Fine frost filigrees adorned the cars in our parking area this morning as I set off to walk in the direction of Lyndhurst for as long as it took Jackie, leaving fifty minutes later, to catch me and pick me up in the car.
I had to telephone her to warn her that the roads were very slippery. Consequently I hadn’t got much further than Sinefield before she arrived.
Where the early sun had not reached the asphalt, a thin coating of ice lay on the still black surface. I was forced to try my feet at involuntary skating. When a shoe slipped, I would arch my back and flap my wings like a duck about to take off.
The narrow lanes of the Emery Down route do not always have the space for verges. Where they were so endowed I sought out a grip on the mixture of wet mud and animal excreta normally best avoided. Running water down the hills was also worth a paddle. It was whilst descending one of these rivulets that I came face to face with two cyclists pushing their bikes up from The Splash ford. One of the men had skidded off his steed and cracked his head.
By circumnavigating each other we managed to avoid a Little John and Robin Hood scenario. For those unfamiliar with our legendary folk hero who took up residence with his band of merry men in Nottingham’s Sherwood Forest, this refers to one of the tales of their first meeting in which Robin and the giant Little John come face to face with each other whilst crossing a narrow bridge over a stream. Neither would give way to the other so there ensued a battle employing staves. I expect Mr Google would tell you who won. Regardless, they of course ended up the best of friends. They were like children giving each other a thump as a way of saying ‘hello’.
There are steep winding hills through Newtown and Fleetwater. As I walked this way another cyclist came speeding down at a suicidal rate, and, a little later, two cars didn’t look any safer.
From Lyndhurst we drove on to Ringwood for a Sainsbury’s shop and some banking. The latter took a while. This is because I lacked a BIC number for a French transfer. There ensued a number of texts and phone calls and a certain amount of wandering around Ringwood in between.
I walked down Kingsbury’s Lane, across The Bickerley and onto the Castleman Trailway to discover that the flooding recorded in ‘Flood Plain’ in December 2012 has returned. Kingsbury’s Lane itself is well nigh awash. Drivers of cars venturing down it were doing so with much trepidation, even more gingerly than those negotiating the lanes of Minstead earlier in the day.
The Bickerley’s pools had returned and the River Avon has overflowed its banks. Waterfowl again occupy the fields recently providing fodder for the forest ponies. The water levels were well up on the flood gauges.
This evening we dined on spicy prawns, spring rolls, sweet chilli sauce, and lamb samosas, followed by delicious nutmeg flavoured bread and butter pudding with evaporated milk. We both found Alsace Gewurtztraminer 2012 the perfect accompaniment for this British and Asian fusion collection.