Yesterday Becky gave me another computer lesson, this time in tagging. She showed me how to tag my posts and explained the significance of doing so. That, therefore, is another editing job for me. I made a start on the task this morning.
A violent storm that had raged throughout the night and morning gave way to a calm, springlike afternoon. This was perfect for an art assignment Flo had hoped to complete.
The one problem was that the task was to photograph horses in action. And, as my readers will know, New Forest ponies are not prone to activity. Mostly they are at least upright, but occasionally they are simply prone. We thought an expedition to the north of the forest would perhaps offer possibilities for the occasional evidence of movement.
More trees had been uprooted during the night. Those that had been on the roads had been cleared away. Others lay where they fell. What really gave Jackie a white knuckle drive was the amount of water across the concrete and tarmac. The fords were all awash with fast flowing water, as were the ditches. Sometimes, as on one stretch on the outskirts of Ringwood that I had happily walked through quite recently, the road was flooded. At this particular point our chauffeuse stopped altogether, thinking she would have to turn back. An oncoming car sprayed its way through the water, giving her the confidence to try it, which she did successfully. The brakes had to be tested after each ford encounter.
It was the perhaps unlikely village of Ibsley that provided the photo opportunity that we sought. As we drove slowly through it, having just crossed the ford, three ponies made a dash for a waterlogged spot in front of the cattle grid to a residential garden. Small orange showers flashed in the sunlight, and the animals leapt into action. The woman who lived in the house had just tossed a supply of carrots onto a patch of dry land. These were soon devoured and hopeful nostrils quivered in the donor’s direction.
No more carrots being forthcoming, Flo and my cameras were mistaken for tasty morsels and they and we were silently nuzzled.
It was to be Scooby who really set the cat among the pigeons. Of course he remained in the car with Jackie, but he became a wee bit excited at the sight of such huge potential dinners wandering about. Indeed, his glutinous mucus will probably never come off my passenger seat window. His barking had the effect of a summons on all the ponies in the vicinity. Our car was soon surrounded, causing a log-jam in the traffic.
When we arrived at Hyde, we were awarded a bonus of a couple of donkeys particularly interested in holly leaves. After a session with them, Flo strode across the large expanse of green, to picture another pony, and in the process missed a horse and rider. But that wasn’t really a subject she needed.
We dined this evening on Jackie’s chicken jalfrezi and savoury rice which was as delicious as ever. Flo’s variant was boiled egg korma. My beverage was Kingfisher and Jackie’s was Peroni.