A Shared Hairstylist

This morning I completed an e-mail exchange with Barrie Haynes who had sent me a copy of his latest novel, “Adam”.

The book carries a good, intriguing, story written in tight, fast-moving, prose with nothing superfluous.

Despite its five star rating on Amazon, the work, on account of the sexual innuendos which some will find humorous, will not appeal to all tastes. There is however no bad language. Barrie tells me that a sampler can be read on that site in order to allow potential buyers to make their own judgement.

Today we took a break from gardening, although Jackie did perform some watering, weeding, and dead heading after lunch.

Alongside the A338 we stopped to photograph a splendid Virginia creeper we have often admired.

Once we are into the north of the forest we are bound to encounter donkeys,

such as these with their sometimes somnolent foals at Ibsley,

where ponies gather in less numbers. One of the latter equines has a shared hairdresser with

the elegant alpacas resident at Hockey’s Farm, where

we lunched alfresco on account of Covid restrictions. Their excellent system provides a takeaway service which is delivered outside where we are permitted to eat it. This, today, was somewhat disconcerting as the cooing, twittering, and gentle birdsong emanating from the aviary

beside which we sat was constantly shattered by

the machine-gun rattle of acorns crashing onto the corrugated perspex roof. Some ricocheted downward. I sat on one that had come to rest on my chair.

It was Jackie who photographed the aviary guide and the first three of these gallery images.

We were fortunate not to have been lunching beneath the conker tree a hundred yards or so along the road.

This lane and wall outside Stuckton, where a speckled wood butterfly settled on its ivy cladding, were dappled by sunlight

that also cast shadows across the Godshill end of Ringwood Road thus camouflaging wandering ponies.

This evening we dined on spicy pizza and chicken salad with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Douro.


  1. We are quite familiar with the racket raised by parrots visiting us from the nearby Parrot Jungle. No acorn fuselage, though.
    The black and white shadowy lane photo and the color one of the same lane are both fabulous in their own ways. I have thoroughly enjoyed both, Derrick.

  2. Your photos of the donkey foals Derrick are definitely cute, and I’m smiling broadly here, early Saturday morning (7.00am)… and a warm humid spring day, of 25’C…

  3. Hi Derrick – the book with the innuendos is not my cup of tea – but we all
    Like different things – eh?
    Tell Jackie I liked her photos too- and the Virginia creeper was so nice and vibrant

  4. Looks like a fabulous lunch. I took off from the garden today as well. Will be launching back at it tomorrow. That Virginia creeper…is really lovely, but likely an invasive species in your neck of the woods. I Was a little alarmed at how it had overtaken the tree. It may need the treatment recently given the wisteria…

    1. We are about to work on our own Virginia creeper which has now started to trail across the gravel on the back drive. πŸ™‚ Our restrictions are likely coming back, so we may not have that lunch experience again for a while. Enjoy your gardens. Thanks very much, Lisa.

  5. The wall with creepers looks fabulous, and young donkeys look downcast, but that may be a survival trick. That was a disconcerting lunch experience amidst the rat-a-tat of acorns. I suspect alpacas stand somewhere between a pony and a camel, but evolutionary forces may have better ideas. The parakeets are cute.

  6. I’m glad you and Jackie took it easy and enjoyed some different sights. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Virginia creeper so red or so big! The conkers look like scary eyeballs, while alpaca eyes are always cute.

  7. I’m sorry to see (from a newscast) that Lockdown is on the return for you … but then I see your delicious garden and I know you will be happy with what you are looking at until – your trips out will come again.
    I enjoyed reading and looking at the photos that unfolded for you today including noticing a “parrot” from New Zealand…

  8. What will happen to conkers now Covid-19 has arrived? Will participants make it even more dangerous by using a six feet piece of string and whirling it round their heads ?

    Or will somebody invent Virtual Conkers, played on Zoom ?

  9. What a wonderful day! I’m so glad!
    Seeing those donkeys, alpacas, ponies, and birds made my day wonderful! πŸ™‚ Thank you! πŸ™‚
    Love the sleepy foal. Aw. πŸ™‚
    Those birds and their “talking” and “singing” would be sweet company to me!
    For some reason, the plants that weep, creep, wander, grow up other things, always make me smile! πŸ™‚
    Those last two photos are spectacular, Derrick!
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚

  10. delightful images as always, Derrick. the cascading Virginia Creeper is an eye catcher. the sleeping foals make me smile but the Alpacas for me, are truly winners. they are beautiful! glad you both had a wonderful and relaxed day! πŸ™‚

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