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.

We Could Have Done A Runner

Frost lay on the bright, sunlit, garden this morning;

Frost on bench

glittering on benches,

Frost on gernaium leaves

and on geranium leaves;

Frozen pond 1

and the Waterboy pond was frozen. Abstractedly.

This afternoon Jackie drove Becky and me to The Beach House via Milford on Sea Post Office where I posted the prints to Frances.

This hotel, formerly Westover Hall, was built in 1897 from a design by the famous Victorian architect Arnold Mitchell for Alexander Siemens. The magnificent building was a beach house looking across the Solent to The Isle of Wight.

Firs backlit

I have often photographed the firs in the front garden, but never before against the lowering sun.

The Needles and lighthouse 1

The Needles and lighthouse 2Isle of Wight, The Needles, lighthouse

Similarly, this view of The Needles and their flashing lighthouse, is no stranger to my lens. It is the pastel shades of the scene that appealed today.

Cyclist at sunset

Isle of Wight, Needles, cyclist

A cyclist,

Isle of Wight, Needles, walkersSunset walkers

and walkers promenaded alongside the changing palette.

Sunset reflected

Reflecting a new meaning to solar lighting, the sky appeared to have illuminated some neighbouring rooms.

Fir gnarled

Near these modern homes, in The Beach House Garden, a gnarled pine has staggered to the ground and created a Hobbit house with similar internal lighting.

When I had finished wandering I joined the ladies inside for tea and cakes. Becky said I should get outside again because the light had already changed. I handed her the camera. She went off to collect some images of her own. They included

Dovecote

a dovecote;

Anchor

an anchor;

Herringbone path

a herringbone path;

Sunset 1Sunset 2

and more sunsets,

Walkers in sunset 3

one of which was a backcloth to further walkers.

Fire escape

Turning to the building itself, she spotted the fire escape outside,

Mirrors

and, inside, the hall of mirrors from which all the loos lead.

One of these doors was labelled

Bottomless Pit

She was unable to resist trying the door which was locked. Anyone fancy writing a story about it?

PS. Poet Rummager took up the challenge, with a beautiful poem. See the pingback on her comment below

About to put the car key in the ignition, Jackie asked: ‘Has anyone paid?’ at which Becky and I both leaped (poetic licence here) out of the car and sped to the reception desk. The man who had served us had binned our bill because he assumed his female colleague had taken our money. He had to put it all back into the computer. We thought the charge very reasonable and exchanged jokes about having missed the opportunity to do a runner.

This evening Ian drove us to Dynasty Indian restaurant in Brockenhurst where we enjoyed excellent food and service. My choice was Lamb Tikka jalfrezi with special fried rice. We all shared onion bhajis. Becky drank rose wine and the rest of us drank Kingfisher.

Back Onto The Cliff Top

The Beach House 1The Beach House 2 On an overcast morning Jackie drove us to New Forest Army & Navy Surplus store in New Milton to buy some weatherproof clothing for her projected sororal camping trip; thence to the bank; thence to Milford on Sea where she dropped me on the green. I rose to my feet and hobbled up Park Lane to The Beach House, through the adjacent shingled footpath to the sea, a short way along the tarmacked track leading back to the village, returning to the hotel where I caught the X1 bus to the bottom of Downton Lane, up which I walked home. Benches on green Opposite the village bus shelter lies an attractive grassed area containing shrubberies, a couple of benches, and a waste bin. Triangular-shaped, on one side it is abutted by houses; on another by a wall alongside a sometimes fast-flowing stream; and on the third by the pedestrian pavement. Forget-me-nots peering through the slats of the benches signified that no-one had sat there for a while.Forget-me-nots and £1 coin So intent was I on photographing the flowers, that I almost missed the miniature bas-relief of Queen Elizabeth II that someone had left there.Trees reflected in stream

Today the stream was so still that trees were reflected in it.

Maintenance work being undertaken in the Catholic church of St Francis of Assisi meant that, for my first time in passing, the front door was unlocked.St Francis of Assisi doorway

May blossom

May blossom now proliferates in the hedgerows;

MushroomsMallow

and mushrooms and mallows alongside the path to the sea.

As I approached the Solent, with the backdrop of the Isle of Wight and The Needles, a group of ramblers strode along the new tarmac footpath recently repositioned and replacing its concrete predecessor which fell into sea last autumn.Ramblers 1

Ramblers 2 Footpath resitedKeep to the footpath Boulders The path now runs parallel to the site of the old one, further inland. It is possible to see the angular join, and to picture where the concrete fell. The area has been landscaped, and we are enjoined to keep to the footpath until the grass has grown. Huge granite boulders have reinforced the side of the cliff open to the wind and waves. The rubberised membrane placed under a fresh application of shingle overlaps the larger stones. Hooded crow 2 Hooded crow 1Lichen on stump On the other side jackdaws still pick their way amongst the grass, taking to the air when one comes too near, and attractive lichen enlivens a dead tree stump. My nagging knee insistently intimated that this hadn’t been a particularly splendid idea, but at least I had got back onto the cliff top. Fishcakes meal This evening we dined on haddock fish cakes with a cheddar cheese centre; fried potatoes; steamed cauliflower; and a tomato, mushroom, peppers, and onion coulis. You have to try the coulis. Her method is the nearest I can get to a recipe from Jackie. Here it is: Chop up peppers, mushrooms, garlic, and onions. Stir fry them until soft. Then add a tin of chopped tomatoes and simmer until done. The cook drank Hoegaarden, whilst the Lord of the Manor finished the Marques de Carano.

Laundrette Or Launderette?

4.9.14

Clematis Hagley's hybrid

Clematis Hagley’s hybrid has bloomed at home in my absence. It has been chewed a bit.

Bournemouth is not a city you would wish to negotiate by car unless you had to, even if you could follow the utterly confusing signage failing to lead you to it. With further research it may be found to rival Southampton, but I don’t fancy carrying out the investigation.

My capacity for emulating Dan’s Grandfather was so extremely limited that I needed a trip to the seaside town to visit the O2 guru for him to take me through the basics of the Samsung Galaxy. On the phone Paul, the wise man, gave me the address and said it was ‘just down from Marks and Spencer’s’. With a print-out of the Google map, it should have been easy to find. It wasn’t. After driving round and round in circles for a while, we decided to abandon the car in a multi-story park. Jackie walked to the sea front whilst I ambled up the steep hill to find 5 Commercial Road, which wasn’t where the Google arrow indicated. A helpful woman directed me to the site in a pedestrian precinct around the corner. We’d never have found it by car.

Paul acquainted me with the simplest of operations offered by the device, then, figuratively, of course, held my hand while I phoned Jackie to tell her we were all done and I was on my way to meet her.

From O2, I walked through the Pleasure Gardens to the sea front for our rendezvous. Jackie then drove us home. That public amenity is most impressive. Photographing flowersPleasure GardensCosmos in Pleasure GardensCosmosSightseers sat on benches, walked around, played mini golf, ate ice creams; and, with camera lenses, their own eyes, or fingers, admired the splendid flower beds. Beautiful cosmos lined the railed footpaths.

Later this afternoon, taking the Shorefield/cliff top/Park Lane route, I walked to Milford on Sea and back. My link between the cliff path and Park Lane was The Beach House. Isle of Wight and The NeedlesThis recently refurbished hotel/restaurant has a clear view of the Isle of Wight and The Needles. Footpath closedA dangerous footpath remains closed.Red on beachTowing boats

People sat on or walked along the beach, and a group of youngsters dragged rubber boats to the water.

I have often been confused about the correct spelling of the name of that establishment offering coin-operated washing machines and dryers for the use of members of the public who do not have the use of such facilities at home. The producers of the 1985 comedy-drama film ‘My Beautiful Laundrette’ favoured one spelling.Peg's Beautiful Launderette Peg, in Milford, seemed to be slightly misquoting the film title in the name of her launderette. However, whoever painted the signs on the windows favoured film director Stephen Frears’s version. What does it matter anyway? Many people say ‘laundryette’ (my computer didn’t like that).

Our evening meal consisted of lamb curry, cauliflower baji, and boiled rice, with which we drank Cobra beer. I have never eaten a cauliflower baji as both crisp and succulent as this one of Jackie’s.