Talking Heads

I may have mentioned that my Canon 70-300mm lens became stuck just before Christmas, and I took it into Wessex Photographic in Ringwood for a quotation. This has come back. The cost is £70 more than a second-hand one the store had in stock. That being a no-brainer, Jackie drove me to replace my older second-hand model with a newer one.

Afterwards we brunched in Café Aroma, and, through their crystal clear plate glass window, I tried out this newly acquired piece of equipment, by photographing

passers-by.

One gentleman vaped outside the smokers’ shelter,

through the transparent sheet of which I photographed some talking heads.

Suitably sated, we continued into the forest where a light frost still lay in patches. Perhaps because we are so near the coast we haven’t yet experienced this.

At North Gorley a saturated area of turf wore white patches beside a pool covered in semi-melted ice. Reflections rested undisturbed on the otherwise limpid surface.

As the leisurely grazing sheep discovered on Cadnam Lane, frost lingered beside the hedges. Perhaps the equine droppings among the ovine diners had been left by

the string of stubby ponies following their relatively gigantic grey leader down the road. One forlorn little fellow just couldn’t keep up,

until its companions paused for refreshments.

A motley array of cuddly creatures clambered over a farm gate in an endeavour to escape the peacocks within.

On our way home we noticed that The Bell at Bank has a rather cheeky event coming up on 25th January

Jackie said she felt like another Christmas dinner today, so she produced roast chicken; Yorkshire pudding; roast potatoes and parsnips; moist bread sauce; firm sage and onion stuffing; and crunchy carrots and cauliflower. Becky drank Diet Coke, and I drank Famille Perrin Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2016. Ian wasn’t feeling well. Maybe he will eat later.

Portrait Of A Village

Hellebore 1Hellebore 2A sprinkling of rain refreshed us as we wandered round the garden this morning, discovering everywhere a fine varied crop of hellebores in full bloom.

This afternoon Jackie had a coffee date with Helen. Although the high temperature in Milford on Sea was only forecast to reach 3 to 4 degrees, we were to expect sunshine and showers, so my lady drove me there before going on to Highcliffe to meet her sister. It seemed to me that this would be an opportune time to wander about the village with my camera. No-one had mentioned that the showers would be hail and sleet, the first of which struck as Jackie drove away. I spent the next two and a half hours alternately circumperambulating the one way system and the green; taking shelter when necessary; and sitting on wet benches; but I was rewarded with suitable light.

Milford on Sea 1Milford on Sea 2Milford on Sea 3Milford on Sea 4Milford on Sea 5Milford on Sea 6Milford on Sea 7Milford on Sea 8

The Red Lion pub can be seen in the above picture. The village also boasts The Smugglers Inn, past which a woman with a walking aid carried home her shopping. Other residents, some with dogs and some with children, were similarly occupied.

Woman outside The Smugglers InnGrey haired womanWoman with dog

One woman was forced to keep tugging her dog away from the gutter as she passed the Post Office. The Telephone and pillar boxes stand beside The Old Smithy which is now a gift shop.

The Old SmithyTelephone and pillar boxes

The usual airborne warfare took place over the rooftops as gulls battled for perches.

Rooftops with gullsGlassware in The Village windowDoll in The Village Window

There are a number of good quality antique shops like ‘The Village’ which has interesting china and glassware in one rain-spattered window, and one of those dolls which are so lifelike as to appear ghoulish to us, in another.

Woman and child outside charity shopCharity shop windowMarjory's window

The Charity Shop received regular visitors, and Marjory’s Florist and Fruiterers next door displayed rich red rhubarb and, I think, persimmons.

Child's portrait in Lynk PhotographicLynk Photographic

The eyes of a stunning child’s portrait gleamed through the glass window of Lynk Photography Studios, which occupies an attractive building on a corner site.Entrance down steps

To the rear of this building steep steps lead down to someone’s cocooned entrance door.

Green and benches

At the high point of the green can be found other residences I though worthy of note, such as:Green Cottage

Green Cottage,

Myrtle Cottage

Myrtle Cottage,

Milford Cottage

and Milford Cottage.

Polly's Pantry window

Towards the end of my photoshoot, driven by sleet and hail, and attracted by its appetising window display, I, almost literally, since the dining area is quite a bit lower than street level, dived into Polly’s Pantry where, in convivial company with friendly service, I enjoyed a warming pot of tea. Some two hours before this I had exchanged greetings with a plucky, disabled, elderly gentleman who, with the help of a wheeled walking aid made his cheerful way along the undulating pavements. He did say it wasn’t very pleasant weather, but hardly in a complaining manner. This was Percy who, as I sat at my table, opened the door and manoeuvred his frame down the step where he was warmly welcomed as an obvious regular, and assisted to his seat, by the young lady who happily entered my shot of the shop. Nick, the young proprietor bakes all the cakes you see in the picture.

I was rather relieved when Jackie arrived to take me home to thaw out and, later, to enjoy her delicious lamb jalfrezi and glorious savoury rice, accompanied by Castillo Albai reserva rioja 2010.