Not Passing The Time Of Day

Holmsley Passage cuts through stretch of moorland on the way to Burley. There is a sweep down to a  deep valley which rises as a little bridge takes us up the other side.

Late this afternoon, as we drove along it, the sunshine and showers offered enticing landscape lighting

bringing a glint to a the eye of a trotting thrush.

Bright yellow gorse blended with burnished bracken,

among which bronzed browsing ponies nibbled

and cloven-hoofed cattle chomped.

A black cow ambled across the junction with the main road into Burley,

pausing to admire its reflection in a gutter pool.

Crossing the road at this point, and turning right takes us up to a popular dog walking spot.

Halfway up the slope lies a small pond also harbouring reflections

admired by a distant robin, its breast russet as an autumn leaf, standing out against the shadow of a lichen covered tree,

Back towards Burley the lowering sun still burnished the trees  and the bracken among which

walkers wandered

with their straining dogs,

while ponies cropped the grass.

One canine creature, its tail aloft, passed a busy grey pony. They did not pass the time of day.

Heading towards Lyndhurst the skies grew more dramatic,

in preparation for impending sunset which would soon be visible from the approach to Holmsley Road.

Elizabeth returned this evening after her next stint of moving in to her Pilley House. We dined on bacon chops; sautéed potatoes; spicy ratatouille; and piquant cauliflower cheese Jackie drank Hoegaarden and my sister and I drank Terre de Galets Cotes du Rhone 2016.

 

 

 

Haven’t We Seen Them Before?

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This being a glorious Saturday in the tourist season, we ventured out early into the forest. Groups of walkers toting huge packs; a solitary jogger; and numerous cyclists were already on the road.

Jackie parked the Modus on a verge in the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive while I wandered among the giant redwoods and the cones underfoot.

A number of benches have been strategically placed, some partnered by marker posts bearing interesting carvings, perhaps from these majestic trees.

Our stopping point was prompted by my spotting a family group on a bench alongside a path. A couple with a dog walked past them and continued on their way. The youngest member of the group rose from her seat and photographed the others. She enjoyed a stretch, and they walked on with their dog.

Many other families could be glimpsed among the forest giants. One couple pushed a baby in a buggy; slightly older children and other dogs scampered along.

Two groups converged, and passed each other with no apparent acknowledgement. Just a moment. Haven’t we already seen the second group on the other side of the road?

On the outskirts of Brockenhurst on our way home, a group of pony trekkers crossing the road demonstrated that it is not just the free-ranging animals that hold up the traffic.

For me, this afternoon’s main viewing event was the Wimbledon women’s tennis final between Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams. Scheduling clashes and delay caused by last night’s epic men’s battles meant I could not watch the tennis on BBC One and the third place World Cup football play-off between England and Belgium on ITV. I settled for the continuation of the Djokovic/Nadal semi final into the fifth set, then the first half of the football, followed by the complete women’s final.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid pork paprika with vegetable rice. She had drunk her Hoegaarden and I had finished the Malbec in the Rose Garden beforehand.

 

None Of The Dogs

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This morning Jackie delivered me to a bench on the corner of the green at Milford on Sea an hour before my appointment with Peter of Sears Barbers who cut my hair. Off she went shopping, leaving me to play with my cameras, and returned to collect me afterwards.

My vantage point allowed me to watch a variety of people crossing the road;

Boxes on barrow

One young man, passing The Smugglers Inn car park, toted a pile of boxes on a sack barrow.

Couple turning corner

A couple walked around the corner into Sea Road;

Biker and passenger

another took a similar route by motor bike.

The window of Biscuit House at 64 High Street attracted attention for some; others, more interested in their arms around each other, walked leisurely past.

Dogs were being walked;

one terrier in particular was content to be tied up outside Village Veg while its owners shopped inside. Afterwards a sparring partner was encountered.

Customers of Hurst On The Hill, with another dog, were happy to take their refreshments outside. Maybe they had obtained their cash from the ATM in Winkworth’s wall being passed by this couple. This building was once a bank, then a beauty parlour. The cash machine has been kept in service by each occupier.

Village VegConversation outside Village Charity ShopWalkers outside Village Charity Shop

Various conversations were held outside the small shops, one on a mobile phone as the family walked on.

There was an interesting juxtaposition of bikers and a cyclist, who, later pushed his steed up the hill.

CyclistCyclist tying up bikeCyclist with shoppingCyclist

Noticing another cyclist coming into view, I waited for her to pass a parked vehicle, not realising she would provide a little story. She swung round and came to a halt beside me, tying her transport to the railings at the crossing. It was some time later that she returned, and, sensibly clinging to the bottle, dropped all her purchases which she decanted into the pannier and set off back the way she had come.

Readers will by now be aware that there was not a great deal of road space either at this junction or up the hill between the green and shops. Imagine my surprise, then, at seeing a lorry carrying a LONG Salisbury static caravan up this route. One gentleman walked in front, shooed away vehicles such as an obdurate Land Rover, and guided the skilful driver through his obstacle course.

Man with walking aid

I really admire some of the ageing residents who manage with all manner of walking aids.

Couple at bench, phone box, pillar box

On an earlier visit to my barbers I had watched the telephone box, now taken over by the community, being restored. I wondered what it would be used for. In fact it contains racks for Dementia Information. At the moment they are empty.

Walkers along High Street

Across the road, indicated by its red and white striped pole, is the barbers.

Pointing boy

None of the dogs on leads tugged at their owners. That could not be said of this little boy.

This afternoon I watched the Wimbledon tennis match between Serena Williams and Evgeniya Rodina.

This evening we enjoyed two excellent meals at The Royal Oak. Mine was smoked pork rib, French fries, coleslaw, and fresh, well-dressed salad. Jackie’s was a burger in a brioche, with French fries. The fries were presented in large bowls, the coleslaw in a smaller one. Each meal was served on a large wooden platter with a handle. Jackie drank Amstell and I drank Malbec.

 

 

Apple Or Ice Cream?

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Knowing that today would be the hottest May bank holiday on record prompted a trip to Lyndhurst for a spell of people watching.

On our way, Jackie parked opposite The White Hart in Milford Road on the outskirts of Lymington so that I could walk back to the roundabout and photograph the bluebells and other wild flowers on the banked verges. As I returned to the car along the footpath, a couple of cyclists approaching me from behind asked me to “excuse” them. I was unable to move out of the way, even if I had been so inclined. They were forced to pop up onto the grass, but thanked me anyway.

Eventually Lyndhurst High Street and its traffic became so crowded that it was impossible to focus on anything from my perch on one of the benches beside the pillar boxes, so we went home.

The High Street is approached down the hill beside the parish church of St Michael and All Angels. The Antiques Centre stands next to Down to the Wood where Romsey Road forms a T junction. On this corner people tend to stand to make up their minds which way to go next.

Often, like this couple pausing at Paws in the Forest, they will wander up the hill and return with an ice cream purchased at

the outlet advertising its wares with its outsize cone. One little girl chose an ice cream to match her blue sandals.

Cornets were definitely the treat of choice, although one gentleman preferred an apple.

Judging by the number of mobile homes, some carrying bicycles, in the perpetual stream of traffic, many travellers were making their way back to London or to Southampton.

Woman with mobile phone

At least one mobile phone was in evidence.

Man carrying toddler

One gentleman was in need of liquid fuel as he carried his toddler.

Family groups

and others, walked aided or unaided, with or without dogs, occasionally pushing bikes, thronged the pavement, crossing the road when there was a gap in the traffic.

This afternoon, I joined Jackie for her gardening break in the Westbrook Arbour, facing the Phantom Path. These views met our eyes.

With this evening’s meal of pepperoni pizza and plentiful salad, I finished the pinot noir since I had preserved some from our drinks on the patio. Jackie had consumed all her Hoegaarden.

 

 

Crow

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The apparel of the people in today’s photographs demonstrates that, although dry,  the day was once more cold and dismal.

Those walking along Mudeford quay or on the spit were well wrapped up.

We have never seen the water so low at this spot, where the burnt sienna of the exposed sandbank blended with the indigos of the Isle of Wight and The Needles.

It was Jackie who realised the purpose of the red and green buoys was to guide seafarers like these jet skiers, who obligingly arrived to prove her point, round the sandbank.

Gull with crab

A gull made off with a crab.

Not far from the quay is Avon Beach, where, again, those who had ventured onto the sands were swathed in warm clothing.

Crow

A menacing crow lurched awkwardly across the sand.

This evening we dined on a pepperoni pizza topped with additional cheese and tomato, accompanied by salad, with which I drank more of the merlot.

 

 

Head To Head

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A patch of mostly dull and cold weather is giving me ample reasons for continuing with the scanning of the negatives of the long walk of the rather hot July of 2003. Today we are again back on the River Thames in South Oxfordshire.

Couples walking 7.03

This was still near enough to normal civilisation for elderly couples to be out walking along the banks.

If there were any footpaths on this stretch, they lay beneath the ripeness of Summer requiring negotiation, in the form of wild flowers attracting bees; grasses in seed; plantains trip over; broad backlit leaves bearing shadows of other floral forms; and convovulous carrying tiny beetles.

Convolvulus reflected 7.03

One of the latter plants trailed over the river, reflecting on the murky water.

Derelict hut 7.03

An avian trio perched on the coping stones of a derelict shed in need of replacement tiles;

a pair of peacocks entered into head to head negotiations;

Mallard and ducklings

a mallard paddled along ahead of her imprinted offspring;

Swans and cygnets

and a pair of swans introduced their cygnets to further reaches of the Thames.

Sheep and farm buildings 7.03

A flock of sheep grazed alongside what I took to be farm buildings of some sort.

The sun-baked natural world disregarded the two young men taking a leisurely row along the sleepy waters, passing a dangerous-looking weir, and negotiating a narrow lock.

Here, at home, dusk this evening lent a dramatic air to the looming skull of the virtually gutted North Breeze next door.

Shelly and Ron gave me a couple of very good Blason du Rhone Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2015 wines for Christmas. I drank a glass this evening with Jackie’s excellent chicken jalfrezi, and aromatic pilau rice, served with vegetable samosas. My lady finished the Coquimbo.

From High Noon To Sunset Strip

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Just after midday, Jackie drove me to Sears Barbers at Milford on Sea for Peter to cut my hair.I am accustomed to barbers laying down their shears to answer the telephone, but today’s hiatus was brought about in a manner I not experienced before.

Peter’s next customer entered the salon with the announcement that “the parking police are out”. Peter dropped his scissors and rushed out of the door. Some time later, he returned, somewhat flushed. By the skin of his teeth he had moved his car just as it was about to receive a ticket. I had never seen a man with a bad back move so fast.

After the application of my barber’s artistry, I did my best to ruin it by taking on the best the high winds could throw at me on the cliff top. I have to say that I was so pummelled by the strongest gusts I have yet experienced, that neither I nor my camera could either remain stable or see what we were doing, as

I focussed on the sea below.

Sometimes the unsteadiness showed in the results.

Midday sun

Even this image of the midday sun and the shot of The Needles above were naturally virtually monochrome.

Walkers 1

Eventually I sought refuge in the car. One of three walkers along the path replied that he didn’t blame me when I announced that I had had enough.

Soon afterwards I was amused to see one of these adopting the same bracing stance that I had taken, as he, also, captured the moment.

We then took a turn round the forest. On a lane outside Bransgore, with the sun shining straight into my eyes, I had not seen the pony crossing immediately in front of us. Fortunately Jackie, whose view was shaded, had seen the animal and slowed down as it ambled on its way.

Dog walkers on lane

Round the next bend a couple walking their dog hastened to the verge.

We were a little too late to catch the sunset at Barton on Sea, however, we were rewarded by one

Sunset

over Roger Cobb’s fields

Sunset in pools

which was reflected in the strip of potholes on the path between them.

This evening we dined on roast duck breasts and sweet potatoes; new potatoes and peas; with wonderful gravy, with which I drank more of the merlot.