A Hefty Kick

The weather today, albeit dry, was at its most gloomy.

Even the animals kept away. When we took a brief forest drive there was a definite dearth of donkeys and a patent paucity of ponies,

except for a few grazing alongside Furzey Lane at Beaulieu. The first grey in this group, and the lone bay both bear the scars of torn fur. Maybe that is why the smaller bay gave the gentler grey a hefty kick out of the way before continuing with the matter in hand.

On our return I finished reading Charles Dickens’s third Christmas book, namely ‘The Cricket on The Hearth – A fairy tale of home’. I am happy to report that our great Victorian novelist, in this work, has recovered the deft touch that eluded him in ‘The Chimes’. This magical mystery story is well constructed, keeps the reader wondering, and contains all the writer’s ready humour and wry description. Beginning in a fog, all is revealed in a neatly packaged ending.

My Folio Society edition is enhanced by the apt illustrations of Charles Keeping, the frontispiece featuring a foggy scene.

This evening we dined on a second sitting of Hordle Chinese Take Away’s excellent fare with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Malbec,


  1. Thank you for my ponies.
    We still haven’t been able to get to our old Chinese buffet place for a take out. I hope they’re still in business. One place I used to work, I found out 2 days ago, closed its doors for the last time in August.

  2. Gosh, those poor ponies do have big battle scars.
    But they seem content – and their coats nicely thick in this icy weather.
    I’m afraid you were right with your prediction of a return to National Lockdown, Derrick.
    Let’s hope this one sorts it, and 2021 turns out to be brighter, more social, and with no tears / tiers.

  3. The poor ponies with the scars!
    I’m glad Dickens did not disappoint this time. More wonderful illustrations. We watched a new movie version of David Copperfield recently with Dev Patel. It’s not a faithful adaptation of the story, but it was a lot of fun (especially Tilda Swinton and Hugh Laurie as Aunt Trotwood and Mr. Dick).

    I’ve been reading things from so many other blogger friends about the lockdown there. I hope it’s not too bad.

    1. Thanks very much, Merril. The new strain is totally to of control. I haven’t watched tonight’s news, but expect a total lockdown from midnight. We’ll see in the morning.

  4. I suppose that when you crank out stories the way Dickens did, you are bound to have a few misses. Too gloomy for ponies and donkeys must be pretty gloomy indeed.

  5. I noticed the missing fur on the ponies. They can do a bit of damage to each other during squabbles. Thick coats and tough hides are a blessing.

    I had not heard of the third Christmas book, ‘The Cricket on The Hearth – A fairy tale of home’. Rick and I did watch that animated YouTube movie ‘The Chimes’. We enjoyed it, but agree it was missing something.

  6. When it comes to horses and ponies, I’ve always been partial to bays and duns, and shaggy grays. Variety is the spice of life. Maybe some day, they and we will learn to get along. I’m glad you enjoyed “The Cricket.”

  7. The alliteration is apt and hilarious! Now I will keep thinking of definite dearth of donkeys and a patent paucity of ponies all through the day! As for that ‘hefty kick’, I can assure you they can be lethal. I have once witnessed a similar delivery from a crazy pony to an unsuspecting lad who had to be rushed to a hospital where he reportedly stayed put for months.

    I have loved Mr Dickens since my early days and I still keep wanting to return to his novels, although minus the fascinating artwork of the folio editions.

    1. Thank you very much, as always, Uma. I hope the alliteration doesn’t bug you for too long, but I’m pleased you saw the humour. I never walk behind a pony 🙂

  8. Love your alliterations! 😀
    Brilliantly blissful blog!
    Dynamic delightful donkeys! Perky pretty ponies! (Wouldn’t want to get kicked by any equines!)
    HUGS!!! 🙂

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