Bumping Into Prince Philip

Early this morning, once again in steady rain, Jackie and I transported another Modus-load of soggy garden refuse to the Efford Recycling Centre, and continued on a damp forest drive.

A pair of wet donkeys at East Boldre with little leaves adhering to their spiral-patterned hides hopefully raised their mournful heads as I disembarked to photograph them.

Ponies and their foals seemed happier in nature’s cool showers along Furzey Lane. Equally damp they contentedly cropped their pasturage.

One foal took time away from suckling to have a good scratch;

another rested beneath an oak tree surviving against the odds which was laden with acorns ready to drop.

Raindrops must have slid down this chicken’s feathers.

I never met Queen Elizabeth II, but I did once bump into Prince Philip.

Sometime in the early 1990s when Jessica and I were staying in Cumbria in the premises of the late Hugh Lowther, married at the time to my late wife’s cousin Angie – possibly not the holiday spent with Ali, Steve, and James, in 1992, during which today’s header photograph was taken – we attended a show event in the grounds of Hugh’s father, the 7th Earl of Lonsdale. Willie, Viscount Whitelaw of Penrith, was one of the dignitaries I recognised within the secure palisade surrounding the area.

When wandering around, I passed the entrance to a marquee just as an elegant gentleman dashed out unable to avoid a collision. Thus I met the Queen’s Consort.

This evening we repeated yesterday’s wholesome fare, except that Jackie drank Hoegaarden while I drank more of the Burgundy.


      1. That’s what the donkeys we feed do. They aren’t our donkeys but we feed them regularly. When my husband Hee-haws, they come trotting or ambling from the back pasture. Yesterday, Emmett, the yearling briefly broke into a gallop.

          1. Carrots, sweet potatoes, chocolate chip cookies, apples, pears, peaches, broccolo. Not fond of sweet peppers or mangoes. Emmett the yearling is by far the pickiest and won’t eat anything that falls out of his mouth. His parents will eventually eat it.

          2. Carrots, sweet potatoes, chocolate chip cookies, apples, pears, peaches, broccolo. Not fond of sweet peppers or mangoes. Emmett the yearling is by far the pickiest and won’t eat anything that falls out of his mouth. His parents will eventually eat it.

  1. Those two do have a look of hopeful anticipation! Encounters with famous folks are always memory worthy. Thanks for sharing your “meeting” with the Prince!

  2. What a great story/memory! Hope you both stayed on your feet! ??? I always enjoyed reading things that Prince Philip said. 🙂
    YAY for the donkeys! I love seeing them…I get all smile-y! 🙂
    Good to see the ponies and chicks, too! That chicken is beautiful!
    (((HUGS))) 🙂 ❤️

  3. Today it was raining buckets of water . This did not block you both and you visited various meadows and their equine inhabitants!
    And at the end of the day a good meal with Belgium beer and Bourgogne ( Burgundy) !

  4. It’s unlikely you know of the late Dr. Paul Johnsgaard, who was a major figure in the world of ornithology and author of 104 books (!) mostly on topics relating to that science, but he was a personal hero of mine.

    I chanced upon him taking lunch at a favorite wildlife refuge of mine where he and graduate students of his from the University of Nebraska were doing summer field studies.

    After gushing over the man’s books, of which I had the then-38 in print and how much I admired the man and his work, the fellow birder with whom I was with insisted I go over and meet him in person.

    Reluctantly yet in great anticipation, I approached Dr. Johnsgaard, extended my hand, and said, “Dr. Johnsgaard, you are a god to me!”

    Well, I am sure I blushed and I’m sure the smile on his face said all that needed to be said about that moment! LOL!

    After he descended from Mount Olympus, Dr. Johnsgaard proved to me very tolerant of my hero worship and appreciative of my enthusiasm for his books. He even let me in on the news that he was about to publish Nr. 39 and planning Nr. 40 for later that year.

    I trust you were less, um, exuberant, when you bumped into a Prince Phillip!

  5. Oh my! What a surprise that must have been… As always, I get such a pleasure out of your pony/donkey pics. Usually a lot more photogenic than a prince, come to think of it.

  6. We can never have too many pictures of donkeys. I’ve never met the late Queen or Prince Phillip though I have met and spoken to King Charles III and the Queen Consort. The first at a charity event and the second at the hairdressers.

  7. It was a treat to see the little red hen, they don’t feature here very often. The ponies and donkeys are always a treat for sore eyes.

    I read above where someone fed chocolate chip cookies to the donkeys! I was shocked.
    Feeding sugary, fatty, processed food to any of these animals has to be one of the worst things to feed horses and donkeys.

    Experimenting by offering different food stuffs to find out which they like the best is not a sensible move. An occasional carrot would be far safer.

    One of Sophie’s ponies, a black gelding, died a painful death because the warden at the adjoining scout camp regularly fed him bits of food, including fish and chips.
    We were unaware of his stupidity until after our pony died; the warden told us he would miss sharing his lunch with the pony and said he often shared food with him and that he was very fond of fish and chips.

    The post-mortem showed the cause of death as an ulcerated stomach.

    The man was clueless, as are many others; I’m sure people don’t intend to harm the animals; they simply don’t realise that some of our foods could kill them.

    There are a few horses over the lane opposite our place and the fence next to the footpath has a number of signs at regular intervals asking people not to feed the horses.

  8. The animals getting cool, plus a lovely story about the Prince. He had been my favorite, but I can understand the country mourning her Queen.

  9. You ran in some fancy circles, Derrick! I didn’t think the bump would be literal. If something like that happened now, it would be all over social media.

    The header shot is stunning, and I always love seeing the donkeys.

  10. You have an amazing life story, and equally amazing connections, Derrick!

    I am sure the animals like the cooler weather now. It is still quite dry, but getting more autumnal here.

  11. Derrick…I’m thinking about a post I could write about donkeys. If I write it and post it could I share one of you donkey photos in my post? I’d give you credit of course.
    Let me know.

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