Surfing The Solent

For lunch today, we joined Mum, Elizabeth, Danni, and Ella for lunch at Woodpeckers.

Ella seemed at home in her throne while she played with Mum’s finger;

afterwards she was happy to be passed around. Danni e-mailed these images to me.

We all enjoyed tender, lean, beef casserole; creamy mashed potatoes; tender carrots and green beans, followed by pear sponge and custard. Apple juice and red and white wines were on offer. Each of us chose our preferred beverage. Mum was given her requested orange juice. Teas and coffees were to follow.

Afterwards Jackie and I continued into the forest. As we left I wondered where else one would find

ponies wandering about outside a care home carrying the outstanding rating of the top 3% in the country?

On Furzey Lane, near Beaulieu, one chestnut pony waited patiently at a gate; and a thatcher’s donkey took a rooftop view.

“Ah. A donkey derby”, exclaimed Jackie as we reached East Boldre and encountered these animals on the road, some making their way to their job of trimming grassy areas and holly hedges, turning up their noses at as yet unripe blackberries equally within their reach.

One unfortunate child, missing a shoe, had been forced to hop home from there.

At the end of Tanners Lane strong winds whipped waves ashore, attracting

both sailboarders and kite-surfers.

I was able to watch a young man and his father set up his sailboard, and, whilst enjoying a conversation with the older man and younger boy,

watch an impressive display of sailboarding. As always, enlargement of these images may be obtained with clicks which will access the galleries.

This evening we dined on piquant cheese and bacon omelettes with toast. Jackie drank Blue Moon and I didn’t.

Lunchtime

Part of Mum’s deal at Woodpeckers Care home is that she can entertain guests to lunch once a week.

Elizabeth, Jackie, and I were her visitors today. My meal was Cajun chicken with Lyonnaise potatoes, carrots, and curly kale; the others opted for gammon. Mum chose stewed apricots with ice cream for dessert; the rest of us enjoyed plum crumble. We were served in our own quiet room. Service was friendly and efficient. The food was very good.

Afterwards, Jackie and I took a trip around the forest.

It is not unusual to see requests for information about hit and run accidents involving ponies. This, featuring a Shetland on the road to Beaulieu, was one of two we passed today.

Although much of it has been cut back by now, blackthorn has proliferated in the hedgerows for several weeks now.

As we rounded a bend on approaching East End we were struck by this fortuitous juxtaposition of maple and photinia.

Nearby one of a group of basking cattle suckled her calf which was enjoying its own lunchtime.

Donkeys were hard at work trimming the village’s hedgerows.

More cattle were serving themselves to lunch from the verges of Tanners Lane.

Beside Sowley Lane a flamboyant cock pheasant flashed across the road and fled beneath barbed wire fencing.

Another merged into hay stalks among scavenging crows beside a field of rape, many of which

are beginning to slash the landscape with sunlight.

More of the more colourful birds foraged in

this historic field with its

views across The Solent to the Isle of Wight.

This evening we dined on spicy Diablo pizza with plentiful fresh salad. Jackie drank more of the Sauvignon Blanc and I enjoyed Maipo Valley Carménere 2016 from the Majestic Definition range.

Woodpeckers

Elizabeth moved Mum into

Woodpeckers Residential Home early yesterday evening, so we paid our mother visit this afternoon. Notice the cattle grid at the entrance intended to deter hopeful ponies from obtaining treats from the residents.

Initial reactions are very good. The converted house is well appointed, and the staff caring and attentive, Mum appears relaxed and satisfied, although she does tear up the rather luxurious paper napkins into four smaller sections in the interests of economy. There were three this afternoon, for we were all given tea and cake. Jackie assisted with a pair of scissors.

As we left, Elizabeth was arriving to help sort some of Mum’s belongings.

A stream runs alongside the building and under the drive.

A fine display of crocuses glowed in the front garden.

The home is not far from open moorland where ponies roam

We returned home via Rhinefield Ornamental drive,

where the sun set the trees dancing.

This evening we dined on second helpings of yesterday’s excellent Forest Tandoori takeaway meal.