In order to use the services of the Post Office whilst Jackie was visiting the Birchfield Dental Practice, this morning I parcelled up some items the Australian branch of the family had left behind; wrote a cheque for the water bill in Sigoules; and packed up the various documents required for my tax return. I then posted everything.

Afterwards, Jackie took us on a drive through the forest.

Ponies 1

The unfortunate ponies struggled to find relief from the overhead sun, and clustered where they could under trees offering inadequate cover.

Tormented by flies, one of this group scratched against the tree trunks;

the others just bore their discomfort in silence. The beastly insects crawled over these wretched creatures’ eyes, noses, and mouths.


We could at least benefit from the car’s air conditioning, and choose to venture into shady lanes, three of which are featured for Jill’s benefit.

The domesticated horses enjoyed better shade,

even when grazing.

Ponies 3

Outside the shop at Pilley one string of ponies queued for the phone box

Pony 2

While others kept down the grass in front of the houses. This smaller animal, despite its leopard skin coat, was bullied by one of the larger ones when it ventured away from the gate.

Foal following mother

Foals are becoming big enough for their mothers to leave them to their own devices. One white mare attempted to escape the attentions of her little one, who was having none of it, and, on spindly legs, quickly trotted after her.


The little ones are still learning to tolerate flies, and twitch about in vain.

Foal 1

The lonely male just went to sleep.

Foal and mare 1

Sadly, juvenile tails are no use as fly whisks,

Foal and mare 2

so our little limpet clung to Mum,

Foal and mare 3

keeping within the sweep of hers.


We visited Tanners Lane on our way home. Despite the low tide, the appearance of water, against the backcloth of the Isle of Wight, gave the illusion of coolness.

Women and chidren on beach 1Women and children on beachWomen and children on beach 3Women and children on beach 4

Two women and children searching among the shallows, skirted

Boat on low tide beach

a rowing boat

Mooring chain

 chained to the stony shore.


This is the last house on the lane.

We had seen dog roses in the hedgerows at Boldre;

Small Heath butterflies

Those on Tanners Lane mingled with blackberry blossom among which Small Heath butterflies flitted. There are two in this picture.

Our evening meal consisted of cold meats, hard-boiled egg, salad, and cheeses.

Now we are going to drink beer on the patio.





  1. I just love the the appearance of the water at low tide. Magical moments captured so skillfully with your camera. Also, the pictures of the ponies are absolutely stunning!

  2. I have heard it is very hot in the UK – those beautiful shady lanes are the place to be for sure! Poor ponies, you brought home their plight forcibly today Derrick – blasted flies!! I do like to see a very low tide like this – and then I like to watch the waves slowly creep back up again – whole days could go past 🙂

  3. Aw…I’m honored, Derrick! Thank you so much for the beautiful photos of the lane. Such a special treat. As for the string of ponies waiting to make a call…I hope it’s local. Thanks again!

  4. What a quiet post…so soothing and cool in the shade…just lovely to read and view. Thank you. It is so, so terribly hot here in New Mexico…102 degrees F and getting hotter…you post was a perfect cool breeze.

  5. I hope that beer quenched your thirst dear Derrick.. and I feel for the animals in this heat.. I saw a long haired Alsatian the other day panting away.. I think we are all seeking shade and are melting a little.. But its nice to have a Summer for a change.. So must not grumble..
    Loved your photos , they always bring joy..
    Much love you way. and Salads are on the menu here also.. 🙂 xxx Hugs Sue

        1. I wasn’t authorised, but I slipped it into my reading at Sam and Holly’s wedding in a Margaret River winery in December 2007 which you will remember was a scorcher. It raised a laugh.

  6. I feel so bad for the animals in the heat and the unable to brush away the flies. I did laugh though at your comment and photo of the ponies cueing for the phone box. 🙂
    I hope you enjoyed your beer on the patio!

  7. You have me at ‘in order to use the services of the Post Office’ …. I really fear that it will become a distant memory before I even have grandchildren let alone want to send them random things in the post as my mother does for hers and which are seized on with a delight that no email can ever replace. France follows. It is not good.

  8. Excellent sequence. 🙂

    One string of ponies queued for the phone box because they know it is bigger on the inside than the outside, and Park between the library and the swimming pool is a perfect place for ponies. This is a perfect example of the application of string theory, transcendental quantum geometry, and ponying up. 😀

  9. Always good to see the ponies and the Isle of Wight.

    One more sleep before the shortest day of the year; looking forward to more light here.

  10. Why do the tides around England always seem to go out for miles, I seem to recll going to Southend back in the late 40’s and the tide went way way out, perhaps thats why the pier was so long that the had a train to take people to the end to see the sea/ocean/water

  11. You are a compassionate soul. Although, I’d give my pound of grey sponge to be turned into a pony under the paltry shade of a tree. How disturbing the corner of the Earth I live in gets with each passing year.

  12. You know i always love the pictures of the ponies and horses, but for the life of me, I can not imagine WHO the ponies were lining up to call on the phone!!

  13. Perfect meal for a hot night. Those poor ponies! How those flies must plague them.

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