Advancing In Our Direction

After lunch Elizabeth visited to discuss a few matters relating to Mum’s funeral. This included the choice of coffin and flowers.

Later, I posted

This afternoon we took a drive into the forest.

Jackie parked beside Charles’s Lane, and I stepped out to photograph the

woodland scenes alongside.

On one side of Gorley Road at Mockbeggar the Donkey Hedge Clipping service was under way;

on the other, field horses , some with fly protection masks, were accompanied by their usual crows.

At Ibsley a donkey foal was planted on the tarmac along which advanced a cluster of ponies in our direction;

a lone cow set off to join her friends grazing across the road;

finally, the second of two further donkeys we were forced to follow was decidedly pregnant.

This evening we dined on a Red Chilli takeaway meal consisting of Saag Bhaji, Paneer Tikka, Special Fried Rice, Plain Paratha; Saag Chicken, and Naga Chilli Chicken, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Fleurie, which involved opening another bottle.


  1. I find those lovely splotchy ponies, who to me look more like cows, so funny – it’s lovely to see them again, hard at their hedge clipping work!
    I wonder how many ponies, and how many cows, there are living in the New Forest… it seems there are so many, without feeling crowded… a very special place.

        1. There’s still a station in the middle of the Forest, Beaulieu Road which has two houses and a series of wooden pens. It’s only there for the annual gathering where all the ponies owners.. they are all owned even though they are wild … bring them to sell them. Pre Covid it was four times a year, not sure what Covid has done to this. It’s one way numbers are checked, they’re tagged and these days have some collars fitted so they can be seen at night. The Verderers run the commoners rights which still pertain – Derrick talks about the rights of pannage (allowing pigs to roam wild to eat the acorns which are poisonous to the ponies). They still hold courts in Lyndhurst where they enforce the old laws of the Forest. It’s a strange anomaly of a place for sure for sure, but who wants it to change…

        1. No idea!! I suspect the owner of the mare gets the prize since I doubt there’s a pony dna database to ascertain the father !! Oh and the ponies are wild (and ancient – in the 1960s they introduced Arab pony stock to try and strengthen the breed but changed tack in the 90s and now the Arab strain is gradually being breed out so they are true ancestors of the wild ponies that were there when the forest was created as royal hunting grounds 900 plus years ago) whereas the donkeys are not wild. The auction only applies to the ponies. Goodness this is testing my memory!!

          1. Well, you’re doing very well. I’ll have to think up some more challenging questions.
            Such as: how come so many hard-hoofed equines roaming around, don’t destroy the forest floor?

          2. Hah! I must have had a psychic moment when I asked the question. The colonial introduction of hard-hooved animals was/is very detrimental to the Australian landscape. They destroy the topsoil and compact the sub-strata, which in our dry, arid country is highly damaging.

  2. A forest drive! 🙂 Always good for you two! And good for us who get to see the photos! 🙂
    You know I love seeing the donkeys!!! 🙂
    It can be emotional to make all of those decisions. Continued prayers, condolences and love to you and Jackie and your whole family. <3

  3. A wonderful gallery of both equine and bovine creatures. The Charles Lane woodland scenes were striking as well. We continue to lift you, Jackie and Elizabeth up in prayer.

  4. A drive and dinner makes for a perfect day — especially if there’s an extra bottle to be opened! The set of photos showing the trees and ferns are especially attractive; autumn is showing a gentle face in those.

  5. I realise how relaxing those outings must be for you and Jackie. Sometimes I wonder if ponies and donkeys can continue roaming the streets for long? You seem to relish Indian cuisines frequently! I wonder what dishes constitute ‘saag’ other than leafy ones like spinach.

  6. So sorry to hear of your mother’s passing, Derek. I am behind in my reading as I’ve had 4 houseguests this week and last. I did get blogs published but didn’t keep up with reading. I know you visited your mom recently. That is a comfort to have contact.

  7. A peaceful afternoon outing resulting in pleasurable viewing for the rest of us. I have also enjoyed reading TanGental’s explanations in the comments.

  8. I’m glad you got out for the drive. Seeing nature and all the animals that roam about so freely must lift your spirits–or at least you must focus them elsewhere for a while. The ponies in the header look very determined!
    The Donkey Hedge Clipping Service seems very efficient. Too bad you had to open another bottle of wine with your delicious Indian food dinner. ?

    Geoff’s comments were very informative.

  9. I’m glad you got back out again – and not just because you were able to photograph the livestock! I don’t recall ever seeing donkeys that were colored like pinto ponies before!

  10. I always enjoy your forest drives. The animals roaming free are intriguing. The Chili’s Takeaway sounds delicious. A lot of names I’m unfamiliar with. Also don’t know fleurie.

  11. I enjoyed all the forest drive scenes and animals, Derrick and Jackie.

    The closing of a life always takes a while. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you and Elizabeth makes preparations for your mother’s funeral.

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