Barton Common

Barton Common 1Barton Common 2Barton Common 3What I had stumbled upon three days ago was the edge of Barton Common, into which, Jackie had read, had been reintroduced New Forest ponies in order that, by their chomping and defecating, they could return the area to its natural habitat. As it was indeed a day of enticing light, Jackie drove me there this PoniesPony 1Pony 2morning. I wandered around the common, and  found the six very well fed ponies.  As I crouched down to take its companion’s portrait, another crept up behind me and disconcertingly breathed down my neck.
Golf course maintenanceI then walked through the golf course that was still undergoing maintenance, and back along the cliff top to West Road and home through Shorefield.
GolfersGolfers silhouetteGolfers were out in force. A trio of the sportsmen, silhouetted against the skyline, gesticulated and indicated that I had strayed from the public footpath. Once I got the message, I called to them and, waving my camera, asked for a repeat performance. One gentleman obliged. I can only assume he was being polite. The patterns on a neatly raked Bunkerbunker had yet to be disturbed.Helicopter
A helicopter, its propeller blades whirling overhead, was probably safe from sliced golf shots.
WalkersFrom the golf course I could see a family walking along the cliff path which, keeping as far FootpathCliff edgeClifftopCrumbling footpathaway as possible from the edge, I soon joined. At one point I preferred a scramble Bramble and barbed wire alongside crumbling cliffJPGbetween brambles and barbed wire to the precarious looking path. An approaching gentleman, made of sterner stuff, stuck to the footpath. When I told him he had more nerve than I have, he replied: “Stupid, probably’.
While I was uploading these photographs Barrie dropped in to present me with a signed copy of his latest publication ‘Lawnmower maintenance and other pastimes for the elderly’. I shall enjoy reading it.
This afternoon I continued digging up bramble and ivy roots from the North side of the back drive. Now I have reached inside the gate, I am measuring my slow progress by the lengths of the bricks in the border that we have been unearthing as we go along. Today’s total was eight. I’ll probably need an abacus by the time I have finished.
Our dinner this evening consisted of tender beef casserole, mashed potato, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, followed by lemon drizzle cake and evap. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the rioja.


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