Sunday, 22 December 2013

In Which Five Get Frozen At Keyhaven, Poppy Learns To Be A Pub Dog, And The Brussel Sprouts Are Harvested To Great Excitement But Poor Critical Acclaim

I don't know what's wrong with me, I seem to have gone Posting Mad. 

Nothing for days and then Three In A Row. Oh well, better make the most of it before Crimble Descends and we all go silent.

It was Gorgeous Weather here today, and, having spent most of yesterday sheltering from the rain indoors and feeling stale and claustrophobic as a result, we decided that some Brisk Sea Air was called for, and accordingly set off for Keyhaven, which is just the other side of Lymington, with all the kids in tow.

When we got there we realised the sunshine at home was not actually going to extend to Keyhaven where a Small Hurricane was blowing.

A Traditional English Sea Picture, where the water is noted for its aquamarine blue, crystal clearness and above all its welcoming warmth. You can just about see the Needles on the Isle of Wight in the distance.

L's favourite bit of Keyhaven is the strand of enormous boulders that have been placed on the beach to keep the sea at bay. The allure of dangerous bloody great big chunks of rocks with huge cracks in them to leap on, up, through and over is usually the only way to persuade him into the car. I fear broken legs every time, that or the necessity of calling out the fire brigade to pluck him from a crevasse. Here he is attempting to stay upright, which was particularly safe given all the above dangers...

I've been hoping to find a Mermaid's Purse on the shore for a while, and today keen-eyed F spotted one... Imagine baby sharks or rays growing in this out to sea, Very Exciting Thought I reckon...

 Perhaps not surprisingly, we didn't loiter (great word) on the sea side and soon retreated to the more sheltered Salt Marsh. The tide was in and the seabirds were out, but the sea was much calmer here and the boats all looked peaceful moored....

Everything was going fine until Poppy tried to commit suicide by attempting to leap off my shoulder.... BTW- do you like my new hat? It was £4. Bargain! (although I probably should have tried knitting one for myself- that can be next year's project). And very warm. I think I shall wear it on Christmas Day along with the reindeer sweater with the Flashing Nose.

After a nice walk along the path through the marsh we went back to the car and drove to Lymington.
J, now 18 and therefore Officially Able To Buy Alcohol, was desperate for us to go to a pub so she could buy the drinks (via the Bank of Dad) and flourish her 'I'm of an age' card at the bar person if she was challenged, so we went to The Ship on the seafront...

Now, those of you who know me well will be impressed (although, frankly, astonished is probably a more accurate word) to learn that I am eschewing alcohol until Christmas Eve and instead am Stocking Up On Water. In fact eschewing is perhaps slightly misleading- Cutting Down would be more honest. So I had coke. The boys had coke, M had beer, and we all had crisps.

This was Poppy's first Trip To A Pub and as such it was Important Training. Everyone fell immediately in love with her and she was picked up, cuddled, oooohed over and stroked more in ten minutes than I have been in my entire life...

Poppy the Pub Dog
After that we had a stroll along the seafront to look at the Isle of Wight ferries and all the boats moored there...

I was Slightly Alarmed when I downloaded this duck picture, because it looked like the bird had a Ghostly Twin, but then I reasoned that that sort of thing only goes on with humans in Charles Dicken's Novels at Christmas Time (recorded last night), and I Calmed Down....

We strolled through the ancient cobbled streets and I kept expecting people dressed in Regency Costume to appear round the corner arm in arm disclaiming things like 'fa la la' and 'Oh! I am excessively diverted.'

What did happen in fact was that several people stopped us to ask whether Ted was Poppy's mother.

After the second time it happened I daren't look at Ted for fear of seeing his appalled expression. 

I left explanations to an increasingly irate and uber protective-of-his-dog L, who, after explaining very clearly that Ted was male and a West Highland, and Poppy was a Jack Russell, hissed at me in a not-very-quiet-voice that either one of those would make the likelihood of Ted being Poppy's mother an interesting subject for debate.

We found a shop I thought was perfect for M....

And after all of that decided it was time to head home to harvest M's lovingly grown and long-tended Brussell Sprout.

Here is what the three plants yielded....

One each and an extra one for M because he grew them. BTW, in case you were wondering (or aren't British) the coin is a penny, which measures approx. 2cm across, thereby giving an excellent indication of the size of our Brussell Sprouts. Yum! Well, we won't be going hungry at all with those will we?

Which has reminded me that M's sister once knew someone called Russell Sprout (I'm being serious). And my folks had a neighbour in London years ago who was called Lydia Piano, and believe it or not my father also once worked with someone called John Thomas, and I knew a girl called Fanny Big.

I think we'll stop there.

Have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS INDEED if I don't see you before, and THANK YOU ALL for being SO KIND and reading the blog. I hope you get as much of a giggle reading it as I do writing it.

I'll leave you with a (very) rare picture of me with Pops at Keyhaven this afternoon.


CT :-)


  1. Lovely taking a pre Christmas trip in Key and Lymington....funny, I was only thinking the other day about a watch we bought in Lymington years ago, a solid silver one for just one pound, I did say years ago! .. and it still works! Have a great Christmas :)

    1. There are some lovely little shops along the cobbled streets in Lymington, and Keyhaven is my favourite bit of sea around here. Happy Christmas to you too. Is William excited? X

  2. And a very Merry Christmas to all of you too. At least I won't have to worry about you overstuffing yourselves on sprouts. Lymington looks lovely. Take care x

    1. Poor M. At least it made him laugh! Have a lovely crimble and hope you'll both be OK in all this stormy weather. X

  3. Oh what a pain-3rd time lucky with this comment...blogger is playing up! Thanks for a great trip to Lymington it looks very pretty and somewhere I've never been.
    So sorry for Ted....fancy anyone thinking he's a girl, I hope he doesn't blame Poppy for this turn of events.
    Merry Christmas CT

    1. You'd love Lymington. It's well worth a visit if you come down to the New Forest at any point. Beaulieu is nearby too and the abbey there is fantastic.

      Apparently, it is my fault everyone thought Ted was a girl because I bought him a pink collar (it was on special offer, and as he's colour blind I didn't think it would matter. L is furious with me!). Merry Crimble my dear x

  4. That looks like a nice pre-Christmas outing. How lovely you can take your dogs into a pub. We can't do that here. The dogs might have germs or something. Merry Christmas!

    1. The dreaded 'health and safety'? I suspect people carry more germs than dogs... Merry Crimble to you too x

  5. After a foray to the allotment this morning to perform the ritual 'Pulling of the Christmas Parsnips' and being a tad disappointed with the tiddly results, we now feel much heartened with our gardening efforts having seen M's sprouts!!!

    And Ted is a very pretty lad, so I don't think he should feel too upset at being mistaken for Poppy's Mama. Better that than a raddled old ratbag, like some of the scruffy hounds that frequent our local park. Xxx

    1. I think you should post some pictures of the nips for comparison purposes.

      Ted says thank you Aunty Denise, but he doesn't feel attaching the moniker of 'pretty' to him does anything for his masculinity x

  6. Wonderful sea pictures. Very brooding! Love Poppy in the pub too. Don't forget to get those pictures at Christmas. Trying to be discreet in case someone might be reading your blog! Have a great festive time. I'm struggling to post or comment at the moment well done to you. xxx

    1. It was blowing such a hoolie there Em I honestly thought we were going to get blown over into the sea. Very exhilarating though! Have emailed you re pics.
      Have a fab Christmas. Looking forward to hearing all about it xx

  7. Lovely photos CT - though it looks a trifle blustery!!! I do like your pink hat - I read recently bobble hats are all the rage at present so have dug out one my daughter gave me a few years back :)

    I love Lymington - its usually where we get the ferry for the IofW. It so picturesque and your photos have brought back lots of memories.

    Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas :)

    1. It was sooooo blustery! Real raging seas too :-)

      Lymington is so pretty. We visit a handful of times a year and I always love it.

      Merry Christmas to you all too x

  8. That looks fun and blustery! Glad Poppy enjoyed her visit to the pub. Poor Teddy being mistaken for her Mum! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas
    Sarah x

    1. I think if I saw a flat blue sea now I'd feel something was wrong with it! Poppy is fearless about it all though, unlike T who hates getting his paws wet.
      Merry crimble to you too Sarah x


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