Donkey Care


Margery and Paul visited and lunched with us today. Jackie continued her usual garden maintenance before and after our friends were with us. When they arrived, I was doing some dead-heading in the front garden. For some strange reason Paul thought this was to give the impression that I had been working at the task for rather longer than was likely.

After Paul and Margery had taken a tour of the garden we sat down to lunch andΒ enjoyed the usual convivial time withΒ them. Just as they were leaving, my camera arrived.

Please understand that what follows was truly hilarious and I surprised a number of people with my laughter. Goodness knows why, but I was genuinely amused. Firstly, I had to charge the battery. This was not unexpected, and I could see how to do it. That was fortunate because there was no instruction manual. Again, no real problem because I found one on the internet and downloaded it.

There was also no memory card. I rang Camera Jungle whose representative told me they didn’t stock memory cards. They did once, but they don’t any more. He told me what type I needed but said there was a whole range. He advised me to contact Jessops to buy one. He didn’t know the phone number but would look for it. I asked if it was the one I had been given yesterday. It was. He was off the hook because I still had it.

I phoned Jessops and waited an age to be transferred to the sales department. There a very helpful young lady said that she could take the order but wasn’t technically trained. She was instructed to give me the number of my nearest store who would tell me what I needed. I could then ring the sales department again and place the order. I had explained Β that I was a long way from Southampton where I believed was my nearest store. She told me it was in Waterlooville which is in fact rather further away. No matter, any phone number would have done.

I kid you not. By this time I could hardly speak for chortling.

I rang Waterlooville, shared another bout of merriment, obtained the required information, and called the sales department again. Naturally I was answered by a different person this time. He quite liked the story, too. I placed the order.

You have to laugh, don’t you? (If you don’t I’ve wasted my time writing this up).

Unbeknown to me, Jackie had planned to take me on a forest drive with my new camera. Even if I had all I needed this would not have been possible. It is likely that I would have read all the books in my library before I got my head around the 220 pages in the manual.

In the meantime she took me out with my point and shoot. She was herself rewarded when, just outside Ibsley, we passed Heather Cottage, the garden of which had her shrieking with delight.

Heather Cottage garden 1Heather Cottage garden 2Heather Cottage garden 3

It was a quintessentially English cottage garden. Note the thatcher’s pheasant on the roof.

Ponies and jogger

Further on in the village, a friendly jogger opted to cross the road in order to avoid the ponies and their fascinating, to one, droppings.

Stream and trees 1Stream and trees 2

A stream at Gorley reflected the neighbouring trees.

Donkeys outside Hyde Primary School

It was only after I further examined the row of donkeys waiting to enter Hyde Primary School that I realised one was more aroused than was immediately apparent.

Donkey sleeping

Donkey foal

On the village green mares were tending their foals. Two youngsters were asleep on the grass. I disturbed one which began to whimper

Donkey suckling foal

and was soon latched onto its mother, thus disturbing her own contented grazing.

Donkey nuzzling foal

Another mare gave her offspring a tender nuzzle.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s pork fillet baked in mustard with new potatoes and crisp carrots and green beans. She drank her Hoegaarden/Bavaria mix, and I drank more of the Madiran.


  1. Well, I can certainly see why the cottage had Jackie ‘shrieking with delight,’ Derrick. It’s fantastic. I curious about the roof of the cottage. What kind of material is it?
    Aw…the little mare sleeping is so sweet.

    1. Thatch is usually made of dried reeds. Brand new, they’re a golden colour, but they soon turn greyish brown with weathering.

  2. When I first began reading I wondered where your photos were. I hope you get the camera situation straightened out–funny as it was.
    The photos you did get are still wonderful. The cottage looks like something I’d imagine from a fairy tale, the aroused donkey! :), the lovely reflection in the water, and those adorable baby donkeys. It looks like you lovely outing.

  3. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen a dick pic. I guess it must be hard to be a dude… (that’s a double entrende). πŸ˜€

  4. I thought the punchline to your story was going to be that Jessops had closed down. I thought they had, but clearly not.

  5. That Paul, imagine thinking you would fake your industry in the garden!

    Yes, I confess to clicking on the photo of the excited fellow. The cottage soothed my fevered brow.

    1. Β Β I was only joking. I’ve tried this on him before, suggesting he only serves the coffees (thus allowing HG to sit down) when guests are present.
      As we were later than we expected, I idly wondered aloud if he’d been out in the front garden (where one drives in) since our ETA, and had had to stay out there for about 40 mins. to keep up the impression of working! Derrick seemed to think this uproarious, but I didn’t realize that he thought I was being serious.

  6. I like how you feature honest pastoral pictures of the countryside, sometimes the unique details make me smile. You show a dry sense of humor on Life, Derrick! The cottage was very much like a fairy tale one, possibly where Hansel and Gretel lived before their parents couldn’t feed them anymore and sent them out into the woods. . .
    Have a splendid weekend, to you and Jackie! <3

    1. To be fair, the creature might have its mind on other things (possibly not “higher” things… )

  7. Your story was hilarious although I don’t believe you found much mirth in it initially as you were looking forward to using your new camera right away. In any case your current camera is pretty much up to the mark and there are your usual fantastic photographs. I love the cottage clicks and Jacky is right the garden looks delightful. The animal shots are very soothing as is the one of the water. You’ve got me excited now about what is going to come up with your new camera once you start using it.

    1. Many thanks, Geetha. In truth, I’m rather phobic about new technical gadgetry, so a bit of enforced delay will help me to put off making that first, scary, start

      1. Ah ah ah, maybe I got the wrong Derrick! I would have reckoned you would not be able to wait to even learn how it works before you started shooting away with it. That seems a wiser approach though.

  8. Derrick, Excuse this uneducated question, please. I wanted to read more about who feeds the donkeys and if they are able to go where ever they want so I looked it up on Google. Many articles were shown about the Isle of Wright Donkey Sanctuary. My question is: Is all the land a donkey sanctuary? What happens if five or six decide to go into the grounds of the fairy tale house with the thatched roof and take a nap in the flower garden?

  9. Oh, that thatched cottage and garden! Lovely. Good luck with learning how to use your new camera. Don’t get rid of the point and shoot just yet πŸ˜‰

  10. I did laugh Derrick, so it was not a waste of your time. And the photos are amazing, I especially enjoyed the Heather Cottage photos! Have a wonderful day my friend! πŸ™‚

  11. Good thing you have a sense of humour, Derrick. At least it stops your blood pressure from rising. That cottage reminds me of the early 19th century one which my husband’s sister and brother-in-law live in near Bedford. It was listed by English Heritage in August 1983 as Grade II, of special interest, and is so charming. Gorgeous shots of the mares and their sweet foals.

  12. Dearest D this gave me a much needed laugh today – they really made me laugh – I know there was a serious side and yet those pictures! I have felt heavy hearted because the attacks are basically almost walking distance from where I grew up and so … I was very sad but this really put a smile on my face, though I felt for you also!

  13. I can imagine that Jackie was quite excited by the Heather cottage – totally picturesque with the building and gardens. You do love your new toys, but geez no memory card?

  14. What madness for pictures, hey?–but you have to do it, time to enlarge your visual goals, I am sure! You sure seem to have quite a number of four-leggeds in your area. Is there an ordinance that specifies once must bring their creatures and set them free there? But they are attractive, I admit.

  15. What a gorgeous cottage! We are not surprised about the manual, nothing comes with a manual these days. It is all online. Have fun with the new camera.

  16. Derrick, unlike you, I couldn’t laugh. I found the service appalling! But perhaps laughter is best in situations like this. Progress was made in the end. And no, you didn’t waste your time telling the story… I’m smiling as I write that last sentence. πŸ™‚

    The garden in the cottage is beautiful.

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