Blackberrying Donkeys


I had an interesting conversation at my bank this morning. For some months now there have been placed several bowls of sweets on the counters, for customers to consume. I commented that they still had these on offer. ‘We do look after you’, was the response. ‘Hmm’, I observed. ‘Do you know what letter I received this morning?’ ‘No’, was the reply, ‘I left home before the postal delivery’.’The bank is no longer paying interest on current accounts’, I informed the teller. I was transferring money to France. I doubled the amount. My money might as well be under the mattress.

This afternoon Jackie drove us to Lyndhurst to buy birthday presents, after which we went on a driveabout.


As we left three spiders were waiting in the centre of their webs in the front garden. When we returned, almost three hours later, none had moved.

Lyndhurst High Street 1Lyndhurst Hight Street 2

It is still hot and humid in our environment. With children back at school, the family holiday season is over, but Lyndhurst High Street was still teeming with older visitors,

Ice cream eaters on bench

many of whom were enjoying ice creams

Ice Cream Cone

purchased from one or other of the thriving purveyors.

Goose Green window

The street is well stocked with gift shops, of which Goose Green is a fine example.

At the top of the High Street, on the corner opposite the church of St Michael and all Angels, stands the Lyndhurst Antiques Centre in which Elizabeth holds a cabinet. We took the opportunity to view this and were very impressed with the quality of her stock. We did buy one of the birthday presents from another dealer. It would be too much information on this post to reveal the details.

Down to the Wood 1Down to the Wood 2

Next to this centre there is the double-fronted Down to the Wood, stocked with well-made wooden items. We have shopped there in the past.

Antique car

On the road in the vicinity of Beaulieu, a number of elderly, stately, open-topped motor vehicles were taking the warm air. Some were going at quite a lick, but not as fast as this dodgy photograph suggests.


Also pictured through our car windscreen were some of the many donkeys blackberrying in the hedgerows. You or I might carefully select our berries, pick them off one by one, and drop them into a container brought along for the purpose. Not so these equine creatures. They just chew the whole branch. We had to stop and wait, so I didn’t need to rush the shot.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious Lamb jalfrezi, parathas, and onion rice with an omelette on top. I drank Mendoza Parra Alta malbec 2016.


In ‘The Scent Of A Squirrel’, I described the aroma of dead rodents. A similar, very mild smell has, over a day or two, emanated from our dressing room. Last night, Jackie discovered a leaking radiator therein. Let us hope that dirty dripping onto the ancient carpet beneath it is the cause of the strange pong.

Our nostrils definitely preferred the perfume of the paint Aaron applied to our landing woodwork this morning.

Some of you may know that Jackie and I breakfast on a 12 cup (4 mug) cafetiere of coffee each morning. After a good thirty years, this container is showing signs of wear. We have been searching unsuccessfully for one for a while. Whilst Christmas shopping in Lyndhurst Jackie had noticed a shop where they were on sale. On this damp, overcast, afternoon with temperatures in double figures centigrade, she drove us there to buy one.

New Forest Centre

Considered the ‘Capital of The New Forest’, Lyndhurst boasts the Visitor Centre alongside its car park, which leads into

High Street

the High Street, where the approaching family managed to shepherd their children

Meridien Modena Classiche

across the traffic island on the corner facing what was my local NatWest Bank branch when we lived in Minstead. It is now an adjunct to

Meridien Modena

Meridien Modena where you can buy a Maserati among other luxury cars. Lyndhurst, you see, is rather upmarket.

The Mailman's Arms

The car showrooms extend alongside The Mailman’s Arms,

The Stag Hotel

itself next to The Stag Hotel, also visible in the High Street shot.

Almost every establishment on this high street caters for the thriving tourist trade, although

Shaw Trust

 Shaw Trust is one of several charity shops.

Sweet shop

There is a sweetshop with its goodies in modern plastic jars, the glass versions of which will be familiar to my contemporaries.

The Old Apothecary and Goose Green

The Old Apothecary was probably once a pharmacy, but Goose Green, situated on the road to Emery Down, has, as far as I know, nothing to do with the decisive battle of the 1982 Falklands War.

Pages of Lyndhurst 1

Pages of Lyndhurst 2

Pages of Lyndhurst inside 1

The Entrance to Pages of Lyndhurst suggests that there would be much more than coffee on sale in this Aladdin’s cave. And, indeed, that is where Jackie found the cafetiere.

Pages of Lyndhurst inside 2

They even boast a car showroom to rival Meridien Modena.

Onomatopoeia and Marina's Sandwich Bar

Next door to Marina’s Sandwich Shop lies Onomatopoeia, though why an outlet not in the audio business would choose such a name escapes me.

Jackie outside Christopher Stephens

The young ladies outside Pages were aiming for Christopher Stephens jeweller’s in the side window of which Jackie was inspecting further brooches similar to the one we bought there for Becky.

Served with fresh vegetables, the second half of Jackie’s superb steak and mushroom pie was enjoyed for our dinner tonight. I finished the chianti and Jackie drank Hoegaarden.