An English Country Churchyard

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After dinner yesterday evening we popped down to Barton on Sea to view the sunset.

This morning we drove around the forest.

The thatcher I spoke to at East End, where the albeit somnolent donkeys were having fun with the traffic,

replied that the project was “beginning to take shape”.

Jackie on tree seat

Our next stop was at St Mary’s Church at South Baddesley, outside which Jackie sat on a seat cut into a very large tree stump.

Ken Allen gateposts

Gateway and church

Alongside the church stretches a patch of uncultivated land accessed from an open gateway dedicated to Ken Allen 1918 – 2005.

Path from church to playground 1

From here a  path leads down

Playground

to a playground beyond a locked five-barred gate. I was unable to gain any information about Mr Allen or the leisure area that I speculated must be related to him.

It was quite refreshing to discover that the Victorian church itself was unlocked and welcoming. I found the stained glass windows particularly attractive.

Cap on pew

Hanging on the edge of a pew was a gentleman’s cloth cap. If it is yours it awaits your collection.

Primroses, English bluebells, and other wild flowers wandered, as did I, among the gravestones in this English country churchyard.

Angel gravestone sculpture

Most of the stones were quite simple, but there was one angel and child,

and the amazing resting place of Admiral of the Fleet George Rose Sartorius, GCB, Count de Penhafirme who died on 13th April 1885 in his 95th year. This was 70 years after he had served with Nelson at the battle of Trafalgar.

Admiral Sartorius's grave 2 – Version 2

What is particularly astonishing is the knowledge that the credible articulated linked anchor chain winding around the cross was carved from stone.

After lunch Jackie continued working her magic in the garden where I did a bit of clearing up and repelled some invading brambles along the back drive.

This evening we enjoyed our second serving of Mr Chatty Man Chan’s Chinese Take Away with which I finished the madiran. Jackie didn’t imbibe because she had drunk her Hoegaarden in the Rose Garden where we had a drink first.

P.S. Bruce Goodman, in his comment below, has provided a link to Ken Allen, which, incidentally explains that the playground I noticed is attached to a school. This is no doubt why the entrance would be locked during the Easter holidays.

From Dawn To Dusk

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The pale pastel pink and blue skies that Dawn ushered in this morning  showed a certain amount of promise. But she was only kidding. Within half an hour or so, she slid a slate canopy over our heads, and steady rain set in.

Fireplace

We paid a visit to Gordleton Barn where we found a new idea for our fireplace. we will ask Baz to vet it tomorrow.

Obviously I made a few more photographs of the artefacts on display.

Lichen over Avon stream

A tributary of the River Avon runs under Silver Street, the home of the barn.

Mill Race

On one side of the winding road lies Gordleton Mill, the race of which speedily rushed along.

On the other, a couple of woolly sheep snuffled among the sodden leaves.

By late afternoon, the canopy had, albeit temporarily, been retracted, enabling a fine sunset,

Isle of Wight 2

tingeing houses on the Isle of Wight, to put in an appearance over Milton on Sea.

A small group enjoyed the shoreline,

Silhouetted couple at sunset

others preferred the clifftop.

It is not unusual for Jackie to spot a potential view and sit in the car willing me to turn and see it. This was the case with this boat on the horizon. She yelled at me from her Modus. Naturally, I grabbed the opportunity. Neither of us realised that the vessel was visible approaching the sunbeams in my earlier shots.

For our dinner this evening, Jackie supplemented a second sitting of yesterday’s Chinese takeaway with shredded duck, cucumber, spring onions, and pancakes, with which I drank more of the Chilean Shiraz first opened a couple of days ago.

A Wildlife Garden

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DID I MENTION THE CRICKET?

It is two years since we were last assisting our friend Giles in opening his garden in Milford on Sea. Once more, today, we took the first stint in his rota.

Jackie on the door

Overnight rain had only recently desisted at 11 a.m., so Jackie, on the door, had plenty of opportunity to work on her puzzles,

Giles and visitors

while Giles and I chatted until the first visitors arrived.

Wildlife Gardening Award Certificate

Blu-tacked onto the entrance window is a well-deserved certificate.

Giles's sculpture 1

Beneath this is one of the gardener’s creative sculptures, made from found objects. The upright stone was once part of a window in Southwell Minster.

Giles's sculpture 2

Here is another from the bottom of the garden.

Giles's sculpture 3Giles's sculpture 4

This one contains examples of his stained glass work,

View through sitting room window

as does this view from the sitting room, showing the artefact on which stands his tree encircled by butterflies.

Giles's sculpture 5

A further creation on the decking is seen through the French windows.

Giles's garden 1

Visitor

Pebbles and granite sets creating paths and other features were all collected over a number of years from on and around the nearby beaches.

Giles's garden 3Giles's garden 4Giles's garden 5Giles's garden 6Giles's garden 7

Seventeen years ago, this rambling haven was almost completely grassed over. It is now packed with trees, shrubs, and other features attractive to wildlife.

Raindrops on smoke tree

Raindrops still pilled on the fibres of smoke tree;

Raindrops on foxgloves

foxgloves;

ClematisClematis, thistle, wildlife hotel

clematis;

Raindrops and cricket on osteospermum

and osteospermum – even on the little cricket’s antennae.

Wild Life Hotel

A notice visible in the second clematis picture indicates and lists the uses of the wildlife hotel;

Viper's Bugloss

another extols the value of viper’s bugloss to bees.

Lupins

I expect these latter enjoy delphiniums, too, although blue is Giles’s favourite flower colour.

Hut

Had the rain persisted, no doubt this hut, with its natural seat, would have filled up with visitors;

Pond

certainly the pond would have topped up with water.

This evening we dined on the rest of the Chinese Takeaway, and both drank Kingfisher.

There’s Some Corner Of An English Churchyard

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Kitchen window 1Kitchen window 2

Over breakfast this morning, I photographed two more angles of view through the kitchen window;

Rose Garden

and afterwards, The Rose Garden.

Aquilegias

We have many banks of aquilegias.

Rose Compassion

Compassion blooms on the Dead End Path arch,

Bottle Brush Plant

And we have our first bottle brush flower.

Butterfly Painted Lady

A Painted Lady butterfly availed itself of the gravel camouflage.

St Nicholas's Church 1

This afternoon we visited St Nicholas’s church in Brockenhurst. Jackie and Sheila led the way into the exhibition inside;

Jackie examining gravestones

Jackie pausing to inspect the eighteenth century gravestones.

Graveyard St Nicholas's Church 1

I wandered around the beautiful landscaped graveyard, where light glinted through trees and the ground fell away allowing the monuments to ramble down the hillside.

After my following exploration, I joined the ladies inside where a couple of volunteers within were giving them an explanatory history of the World War One burials in the churchyard.

Yew tree

They told Jackie that this yew tree dated from the twelfth century.

Tree stump

This sculptured stump must also have been a substantial giant.

Graveyard St Nicholas's Church 2

Graveyard St Nicholas's Church 3

Past the tree I came to a set of steps and a path leading down to level ground.

Fern sculpture

Flashes of red against clean, cream background suggested I was approaching the memorial symbolised by the sculpture at the entrance to the church. This was a brilliant fern cut out from weathered metal, familiar to anyone familiar with an All Blacks rugby jersey. The brilliance lay in the figures silhouetted in the work. I crouched a bit to ensure that the background grass made this clear.

NZ Memorial 1NZ Memorial 2

Indeed, I had. Ninety three members of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force soldiers from World War One lie buried in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery attached to this church.

Brockenhurst Churchyard Commonwealth War Graves Board

The farming village of Brockenhurst soon became a World War 1 hospital village, from 1914 caring for wounded and sick Indian troops, and from 1916 the No. 1 HQ New Zealand hospital. Those who died therein were buried in this churchyard.

K. Rapona gravestone

Of the 93 New Zealanders, 12 were Maoris, only one of whom died from wounds. This was Private Kiri Rapona. Clare Church’s book, which I bought, gives this young man five more years of life than does this gravestone. One other drowned and the rest succumbed to illness.

Sukha gravestone

One Indian is Sukha.

There are also three unknown Belgian civilians who share a plot.

Gravestones

These plots are very well tended and maintained by New Zealanders in UK.

Balmer Lawn Hotel

Of the three hospitals from those years, the only one still standing is now the Balmer Lawn Hotel, which keeps its own living lawnmowers.

Stained glass 1Stained glass 2

The very friendly couple who were very informative about the church and this particular section of its history, pointed out the Victorian stained glass in the twelfth century stonework of the windows.

This evening Jackie produced succulent chicken Kiev, creamy mashed potato, and crisp carrots and runner beans for our dinner. Sheila’s dessert was rice pudding, and Jackie’s profiteroles. As I had consumed two pieces of chicken I passed on this. But I did drink more of the Fleurie. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and Sheila, sparkling water.

It was Rupert Brooke, an Englishman who did die in 1915, who is immortalised by his own verse: ‘And if I should die, think only this of me, that there is some corner of a foreign field that is forever England’. I have adapted his words for today’s title.

The Beach House

Late on this crystal crisp clear blue sky morning Ian drove Scooby and me to Marine Drive, East, Barton on Sea, whence we walked along the clifftop.

Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight was again sporting a pastel palette,

Dog walkers

as we joined other dog walkers, many of whom are now familiar to Ian and Scooby,

Scooby encounters another dog

whose stance and cocked ears at one fresh encounter betrayed the slight concern that possibly brought about his first bowel-emptying session.

Cliff erosion 1Cliff erosion 2Scooby on clifftop

He exhibited no such nervousness in dashing along the steadily eroding edge.

Walkers

A few other pedestrians strode down below.

Sun on sea

There, waterborne sunlight dazzled,

Beachcomber Cafe

as did the windows of the Beachcomber Cafe where we stopped for coffee.

The Beach House entrance 1The Beach House entrance 2

This afternoon we paid another visit to The Beach House in order to introduce Ian to its exquisite ambience. Clicking on these images will reveal some of the stained glass that adorns this oak panelled building.

Stained glass window

More of this can be seen in the Sun Room where we took our tea, coffee, and cakes, at no further cost than Costa’s.

Sunset in lounge

Sunset through lounge window

The sunset could be enjoyed from the lounge,

Sunset through dining room window

the dining room,

Sunset through back room window

the back room,

Sunset through Sun room window

and the Sun Room,

where we enjoyed our refreshments whilst, through a protective glass screen we observed

Isle of Wight through Sun Room window

The Isle of White,

Isle of Wight and garden from Sun Room window

the garden,

Pigeon in pines

and silhouetted pigeons (this photograph is Becky’s).

Foyer

The foyer, photographed from the first floor gallery, shows the aforementioned oak panelling that also lines all the corridors to the bedrooms.

Although the personnel were different, the service was as efficient and friendly as we had found yesterday.

For our dinner this evening, Jackie produced a superb beef casserole; cauliflower and broccoli cheese; perfect boiled new potatoes; and crisp carrots and green beans. I finished the El Sotillo, Ian drank Peroni, and Becky drank zinfandel rose.

The Independent

On a bright and sunny morning Jackie drove me to Giles’s Fox Hat home, where I delivered the Chesterton material he had lent me. She returned home and came back later to pick me up from the village of Milford on Sea. I had reached there by walking down Sharvills Road, up New Valley Drive and down Barnes Lane. The left knee managed the job quite well, but the calf bleated a bit. Giles had not been at home, but I wandered round his garden that had featured in Milford Open Gardens last June. Here is one of his stunning stained glass creations:Stained glassMaple and poppies

and a shot of maples and poppies enlivening his front plot.

Shoppers

Milford’s shoppers were enjoying the sunshine.

I sat on a bench on the green watching them all go by as I awaited my transport. In the process I engaged in conversation with others on the benches, including a gentleman reading The Independent. When I explained my previous link with the newspaper he said he didn’t solve crosswords, but his wife did. Maybe she had grappled with Mordred. Gentleman readin The Indepent

He was happy to be photographed,

Derrick reading The Independent

but thought it far more appropriate to return the favour.

Back in our gardenThalictrum

shade-loving thalictrum is now blooming,

Sweet William

as are white sweet Williams.

Bee on geranium palmatum

Yesterday, I wrongly identified the geranium that was attracting bees as a palmatum. This is the correct one.

This afternoon I cut the grass and Jackie continued creative planting.

Our evening meal was collected by Jackie from Hordle Chinese Takeaway. It was as plentiful and as delicately or spicily flavoured as usual. My lady drank Hoegaarden and her Knight drank Via di Cavallo chianti 2014.

Touches Of Gothic

Ripped by a fierce cold wind pines creaked against fencing as, taking the Shorefield section first, I reversed my Hordle Cliff top walk. With howling gusts forcing me backwards, turbulent waves crashing against the shingle, and swirling clouds looming overhead, there was a Skyscapetruly Gothic feel over The Solent. One only had to imagine the light came from a midnight moon to fancy one had stumbled into a Hammer film set.

Soon after midday we arrived at Shelley and Ron’s for the annual laying of a wreath on the ashes plot of the mother of Jackie, Helen, and Shelley featured in yesterday’s post. After the trip to the Walkford Woodland Burial Ground, we all, together with the two brothers in law, enjoyed a delicious meal cooked by Shelley, with various red and white wines. Leak and potato soup was followed by a wonderful chicken casserole, potatoes, and vegetables. Then came a suitably tangy lemon meringue pie, coffee and mints.

A game of Trivial Pursuit took us into the evening, and further enjoyable conversation.

Christmas treeChristmas tree through stained glassBeautiful as are many of the unusual trees in the garden, a number have been misplaced, causing a certain amount of overcrowding. An example is an interesting fir plonked in the front garden perhaps two metres from the house. At this time of the year there is only one use for it. Jackie has festooned it with white lights, which, when viewed through a piece of Giles’s stained glass present glowing colours. This treasured artwork is based upon my initials, DJK, in Gothic script.