This morning Jackie ironed my last four shirts which is a double result: firstly I didn’t have to do it and secondly she does it better.
The wind eased through the morning and the afternoon was bright and sunny for us to take a drive into the forest.
Much water lay on the roads and their verges. The terrain on either side of Holmsley Road was waterlogged,
but did not deter dog walkers.
where a month or so back the land was dry, now reflected trees and sky.
As we crossed the Burley Road into an unnamed lane approaching Bisterne Close I noticed a group of ponies foraging among fallen trees that were in various stages of decay. Jackie parked on the verge and I rustled my way down slopes
of fallen leaves,
past reflecting pools of various expanses,
and negotiating stumps and fallen trees,
to mingle with the ponies
Although one of last year’s late foals this dishevelled creature, larger than any adult Shetland,
after enjoying a scratch against a branch of convenient height, sounded heavy thuds as, with a shrill whinny roughly translated as “I’m going to get my Mum”, it sped past me
in full flight
and, sure enough, returned with its mother
who gave me the eye made all the more alarming by the bright white centre of the black marking encircling its left orb.
Despite appearances she allowed me to continue as she got on with the serious business of eating.
I bid this family farewell and we made our way towards
Burley where the verges were full of reflecting water,
and to Bisterne Close where ponies shared the road with dog walkers,
and the woodland with each other.
Lime green catkins now swing in the trees, contrasting with autumn’s red berries.
On our way home we diverted to Wootton Bridge where the fast flowing stream has burst its banks
and waterlogged the surrounding sward.
Nearby rocks have become rippling watercourses.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s piri-piri mango and lime chicken served with her splendidly savoury rice topped with omelette and with green beans on the side. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank El Zimbido Garnacha Syrah 2018 given to me for Christmas by Ian.