I suppose it is fair to say that “we” shopped at Tesco this morning. Our usual division of labour on such trips applied. Jackie dons a mask and spends up to an hour dodging other customers to reach the aisles; I sit in the car reading – today more chapters of ‘Nicholas Nickleby’; Jackie brings a loaded trolley to the Modus; I load the purchases into the boot, and unload them into the kitchen.

On this occasion we enjoyed a brief sojourn in the forest on the way.

We visited the lake at Pilley which reflected the surrounding woodland and cloudy skies above, and still bore water crowfoots.

More leaves were on the trees, shown in our two regularly monitored views, although the water levels haven’t really changed. May blossom, more of which could be seen in the surrounding woodland, is finally out in the first view.

Our sometimes visiting grey pony did not come down for a drink, but can be seen in the distance having a lengthy scratch on a gate. Bigifying will make this manoeuvre apparent.

A small group of ponies strode purposefully across the moorland beside Bull Hill.

This afternoon I scanned another seven of Charles Keeping’s illustrations to the above-mentioned novel by Charles Dickens.

‘Lord Verisoft enjoyed unmolested the full flavour of the gold knob at the top of his cane’.

‘ ‘Closed!’ cried Mrs Crummles, raising her hands in astonishment’

‘Miss Snevellicci’s papa, rising deliberately from his chair, kissed the ladies all round’. Mr Keeping has used his drawing to support the text of two pages.

‘The door was opened by a strange servant, on whom the odd figure of the visitor did not appear to make the most favourite impression possible’

‘Sir Mulberry applied his whip furiously to the head and shoulders of Nicholas’ is a 3D image if ever there was one.

‘To the City they went, with all the speed the hackney-coach could make’

‘ ‘My son, sir, little Wackford’

Later this afternoon I all but finished my work on clearing the Heligan Path.

This was to give Jackie the surprise of the day.

Unbeknown to me she came along to see how I was doing.

Just in time to see my chair topple and tip me headfirst into a flower bed.

I was face down in a shrub, elbows on I don’t know what, and knees wedged on brick and gravel. Somehow I managed to manoeuvre my hands in a position to perform a press-up of sorts. But my knees wouldn’t budge. I really felt stuck and in excruciating pain from a combination of joints both forced where they didn’t want to be and resting on sharp objects.

Jackie tried to place the chair in a position from which I could heave myself from the kneeling posture. This could only be done if I could get at least one foot on the ground. With a screwed up face and agonising cries I managed to plant my right foot on the path. The left knee was not going to move. Jackie then found another chair which she placed behind me. Somehow I sat on it and then heaved myself up from the other.

This process took close to 30 minutes. Neither of us had a camera.

Once on my feet I was virtually pain-free and, albeit somewhat wobbly, could walk back to my desk and produce this post.

This evening we dined on a second helping of Jackie’s delicious sausage casserole, fried potatoes, carrots and runner beans, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Shiraz.


  1. I’m glad that you were not seriously injured when you fell, Derrick! Be careful, sir. I hope you guys get more sunshine and warmer weather soon. ??❀️

  2. The photograph of the lake at Pilley is BEAUTIFUL! What a dilemma for you both – you certainly did surprise Jackie, although not in the manner intended. I am relieved that all ended well.

  3. The forest is looking wonderfully green these days — spring has finally arrived! Do be careful when you’re out in the garden! That fall sounds terrible — I’m glad Jackie was there to help you up!

  4. Beautiful reflections on the glassy lake.
    What perfect timing the Head Gardener had. More and more wildlife enthusiasts seem to be advocating leaving weeds – perhaps that’s a safer option? Or a long handled Weed Burner?!
    I hope all is well now.

    1. It’s certainly a shock, Yvonne, but years of rugby instinctively taught me how to fall. Knees twinge a bit this morning, but otherwise I am fine. I wish Jackie would post her description of the fall. Thanks very much.

  5. We have a supermarket nearby called “Jacks”, it is discount Tesco, I like it, it is never busy and the genuine Tesco products are way cheaper. My kind of supermarket.

  6. OHMYGOSH!!! πŸ™ I’m so very very VERY sorry to hear about your fall down! πŸ™ I’m so glad you were not injured and Jackie was there to help you get back up! How are you feeling now?

    Your photos today are stunningly beautiful! The B&W photo of the ponies and the clouds is so so SO lovely! πŸ™‚

    As always, I enjoy Mr. Keeping’s illustrations. πŸ™‚
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚

  7. I love the black-and-white “Ponies in landscape” with the entire sky comprised of billowy clouds. It’s a very striking photograph.

    I’m sorry to hear about your falling. I hope you’re all right.

      1. You’re welcome, Derrick. I had a feeling that black-and-white photos was your favorite. I’m glad to hear that you will be giving the paths a rest today!

  8. I find the Charles Keepings double page illustrations under the Dicken’s story line, always fascinate me Derrick

  9. Ouch! I’m sorry about that fall and thankful you were virtually pain free afterward. I hope that continues to be the case.

  10. Those pleasing vistas beckon and keep me glued to your chronicles. Those are all your signature photographs. The lake at Pilley is back again with all its joyous reflections, the project frame has advanced the counter too. Charles Keeping has now become inalienable from the stories of Charles Dickens. I felt so sorry about your fall. That it took you about 30 minutes to right yourself as you should be isn’t a great recommendation for bionic knees. Maybe someday they’ll be able to grow better knees in labs.

  11. Sounds like you need to have somebody there every time that you’re in the garden. Falls don’t always end happily, so be careful!
    The picture I like best is “β€˜To the City they went”. It has a wonderful feeling of being crammed in, almost unable to move, just like cities nowadays.

      1. okay, I didn’t realise there was “history” – well then just keep trying to stay upright and mobile – and make sure a stable chair or similar is close by…

  12. I’m sorry to read about your fall and your efforts to get up, Derrick. I’m glad Jackie was there!
    The reflection shots are beautiful, but I also really like the ponies against the wall of clouds.

  13. You sounded a bit too busy to take pictures of your accident. Sorry you went through so much pain.
    Our grey obviously was too lazy to come over to you for pictures here, but at least he sent the others!
    Take care!

  14. I enjoyed the photos from your day and the illustrations, Derrick. I am so sorry to hear about the fall you took, and the pain you were in. It hurts just thinking about it. I hope you are feeling better today.

    1. I am fine today, Lavinia. Knees still twinge a bit but everything else in good working order. I don’t mind admitting I was wondering how I could get up without more help. Thanks very much.

  15. It was noble of the assistant photographer not to cry, “Wait there while I get my camera!” when she first saw you in the flower bed.

  16. Oh my goodness, that sounded like a nasty tumble. Hopefully not too many aches, pains and bruises now.
    Take good care.

  17. Glad to hear that nothing was upset except perhaps your dignity? Thank goodness for spouses and conveniently placed chairs! πŸ˜€ … there are days I’m glad we live in a small house. there’s always a convenient wall nearby to lean against.

  18. The images around Pilley Lake are beautiful, as is the group of ponies.

    Oh, dear! I am so sorry about the chair episode. I can see from other comments that you’ve recovered well, thankfully.
    Kind of makes me think a mobile phone permanently in your pocket might be a good move; that’s a thought that first occurred to me when I was home alone and nipped out across the icy yard for logs – what if…

    1. I did have a mobile in my pocket, but didn’t think about it. I have to get used to the fact that my knees won’t bend like they used to πŸ™‚

  19. Drat the camera! I am glad that you are pain-free, Derrick. I hope there are no other side effects of the fall.
    The first image of the reflection on the lake is simply breathtaking.
    This set of illustrations perfectly delivers Mr Keeping’s graphic expressions of Dickens’ sarcastic descriptions.

  20. Oh Derrick so sorry to read about your fall it sounded very painful. Bet you were glad there were no cameras. Glad you are okay.

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