No Passenger Seat Was Vacated

This morning Jackie drove me to the GP surgery in Milford on Sea where I was relieved to learn that my lingering symptoms are probably due to stress – I can certainly agree with that, and just continue to take it easy.

This afternoon my Chauffeuse took me on a trip to the north of the forest.

A motley array of pigeons set off flying from the colourful tiles of the roof of Moyles Court School as we travelled through Rockford.

In a field across the road the more delicate domestic horses still sported their rugs as protection against the cold nights.

The sturdier New Forest breeds have no need of such raiment.

I closed my window before this chestnut at South Gorley could stick its nose through it.

As always, a pair of mallards took up occupation in a pool at North Gorley.

Donkeys lined the verges at Ibsley and on the Gorley Road,

where deer lounged in the sunshine, also frisking beneath Abbots Well Road,

where grazing ponies enhanced the landscape.

It is normally impossible to stop the car on Roger Penny Way. Today was the exception that enabled me to snatch this shot before following traffic arrived.

No passenger seat was vacated in the making of this post.

This evening we dined on excellent chicken shaslick, salad, and paratha from Forest Tandoori, followed by ginger ice cream.


  1. Success! Such lovely pictures. And, yes, I am sure the stress is dragging you right down. Rest and do whatever little thing you can to take of yourself.

  2. I hope you’re feeling better each day, Derrick. The photos are so wonderful–such a variety of wildlife, I can’t choose a favorite. It’s good to see that your sense of humor is coming back: “No passenger seat was vacated in the making of this post.” πŸ™‚

  3. Wonderful photos. You must gain such pleasure from these drives out that never fail to give you so many photo opportunities.

  4. Wonderful photos, Derrick! I am glad to hear that there are no physical reasons for your post-op discomfort, and it’s due to stress, sadly. Wishing you peace of mind and speedy recovery!

  5. Of course it is! Processing takes time, grieving takes time, shock contributes and so on and so forth. Sunshine and reflections and ponies ease the moments. Breathe deeply and feel. It helps. xoxo

  6. The pigeons reminded me of a little walk I did up to my daughter’s house (a mile or less) last week. One house has solar panels – and about 50 pigeons. Obviously a long standing problem as there was a wooden owl on the ridge tile – being totally ignored by the birds. The panels were covered in … and none of the other houses were being roosted on. Strange.

  7. I hope you get well πŸ™‚ and feel tip-top very soon, Derrick! Stress really does a number on the body. πŸ™ Rest as much as you can. Continued prayers for you from me.
    Oh, you know what?!
    On a good day, your photos make the day even better! πŸ™‚
    And on a rough day, your photos bring joy, smiles, and they help me to take some deep breaths and relax. Thank you! πŸ™‚
    “No passenger seat was vacated in the making of this post” made me snort-laugh! πŸ˜€
    I still want to bring one of those donkeys home with me! πŸ™‚
    HUGS for you and Jackie!
    And tell Jackie to give you an extra-HUG today! πŸ™‚

  8. I am pleased you went to see your GP and that your symptoms are not caused by anything worse than stress – which is bad enough! Take care, my friend.

  9. Of course I giggled at your title, and immediately thought, “No passengers were harmed in the writing of this blog post.” And ginger ice cream? I’ve never tried it, but it sounds wonderful. I wonder if the chestnut at South Gorley might have been hoping for ice cream?

    1. Thanks very much, Linda. I’m pleased you got a giggle. The ginger ice cream is perfect after a curry. The chestnut was certainly hoping for some treat

  10. I love to see the photos from your drive through the forest, Derrick and Jackie. Yes, please do continue to take it easy. All will heal in time.

  11. These photos are fantastic and they take me right there. Thank you for brightening the grey here as well! So gorgeous!!

  12. Stress is something that can certainly impact both physical and mental health but is hard to address. I hope you have great success putting it in its place. πŸ™‚ Love the horse photos especially the one of the two drinking.

  13. The other day, I pulled up at the gym and saw 2 Mallards calmly parading down a row of parked cars. So nonchalant around humans and the autos, I had to laugh. I can’t imagine where they came from, no pond around in the general vicinity – now if I can only coax some ponies around here!!

  14. Love the shots of your local countryside Derrick, it’s almost like being there in the back seat as you click and Jackie drives ( just without the conversation!) πŸ˜‰

    The pony walking toward camera with the flowing white mane reminded me somewhat of a gentleman who shall remain nameless! πŸ™‚ And i suspect a donkey very much like the Grey with a mate in your photo was A.A. Milne’s inspiration for Eeyore.

    Great stress relief! Keep up the good work. πŸ™‚

  15. Stress can affect our bodies in many ways. I hadn’t known you weren’t feeling well. Please take care, Derrick, I hope you feel better soon. Lovely photos, as always…

      1. No, I did know about both of those, and I’m so very sorry for your loss, I can’t even imagine what you’re going through and I’m sending you and yours so much love. I just thought by you mentioning the lingering symptoms that it was an additional illness you were referring to. Please take care, Derrick. xx

  16. Oh my, Derrick, your Chauffeuse did a great job getting you out and about without having to literally get “out.” And your camera must have a wonderful macro lens to bring these animals up close and personal! I love those horses. They emit calmness, don’t they? Thanks for sharing. God bless you <3

  17. Now, that’s a REAL ride in the country. It’s all so beautiful and bucolic. A perfect place of which a writer can fill his cup to share later. Glad you did and all from the car window too ! Lovely x B

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