A bright, crisp, frosty morning ushered in a respite from the deluge for the saturated forest. I walked the ford ampersand, the term coined on 17th. The new lakes alongside our upper drive are beginning to merge into one. Water still streamed down the hills into Minstead, creating candy floss foam as it descended into ditches. Whilst dazzled by the low direct sun as I walked down the steep hill I heard the stirring of hooves in the verge just in front of me. This prevented me from walking into a facing pony. I stopped and spoke to her, asking if she preferred today’s weather to yesterday’s.
The recently thatched house now masquerades as Chad. For those not familiar with him, Chad is a graffito character, the British equivalent of the American Kilroy, who was likely to turn up in all sorts of places during the second world war. A drawing, rather like this house, would be left as a joke, with the legend ‘Chad was here’, or more likely ‘woz ‘ere’.
The coned off pool above the ford was unchanged except that the wreckage of one of the cones lay scattered and submerged in its depths. Further along the road a number of car tyres distributed at more or less regular intervals are either evidence of flytipping or they are serving some purpose of which I am ignorant. On my return a woman was riding a horse up the steep incline leading up from the ford, whilst on the other side of it another was leading hers.
After lunch we drove to Ringwood for a final Christmas food shop. A largely white wagtail, completely oblivious of car wheels inches from its toes, flitted about earning its name; yet whenever I got near enough to take its photograph it came over all camera shy and flew off, just far enough to be out of range.
This evening we dined at Passage to India in Lyndhurst. Draft Kingfisher accompanied our meals.