Yellow Fields

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Today was one of cloudy sunshine with April showers in the afternoon. We took an early morning drive into the forest.

Machinery on road

When we encountered a piece of heavy plant blocking East Hill in Lymington we wondered why, with the temporary lights at red, no traffic passed it on the way up. This, we discovered, was because there was a queue of vehicles too wide to manage it.

Moving on, the swiftly flowing ford stream at Norleywood did not deter a cheery cyclist.

Dog following woman leading another and a horse

Further along that road to the east, a black dog trailed behind a young woman leading white one and a horse.

A loaded tractor on Charles’s Lane

gave us plenty of opportunity to admire the flanking forest scenery.

Please keep to the main tracks

Throughout the New Forest at this time are posted requests to dog owners to keep their animals to the main tracks in order to protect ground nesting birds. This one is at Wootton, where

ponies blend or contrast with the landscape.

The Yellow fields along Hordle Lane are examples of those throughout the country in springtime.

“Selby House is a small farm in the middle of Northumberland.” It has this explanation on its website. “Rapeseed oil comes from oilseed rape, a root vegetable and cousin of mustard cabbage. The name is derived from the Old English term for turnip [the Latin] rapum. And yes, it comes from those yellow fields you can see in late spring.

Cold pressed means that the composition of the oil isn’t altered by heating. It isn’t the most efficient process but this oil isn’t about efficiency it’s about taste and purity.

The seed husk that is left over is called cake and this is mixed with other cereals into a safe and nutritious animal feed or some people use it in their solid fuel burners since it is a very low carbon renewable fuel.

The oil has delicious earthy, nutty taste – try it in dressings, stir fry, roasting, dunking.

Compared to olive oil it has half of the saturated fat and a much higher natural omega 3 content, the one in our diet that is often lacking.”

Becky and Ian arrived this afternoon and we all dined in the evening at Lal Quilla. Food, company, and service were all as excellent as ever. My main course was king prawn Ceylon, with chapatis. We shared onion bhajis. Kingfisher and Diet Coke were imbibed.

 

The Eyes Have It

Elizabeth's bed

This morning, when she had finished her work, including planting of spring bulbs, in Elizabeth’s Bed, Jackie joined me in clearing up after yesterday’s installation of the Monet arch. This involved removing more clippings to the burning pile; a slight repositioning of the path edgings; and hoeing and raking the gravel. She had, yesterday evening, retrained selected stems from the two roses.

Open Reach engineer

Open Reach engineer and Monet arch

I had enjoyed a certain amount of banter with a pair of Open Reach engineers who spent most of the day working on a pole outside our house. I suggested that, because of their frequent attendance, they may like to buy a season ticket.

Temporary traffic lights

At least their temporary traffic lights slowed the traffic. We could do with them all the time.

Rose magenta climber

Miraculously, this magenta rose still blooms at the end of the stem shown on the arch.

I understand that certain Australians are under the impression that we have stolen their sunshine. They may appreciate the benefits of what they are missing by seeing that

Bee on dahlia Bishop of Llandaff

our bees still plunder flowers such as the dahlia Bishop of Llandaff;

Sunflower

that sunflowers, impersonating Catherine Wheels, still tower aloft;

Honeysuckle

and that this honeysuckle, very poorly earlier in the year, has recovered after liberal doses of systemic fungicide and insecticide.

Later, I made a couple of prints for Frances, and posted them. She had asked me for a copy of one taken by Jenny on 17th.

Frances 1950sFrances 17.9.15

I was struck by the same pair of sparkling eyes that had smiled at her father’s lens in the 1950s, so I made an additional crop of our sister-in-law herself.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips with pickled onions and cornichons. Jackie drank Festbier, ‘brewed according to German purity law’, and I drank Doom Bar.