‘Wait For Me, Mum’


This morning I tidied up after some of Jackie’s cutting back yesterday, and was then rewarded by delicious scents from the roses as I dead-headed them.

Elizabeth came to lunch and dinner. This afternoon the three of us drove out to Hyde where we enjoyed refreshments in the café, and the ladies bought plants from the farm shop.

Ford 3Ford 1Ford 2

 We drove on for a while, crossing the ford at Frogham. The stream under the road was as shallow as we have ever seen it.

Tractor wheelsTractor wheel

The rusting tractor parts up on the bank were in no danger of inundation,

Pony mare and foal

and a pony mare and foal set off to find refreshment elsewhere.

Mare and foal crossing road 1

On Roger Penny Way, bringing the traffic to a halt, another pony led her offspring across the road.

Foal running across road after mother

As she bent down to chomp the grass a cry of ‘Wait of me, Mum’ rent the air and the little foal began frantically running after its oblivious parent. I have never seen a foal run before.

Foal hiding under mother

Further on, having similarly crossed the road, another little pony took refuge under its mother, producing a rather deceptive image.

Elizabeth photographing

Before returning home we took a diversion to Bank, near Lyndhurst, where Elizabeth and I took some photographs.


My sister and Rob had lived here when they were young adults, and she took us on a nostalgic wander along the lanes

Forest scene 1Stream 2Stream 3Stream 1

and into the forest with its somewhat depleted stream.

This evening Jackie produced an excellent meal of poached haddock; swede, parsnip, and potato mash; piquant cauliflower cheese, carrots, and  runner beans. Jackie and I both drank Bergerac blanc sec 2016, and Elizabeth chose Louis de Camponac cabernet sauvignon 2016.

P.S. See wfdec’s comment below. He has identified the ‘tractor parts’ as a timber jinker. Many thanks to John.

From Mist To Sunshine And Back


The mist that shrouded the garden never left Downton today.

Motoring further away from the coast into the forest in the mid-afternoon, Jackie and I left the fog behind us and were treated to bright sunshine sending splayed shafts through the trees alongside

Holmsley Passage

Holmsley Passage.

The few leaves that still clung to the slender branches became dancing will-o-the-wisps flirting with autumn’s bronzed ferns;

Forest 5

and individual trunks were spotlit pillars.


Haze surrounded a solitary pony on the roadside approaching Burley, where

pools of recent precipitation reflected housing, trees, and sky.

The herd of red deer that had not been in evidence on our last visit to that village had today, as is their wont, invaded the field in front of the Manor House, where they rendered lawn mowers redundant.

By the time we returned home via Hordle Lane the mist had (in)visibly thickened.

This evening we dined with Becky and Matthew on Jackie’s tasty cottage pie, tender beef in red wine, and piquant cauliflower cheese. I drank Languedoc rouge 2015.

Letting The Toddler Win The Race


This morning we went for a driveabout in the forest.

Squirrel and oak

It is not unusual to notice cartoon character flattened squirrels on the winding lanes. On the very narrow track bounded by thick impenetrable hedgerows that links Newtown with Minstead, a young tree rat caught ahead of the car tried to outrun us. Jackie in turn, attempted to drive slowly enough to allow it to do so. This was a bit like allowing a toddler to win a race. Not until we reached the wider road leading down to the ford named The Splash, did the creature spot a giant oak for which it made a beeline.

The sky was a clear blue, and strong sun filtered through the trees, dappling everything in its path.

Roger Penny Way

This was especially apparent on Roger Penny Way,

Forest pathForest 1Forest 2Dappled trunk

and off the paths on either side of it.


This area was well supplied with ferns,


and the occasional buttercup.

The lane that leads towards The Royal Oak at Fritham drops down steeply, bends frighteningly, then soars up past the pub and on to Eyeworth Pond.

Myrtle Cottage

Behind Myrtle Cottage, which stands in the cleft,


sheep graze on sloping hillsides.

Cyclist and cars

A cyclist took on the challenge of climbing the hill.


When he reached the top, another was preparing to coast down in no time at all.

Please Park Sensibly

The residents of these lanes clearly suffer from overflow parking from The Royal Oak, and have resorted to sensible signage.

Water LiliesWater Lily

The Water Lilies on Eyeworth Pond are in full bloom.

Canada geese

Canada geese dominate the water;


and mallards,

Mallard dappledMallards dappled

when not in full sunlight, are as dappled

Dappled trunk

as the shrubberies.

I had an interesting conversation with another photographer who told me that it was common practice for people to place titbits on the gatepost to attract birds. Apparently there are no takers for peanut butter.


A moorhen (I am grateful to Simon of Quercus Community for this identification) even left the water to investigate today’s offerings.

Blue tits

Other visitors were blue tits,


and chaffinches, which were happy to take their pickings from below. They must have been deterred by whoever shed that feather.

The Hordle Scarecrow Competition is now on.

Scarecrows 1

Scarecrow 1Scarecrow 2Scarecrow 3Scarecrow 4Scarecrow 5Scarecrows 2Scarecrows 3

Seven entrants are propped against the hedge outside Hordle Parish Church.

This evening we dined on haddock and cheese fishcakes, sautéed potatoes, carrots, green beans, courgette bake, and baked beans in tomato sauce. I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2014, while Jackie abstained.

Sherwood Forest Snowballs

I understand there have been smatterings of snow in Nottingham. We, on the other hand, have experienced nothing more chilling than the slight, short-lived, frost early this morning.

It seemed appropriate, therefore, to scan another batch of those recently discovered negatives from December 2003. These record a trip to Sherwood Forest with Jessica, Michael, Heidi, Louisa, Emily, Alice, Oliver, and Paddy the dog. This National Park is somewhat further north than ours.

Sherwood Forest 1

Sherwood Forest 2Sherwood Forest 4Sherwood Forest 12.03 5Tree boleSherwood Forest 12.03 3

That winter was also colder than the current one. The naturally cool tones of these images sets the scene.

Michael, Louisa and Heidi

Here, between Michael and Heidi, stands Louisa;

Louisa 12.03 1Louisa 12.03 2

who then becomes the sole subject.

Michael, Jessica, Louisa, Alice, Emily, Oliver, Paddy and Heidi 12.03 1

Michael, Jessica, Louisa, Alice, Emily, Oliver, Paddy and Heidi 12.03 2Michael, Jessica, Louisa, Alice, Emily, Oliver, Paddy and Heidi 12.03 3

There was just enough snow to make fairly decent snowballs. After lobbing a few, one of which, from Louisa, seems to be coming my way;

Michael, Jessica, Louisa, Alice, Emily, Oliver, Paddy and Heidi 12.03 5Michael, Jessica, Louisa, Alice, Emily, Oliver, Paddy and Heidi 12.03 6

Michael, Jessica, Louisa, Alice, Emily, Oliver, Paddy and Heidi 12.03 4

with Alice bringing up the rear, it was time to move on.

This evening’s dinner was Jackie’s poky pork paprika, dancing onto the plate possibly because of the salsa dip, surplus to Christmas requirements, that the ingenious Cook added to the mix. Perhaps that is also why the rice was wild. There were runner beans as well. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Costieres de Nimes.

After The Rain 2

On a crisp, bright morning with a cloudless blue sky, we took a drive around the New Forest.

Lacking a leaf canopy, the treetop roof, like our kitchen skylight, leaked onto the forest floor.

Reflections in pool 1Reflections on pool 2Reflections in pool 3Reflections in pool 4Reflections in pools 6Reflections on pool 8Reflections in pool 8

These scenes, photographed at Brownhills near Wootton Heath, were repeated throughout our journey. Branches are traced on the surface of pools reflecting various hues of blue contrasting with the seepage from the reddened soil and the

Forest floor 2

fallen leaves. It was possible to ignore the soggy refuse littered about.

Redlands stones

Redlands house name on stone was also reflected in nature’s mirror.

Ponies generally remain deeper in the forest during heavy rain. Today they were everywhere in the forest and on the heathland.

Ponies 2Ponies 3

On Whitefield Moor two members of a basking group appeared to lack the energy to support the weight of their heads. The most likely explanation is that these creatures, usually pretty scrawny by this time of the year, have been eating as if it were Christmas for some months now.

Pony preening

A giant, preening, swan, upon closer inspection turned out to be an itchy pony

Ponies 1

that tail-twitched off after gaining some relief.

Firs 1

The magnificent upright redwood firs of the Rhinefield arboretum burned in the sunlight.

Cattle on road 1Cattle on road 2Cattle on road 3Cattle on road 4

A group of mud-caked, yellow-tagged, curly haired cattle, as they ambled along the road hugging the wall of a thatched cottage at East Boldre, successfully delayed traffic for a while.

The yellow tags on these creatures’ ears denote ownership by the commoners who are entitled to allow their animals to roam free. I have never seen these beasts released from their byres this early in the year.

This evening we dined at Dynasty in Brockenhurst. I enjoyed a king prawn jalfrezi; Jackie’s choice was paneer chaslick ; we shared an egg paratha, special fried rice, and sag paneer; and both drank Kingfisher.

Rosie Lea

This afternoon Jackie drove Becky and me on a recce through the waterlogged forest. On another reasonably warm day, we enjoyed a little sunshine and a lot of showers.

The first stop was near Wootton Bridge on the way to Brockenhurst.

Pool in forest 1Pool in forest 2Pool in forest 3

There we encountered expanding pools of water on the forest floor,

Pool in forest 4Trees and pool 1Trees and pool 2

Stream in forest 1

a swollen stream,

Forest trees 1Trees in forest 2

intermittent sunshine,


and moody clouds above.

Becky, red coat in forest

Becky’s red coat brightened the landscape a bit.

Pony 1

Soon after we continued our journey, I spotted a pony mother and child foraging by the roadside, and prevailed upon my driver to stop. As I emerged from the car, my potential subject, completely oblivious of oncoming traffic, stepped into the road and made a beeline for me. Wary of the ticks these creatures carry, I returned to the passenger seat.

Pony at back window

Becky photographed our friend through the back window.

Pony at passenger window

The beast then walked round to my door and I took over the camera.

Pony holding up traffic

Our continuing progress was then briefly impeded by another pony in the road.

Oak tree

Eventually we arrived at Brockenhurst where the sun now shone on oaks


and lichen alike.

Tea cups

It was time for Rosie. A cup of, that is.

For those readers unfamiliar with Cockney Rhyming slang, tea is Rosie Lea, truncated by omitting the second word.

Rosie Lea's

The proprietors of Rosie Lea’s have chosen the full version in naming their tea shop which won the 2014 Hampshire Food and Drink Awards best tea/coffee shop and customer service awards. Incidentally the Bakehouse, that had the queue across the road yesterday, was the best baker. This photograph also doubles as a selfie for Jackie and me.

Tea and cakes

The cups and saucers in the cabinet photographed above are those used to serve tea in this establishment which also plays ’50s pop music for the customers.

Sway Tower at sunset

Shortly before sunset we returned via Sway Tower, otherwise known as Peterson’s Folly.

Sway Tower trial at sunset

Before building his monument, Judge Peterson erected a trial model, which is shown to the right of this picture.


Sunset was in its prime above Christchurch Road when we arrived home.

We will be eating rather late this evening. This is because Becky and Ian went out earlier and have been held up in traffic. But, fear not. I know what we will be having so I am able to include it and submit this post in reasonable time. It is beef hotpot, carrots, green beans, and cabbage, followed by profiteroles. I will drink more El Sotillo, Jackie will imbibe Hoegaarden, and I expect Ian will have a beer and Becky rose wine. The food will, of course, be cooked to perfection.

She Mistook My Brogues For Acorns

Barrie and Vicki dropped in this morning to present me with Barrie’s new book, ‘Walking in the Sea’. I look forward to reading it.

Ever since my lingering cold in August, I have been feeling decidedly under par, so Jackie persuaded me to visit the GP, made the appointment, and drove me there. After a thorough examination, Dr. Moody-Jones formed the opinion that I have a specific infection and prescribed antibiotics. I have confidence in the diagnosis. We’ll see how we go.

On a very sunny afternoon Jackie drove us through the forest. We enjoyed wood- and heathlands, and the livestock that, having right of way in the New Forest, roam the terrain and the roads.

Leaves on reflective pool

Pools, such as this one formed near Bolderwood, are beginning to varnish the forest floor.

Forest roadForest scapeForest scape 2Forest scape 3Forest scape 4

We stopped for a while near the Ornamental Arboretum.

Pony 1Pony 2

Next stop was Nomansland where ponies grazed on the green,

ShadowsPony's eye

where the lowering sun cast long shadows and glinted in the animals’ eyes.

Pony's hide

The matted, crusty, hide of some of these creatures bore evidence of how muddy their environment has become.

Sow and piglets

As we drove back along Roger Penny Way, a grunting sow followed by squawking offspring, clambering all over each other in their haste, burst through the bracken, dashed along the verge, and came to a halt among a heap of fallen leaves and acorns. They were just like the proverbial pigs in a trough. I was amazed at the amount of noise they made.

At one point the mother left her brood, advanced on me, and, her nose rings grating on my toes, snotted all over my light tan brogues. Eventually she realised they were not acorns, and returned to the trough.

Cattle 1

Cattle 2Pony backlit

On the approach to Beaulieu, a group of cattle, and one pony, grazed on the heath in the warm glow of the setting sun.


Just before we reached the village, rounding the bend in a narrow road, we came hard up against the reason for a bit of a hold-up. A donkey, its rear hooves planted in the road, calmly chomped in a hedge.

This evening we dined on roast lamb, mint sauce, roast and mashed potatoes, carrots, cabbage and corn on the cob. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I abstained.