Almost Empty

What is the best way to make a trip to the pharmacy exciting?

During pandemic lockdown it is when this is considered an essential journey Β and petrol has remained in the tank for weeks.

Off we went this morning to Milford on Sea for that heady pleasure. The establishment’s door was open. Just inside stood a table on which the pre-ordered products were placed by the friendly staff for the masked and gloved Jackie to pick up. There were no other customers behind whom to queue.

I had hoped to walk along the clifftop on the way home, but there was nowhere to park so I settled for the occasional stoppage along a largely deserted road.

For fear of an influx of campers and city dwellers escaping infested metropolises The New Forest District Council along with many others of beauty spots has

sealed off entrances to the forest and beaches like those at Milford and Barton.

Here, a facility in which spaces would be at a premium in such spring sunshine was occupied by one single seated pedestrian.

A locked children’s playground’s attractions stood idle.

Promenades were almost deserted;

this desultory hound appeared to be struggling to keep up.

Hazy spray beset the Isle of Wight and The Needles;


waves and spray also beset this side of the Solent,

where beach huts, replaced after the devastation of the storms of February 2014, stood isolation.

A solitary figure sat in contemplation on staggered steps;

three walkers passed a woman in the process of emptying her pooch.

Turning into Downton Lane we observed a tractor toiling in Roger Cobb’s sun-kissed field.

While Nugget briefly visited his feeder, Burt entertained us with his trapeze act this evening as we dined on Jackie’s wholesome chicken and vegetable soup with crusty sourdough bread, followed by mixed fruit crumble and custard. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I continued with the Valreas.



  1. Pardon my saying so, John, but the pictures of Milford and Barton look like scenes from the movie “On The Beach”.

      1. That β€˜On the Beach’ movie was made where I live here on the Mornington Peninsula in Melbourne. The filming in 1959 was the highlight of my primary school days. Now, every day I shudder at the thought that the story is becoming real, too real.

  2. I’m glad you were able to get out–and that you have such lovely surroundings, avian circus acts, and delicious food. I walked down to the river yesterday. It was place for boats, but the parking area was closed. There were some people by the water, so I didn’t go as close as I would have.
    Many NJ beaches are closed now, and no one is allowed on them. It’s mostly to prevent tourists, so I feel bad for the people who live there who want to take an early morning stroll.

  3. Your pictures are wonderful particularly those of the sea rushing the shore. I feel the movement, I feel the power of nature in those shots. The deserted town is so forlorn. The dog seems to encapsulate the feeling as it shambles desolately along behind it’s humans.

  4. Lovely photos–I was just reminded at another blog that someone’s daughter is stuck in a very small apartment in a city for some weeks. These photos help all of us see what good there still is right now. Thank you.

  5. I really like the photo with the solitary figure in contemplation. I hope their contemplation was enlightening. was reading yesterday how the lack of human movement and activity is already cleaning the air above cities, allowing dolphins into harbours to play and wild animals into town centres to forage and graze. But also how those wild animals who have become accustomed to humans feeding them are now starving as they no longer know how to do it themselves…… there are many things for us to ponder in these changes I think, not least that nature wouldn’t take long to get on without us. Personally I hope we never ‘get back to normal’ but that we re-enter the world with a new understanding of how we all interconnect and how we humans have rampaged through the world …..

  6. I’d rather cheer up viewing photos of the splash of colors in your beautiful garden, Derrick, than look at these desultory, albeit excellent pictures of “social distancing” and “self-isolation.”

  7. Most powerful photos, Derrick, both of the surf and the empty lots. I have to admit I have never considered the term “empty the pooch”. I shall never observe a dog being walked again the same way. πŸ˜‰

  8. So eerie how silent and empty places are these days… except the sea. She’s never silent is she? πŸ™‚ Beautiful pictures as always, hope you stay well and safe!

  9. It looks desolate and forlorn but I bet nature is not missing us. I wondered what you meant when you couldn’t find anywhere to park, until I saw how the entrances have been blocked off. I’m off for a walk today. First in 14 days. Wonder what I will see?

  10. It seems we’re having quite similar experiences…of course…with all the health worries that keep folks home. My walks are also getting more lonely in Oregon recently.
    I enjoyed so many of these, Derrick–the black and white ones tend to make me pause and look deeper. They hold a starkness and a certain complexity that isn’t the same in color–though I love both, of course!

  11. How did you know I needed some water pictures? Your camera is nice. I can almost hear the waves lapping up on the shore. You even caught the sun shimmer on the rocks. Well done.

  12. The beaches on Galveston Island are closed, but it’s still possible to enjoy the water from the seawall. I was there on Sunday, passing through on my way to another destination, and it really was lovely: families bicycling together, couples walking, people picnicking in the back of their pickup trucks — so Texan! It was especially fun to see how people had parked, with two or three empty spaces between each vehicle. Clearly, the message about keeping distance was being taken seriously.

  13. Yes Derrick, it’s very quiet here in Geelong too, a city of 250,000 and we could be mistaken for a sleepy country town….. I’ve not had the car out of my garage for three days !!

  14. I’m glad you were able to get close enough to see and smell the ocean. Our beaches are closed, and I doubt we’d be able to get close. It’s good to know the waves continue to meet the shore as always.

  15. A lot of those pictures of the deserted seaside are just like the beginning of a science fiction story. Let’s hope it has a happy ending!

  16. When I went to the pharmacy yesterday, I was the only one in the store with a mask. The pharmacist was behind a plastic screen. Between her screen and my mask, we had considerable difficulties hearing and communicating with each other. I had to move my mask up to speak more clearly for her, and I had to ask her to speak louder so I could hear her. Delivery? That would be my preference since I have physical limitations. This pharmacy doesn’t deliver, though they did when I started using them years ago. Another pharmacy 19 miles away in a village, delivers to my town, and charges only 50 cents delivery charge! They have a branch in town that doesn’t deliver, so once transfers prescriptions to the out-of-town branch to get delivery of prescriptions. Gad!

  17. Our nearest seaside town of Cleethorpes is similarly deserted.
    We are lucky to be still allowed to go out together. My sister is in Spain and there is a one person only in the car rule!

  18. No queue! I queued an hour and a half last week and am going back tomorrow to pick up the bits that the pharmacy didn’t have.

    It must have been nice to go down to the beach with a clear conscience. I wish our pharmacy was at the seaside! πŸ™‚

  19. You have an amazing eye for photographing scenes that evoke emotion! πŸ™‚ That first shot of the tractor in the fields made me smile AND made me thank, again, those who continue to work so we all have food and the things we need. So grateful for everyone on the frontlines!

    The lone person on the steps is a powerful image! And we can all relate!

    Wow! Dinner AND a show! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ YAY for Nugget and Burt! YAY for Jackie’s chef-ery, too! πŸ™‚
    PS…we made homemade chicken and veggie soup last night. πŸ™‚

  20. I love the photos that are devoid of sightseeing humans. The choppy waves beckon me to come and sit awhile, how absolutely lovely.

  21. So many good ones in this group; its hard to pick a favorite! The one that stood out the most is the first tractor photo. It immediately reminded me of the short story “The Metal Sky” by Ervin Krause, about a farmer out plowing his fields alone when the tractor tips over and traps him underneath it.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: