The Breadline


This warm and wet afternoon Jackie and I went shopping at Setley Ridge Farm Shop for tomorrow’s provisions.

The amount of rain that has fallen in the last few days was reflected in the pitted car park surfaces. Bedraggled remnants of Christmas decorations partly filled trays left outside.

Inside the attractively laid out shelves displayed bread, biscuits, fruit, vegetables, nuts, drinks, preserves, free range eggs, dates, and much more. Lines of cups fronting pickle jars contained taster samples of the enticing varieties. Even the shoppers’ baskets in the  doorway invited filling with the wholesome provender.

On our return through Brockenhurst we noticed a string of donkeys on the breadline in the garden of Greatham House. A coating of bracken indicated that they had trooped in from the forest for their tea, which, clearly a regular event, was soon provided by the lady of the house.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s splendid steak and mushroom pie, creamy mashed potatoes, and crisp cabbage, cauliflower, and carrots. I drank more of the shiraz cabernet and Becky and Ian drank Encostats de Caiz vinho verde 2016.


  1. Sounds as though there’s a New Year’s party in the pipeline for tomorrow, Derrick. A happy 2018 to Jackie and yourself, and to all your family and friends who keep me entertained throughout the year in your excellent photo galleries.

  2. The donkeys in line at the door is such a delightful photo, Derrick. It made me laugh. I’m imagining the one in front knocking at the door (though it doesn’t seem necessary).
    I hope you were able to find everything you wanted for–a party? That shop looks great.

  3. Oh, I love that the donkeys line up outside to wait for their food. Aren’t people the best? And that shop is so inviting. Happy New Year, my friends – looking forward to a great gardening season this year – last year I had to work too hard & missed all the fun.

      1. Thank you, Derrick! That is my resolution – to work harder at the creative, fun, gardening, sewing, etc. and to work less hard at the stuff that brings in the money. Practicality may intervene, but that’s my plan.

  4. In the USA I never saw a brown egg, only white. In your photo with eggs, they too are all white;.
    In Australia, they are all always brown, even the so called free range, which makes me suspect that all eggs in Australia, are from hens that are being fed something that makes them lay only brown eggs, and there is no such thing as free range!
    How delightful it must be to have a group of donkeys appearing at your door for afternoon tea, we city dwellers miss out on so much, and without posts such as yours, we’d be completely oblivious to the joys of country living.

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