(0k) February 2020

2 February

When you really have to scratch …

… and you’re a horse with no hands (as are most horses), you have to use whatever is available. The horse below, pictured near the Stony Lane roundabout, was doing this for at least two minutes. Bliss!

Click for a larger version

4 February

Surprise! Surprise!

It was a lover and his lass,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That o’er the green corn-field did pass,
In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding,
Sweet lovers love the spring.

Shakespeare, from As You Like It

With apologies to the author, perhaps it is a little early. The cornfields are not yet green, and I sadly saw no lovers and only a couple of lasses in Winkton and on Stony Lane near Christchurch this sunny morning.

There were daffodils in bloom and spring flowers a-plenty in bud. It won’t be long now!

10 February

Storm Ciara

As this who live in the United Kingdom will know, yesterday a very large storm arrived. This had been predicted, and the forecast was correct: there was a lot of damage, trees down, flooding, even a bed and breakfast plunged into the river. That was on the Scottish Borders. Fortunately it was not so bad in this area, but the Isle of Wight still had a gust of 100mph.

So, being of a nervous, feeble disposition I did not go out yesterday, but ventured forth today. I was surprised to see the Quomps, and areas approaching, flooded. The pictures at the bottom show some of the flooding. Here is an Echo article giving a more comprehensive description of the damage across Dorset.

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12 February

It’s a Mess

You may have seen the various reports, in this area and elsewhere, of the sand which has been blown seemingly everywhere in Sunday’s storm.

This is usually clean

The weather today, however, was glorious, hardly like February at all. It looks quiet in the picture, but there were a few people and lots of dogs, around.

A chance to play, and a flask and snack waiting.

Finally, even the gulls were happy.

Click for a much larger image

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14 February

Catching up with Bournemouth and Poole?

Not Christchurch: near Hengistbury Head, October 2019

An interesting article appeared in the Christchurch Times yesterday. I quote the opening paragraph: ‘The rollout of Beryl bikes into Christchurch is expected to take place later this year, BCP Council’s cabinet member for transport has confirmed.’

I will not summarise the whole article here, the link is above, or click the picture. However, as I write there are 32 readers’ comments. Four of the most interesting (in my opinion!) are below.

  • According to Beryl Bikes own PR team (and reported almost monthly in this very paper) their company have been financially successful with a huge uptake of the service . If that is the case why then does the council feel the need to subsidise this venture.
  • At least the bright green colour blends in well with hedgerows which seems to be their natural habitat.
  • I don’t remember being asked if we want them in Christchurch. I’ve only seen them littering the pavements in Bournemouth .
  • Great news, well done BCP, Christchurch councils and Beryl bikes. Every bike is one less car, helping to beat congestion.

As you may expect, most of the comments are typical online trolling, done by keyboard warriors. They are generally negative, however, which I think is disappointing. I will certainly give them a go if they do come to Christchurch. For interest, see an update from October last year.

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15 February

Opening Soon

The Echo reports that the Bear Of Burton is to open next month. Previously known as The Manor, it has been renamed The Bear in tribute to the poet Robert Southey (picture below), famous for Goldilocks and the Three Bears – among other things (poem below)!

Of course, Southey Road goes through the Somerford Estate, as do other poetic thoroughfares, and he lived in Burton from 1799-1805. As yesterday was Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be appropriate to quote his First Sonnet:

Go Valentine and tell that lovely maid
Whom Fancy still will pourtray to my sight,
How her Bard lingers in this sullen shade,
This dreary gloom of dull monastic night.
Say that from every joy of life remote
At evening’s closing hour he quits the throng,
Listening alone the ring-dove’s plaintive note
Who pours like him her solitary song.
Say that her absence calls the sorrowing sigh,
Say that of all her charms he loves to speak,
In fancy feels the magic of her eye,
In fancy views the smile illume her cheek,
Courts the lone hour when Silence stills the grove
And heaves the sigh of Memory and of Love.

Anyway, back to the pub! There will also be ten bedrooms, about which the management eulogises:

‘Guests can expect the same quality of experience in the hotel, with every detail in the rooms carefully considered, including 1600 pocket sprung mattresses for an incredible night’s sleep and Nespresso machines and Roberts radios enabling guests to feel at home.’

Finally, here is a page from Boxing Day 2019

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17 February

More Consequences, but we’re Lucky!

Have undergone the rigours last week of Storm Ciara, on Sunday we had the follow-up: Storm Dennis struck!

However, we got off relatively lightly, there were even brief spells of brightness towards the end of the day. Sadly, the Calder Valley and northern England suffered badly, but Wales also had terrible flooding. One picture from Wales Online is below. Click on that image to go to that site, which opens in a new window. There are lots more pictures there, some quite spectacular.

So, on to our comparatively tame little flood at the Stony Lane Roundabout. Here is a link to another page – also from this month – about a flood at the same place.

Surprisingly, by the bridge the river was not as deep as it was last week. You can see below what it was like. This time the whole of the sign was visible, and a little bit of the pole, too.

10 February – or see above. Click for a larger image.

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19 February

Lakewood: Beauty in Suburbia!

A surprising number of people are not aware of Lakewood, tucked as it as amidst bungalows and flats. Although small, it can be glorious in summer, and looked great even this morning, with the wild daffodils in bloom.

Click for a larger image
A variety of birds love it, too, and some are quite friendly!
Lakewood is the red marker in the middle. Click to go to Google Maps.

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23 February


There have been various updates on this site (search from the home page) and in the press about The Bear of Burton (Previously The Manor).

Thre latest report here was on the 15th of this month (scroll up to see). This morning I passed it again, and it is definitely almost done.

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24 February

A Small Audience!

This morning it was windy and miserable, and light yet drenching rain soaked the skin. People were struggling with umbrellas, heads faced resolutely to the ground, trying to keep out of the driving drizzle. Even the Monday market was half empty, only the most intrepid stallholders facing today’s elements.

So I was almost excited to see the incongruity of a busker playing on her accordion in Saxon Square. Understandably there were few listeners in the early morning, but I hope her frequent smiles eventually made the day worthwhile, encouraging listeners as well as donors. She played well, too, and the accordion was functioning effectively even in the rain.

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25 February

Home, Sweet Home, and Getting Around

You may remember the prospect of adopting Beryl Bikes in Christchurch. In case you were wondering what they are, and how to use them, I picked up a handy guide in the Tourist Office. Of course, they are not in Christchurch yet, but this will give a good idea of how they will work (assuming they come here). Click each image for a larger version, if required.

In Mudeford, near the Victorian Post Box, for the first time I noticed a dovecot on the road to the Quay. As I said, home sweet home.

Click for a larger image

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26 February

Time for Reassembly

Today they are hard at work rebuilding the cupola on the Mayor’s Parlour. This was in urgent need of restoration, and had been taken down last month, leaving the building surrounded by barriers and scaffolding.

There are full details (including this bit!) on the Attractions page.

This picture of daffodils near The Quomps shows how windy it has been. Click for a larger image

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28 February

It’s too wet!

In case you haven’t noticed, there has been a lot of rain recently and – surprise, surprise! – it is raining again today. So I will not be venturing out. Instead, here are two pictures taken near the Stony Lane Roundabout, just as evidence. As you can see, it was much worse in the later picture.

6 February. Larger image available.
17 February. Larger image available.

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