On the river’s edge to the North of the Egg at 50º47’31.19″ N + 1º 24’19.58″ W, a plaque invites remembrance of a moment in time seventy years ago. Exbury House (designated HMS Mastadon) was the centre for training the crews of the landing craft gathered along the length of the Beaulieu River, in preparation for Operation Overlord – the amphibious landings in Normandy on June 6th 1944.
The tamarisk trees on the outer bank are beginning to blossom and as with other plants on the foreshore, I am collecting a small sample to ‘preserve’ in alcohol. The pink blossom, red of the stem and fresh green foliage will soon be leached out. More ghostly reminders of transience in a changing place.
The decayed wooden hulk of the supply boat @ 50º47’54.53″ N & 1º24’33.35″ W, dates from the later days of the second world war and it is slowly returning to the (soggy) earth from which its timbers originally sprang. Every day adds a story to its seventy year long narrative, as here, in my own parish, the wooden walls of the Egg begin their own journey.
On the morning of April 30th at 6am, the whole of the Eggdom was shrouded in a dense vaporous mist. It resisted the weak warmth of the sun for several hours.
The well eroded branch of a riverine oak beside the river at Exbury is a swirling eddying ocean of currents which echo the wider pattern of the world’s oceans imaged from data captured by NASA satellites circling the earth between 2005 and 2007.