Road Blocks


This morning Jackie drove us with our friends Jessie and Claire out into the forest. Unfortunately this took rather longer than anticipated because even the narrow lanes suffered under the burden of far more traffic than usual. Our environment was the venue for a major cycling event, and there was extensive parking in the vicinities of the hostelries.

Ponies on road

No sooner had we escaped the first batch of cyclists than a string of ponies stretched across the road at Mockbeggar,


where cattle took some shelter from the heat beneath shady trees,


and almost every other donkey seemed burdened by pregnancy.

Quad car

We waited for a quad car to pass in order to turn into Hockey’s Farm at South Gorley,

Photographing an alpaca

where I was not the only person with the idea of photographing

Alpaca 1Alpaca 2Alpaca 3

recently shorn alpacas;


extremely smelly little pigs;

Geese 1Goose 1Geese 2

and geese

Chickens 1Rooster

sharing a pen with splendid chickens.

Goose 2Geese 3

Geese 4

The geese enjoyed a bath in the far left-hand corner. They would duck and dive, then, shaking themselves dry, leave the pool and join their companions.

We then partook of traditional cream teas from the shop. While I had busied myself in the farmyard, Jessie had purchased various meat items which resulted in a certain amount of unwanted attention from a visiting dog.

Dog with bone

Fortunately the animal’s head was turned by the offer of a very fresh bone.

Pony mare and foal

Our next obstacle on the road came in the form of a foal, escorted by its pony mother, having a scratch on Roger Penny Way.

Traffic jam

The route along the A337 into Lyndhurst was so packed with unmoving traffic that we took a diversion via Minstead through Emery Down. As you can see, this did not prove to be a good idea.

Pony on road

Having eventually threaded our way through this blockage we took the road through Bolderwood and immediately encountered a dappled pony with no inclination to move.

Cyclist 1Cyclist and marshall

I had resolved not to feature the swarms of cyclists, but they and their marshals did impede our entrance onto the A35 and potential freedom of the road.


The next pony and foal did allow us passing space.

We were soon back home, where Jackie fed us all on superb roast lamb, mint sauce, sage and onion stuffing, roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, carrots and runner beans. We finished up with Claire’s first class mints. Jackie drank an excellent Sainsbury’s Chablis 2015 provided by Jessie, and I finished the merlot. The others had a long journey back to London and left soon after 6 p.m.






  1. It all boils down to ‘right of way’. As the old saying goes,’R_O_W is not something you’ve got, it’s something that’s given to you. And if it’s not given to you, you ain’t got it.

    1. Thanks a lot, Osyth. I think the smell was what the pigs were wallowing in. I agree with Pauline that the animals themselves were probably not smelly.

  2. Pigs, given the right living conditions, are usually very clean creatures – I was a little disturbed to read they were ‘smelly’. Hopefully it was just because they were playing in the mud and not living in it? My goodness Derrick – the roads are so crowded! I think I might just stay home in your garden all summer long. But then I would have missed seeing those personable alpacas – don’t they have attitude! 🙂

    1. Thanks very much, Pauline. I thought exactly that about the pigs, which is why I mentioned the smell. Unfortunately, I think it is what they were living in. The alpacas were certainly above all that

  3. Thank you both for a lovely weekend. The alpaca is doing well on the balcony and is very partial to the petunias. Jessie xx

  4. That is quite a circus on those roads out there. The cattle however do not seem to be bothered by the hurly burly of humans. You surely had a busy day behind the lens. I was so engrossed, I was shocked when I ran out of pictures.

  5. Never a dull moment, is there? Nothing like that around here. Only the odd deer or moose.

  6. Quite a day with such wonderful photos. I love the cattle resting by the side of the road. If all of your roadblocks were in a movie, people would think it was made up. I’m glad you weren’t in a hurry, and thanks for taking us along. 🙂

  7. The different animals made me chuckle in delight! Cows, horses, pregnant donkey, smelly pigs and fowl who bathe.
    That little foal with his leg up to scratch was unique and precious, Derrick.
    I love mint sauce with lamb, the side dishes sound especially yummy. A tip of the chef’s hat to dear Jackie’s menu. Mmm mmm!

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