Rosie Lea

This afternoon Jackie drove Becky and me on a recce through the waterlogged forest. On another reasonably warm day, we enjoyed a little sunshine and a lot of showers.

The first stop was near Wootton Bridge on the way to Brockenhurst.

Pool in forest 1Pool in forest 2Pool in forest 3

There we encountered expanding pools of water on the forest floor,

Pool in forest 4Trees and pool 1Trees and pool 2

Stream in forest 1

a swollen stream,

Forest trees 1Trees in forest 2

intermittent sunshine,


and moody clouds above.

Becky, red coat in forest

Becky’s red coat brightened the landscape a bit.

Pony 1

Soon after we continued our journey, I spotted a pony mother and child foraging by the roadside, and prevailed upon my driver to stop. As I emerged from the car, my potential subject, completely oblivious of oncoming traffic, stepped into the road and made a beeline for me. Wary of the ticks these creatures carry, I returned to the passenger seat.

Pony at back window

Becky photographed our friend through the back window.

Pony at passenger window

The beast then walked round to my door and I took over the camera.

Pony holding up traffic

Our continuing progress was then briefly impeded by another pony in the road.

Oak tree

Eventually we arrived at Brockenhurst where the sun now shone on oaks


and lichen alike.

Tea cups

It was time for Rosie. A cup of, that is.

For those readers unfamiliar with Cockney Rhyming slang, tea is Rosie Lea, truncated by omitting the second word.

Rosie Lea's

The proprietors of Rosie Lea’s have chosen the full version in naming their tea shop which won the 2014 Hampshire Food and Drink Awards best tea/coffee shop and customer service awards. Incidentally the Bakehouse, that had the queue across the road yesterday, was the best baker. This photograph also doubles as a selfie for Jackie and me.

Tea and cakes

The cups and saucers in the cabinet photographed above are those used to serve tea in this establishment which also plays ’50s pop music for the customers.

Sway Tower at sunset

Shortly before sunset we returned via Sway Tower, otherwise known as Peterson’s Folly.

Sway Tower trial at sunset

Before building his monument, Judge Peterson erected a trial model, which is shown to the right of this picture.


Sunset was in its prime above Christchurch Road when we arrived home.

We will be eating rather late this evening. This is because Becky and Ian went out earlier and have been held up in traffic. But, fear not. I know what we will be having so I am able to include it and submit this post in reasonable time. It is beef hotpot, carrots, green beans, and cabbage, followed by profiteroles. I will drink more El Sotillo, Jackie will imbibe Hoegaarden, and I expect Ian will have a beer and Becky rose wine. The food will, of course, be cooked to perfection.


  1. Your photos looks amazing. Especially those with pools of water. And the pony who beg for food to the car driver is so hilarious. As always, I loved your post, Derrick 🙂

  2. I rather fear Great Britain is about to sink beneath the deluges which keep occurring! I got caught in one down here yesterday and returned home completely saturated through my shower proof jacket with a dog that rather resembled a large and happily wombling drowned rat…… It’s global! That tea shop looks like fun!

  3. You’ve caught some beautiful light in some of these photos, especially the lichened oak and the tower. Those nefarious ponies!!! The white one looks as though it’s pressing its nose agains the car window, which has me laughing. And that tea shop! It’s cakes and cups… Thanks for showing us so much.

  4. The tower just glows in the setting sun. It is neat to see the photos in this post and your other post – how different it looks. All that water in the forest, my goodness. You may as well be living in the the US Pacific Northwest.

  5. Do you know that the Sway Tower marked its centenary in 2013? It’s also (don’t absolutely quote me on this, but I’d pretty sure bet it’s right) the tallest non-reinforced concrete structure in the world. I think Judge Peterson was an early experimenter with concrete. I seem to recall seeing slight cracking in the surface when I last passed close to it (prob. IN 2013. or thereabouts) but I gather this represents no danger to it (yet…  )

    1. Spot on Paul. He was a philanthropist in that he generated employment too and wanted his body embalmed on the top but he died first and his Christian wife had him buried in Sway. The cracks and lack of pointing were worse in the 70s and 80s before it became a B&b and they tarted it up so I think it’s good for a while yet.

  6. Anyone have any idea who the Rosie Lea of Cockney tea fame actually was? She must have been famous enough in her time to have been used as a reference, which others were expected to recognize. If you don’t know of Barnet Fair, the term barnet, meaning a hairstyle, or one’s hair more generally, is meaningless (to non-Brits reading this post, it might be, anyway!). Thus Rosie Lea can’t just be a girl’s name picked at random.

  7. Some beautiful old trees and lichen. I didn’t realise the horses had ticks. They can be fatal, of course, if they attach themselves to the right person.

  8. Beautiful photos, Derrick, but from now on when you go out for a drive, you’d best bring a few apples or sugar cubes – this isn’t the first time you came across roving horses.

  9. As Pagedogs knows, Lyme disease is a huge problem in Maine and New England. Hope the ticks carrying that disease haven’t somehow manage to swim across the pond. Loved the info about Rosie Lea. Also, hope the rain lets up soon as too much rain is just as bad as too little rain. It is my understanding that too much rain rotting the crops caused terrible famines in the Middle Ages in England and Europe. But, to end on an up-note—wonderful pictures of those horses.

      1. So sorry to hear that! Clif and I always check for ticks when we come in from being outside, but we get a break in the winter, when those little biters lay low.

  10. You do cover my old stomping ground. The family house was at the end of Barrows Lane on the junction with a silver Street so i cycled past the Tower every school day from 1970 to 1975. Often wondered if it would fall over. And it seemed to rain like this to pretty much constantly. Until they built the fish ponds at the other end of Barrows Lane the main road from New Milton to Sway flooded most of the time in winter and the road to Tiptoe was often blocked.

  11. Great photos once more Derrick – you certainly bring out the best which raises great feelings! Thanks so much for sharing your journeys as you do.

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