The Food Is Over There

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE IN A GROUP TO ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT. THE FINAL, SINGLE, PICTURE, CAN BE ENLARGED WITH A CLICK OR TWO.

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

SINGLE IMAGES CAN BE ENLARGED WITH A CLICK OR TWO. CLICKING ON ANY OF THOSE IN A GROUP ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT

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?

THE FINAL SINGLE PICTURE CAN BE ENLARGED WITH A CLICK OR TWO. CLICKING ON ANY OF THE OTHERS ACCESSES ITS RELEVANT GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT

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

SINGLE IMAGES CAN BE ENLARGED WITH A CLICK OR TWO. CLICKING ON ANY OF THOSE IN A GROUP WILL ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT.

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.

 

 

The Card Case

Yesterday afternoon Jackie drove me to New Hall Hospital for my first post-discharge physiotherapy session. We arrived 20 minutes early and I homed in on a large and wide chair with high arms. Jackie informed me it was the bariatric chair. Just the job. What was interesting was that this was tolerable on the knee.

I was seen on time by a friendly, personable, and efficient physiotherapist who asked all the usual questions and tested me out on the bed. She was pleased with progress which she pronounced very good. Strangely enough, the most encouraging statement was that this was “very early days”. To me, that meant that the continuing pain, swelling, and limited flexibility was to be expected at this stage. One sometimes clutches at straws.

The only suggestion the young lady had to make was that I should flex the knee a little more when walking. Perhaps I had been a little hasty with that. I have another appointment in two weeks.

We returned via the lanes of Wiltshire and Hampshire taking us through the New Forest to home.

Dog roses

As always in May, the roadside verges were at their best, featuring among many wild flowers, dog roses festooning the hedges. These were at Hamptworth.

For some months now, I have relied on Jackie to park as near as she can to prospective photographic subjects, whereupon I have disembarked and walked back to the potential scene. This has currently become rather more complicated. Not only has my driver had to find a less than dangerous place to stop, but she has been required to manoeuvre the car so that I can take aim through the passenger window. she has as much to do with these photographs as I have.

Pony and foal

New foals stagger to their feet very quickly, and are forced to learn to negotiate the uneven terrain pretty much on their own. When Mum stands in a ditch, her offspring has to follow as best it can.

Ponies and foals

Foals were also discovering the wider world near Wootton Common. This group of ponies foraged among the buttercups.

Pony and foal

One youngster set off into the woods,

Ponies and foal

then waited patiently for adult company before venturing across knotted mossy tree roots.

That evening we dined on Mr Chan’s Take Away fare, leaving enough for a second helping tonight.

During my years of therapeutic counselling, I would sometimes see one or two clients who could not afford it for a minimal token fee. One of these was a young man who had no income at all. Every so often he would bring me a present. I still have a little fruit knife and some paperback books from this source.

I believe I have mentioned before that Becky has produced blog cards for me to give to people I meet who would like to read my posts.

Card Case

One of my client’s gifts was a beautiful micro-mosaic visiting card case. I used this to carry Becky’s production.

When, almost a month ago, I had visited Milford Community Centre to hand over some of these cards to W.I. members, I thought I had lost this treasured possession. I had not left it at the centre. Today, Jackie had another good look for it, and found it under one of the car seats.

This afternoon Margery and Paul visited and we had our usual enjoyable conversations. Margery, herself a nonagenarian who received a new hip a couple of years ago and now wanders unaided around our garden, is an encouragement by her very presence. She has seen parts of our garden that I have not yet been able to reach.

 

Birthday Celebrations

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE IN THE GROUP TO ACCESS THE GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CLICKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT

There can’t be many lovely ladies who begin their 70th Birthday celebrations by cleaning up their husband and deliver his ‘shiny morning face creeping like snail’ to a Practice Nurse for removal of metal clips from his knee. That, I am pleased to say, was what Jackie did this morning. She managed to manoeuvre me into the car and drive me to Wistaria GP practice in Lymigton, where I was seen on time. Nurse Libby carefully removed the alien items, pronounced the wound healed, and stated that I was doing very well. This was something of a surprise, given that I don’t actually feel very far progressed. I have to remember that it is only two weeks since the surgery.

Since we were already out in the wide world, we decided to defer prising me from the Modus and take a short diversionary trip home.

 On the misty, muggy, moors, families of ponies and a few cattle were kind enough to adopt posing positions at Shirley Holms and Sway, enabling me to record their presence photographically by poking my lens through the open window.

It was, as always, enjoyable to have Richard pay a passing visit at lunchtime. We may have to postpone the planned curry evening next week with him and Marianne.

This afternoon Shelly and Ron visited with a birthday present. Jackie opened both this and one Helen had left on Tuesday. Two very welcome items for the garden.

Andrew Petcher having posted that today is official fish and chip day provided us with the ideal completion of Jackie’s idiosyncratic birthday celebrations. We dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips with Garner’s pickled onions

Forest Fauna

CLICK ON ANY ITEM IN A GROUP TO ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CLICKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT

This morning we transported two huge bags of garden refuse to the Efford Recycling Centre, then drove on to Peacock Computers at Lymington to collect my MacBook and the dongle which enables me to load pictures from my camera.

On this beautifully sunny day we then drove on through the forest.

Of the many groups of somnolent ponies foraging among the gorse and May blossom, the first to catch my eye were those moseying around the moors beside East Boldre. Some simply chomped; one appeared to be resting its neck by standing in a dry ditch; others rested their legs, rising awkwardly to their feet; waited for a bus at a request stop, or occasionally wandered across the road.

Further along towards the Norleywood crossroads a pair of similarly spindly-legged foals were learning to get to grips with the uneven terrain. When they considered I had come a little too close each darted to its own respective mother.

Some of the forest pools still contain enough water in which cattle can slake their thirst. Calves and their parents drank at this one before crossing the road to comparative shade. One protective parent persuaded me to step aside before leaving its offspring to follow.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious beef stew, new potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, and curly kale. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Apothic.