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This afternoon, Jackie drove me around the East of the forest.
A group of donkeys diced with death as they munched on the verges of the winding lanes approaching East End,
where a llama in a field slowly swivelled its gaze in my direction;
and seasonal signs included blackberries ripening in the hedgerows,
starlings gathering on overhead cables,
and pheasants trotting across the moorland.
Three young cyclists came whooping down the approaching slope and up the next,
until they ran out of puff, dismounted, and, with a certain amount of trepidation, negotiated their way past fly-pestered ponies bent on keeping cottages’ grass cropped.
One of the many wandering cattle at East Boldre craned over a white picket fence and set about wrecking the owners’ shrubbery.
Gulls and swans shared Beaulieu’s Hatchet Pond.
This evening we will shortly be driving to The Family House at Totton where we will meet Becky, Ian, and Elizabeth for an excellent Chinese meal.
P.S. The evening was most enjoyable. The restaurant served the usual excellent food; the ambience being as warm and friendly as ever.