Three Mothers And The Future

Apart from watching the Six Nations rugby match between France and Wales, I spent much of the day reading William Makepeace Thackeray’s “Vanity Fair” which I began earlier in the week.

At sunset we all drove down the coast road to join Becky and Ian at

Britannia Thai in Milford on Sea for a Mothers Day celebration meal.

Jackie, Becky, Flo, and Ellie sat together for a photoshoot, then

spread out a bit.

We thoroughly enjoyed the evening, with lots of fun, a few presents; and the usual excellent food served with friendly efficiency.

Clearing Up After Storm Gerrit

This morning I enjoyed another eminently endurable chiropractic session with Eloise.

Storm Henk was beginning to calm today. There was less rain and quieter gusts of wind as Martin was able to work throughout.

He sawed up the trunk of the overgrown pittosporum, lopped the branches which he carried to the Back Drive, cut them into pieces with which he filled more of the spent compost bags and carried all to the front end of the garden nearest our parked car, whence we will be able to transport them in several trips to the Efford Recycling Centre. A crushed chair which had borne potted plants joined other scrap metal – also destined for the dump – behind the shed.

We have kept a close eye on the Weeping Birch which remains standing – at least for the time being.

This evening we all dined on Ferndene Farm Shop’s succulent sausages; creamy mashed sweet and white potatoes; crunchy carrots; firm cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussel’s sprouts; and meaty gravy, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Valle Central Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon 2022.


The storm winds roared throughout the night and did not lessen until late this afternoon when we took a short forest drive.’

Rather like me, Ellie is a reader of eclectic choices. Although her words are not yet fully clear, she knows what is being said to her, and can identify pictures and is indeed able to trace the written word with her fingers, saying, in her own way, the words she is apparently reading.

One of her current favourites is Jackie’s Gardener’s World. She can display an apple when she sees one.

Her favourite card is this one from Sue W, which she often carries around with her, tracing the words and pointing to the sheep, several times a day – this set was produced by Jackie.

Needless to say, her parents have brought her up with books from her very early days.

On our drive mushrooms pierced the verges of Church Road;

Mallards are still at home on Pilley lake;

Cormorants were at their posts on Hatchet Pond, where coots scooted beneath them.

Naked oaks were everywhere silhouetted against the sky.

Jackie also photographed the birds on Hatchet Pond;

the Christmas tree and visitors to Buckler’s Hard; and trees against

the sky shortly before sunset.

On our way home, I pictured the sunset over Southampton Road at Pennington.

For dinner this evening we all revisited Jackie’s still plentiful chicken and turkey stewp and fresh bread, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Fleurie.

Pool At Sunset

Enough steady rain fell throughout the morning for Jackie to join a line of drivers playing water sports spraying each other as they drove through pools speeding out from the verges along Christchurch Road as she drove me to Birchfield dental practice for a hygienist session with Bronya.

By mid afternoon bright sunshine shone on our forest drive.

The Wootton Road post box now carries a crocheted Remembrance Day tribute. This actually stands in Tiptoe. Further along the thoroughfare enters woodland and becomes

Tiptoe Road, which, today was awash. Naturally I stepped out and photographed cars splashing through the pool streaming across the moorland and down into the opposite field. Naturally Jackie photographed me in action and a van from her driving seat.

She also pictured mushrooms and autumn leaves on the ground and leaves on their branches against the clear blue sky.

A young pedestrian was forced to cross the bridge by the Forest Road ford where the water doesn’t usually rise so high.

At first along Bisterne Close, our paths kept crossing with a dog walker at impressively far apart locations.

Despite the continuing comparatively mild weather the woodland alongside the Close looks definitely autumnal.

Jackie produced images of fall’s red-gold ferns and squirrels perhaps stocking up their larders.

Finally the Assistant Photographer caught the sun slip sliding away sunset and me failing to do so.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s stupendous chicken and vegetable stewp and cheesy pizza with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Hacienda Uvanis Garnacha Old Vines 2022.


Although by mid-morning it had now desisted despite the winds’ persistence, the precipitation from the steady overnight gales washed over Christchurch Road as we sprayed our way along to Efford Recycling Centre transporting ten more spent compost bags of garden refuse.

Late this afternoon we drove to Mudeford to catch the sunset.

Strong winds whooshing through my ears rippling the low tide failed to drown the tinkling mastheads of yachts moored for the winter; the mewing of gulls; the hammering from a nearby building site; the cawing of rooks. Otherwise the scene was silent, while I perched on a

bench waiting in vain for

the sun to emerge from behind the horizon-obscuring clouds.

Apart from her shot of me Jackie also photographed a gull, a yacht, and a stack of smaller vessels.

The world’s first postage stamps were the UK penny black issued on 1st May 1840 and the twopenny blue, five days later. While contemplating the pyramid of Remembrance Day poppies atop Mudeford’s rare Victorian post box of 1859 I wondered how many of those early receipts for payment had passed, adhered to letters and cards, through that unusual upright slot, now becoming as uncommon as themselves.

I would not expect to see this purple hebe currently in bloom.

This evening we all dined on plentiful portions of excellent food from Kings House Chinese Takeaway, only because the Hordle one is not open on this day. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I decided wine would not complement hot and sour soup.

Peepo! On The Way To Bed

With the day beginning as had yesterday I planned to visit a different sunset location later this afternoon, and therefore settled back into my Priestley literature analysis.

A dark-browed shower descended at the time we were due to set off, so I carried on reading with half an eye trained on

the skies while the sun deliberated on whether or not to put in a appearance.

The first shot in the above gallery was reflected in the casement gable window through which I need to poke my lens for any images from above.

Finally, from the car park of The Royal Oak I was able to photograph the red-gold orb playing peepo! on its way to bed.

The bangers and mash which we all enjoyed for dinner this evening consisted of a mix of pork and garlic and pork and chives sausages, mashed potatoes as creamy as usual, crunchy carrots, tender runner beans, and toothsome sweetcorn, with which Jackie drank Peroni and I drank more of the Australian Shiraz.

Walking Into The Sun

Today we experienced warm blue-sky-sunshine with just enough cloud for what was to come. We began with a trip to the dump with another batch of garden refuse in spent compost bags.

After lunch I read more of J. B. Priestley’s “Literature and Western Man”, until it was time to dash down to Barton on Sea to catch the

coastal sunset. The last three of these gentler images were produced by Jackie who was looking away from the direct dazzle.

This evening our grandfamily finished the leftovers from the recent Red Chilli takeaway while Jackie and I dined at Lal Quilla. My main course was tender lamb naga; Jackie’s tasty chicken sallee; we shared exquisite mushroom rice, egg paratha, and seb loo Jalfrezi, and both drank Kingfisher. Service, ambience, and cooking were as excellent as always.

Warm October Sunshine

Early this morning I watched a recording of last night’s rugby World Cup semi final match between England and South Africa.

Later, sporting shirt sleeves, I wandered among the garden plants with my camera.

As usual, accessing the gallery by clicking on any image will reveal individual titles.

Before dinner, Jackie drove me to Hatchet Pond to catch the sunset.

While waiting for the sun to reach the lake I was entranced by

the calm communing of a lone woman who was unknowingly blessed by a rainbow as light rain fell.

Jackie had also glimpsed the colourful phenomenon as it appeared above the car park.

We each photographed the sunset, the last two in this gallery being by Jackie.

The above mentioned dinner consisted of Jackie’s delicious chicken and vegetable stewp followed by her spicy pumpkin pie. We drank more of the same wines of yesterday.

A Lovely Afternoon

Danni, Ella, and Jack joined us for one of Jackie’s splendid salad and cold meats lunches; once Ellie woke she and her parents accompanied us, as Elizabeth did later.

We were able to give Ella her birthday present, which, having unwrapped it with suitable glee, she propped, unopened, on the arm of the sofa and carried on putting together the body parts puzzle which she had extracted from the toy hamper as soon as she arrived.

The next game involved a telephone conversation between her mother, Danni, who was in her own home, viz my chair, and Ella, in her own home – or rather the sofa at the far end of our sitting room.

When arranging a sleepover at Danni’s house, she pointed out that she had a lot of children and was that all right? She needed also to seek permission from G’ma, Elizabeth. This meant a call to her,

having checked her phone number with Danni.

Permission granted,

she enjoyed her sleepover.

Ella had looked forward to meeting Ellie once more ever since she arrived here. She was delightfully tender with her cousin.

Leaving Jackie at home to recuperate and prepare this evening’s dinner, the rest of us took a trip to the mild-weathered Milford on Sea, beginning at the children’s playground next to the Needle’s Eye Café,

where the slide was enjoyed by Jack,

and by Ellie, each aided by parents.



and Ella, keen to display her ability to propel herself to a great height, all enjoyed the swings, although Ellie wasn’t quite sure what was happening.

While I sat on a wall above, the others wandered along the shoreline;

Ella gathering handfuls of pebbles and throwing them into the water.

Two other children splashing, caught my eye.

We returned home shortly before sunset.

Later, Danni sent me photographs of the rest of us on the beach wall,

and also from behind. Note Ella’s collection of missiles.

Danni took her children home soon afterwards and Elizabeth stayed for dinner which included tender roast lamb, crisp Yorkshire pudding, boiled new potatoes, crunchy carrots, firm Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower, with tasty gravy accompanied by Hoegaarden for Jackie and Swartland Shiraz 2020 for Elizabeth and me.

More Work On Posts

After lunch, before I settled down to watch the ITV transmission of the France v Italy Six Nations rugby match, Jackie cut my hair.

When the game had finished I stepped outside to chase a dying sunset down the back drive

and into the Royal Oak car park.

In between times, following SueW’s guidance, I recovered the pictures for the following posts:

also included the header picture for

and reactivated its link to the site:

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s pasta Bolognese with piquant cauliflower cheese on the side. She drank more of the Grüner Veltliner and I finished the Shiraz.