Oh I had a treat and a half today. I was invited to go for a ride with Hollie and Anne, Willow the Shire horse and the carriage. They picked me up outside the house.
And off we went up the lane at a very stately pace.
Willow has been training for 6 weeks and Hollie has been taking her out each day. We often hear her clip clopping by. My sister Paula said she could hear us from her garden which is just across the field.
Well it was pretty high up and we got a good view into everyone`s gardens and across the fields and hedges.
It was a perfect day. Lots of people calling from their cars as they passed .... "what a pleasure to see" etc and lots of greetings from villagers.
The carriage definitely has a feel-good factor.
We picked up a passenger, another Anne, for a short ride .... she was striding off to Pett Level for a swim. We dropped her off at Pannel Lane.
In the lane the blackberries were hanging thick and ripe, the chestnuts were pale green and the hawthorn was a rich red. We passed the tall willow trees being grown to make cricket bats and Hollie executed a perfect turn near the stream.
The pace was restful, the sound of the hooves mesmerising and the early autumn countryside glorious in baking sunshine.
It was particularly lovely in the shady parts of the lane where Willow made a sterling effort up the hills.
After a bit of a haul, where Anne nobly alighted and pushed, in order to help Willow, we stopped for very welcome refreshments which was a lovely surprise .... juice and fruit cake. Perfect.
We came back along the Pett Road, past the Two Sawyers and so back into our own Watermill Lane and on down to the farm.
This is me at about one year old in my special seat with my Dad, delivering logs to customers in Fairlight, with our horse Jim and the cart. I remember it well and the giggling between me and Dad when the horse did a pooh. I was pretty close to the tail.