On The Road To Brockenhurst


Jackie and I began the day with a drive in the forest, in order to see how the thatching at East End was progressing.

Ford 1
Ford 2
Ford 3

A shallow stream ran over the ford at Norleywood, enhancing the beauty of the shadows on the road ahead.

Donkeys 1

A pair of donkeys breakfasted on the hedgerows opposite the house

Thatching 3

on which the skilled roofing work had commenced.

Donkey 1

As is their wont, one of these creatures crept, silently, up behind me to see if I had any carrots. I am mean enough to disappoint them, however, feeding them is not advised by the verderers, unless you want to catch Weill’s disease.

Donkeys and Modus
Donkey and Modus
Donkey 2

Jackie had driven further up the road to turn round, by which time the donkeys really had claimed the road.

Donkeys 2

The other two large lorries were still parked outside the neighbouring house. One was being loaded with soil dug out from the garden.

Shetland pony 1
Chickens and Shetland pony 1
Chickens and Shetland pony 2

High above the chicken range a solitary Thelwell child’s pony also enjoyed its morning meal.

Chickens and cockerel 1

Chickens 1
Cockerel and chickens 1
Chickens 2
Chickens 3
Chicken 1
Chicken 2

The chickens cooed and clucked around their chook house,

Crow and chickens

sharing their repast with crows,

Ducks and chicken


Ducks and hen pheasant
Pheasant hen
Pheasant cock 1

and pheasants, which were freer to roam.

Llama 2

One of the llamas sat with a silly grin on its face

Llama 1

as another gurned at me.


A trio of cyclists paused at the road junction to take their bearings.

Cyclists 1
Cyclists 2
Cyclists 3
Cyclists 5
Cyclists 6

They were small fry compared with those who were to limit our progress on the road to Brockenhurst.

Cyclists 4

As we approached that village, Jackie expressed the wish that they would not be going our way. No such luck.

This afternoon we continued, focussing on the rose and front gardens, preparing for an alfresco summer.

This evening we dined on shepherd’s pie topped with layers of cheddar cheese and mushrooms; crisp carrots, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and runner beans. Jackie finished the Cotes de Gascoigne and I drank more of the shiraz.


  1. Sounds like heaven!! Such lovely farm land and so much green and flowering bushes!!! So nice, I still have 10 foot snow piles in front of my house….YUCK may have to wait till June to do any planting… oh well, not much I can do about it so… keep posting these lovely pictures, I so enjoying seeing them!! All the best, Michelle

  2. Wonderful Derrick.. Love thatched roofs.. and this was a beauty.. So were those Donkeys.. 🙂 and llamas… Reminding me of last year when I look our granddaughter to a small farm park.. where they were kept.. We bought pellets in animal feed to feed them and the goats.. after feeding one llamas it promptly spat back at me all that i had fed it.. LOL.. Much to the delight and laughter of our then 5 year old granddaughter.. LOL.
    And shepherds pie.. one of my own favorites.. I usually make two at the same time, and freeze one .. Come to think of it Derrick.. One I made about a fortnight ago is still waiting in the freezer.. and I may well retrieve for dinner tomorrow xxx 🙂 ..

    Have a great rest of the week both of you.. Love and Hugs xx Sue

  3. I had to look up ‘gurning’ Derrick. That expression is the same look Siddy has on his face when he’s not sure whether his deserved treat is coming or not and he has been waiting patiently ……. so maybe it is!! The hens look healthy! In fact this entire post is full of the bucolic joys of the English countryside – except for the cyclist who need to learn some road etiquette. And who just prove nothing is perfect! 🙂

      1. I went with a somewhat modified version of ‘complaining peevishly’ meaning Jodierichelle – Siddy’s is more the ‘Is there a treat coming, oh heavens I hope there’s a treat coming, is there, is there, is there ….’ expression. 🙂 Derrick is most helpful in expanding our knowledge of the language isn’t he 🙂

    1. I’d love to see a photo of Siddy’s gurn, Pauline. There is such a controversy about the cyclists – between those who want to encourage them into the area, and those who regard them as a menace. Thanks very much.

  4. Like Pauline I had to look up gurn. Also verderer and Weill’s disease. I noticed the use of the word chook which I believed to be Australasian!

  5. Oh my word! That llama is hilarious! It almost looks like a human’s face. Boy, at times, it sure seems tough to get around your town, Derrick. Great photos!

  6. You had me with the donkeys. That “headshot”–how adorable! The other animals are great, too, but I love donkeys.

  7. The cyclists can’t be worse than the cattle, sheep, ponies, donkeys and other livestock you normally deal with on the road! I did love this post as it made me look up three things–Weil’s disease, which I learned is leptospirosis; verderers, which govern the New Forest; and gurned, which autocorrect tried to turn into turned, but I know is making grimacing faces now. I may have to adopt that one. I often use gormless now, which is not generally heard in US English.

    1. What great looking chooks, I could really taste ’em! Fair enough the donkeys having right of way but those 2 legged asses on their bicycles are a curse.

  8. Such fabulous photos, Derrick. I love the donkey portrait. But all of the animal shots are wonderful. The llama made me laugh–it does look goofy.

  9. I’d never heard of the disease you mentioned. The chicken photos are terrific, and that llama is outstanding! What presence!

  10. Quite the pastoral life you live…I am always amazed by it, so different from my life in the city in the U.S.! Why are pea-brained chickens such fun to gawk at? But they are! And the llama is quite the creature, yes,–neat that you got the shots.

  11. While you had been busy meandering in the blessed longitudes of the planet and capturing the wonders of life through your camera, I have been busy picking up the leftovers of foliage after a particularly wicked tempest, one that has left lasting scars already.

    I will return to savour your offering.

  12. We didn’t see, or expect to, llamas on that there road!
    I love the distant shot of Kipper, and looked carefully in case Penelope’s legs were visible kicking in the air from a bush somewhere near!

  13. Between the bikers, the animals, and the narrow roads, I can see how progress is slow going. Lovely, though.

  14. It’s so hard to imagine donkies just wandering around like that! Love it. The close up of the chicken is gorgeous!!! Love your tour of the countryside as always

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