a group of walkers of the third age passed a younger woman with a dog.

We continued along the coast road towards Hurst Spit on and around which walkers strode beneath a fretwork of cotton clouds and streaking jet trails.

As we approached the bridge over the stream we became aware of a frenzied, shrieking, squabble of seagulls. What, we wondered, had provoked this activity?

A gentleman carefully placing muzzles on his pair of Dalmatians had spotted the answer.

He wasn’t prepared to risk a conflict between his dogs and the swans being fed from the bridge.

A string of Brent geese had found their own food in a field opposite.

Outside Solent Grange a store of stone sculptures awaited installation on the so pretentious walls.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s comforting cottage pie; crunchy carrots of virus hues; tender runner beans and cabbage.