Keep Your Eye On The Silly Hat


Jackie was really unwell today. I needed to ask for a home visit from the Milford Medical Centre GP. The service was its usual brilliant self. Dr Bartlet visited. He was as thorough as ever and demonstrated that his bedside manner is as excellent as that in the surgery. He prescribed medication for a severe chest infection and she had perked up by the evening.

Just before sunset, Becky drove me to the surgery to collect the prescription and have it dispensed at the next door pharmacy.

Cyclists 1

On the way down Downton Lane our route was blocked by a couple ofย cyclists riding two abreast. Keep your eye on the silly hat. Becky informs me that cycling training courses now teach their students ‘defensive cycling’, requiring them to take up as much room as a car, so that drivers will not be tempted to rush past them. So cyclists are being trained to annoy car drivers. Nice.

Cyclists 2

We were even unable to pass these two at the bottom of the road, because they had to pass a parked BT/Open Reach van. As always, these vans advertise advance fibre optic broadband. I found myself being grateful that this company that had mis-sold me such equipment which they could not deliver had not yet spawned the generation of solicitors touting for business on the back of PPIs. Keep your eye on the silly hat.

It was almost sunset when we reached the clifftop, within sight of the Isle of Wight and The needles.

I was not the only photographer keen on observing the view.

Dog walkers and cyclist

A couple of cyclists sped past a pair of dog walkers. Did you keep your eye on the silly hat?

This evening we dined on pizza, breaded mushrooms, samosa, and salad. I drank Cabbaliรฉ 2015, a rather splendid Catalan red supplied by Ian, who contented himself and Becky with finishing the pinot grigio.


  1. Years ago I visited my son on Jersey. There the roads are only suitable for one vehicle at a time. So I was impressed by the way people treated each other, even to the point of backing up into a driveway so the oncoming motorist could pass. It is called being considerate.The silly hat wasn’t being ‘defensive’ he was being selfish and downright stupid.

  2. Some places here have bike lanes, which is good for cars and cyclists. When a bicycle has no choice, I understand sharing the road, even if it’s frustrating. However, first chance to make room for cars should be given consideration. Silly hat indeed. Lovely photos.

  3. As both a driver and a cyclist, I can say the following. Careless/ inattentive motorists are an ever-present threat. However, wearing silly hats is likely to spark road rage in otherwise courteous motorists, and will surely not make you any friends.
    I hope Jackie feels well soon.

  4. Not ‘like’ Jackie being ill – take care of each other.

    There will always be careless drivers and cyclist but a collision would be more likely to be fatal for the cyclist. A woman was killed when her bicycle was merely nudged by a car near here and I witnessed two elderly cyclists practicing defensive cycling and one brought down the other, narrowly missing a car. They were lucky they were not seriously injured.

  5. There’s defensive riding and there’s bloody-mindedness. It wouldn’t’ve taken much for one of the bicyclists to pull in behind the other once they knew you weren’t going to mow them down … spoken as a bicyclist and a driver.

    All the best the the Head Gardener. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I’m happy to hear Jackie is feeling better. Hopefully you’ll both stay well. Yes! I kept my eye on the “silly hat.” Were you following him or did he just enjoy having his photo taken?

  7. Thank you Derrick for that lovely narration and yes spotted that silly hat..
    I so sympathise with your wife Jackie.. I hope she soon feels better.. having just recovered from such an infection I know how ill you can feel..
    Sending my thoughts and well wishes her way.. And I hope you are continuing to feel better too Derrick..
    Hugs Sue x

  8. So sorry to hear about Jackie. I hope she’s feeling better soon. How fortunate that you have a caring physician who can come to the house. That’s pretty much unheard of here in the U.S.
    I think, too, those cyclists would inspire road rage here.
    Wonderful photos, as always–especially those of the clifftop.

    The splendid Catalan red sounds great. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Many thanks, Lisa. We intended to have another shot at the cloud after picking up the meds, but there was a bit of a delay, so it was dark when we returned.

  9. Luminous sky and sea pictures. We have the same issues here with cyclists who won’t budge –or take risks they should not like racing though red lights and stop signs.I am thinking the silly hat has horns, perhaps apropos of behavior…;(

  10. Someone thought the silly hat had horns but I could see bug antennae. Probably due to my praying mantis post today. I think the bicyclists should go single file to allow cars to pass by.
    Hoping this finds dear Jackie feeling much better with attention from doctor and medication picked up.
    The sunset photos over the Isle of Wight and the Needles were simply divine, Derrick! ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, I mean heavenly!! <3

  11. I think the cyclist should have stayed behind the dog walkers. If you couldn’t pass the cyclist, why should he pass the dog walkers? I think they were rude to not let you pass. They would get the horn here.

  12. I think the oaf on the bike would do well to wear a helmet rather than a foolish bonnet. Please wish Jackie well in her recovery.

  13. I always enjoy reading your posts Derrick, and the photos to go along within. So glad Jackie is feeling better. Happy day to you and Jackie. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. That’s crazy that you ran into the silly hat man (as opposed to the Chatty Man) again. AND you grabbed the shot of him for us! Excellent. When things like that happen – I wonder how many times do I ALMOST see someone but just miss them. Mustn’t that happen even more? Sorry – off on a tangent. . . Remind Jackie that spring will be here in a couple short months. That will get her feeling better.

  15. We had an altercation with a cyclist just this weekend when we stopped at a pedestrian crossing and they came up beside us with choice words. Many seem to think they own the road. ?

  16. I could not handle the suspense so skipped to the latest post on your blog and saw that Jackie was thankfully recovering. I hope both of you are done with ailments for the year.
    Terrible cycling behaviour which would do them no good in Dubai for example where they would just be driven down. Road rage is a very fatal thing here as people have no patience. It’s true that cyclists are much more vulnerable but that does not mean they have to block traffic when it is clear that the person is observing safe distance, etc. I don’t think I would have had your patience and would have probably honked at them ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. When I first cycled in UK I made a point of being considerate to motorists, even to the extent of pulling over to let them pass in narrow sections. I also used empty pavements when I could โ€” only to be yelled at by pedestrians who hadn’t been where I was riding, and for whose benefit I had dismounted and stood aside in good time. People!

Leave a Reply