Sculpted By Prevailing Winds

Aaron is continuing to work as long as he can. This very sensible proprietor of A.P. Maintenance has taken advice and uses his plentiful common sense. We leave the gate open for him so he doesn’t have to touch it and he knocks on the window to announce his arrival. He keeps well away from us, doesn’t come into the house, and brings his own refreshments.

Jackie photographed him reading the list of tasks that she has taped to the inside of the kitchen window.

Blackthorn lines the hedgerows of

Hordle Lane, along which I walked after lunch as far as the paddock and back.

Because the overnight temperatures at the moment are close to freezing, the horses still wear their protective rugs.

Daffodils still brighten the verges, but

the drying ditches are lined with carelessly lobbed bottles, cans, and food packaging.

Arable fields flank the winding lane;

some are divided by hedges and trees sculpted by prevailing winds.

Pine cones cling to branches before eventually dropping to the ground.

It is now two or three years ago that a young teenage girl died in a car accident on this site. Her mourners keep her memory alive.

There wasn’t much reduction in traffic along the lane today;

a cheery cyclist kept his distance as we exchanged greetings;

I was slightly nervous about whether this group of four pedestrians and a dog maintained the requisite distance from me as we passed. I imagine they lived together.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy hot chilli con carne with a mix of brown and white boiled rice. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Mezquirez.


  1. Always wonderful photos, Derrick. People here also maintain a small memorial where loved ones have died along the road. Sad. Be well sir! ????

  2. When it comes to litter I sort of understand fast food packaging and coke cans but not wine bottles.
    I think those 4 people might be an illegal gathering!

  3. Those wine bottles are worth money over here. When people put them in their recycling bin we have regulars who come by and check the bins and remove them so that they can cash them in. I like the idea of putting a list of jobs on the window. That way your helper can still work and you reap the benefits.

  4. There is something REALLY off-putting about finding empty wine bottles tossed about for wine shouldn’t be consumed in that manner – put it this way, it is a drink that suggests elegance of a sort. During our lockdown no alcohol is on sale at all.

  5. It is pretty quiet outside where I live – I’d guess a lot of people are getting no outdoor exercise at all. I take advantage of our walking allowance almost every day, too, anticipating that perhaps even this will have to stop for a while. It’s noticeable how things change slightly every day and more distance is being maintained when passing, which is for the good.

    Will those blossoms make sloes later in the year? I have noticed the flowers on my walks but have never seen fruits.

  6. It’s nice that you and Jackie have found a way to keep working with Aaron. I don’t think my niece’s landscaper husband is permitted now to work. I wonder if those wine bottles have been there for a while. Or who was out and about guzzling wine?
    Thank you for another virtual tour!

  7. A group of 4? Here we can only be in groups of 2 when out in public. Our daughter and son-in-law have three young teenagers; one with autism. Some rules are making in difficult for large families.

    1. Thanks a lot, Pauline. I had assumed he wouldn’t be coming, and planned to cut the grass on Saturday, but he told me was continuing before I did it. That was a result. X

  8. The new reality for working with our trusted service providers. My son, who provides home repair/renovations services, now only accepts projects where the family is not onsite.

  9. At least you see some people around, walking or cycling. As usual, carelessly discarded trash makes irritates me. Still, you seem to be in a better situation than we are. Be well and stay safe, Derrick.

  10. If those four don’t live in the same house then I agree, an illegal gathering.

    It was cold here today too, and it even attempted a couple of minutes of snow and hailstone this morning! What a contrast to last week.

    I’m glad you’re back on your walks and keeping your distance too. Keep well, Derrick.

  11. People often ask me where I get my ideas from. (From whence come my ideas) So if I post a story about trees sculpted by the wind you will be able to say, “He stole that from me”.

  12. Glad uou’re getting out and an out on walks and also getting projects done off Jackie’s list but taking precautionary measures. Be safe my friend.

  13. I love the serene look of a winding English country lane.

    It was sunny here today, so we had more walkers out than usual. But people were good about keeping space between walkers. When small children pedaled down the sidewalk on their little bikes, the walkers move out onto the road.

  14. Aristotle would be turning in his grave at the turn of events that have forced us to become less than or more than humans. How long will this madness lost?

    You seem to have adapted with the times in a brilliant manner. Those turning roads look so good, as do the trees sculpted by wind, and those fields. I felt sorry for the life cut short.

  15. We’re still able to engage in outdoor activities, but there are people who don’t quite “get” the fewer-than-ten-person group limit, or the need to keep distance from others. I was in Galveston today, and drove down the seawall. I was astonished by the number of people gathered on the beach, and wondered about it. Tonight, after coming home, lo and behold: the mayor of Galveston simply closed the beaches. It’s a shame, but a big part of their problem is that people from other cities, like Houston, were daytripping, and creating crowds with no regard for those who live there.

    I think Jackie’s little list for Aaron is brilliant. There are ways to work with the restrictions, if we look for them.

  16. Your moving post helps me appreciate what is important in life – helping others and life itself. I’m glad you and Jackie are being safe.

  17. Good to see you are taking good precautions Derrick and still getting your daily exercise.. Lovely photos, and now we have returned to a nip in the air again.. It always saddens me when people just dump their rubbish in the countryside lane hedgerows…
    Not far from us is a Kentucky Fried Chicken place, and there are always cartons, cans, and bags strewn in the hedgerow after their consumption in the car..

    Sending love and well wishes to you and Jackie… Take care both of you. <3

  18. They should shoot people who throw bottles into ditches like that. They can easily kill a small rodent because they cannot get out.
    Last night BBC Midlands featured film of piles of bread, bananas and other food which had presumably been panic bought against the apocalypse. Now it had been fly tipped at the back of the supermarket because it was past its sell-by date.
    It’s a pity they don’t all live together in the same area.

  19. When we move to Hampshire in Jan 1970 we took a trip past yours and the caravan park to Hordle cliff to see the sea. I was fascinated by the shrubs blown into mad bent shapes by the howling winds. Good to see they’re still there!

  20. Your photos bring joy!
    Aaron is such a good cooperative helper!
    We are still living life with abandon** just doing it indoors and in our back yard and with late night and early morning walks close to home.
    (((HUGS))) and <3

    **Living life with abandon doesn't mean living recklessly but rather deciding that no matter what comes your way you are going to enjoy everything and you are going to make the best of what is going on around you.

  21. I love the tree photography and the black and white one in particular. It seems you had a nice long walk. I envy you for the lovely surroundings you can get to. I do not have a car in London so am quite limited now in terms of walking. What with TFL asking us to stay at home in case of non-essential journeys.

  22. That’s high class litter compared to what we get round here, though still unwelcome, despite that. Looks like a long list of jobs for Aaron, we will have to rename Jackie The Taskmaster! 🙂

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