On another warm and sunny morning, I began by walking the coast road route to Hordle cliff top where sun glinted on the memorial benches, and walkers were silhouetted against the sea and sky. I descended the steps to the shingle, and returned home via Shorefield.
On the right hand side of the road I noticed another set of barriers to ramblers. These were a five barred gate, a padlocked pedestrian one, and a stile warning of an electrified fence. Clearly private land, I wondered why the stile was there. Had it once been the entrance to a public footpath?
Further along, a blue scooter had been abandoned on the grass verge reminded me of Imogen’s story. She was very proud of her pink micro scooter that had been given to her last Christmas. One day recently on an outing with a friend, confusion had arisen about who was pushing it home. The result was that it was left behind. Louisa posted an alert on Facebook, but this was not needed because, a day or so later, she discovered it had been handed in at the park, from where it was retrieved by my granddaughter. This brought great relief, not least because of the expense of replacing it.
On the way down to the beach, pausing to pass the time of day with beetles exploring the mechanism of a dandelion clock, I noticed a young man crouching at the bottom of the steps intent on photographing something on the pebbles.
This was Phil, a very engaging personality who had focussed on a pair of pink two wheeled chariots apparently left there by a family group seated at the water’s edge. We had a pleasant conversation about scooters, cameras, and lenses.
On my return, I joined Jackie who had already begun the continued clearance of the back drive. From now on we will be saving the brushwood for a bonfire when Jessica and Imogen bring their parents down in November.
Buried in the undergrowth by our five-barred gate Jackie discovered the remains of two little boys – sculptures, that is. One was largely intact, but with a severed head, so she laid him to rest, with a smooth stone for a pillow. The other is in rather more pieces.
So far we have found five iron stakes with ring tops protruding from the gravelled earth. Apart from constantly tripping us up, they seem to serve no useful purpose. Maybe they were once used to tether elephants. Jackie spent most of the morning trying to dig one up. Somewhere deep down there is a further fixture preventing us from pulling them out. Three, with aid of an axe head, I have managed to bury out of harm’s way. The other two required the hacksaw treatment.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious chicken jalfrezi (recipe) and pilau rice. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the rioja opened the day before yesterday.