Friday, 6 August 2010

Back in the New Forest Again

Last weekend Mark and I went down to the caravan at  Sandy Balls to spend a couple of nights in the New Forest, taking the usual car-load of clothes and footwear for every conceivable weather permutation, photography equipment, and food for a BBQ that Mark had in his freezer from the last barbie at home.  Weather nicer in London than it was in Hampshire, which was overcast although not unduly chilly.  Risked leaving on favourite dress with pink cardi and sandals as wanted to carry on feeling Girly and had no desire to get into jeans and a t-shirt for our usual walk down to the river.

Me, looking pink and fluffy and girly ;)


Ooh!


Best of a bad bunch - little buggers just didn't keep
still, and the wind was blowing the thistles too!




Mark posing


Are YOU an Otter Spotter?


No idea what this is, but it was pretty
(and it stayed still longer than the busy bees)

Hover fly





Mark with a tiny eyeball-wateringly
bitter apple from a nearby tree

This way!





Through the window of some unfinished and abandoned
cottages on a farmer's land




Gate detail


A Man and his BBQ is a Happy Man indeed :))


Holly leaf with your sausage and burgers?


I'm hungry all over again just looking at this -
it was yummy!

Just about warm enough to sit outside for supper
(hold on a minute, isn't it nearly August?!)

Mmmm, sausages!


On Saturday we hired bikes as has become customary, to indulge in our (customary) pub crawl with some cycling - erm, I mean, healthy and invigorating twenty mile cycle ride with a few restorative pubs along the way.  I was determined to get off and push less on hills than I had done on the previous two trips, and was pleased that I did manage this, so am obviously getting better at this cycling lark.  Put in lots of effort, even if I had to use what Mark scathingly describes as "Granny Gears" (1:1, legs whizzing round, moving VERY slowly uphill), and was fine - maybe one day in the not-too-distant-future I'll actually be able to cycle up all the hills without having to stop for a breather at all?



Dew in the gorse
















Mark taking a photo


Me!





These horses weren't hanging round for a conversation











Mr B's healthy and nourishing snack at one of the pubs


Mark gazing ruggedly into the distance ;)


Mark risking life and limb in the middle of the
"Road of Death" (which was once a runway),
while I kept a look-out for oncoming cars

This horse refused point blank to take any
of the apples being offered by Mark,
preferring to eat them off the ground

A Sundew??


Heather bells


My favourite part of the cycle ride


We saw quite a lot of this while we were there


Mr B (needing a shave)


Dinky baby donkey licking the back wheel of my bike
(he/she seemed to find it MOST tasty!)

"Service! Or I'll poo on your forecourt - 
oh, I just did"

A very entertaining pig


Mark trying to tempt piggy with a scrummy leaf





Last pub stop of the day


On Sunday we took advantage of our National Trust membership and drove to Mottisfont near Romsey to have a look around.  There was a Beatrix Potter exhibition going on in the house (which we missed because there was an enormous queue of grannies waiting to shuffle in and we couldn't be bothered), which meant there were various strange straw replicas of some of Potter's characters dotted around the gardens, plus little foam bunnies bearing rabbit facts for the kiddies (which I enjoyed too).  Simple pleasures eh?











Mr B


Contortions to get the right photograph


Did you know that?


"Peter Rabbit"











Orange bugs getting jiggy in the lavender








Mark patiently waiting for me to emerge from the house


Mark, after trying some of my Elderflower cordial
(he didn't like it in case you can't guess)




A very pretty pot arrangement which I would
love to have in my garden







This rose smelled as gorgeous as it looks



Clematis seeds (I love these, they are so pretty)







Peter Rabbit's coat in Mr McGregor's shed


The scarecrow Mr McGregor made with Peter's clothes











"Quack quack!"


A little "boat" made by someone, which sailed past
us as we sat on the riverbank

The Delectable Mr B :)





"Jeremy Fisher"


Saw a forlorn teddy in a tree as we drove to Mottisfont, decided that if it was there on our return journey I was going to rescue it and take it home.  As we approached the tree on the way back, I saw that it was indeed still there, so asked Mark to pull over and went to investigate.  Teddy was wearing a green jacket and was tied to the branch of the tree with a piece of orange string, and he was also sitting on top of lots of earwigs which scattered irritably once I untied him - gave him a good shake until they dropped off.  On getting back to the car and having a close look, found that his green jacket was still very ear-wiggy (they were all snuggled up in the armpits) so I took it off and turned it inside-out to get rid of the last few.  Once teddy and his jacket have been through the wash he'll be right as rain.  Christened him Mottisfont in honour of the day of his rescue.  I know Mark thinks I'm barking but I don't care ;)


Rescue Bear, a.k.a. Mottisfont


Lunch with our new friend.
Mark looks SO impressed, doesn't he?


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