Updated: Jan 11
I headed back along the track and turned right onto the road to continue on. The road dropped under the main A31 East-West road across the Forest. Shortly thereafter, it became densely wooded. Just then, the road forks. The right fork is called Bolderwood Arboretum Ornamental Drive. No prizes for guessing which road I took!
I kept a careful lookout for somewhere suitable to park up. Then, I saw it! I almost passed by it. Fortunately, I was proceeding quite slowly. (Just as well I’ve got tiger stripes on the back😉) I spotted a clearing among the trees on my right. I pulled in. As the parking area opened up, I stopped and looked around. I then spotted a small track that tightly led round some trees to where there appeared to be a wide enough circle to turn round. I thought, “If I’m lucky, I could get round there. I would then be hidden away and unseen from the road.” I went for a walk to check the possibility. There’s no way I would be able to get out if after going for it, it turned out to be too tight.
I had a good look. It was tight, but I satisfied myself that it could be done, as long as I kept to the right line. The turning circle was going to be no problem and getting back out was doable as I would have a better angle to approach the turn. I was right. It was tight! Very! I did the U-turn and parked myself right up against the trees. A fantastic spot. It was lovely and peaceful.
In the afternoon of the second day, I got a telephone call from Tony, who I’d first met at the Sanctuary. What can I say about Tony? It’s complicated. He used to be a she. He explained to me why he chose to mutilate his body. Psychologically, he had difficulty accepting having a sex. He feels that he is sexless; neither male nor female. He has serious bouts of depression and has a serious tobacco addiction; He smokes tobacco bongs!
Anyway, Tony ‘phoned me. He asked as to where I was. I told him that I was in the New Forest. He asked, “Where?” I told him. A few hours later, I spotted his van slowly pass by. Then stop and reverse. He pulled into the parking area. I greeted him on his arrival.
At some point the next day, I was about to go for a walk. Tony noticed and asked me where I was going. I told him that I was going for a walk. “I’ll come with you.” he said.
“OK”, said I.
He then said that he would bring his dog. I said, “Ah, sorry, I’d rather you didn’t as the cats are coming with me.”
“What?” he exclaimed, “The cats go for walks with you!? I’ve got to see this. I’ll leave the dog behind.”
We then went for a stroll for a couple or few hours. Tony was amazed. “That’s what we do.” I said, “We often go for walks.” (We always have, you may remember the walks when they were kittens.)* We visited the Knightwood Oak; the largest Oak in the Forest. It is over 500 years old and still growing.
I picked some mushrooms, mainly boletes and Fly Agaric. We spotted deer.
The cats had a wonderful time.
We were then met by a sounder of pigs upon our return.
Later on, the forest rangers appeared. Unfortunately, Tony’s van stuck out like a sore thumb. And it was in plain site! Tony was having a brew at my place. The rangers came over. They asked about Tony’s van. Tony claimed it. He went with the rangers to talk to them. One came back to me. He informed me that there was no overnight parking allowed in the Forest. He also said that if I was still there in the morning, he would have no choice but to place a notification on my vehicle, which if not adhered to, would lead to a fine. I said, “OK. Well, I’m not going to argue law and legislation with you. You won’t know what I’m talking about, so you do whatever you feel your job requires you to do and I’ll just get on with my life.”
Once the rangers had left. Tony came over and asked about how I had dealt with the situation. I just explained that I invited them to do their job and that it does not effect me as there is a legal process that they have to follow, which requires an address, which is something I don’t have and that in any case, by the time they try to impose anything, I’ll be long gone.
Can you believe? The police then turned up! I told them the same as I had the rangers. I explained to Tony that the problem had come about, a, as his van stuck out like a sore thumb, plainly seen from the road, which attracts attention, whereas I’m hidden away out of site and b, there was now two vehicles. In their mind, two vehicles lead to more vehicles, which leads to trouble. He asked about what I was going to do. I said, “It’s time for me to move on, anyway. I shall be heading on in the morning.”
He asked, “Where are you going?”
I said that I would be heading eastward across the Forest, then on to the South Downs. He then asked to tag along for a bit. I told him that I generally travel alone as travelling in convoy attracts unwanted attention. “However, I can’t stop you parking wherever I am.”
*see entry Arian and Rowan, part 3 …