At The Corner Of The Street

An unusual phenomenon is evident in our front garden this year. We have crab apples, normally stripped by blackbirds long before now – still suspended from their branches – standing alongside a winter flowering cherry.

When I endured my flexible cystoscopy on 13th December I was given a form to send back after a fortnight in order to report on whether or not I had an infection. Now I know why. Today Jackie drove me to the GP to obtain some antibiotics.

Before then we took a drive in the forest.

The two ponies always seen at the door of Greatham House near the junction of Sway Road in Brockenhurst, and various attendant donkeys

attracted quite a crowd of visitors, many with cameras. The grey pony, in particular, tended to poke her head through the open front doorway when the owner appeared with goodies.

Several donkeys on the opposite corner of the street attracted their own admirers.

Soon, occasionally coming to an abrupt halt, either to doze or to enjoy a scratch, crossed the road to join their relatives.

As most photographers will know, it is necessary to stand well back from your subject when using a long lens. This becomes rather difficult when your prey – in this case a small donkey in search of treats – is intent upon investigating your camera. One gentleman attempting to flee his moving subject was compelled to wait until the animal became distracted in order to take his opportunity for a shot. Otherwise, each time he turned round the creature continued to bear down upon him.

Jackie, who tried out her new camera today, reprimanded me for standing in the road “like a donkey”. These are two of her images. The woman I was conversing with was telling me that the local council were engaged in a long running feud with the owner of Greatham House who refused to stop feeding the ponies. She said that the two regular equine visitors were a mother and daughter, and that the younger, grey, animal was pregnant. As Jackie said, “she’ll be bringing her foal along soon”.

In the skies over Bransgore a mini murmuration wave swooped, turned, ebbed, and flowed low above the trees.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla. My main course was lamb Ceylon; Jackie’s Lal Qilla Special; Ian’s chicken tikka masala; and Becky’s Murg something I can’t remember. We shared onion bhajis, various rices and a peshwari naan. Becky drank rosΓ© wine while the rest of us enjoyed Kingfisher.


  1. We’ll have things blossoming here soon as well unless it turns cold. It’s predicted for mid to late January. We’ll see. Had more rain today. Must be at 70 inches. I loved the horse at the front door.

  2. Delightful donkeys. I would be thrilled to have one trundle up my front steps and nose open the door.
    Happy New Year to you and Jackie!

  3. Sorry to hear about your infection Derrick, I hope the AB’s do their stuff – remember to take something to return your stomach bacteria to full health once you’re sone! πŸ˜‰
    I love the pony and donkey pictures – even the two legged ones! πŸ˜‰ Just wonderful to know there are still places like that in our world of technology and never-ending change. Your posts give me some hope for the future. I’m very glad to have made your acquaintance in 2018. πŸ™‚
    Wishing you and Jackie a very Happy New Year and only the best for 2019!

  4. Birds can be choosey when the weather is mild and there is plenty of food available. They have only just begun to pick up the rowan berries that fell in my garden several weeks ago.
    Happy New Year to you all in the New Forest!

  5. Those are rather insistent crabapples, ponies and the latter’s admirers. I smiled at the long brewing dispute between the feeder and the local council. You have closed the post with a sentence that is a glorious audio-visual expression: a mini murmuration wave swooped, turned, ebbed, and flowed low above the trees.

  6. Happy New Year!
    Very cute little donkey. There was a dog that did that to me once. Every time I tried to take a picture, it would come up and put its nose on my camera lens. As a result, I have some extremely close up photos…way, way too close!

  7. Thank for taking me with you and jackie to this fantastic place!!!! Wish you and all your family health love peace and many many shots of you!!!!!! Happy new year!!!!!!

  8. Derrick, I am always amazed at the animals, large animals, roaming wherever they want. It is so funny. I would be a typical tourist, snapping pictures. I hope your test results are what you want. Waiting is always the worse part, don’t you agree. I wish you and Jackie a very, very Happy New Year. Last night, we dined at home. My wife, Cheryl, made delicious shrimp scampi (plenty of them), cauliflower, yellow & green squash. We both drank water and desserted (is there such a word? I thought it sounded refined…English, if you will) on an ice cream log (vanilla, strawberry with chocolate syrup and sprinkles nuts) . We finished all of it (little piggies, eh). I look forward to reading more of your words and eyeing your photos in 2019. Thank you for your friendship.

      1. I forgot, we also had ciabatta bread, roasted (maybe baked) with a garlic topping. Yummy. I knew it wasn’t a verb but it sounded so good. Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks very much, Cynthia. The animals are owned by commoners with historic rights to allow their animals to roam within the New Forest. Car drivers do know to slow down. Unfortunately they don’t always do so.

  9. Happy New Year. Get better soon. You know that when Council starts picking on people for feeding donkeys they are trying to find distractions from what they ought to be doing. Best donkey picture yet. πŸ™‚

  10. Happy New Year to you and Jackie, Derrick. Thank you for the wonderful photos of the ponies and donkeys. They are so delightful to see!

  11. Ahhhh, the endless joy of observing (and photographing) animals! Whoever is feeding treats to the ponies, by the way, may not have wakened to the fact that they have created a ‘pest’ for life! Once fed, the little tyrants will never give up!

  12. I thought the horse was going to walk inside that house! How fanciful to see horses and donkey’s wandering about the street. Great photos, Derrick. Happy New Year. πŸ™‚

  13. So sorry to hear about the infection. πŸ™ Hope it clears up promptly!
    Love the friendly ponies and donkeys and all of the attention they are getting!
    Ha…tell Jackie you were in good company as you stood in the road! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€
    2019 HUGS and Happy New Year to you and all The Gals in your life! Especially your Mum! πŸ™‚
    PS…Thank you to you and Jackie for making 2018 a wonderful year with your lovely garden and your amazing photos! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks very much, Donkey Whisperer. They are all owned by commoners who have ancient pasturage rights in the forest. They are allowed to roam, but generally stick to their own territories. Such a mild year has meant that there is plenty of food for them

  14. I know what happens trying to photograph cats in search of treats – I get a lot of nose closeups. The donkeys and ponies must be particularly challenging. πŸ™‚

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