Sunday, November 11, 2012

Autumn in New Forest

Stopped off in Portsmouth on way to New Forest and saw, for the first time, their Spinnaker Tower. Looked quite fine but seemed like a substitute for a Victorian pier. Like a pier it’s a ribbed, white metal structure on the coast, designed to allow people to look out to sea. I suppose a pier would be prohibitively expensive to build now but not a tower.
Stayed for the second time in the Burley Manor, an old-school hotel that plays classical music at dinner to guests who dress for dinner and whisper. It has a roaring fire, burning the wood from the recently felled oak that threatened to fall on the building.
Autumn in the New Forest means less foliage and lots of deer, just before the cull, at the end of November. Deer management basically means shooting them. We cycled into the heart of the forest as saw Fallow, Red, Roe, Sitka, as well as dozens of the famous ponies. The forest is scattered with holly trees deliberately planted for winter foliage. Other sights are daylight foxes and foraging pigs. You get well away from the casual walkers on a bike.

Revisited the lovely Canadian War Memorial that had some photographs of smiling young men who never made it home. Sad indeed. Had an unusual encounter in the forest with a woman with a nervous dog who told us about eating squirrels, the rabbit who boxed her old dog and won, and of her appearance on the X-factor and Britain’s Got Talent. She gave Simon Cowell some backchat on his age and Piers Morgan about newspapers and blamed this on her failure to progress. Interesting encounter, but there’s a difference between the eccentric and the deluded.