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Jackie tells me that Becky spent months searching for a silver napkin clip, and, just in time for my birthday, found one by James Dixon & Sons Ltd from 1962/3. Presented to me by our daughter and Ian in the restaurant yesterday evening, this is intended to protect my shirts from spillage when I am watching Bargain Hunt on TV at lunchtime.
After said lunch today, I slept through most of the antiques programme and the news. Later Jackie drove us through the forest.
The fly-ravaged ponies and their foals sought shade from the heat wherever they could. This group of two mares and their foals at the corner of Burley Lawn sheltered in silence. The adults could not open their infested eyes, and their infants clung to the mothers’ flanks, seeking the breeze and screen created by the parental twitching tails.
At Chapel Haye, where a young girl brought out water, another group spilled across the road.
Ponies and foals drank from the dregs of the dried bed of Latchmere Stream at Furze Hill, and foraged on the sun-dappled banks.
The animal death count on this seven mile stretch of Roger Penny Way exceeded 120 last year. What, we wondered, were the chances of this little chap not making the list. Donkeys are apparently impervious to the heat, so he was quite comfortable on the tarmac.
This evening we dined on succulent roast chicken; herby sage & onion stuffing: Yorkshire pudding; mashed potato; Chantenay carrots; chestnut mushrooms; and runner beans. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Newboy.