(0h) May 2020

1 May

A Good Start, and Well Done

You may know that Captain Colonel Tom Moore, one hundred years old yesterday, closed his JustGiving page at midnight. His aim was to raise £1000 for the NHS. It has been fascinating to see the progress he made, it was exciting when he got to a million, but as you see from the screenshot below, he far, far surpassed that.

A magnificent achievement

Today I had to venture into B&Q, which has just reopened. it was very impressive indeed. A security man at the door insisted that each customer had either a trolley or a wheelie-basket, and we were instructed to put the items in with the bar codes facing upwards. Someone else reminded us about safe distancing when we got in. Having found my batteries, I put them in the trolley, bar-code upwards as requested, and queued at the recommended distance.

Safe distancing

Paying was even more impressive! The belt had inverted buckets on it, so that the customer’s items had to be left in the basket, bar codes upwards as previously instructed. This then had to be left by the gate to the till, which was also covered with a screen, and I was told to move away. The lady then left her till and went to the basket and leaned over and scanned the item without touching it. (In the picture above the man in blue has had to step back while the items are scanned.) The only proximity occurred when I paid, and only payment by card was acceptable, with the assistant behind the screen and with a large plastic face mask on too. So well done, B&Q: that is definitely how to do it!

To close, a large poster showing good and bad!

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4 May 2020

Bad News About the Carnival

Nothing much today, so here are two pictures from yesterday. The Burton teddy is still there, with the world going by at its feet with scarcely a glance, and some well deserved praise during the crisis. There are so many helping us, at some risk to themselves, and it is good to see them also getting recognition.

Finally some bad, though probably expected, news. The Echo reports that this year’s Christchurch Carnival has been cancelled. It is always a great event, but COVID-19 will be over eventually, so here’s to the 2021 Carnival!

A picture from August 19, 2018. Click to go to that report.

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5 May

Good News?

You may be aware that after quite a lengthy few weeks with a lockdown – such as it is! – it is likely that the Prime Minister will be giving an update, with probable changes, on Sunday. Just in case you need it, or to smile with a glow of anticipation, this sign was by the Sainsbury’s roundabout this morning. Hopefully it is a premonition of the future:

Finally, the two pictures below have absolutely nothing of relevance to this site, or to Christchurch, but I thought that the New Milton garden below looked spectacular, like something from the verdant, abundant countryside.

A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot!
Rose plot,
Fringed pool,
Fern’d grot –
The veriest school
Of peace …

Click for a larger image
Click for a larger image

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6 May

A Prepared Teddy

This was seen on a gate near to the Hoburne roundabout. It was bright and sunny, so there was obviously no need to unfurl the umbrella!

On a happier, though duller, note, the Wilverley Road tips, and two tips in Bournemouth and Poole, will be opening on Monday 11 May from 9am-6pm. Long queues are expected, so only go if it is essential. Note that the re-use shop in Christchurch and the New To You shop at Nuffield, Poole, will not be open, and no tip will be available for commercial recycling. Full details here.

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7 May

A Confession

This morning, in the woods near Hinton Admiral station, I saw what appeared to be a snake on the path. The description of ‘snake’ was to tempt you to click. In fact, I think it was a slow worm. It was sunning itself on the path, and the when I clumped along it scarpered. The pictures are inadequate, for the first time I didn’t have a zoom lens with me, only a wide-angle prime. I don’t think David Attenborough has any worries, but you may be able to spot it in the slide show below. I did not pick it up, as they are a protected species, and in any case it wouldn’t have been good for the snake legless lizard.

You may remember the wall outside the Rothesay Hotel, on Lymington Road, which was badly damaged in a car accident in 2018. it has been repaired, though it still needs to have many years of weathering to look as good as old!

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8 May

Really Good VE Display

Note – In each case, click the picture for a larger version.

An impressive junction in Winkton

As you can see, above, I was impressed this morning to see an impressive array of flags in Winkton. After a five-minute sit on the bench, it was a walk down Stony Lane into Christchurch. On the way I saw a display of pottery (?) sheep and lambs in a garden. The picture below does not do it justice, but that is because there was a warning on the gate about a loose Staffie or Shar Pei. I am not sure which this was, but I decided not to find out! It is on the left in the picture, looking at me very suspiciously.

Dog alert, or alert dog!

On the way into Christchurch there were two impressive flags on a bungalow.

Well done

I admit that I was very disappointed when reaching the High Street that there was hardly a flag in sight, and certainly not an official one on the Town Hall, so I was pleased that a couple sitting in the underpass enjoying a pasty and a drink asked what I had been photographing. Concerned at my disappointment, they told me that there was a good display on Beaconsfield Road, near to Waitrose. If they see this, please accept my thanks – it was great! The first picture below is from the rear entrance to Waitrose, and shows the shopping queue with a lady who looked very appropriately dressed below a flag – this is in the back garden of one of the houses in Beaconsfield Road. I joined the queue behind her and she looked great, definitely not a wartime girl. You can see the full-size versions in the gallery by choosing View Full Size on the bottom right. Well done to the Beaconsfield Road residents: they stood for the two minute silence at 11 o’clock, and even the young children did well.

Finally, what would an update here be without a picture of another distressed, or happy, teddy!

Enjoying the sun in Burton

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9 May

A Hot Day but a Quiet One

Highcliffe Cliff Top car park this morning. Usually it would be bank-holiday full!

Although I am not a great fan of dogs (sorry, canine aficionados!), two dogs and their owners met on the cliff top nearby. It was obvious that the dogs were playing, the excitement was palpable. The two pictures show them in action, and surprisingly the white one won. Click to see a full-size image.

But, as I said, it was quiet.

Going back through the industrial estate behind McDonald’s. I was surprised to see a large queue. Had a unit been evacuated? No, it was a butcher’s I had never seen before. I suppose the meat must be good, the queue was a long one.

Finally, a follow-up from yesterday. Below you can see the perfect patriotic house. There is no need for more than two flags, on a street with that name.

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10 May

Not a Swan, Gull, or Duck

There is nothing wrong with those birds, of course, and I was merrily taking a few pictures when a heron (ardea cinerea) flew over. It did look spectacular, and even posed for some photographs on the old bowling green. Click the picture for a larger version: note that this is quite large, but I hope it is worth it.

Click for a larger version, 2560 x 2013

Walking by the Captain’s Club, it was good to see that they, too, appreciate the NHS, and had a prominent sign saying so.

Finally, having passed through the footpath across Twynham School grounds, I was surprised to see a small lorry which had been burned out. This was reported in The Echo as happening on Friday night, May 8. There is little text, so it is entirely reproduced below. I have not quoted any of the ubiquitous ‘humorous’ comments – there is little point.

CREWS used two hose reel jets to put out a van fire in Christchurch last night. Emergency services were called to Stour Road at 9.17pm and one crew from Christchurch fire station attended the scene.

Note that I did not ‘cross this line,’ as the police tape ordered – it was possible to poke the camera through the window.

When troubles come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.’ It is taxed until January next year, and its MOT is was valid until September!

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13 May

Facilities Update

Today some of the the restrictions on access to recreational and parking amenities were lifted, provided – or course! – that social distancing is maintained.

In fact, the local tips opened on Monday, and as expected there were very large queues. There is information, and a picture, on the waste page. Today I went to the Wilverley Road site in Christchurch and as I expected the queues were much reduced, though admittedly this was only at around 10am.

Update, 22 May, 11am – Long queue at this site, into the main road. (No picture taken)

On a more pastoral note, the golf courses are now open. This was Highcliffe:

Finally, Highcliffe clifftop car park just after 8am.

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14 May

You May Not Agree

Once again I see,
These hedgerows, hardy hedgerows,

Little lines of sportive wood run wild.

William Wordsworth 

Today the following came from BCP Council (in italics):

Selected large open spaces were already being cut so that we could exercise safely, as were areas along highways that could obstruct sight lines at junctions and roundabouts. It is now safe to extend these works (observing social distancing rules) to include:

  • one mown width along the outside of all highway footpaths
  • one mown width along path edges in parks and gardens
  • common informal paths to be mown
  • strimming around seating and bins

Personally, like Wordsworth, I have enjoyed seeing the hedges grow wild, like ‘Little lines of sportive wood.’ The birdsong has been noticeably louder and more enthusiastic, even taking into account the recent lack of traffic, and it seems more natural, if that is not stating the obvious.

I never knew how soothing trees are – many trees and patches of open sunlight, and tree presences – it is almost like having another being.

DH Lawrence

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15 May

Then, and Now

I’m sure you won’t remember, but on 25 November 2019 (172 days ago) three cats were in playful action by a window in a flat in Irvine Way. The white one was quite sedate, but the two friends were definitely in lively mood. Well, the picture below is the same window, yet a different one, and there are two fewer cats. There is also clear evidence of grateful children living there.

The weather was very warm today, and will be even warmer tomorrow and for a few more days. Are we in for a long, hot summer?

Ambury Lane, dry ford. Click for a larger image.

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17 May

But I Survived

Today, in line with the reduced isolation now permitted, I undertook a long walk. More about this soon, including a new attraction – the Water Works. However, in Burton once more, I passed the fierce dog sign and saw a lady tending the garden. I told her about the photograph of her pottery sheep along with dog (scroll up to 8 May, or click here) and she laughed.

The Shar Pei came bounding over and I naturally retreated. She laughed again and said the dog was fine, but did bark fiercely. Brave as a lion, I leaned over the gate to take a couple of photos. It was really quite a gentle dog, though I didn’t put my hand near (you never can tell). Sadly, I was less brave when the Staffie also bounded over. That too seemed less fierce that its reputation suggests, but I was more wary with this one. Thanks to the lady: we both laughed, and the dogs were fine. A pleasant few minutes. Pictures below, click for a larger image. Note that in the gallery, View full size, bottom right, gives an even bigger version.

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18 May

No Market Today

This will probably come as no surprise to those who go weekly, but today I visited, and saw that the market was closed. It seemed strange, and Saxon Square – usually full of people supping coffee or browsing the stalls – was so quiet just before ten o-clock that it was quite eerie.

So, after that abortive visit, it was off to the car wash for its monthly dousing and vacuuming. There was more success here: though quieter than usual, it was still doing a steady trade. The staff were as efficient as ever, and of course they were wearing face masks, and I was impressed by the spacing of the chairs. No chance to chat to your neighbour except by shouting, but in the current crisis that is no doubt a good thing. As you can see, they are even offering NHS staff half price! So well done A&G Car Wash on Barrack Road, and please don’t be suspicious – I have no financial connection with them!

Don’t move the chairs!

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19 May

A Change on Wilverley Road

On the 13th May (scroll up to look), two days after the re-opening of local tips, the queue was quite short. Well, today it was very different. Approaching, if you look past the advertising board for Brown’s Fish and Chips (and very good they are) you can see the sign for no right turn to the tip.

No right turn!

Although the junction looks quiet, couple of minutes before it had been really busy, with traffic queuing round the corner. Unfortunately some were turning right, despite the warning. There were others, so I have hidden the number plate on the one below to protect the guilty.

Tut! Tut!

Quite a long queue, it also snakes fifty yards past the corner. Note that this car HAD turned left.

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20 May

Hottest Day of the Year

But first some good news, and not about the weather. Colonel (nee Captain!) Tom has been awarded a Knighthood by Her Majesty, in recognition of the fantastic efforts he made at the age of 100 (bar a few days) to raise funds for the NHS. He collected £32,795,520. There have been various items on this site about him, but here is a report from the Daily Mail. Other publications are available, all with similar reports.

Another item caught my eye this morning, this time in the Bournemouth Echo. Painted pebbles have been placed on Avon Beach, to raise funds for the RNLI. This is what Gaynor Dervan, initiator of the idea, said:

‘The community has really enjoyed doing it. The experience has a really positive community feel to it. The pebbles are a shrine to the lockdown stories as they tell people what happened. It is a way to connect with others and it is accessible to all ages. It’s amazing how many people have been down on the beach painting pebbles.’

It could have been fate. On my walk this morning, past Burton School, there was a collection of pebbles near the gate. Not as many as at Avon Beach, of course, but they are attractive, and I liked the messages, particularly ‘I miss school.’

Click for a larger image

Finally, a walk through the now-dry meadows in the baking heat showed water was a popular attraction. Click to view.

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21 May

Come On, Avon and Highcliffe!

Bournemouth Beach has been quite famous, along with some others around the country. As you know, the lockdown has been eased, and as a presumably unintended consequence they have been very busy. Click the image below to go to a news article about this. The picture appears clearly in the article, but it is disguised here because it is not my picture to publish.

Today is, if anything, even hotter than yesterday, and I was prepared to see similar scenes at our local beaches. However, we have been showing everyone how it is done. These pictures are just after midday, when it really was hot. The first is Avon Beach, the second is Highcliffe, bathers well apart.

Finally, though I have shown a lot of signs thanking the NHS, and had determined not to publish more, I couldn’t resist the one below, seen in Highcliffe.

Well done them!

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22 May

I Hope They Pay Attention

By they, I mean the visitors. Early this morning, on the local Facebook page, there was a short video of the following sign at Mudeford Quay Car Park. As you can see, I was so impressed that I walked down to photograph it. The picture sequence looks a bit wobbly, but you get the idea!

Great for windsurfing. Click for a larger image

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24 May

Poetic Licence

Though it may disappoint, the connection between this update and the link is pretty tenuous. However, it serves to group the items below.

You may remember ‘Eat,’ previously Baggies, which re-opened a few weeks ago. Read some of the background here. It recently had a zero hygiene rating, and as the lockdown must have made it unviable, I was not surprised today to see it closed again.

Baggies, Eat, as it is today!

Then there was the burned-out lorry, which I reported on 10 May (scroll up to view). This time I was surprised: it is still there.

Finally, some good news. Refreshments are re-opening, obviously with queueing restrictions, and only for takeaway. It is good to see, though.

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25 May

Short But Very Sweet

You may remember the picture of the great sign at the Amberwood in Walkford, on April 22.

Look behind you! April 22

Today I walked in the other direction and saw the equally smart sign painted on the wall. Though it does look great, it is a pity about the hanging basket!

The other direction. Click for a larger image.

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26 May

Good Job, Burton Primary

Quite busy today, so only a brief update. Read the entry, above, for May 20. It describes the beginning of a collection of decorated stones, plus a link to an article in the Bournemouth Echo about a much bigger display at Avon Beach. Today I went past the primary school again, and well done them! The display is much longer now, as shown in the picture below, together with a close-up of a few of the stones. Click the picture for a larger version. The original display is shown below that.

Five days ago. Click for a larger version.

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28 May

Almost a Bear, Almost a Toad!

I couldn’t resist this picture, taken in the hot sun this morning. Toad Hall is a really nice house on Hawthorn Road, out in the country. Smart teddy!

Click for a much larger image
It was hot, even by 9am. Near Ambury Lane

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29 May

A Little More Freedom

Hot again today, there was a normality around Christchurch today, though a quieter one than usual. On The Quomps, which at this time of year and in this weather would be heaving with shoppers and people relaxing, it was certainly more back to the usual, after the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday promising the easing of the lockdown.

The picture below was on The Quomps and shows a stall set up for light refreshments. Of course, at this time of year and in this kind of weather there would usually have been lots happening.

Personal isolation is still important, the signs instructed us to Queue this way and Exit this way. As fate would have it, a family began settling on the grass just as I was about to start snapping, so as there were children in the group I have pixellated them out.

Click for a larger image

Finally, it was nice once more to see a busker (saxophonist) in action by the Mayor’s Parlour. She was very good, and pleasingly audible even in the quite remote regions of Druitt Gardens. It was nice to sit on a bench and enjoy.

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30 May

Will it Work?

As announced very recently, the lockdown is being somewhat relaxed from tomorrow. Actually, it has already started. The picture below is from today’s Daily Mail, showing crowds on Bournemouth Beach. Obviously for copyright reasons it has been disguised. Just click the picture to go to the article.

Click for a clear picture, and more

The picture below was taken yesterday, overlooking the Sainsbury’s roundabout on the A35. As you can see, there was already advice about overcrowding, just as people were arriving.

Think twice – Stay away for now – Save lives

The pictures below are from this morning, at Highcliffe Castle and the beach. Click to see the gallery.

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