We have enjoyed excellent, efficient, and smooth on line repeat prescription service from our local pharmacy adjacent to our GP surgery for a good number of years. Until some weeks ago all changed. There were more people than ever working in the background behind the counter; apparent computer problems; missing prescriptions; people in queues having been told to come back next day – one man 3 days running; a generally harassed atmosphere. I was never inconvenienced myself, except for having queued behind the unhappy people, when previously queueing had been rare; Jackie had suffered from the “try again tomorrow” syndrome, as had someone else in the family – regularly.

When we visited this morning I asked to speak to the person in charge to ask about what was going wrong. I would have had to drive 45 minutes away to do this because that is where the new owner was now based. Our independent company had been taken over by another of that ilk.

My conversation with staff was most amenable and I was given the new owner’s address. They would welcome a complaint from me. Bigger is clearly not better.

Today’s weather was similar to yesterday’s. That is generally overcast until we returned home from a late afternoon forest drive when the sun put in an appearance for the evening.

A tractor working over a field of many pheasants sent the birds scattering across Sowley Lane.

Along St Leonard’s Road a group of donkeys foraged above and within a dry ditch.

One of two foals, having untangled itself from a barbed wire fence crossed to the other side of the road;

the other, probably quite surprised by the presence of a bus we have never seen here before, allowed the vehicle to pass.

From the car, Jackie photographed honeysuckle in the hedgerow and the younger foal suckling.

I contributed a stem of valerian growing from the fourteenth century stone wall of St Leonard’s Grange and a cluster of conkers soon to fall.

This evening we all dined on succulent roast chicken; sage and onion stuffing; boiled new potatoes; crunchy carrots and cauliflower with which Jackie drank Lambrusco and I drank Mas d’Anglade Montpeyroux 2018.


  1. Inconvenience seems to be the new name of the pharmacy day. We made reservations for some booster shots but we’re told upon arrival that they had not received the most recent version and had no idea when they might. You’re donkeys remind me of Buddy.

  2. The conkers look painful when they hit you! great photos today, Derrick. I’m so sorry that your pharmacy has changed, I don’t like change much myself these days and have been using the same pharmacy for several years now since they know me by name and the service is superb. There is an identical store, a Walgreen’s, walking distance from my home but I never use that one because they are slow at filling my scrips. Sp, I drive about 12 minutes south for good service.

  3. I have suffered from poor service at the pharmacy in recent years. I was on the point of moving when it suddenly improved and it has been OK ever since. It’s a lottery. On the other hand, my uncle in South Africa pays a fortune each month for his medication. Swings and roundabouts . . .

  4. I hate that you have to deal with that, but maybe it will work itself out soon. Taking over a business is not easy and while a smooth transaction is always the goal, it’s not always possible. Our internet service was recently bought by another cooperation and we came close to cancel out service. I complained, we got a nice discount on our bill and one day it all worked fine again, to be honest it works better now than it did before. “Growing pain” I hope it will go away soon.

  5. So good to see the pleasant pheasants and darling donkeys!
    Aw, on the entanglement. Poor little fellow!
    Love the honeysuckle and the conkers! Valerian plants are beautiful and interesting. I once read about their history and their uses.
    Beautiful photos, Jackie and Derrick!!
    So sorry to hear about your pharmacy and it’s woes. You are right…bigger isn’t always better. I hope they figure out how to do their work efficiently and smoothly. People’s meds are so important. Can’t make any mistakes.
    (((HUGS))) and ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ to everyone at your home! 🙂

  6. I never thought of donkeys as being cute. But in your photos, they are so cute!
    I have had it with the big store pharmacies. The ones that are so huge and they may have a pharmacy in every town but they are mismanaged. I am so happy that our little town in New England has its own independent pharmacy. The people are wonderful! I hope you have better luck soon.

  7. That sounds beyond frustrating. Beautiful photos.

    The pharmacy here is now owned by the hospital and it is a joke especially when you doctor in another town. So I have to use the one at the grocery store which is lacking the service the old one had before the change.

  8. I’m currently involved in a kerfluffle with the post office, which has lost a rather expensive parcel. It was traced from point A to B to C and then — POOF! That’s one reason I never would use the postal system for something like medication; it’s utterly untrustworthy.

  9. I used to buy all my meds at Mercury Drug, the largest one in our country but I discovered Watsons a few years ago. I alternate buying from them. So far, I haven’t encountered any problem yet.

  10. I’m so sorry about the pharmacy troubles. Even if it hasn’t hit you hard yet, you expect it will, eventually. Hoping it’s just a “growing pains” thing and they will sort themselves out soon.

    Donkeys have the absolute sweetest faces. Do you think it’s because they look sad?

  11. I’m always amazed to see plants, especially flowers, growing out of stone walls. So glad the foal escaped okay from the despicable barbed wire and hope the wait times at the pharmacy become more reasonable. Bigger is clearly not better, especially when it comes to businesses.

  12. I always enjoy seeing the donkeys in your posts. They look so soft and gentle. I’m sorry to hear about your pharmacy woes. I heard a program on national public radio today discussing the dominance of chain pharmacies, how overworked the staff are, and how many mistakes are made as a result. It’s alarming. Profits before customers seems to be the word of the day.

    1. Thanks very much, Alys. Customers? Who are they? What are they for? I also acknowledged how difficult this was for the staff, which was really appreciated.

  13. i’ve had experienced a few delays in our local pharmacy due to short staff but missing prescriptions is not a good thing. are those honeysuckle fragrant?

  14. I am sorry to hear that your pharmacy is going through the throes of “perestroika.”
    Fabulous photos, especially the close-up of the mother donkey’s behind, while her baby is suckling.

  15. I am sorry to hear your pharmacy had so many troubles after the change to a new owner. I suspect there was a merging of computer systems and software. I have never known one to go smoothly. Those wonderful forest drives I am sure are a good antidote to that experience.

  16. I’m sorry to hear about your pharmacy problems.
    These things never seem to go right when these bigger firms get involved and start to install their own systems.

    My village pharmacy or the chemist as we call it, has had one change of ownership in the forty seven years I’ve lived here and that was thirty years ago.

  17. Maybe the system was “hacked” … this has just happened to our city bus card. Although the company says it will honor your card and hope to fix it “soon”.

    When I changed doctors, I changed to their linked one. I had 3 errors within a few months. Now I notice as soon as I walk in the door, they are falling over themselves to do my scripts!!!

Leave a Reply