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.

Keen To Chew Oak Cud

This afternoon I e-mailed a full set of yesterday’s dinner photographs to Becky. These included two more,

not posted yesterday, of herself and Flo taken by Jackie; and of her daughter with her grandparents taken by our daughter.

Later Jackie visited Ferndene Farm Shop, then took me on a short forest drive.

The preponderance of black foals outside Holmsley Campsite prompted speculation from a young woman to whom I spoke about how many had been sired by the same stallion. I mentioned that I had been told that the offspring of grey ponies never begin with their mother’s colouring although they may grow into it later.

Around the corner in Forest Road a cow, keen to chew oak cud, craned her neck to pull down a suitable branch.

Along Wilverley Road a posse of ponies played disrupt the traffic, while others grazed on greening grass. There a foal bore its mother’s colouring.

Later Jackie photographed a group of caterpillars sawing their way through the leaves of her variegated poplar in order to ask readers if anyone can identify them.

Yesterday evening Jackie’s Sampan dish was too hot for her so we ordered a Pasanda instead, and brought the hotter meal home for me this evening. I enjoyed it, served with Jackie’s omelette-topped savoury rice and a paratha. That, in football parlance, was a result. The others tucked into two types of prawn preparation instead. The Culinary Queen drank more of the French white wine; I drank more of the Shiraz; Dillon, Magner’s Cider, and Flo, a fruit drink.

Poisonous To Them

On a much cooler and overcast morning Jackie drove me into the forest.

The water tubs at the start of Sowley Lane had been refilled, and we saw another on St Leonard’s Road.

Barley fields on either side of Tanner’s Lane are producing fine crops, perhaps a little early.

Against the backdrop of the Isle of Wight the Solent gently rippled with choppy waves slipping over the grating shingle beach.

Plants clinging to the ancient stone walls of St Leonard’s Granary, and the sweep of sward outside the grange were beginning to die back, although the no doubt well irrigated lavender borders remained bright.

The pool alongside the Grange where we often see groups of ponies drinking was becoming very dry. The close-up of the marsh ragwort was produced by Jackie.

The ponies and foals gathered together further along St Leonard’s Road know instinctively to avoid the familiar yellow plants which are poisonous to them.

This afternoon the clouds were swept away from the garden as the sun brought back the heat. Later Flo watered and dead-headed; Jackie planted, watered, and dead-headed; I just dead-headed – quite a lot.

This evening we dined on succulent roast chicken; crisp Yorkshire pudding; boiled new potatoes; crunchy carrots; firm cauliflower and broccoli; tender green beans; and tasty gravy, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden, Flo drank mixed fruit cordial, and I finished the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Mind The Sheep

This afternoon we drove Flo to her parents’ flat at Southbourne where she is to spend a few days.

On our return we drove up Roger Penny Way from Cadnam roundabout and back home via North Gorley.

Brook Cottage, standing beside the Green Dragon pub on Roger Penny Way, is of a standard New Forest Design.

I forget the name of the thatched cottage across the road that has a team of what I think are horned sheep (maybe Wiltshire breed)

keeping the grass down.

Three of these nonchalantly test the drivers of vehicles coming round the bend.

Further along the road towards Godshill ponies and foals graze the verges. Opposite these a crow is reflected in a still pond.

I stepped out at Ashley Walk car park to remind myself of my having strode over these moors not so very long ago.

Donkeys at Godshill Cricket ground are busy shedding their winter coats, possibly because they have heard we are due a heat wave next week.

This evening we snacked on scrambled egg on toast. I’m still trying to get over Monday’s ultimate mixed grill.

An Unpleasant Condition?

This morning Jackie chopped up all the recent garden refuse too large to be composted, for burning, which Flo did this evening, or dumping at the recycling centre; I dead-headed and weeded.

For some days now we have been aware of a goldfinch incubating the contents of a nest in Wedding Day rose. We only have to walk under the supporting arch for the parent to fly off.

Jackie decided to photograph the nest as it is without the parent.

Or is it without a carer?

After lunch we took a forest drive.

Beside the ford at Brockenhurst, now bearing enough stream water for vehicles to create a splash,

a young foal, its too long legs splayed for grazing, attracted much attention from visitors and a friendly woman on a seat with a gentle dog on a leash. I wondered why the equally amenable foal appeared to have lost chunks of fur. Suddenly, coming face to face with the companionable canine, the spooked equine rushed round and round the green, eventually settling at a safe distance from the bench. Had the infant been attacked by a different dog? Was this a skin condition which needed attention?

The two adult ponies among the buttercups remained unconcerned.

At Waters Green cattle slept and ponies grazed,

foals having a penchant for ditches.

Jackie photographed me as I wandered among them,

and found her own foal in a ditch.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s pasta Bolognese or Carbonara, according to taste; Lidl Aberdeen Angus burgers; tender asparagus and green beans, with which I drank more of the Ponce de Leon and Flo drank mixed fruit cordial, while Jackie abstained.


After lunch I posted https://derrickjknight.com/2022/06/26/diary-of-a-good-neighbour/

Then Jackie and I visited Jools, Sean, and Pumpkin at

where we engaged in enjoyable conversation, Jackie bought a plant, and I

wandered freely with my camera.

Afterwards we went on a foal hunt.

Donkeys on Bull Hill were the first to oblige.

It was only two days ago that we mentioned that we had never seen any

Shetland foals. Today we spied a few through trees at Norley Wood.

A satisfied crow had more success in catching the thatched hare at East End than the chasing fox ever would.

Before dinner I watched the highlights of the fourth day’s play in the Test match between England and New Zealand.

Afterwards the three of us dined on second helpings of yesterday’s Red Chilli takeaway with the addition of Jackie’ s paneer dish with which she drank Hoegaarden, I finished the Fleurie, and Flo abstained.

Too Close

This morning I posted https://derrickjknight.com/2022/06/24/a-knights-tale-141-why-i-bought-no-3-rue-saint-jacques/

After lunch Jackie and I took a forest drive through Beachern Wood to Ober Corner where

ponies and their foals rested in the still overcast and humid atmosphere.

One suckler was welcomed – anther was given a clear message that he was getting too close.

I walked through the woodland to

the now shallow Ober Water.

Some tree roots are very exposed.

Another holds a sign rigidly in position – I think it reads Special Place.

Ponies on Rhinefield Road at the approach to Brockenhurst seemed to wonder what our problem was.

Ian returned to his home in Southbourne this afternoon so he was unable to partake of Jackie’s succulent beef pie; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; boiled potatoes; and tender runner beans with meaty gravy with which she drank more of the Entre-Deux-Mers, Flo drank elderflower cordial and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2019.

I do hope he managed to see the highlights of the second day of the third Test between England and New Zealand, which I did.

Shadows And Reflections

This morning I made a good start on clearing the upstairs sitting room for occupation. The many pictures have been stacked up for final sorting – those for passing on, others which have frames that may be useful to Charity Shops, and those which can be ditched. Eventually various items of furniture will find their own positions.

This afternoon I posted:

Later, Jackie and I took a forest drive.

Our first stop was on Brockenhurst Road where ponies often gather and vie for shelter beneath two spindly trees.

An equine Kindergarten was taking place at the corner of Rhinefield and Meerut Roads. It was sleep time for the younger foals.

Further along bright woodland reflections lit the surface of the stream slowly flowing under Rhinefield Road.

This evening we all dined on tender roast lamb; roast potatoes, including the sweet variety; firm cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden; Becky, Zesty; Ian, Moretti; Flo, Elderflower Cordial; and I more of the Cabernet Sauvignon.

A Miracle

Early this morning Jackie and I bought more bedding plants from Ferndene Farm Shop, then continued into the forest.

Much of the day, though still warm, was overcast with the occasional smattering of rain. As we drove up Bolderwood Drive the contrasts in the woodland light from


to sun-splashed was quite marked. As usual each of the above images bears a title in the gallery.

Jackie parked the car at Milkham so that I could walk back to photograph these ponies occupying the landscape.

She photographed me walking back through the heather laden moorland.

Further along the road a group of ponies and their foals wandered onto the tarmac. All along this stretch of road the only possibility of vehicles avoiding nose to nose confrontation is by waiting in the designated passing spots, so it will be obvious that the approaching cyclists had more chance of evading the ponies than we did.

Off the road a pair of adults groomed each other, whilst a foal wandered off.

When we reached Appleslade, a similar youngster left his mother’s side until

she began frantically to roll

from side to side,

arching her back,

in a desperate attempt to

dislodge the flies that tormented her lactating teats.

It was a miracle that her hoofs did not clatter into her anxious progeny

who then emulated his mother.

This afternoon I watched the thrilling rugby Premiership cup final between Leicester and Saracens.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s tasty pasta Bolognese supplemented by left over pizzas with which she drank Hoegaarden, Becky drank Zesty, Ian drank Amoretti, and I drank more of the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Rich Pickings

This morning Nick completed his painting of the garden room and vacuumed and tidied everything, as he always does.

After lunch Jackie drove me into the forest.

As I walked down the slope from Wilverley Road to capture the views of Longslade Bottom, its landscape festooned with ponies, foals, and dog walkers

I noticed buttercups and daisies on the lush verges and blackberry blossom and ferns flanking the stony tracks produced by generations of wildlife.

At the corner of the dog-rose-lined Armstrong Lane on the approach to Brockenhurst a small group of ponies including a leggy foal and their short limbed Shetland acolyte grazed among glowing buttercups; while another group preferred to shelter in the dappled shade. Perhaps the couple in the last image, prone to weird moaning sounds and a certain amount of head butting, were engaged in some kind of unrequited courtship ritual.

On the bridge over the ford at Brockenhurst a group of amused tourists photographed ponies on the road.

Along Meerut Road a woman approached a small highland cow, and seemingly oblivious of this bovine, stood beside it photographing the landscape and pointing out something of interest to her male companion.

I wandered over to a pony and foal and discovered that some small corvine creatures had found rich pickings at the equine hoofs.

This evening we all dined on Becky’s flavoursome savoury rice; succulent chicken Kiev; fresh salad; and tomatoes with mozzarella and basil. Jackie, our daughter, and son-in-law drank Rosé Prosecco; I drank Château Sainte-Clotilde Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux 2018; and Flo abstained.