“They Aren’t Going To Fly Away”


This morning we took a trip back to Gordleton Barn to measure a door I had photographed on our last trip in the hope that it might be suitable to replace our inner front door I don’t like. It was too thick.

The amount of rain that has fallen in the last 48 hours let up only briefly this morning, but we went for a forest drive anyway.

Ponies in mist

Damp ponies, such as these at Wootton, continued to feed on the misty moors,

Pool and reflection

Whilst I was engrossed in photographing the soggy terrain,

Pony in bushes

I glimpsed something among the trees that looked a different brown than the bracken.

It turned out to be a pony brunching on holly.


This gave us the idea of lunching at Holmsley Old Station Tea Rooms. My choice was steak and ale pie, chips, Savoy cabbage, carrots and peas. Just look at that gravy; and the wedges supplied with Jackie’s macaroni cheese, bacon, and salad.


I visited the gents which was, of course, situated at the end of the platform.

Lion sculpture

The harmless looking lions atop the entrance pillars wore lichen masks.

It was in Braggers Lane at Thorney Hill that I became rather mean to a string of be-rugged horses. Stopping to photograph pools leading to a five-barred gate, I noticed these animals far away beside distance trees. Seeing me lean on the gate they scrambled over to me, no doubt expecting to be fed.

Horse in rug

There was no such luck, and they looked somewhat forlorn as they watched me return to the car.


Cattle in a field alongside Thatchers Lane at Sopley melded rather well with the subdued landscape.


There is a deep ditch along this road. It is now well topped up, and clearly held much attraction for the heron that burst from it every time we approached, flew a bit further, and disappeared down below. Despite keen tracking, I was unable to get a decent shot in. eventually it took off across a field and dropped from sight. We then passed a stream flowing at right angles to the ditch. Sure enough, some distance ahead, was our happy quarry. Alongside the stream ran a footpath. I took it. At last the bird sprang out from the undergrowth and presented me with my final opportunity. This was it. Jackie’s message to my readers is: “That took a lot of effort.”

We crossed from Thatchers Lane into Fish Street at Avon. After a while, Jackie stopped suddenly, backed up a bit, then came to a halt. “They aren’t going to fly away”, she exclaimed. “What is that?”, I asked, peering at a grey mass behind a thorn hedge. “An emu” she replied. These birds, of course, cannot fly. Never having seen one before, I was intrigued by the motion of their necks, as they mimicked the movement of a snake charmer’s cobra, curling low in an arc then stretching upright and repeating the dance.

It will come no surprise to anyone who has seen our lunch that all we required this evening was a small slice of pizza with which I drank a little more Shiraz.

58 responses to ““They Aren’t Going To Fly Away””

  1. Some wonderful photographs, Derrick, especially of the emus. It looks like you’re really enjoying the new camera and I have to say I’m enjoying it too.

  2. Wow–Derrick! These photos are wonderful. The heron in flight photo was worth your effort. It made me think hope soaring high into the air. I think it’s the metaphor I need today.

  3. Do the station tea rooms still sell tea pots? They used to. Mum loved it ion there; our last meal as a family before she died was her birthday held there; she would agonise over the menu and almost always plump for ham egg and chips!

  4. The photo of the heron is like an omen – a good one, of course. I appreciate the effort.

    The first book my daughter fell in love with at about 14 months old was called “Edward the Emu”. Its a long poem with cute rhymes about an emu in a zoo who wants to be anything but an emu. “Edward the emu was sick of the zoo. There was nowhere to go. There was nothing to do. And compared to the seals who lived next door, well being an emu was frankly a bore.”

  5. I think perhaps, you should keep a sack of carrots, for the ponies ,in the car for whenever you go out, after all you take their photos, obviously without their permission ,so the least you can do is give them a treat.
    The meat pie looks remarkably like those I bake; but for some reason I’ve never been able to cook a decent chip! ๐Ÿ™
    Those emu’s can be a bit of a problem,in the wild the males will chase and attack your car (best to stay in it) if they think you’re getting to close to his ladies, and they can get up quite a bit of speed too; – the voice of a bad experience.

      • Hello Jackie, had you have remained colonials you would of course have used the correct expressions as we do here in Australia; the penultimate colony, (New Zealand takes the cake they still use/have Knighthoods & Dames-).but being as you ‘spat the dummy’ and threw a perfectly good cargo of tea into the harbour, you, through a nasty Mr Webster, of course, have done your level best, to ruin a perfectly good language. ๐Ÿ™‚
        That being said, if you go to this link, you’ll find that the word boot has it’s origins much deeper in time. http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-boo5.htm
        you’ll note that Sir Wm Penn the father of the founder of you know where, even mentions the boot.
        This is what comes from cutting the umbilical cord, and leaving Mother England.

        :bear: XD

    • Derrick tipped me off that you and I think alike about driving around with carrots for the ponies. Although, I now realize I said keep carrots in the “trunk” of your car. Perhaps I should have said “boot?’ Is that how it goes over there?

    • Dear Brian, I not sure where you think I live or if you know my nationality but I am the Jackie who lives with Derrick as his chauffeur and chef. You are correct, I am not a colonial, Had to laugh when I read your comment re the boot/trunk I meant no offence re the English language, I was just musing. J

      • No problem Jackie, just me stirring the possum, thought you must have been a Yank and I love to get them going/riled It;s great fun ๐Ÿ™‚ :bear:
        I didn’t connect the Jackie’s, and why would I? I’d have thought that the driver/chef had enough to do & put up with besides getting embroiled in my rants ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. You are charming, Mr Derrick, right from the title to the mist and ponies on the soggy moor, the wedges supplied with macaroni cheese, the lion with the lichen mask, the be-rugged horses, the emus, down to the Shiraz.

  7. You always manage to find some magic. I really enjoyed the emus, the sheep staring passively your way and the handsome horses wearing the cheery plaid coats. Not so moved by the Gents picture but interesting that it is named such rather than simply Men. And that steak and ale pie…with gravy!….wish I was eating that tonight! Its reheated spaghetti with sausages and broccoli here…

  8. I love the lion with his lichen mask (may I use him for my writing somewhere down the road?). Poor horses! Ah, well, they shall just have to make do with soggy moss; like the ponies ๐Ÿ˜€

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