Pannage Has Begun

We began this hot and sunny late summer’s day with a trip to Ferndene Farm Shop. Normally, when we visit this splendidly stocked and very reasonably priced outlet we do so in order to buy compost and manage to come away with plants as well. Today the process was reversed.

We came for pansies and salad, to which we added

three bags of Violet Farm compost.

Afterwards we continued into the forest by way of Bickley Common Road.

We lunched at The Old Station Tea Rooms at Holmsley. The building is swathed in scaffolding at the moment, so we were served from the station kiosk and ate outside where wearing a jacket was being overdressed.

While waiting for our meals I focussed on some of the old advertising signs.

Jackie enjoyed the Station Master’s Rarebit, namely cheese on mustard toast, topped with bacon and a fried egg, garnished with liberal salad. My equally satisfying meal consisted of beef and mushroom pie, chips, carrots, peas, and leeks with a small jug of gravy. My Chauffeuse drank coffee while I drank sparkling water.

A not unusual, but rather incongruous, trio of ponies did their best to block Chapel Lane at the junction with Burley Lawn.

As so often, a visiting driver left her car and photographed the animals.

Further along the road, like me, she clicked on Tamworth pigs trotting along.

The other woman watching was a German visitor whose brother-in- law had brought her to see the spectacle that signalled that pannage had begun. As she petted a particularly muddied pig she seemed unperturbed by her increasingly clarty clothing.

Back home an only slightly tattered Painted Lady swayed with the verbena bonarensis,

and a bluebottle settled on an Erigeron.

The Yorkist Penny Lane shares its ascendancy with the Lancastrian Super Elfin.

Jackie wandered around, trowel in hand, wondering where to plant this new clematis.

Nugget was on hand with helpful suggestions. He becomes most excited at the sight of plant and trowel. In fact he can’t wait to beat the plant into the hole.

Now “Where’s Nugget?” (22)

This evening we dined on small portions of pepperoni pizza and salad with which Jackie drank Blue Moon and I drank Doom Bar.

Afterwards I watched the recorded highlights of the second day of the fifth Ashes Test match.


  1. Wonderful imagery Derrick.. I know of no other place where ponies and pigs roam freely giving pleasure to all who drive by.. ( those not in a rush that is lol )
    And good to see tourists enjoying and interacting with them.
    Love visiting a good garden centre and those bags of compost looked a good buy.. And I am sure Jackie and that clematis made up their mind where it was best suited..

    Your garden looking lovely Derrick and that is where I have been most of the morning, first in the plot picking raspberries and then dahlias, then in my home garden clearing spent marigolds and petunias which had done their best..

    Enjoy your weekend Derrick..
    Take care..
    Sue ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I so like the idea of being clartied by a friendly pig! Almost as much fun as being greeted by a friendly robin at the back door every morning! I’ve decided in my next life I’m coming back to live in rural England where the animals roam free and the robins are friendly!!

  3. I clicked on Nugget’s hiding picture, all set and ready to argue that it was unfair to take one of him where all the rocks are the same color he is – when I spotted him – had to laugh at myself!!
    Beautiful ponies – love them. Is it difficult to get a pig that size out of the way?

  4. Bickley Common Road looks like a lovely drive. I just can’t get over all of the animals just roaming the streets. Nugget is looking quite handsome today! Thanks for sharing, Derrick!

  5. That’s a lovely close-up picture of Nugget. He will defend his winter territory ferociously. He may even respond to himself in a mirror if you prop one up where he can see his reflection but don’t do it for too long if he does attack the mirror, otherwise he will end up having, to use the technical phrase, “a donkey fit”.

  6. Often when we went to play in the nearby woods my mother would tell us โ€œAnd donโ€™t come back clarted up!โ€ Until now I thought it was a Yorkshire expression!
    I didn’t realise the pigs also roamed free, goodness me, they can cause garden carnage!

    1. Thanks very much, Sue. Clarty is certainly northern. My maternal grandparents were one from Yorkshire and the other from Lancashire, so I don’t know who to blame. Pigs are free just for this period of six weeks or so – they eat up the acorns which are poisonous to ponies

  7. Hey, Derrick! Hey, Beautiful Jackie! Hey, Nugget! (I see you showing us your tail while you sit in the shade! ๐Ÿ˜€ )
    OH! What a lovely day and what lovely photos! I’m so glad you are not asking us to pick a favourite or vote on the best photo, because ALL of them are spectacular! ๐Ÿ™‚ I especially love the photos of the pansies-faces, the shaded-sheltering road, the butterfly, the ponies, the pigs, the signs (what fun!), Nugget, and The Head Gardener! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Even the stacks of bags of compost are colorful and cool!
    What a friendly pig! I’ve known some pigs who were mean. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
    HUGS and Happy Whee-kend to all of you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I second Andrew’s comment!

    with the addition of the surmise that you rather enjoyed the test highlights? ๐Ÿ™‚

    I, somewhat less so! ๐Ÿ™ – just when did batsmen forget how to hit a ball with their bats and not their pads? Australian bowlers have never been ones to aim for the stumps – to my eternal bafflement – despite the effectiveness remaining clearly identifiable in the statistics! (Particularly the English side’s statistics)

    Smith will figure Curran out before the next match, whenever that might be?

    I particularly enjoyed today’s Where’s Nugget? ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. The advertisements on Old Station are forceful due to their sheer simplicity. Is that station functional? Mr Nugget is well disguised in the top right nook of the frame.

  10. Beautiful photos–I love the dreamy lane full of shadows and that photo of Jackie! Nugget, of course, always looks good. ๐Ÿ™‚ That is a big pig in the road–I think for most of us not seeing them that way, we don’t think about how big they can be.

  11. Your town is so lovely and quaint. Thank you for the education; I learned two new words: pannage and mast. ๐Ÿ™‚ We’ve feral ponies nearby in Chincoteague on Assateague Island and in Corolla; barrier islands on the Atlantic. They seem to be a bit larger than your ponies.

  12. I could almost taste that Station Masterโ€™s Rarebit even as you described it! ๐Ÿ˜€ Jackie’s trowel must be a new one, it’s so shiny. ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. Two questions, Derrick: Forgive my ignorance, but what are cream teas?…And do people ever get impatient with all the wandering animals? Trying to imagine such road blocks since I live in the city, even if heavily wooded city–no big moseying creatures other than coyotes that I have seen so far!

  14. I remember this event with the pigs last year, but I had forgotten there is a word for it. Hopefully I’ll remember “pannage” this time. I would be delighted by the pigs if I saw them. The ponies too, but they are much more common.

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