sunshine and snouts

First things first: congratulations to all the World Fantasy Award winners and nominees! I’ll write more about the con, but need to wait until I have a proper keyboard again. Until then, I’ll just say that I owe too many people drinks!

I had to leave in the middle of the awards ceremony to catch a train, and through stations untold and buses unnumbered, in the rain, and overencumbered, I made it from Brighton to Southampton in just under four hours. After a final trial of station stairs, mine host at the b&b collected me, and soon there was a hot bath, a soft warm bed with a gorgeous floral headboard, and a¬†salmon pink divan on which I could recline and pretend to be Anatole France’s Satan by the Ganges if only I could be bothered removing the litter of belongings I’ve dumped on it – though I suppose I could pretend to be Satan lying on a pile of emery boards and borrowed Banlon singlets.

Day emerged clear and sunny, looking bloody determined to stay that way, and it did. I wandered a bit in the village, then headed out into the woods and fields, encountering the ponies for which the New Forest is famous and, as a bonus, pigs, who are allowed to wander free in acorn season to “pannage” – eating acorns so that the horses don’t. I’ve seen pigs splashing through a stream, making the acquaintance of bicycles, on acorn-eating duty, and two with patterned coats crossing the road like two fat ladies in smart frocks. I’ve also seen deer, at dusk and a distance, and have the photos of little brown smudges indistinguishable from trees to prove it.

6 thoughts on “sunshine and snouts

  1. I’ve always wanted to visit the New Forest. It’s ironic I’ve not yet made it there. I shall dream Marryat-dreams tonight and pretend they’re Medieval.

    • Sorry, for some reason your comments ended up pending and I couldn’t wrangle with the site on the phone to approve them. The forest was lovely (as forests are wont to be), though carless travel between villages — or the village I was in and the next village, at any rate — wasn’t all that easy. Also, I’ve learned that harvest mice are highly watchable, and bison aren’t extinct.

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