Albeit dry, today’s weather consisted of unrelenting Stygian gloom.

We set out sometime after 3.00 p.m. which might as well have been dusk, and drove around for a short time before visiting Mum at Woodpeckers.

Ponies are now sporting shaggy winter coats.

One of these, intent perhaps on leaving some of its hibernal (not hibernate, WP) hair on the barbed wire penning it in its South Sway Lane field, with a fearsome whinny gave me the evil eye.

Shetland ponies near Brockenhurst attracted a corvine entourage.

I disembarked at Longslade to photograph the landscape.

Jackie photographed me playing chicken with the traffic,


then walking along the verge

to make the second landscape shot.

This was her version of it.

Mum seemed over her chest infection, as she spoke about

the Teddy she had made for Adam when he was small. This had emerged during Francis’s assistance in Elizabeth’s clear out.

This evening we dined on the Culinary Queen’s chicken and vegetable soup thick enough to stand your spoon in followed by lean baked ham; creamy mashed potato; piquant cauliflower cheese, and al dente broccoli, Brussels sprouts and carrots with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Garnacha Syrah.


  1. A wintry looking day there but such sweet expressions on the ponies! I am glad to hear your mother is better now. That is a beautiful teddy she made for Adam.

  2. The pony photos are quite stunning.
    We’ve been very fortunate this week, no rain and have been blessed with sunny bright skies. Finally, the first clue that the shortest day is behind us and we’re now on the turn! Unfortunately, the forecast for next week tells a very different story!

  3. The ponies look as though they’re posing–“Oh, here comes Derrick. He’s making us all famous on a thing called a blog.” The one did look a bit like he could give a hex out. The patchwork vest on the teddy is really sweet.

  4. Lovely story, Derrick. Itโ€™s nice that youโ€™re near your mom. She looked happy to see you. Your weather looked dank. I enjoyed the free range horses.

  5. I’ve noticed we are losing the light at the end of the day, so it won’t be too much longer before your 3pm gloom lifts. I too am pleased to see your mum looking her usual chipper self and that teddy has stood up to the years very well indeed. I can’t say the same for myself!! I’m glad Jackie got you out for a game of chicken – and glad you won!

  6. Teddy is dapper and handsome!
    The pony-faces are sweet!
    SO glad to hear that your Mum is doing better! She is beautiful and looks happy! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Please be careful when crossing the roads…especially when vehicles or chickens are afoot! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜€
    HUGS!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    PS…Why did the chicken cross “the net”?
    To get to the other site! ๐Ÿ˜›

  7. Your condemnation of WP trying to play the tutor is amusing. There is a certain purpose in your steps as you chicken walk through the traffic, and it manifests in your photos. Your Mum looks set to receive that letter from the Queen in style!

  8. Those are stunning pony portraits, Derrick!
    I’m happy your mother is feeling better. She is very talented to have made that Teddy–and how wonderful that he is still around!

  9. The Longslade landscape is lovely, both your version and Jackie’s. I’m also very taken by the colors and shapes of first photo in the group. The large photo of the tree beside the water reminds me of the setting of medieval fantasy novels. I’m glad your mother is feeling better. She looks very well.

  10. Is the Teddy staying with your mum now? That would be a fitting arrangement for them both, I’d say. I still have the Raggedy Ann doll my mother made for me before I even started school — it’s sitting in my bedroom right now, and makes me smile. I suspect your mum smiles at Teddy, too.

      1. Sheโ€™s five and she said โ€œoh! More ponies!โ€ I had to go back and look at al your old posts with ponies. Unfortunately she didnโ€™t care for any of your garden photos or the scenery. Iโ€™m sure sheโ€™ll be asking for a horse someday but sheโ€™ll have to be content with looking at photos and visiting my friend who owns horses.

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