The Rain Kept Off

Today was forecast to be another of sunshine and showers, so we drove out early for a brunch at Hockey’s Farm Shop. In the event, although rain threatened on the way out

through Walkford,

along Ringwood Road,

along flooded and reflecting Gorley Road where skies were blue, and maple leaves sunlit;

and on our post prandial return along Roger Penny Way,

Lyndhurst Road,

and from sun-tipped clouds above Lyndhurst we felt none, although leaves swirled about like golden showers and acorns and other mast clattered upon the car roof.

The clear water at Ibsley Ford sped under and over the bridge,

offering vehicle drivers the opportunity for a free car wash, while

a sunny interval dappled the nearby woodland.

Gleeful Gloucester Old Spots at North Gorley, joined on the road by a friendly equestrienne, rejoiced in collecting much of the earlier mentioned mast in the continuing pannage season.

After enjoying her Laura’s favourite meal Jackie satisfied herself with photographing the cakes and hollyhocks at Hockeys, before visiting the aviary and focussing on some of the residents, namely

a zebra finch, a cockatiel, several diamond doves, and three cuddly budgerigars.

Needless to say, I didn’t manage to finish reading Priestley, but I did cover a lot more.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s succulent, well filled beef and onion pie beneath firm short crust pastry; crisp roast potatoes; carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts, well timed to arrive al dente together, and meaty gravy with which the Culinary Queen drank Peroni and I drank Chilean Reserva Privada Malbec 2022.

Playing Cat And Mouse


Until late afternoon I rather dozed the time away today. Jackie then drove me to the north of the forest and back. I was able to swing my left leg into the car without falling foul of the bottom of the passenger door.

As we approached Ibsley we were held up by ponies blocking the road. The first of these photographs was taken through the windscreen. Jackie wasn’t really able to manoeuvre the car into a position for me to use my passenger seat window, so I nipped onto the verge to take the second shot.

Knowing that these animals were likely to cross the now dry ford, we decided to position ourselves ahead for them and wait for their arrival. The first of these images was made while standing beside the car; the second, after I had settled back inside, through the driver’s window.

We crossed the ford ahead of the ponies, and waited. And waited. And waited some more. The creatures remained beside the bank of the stream. Once more I disembarked and advanced on the horses with the aid of my crutch. Giving me just time enough to reach the other bank, the beasts, en masse, rounded the corner, crossed the ford, and  surrounded the car. By the time I reached it they were wandering into the shade. They may not have known that we were playing cat and mouse, but they won anyway.

A little further along the road a pale ochre cow, as if in a rugby ruck, picked its way over a heap of prone players before settling down to chew the cud. Jackie had positioned the car suitable for me to take these through my own window.

Donkeys on the road at Hyde were unusually frisky. I took the first of these pictures  through the windscreen, the other two through Jackie’s open window.

The pond at Abbots Well is looking quite dry, but it still attracted cattle for a drink. Two calves, like any other pair of playful infants, bounded round to the far side of the water before slaking their thirst on their own.

We dined this evening on beef burgers, fried onions, creamy mashed potato, crunchy carrots, and cabbage, with tasty gravy.