Preening Swans

Today the air was cold; the cotton-clouded cerulean skies bright and sunny.

After lunch we took a drive as far as Hatchet Moor and back, enabling me to tramp over the

burnt gorse Nash battlefield beside the lake.

Beaulieu Road is lined with pools surrounding the rooted feet of trees which are generally dry in summer.

Walkers with dogs sought dry land and children sought pools in which gleefully to splash.

Muddy tracks surrounded this extension of Hatchet Pond and its environs, paradise to

stately swans exploring the tufted grasses.

Here is Jackie’s take on the swans as they preened and investigated the tussocks.

She waved from her vantage point on the far side of the water, from which she also photographed fishermen in the battlefield and “Where’s Derrick?” (4).

On our return a shaggy grey pony blocked the entrance to Gaza Avenue in East Boldre, opposite which her equine cousins grazed.

One bay crossed the soggy reflective terrain and was immediately followed by a slightly more mottled specimen.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent beef and mushroom pie; creamy swede and potato mash; firm carrots, tender cabbage, and meaty gravy, with which she drank Hoegaarden and, having opened another bottle, I drank more of the Macon.