Part of Mum’s deal at Woodpeckers Care home is that she can entertain guests to lunch once a week.

Elizabeth, Jackie, and I were her visitors today. My meal was Cajun chicken with Lyonnaise potatoes, carrots, and curly kale; the others opted for gammon. Mum chose stewed apricots with ice cream for dessert; the rest of us enjoyed plum crumble. We were served in our own quiet room. Service was friendly and efficient. The food was very good.

Afterwards, Jackie and I took a trip around the forest.

It is not unusual to see requests for information about hit and run accidents involving ponies. This, featuring a Shetland on the road to Beaulieu, was one of two we passed today.

Although much of it has been cut back by now, blackthorn has proliferated in the hedgerows for several weeks now.

As we rounded a bend on approaching East End we were struck by this fortuitous juxtaposition of maple and photinia.

Nearby one of a group of basking cattle suckled her calf which was enjoying its own lunchtime.

Donkeys were hard at work trimming the village’s hedgerows.

More cattle were serving themselves to lunch from the verges of Tanners Lane.

Beside Sowley Lane a flamboyant cock pheasant flashed across the road and fled beneath barbed wire fencing.

Another merged into hay stalks among scavenging crows beside a field of rape, many of which

are beginning to slash the landscape with sunlight.

More of the more colourful birds foraged in

this historic field with its

views across The Solent to the Isle of Wight.

This evening we dined on spicy Diablo pizza with plentiful fresh salad. Jackie drank more of the Sauvignon Blanc and I enjoyed Maipo Valley CarmΓ©nere 2016 from the Majestic Definition range.


  1. Was very sad to hear of the ponies that have been hit, but you have warned me about that in the past.
    Your mum is not only looking very well, but also quite happy!
    Glad to see history got a mention at Oar Point!

  2. So sad that some drivers are too impatient to mind the dear ponies. πŸ™ Your mom’s care home sounds great; more like a hotel where the food is concerned. Wonderful photos again, Derrick. πŸ™‚

    1. Very many thanks, Sylvia. Sometimes I wonder why people come to the New Forest – they chuck litter about, too. Hopefully in the minority, though. It is an excellent care home

  3. I keep being impressed by the quality of home where your mother resides. No wonder she looks so well!
    Very sad about the poor pony, but your landscape photos are wonderful, as always, Derrick.

          1. You are very organized, it seems. I get busy and forget, or get so busy that I don’t have a chance to read blogs I enjoy reading, your included. Sometimes it takes several days to catch up, for which I apologize.

  4. That’s so sad about the ponies, Derrick. What’s wrong with people? They are just tooooo important to wait…oh brother! Aw…your mum looks so sweet. No doubt, she’s a wonderful hostess. Thanks for the wonderful photos!

  5. I was struck by the lovely autumnal hues of the maple and then confused by the suckling calf – sometimes I forget we are on opposite sides of the globe. I guess that is some kind of red maple. How lovely that your mum can entertain guests over a meal and in private – that is a really lovely service for the rest home to provide.

  6. This is a lovely post, Derrick. It sounds like you a pleasant and delicious lunch with your mom. That place sounds wonderful!
    It is so sad about the ponies. I can understand how someone could accidentally hit one, but just to take off like that. As Jill said, “what’s wrong with people?”
    The flora and fauna are beautiful, including the slashing rape. And your dinner sounds good, too! πŸ™‚

    1. Very many thanks, Merril. I’m pleased you liked it. The atmosphere in Woodpeckers is very good – caring and friendly all round. Animal deaths usually reach three figures in a year – people disregard warning notices, speed limits, and just don’t look

  7. So good to see your Mum smiling…and all of her visitors smiling! What a lovely time and good memories made! πŸ™‚

    That is so very sad about the ponies. And sad that people would hit them (accidentally, I hope) and then just take off. πŸ™ We have elk, deer, antelope, etc., that cross the highways here and we always stop to let them take their time.

    The pheasant photos make me think of Lucky. πŸ™‚

    That last photo has such beautiful layers of Mother Nature and her colors!

    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you very much, Carolyn. Lucky comes no more. I’ve heard of people complaining about damage to their cars, but not concern for animals. We have certainly found the place for Mum. X

  8. Good to see your Mum looking happy and health Derrick, i’m sure that is a relief to you also. πŸ™‚

    I always fear the worst seeing your photos of the ponies and donkeys on the roads and knowing the ‘skills’ of today’s drivers, where virtually everything is done for them and there are so many distractions from doing what drivers are supposed to be doing – driving (with care and attention!)
    Autonomous vehicles can not come soon enough for my liking.

    Love the blackthorne photos. Why is it that so many of the worst ‘pests’ in flora are also some of the prettiest things in nature??

    All great photo’s – as usual! πŸ™‚

  9. That is a splendid home your Mum is in. It’s sad to learn about such callous killings far from the madding crowd. We humans never seem to learn. Great shots once again, Derrick.

  10. Tha maple and photinia combination is fortuitous, I agree. I’m glad your Mum has settled in and still has the chance to entertain. That must mean a lot to her.

  11. After the anxiety of finding the right home for your mother its heart-warming to see her settled, and putting on weight. I haven’t heard of any homes here that have this type of dining set-up, nor would anyone want to eat their food who wasn’t forced to. Our on-site aged care was originally set up to cook in the kitchen but when the first operator went bust, the next one supplies all meal from a central caterer and they only get re-heated on site.

  12. Derrick, your mom looks so well! She’s clearly pleased to be able to host such a lovely luncheon for her family. What an absolutely BRILLIANT feature of her new home.

    So sad about the ponies. We often see dear that have been hit – but they dart out at night and it’s hard to avoid them. I’d think the ponies would be avoidable. Good that the government puts up signs and takes it seriously.

    That calf looks nearly as big as his mum!

  13. Wonderful to hear the progress, Derrick. Love the beautiful winding roads. These donkeys were well captured.

  14. Eat! eat! eat! I’m beginning to think your life revolves around what’s on the table and what’s in you stomach, you surely love your food, seems like it runs in the family
    Your mother seems ready to tuck right into hers.with a vengeance

  15. Apart from the poor ponies … So sad. There’s so much roadkill on our country lanes here in Norfolk, it breaks my heart.

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