The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Sidecar


Towards the end of yesterday afternoon Jackie drove us to Emsworth to join in Ian’s birthday meal at Nicolino’s restaurant.

Doves on church

A month ago, I had photographed white doves in the morning light on and around the bell tower of St James’s Church. Yesterday a few remained on the roof basking in the evening light. A certain amount of interbreeding with pigeons appeared to have been going on.

Becky on balcony


Becky and Ian on balcony

and Ian were on their balcony to greet us.

Ian and Keith

We were joined in the restaurant by Ian’s friends Keith and Kirsty. The two men enjoyed reminiscing about their schooldays. The tilt of the picture behind her fiancΓ© niggled Becky so much that he was required to straighten it.

Starter at Nicolino's

I haven’t traditionally been over-keen on Italian food. Nicolino’s, in serving quite the best I have ever tasted, has provided the exception that proves the rule. I can’t remember what my starter was called, but, like all the others, it was a meal in itself.


The calzone that followed was a fresh, firm, parcel with succulent contents.

Summer pudding

I didn’t really have room for this splendid summer pudding, but I forced myself.

My wine was Le Focaie sangiovese Maremma Toscana 2012. It didn’t come by the glass, so I brought half a bottle home. I suppose if I stretched my brains I would be able to name some of what the others consumed, but I really can’t be bothered.

Jackie drove us home on the M27 afterwards as she had done on the outward journey. This had been when our curiosity was aroused by the unusual sidecar passenger of a vintage motorcycle.

Dog in sidecar 1

We just had to overhaul the biker.

Dog in sidecar 2

Who was the intriguing little chap,

Dog in sidecar 3

gradually coming into view,

Dog in sidecar 4

looking this way and that?

Dog in sidecar 5

Could it be?

Dog in sidecar 6

Surely not?

Dog in sidecar 7

Yes. A dog. Strapped in a seatbelt. I do hope the motorcyclist saw the thumbs up sign and the camera lens I poked out of the window as we passed.

My title pays homage to Mark Haddon’s superb little novel, required reading for anyone involved with autism, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime’.

P.S. My thanks are due to Barrie Haynes who put this on a Facebook comment: ‘This is a nine year old retro Triumph Bonneville (Yankie type with high bars.) It is still in production and named after the Utah Salt Flats where the company had some success. Those panniers would have set him back a pretty penny and, according to the signs, the sheepdog is Scottish! There is an urbane myth about why this section of the M27 was originally laid in concrete sections? They say that it was because of the ‘Oil Crisis’ around that time. Hope this is of help.’


  1. Ironical that sign in the second picture β€” I paid a visit to our GP today with a back pain shooting down legs, arising from a trapped nerve. At least that is what sciatica is supposed to be about, I gather.
    Funny, the only ‘Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ I have come across is the Sherlock Holmes story. It has long been one of my favourite illustrations of a significant non-event. I have now acquainted myself with the Haddon version arising from the quote.
    The sidecar is a more respectable spot than the perch on top of my motorcycle petrol tank my first German Shepherd was accustomed to!

  2. what better way for the dog to travel. We see it up here often enough. Dog after all is our best friend/companion….. I was impressed that you actually refrained from getting at your food .. to take pictures. =^_^=

  3. I just love every image. And a beautiful post it is.
    How are you? Hope you are doing well. Will glad to have you at my site and your words at my latest post. Thanks!

  4. The afternoon light on the church is fantastic. Interestingly, the brickwork looks like little pegions aligned into the facade. The puzzlement with Italian names is a familiar experience, my daughters are quite the connoisseurs though.

    The book you’ve paid homage to is sitting on my bookshelf for a while, untouched by my eyes. But I have read The Red House by the same author and enjoyed it too. He has this unconventional style of writing dialogues that might test one’s patience in the initial pages.

    I loved the biker with the dog in the buggy as the duo grew upon me in successive frames.

  5. We have a vendor at a local farmers market who appears every week with his dog in a sidecar. I have no idea how he gets his produce there. The food looked fabulous!

  6. A love the images of the dog in the sidecar (and your clever homage to the book)–but somehow it doesn’t seem too safe for the dog.
    I missed some of your posts, so now I’m working backwards. πŸ™‚

  7. This was a great way to share the fun sight of dog in the sidecar. As well as the wonderful birthday celebratory meal, Derrick. The dessert and the prawns or shrimp look delicious.

      1. When I was first introduced to Italian food by the Crown Prince of Australian Dings in Perth, back in 1966/67 pasta and veal was not often on the menu.
        The War Office aka my wife assures me that pasta is very good for you; probably because she likes itl but I cook it rarely.

Leave a Reply