Friday 30 December 2022

New Forest Winter

Winter in the New Forest really doesn't get much better than this.

Up early for breakfast in Lyndhurst, the ground white with frost and clear blue skies, positively lifts the soul.

 Shame that we've had rain pretty much every day sine these pics were taken.

Sunday 25 December 2022

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

The lobster pot Christmas tree, on the town quay Emsworth looking splendid as usual.

Saturday 24 December 2022

He's making a list

 And checking it twice

Gonna find out who's "nauti" and nice

Friday 23 December 2022

Christmas Tree Festival

Local church St John's at Locks Heath held a Christmas tree festival, local schools and club were invited to decorate trees with a theme. I didn't count how many trees there were but the church and the church hall alongside were full of wonderfully decorated trees. To add to the event local musicians were on hand and refreshments were being served on a cold and dark Saturday afternoon.

Suitably decorated in musical theme The Joy of Singing by the Sheppard Singers.

Probably a good reminder as we go into Christmas and the all too usual over indulgence, St John's Slimming World tree, probably will pick up a few new members in the new year :O)

 Celebrations vs Heroes by the Churchwardens, bit of a play on words as both are chocolates,  a good way to celebrate our heroes

This was really lovely, you could write a dedication or memory to someone on a paper star and hang it on the tree which was very popular as can be seen.

Local Beaver troop (where Joseph got started with Scouts) - you can't help but smile.

Those were just a few of my favorites, thanks to everyone who put in so much time and effort. 
Merry Christmas

Monday 19 December 2022

Local warming

 The cold spell that has been around for almost two weeks is coming to an end. With the wind swinging around from the north to the south replacing the cold with warm air from the Mediterranean and north Africa temperatures were set to rise from all day sub 0 degrees C rising over the weekend to reach as high as 12 degrees C today.

Unless we have another cold spell this might be the last we see of the cold landscape for a while. 

Above the ponds at Holly Hill, in the foreground presumably the constant motion of the water has kept the surface clear while the upper pond is solid.

Ice capped mud on the little creek by Brooklands.

Friday 16 December 2022


The ancient city of Winchester is only a few miles away but for one reasons or another we very rarely go there, but with a day off and fine weather Mrs BB and I drove over for an almost touristy look around. An early stop was the cathedral which was open for the mourning of Queen Elizabeth. and gave Mrs BB the opportunity to light candles for two family members who are in difficulty.

Following the Itchen Way out of town are the remains of Wolvesey Castle, know as the Old Bishop's Palace. Now in ruin but sympathetically stabilised. The original site dates back to 970 and was briefly fortified during the later years of Henry of Blois, the Bishop of Winchester around 1126.

The Itchen trail follows delightful water meadow out beyond the city limits.

The water is fast flowing and crystal clear filtered as it is by the chalk hills of the south downs.

The cathedral is a major landmark, visible from the surrounding hills and is perhaps one of the finest medieval cathedrals in England and even Europe. I'm sure the cost of upkeep is huge but I do have an issue with the church charging £10 for entry, that seems very counter to it's purpose.


Monday 12 December 2022

Hillhead & Salterns

 A fine settled day for a ride along the coast from Gilkicker, Stokes Say, Lee on Solent and finally stopping off at Hillhead. Two local fleets were out sailing in the light airs, looking westward Hillhead SC

And looking eastward Salterns SC

One of the last rides of the season before I put the bike away for the winter, I don't like cleaning and polishing much so keeping the winter dirt and especially road salt off the bike is a good way to go.


Saturday 10 December 2022

Winter High

 With a low over the Baltic and high pressure in the Atlantic we've had cold, northeasterly winds culminating in a spectacular clear sunny day.

Even at midday the ornamental lakes in Holy Hill were frozen, no where near enough for skating solid enough.

 Sun over Bunny Meadow

 Doesn't get much better, white frost still hanging around in the shadows

Friday 9 December 2022


 We were in France again for the autumn half term holiday, quite a few people ask what the Eurotunnel between England and France is like, and for us the answer is really good.  Our experience, as you arrive  the terminal the number plate recognition systems pulls up your details instantly, stop for a coffee and stretch legs after  the journey down to Folkstone by which time it's time to drive onboard the waiting train.

Above, we were the first car on the train,  would have  been interesting to record the distance 200 or 300 meters maybe. After that it's sit back, in my case snooze and half an hour later drive off pretty much straight onto the French motorway.

This year especially, both the French and English passport/customs checks have been very smooth, even with the post Brexit changes.

Especially at this time of year it beats bouncing around for hours on a ferry like we used to.

We stopped off in Coquelles for something to eat, maybe not typical French food but they do serve beer in McDonald's.

Monday 5 December 2022

Regatta de Bois

Noirmoutier-en-iles apart from being a charming place has more than a few classic wooden boats and it;s own wooden boat regatta. Sadly we has missed it.

 Here's a selection of the local boats, all well kept and well suited to the area. The regular reader will probably understand when I say that I was in day boat heaven.


Friday 2 December 2022

Odd Cat?

A very off looking craft and rig seen on the Medina, sadly too far out for a better look or picture.

 From the picture it's not clear if it's a catamaran or a wide mono hull with twin rudders and gantry mast arrangement.

Thursday 1 December 2022


 Nice surprise this morning at the start of advent.

Twenty four  cans of beer, given that I don't actually drink much these days might be a challenge or the opportunity to get some help in to work through the variety of festive ales.

Today's starter beer is Viennese larger, cooling in the fridge.

Interesting that in many eastern European churches, the nativity Fast is a similar period of penance and preparation that occurs during the 40 days before Christmas, given the excesses most of us indulge in over Christmas that might perhaps be a more sensible preparation.

However you engage with Advent, most would see it as a see it as a time for hope and joy which we could all do with more of in the world today.