(-j) March 2021

1 March

Very Brief Today

This is the last update for a couple of days, as I am moving. So that March has at least a little content, the picture below is the view from my current window. The tree looks beautiful. Note that I have actually cheated with the header image, it was taken yesterday (February 28) at Mudeford Quay.

13 March


Apologies for the frivolous subheading but it has been one of those days, a happy happy one! My new residence is beginning to look less ruin-like, so it was nice so have a wander around Christchurch.

Sunbathing near the Constable’s House. Click for larger, back to return.

Of course, no-one can visit Christchurch without enjoying the ubiquitous swans. A few shots below, click to see the gallery. In each case, remember View full size, bottom right of each image. In the first one I did manage to get away before the swan tried to peck my lens!

Yesterday there was an image of some daffodils. Here are some more, actually in Christchurch proper. Again, click to view the gallery.

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14 March

First there was a warning, or encouragement. This sign was by the recreation ground, opposite the old police station:

Click for larger, back to return

Although matches are still not permitted, there were some athletes on the recreation ground, socially distanced, of course!

Everyone was enjoying the day, even the birds were laid back and chilled!

Lazing on a sunny afternoon (actually it was morning). No larger version.

Finally, heading back, the view from the Quay to the gardens was beautiful. Click for a larger image, but don’t zoom in too much – it is heavily compressed, as the file size was huge because of the detail.

Click for larger, back to return

A very large version (around 7Mb) is available on SmugMug here, in a new window. Note that it may take up to a minute for the fullest resolution to download.

17 March

This morning I thought that a walk around Stanpit Marsh would be good for uplifting the spirit, what could be more joyous than such a commune with nature? I chose to park on Ledbury Road, and then nature, for a few moments, was immediately forgotten. The reason is in the picture below, its only connection with nature being sheep (perhaps with polyester!):

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Yes, it was colourful knitting, wrapped around the trees. The explanation was behind:

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A really nice thought, a great idea

And so it was on to the marsh. Sadly I had the wrong camera with me, and it was hard to hold steady. Even at the time, around nine in the morning, it was getting busy. Below you can see, left to right, a runner, Stanpit ponies, a browsing egret and a nature photographer. All life is there!

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Then it was down to the water, and there were a fantastic group of teals. As you can see the picture isn’t great and the ten-second video is decidedly wobbly. You can still get a good impression of their cuteness, though.

Click for professional information about the teal and a good picture (new window).

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18 March

Better today. Not wishing to be defeated I did the walk around Stanpit Marsh once more, mainly hoping to get a better shot of the teals. Before arriving at yesterday’s haunt, I saw two horses posing nicely in front of The Priory. I wanted to use this as the header image but sadly it is too tall, so it appears below.

Click for much larger, back to return.

On then to take more shots of the teals, which thankfully were still there. They are much better now, though focus tended to go to their back ends rather than their heads! Click below to view much larger images in a gallery. Remember View full size, bottom right of each picture.

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20 March

Today is the first day of spring. It is known as the vernal (spring) equinox, and the day when the sun moves north of the equator. Night and day will be approximately the same length: equinox means ‘equal night’ in Latin. Be careful, though – the clocks do not go forward until next weekend. To mark the joy of spring, I have added a photograph of a group of flowers, standing out beautifully on an otherwise dull Ambury Lane this morning.

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Nothing to do with spring, but Hancock’s garden is just as impressive, with a celebration of the days of its inception.

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21 March

It was rather dull today, but nevertheless I decided to do a long walk. Heading northwards along Hawthorn Road, I saw what I thought was an interesting, exciting, maybe rare bird. You can tell I am no ornithologist: when I got home I checked and found it was merely a chaffinch, a very common bird (apologies to all upper-class chaffinches). I was pleased that it posed nicely, though in the end it did get fed up and flew off. Click for larger, and remember View full size, bottom right. The first isn’t very sharp, I have found it hard to get out of the habit of using low ISO (ASA as was), a remnant of film days. Anyway, I have set it higher now.

And so the journey continued. On Hawthorn road, between Summers Lane and Preston Lane, all sorts of activities were taking place. Below you can see a runner, four cyclists and a horse-rider and someone walking alongside.

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There were lots of people like this, it was busy, so just before turning into Preston Lane to go to Burton, I saw two unusually smartly-dressed ladies. They looked so good, so different from the sports’ wear and high-viz, that I asked them to pose for a photo. My thanks to them.

See what I mean? Click for larger, back to return

On then to Burton. As usual, the churchyard was beautiful, full of flowers. It was nice to sit on the bench (pictured) at the back of the churchyard and have a – soft – drink. Click to view, and remember View full size (again).

I noticed a stone on the church wall. Interesting.

After my delicious drink in the churchyard, I heard the church bells ringing. I said, amusingly, in the shop, how good the bellringers must be, to do all of those tunes. The video below is just one of them. Enjoy! Must say, though, I am not sure if I would like to have to listen to it every week. The ‘recital’ went on for some minutes.

Not all is rosy, however. I was sad to read a report of vandalism in Burton in the Bournemouth Echo.

Finally, if anyone wants a free super-stylish sofa-bed, there is one on Stony Lane between Footners Lane and Martins Hill Lane. Hurry, it might be gone soon …

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22 March

A brief update today, but one perhaps of contrasts. Walking down to Tuckton I passed Twynham School. It was great to see the pupils playing there, as they did before, and I took a picture. Obviously I used the wide end of the lens and the picture below is low-res, so no-one is recognisable other than as a blob! It was good to see that scene, now active once more, with The Priory in the background.

Click for larger, back to return

Not quite normal, though, as I was reminded near the Captain’s Club. Two Covid Marshals were patrolling. All very friendly, and I had a chat with one. Apparently when the lockdown is over (April 12, I think) they will be redeployed to patrol the beaches.

No larger version

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24 March

There isn’t long! Because of the technical problems on the website I have not been able to put the link on until now. It is a transport survey. and has to be completed (if you want to!) by the end of this month. Click the image, which was taken on Monday – better late than never – to go there.

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25 March

The stones at Avon Beach are well-known in the local area. There was even an article in The Echo in May last year (click the image to go there, in a new window).

Nine months later they still look fantastic, in fact even better than before, and attract a great deal of attention. While I was there taking the photographs below, a man came along with his very young daughter. She picked up one of the stones and he gently told her to put it back. I said to him how great they looked, and he told me that he has two other daughters, and they have each done a stone. I imagine the little girl will soon be producing another one to add to the collection.

If you want to see this for yourselves, it is by the entrance to the Avon Beach car park.

I do like the Tomorrow will be a good day stone, with a picture of Captain Tom, but they are all really well done. Click to view the gallery.

Incidentally, I was intrigued by the stone with Lost Tribe on it, so had a look at their website. It is a small selection of goods, but yet may be of interest.

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27 March

It was a great surprise this morning. You will no doubt have been disappointed to see the Priory partly covered in scaffolding and huge plastic sheets for many weeks. Well the sheets are gone! Although the Priory was completed around 800 years ago, it is good to see that this renovation looks so impressive. For those who are unfamiliar with this, the ‘new’ part is on the right. Real craftsmanship (craftspersonship?) is obviously still thriving. I will get some more-detailed pictures soon.

Click for much larger, back to return

On a more mundane and transient note, though no less beautiful, here is the Ducking Stool cafe this morning. The cars are still there, of course, but the flowers are spectacular. There are frequently people collecting their food, it must be good!

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28 March

Wide-angle lenses all loaded, I eagerly set off to the Priory once more to see it in all its fresh, newly-pristine glory. Sadly, though I am sure it is finished, there is still some scaffolding there. I am not surprised that it is taking so long to remove, it really was very tall. Anyway, I took three photos, which I hope will give an impression of how fantastic it will look when all has finally been revealed. As is usual, remember View full size (bottom right) if available. In each case click for larger or to go to the gallery. I will revisit another day.

The renovated section is on the right.

Finally, even by ten o-clock the quay was busy. I saw these photographers taking lots of pictures.

No larger version

Moving on, I saw them again by the Captain’s Club, so I asked them for a photo. They were pleased to pose, and I was glad that they did. Thanks to them, and for the short chat about camera equipment! In my experience people rarely refuse: if they did I would not of course take it, even though in a public space it is legal.

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29 March

Where better to see evidence of the easing of lockdown than Highcliffe Golf Course? I had already seen on the morning news some exceptionally desperate keen golfers teeing off at midnight! Well, my visit was mid morning, and the car park was already packed and golfers were everywhere. It must have been perfect for them: the weather is glorious. Click below to see the gallery (remember View full size, bottom right, if available).

However, the ‘nicest’ shots of the day (for non-golfers such as myself) were of some ancient sights in Christchurch. Again, click each for larger.

The lady photographing the Castle looks tiny

Then there was The Priory, which looked great with the daffodils. Sorry for the flare, the lens was so wide I could not keep the sun off.

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