I Was Set Up


Somewhat encouraged by the lack of adverse effects on my knackered knees after the long, flat, walk round Keyhaven and Lymington Nature Reserve, I decided to take the somewhat shorter, yet undulating, route through Honeylake Wood. At about halfway I ventured into the undergrowth, after which I turned back.

A pedestrian gate breaking a hedge serves as an entrance to the field leading to the wood.

Reflection of hedge

The hedge was reflected in the muddy verge beside Christchurch Road.

Oak tree

AΒ bent andΒ aged oak on one edge of the field bowed beneath the prevailing wind,

which even around mid-day bit into me as I crossed to the wood.

Honeylake Wood entrance

On my way in the leafy path offered welcoming shelter,

Honeylake Wood exit

while a sight of Downton’s cottages as I left it gave notice that home was near, if not in sight.

Forest floor

Often springy underfoot, the forest floor,


over which squirrels scampered,


was, especially near the stream, occasionally waterlogged.

The wind roared overhead. There was much evidence of broken trees,

Autumn leaf

and, although some autumn leaves had not yet reached the ground,

others glowed in the sunlight

which played among the trees.

The bridge had been so severely damaged as to deter anyone from leaning on the rickety rail; a sapling had been converted to an entrance arch.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s classic sausage casserole, creamy mashed potatoes, and crisp carrots, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. I drank Basson Shiraz 2014. The others didn’t drink their Kronenbourg 1664 until afterwards so that didn’t count.

A minute particle of my casserole splashed up from my plate and onto my grandfather shirt. Jackie and Ian swooped on me to supplement the stains and Becky grabbed the camera. I was set up, I swear it.


      1. As his barber, (amongst other things) He will get a haircut when I am fully recovered, that may mean he has to hang on to his hair for a while yet. I like his hair long but know that it needs to be shorter for comfort!

      1. Oh, Pollocks again. My ‘device’ added the apostrophe above. It should, of course, read ‘Pollocks!’ I did not intend to shock or offend anyone with that hideous use of punctuation.

  1. I can assure, one and all, that Derrick was not set up. He just likes to decorate his shirt in a different way!

  2. Why should we believe you? ‘Tis proof positive you are entering dribbling dotage, that’s what! Had you been set up, you’d be wearing an expression of stark horror instead of that of complacence. πŸ™‚

  3. I’m scrolling through your photos, feeling relaxed and peaceful and then I get to the end and broke out in laughter. Your expression is priceless, Derrick! By the way, the oak photo is stunning!

  4. I believe you were set up, and I’m imagining the whole choreographed scene. πŸ™‚

    In the pre-set up, I particularly like the top photo. I love images reflected in the water.

  5. Brilliant photos all the way through to the end, its obvious that you were set up, I know this because the same thing always happens to me.

  6. I love that squirrel, Derrick. She’s so cute πŸ™‚
    I would love to hike on those paths from your photos.
    Mo-hugs and kisses <3

  7. A minute particle!!! Huh! That shirt bore the stains of so much in the way of dinner I am seriously considering it as a source of my next stock pot. Actually things did escalate and we did all spend the rest of the evening wiping most things on poor old Dels shirt. Funny until I realised that I was going to have to wash it!

  8. So been there. I always have coffee or hot sauce stains on my tops. (And paint and grass stains on my T-shirts.)

  9. Something about the photo of the aged oak tree and what you wrote, haunts me: A bent and aged oak on one edge of the field bowed beneath the prevailing wind … How even the most resistant ones give in to change …

    What a beautiful setup πŸ™‚

  10. Point one – buy shirts with checks or swirls.
    Point two – buy them in shades of brown (gravy), orange (baked beans), red (chilli/Italian) and yellow (curry). This solves most problems.
    Point Three – just because you have hair you don’t need to keep mentioning it. Some of us would love hair on our heads instead of just our ears, nostrils and eyebrows.

    Glad to see everyone is well enough to take the mickey out of you, it’s a good sign.

Leave a Reply