The Horse Whisperer

Today, after our visitor had made some photographs in the garden, one of which, when published, will be a delightful surprise for many followers, Jackie drove John and me on a tour of the forest before lunching at the Fleur de Lys in Pilley and delivering him to New Milton train station for his trip to Peterborough.

We had in fact begun with a journey to the station to enquire about the best route, but the queue was so long that we decided just to go back later.

John had also been asked to look up a house in the small hamlet of Brook. We couldn’t find it. He did, however, appreciate the trip on which he made links such as the landscape of Thomas Hardy of which our area reminded him.

At Holmsley Passage

with its ponies on the moorland,

our friend disembarked to commune with the equines. This was Jackie’s view of his approach.

The ponies tolerated having their noses rubbed.

The grey left the heath to stand beside the Modus

and admire itself in the driver’s wing mirror.

Jackie’s view, with the gorse protruding from the pony’s brow, was of a magical unicorn which didn’t take kindly to

John’s removing the thorny attachment.

While waiting on Blissford Hill, an extremely steep and narrow thoroughfare at Frogham, for an approaching vehicle to pass, we watched a determinedly patient blue tit struggling to extract nesting material from a barbed wire fence.

After the unsuccessful search for the Brook house we took a light lunch at the Fleur de Lys, the 11th century inn at Pilley. John wandered around the establishment with his camera. He has taken many photographs on his trip and is looking forward to featuring them on his blog. So are we.

Jackie photographed John and me at the bar,

and John on his investigative rounds.

We each lunched on small bowls of scampi with a larger one of fries to share. Jackie and John drank Blue Moon and I drank Ringwood’s Forty-niner.

At New Milton we sadly left our Australian friend to continue his journey by train.

This evening Jackie and I dined on her toothsome beef and mushroom pie; creamy mashed potatoes; and crunchy carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli.


  1. An intriguing place for a pony to embed a piece of gorse – perhaps he was attempting to open his third eye 😀 Could account for his annoyance at the good samaritan attempting to remove it. A day is not very long to spend with a blogging friend is it – but at least you got some time together and the Knights are clearly excellent hosts!

  2. I’ve been trying to put myself in John’s shoes and have come to the conclusion that he must have thoroughly enjoyed his short stay with you. Alas, I fear Peterborough will be such a let down, how could it possibly compete with all you and Jackie had to offer ?

  3. What a wonderful time you have had with John! Wishing him safe travels on his trip.

    Beautiful photos from the moorlands. The grey pony looks relieved to have its prickly gorse removed!

  4. How wonderful that John speaks the equine language! And that he loves and helps the horses he talks with. 🙂
    Beautiful photos, all of them!
    So glad you all are having such a good-memory making time!
    Wishing John safety on the rest of his travels!
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

  5. When I saw the title of this post, I thought you were talking about the book, The Horse Whisperer. Nice bonding with your friend John.

  6. Thank you for sharing this lovely, though brief visit. John seems very comfortable around horses. I’m glad he removed the gorse. It was bothering me to see it! I’m sure the horse felt better, even if he complained a bit at first. It also still amazes me to have lunch in a place that dates from the 11th century!

  7. A horse whisperer indeed! Sounds as though you had a wonderful, whirlwind of a time. Thanks for providing the link to John’s blog. I am now following it. Oh, the wonderful world of bloggers.

  8. Either the ponies are so gentle that they let people touch them, or John truly is a horse whisperer. It seems that his visit was enjoyed by everyone, including the equines.

  9. I loved this post! What an awesome time you had with your friend and the photos were so enjoyable to look at after my long, crazy week. I was wondering what was on that poor horses head. So glad your friend was able to get it out. Will look forward to his photos as well!

  10. I really like this publication and also the way your friend approaches horses (he reminds me a little bit …)
    There is a photo that I particularly like, it is the 9th.
    The Australian friend to you and your wife would he accept to know the link of his blog so that we can see his images?
    I hope he will find a house soon

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