This afternoon Jackie deposited me
outside The Rising Sun at Bashley, whence I crossed the road and entered the
heathland with its ubiquitous ponies
and golden gorse bound for a leisurely walk..
We have driven past this spot on countless occasions, yet I was taken aback by the
pitted hoof prints that would seriously impede my progress. Those in the pictures above were largely dry, yet most upsetting for my balance. Others were still soggy enough to suck at my shoes.
After a while I abandoned the idea of stumbling towards a little wooden bridge straddling a small flowing stream. Leaving the morass was more than somewhat difficult.
A thin band of woodland stood between the green stretch and the heath.
In parts it was soggy enough for shallow pools to reflect the trees.
Having taken a wide diversion to avoid the little bridge
I tried the pony track which was much more treacherous than it looks here.
I did not venture as far as the distant walkers at its far end.
In whichever direction I looked such walkers as there were were almost imperceptible,
until they returned to their cars.
Had I taken note of this area of mud, pools, and reflection beside the road, I may not have been surprised by the toughest terrain I have yet tackled since my knee replacements.
This pony chomping hay among the shadows wasn’t far from the car and my refuge.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s sublime sausages in red wine; creamy mashed potato; firm Brussels sprouts; crunchy carrots and cauliflower, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Médoc.