The Gun

Having got home rather late last night, this morning I produced yesterday’s post, half a day late.

White butterflyButterflies appear to be rare in the New Forest.  Jackie’s flowers are, however, attracting them.  They even manage to get over the anti-deer net.

When visiting Milford on Sea and its environs we have noticed a grand entrance to a long drive bearing the sign: New Forest Water Gardens.  Today, Jackie drove us there.  We were to be doubly disappointed.  This was no stately home offering sightseers a glimpse of a world of which they can only dream.  It was a supplier of ready made ponds with water features, plants, and no doubt frogs and newts to order. New Forest water garden For £6,995 you could have a Jack and Jill.  The second disappointment would have been more relevant had we been hoping to buy.  Today is Friday.  New Forest Water Gardens is closed on Fridays.

Continuing on to Keyhaven we decided to drown our sorrows in The Gun Inn.  I will let an extract from one of the menu cards tell a little of its history:

The Gun Inn history

We further gleaned the information that in days gone by the landlord had the responsibility for fishing the bodies of drowned sailors out of the seawater below.  No doubt this led to the mortuary function.

Today the premises house a multitude of collections, such as clay pipes, cigarette cards, matchboxes, horse brasses and many others.  You must look everywhere for these.  The matchboxes, for example, are fixed to the ceiling.  There are lots of cosy, linked, rooms and a large sheltered garden at the rear, with a small one at the front.

The Gun Inn bar

While we sat with our drinks we absorbed the atmosphere created by the locals in the bar discussing sailing, boats, and barnacles.  One of them most certainly looked the part.  We were intrigued by the 240 different whiskies on offer.

300px-Punt_gunHad Rob Keenan not been my brother-in-law, and had he not had a penchant for unusual mechanical artefacts, I may not have known that the canon portrayed on the pub sign was incompatible with the history on the menus.  113I would never have heard of a punt gun, let alone recognised one. The Gun Inn - Version 2But Rob was the proud owner of one of these contraptions that goes off with an enormous, startling, bang fit to bring out the fire brigade.  In its day, that is the nineteenth and early twentieth century, mounted on a punt, it could bring down 50 waterfowl with one eruption.  A man allowing it to be fired from his shoulder would certainly need his head looking at, preferably before the trigger was released.

The Gun Inn

Jackie made tandoori chicken with pilau rice for our dinner.  I opened a bottle of Chilano cabernet sauvignon 2011, and drank some of it.

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