Fly Masks

I didn’t think I could face the tension of listening to ball by ball broadcasting of the last day of the first Ashes Test match of 2019, so I suggested a trip out this morning and deferring cricket gratification until this evening’s highlights.

Before leaving, Jackie photographed raindrops on spider’s webs and our porch planting. These will repay bigification.

Consequently we drove to Hockey’s Farm shop hunting for suitable teapots to offer Nugget for his habitation. As Jackie pointed out, we had forgotten to ask our robin “whether he preferred new-build or something with more character.” Hockey’s had a few characterful examples but they carried typical loading of prices for a New Forest residence. Since the lids would be discarded this seemed a bit steep.

Heather and bracken along Holmsley Passage had brightened after receipt of the recent rain. While I photographed the moorland Jackie was careful to point out the heather’s healthy range of hues.

On leaving Burley we were surprised to notice that a grey pony, waiting patiently on the verge seemed to have induced a low crawl in the traffic. It was not until we drew level that we spotted its companion standing bang in the middle of the road between the two streams of cars.

As we proceeded along Crow Hill the startling eyes of an extraterrestrial landing craft sent Jackie hugging the hedgerows on the left side of the road. It was with some relief that we realised this was a large tractor slowly towing a very long hay bale container.

In the vicinity of Linwood we took a diversion along our favourite unnamed lane. This is in effect a cul-de-sac,

along which there are some interesting houses and gardens;

and, as today, we are likely to encounter equestriennes.

Heavy field horses wear full fly masks, protecting eyes and ears. One, more inquisitive than the other which couldn’t really be bothered, gave us a sun-kissed smile as we paused to demonstrate interest.

Several thirsty ponies and a foal, paddling in the forded stream at Ibsley, left the water to a grey as they settled on the opposite bank.

Before we brunched at Hockey’s I photographed their adult and juvenile alpacas and an elegant pair of geese.

To no avail we tried charity shops in Milford on Sea for the teapots. Jackie then left me at home while she tried similar outlets with more success. Nugget will have a choice between one plain and simple new-build and another masquerading as a watering can. I will feature the finished articles after they have been hung.


I watched the cricket highlights as planned.

After this we dined on Jackie’s delicious chicken jalfrezi; toothsome mushroom rice topped with a tasty omelette; and a plain paratha. The Culinary Queen drank Blue Moon while I finished the Saint-Chinian and started another – this time Clostre Brunel, also 2016.

Where Are They Now?

Heavy rain descended from the leaden overhead canopy on my walk this morning. When I attempted to photograph the globules of water clinging to the fruits of the hedgerow on Downton Lane, and found I had left the battery on charge, especially as I was having to dodge the spray thrown up by vehicles speeding through the pools on the road, I decided to cut my losses, return home, and set about scanning more of my random negatives.

Punch and Judy standIce cream cones 1982 031I unearthed another batch, on Kodak film, from the Covent Garden of 1982. It was a wet day then too. Even the Punch and Judy stand was empty, and I doubt that there were many ice creams sold.

Covent Garden 1982 025Covent Garden 1982034Covent Garden 1982035The various eating places were doing well, possibly because most were under shelter. Young man and statue 1982

One young man seemed oblivious of the naked young lady behind him.

Motor bike 1982In those days you could drive up to the craft market and park, although it did become a bit crowded.

Covent Garden 1982 021Covent Garden 1982 022Covent Garden 1982 024Covent Garden 1982 026Covent Garden 1982 027Covent Garden 1982 030Covent Garden 1982 033Fortunately the stalls were all inside a large hall, so the craftspeople could comfortably display their wares and potential customers could ponder purchases.

Where are they now, these hopeful stallholders, the potential purchasers, and the snacking diners? And how have they fared in the intervening years?

I don’t remember who it was, but some time before this a professional photographer Torn posters 1982produced a selection of rather abstract images created from layers of torn posters. Perhaps this person influenced my final shot.

This evening Becky came to steal her daughter back from us. We all four dined at the Rivaaz in New Milton. My choice of food was lamb naga with special rice. Becky and Flo drank coke and orange juice respectively. Jackie and I, because this restaurant does not serve alcohol, drank Kingfisher we had brought in. The meal was as enjoyable as usual.