An Assignation


Before getting stuck into the ironing, I played for time by wandering around the garden with my camera. Some tulips and daffodils were still emerging; many hellebores and other daffs were in bloom; some of the earlier camellia blooms were turning to parchment, as they do; the winter-flowering clematis cirrhosa still flowers; three glass birds fly into the sun.

This afternoon Jackie drove me to Milford on Sea for Peter to cut my hair and for me to make an appointment with a GP to set things in motion for my knees to be examined. I don’t dwell on it, but it is time to see what’s what. Afterwards we continued into the forest.

A stretch of currently very marshy land separates Undershore from Lymington reedbeds. Undershore is a narrow, winding, lane with a high bank on the other side. Jackie tucked the Modus into a corner beside a footpath so I could walk back photographing the tarmac and the soggy ground. When we stopped, the route seemed unpopulated. Soon one car after another came along. Taking evasive action I nipped onto the verge taking a step onto a muddy path. It wasn’t a path. It was a quagmire of a ditch. That was awkward. My socks and shoes got rather damp. Further along Undershore we came to School Lane which was full of the cars I had seen earlier, and adults and children. School was out.

At East Boldre grey ponies cropped grass and tore at gorse; while chestnuts preferred to stick their noses in ditches and their rears in the air, occasionally disrupting the traffic.

Marvelling at how those dainty little hooves could bear the weight of a heavily pregnant donkey and her load we brought up the rear as she followed two others down to the shingle at Tanner’s Lane. The leading pair were soon chewing on seaweed. Jackie, who had stayed in the car, told me that the bulky creature had had great difficulty squeezing past two cars blocking the entrance to the beach. Once she found her way there a joyful assignation ensued as other donkeys greeted her through the barbed wire to the adjacent field.

My first task on returning home was to change my shoes and socks in readiness for a trip to Lal Quilla where we will be dining with Richard and his wife. I will report on that tomorrow.


  1. Sweet story about the donkey reunion. Good luck with the knees. Hope dinner was delicious.

  2. I love that the donkeys greeted their friend. It makes me strangely happy. πŸ™‚
    Sorry about your wet shoes and socks. Good luck with your knee.
    Beautiful photos as always, Derrick–more magic lanes and reflections.

  3. Your spring garden is coming along nicely, Derrick and Jackie. I love seeing the ponies and donkeys, too. Seems like a slower, gentler life over there in your area.

  4. What a marvelous set of photos … the donks have me captivated. I wish you a good journey to getting your knees sorted. I know from others how debilitating and painful problems with those particular joints can be.

  5. Still can’t get over the transformation of that snow-covered land.

    Thank you for risking life and limb to get us those photos – glad I am not doing your laundry though πŸ™‚

  6. My first thought was – don’t you dare walk on the new kitchen floor in filthy, muddy shoes! No amount of ironing would redeem you from that. Great photos as always. Love the preggers donkey. Maybe the others greeted her excitedly as they are waiting for a new brother or sister.

  7. Long time since I had one of those.
    The ponies look like they need a good brushing, something for you to do stead of wasting your time taking pictures of the poor neglected creatures

  8. I am so glad you didn’t trip or lose your step into the ditch, Derrick! I’m happy to see the mossy banks along the road with atmospheric trees bending and leaning, some creating arches. . .

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