Stalked By A Dalmatian?


This morning I continued work on the rose garden, Jackie cut back plants in other beds, and

Aaron made considerable headway on weeding the gravel paths.

After lunch, Jackie and I drove into the forest. The terrain around Fritham seems to be the home of miniature ponies. I tend to call them all Shetlands, because I don’t know any better. As we drove past a car park we noticed one vehicle surrounded by these little creatures. Naturally we turned round to investigate.

Brian, who is concerned that I don’t feed carrots to the ponies, should be very pleased that a little girl was doing just that.

Child saying goodbye to Shetland ponies 1

When the time came for our little friend to wave goodbye

Shetland ponies by Modus

the fickle animals moved on to see what they could scrounge from the next vehicle.

A few larger ponies did mingle with the smaller ones,

one of which had me wondering whether there was such a thing as a Dalmatian pony. Later research revealed that it is probably a miniature British spotted pony,

which, when a young woman on the other side of the car park opened her car boot to change her footwear, trotted over and stood patiently, silently, behind her.

Shetland pony and woman changing shoes 3

Perhaps she felt its breath, for, with a joyful exclamation, she turned and patted it, just as she was in the process of prising off a footwear boot.


Our return home was via Bramshaw, where black-faced sheep spilled into the road.

Newbridge Telephone Kiosk 1

Upon investigation I discovered that the Newbridge Telephone Kiosk is now a repository for local social history. Among the photographs inside is one of the phone box when it was in use as such, with information about the iconic design and its creator;

Newbridge Telephone Kiosk 2

Images of St Mary’s Church and an early wedding can be seen through a broken window;

Newbridge Telephone Kiosk 3

two more weddings, seen here through murky glass, are also remembered.

This evening we dined on tasty pork chops with apple sauce, flavoursome sage and onion stuffing; creamy swede and potato mash; crisp carrots, broccoli and green beans; and piquant cauliflower cheese. I finished the merlot, and Jackie abstained.



  1. The little ponies are gorgeous creatures – I call them collectively Shetland’ Ponies too – are we wrong to do so? I also like to see the way the old phone boxes are being put to use, though it would be good if vandals were deterred from vandalising them!

  2. And of course you can go to my blog for an explanation where GG Scott got his inspiration from for the iconic phone box… oops, was that ambush advertising? Soz Derrick.

  3. Pork chops! I salivate at the thought and remembrance of them in Canada. In Australia, the pork is not as I think it should be. I don’t know why.

    Those darn ponies are so cute, and the photo of the lass caught in half boot removal is a winner!

  4. I’d be quite surprised too if a dalmatian pony snuck up behind me. 🙂 Looks like she took it in her stride. I suppose these things are to be expected in Pony-land. 😀

  5. Good for Aaron. That’s quite a thankless task he has. My MiL’s gardener doesn’t pull weeds. He says that he’s a horticulturist, so that’s not his job. 😆 Love those sweet ponies. I would also stop mid boot removal to pat one.

  6. Those ponies are so precious! And I love the sheep. I remember my sons raising lambs for our county fair. Great days! Dinner must have been delicious.

  7. Those ponies are a delight. They make me smile.
    What a great idea for the phone box. Any that might still exist around here are covered in graffiti and destroyed.

  8. The ponies are very cute. But I’m curious what the owners do with them. Animals can be expensive to buy and raise. Sheep can be sheered; regular sized horses can be ridden. Are the ponies kept for their cuteness and nothing more?

    1. I think that is right, Nicki. The same goes for all the ponies which roam the forest, although we do know one person who trains and rides the bigger ones which she keeps in a field. Thank you.

  9. You are probably too young to remember the popular TV programme “Mister Ed”. The opening song went:
    “A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
    Unless of course the name of the horse is the famous Mister Ed”.
    That should clarify for you the different types of horses. I hope that helps!

  10. Those pones are absolutely gorgeous and I’d love to give them a hug, wonder if they like hugs? They seem very friendly and obviously appreciate a carrot or two from nice caring people. who seem to be very few and far between.
    ‘Two more weddings’, but no funeral? Why is that?
    Had the pork chops in the mustard marinade, used brown sugar ,not honey as per the War Offices instructions, She thoroughly enjoyed them except for the almonds, did not like the almonds at all.Served with steamed broccoli, carrots, mashed potatoes & pumpkin.
    I think I’d have preferred honey but I do as I’m told! 🙁

      1. Well it wasn’t exactly a funeral was it? I shall have the pork chops on the menu again, but I might do it not say what I’m doing and try honey. I shall probably be in need of Quercus’s services after! XD

  11. That spotted pony was cute, but so were the sheep, all fat and grazing. Here the closest thing we have to spotted ponies are pintos and appaloosas. The pintos are really ponies, but I think the appaloosas are horses.

  12. Cute little furry chubbers the tiny ponies. Reminiscent of Thelwell who would have loved the moment with the show removing girl ?

  13. I am still envious of all the animals you see wandering around your countryside. That telephone kiosk is a terrific idea – over here it would be covered in graffiti or destroyed in no time. It makes me feel good to know that somewhere on this planet our history and a peaceful life are still in style!!

  14. Thanks for such a fun and uplifting post, Derrick. Lifting spirits with ponies, a special spotted (Dalmatian) pony and those healthy black faced sheep look sweet. They make me think of Easter lambs and bunnies. 🙂

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