No Madame Eglentyne


This morning Jackie and I took a short drive into the forest.

We stopped for a while at East Boldre, where a pair of hungry donkeys lunched on cropped grass as they waited for a bus.

Even close to midday, neighbouring ponies cast elongated shadows.

The two less energetic greys, eventually rose awkwardly to their feet

and made a beeline to the summer-long dry ditch that is now filling up with drinking water.

Ponies lack the impeccable table manners of Madame Eglentyne, Geoffrey Chaucer’s Prioress, of whom he says ‘Hire over-lippe wyped she so clene That in hir coppe ther was no ferthyng sene’. (Her upper lip was always wiped so clean That on her cup no speck or spot was seen).

This afternoon Helen and Bill dropped in with the sisters’ late father’s train set. Although blessed with three beautiful daughters, Don Rivett had no son. He therefore had to build up an electric train set for himself. Helen has safeguarded the smaller models, while Shelly has the larger ones. Helen and Bill are soon to move house. Jackie and I have now offered Helen’s set a temporary home for a few weeks.
Having taken Mum to Southampton Eye Hospital for treatment this afternoon, Elizabeth stayed with her while Jacqueline went out for a meal. She will therefore be back here later. Jackie and I dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips and Garner’s pickled onions, with which I finished the Minervois.


  1. I used to love to try and translate Chaucerian English into modern English – back in the day. It certainly deepened my understanding of how malleable language is. You fixed the photos 🙂

  2. HA! Looks like the donkeys are obeying the signs! 😉 😀 And they are getting in one last meal before their long bus ride! 😛
    Those ponies have such sweet faces! 🙂 And your photos of them are always lovely!
    Hope your Mum is doing well.
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    1. She has returned home; two sisters taking it in turns to stay with her and settle her in while trying to get sufficient care approved by Social Services – I’m not hopeful about that

          1. Where we live it’s a community of independent living people, with an aged care section attached. They refer to it euphemistically as “ageing in place”. There’s a bunch of us younger ones who’ve come for the lifestyle things on offer, but increasingly we are getting that older cohort who are becoming less active but still want to retain independence for as long as possible.

          2. You’re right about that. I don’t think there is one person here who utilises every thing on offer, yet the monthly fee stays the same. However, it’s a bit like a sampling plate – there is something for everyone, and tastes change over time. And after a while, everyone finds their “tribe”, and take comfort in companionship, more or less to suit their preferences. It’s also a very supportive environment in that old-fashioned neighbourly way when there was usually someone at home. It’s particularly noticeable if someone is ill, or needs things looked after in their absence.

  3. Your daily photography practice of capturing the land and creatures near your home makes me feel I know the place, like feeling I know a character in a well loved book. Such a fine gift you have, Derrick.

  4. The donkeys waiting for the bus tickles my imagination. Will the bus driver stop and open the door for them, just for fun? 🙂

  5. I was much taken with the mysterious ‘N’ road sign at the donkey bus stop so I looked up … did you know there’s a wikipedia entry for, ‘Road Signs in the United Kingdom’? 😀

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