Thelwell Ponies

On another gloomy morning I photographed the front garden trellis from our bedroom window, showing the pink climbing rose and touches of white solanum against a backcloth of red crab apples.

I had imagined this would be today’s post’s only illustration. Jackie, however, had other ideas. She developed the cold a day before I did and therefore had had one more day on which to become stir crazy and recover a little. She decided to take herself off to Otter Nurseries to replenish the birds’ fat balls, and it seemed churlish of me not to offer to accompany her. I kept my slippers on and did not leave the car.

On the way to the car I photographed this rather early iris.

Rainwater had settled across the lane at Flexford. As we rounded the bend we met a red car reflecting on whether or not to proceed.


The Thelwell ponies 

grazed at the corner of Bull Hill while,

carefully avoiding the waterlogged section,

cattle nested in the woodland at Norleywood.

Ian returned from Emsworth this afternoon and later we all dined on Jackie’s wholesome vegetable soup and bread, on trays, while watching the excellent Green Book starring Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen. This is the true story of a black classical musician being driven around America in the 1960s by a white Italian from the Bronx. The men became life-long friends.

P.S. Our friend John Jones included this in a recent e-mail:

“Anyone who can draw well and be humorous at the same time is exceptionally talented. By chance the Friends of Southampton’s Museums, Archives and Galleries (which Margery helped to set up in 1976) will be having a talk on Norman Thelwell later this month. The speaker is Tim Craven, a former Curator of Southampton Art Gallery. No doubt we will hear a great deal about “small, fat, hairy ponies ridden at full-tilt by alarming young ladies”.”






  1. I always enjoyed Thelwell and his ponies. My favourite though didn’t have ponies in at all but some very dissolute birds on a signpost. I hope that you are better next year.

  2. The artwork depicting ponies scrambling at breakneck speed augments my perception of those graceful equines. The red car is a metaphor of sorts of your present condition. Wish you both a supersonic recovery!

  3. I would be tempted to try to pet those shaggy ponies, though they probably wouldn’t appreciate it. Happy New Year and good wishes to you and your wonderful family!

  4. Those ponies are beautiful and precious!

    So very glad you and Jackie are both getting better and feeling better!

    I gave that movie The Green Book to a family member for Christmas! I love that movie/story!

    Happy New Year HUGS!!! 🙂

  5. Hope you’re feeling better. The photos are lovely, regardless. We haven’t seen Green Book yet. I’ve heard it’s good; although, my African American friends aren’t crazy about it.

  6. What happened to the red car? Did it sink?
    I have a day or two left of my man flu to cope with.
    Went to a garden centre yesterday, they were selling spring bulbs at £1 a pack, some down from £20. We purchased hundreds of bulbs. Despite my desperate medical condition I planted them all straight away.

    1. Such a good exercise, Andrew 🙂 I bought Jackie some for her Christmas stocking, with the intention of helping with the planting. Neither of us has been up to it. The red car moved to the side and watched us cross before trying it. 🙂 Thanks very much

  7. Your pink roses still in bloom, 🙂 and yes everywhere has been so waterlogged I feel for the birds and animals who have had no shelter..
    But we do have Spring to look forward to now Derrick..

    Have a wonderful New Year my friend, may it bring you and Jackie much happiness, good health and joy…
    Have a fabulous 2020 Derrick and thank you so much for all of your own kind comments over 2019..
    Much love Sue 🙂

  8. With each year, changes will come. Wishes of positive changes for you and that life be good, and, each day will bring a smile to your face and all nice things.

  9. Thanks for the Green Book recommendation and for the Forest images. Great to see all the local images and life in the Forest, particularly since I’ve moved. Hope you and Jacky get better soon.

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