I Took A Tumble

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Ronan and Mark of Tom Sutton Heating are well on schedule with our new installation. We have hot water. After another couple of days all will be completed.

Jackie continued her work on garden maintenance this morning and I dead-headed a few token roses this afternoon.

Crown Princess Margareta

and Mamma Mia are two of those that keep on giving;

as is Compassion, kindly climbing over the Dead End Path.

Clematis Sieboldii, masquerading as a Passion flower, has surprised us by blooming in the last few days;

geraniums are keeping pace with nasturtiums;

and bees continue their dalliance with dahlias.

Our National Trust has adopted the practice of placing a thistle on the seat of antique chairs in order to deter people from sitting on them. One of our metal chairs in the rose garden has come apart. Naturally it will be used as a planter rather than despatched to the dump. In the meantime, following the National Trust, Jackie has plonked a pot of chrysanthemums thereon.

Later, we drove along Cowpits Lane, Ringwood, turning into Linford Road, which we had not previously traversed. This proved to be a winding tree-lined lane of which the ponies claimed ownership.

The large foal that appears in the first picture of the long gallery attracted my attention as it began licking the tarmac in the middle of the road. The creature was oblivious of the car waiting behind it. I waved my arms about a bit attempting to draw it out of the way. This was to no avail. The driver emerged from his vehicle and adopted a hands on approach. I turned my back on the approaching animal, as it came towards me. This was in order to remove myself from its path. I was going to have to descend a steeper incline than I would have liked. As to be expected my pace increased to an involuntary run. The terrain levelled out, and so did I.

The concerned driver’s female companion yelled to alert him to what had happened. Slaloming around the grazing ponies, Jackie dashed out of the Modus. She and the driver soon stood on either side of me. I lay on my back, quite comfortably working out how I was going to get up. I rolled over and reached for helping hands. Jackie picked up the camera which had dented my forehead and raised my left cheekbone.

This looked much worse than it was. I only had a small cut and a little bruise. More importantly, I now know I can fall over and get up – quite a fear when you’ve just had a new knee fitted. No cameras were harmed in this production.

Elizabeth stayed at Mum’s tonight. Jackie and I dined on Hordle Chinese Take Away’s excellent  fare. Mrs Knight finished the Sauvignon Blanc and I finished the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Three Young Stags

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On this very grey morning Jackie and I took another trip to Burley for the second birthday present. This time we were successful. As for yesterday’s gift, I cannot be more specific, or publish a photograph. After all, I never know who’s reading this.

As we returned along Mill Lane I was struck by how well a pony and foal blended with the wall of the farm building behind them. There were, in fact, two mares and two foals. The youngsters have reached the stage when their tails are growing and they are able to sport splendid Mohican haircuts.

On the far side of a field further down the lane, three young stags seemed not too perturbed by my distant lens.

Elizabeth is spending another night with Mum, who has a chest infection. Jackie and I dined on her flavoursome beef in red wine with onions, peppers, and mushrooms; served with creamy mashed potato, crunchy carrots, and our own runner beans. I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2016. The Culinary Queen had consumed her Becks Blue on the patio beforehand.

The Modus Rocks

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This afternoon Jackie drove me to New Hall Hospital for a physiotherapy session. This was another positive outcome. I am now just 5 degrees short of the knee flexion target of 120. There remains tightness in the tendons and muscles used to straighten the leg. Claire, my physiotherapist, thinks that this dates from the hip replacement nine years ago. She has given me exercises for this and another session has been booked to work on it further.

We took a leisurely drive back home.

At Nomansland we witnessed a comic drama. The waste bins in the New Forest are designed to be pony proof. The effectiveness of this was demonstrated by a pony that didn’t know this. While the animal struggled to gain access, some members of a visiting family paid attention to the mare’s nearby foal. Suddenly they began pointing past me. Having given up with the bin, the mother pony had homed in on the family lunch bags. The human mother was alerted and came to the rescue. Others joined in.

Clouds of flies were, of necessity, ignored by the pestered animals at this site;

and by this family group on the verge of Roger Penny Way.

We parked the car by the side of Manor Farm in Cadnam Lane, which was overrun by three sows and a sounder of piglets. You can’t get much rasher than that. These snorting, grunting, trotting, creatures dashed hither and thither scratching their flanks on anything in sight, including the Modus, which they sent rocking. I needed to guide Jackie when she wanted to drive off, to ensure that she didn’t have a pig in front of her car.

This evening the three of us dined on Mr Chan’s excellent Hordle Chinese Take Away fare. Jackie drank Hoegaarden while Elizabeth and I finished the Merlot

The Food Is Over There

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This afternoon Jackie drove Elizabeth and me to Lymington where my sister visited her Estate Agent. Afterwards we carried on to Pilley in order to introduce the prospective new resident to more of her soon to be local fauna. The ladies also visited the Community Shop where much local information was gathered.

The lake is still very dry, although at least one pony was able to soak its feet in the water while drinking and tugging out the weed, before foraging on the bed. When we visited before the recent storm there had not been sufficient water to reflect the houses in the first two pictures. The animal on the far side had quite a trek from what was the bed of the lake earlier in the year, to take a drink.

The customary number of ponies, with foals, occupied the parched grassy area in front of the terrace of houses alongside the shop.

A young girl and boy were enjoying feeding the ponies from bowls. Their mother, like me, having photographed them, was forced to protest that she had no food for the more persistent beggars, and that they should look elsewhere.

Ponies

We toured the local lanes. May Lane is a cul-de-sac, from the end of which we could see more ponies on Pilley Street.

Finally we enjoyed a drink in the Fleur de Lys, the highly recommended local pub, where we will dine tomorrow.

This evening we savoured more of Jackie’s excellent, hot, chilli con carne. Having downed a pint of Jail ale at the pub I drank water; Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and Elizabeth, more of the Merlot.

Only After Mum Had Enjoyed A Good Scratch

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This afternoon Jackie and I took a drive into the forest.

Skyscape

The recent strong winds and heavy rain have desisted, but the day remained overcast until this evening when the sun returned.

Tree fungus

This bright orange tree fungus at Boldrewood seems to have benefited from its liquid refreshment.

Water is trickling back into the pools, such as this one again attracting ponies.

After having slaked their thirst in a shallow ditch, two families of donkeys trooped along the road at Norley Wood.

Our way was hampered on Holly Lane, Pilley, by a group of ponies, one simultaneously suckling a foal and catching her tail on brambles. I attempted to weave my way between the hind legs of  mares on either side of the narrow lane in order to take a shot from a different angle. This didn’t work, because the mother simply led her offspring further along the road. The manoeuvre did, however, have the benefit of clearing enough space for the Modus. Only after Mum had enjoyed a good scratch.

Elizabeth is spending a couple of days with friends at West End. This evening Jackie and I dined on the carvery at the Walhampton Arms. The service was friendly and efficient and the food unbelievably good value. For £7 a head we were offered a choice of beef, pork, turkey, or a little of each. Three large slices were served with Yorkshire pudding. We then loaded our good sized plates with sage and onion stuffing,  roast and new potatoes, parsnips, carrots, swede, cauliflower, leeks, and runner beans. Gravy was available, as was the appropriate sauces for the meats. My choice was beef; Jackie’s was pork, each perfectly cooked. Jackie drank Amstel and I drank Razor Back.

What Are His Chances?

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Derrick with napkin holderNapkin clip

Jackie tells me that Becky spent months searching for a silver napkin clip, and, just in time for my birthday, found one by James Dixon & Sons Ltd from 1962/3. Presented to me by our daughter and Ian in the restaurant yesterday evening, this is intended to protect my shirts from spillage when I am watching Bargain Hunt on TV at lunchtime.

After said lunch today, I slept through most of the antiques programme and the news. Later Jackie drove us through the forest.

The fly-ravaged ponies and their foals sought shade from the heat wherever  they could. This group of two mares and their foals at the corner of Burley Lawn sheltered in silence. The adults could not open their infested eyes, and their infants clung to the mothers’ flanks, seeking the breeze and screen created by  the parental twitching tails.

At Chapel Haye, where a young girl brought out water, another group spilled across the road.

Ponies and foals drank from the dregs of the dried bed of  Latchmere Stream at Furze Hill, and foraged on the sun-dappled banks.

Donkey foal on Roger Penny Way

The animal death count on this seven mile stretch of Roger Penny Way exceeded 120 last year. What, we wondered, were the chances of this little chap not making the list. Donkeys are apparently impervious to the heat, so he was quite comfortable on the tarmac.

This evening we dined on succulent roast chicken; herby sage & onion stuffing: Yorkshire pudding; mashed potato; Chantenay carrots; chestnut mushrooms; and runner beans. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Newboy.

 

As If There Were Not Enough Foals

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This afternoon Jackie drove me to New Hall Hospital for a session with Claire, the physiotherapist who was very pleased with my progress. The flexion in my left knee has been increased by 20 degrees in the last two weeks. She adjusted the height ofd my crutch handle because she noticed that I lurch sideways on it because it was a bit too low.

As usual we took a cross-country route back home.

Thatched cottage, pony

We passed a picturesque thatched cottage with roses round the door. It faced a green with strangely uneven terrain that was carpeted with

ponies and cattle

Black Baldy cattle

including Black Baldies.

Cow investigating garden

Further along the lane a cow investigated someone’s garden while the next door neighbour had difficulty driving into hers because another blocked her access.

The Fighting Cocks at Godshill was surrounded by even more donkeys and foals than usual. Some of the youngsters clung to their mothers’ flanks, others flopped on the grass. As if there were not enough foals littering the verges, one eager asinine gentleman attempted to participate in the creation of another. He was rebuffed, and brayed his displeasure.

Donkey and foal

When these two set off to cross back over Roger Penny Way, we were a little disconcerted. We needn’t have worried. Having slalomed around numerous equine cousins, all vehicles at this point progressed at a snail’s pace.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid chicken jalfrezi served with boiled basmati rice.