Rooks in field 12.12This was a dismal, drowned, day.  Were I of a depressive nature I would have been rather down.  Beset by steady rain I walked, with one diversion, the route round Football Green, past Shave Wood and through London Minstead.

Apart from a field of rooks, the only living creatures I encountered pulled at my heartstrings.  I called at the home of their owners to deliver a couple of prints I had made of the photographs I took of Primrose and Champion on 16th.  The garden was rather cluttered and it had been many years since the front facade had received any maintenance.  I thought my knock was going to be unanswered until, through the side window I saw a backlit head some distance down the hall.  A woman tottered awkwardly towards me as I held the pictures up to the window.  It took her such a painful time to arrive at the door, that I rather regretted being the cause of her discomfort.  Soon the door opened and an even older version of the two women I had spoken to when watching the horses peered distractedly at me.  She didn’t seem to take in what I said and could only repeat ‘They’ve gone out.  I don’t know where they went.’  I managed to get her to allow me to place the photographs on top of some hats and gloves on a shelf; to repeat ‘please give them to Audrey, Mrs. Saunders’; and to tell her my name.  I hoped they would find their intended recipient safely.

I walked on past the two horses.  They were enjoying a meal of fresh, dry, hay in a mudbath.  Champion was coughing badly as he consumed his share of the food.  Primrose struggled to walk around him to find hers.  I was later to experience the strength of the suction the mud pools applied to her hoofs.  They were continuing to endure most unpleasant conditions.

I took an unnamed road on the left almost opposite The Trusty Servant.  This led to the near side of Football Green.  I decided to cut the corner here and walk across the waterlogged field.  This was manageable, so I decided to go for broke and cross a bit of forest instead of taking a gravel track to the road. Shoe in mud 12.12 This is when I experienced the pull of the mud.  This time the shoe tugged from under me was difficult to find.  I had fantasies of having to phone Jackie to come and help me retrieve it.  It took me a while to clean up when I returned home.

Muddy pony 12.12A couple of muddy ponies on the football field looked pretty forlorn.

In the pitch-dark rainswept evening, having addressed the last of our Christmas cards, we dashed to catch the last post at Lyndurst.  Swiftly slaloming around the backsides of several pantomime cows protruding from Minstead’s hedges, Jackie slowed for a rabbit crossing the road.  (Thank you, Paul Scott, for the pantomime image).

This evening we dined on Jackie’s cottage pie followed by bread and butter pudding.  She drank a little more of the South African chardonnay and I began a Piccini riserva chianti 2009.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.