This morning I disturbed our cervine trio on the upper drive. I had intended to walk my ampersand, but took a right turn just before reaching the usual ford. This road, unsurprisingly, also had a ford. Passing Newtown I took a bridleway up to the main road towards Emery Down and returned by my normal route.
There is a small green at the point where the Newtown road joins the bridleway. On this green has been formed another strange perfect circle. This one is made of large pebbles. The other circle, discovered on 4th December, consisting of twigs, seemed, on my return journey, to have been reinforced.
Towards the end of the bridleway I came across three women talking. Two were on horses, the third was on foot. One of the riders was Berry, who lives at number 1 Castle Malwood Lodge. The pedestrian was the mother of the other equestrian. I mentioned that Alison, whom I had met some days ago, had asked me if I knew Berry. We chatted for a while. Later on my walk my path crossed with Berry’s again. I asked her if it would be possible for Flo to have a ride whilst she is with us. It would. Berry will let us know when.
Near Seamans Corner I met Martin, who is the Father Christmas lookalike I had first encountered on 17th November. He was, as usual, pushing his severely disabled adopted son in his buggy. For the first time we stopped and had a long talk. Bearing in mind my profession it is quite a coincidence that Martin set up Minstead Lodge school for people with learning disabilities twenty six years ago. Last Friday was his last day as Director. The school is also involved with Furzey Gardens, and Martin is changing his role to become the public face of the two agencies and how they interlink.
I also spoke for some time with Anne, who lives in a large house in the village, the garden of which is now somewhat waterlogged. Today’s walk was punctuated by conversation breaks.
This evening Jackie excelled herself again with a wonderful roast lamb dinner. Jackie and Ian drank Stopham Estate English pinot blanc 2010 which was very enjoyable; Becky had Diet Coke best before March 2013; and I finished the Fleurie. As I write, Scoobie is crashing about in the kitchen gnawing at the bone which Becky says will last for days.