Monday, 22 June 2009

Aching Limbs

Beautiful weather again today. We have great weather Friday and Monday, but poor weather Saturday and Sunday, what's the game?
In fairness, I suppose, the weather wasn't poor over the weekend, just pretty cloudy. We did have a short downpour Saturday, but it wasn't enough to prevent me mowing the lawn (which is looking pretty good this year, by the way), or from Alice and I taking a lovely sunset stroll down by the river. While we were there we watched some terns fishing for their supper, flying over the river then just plummeting in when they saw a fish. Plus, of course, there are many swans on the Avon and they certainly make their presence felt.

Downton Sunset

Yesterday we had a Fathers Day treat of going canoeing down on the Beaulieu River. I suppose it was good in a way that we didn't get loads of full-on sun, as it was the conditions were ideal and we were out on the water for two-and-a-half hours, by which time I was well and truly knackered, and starting to get frustrated because the canoe wouldn't go where I wanted it to go (and because I was the only one who was paddling, though jacqueline will dispute this!) But still, an excellent time nonetheless, I love that kind of thing. Life just slows right down, and we were able to see plenty of birds, mostly black-headed gulls but also swans, geese, oystercatchers, lapwings and a heron. The water was also teeming with small jellyfish. Alice was most indignant because she spotted them before anyone else, and I pooh-poohed her, telling her that jellyfish were only found in the sea. So what do I know?

Keeping Fit

After canoeing we took the easy route to Bucklers Hard (i.e. we drove!) and took a chilled-out afternoon tea in the hotel there. An excellent way to rebuild our strength! Very weary, we took a short stroll before Jaqcueline chauffeur'd us home (accompanied by the sound of Alice and I snoring away!)

Friday, 19 June 2009


My Fathers' Day present arrived yesterday, a couple of days early.

Since I'd actually paid half towards it myself, I felt it gave me the right to try it out before Sunday. So, for the last two evenings there has been lots of shouting from in front of the TV, as I am struggling to get to grips with EA Sports new Tennis game for the Wii. Complete with the all new wizzy plug-in motion sensor.

Looks very promising, but I wish the bloody computer wouldn't cheat so much!

Another perfectly sunny day today, looking forward to the weekend as we're going canoeing in the Forest on Sunday, although I really need to get some stuff done in the garden tomorrow.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Lazy Bones

Really beautiful morning today, with picture-perfect blue skies and sunshine from an early hour. What a pity that I enjoyed it mostly from the train up to London.
Not so last Saturday, when we went out on an RSPB cruise along the Purbeck coast in very murky conditions. Fortunately however the rain, for the most part, held off and despite poor light I did manage to take some decent-enough photographs of the sea birds we saw along the way. All in all, a lovely way to spend an evening.

Click on either of the photos above to go across to Flickr and view some more photos.

Although weekdays are still spent in London (the taxman will be very happy on Thursday when he receives the £3000 I've just sent him!), we're starting to pick up a little on out weekend activities. Its a shame really that I haven't got my act a little more together and written a little more frequently recently. The weekend before, the weather wasn't so brilliant, so I made good on my promise to take Alice over to Splashdown in Poole, something she'd been asking about for a while. What can I say? For me it wore quite thin quite quickly (although I did like the ride on the rubber tyres), but Alice loved it.

Then, the weekend before that, we took a trip out to Hurst Castle for the day, somewhere I've been wanting to visit for a while. Again, picture-perfect weather and an excellent little boat trip from Keyhaven to boot! (Jacqueline in particular is a sucker for these little boat trips.) We finished that particular day with a brief drive over to Lymington for a stroll and some end-of-day tea. Again, some decent photographs:

Finally, the weekend before that (I think we're back to the late May Bank Holiday now!), we had a weekend close to home, but we did take advantage of some more beautiful weather to go on a nice 5-or-so-mile walk around the village. We've lived in Downton over ten years now, but this was the first time we'd ever walked over to Charlton and back. Beautiful, walking through the meadows along the Avon, and with the heat of the day it was all we could do to keep ourselves from jumping in! And yes, you guessed it, I took some photographs here also. In particular there is a view across the meadows to the village, with the river in the foreground and the parish church (St Laurence's) in the background - this stuff really is picture-postcard-typical-English-village material. Check it out:

Oh, and since I'm writing anyway, we also went to the New Forest Reptile Centre that weekend. Good views of the reptiles and a lovely stroll through the forest.

...and did I mention that the weekend before we headed across to the RSPB reserve at Arne? Where we saw a variety of birds (and heard, but didn't see, an osprey), and also loads of Sika deer? I would definitely recommend a visit.

Lastly, a thought for the mighty Blues, who despite a brilliant effort succumbed to Abramovich's superstars in the FA Cup final. Fortunately from my perspective, nothing in the house got broken! And poor Alice is off school at the moment with an ear infection. This means Jacqueline is also off work and is herself developing an ear infection!

So you can see, although I've been total rubbish at typing blog entries, I have at least been busy both outside and on Flickr. But I'll make this a one-off entry now since I don't want my blog to turn into just a commentary on my Flickr account.