A Day Of Two Halves

We drove through tears wept with varying velocity and frequency by this morning’s miserable skies, first to Ferndene Farm Shop for the purchase of a Christmas tree, then to the forest for a drive.

On one side of Braggers Lane

a curious cow left its companions in a field in order watch the cars go by;

on the other, field horses enjoyed individual helpings of fodder,

while other bovines stretched out on the brow of a hill.

Some birches retained lingering leaves,

and mushrooms simulated flower petals.

This tree along Ringwood Road has been propped by a slab of wood for as long as we have been driving past.

After lunch we applied ourselves to preparing for Christmas. Jackie revised the present list and I made a start on the cards. We noticed how each year the numbers are reduced by death. As I typed this Jackie called out “I’ve just found Scooby on the Christmas list”. This was Becky’s dog who is buried in our garden.

Later, we visited the Everton Post Office to buy stamps and post a couple of cards abroad. By this time

the skies were smiling, so we diverted to

Barton on Sea to catch the sunset, then on to Milford on Sea where there was still enough light to catch

the Christmas decorations on the village green.

This evening we dined on second helpings of the roast chicken with fresh vegetables and Yorkshire pudding with which Jackie finished the Sauvignon Blanc and I drank more of the Rioja.


  1. Derrick, I laughed out loud at your description of “tears wept with varying velocity and frequency by this morning’s miserable skies” for we had our first decent rainfall for six years yesterday: 45 mm in half an hour and we rejoiced in every moment of it. Tonight I can hear frogs in the dam over the road for the first time in years, the grass almost seems to be singing a tune as it grows and we are already enveloped in a a variety of hues of green as nature responds to this bounty!

  2. I love the bovine watching the cars go by — and the mushrooms that look like flowers! Christmas decorations are surprisingly different than what we see, but still very Christmassy! Perhaps it’s because of my unfamiliarity with the area, but it seems that you could take a different drive in the forest every day for a year without repetition ~ ~ ~ how wonderful!

  3. Thank you for the field horses! Wonderful creatures!!
    I noticed drastic changes to my Christmas list too – as time goes by, eh?

  4. Hey derrick – awesome photos and whata packed day!
    Also – your note about less cards because of deaths reminded me that this is how life cycles go!
    We have less cards but it is mire because of choice and send a dozen cards

  5. The man taking photos while kneeling in front of a Christmas tree – seemed to suggest that the snowmen decorations in the previous photos were all bowing to the Christmas tree to which the man did same. Ah.. I’m rambling again. More likely you were setting the seen of WHAT the man was photographing of which was to be revealed in the Christmas tree photo.

    There’s not much in the way of Christmas decorators around our Port town but, every now and again we are surprised at the extent home owners go to to decorate.

  6. Love your description of tears wept in varying degrees… what a lyrical passage. Your Christmas preps sound good. We bought a tree shape arrangement of branches because Christmas preps became burdensome when one of us decided we didn’t want to do it anymore. Funny how our Christmas lists are diminishing between deaths and people no longer sending cards out.

  7. Your lyrical musings are alive with alliterations and poetic photos. The sunset shimmers in those captures. Endearing Christmas decorations warm up the heart.

  8. Curious cow cutely creates cheery Carolyn! 😀 Love that photo!
    The dog walkers on clifftop is spectacular!
    The Christmas decorations are so festive and bright!
    Two halves that equaled a perfect day! 🙂

  9. No tears here thankfully and it’s still nice enough to lunch outdoors. It’s looking wonderfully festive as every town has put up its Xmas lights and decorations.

  10. Ya gotta love a cow with an enquiring mind. We got our teensy fake Christmas tree up today. I bought a pack of cards but have no enthusiasm to write them. I think I might phone each person who sends me one. Time was, I started in November to catch the international post, and sent over 80 cards and letters. Guess I’ve had my quota.
    Might have to reread A Christmas Carol. Sounds like I’m reaching my ‘Bah! Humbug’ years LOL.

      1. We’re doing our bit to save the planet, hahaha. My niece graduated as a nurse recently. The only card stock I keep on hand these days is sympathy and get well. So I repurposed one of the latter, thinking it would go straight in the bin anyway. Turns out, she’s a “keeper”. But she loved how I’d converted it. (thank goodness).

  11. Wow! The sunset across the sea photos are beautiful, such serenity but I could feel the icy chill. Milford by Sea has put me in the Christmas spirit and an original and unusual take on decorating phone and post boxes! It is heartening to see the lights up especially with such early sunsets! A lovely post, Derrick and enjoy preparing for Christmas!

  12. I’m glad your weather improved for a little while. This morning we’re continuing with a heavy cloud cover, everything dripping wet and freezing cold. I must have the wrong idea about what will happen here with “Global Warming”.

  13. Are those mushrooms edible Derrick? I always love your photos of the countryside.

    Yeay, shortened Christmas list. I now only buy for the family.

  14. The sunsets are beautiful and I love the decorated phone booth. Phone booths have become almost non-existent in my neck of the woods.

  15. I enjoyed all the photos from your day, Derrick and Jackie. The molten sundowns are particularly beautiful at this grey and dark time of year.. The Christmas list growing shorter, we know that one. The last few years seemed to be rough ones for many people between pets, friends and relatives making that final journey off to the Great Unknown.

  16. I love the trees in your second picture. Everything looks very cheery. I spent some time playing with the lights in the first picture. As you scroll down, they fade briefly, then brighten as you stop so it’s as if they are flickering.

  17. You’re getting a Christmas tree and the grass is still green? That is just too weird for words. All is brown here my friend and I hope weekly for a little snow to cover the sadness.

  18. Another enjoyable drive into the forest for me.
    And the decorations celebrating Christmas on the village green are just lovely – the spirit of Christmas without the tackiness we’ve all grown used to.

  19. I love the photo of the curious cow.. and the sunset pictures. So beautiful! I just took that drive with you two. Thanks for sharing. Now I need to get a bottle of Rioja!!

  20. Those Christmas decorations are so cute ? I was at the post office the other day and I’ve realized that people are still sending Christmas cards…me included ☺️ That’s wonderful and sad at the same time, if the number is reduced because of death.

  21. I’m one of those old people still putting paper mail into a mailbox! I just finished off the last of my Christmas letters yesterday. Eighty in total. It’s so much work. I cherish my few cards, as they are so rare and special. This year I marked off three people due to death, and it gave me a start. “Oh right, don’t need to send that one…” I should send one to you two – I keep foreign stamps handy for my out of country people.

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