Early this morning Jackie drove me to Lymington Hospital where I underwent a posterior capsulotomy. This was nowhere near as nasty as it sounds. Sixty four summers ago I suffered a cricketing injury to my left eye, the story of which is told in ‘Cottenham Park‘. This developed in the need for a cataract operation some forty years later. Now a laser adjustment in order to reduce subsequent cloudiness. I had been warned to expect this. It was all very painless.

So comfortable was I that we continued into the forest where we encountered ponies and a foal on the lake at Pilley. Today, this former gravel pit does not look like a body of water. As recently as February ponies and cattle drank freely from water that lapped the banks and reflected the buildings alongside. That is how it has always looked to us in the past.

Today, the terrain was so dry that the young foal among these ponies would have taken some convincing that once where, like the crows, he was foraging among dried up mud, he could have enjoyed a paddle and a drink of bathwater. Much of the forest is now as parched.

This afternoon we enjoyed a visit from Margery and Paul.

Later, Jackie and I dined on Southern fried chicken fillets, roasted potato wedges and five varieties of baked bean. Mrs. Knight drank her customary Hoegaarden and I drank an unaccustomed English wine  she had brought back from her Somerset trip. This was Barebones Vineyard Newboy 2016






          1. This is rather sad …. I am a huge fan of beans (to the extent that I subscribe to The Bean Foundation and get regular news and views and recipes using all manner of beans. They are delicious, nutritious and all have different personalities and so good for us. The navy bean in tommy sauce is of course a classic but where is life without a little colour and variety? Having successfully convinced you and all your readers that I am a bonkers nutcase I will now retire back to my place in the wings ?

  1. What happened to the water?

    I still can’t ‘like’ but WP seems to have given up blocking my view with pop-ups.

  2. I’m envious. Laser eye surgery here costs a bomb. Those dried out waterways have a distinctly Australia look to them – I hear you guys are practically on water restrictions.

    1. We are certainly in a drought, Gwen. And it’s not so long ago that we had two years of almost continuous rain. Through our compulsory National Insurance contributions we have been saving up for old age 🙂

  3. It seems wine is produced darn near everywhere these days. Next thing you know there will be a hardy snow resistant variety that flourishes in Greenland. Or above the tree line in Canada.

    1. Germany of course produces huge amounts of wonderful white wine, and is known for its long cold and snowy winters, here in England we produce champagne wines that regularly beat French Champagne in international competitions and we sell it to France! White grape types are the ones to grow in less sunny and colder climes. I was surprised to see a red wine produced in England and so felt I had to buy it for D to try! Love J

      1. Canada too produces fine white wines. Rieslings, perhaps not so curiously, from the Niagara region. Close to Ottawa where we have brutally cold winters there are also a couple of wineries. So its possible, but I imagine they have to work hard to protect those poor vines in the winter. I lost a whole bunch of perennials this year due to a weird freeze/thaw cycle in February. This is a climate for the hardy and foolhardy!

  4. Hi Derrick, I’m pleased your laser treatment was comfortable for you, and that you feeling ok. I hope you get some summer rain soon, usually the Tennis brings on some moisture.

  5. You certainly have been through the wars haven’t you,Glad to see your bearing up with great English fortitude, something for which we are renowned< :bear: 😈

    That wine doesn't sound as though it hit the mark, just so-so was it?

    1. Loads of streams still running through the forest and there is even a horse trough at Tiptoe that is now well used by the ponies. I think they will be ok.

  6. Its nice you return to Nature after the modern day medical interventions. Recently, I saw a bunch of ponies in a nature park in Bangkok. The first thought crossing my mind was that of yours. It was as if I had seen them before.

    1. Efi, not being a Rolling Stones fan, I have never heard this before, but it is truly beautiful. Thank you so much. We are in the New Forest near the south coast of Hampshire, just a couple of miles from the Isle of Wight.

  7. Derrick,
    Glad the eye procedure was not painful and that you had a nice day to enjoy the horses in the countryside (despite the draught)

  8. Five varieties of baked bean? That sounds like the dream meal. I’m still getting over the thrill of mushy peas with mint in them!

  9. Oh my! on the medical procedure! 😮 Glad you explained it! I saw it going a totally different way! 😮

    I’m so glad the rest of your day involved beautiful scenery, ponies, good food, and great friends!!!
    HUGS!!! 🙂

  10. I’m glad the procedure was simple and painless. Isn’t it amazing what that laser surgery can do now?
    Sorry about the drought there. I know the west here is suffering, and many places cancelled their 4th of July fireworks. We’re getting plenty of rain right now–thunderstorms have been rolling through for the past few hours. The horses are beautiful.

    I read the comments about the beans. I had also wondered. 🙂

    1. Many thanks, Merril. My daughter, Louisa, sent me a Father’s Day card featuring a can of beans farting and the comment that I Trumped all the rest 🙂

  11. Glad the procedure went well and was not painful. Hope you get rain soon!

  12. I too, am pleased that your laser eye surgery went well. I thought it might rain today, but no such luck! The Forest is looking very dry and yellow.

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