Tractor And Trailer

Today I can post the Charles Keeping illustrations from ‘Bleak House’ that I prepared yesterday:

‘Mr Jarndyce was standing with an attentive smile on his face’

‘The portrait of the present Lady Dredlock’

‘They all looked up at us as we came in’

‘This fragile mite of a creature quietly perched on his forehead’

On the first sunny afternoon for a while Jackie was determined to go for a drive into the forest, so that is what we did. Having felt the pinch of petrol prices at Tesco – one of the cheapest, I stopped to photograph another

felled oak on either side of Caird Avenue. It was fascinating that while the mighty tree had not survived the recent storms, the tiny yellow celandines and white daisies press successfully through the often flattened grass.

We paused at Bransgore to purchase more cold medication. The verge along the row of village shops sparkled with daffodils and crocuses;

as did many other roadsides like this on on the approach to Ringwood where a drooping willow has lost a limb.

A couple of cock pheasants took a leisurely stroll through a hedge across Bennett’s Lane where a field horse sported a rug and goats gambolled in the distance.

As we ascend Crow Hill we encountered a used Christmas tree on the road ahead of us. Then a couple of wooden boxes. Then a crawling red car.

Then the culprit. A tractor with a loaded trailer spewing untied contents at intervals as it progressed at 6 m.p.h. This sinuous slope precluded easy overtaking. The red car managed to get past sooner than we did.

The occasional pool along Forest Road was in a fine reflective mood.

I was not the only person enjoying the ponies pasturing on the verges outside Burley.

Jackie had made a bland spaghetti Bolognese sauce for the children’s dinner at Elizabeth’s Garden Rescue event. Most of the youngsters left before the time for serving it, so we brought some home. This evening, with the addition of plentiful chillies, she turned it into a hot pasta arrabbiata. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank Christian Patat Appassimento 2020.

As will be seen Jackie is back in harness, although she still has an unpleasant cold.


  1. I love that crocus and daffodils grow wild in your countryside. And I appreciate you two going out and photographing the horses, ponies and other creatures, despite feeling under the weather. It’s a shame such a large oak needed to be felled, but that’s Nature I guess.

  2. I thought, “Dickensian,” when I saw the illustrations. 😀 I liked “They all looked up. . .”
    It’s definitely early spring in your part of the world–all the beautiful flowers, and the willow with still bare branches.

    I’m glad Jackie is feeling better.

    If you can access this, you might find this article on Dickens interesting:

    1. Thank you so much, Merril, especially for the link to that excellent article. I had a friend who’s subscribed to The New Yorker, clearly a splendid publication

  3. Somehow, it’s hard to take a person seriously who goes about with a bird perched upon his forehead. I’m glad Jackie is feeling a bit better today.

  4. Oh dear, colds can be so lingering. I have a friend here who caught hers from her grandson when the family came to visit. I’m sure the chillies are quite good for a cold though. I love that gorgeous white pony. 😍

  5. Glad Jackie is better!! Here in the states that fellow with the trailer disgorging contents could be cited for having a “leaky load”. Yes, that is a regulation on the books!

  6. I am glad Jackie is feeling better. Those colds can linger!

    Are there any restrictions as to which animals can wander like the ponies? I don’t remember if I have ever seen photos of goats or sheep wandering about. I know goats do tend to eat everything in sight.

    Charles Keeping’s illustrations are always a treat, Derrick.

  7. It’s good to hear that Jackie is on the mend and I’m glad her cold didn’t pass to you.

    Lovely to see the ponies today and so good to see that spring has arrived. We’re not quite the yet, though I have seen signs on lower ground down in the village.

  8. I’m astonished by the fellow with the unsecured load. That certainly wouldn’t pass muster here, at least on public roads. I suppose your regulations are different. Maybe you have free-range tractors as well as free-range ponies!

  9. I so enjoyed your finale photos of the ponies and humans leisurely delighting in each others company, and sharing the same piece of ground peacefully … such a constast to the horrendous war on Ukrainian soil Derrick .. ☮🌏

  10. I wonder if the common cold and flu are going to give us a good belting around the head, now that Covid restrictions have eased. Wearing masks, sanitising hands and keeping our distance has kept them at bay for a couple of years.

    Don’t let Jackie get too frisky for a while, she needs to take life easy for a bit. <3

  11. What a pest the man with the shedding load was! I am glad Jackie was able to overtake him eventually. It must have been good to see the sun again and have a drive even though you had to buy more cold remedies for poor Jackie. I hope she feels better soon.

  12. I like the mossy reflections in the pool with the vague face in the lower right corner and the ponies who remind me of big shaggy dogs.

  13. That cut up oak, looked still in its prime to be ravaged by the storm. Good tp see spring wasn’t put off by the storms

  14. More peaceful images of the kind that is balm to the soul. The outing would have been good for you both and has given your readers a lot of pleasure. Take care both of you!

  15. “Those who flow as water flows know they need no other force, they feel no wear, they feel no tear, they need no mending, no repair”.

    That’s somewhat of a Taoist observation, poorly stated (by me!) that the fallen oak demonstrates. The flowers survived not by being stronger, but by being more flexible in adversity.

  16. I really wish there was some way of finding out how many accidents are caused by farmers and their illegal loads or lousy driving.

  17. I hope Jackie is over her cold soon and I am glad you have been able to get out somewhat.

    It is of course irritating when stuff is not tied down and you’re stuck behind a slow-moving vehicle.

  18. I love the close up of the brown pony’s head. What a pretty animal! Is Christian Patat Appassimento 2020 a white or a red? Bob & I have never heard of it. I love the fact that Jackie took a bland pasta prepared for the children and spiced it up to make it more appetizing for the two of you!

  19. You seem to have compensated for the subdued activities of previous days by shooting extra salvos in the woodland. The felled oak presents a flower like stump and a lesson in pitfalls of rigidness, contrasted further by the blessed gaiety of daisies and celandines. The reflections have been captured masterfully.

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