(-i) April 2021

1 April

A Job Well Done

The scaffolding covering part of The Priory has all gone now, and it really looks spectacular. The picture below shows this far better then mere words could, so click it for a full-size version. Note that this is a large file, so may take a few seconds to load properly.

Whoever said that craftsmanship is not what it was?

Just one more picture today of a perhaps more familiar view of The Priory. Again, click for larger.

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3 April

Norris and Binglewort

No, this isn’t a misprint or a quotation from The Goon Show or Rambling Sid Rumpo. You may remember last month’s picture of the spectacular flowers around the new cafe near the Ducking Stool. Well, this morning they were open as usual – it seems to be very popular – so although I did not want anything, I had a look at the (take-away) menu inside the open hatch. The people were very pleasant and I asked one of them why it had such an unusual name. I could understand a Mr (or Miss or Ms or even Mx I suppose) Norris, but surely not Binglewort. Anyway, the explanation was disappointing – it was made up, not real!

Click for a legible version, back to return.

The main reason I had gone into Christchurch (apart from M&S, Poundland and Waitrose!) was to get some better shots of The Priory, this time with a decent lens. Here they are, click each for a bigger view. I did chat to some passers-by and we all agreed what a fantastic job they had done on the outside.

Note that there is a very large (around 8mb) copy of the first one on SmugMug Pictures, or there its a direct link here (new window). The full-resolution one may, of course, take some time to download.

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4 April

All Quietish

As you know, today is a bank holiday, so I expected to look at The Echo and see that there were problems of overcrowding, reminiscent of those seen last summer. Well, I know it isn’t Bournemouth, this is the more-sedate Highcliffe, but the beaches at lunchtime today were fairly quiet and social distancing, on the whole, was being observed. It was warm, almost balmy, on the beach. I understand that will change dramatically tomorrow, however.

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5 April

It Looked Fantastic

We are lucky down here. Much of the country is suffering with cold, chill and snow. However, a short walk this morning was very pleasant, in fact it was quite warm, even with a t-shirt, on the benches on the clifftop. Of course click for larger, remember View full size on the bottom right, if available.

Finally, I was surprised to see two ships on the horizon when I got home: I had just been photographing the left-hand one. I think the other one, on the right-hand side, is The Odyssey of the Seas, reported in The Echo.

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7 April

The Risk Was Worth It!

This morning I took my life in my hands and sprinted on to the Fountain Roundabout in Christchurch. ‘Why do such a foolish thing, amongst that heavy traffic?’ I hear you say. It was to photograph the flowers which look really spectacular there, and I am sure are not always appreciated. This is not, of course, the only display in the area, but possibly the hardest to get to. Hence this update.

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9 April

All Aboard!

It was good to see this morning that the Quay was a hive of activity, the boatmen preparing their recreational craft and anticipating no doubt a busy summer. Oh, that it may be so! You can see the boats below, and the sailing garb for sale at the kiosk.

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Here is the same view looking back:

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It was good to see social distancing in action, and a nonchalant swan, on The Quay:

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On the way back this group of flowers, probably missed by many, at last have their moment of glory! They are by the arched trees, near the Priory Memorial Gardens.

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Finally, a sign by the Druitt Hall. It was not produced by The Council, but I do like the explanation at the bottom: good one!

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10 April


As you will all know, Prince Philip passed away yesterday, at the age of nearly 100. Our thoughts are with Her Majesty, his family and all those who knew Prince Philip, the whole country and, indeed, much of the world will be grieving.

As is appropriate, flags were at half mast in Christchurch this morning. Click the gallery to see larger. Remember View full size, bottom right, if available.

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11 April

Success in the End

This morning I had read that shops were working furiously to be ready for the re-opening tomorrow, and it was also possible for local football matches to resume. So where better to go than Christchurch itself?

Unfortunately there was no football on the Recreation Ground, and I didn’t see a single shop with people working furiously inside to be ready, they looked just as closed and dark as they had before. So, after my second look at the Recreation Ground (still no games in action) I went through Druitt Gardens and got the picture below. I had taken the camera and had found nought until then, so it was an opportunity, albeit an unexciting one.

True, it is only a grey squirrel, but a nice man had thrown some grain down and this greedy chap/chapess was thoroughly enjoying the feast. Normally they race off like lightning, but this one didn’t care! A lady passed and we chatted about squirrels (she had pointed out another one, but that was up a tree!), and after some discussion we both agree it was a pity it wasn’t a red squirrel! Still, it is a nice picture.

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12 April

Stage 2

Well, it’s happened! The Market is more-or-less back to normal, and Christchurch was busy for our first day of more-or-less freedom. By 10am men were queuing outside Golden Cut for much-delayed coiffures:

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Here is Bookends, open once more:

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Saxon Square was busy. Here is one of the stalls. I do like the small figures, though at £20 each I resisted temptation!

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On a more serious note, look above (10 April) to see two flags at half mast in memory of the Duke of Edinburgh. I missed the one below, on The Priory, which looked great this morning.

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13 April

From BCP Council – Prince Philip

Although Prince Philip sadly passed on Friday, and there have been many personal, broadcast and media articles, interviews and documentaries about him, yesterday I received the following, via email from BCP Council. I have reproduced it all below, the tributes are warm:

Cllr David Flagg, Chairman of BCP Council:

The people of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, and all of us at BCP Council, are saddened by the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen, and the wider Royal family at this difficult time.

The Duke of Edinburgh has visited our towns on a number of occasions over the past 70 years. In 1966, he accompanied The Queen when they visited Bournemouth Gardens, Christchurch town centre and the Christchurch Priory. Another notable visit from The Duke was to Poole in 1969, when The Queen opened Poole Hospital. Their 2004 visit began in Bournemouth with a visit to King’s Park and Bournemouth seafront. The Royal couple then continued on to The Lighthouse in Poole, followed by a tour of the new  RNLI Training College. Thousands of residents lined Poole Quay as the Royals left the town on a lifeboat. 

Many local people who are still resident in our area will have attended these historic events and will treasure their own recollections of those days.

Graham Farrant, Chief Executive of BCP Council:

This is a very sad time for the entire country and our thoughts and condolences are with the Royal Family at this very difficult period.  

We have lost one of the most important figures from British history, who never wavered from their dedication to public duty and they served this country with courage and grace.  

The Duke of Edinburgh has been a constant throughout all of our lives, and I am personally very saddened by this news, having always had a deep respect for him. I know that residents who have met him were always moved by his words of comfort or touched by his warmth. 

I’m proud that all three of our towns have been visited by The Duke of Edinburgh – his place in history will never be forgotten.

Do you wish to send a personal message of condolence?

An Online Book of Condolence is now available on the Royal website for those who wish to send a personal message of condolence. (This opens in a new window.)

Do you know someone who wishes to send a message of condolence, but doesn’t have access to the internet?

This week residents are able to use our dedicated computers in Boscombe, Broadstone, Bournemouth, Charminster, Christchurch, Kinson Hub, Poole, Rossmore and West Howe libraries, to leave a message in the national book of condolence for the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

No booking is required and social distancing measures remain in place.

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14 April

A strange title, you might think. I am sure that most locals and, indeed, visitors are familiar with the opportunistic swans which crowd around Christchurch Quay, eager for crumbs or treats from the humans. This morning, however, I went around Stanpit Marsh, a very pleasant walk of around half an hour. The picture above (click on it for larger, back to return) shows two of the many flying swans, these greeting me almost at the start. There were lots of them this morning, the sound of their wings beating against the water. It must be coming up to the mating season, and the short video below shows Mr & Mrs Swan building a nest. I was able to stand there for some time, it was as if I didn’t exist.

Here is a somewhat less industrious one, happy among the reeds.

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The large number of swans in the Harbour entrance can be seen below.

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I had parked, as usual, a few streets away. Having forgotten about the snugly-wrapped trees and posts, it was impressive to see them once more.

It’s worth reading. Click for larger, back to return

Finally, click here if you want to see the post (new window).

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15 April

Today’s is a brief update, though I hope there may be something of interest. Once more it is like summer, though a somewhat chilly one early in the morning. The runner, below, had been out well before 9, she looked to have been going for some time. The cyclists came slightly later, it was like a peloton! They were everywhere, quite large groups. Taken on Hawthorn Road and near Burton.

Talking about Burton, the churchyard once more looked beautiful, and heading for the back I saw this magnificent tree, and almost as magnificent a horse, grazing nearby. Obviously, click to view.

Finally, Christchurch was busy, and I do mean busy! The last picture is in tribute to Prince Philip – another flag at half mast, this one in the garden of a house backing on to Waitrose.

Addendum: Earlier in the morning I had seen the sign, below, on Footners Lane. Are they really going to put a cycle lane there? I was surprised.

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18 April

After spending yesterday afternoon paying my respects by watching the funeral of HRH The Prince Philip on TV, it was a good day for a long walk, to make up for yesterday’s sad torpor.

So it was through Burton and on to Winkton. First, at the entrance to the footpath across the fields in Burton there were two signs, presumably produced by poetically-inclined locals. Their poems are perhaps not Yeats or Shakespeare, but they are well-produced and obviously fulfilled their purpose: there was not a single piece of litter along the whole of the half-mile track. Click to view the gallery.

Then I saw another horse, but this was not just any horse, it was a carthorse. So what better than to picture that, as well? Sadly it was (literally) shocking. I had to lean across the fence to get the feet in the right position and got a tremendous belt up my arm. I had leant on an electric fence. I am sure they are safe, otherwise they would be illegal but I won’t be doing it again. Sorry that the horse’s hooves are not all there, I hope you will excuse me!

Then back towards Christchurch. Going through Winkton, the footballers by the tree looked idyllic.

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In Christchurch, inspired by the Winkton sportspersons (!), I went along to the recreation ground to see if there was a game there too. By the road the juxtaposition of the two signs made me smile:

So on to the game. The players were very energetic, as they should be, but the linesman was having a tough time. He had given an offside, so that the goal (below) was disallowed.

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Then he gave another one a couple of minutes later! You can see the player questioning his decisions below. Don’t worry, no bad language was used or anger displayed, and to be honest the linesman didn’t care. He was doing a good job, but it’s not one for me!

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It was an enthusiastic game, there is a (poor quality) picture below. I’m sure that they are thrilled that restrictions are now easing and they can return to more-normal lives.

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19 April

Fairly hectic today, and so a quite superficial update so as not to miss a day. In Highcliffe I saw the flags along the high street. They had been put up to welcome people back to the shops, thus encouraging them to shop local. Must say, people are delighted that there is somewhere to go now, rather than quiet, deserted streets. Click below to see the gallery.

20 April

No mist this morning, and lovely weather. So, although I intended to do a serious update, when I saw the man fishing on the pond near Mudeford Wood Community Centre, those plans were aborted. First, a verse from a poem by AA Milne:

I’m fishing,
Don’t talk, anybody, don’t come near!
Can’t you see that the fish might hear? 
He thinks I’m playing with a piece of string;
He thinks I’m another sort of funny sort of thing,
But he doesn’t know I’m fishing — 
He doesn’t know I’m fishing. 
That’s what I’m doing — 

He’s on the left. Click for larger, back to return, and to view the gallery below
Remember View full size – bottom right – on some of them

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