Saturday, 10 January 2009

Ponies and hoar frost

My business operates from 8 sites in and around the incredibly beautiful Exmoor area. In the course of my "work" I regularly have to drive through this lovely scenery. I'm sure you all pity me...

If I'm not staying a
long time at a site, or it's a site that she can get into. Marie will accompany me on my travels. I get quality company and she gets out of the house - it's mutually advantageous. Now that we have a dog and I have to exercise him, I often bring him along too. Then I can stop in some picturesque place or other and allow him to investigate the area. I don't do this for me, you understand, it's for the dog.

This morning was one of those times when I was accompanied by Marie and Blaze. It was quite early and we were driving over
Winsford Hill. The road was extremely slippery since the previous night's hoar frost hadn't cleared. However, the frost added its own special beauty to the landscape. It was one of those magical winter mornings, when the air is still and so clear that you can feel its purity when you breathe it, and the sun gives everything a special vividness. I just had to stop atop a small hill on the moor to take the dog for a walk. We had been exploring some of the tracks which crisscross the moor when, out of the blue, we came across a small herd of Exmoor ponies.

These ponies roam wild throughout Exmoor but being shy, you can't normally get close to them. This morning was the exception. I got within 2 metres of the herd. Blaze, on the other hand, stopped about 5m from the herd. He was frightened of them!

Marie, unable to join Blaze & me for a walk, could only view the ponies from a distance in the safety of our car. Nevertheless, the sheer beauty of the surroundings this area and its environs meant that she really enjoyed our drive today.


rosiero said...

How lovely to get that close to the ponies. I have not been to Exmoor but Greg and I used to go camping fairly frequently at weekends in the New Forest where the wild ponies roam around the tents! I hope Marie will come out more often with you and Blaze and perhaps see what she is missing. I am sorry she seems to be worse. Is there nowhere where she can get help with reducing the anxiety. Some hospital physiotherapy departments do relaxation techniques which can then be used to face the phobia head-on. Your story about Colm is very sad. You certainly have had more than your share of troubles.

Kit Courteney said...

How wonderful that you can get out with Marie and Blaze. Even if Marie cannot leave the car, it is so lovely that you both can have trips out together to such beautiful places.

I have never been to Exmoor, although I have been across Dartmoor, as my 'dreaded' inlaws live down that way.

You write so well... and I'm STILL waiting for more news on Colm as a baby!!

Robert said...

rosiero - I take Marie out whenever I can. Mostly it has to be without the children as they are not as tolerant as I about staying within shouting distance of the car. As with Greg, Marie will only sort out her problem when she REALLY wants to. Although it might seem that I have had quite a few troubles, I have had (and am stillhaving!) a rich and varied life, so I'm not complaining!

KC - Exmoor isn't far away from Dartmoor, so perhaps you could pop round sometime when you are visiting your lovely inlaws ;0) More about Colm soon, when I find the time to continue his story.

Kaci said...

What nice scenery! It must have been nice to be able to enjoy it with Marie and Blaze. It's good to hear that she is able to enjoy the drive.

Nechtan said...

It looks lovely there. There is something liberating in being close to wild wild animals and not seeing them through glass or a fence. Those kind of crisp mornings are the kind I like best.

Although in saying that I remember being a bit freaked out when my wife and I were in Oban and got a little boat across to the island of Karera. We turned a corner and were confronted with roaming sheep as far as the eye could see. They all just seemed to turn in stare like a stranger going into a local pub and I felt quite unsettled like I was waiting for a charge. But ponies are lovely, sheep are sinister.

All the best


Robert said...

Kaci - We're lucky to live in an area where we are surrounded by a variety of beautiful scenery.

Nechtan - I never thought about it before, but you are right about the sheep. Although this is predominantly cattle country, there are plenty of sheep on the higher hills, and yes, they all look at you, almost in unison, when you come within a certain distance of them. Of course, they are just waiting for the moment when I get too close and then they'll flee...but before they do, it is an odd picture - the sheep looking at you looking at them looking at you...

nightworrier said...

Thanks for your help I relate to your wife alot. Sorry I didn't reply earlier Nightworrier here. Thanks very much Bonny makes me very happy.
I have some inner stuggle still. Thanks for some light.