The Null Device

A bike ride in the New Forest

Your Humble Narrator recently travelled out of London and stayed briefly in the town of Brockenhurst, on the border of the somewhat misnamed New Forest.

Brockenhurst is a small country town in Hampshire (south-west of London); it either is or was cattle-farming country; at any time, there are cows and horses wandering about, and streets are fitted with strategically-placed cattle grids (as are many driveways). I was struck by how similar it looked to Australian country towns; of course, Australia got its agricultural and civic traditions mostly from Britain, but I didn't think there'd be so much similarity; the streets are slightly narrower, the houses older, and there are no eucalypts, but other than that, Brockenhurst could easily have been somewhere near Echuca or Dubbo. Except, possibly, for the pictures apparently mocking an Australian sports team above the bar at the pub:

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During his stay there, Your Humble Narrator managed to bicycle through the New Forest proper. It's quite a picturesque place; contrary to the name, it's not new, but one of the largest stretches of original forest in Britain, having been preserved since the time of William the Conqueror (who used it as a hunting preserve). It's also inhabited by wild ponies, which roam pretty much at will (except for fenced areas where they are kept out, as not to eat newly-planted trees and such). Anyway, there are some photos here.

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