Cold Soup

Jackie took advantage of the early morning sunlight to photograph

a variety of colourful daffodils;

a striking range of hellebores;

a bee probing pulmonaria;

my dwarf azalea, still thriving after twenty years and several moves;

pale yellow primroses

and their brighter primula relatives;



wood anemones,

summer snowflakes;

and burgeoning tulips blending with light blue pansies.

When Jackie delivered my muddy red jacket to White’s cleaners last week she was diverted by the purchase of a weighty brass owl, now perched on a lurching post. Its relatives may be glimpsed throughout the beds.

We collected the dry cleaning this afternoon and went on to visit Mum, who, although not quite aware of the global nature of the pandemic, is certainly fully au fait with the precautions at Woodpeckers and the reason for them. Conversation included Spanish flu and the death of Mum’s aunt Holly.

We were required to wash our hands on arrival when our temperatures were taken and pronounced perfect.

As we approached Brockenhurst we spotted a contented pony enjoying the now familiar New Forest vichyssoise soup.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent cottage pie; crisp Yorkshire pudding, sweet potatoes, cauliflower carrots, and broccoli: and tender runner beans, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016.


  1. I love all the photos! Of course you know I’m partial to the horses but I also loved those flowers. Thank you, Jackie and Derrick. I’m glad you were able to visit with your mom. It’s probably good she doesn’t know all about the craziness going on about it all! Sometimes ignorance is bliss!

  2. The second picture of the daffodil is lovely. Derrick, you’ve got some real competition now. Glad your mom is well and that you are still able to visit.

  3. Some great flower photos – Jackie is getting better every day.

    Strange how we are going through another pandemic – there is nothing new in history when you start looking at it. 🙂

  4. Jackie did a wonderful job, and I love her new owl. I hope your mother is OK.
    I laughed at “a contented pony enjoying the now familiar New Forest vichyssoise soup.”

  5. With all of the depressing posts on the virus this was truly a breath of fresh air. Thank you, Derrick. The photos are beautiful! I’m happy you were able to see your Mum.

  6. I am glad that you are able to visit your mum.

    Jackie certainly spent a productive time with her camera in the morning. What a delightful show of colour.

  7. A lot of the senior housing facilities and nursing homes here are not allowing visitors. I read about one family standing outside to sing happy birthday to someone who was turning 100. I’m glad you and your mum are well. Thank you for the cheerful flowers!

    1. She wasn’t, Dolly. It was history to her, because Holly died three years before she was born. Holly’s daughter, Ivy, was part of Mum’s, and our life. Thanks very much.

  8. I was as taken with the collection of owls as by the flowers, but the variety of flowers really is astounding. It was fun to see the snowflakes in your garden, but I must say the anemones caught my eye, too. We have a native anemone that’s quite lovely; I need to share that, too.

  9. The ponies having soup makes me smile. 🙂
    Thank you, Jackie, for your beautiful photos of your beautiful flowers!
    I like ALL of your owls! I like when they “photobomb” the flowers! 😉 😀 I love seeing the owls! And those pansy faces are so sweet!
    <3 and (((HUGS))) to you, Derrick, and all of your family

  10. Glad to hear you were able to visit your mum. Yesterday a woman here was seen in a nursing home celebrating her 100th birthday through the window, her family outside. Here the nursing homes are in lock-down.
    Glad to see the pony enjoying the effects of the past storms.
    And Jackie – your photos get better with each post!!

  11. Glad to hear all is still well with your mother, and that you were able to see her. I loved Jackie’s garden photos, and her little brass garden owl, too. The forest drives and ponies are always a treat.

  12. Spring is barely a thing here though this winter has been so mild that we have been sensing it’s onset for a couple of weeks now. But no flowers. No leaves yet. No blossom. It will come all of a frenzy rather like children spilling out of school into the playground on a sunny day. In the meantime, your pictures are balm to an impatient soul. And that pony vigorously swigging flood water is a perfect bonus!

  13. “New Forest vichyssoise” made me laugh – thank you for that! Here is to many more days of perfect temperatures – both human and otherwise. I do hope your storms have subsided – it certainly looks as if spring has finally arrived! Happy Spring, Derrick!

  14. Wow – the summer snowflakes are out. Is this normal (I think I put some in recently but if I did, the packet said they would be out in June)?

    I’m glad you were able to see you mum.

  15. I’m sure it’d be hard for you to pick garden favourites, you have so many gorgeous plants, but I really adore the white and pale pink daffodil. I must look for those at some point. Seniors care centre’s here allow only one designated visitor, who as you, must pass a few tests before entry. I think we’re a heartbeat away from lockdown unfortunately. But we’ve cobbled together some supplies that would hopefully last a couple of weeks or three. Good grief what a mess. xK

Leave a Reply