Look. No Hands

This afternoon we both collected our new specs from Boots, then drove into the dreary, drizzly forest.

Along Undershore there stood an example of the broken trees on soggy terrain that currently proliferate in the woodlands.

There wasn’t much sign of life until we came across cattle wandering along Sowley Lane.

Owner’s tags, as always, adorned their ears as they stared us out.

Several calves were left to their own devices, although by and large they stuck to the verges. One chewed its tail;

tried on a new necklace;

and indulged in a bit of grooming.

One seated adult turned her clarty back on the proceedings;

another had dried her hide after a mud bath.

Crowds of crows took to the air overhead.

Ponies on the corner of St Leonards Road were equally mud-caked;

one somnolent group dozed beside

a weedy winding winterbourne stream swiftly swirling,

sweeping loose leaves and flexing fixeded grasses while surging to a tunnel under the road.

As may be imagined from its name, such a watercourse flows only during the winter months.

The terrain at this junction between St Leonards Road and that to East Boldre becomes a similar pool during very wet weather. Today a passing cyclist was reflected in it.

He clearly had no use for his steering bars as his hands were otherwise engaged. I hoped he was the only one going round the bend.

This evening we dined on belly of pork, roasted long and slow in order to drain away the fat; firm roast potatoes and parsnips; crunchy carrots and tender cabbage, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Carenina El Zumbido Garnacha Syrah 2018.


  1. I don’t even own a smart phone, so I feel like I’m in some Meme or cartoon when I go anywhere – they all look like your bike rider!! Everything sure is soggy, hope you get some sun to dry things up pretty soon!

    1. I own a smart phone but only use it for calls and texts. And I do turn it off πŸ™‚ Here we see it on bikes, on horseback, in cars, on the beach……. Thanks very much, GP.

  2. LOVE those photos of the cows/heifers and the horses! Yes, it’s a soggy kind of day, but you captured the beauty! And that kid on the bike, wow… I hope there’s not a fast-moving vehicle comin’ round the next bend!

  3. “Going around the bend” is a euphemism here for someone who’s gone a little crazy. I’d say that definition of the phrase applies to your young cyclist, too.

  4. The forest drives are always interesting, even on a drizzly day. Plenty of mud about horses, ponies and cows to roll in.

    Using a mobile device while biking, or driving, is very dangerous. No helmet, not paying attention to anything but his screen?

  5. This has been a delight from beginning to end. I haven’t used ‘clarty’ for a long time and enjoy your use of alliteration and the humorous take on a rather silly young man. Here too helmets are the order of the day.

  6. I wonder if the cyclist had any idea you were taking his photo. Now, he’s famous. or infamous, as in DON’T DO THIS. He’s probably clueless.

  7. I enjoyed the drive into the Forest, gosh, those calves were born late in the year.
    Son Joss and I also had pork for supper, but unfortunately, I didn’t think about the type of meat I was cooking and cooked it far too quickly which meant ours was too fatty.

  8. You always find something in the orfinary to interest us, Derrick.

    I like those swirly cow-licks on the foreheads of cattle. Maybe that’s where the word came from?

    You will no doubt be very pleased to know I approve of your repast and the quaffing.

  9. Aw, mud baths! Now, hopefully soon, some bath-baths will happen! Ha! πŸ˜€
    Oh, those sweet bovine and equine faces! SIGH πŸ™‚
    Hope your new specs are wonderful for both of you! πŸ™‚
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks very much, Carolyn. Varifocals for each of us. I’m fine because I have used them for some years now, but still don’t need them for reading. It is Jackie’s first time, so she is having to adjust. X

  10. It would have been a jolly kind of justice if that young man had skidded into the water. Do you remember Eccles’ catchphrase? “He’s fallen in the water!!!”

  11. All that mud on the animals. It seems like those tags on the cow would bother them. I hope that young man didn’t stay on his phone. But yes, it was good he didn’t have earphones, too. From what I’ve read, there are many injuries caused by people walking and texting, too.

    1. This is quite a common problem now. If you go back to the alert page and click on the star at bottom right your name will appear on a list. Lots of problems since the new editor. Thanks very much, Geetha.

  12. Hi Derrick,
    great cow portraits!
    Well, the cyclist, that’s modern times, isn’t it?
    Thanks for sharing
    The Fab Four of Cley
    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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