Risk To Their Undercarriage

Last night I finished reading ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ by Colombian Nobel prizewinner Gabriel Garcia Marquez. First published in Argentina in 1967 this book was in the forefront of magical realism, and, as such, made the author anxious about its reception. Although there were some detractors the work has remained popular for more than the following half century.

Magic there is in abundance in the flowing, descriptive, language, the characterisation and the fantastic tales therein. The reality comes in the breadth of the inventive development of the 20th century. As usual I will not even attempt to tell the story, but can, without revealing too much, say that by tracing the imaginative history of a nation-founding dynasty, the writer symbolises the making of South America and of the world.

My 1991 edition, part of Jonathan Cape’s collected set, contains a family tree which goes some way to unravelling who’s who in this saga of longevity of a family whose members often share similar names.

Gregory Rabassa has produced the translation from the Spanish, which I can only assume is true to the original.

Late this morning Jackie drove me to Milford on Sea for Peter to cut my hair at Sears Barbers.

This afternoon I bagged up another heap of the Head Gardener’s rose clippings, then tied up some stems of red

Super Elfin and pink Penny Lane accompanying clematis Dr Ruppel on the Gothic arch.

Later we drove into the overcast forest which seemed overpopulated with lethargic ponies and cattle. I chose to focus on just two of the equines who occupied the usual central spot on Forest Road.

Tails twitching, they rapidly departed the safety of the oak tree, and adopted the customary head to tail stance enabling each to whisk away at flies irritating their partner’s muzzle. No way were they going to budge for any vehicles which could only pass the stubborn barrier by lurching off the eroded edge of tarmac at risk to their undercarriage.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent ‘sunflower’ beef pie; swede mash; boiled new potatoes; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; with meaty gravy. The Culinary Queen drank Beck’s and I finished the Malbec.


  1. One hundred years of solitude is one of my favourites.
    And Jackie’s sunflower pie could also be my favourite too. It looks scrumptious.

  2. Yet another one of my favorite writers and favorite books, Derrick. I have been assured that this translation is excellent, which was quite a challenging task, according to my colleagues.
    The head-to-tail black and white is very expressive, and the roses are marvelous. So is Jackie’s pie – gorgeous!
    This post made my day today; thank you.

  3. Now, as someone who grew up in a Swedish household — or at least with Swedish grandparents — I have to ask about that Swede mash. I’ve been trying to think about dishes my grandmother made that might qualify, and all I can remember is a potato/onion dish she made. She certainly never produced anything as elegant as Jackie’s pie — that’s a beautiful dish, and I’m sure it was quite tasty, too.

      1. So it is. I’ve never tasted rutabaga, but I’ve learned that it’s originally from Scandinavia, and that the Irish will carve the veggie at Halloween rather than pumpkins. Who knew?

  4. I do admire your output, Derrick. To fit in the wealth of reading as well as the expert photography and the effort of turning your activities into a most readable daily blog is extremely impressive.

  5. That gothic arch with pathway and roses is beautiful. It looks like something from an old house or church garden. The horses made me laugh. I guess I wouldn’t move if I were them either.
    I remember thinking One Hundred Years of Solitude was wonderful, but I really don’t remember much of it now.
    Jackie’s pie is stunning!

  6. And they say donkeys are stubborn!

    Swede mash is one of my favourites goes perfectly with another favourite white cabbage.
    Jackie is there no end to your talents, the pie looks mouth-wateringly delicious.

  7. I LOVED One Hundred Years of Solitude!! I can also recommend a short story by Garcia Marquez, if you haven’t already read it: “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World.” I particuarly like the “Gothic Arch” photo. It has a very “Secret Garden” feel to it. Is the grey horse our friend Freckles? That sunflower beef pie is a work of art!

    1. Thank you so much fo all the comments, Liz. I can see why you thought of Freckles but she is a domesticated horse. Jackie always decorates her pies, and this one was certainly exceptional.

  8. Couldn’t help but notice brands on the horses. They appear to be freeze brands, instead of hot brands. Love it that they both have their spot in the road, and keep it to themselves.

  9. It’s a wonderful arrangement of cooperation the ponies have learned to deal with flies. Maybe there are fewer flies on the road than in the forest and that is why they prefer the road?

  10. Hi D, that beef pie – oh my!
    and getting a hair cut at the barber – yeah – the world is slowly opening (hopefully)
    also – loved that single rose photo – all of them here – but esp that one

  11. I have delved into that magnificent, peerless saga and was lost in its labyrinths when some pressing matter in the immediate universe I inhabit extricated and held me back obdurately. I suspect that book is crafted on an alternate plane of consciousness that doesn’t yield to description easily. I am afraid I will have to begin from scratch whenever I choose to re-enter the saga.

    The black pony possesses a high degree of blackness. Had his companion been one hued in chaste white, the pair would have thrown the metering system of the camera into a tizzy. They too, seem to exist in a delirious world of their own like the Lotus Eaters.

    1. You are, of course, right about the book. It was, however, easier to follow than Finnegan’s Wake. You are also right about the B/W problem for photography. When I was still using film portraits of daughter, Louisa, and son-in-law, Errol were quite difficult to gauge. A cyclist passing the pony pair commented that they had a mid of their own. Thanks a lot, Uma.

  12. So, was your undercarriage put into risk of damage.

    10/10 for the appearance of that pie, and I would warrant that it rated the same for taste.


  13. i notice the horses often linger on the road, under the trees. could there be less flies? Jackie’s sunflower pie looks delicious!

  14. Peter!!! Oh! I like when you’ve showed photos of him…he has a wonderful smile! Glad you got your hair did, Derrick!!! πŸ™‚

    Pass the pie. Please. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ Jackie!!! What a beautiful pie and I’m SURE it WAS succulent!!!

    Oh, the horses…they are like, “Don’t you people see we got a thing goin’ on here?!?!” πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›
    I’m sure the horse with the white face is talking to the other horse and is like, “Why won’t you answer me?” And then realizes…”Oops! Talking to the wrong end!” HA! I crack myself up!!! πŸ˜€

    HUGS and enjoy your day today!!! πŸ™‚

  15. Smart move to stay put into the the ponies and cattle’s have passed. I love the black/white image of the pony the branding really stands out. I don’t think it would have caught my eye if the photography was in color.

  16. I’m going to read One Hundred Years of Solitude this fall – making a commitment. That pie looks delicious. I’ve only had chicken pot pie so this would be a nice change!

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