Watch Out


Setting the mood nicely, a sheet of heavy cloud leaked steady precipitation dripping down our windscreen all the way to New Hall Hospital for my appointment with Miss Melissa Davies, consultant urologist early this morning. Windscreen wipers swept across my vision. After an examination I’d rather not describe, and a full questionnaire I was able to leave with a certain amount of optimism signalled by the clearance of the skies and the emergence of sun separating the clouds. I do have to order a specific blood test and ask my GP to recommend a procedure involving a miniature camera and an anaesthetic.

Feeling rather hearty, we stopped at the charming village of Hale which I photographed without the need to numb my consciousness.

“You’re not photographing that are you?” asked the local resident who did not think the sculpture on the edge of the green looked much like Β a pony and foal.

The tree behind the sculpture was planted in 1992 to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II. The brass plaque explaining this is headed ‘Kinges Oak’.

A string of cyclists sped past the green,

on the other side of which a solitary equine representative stood before the school, the students of which will be playing where it stands once they return from the Summer break.

All post in the forest is delivered from little red vans, like the one driven by the postman enjoying a chat with a resident of one of the attractive thatched cottages.

The village is approached by narrow tree-lined lanes. I wondered whether the above brick built structure was the ice house once belonging to Hale House.

From the higher levels could be seen a patchwork quilt flung across the landscape,

above which patrolled a predatory raptor.

A herd of cows dined on the upper slopes.


The whole length of Roger Penny Way is punctuated by warning signs alerting drivers to the possibility of animals on the road. One is ‘Watch Out……’ pictured here. This flock had passed the sign when making their way across the road to this pasture. While I focussed on them a large bovine ambled down the centre of the minor road to my left to join its ovine cousins.

Afterwards we brunched at the Walkford Diner. Here we enjoyed huge traditional breakfasts cooked on a griddle. Black puddings and haggis, for example, are imported from Stornaway, and potato scones are just like the ones Mum used to make. Only when inside did we realise that the establishment was run by Ian, who had produced excellent meals at Molly’s Den. These were even better.

It will therefore come as no surprise that I could not join in the ladies’ enjoyment of Jackie’s beef in red wine dinner. (Mum is better and Elizabeth is back with us). I was, however, able to manage the Culinary Queen’s apple and apricot crumble and custard, and a couple more glasses of the Fleurie.


  1. Nice post as always. I guess we both visited our Urologists today. I’m still at the VA Hospital but will leave for home shortly. No horses cows, sheep or sculptures for me on my trip home. Just traffic! Ugh!

  2. ah those little trips eh. I managed a dental operation yesterday and today it feels like i have lettuce stuck to the roof of my mouth which is ‘expected’ not that makes it any more, er, palatable. Hope the proceedure you are due isn’t what I think it might be – don’t share by the way, just let my imagination run riot

  3. Sorry to hear you have had to visit hospital , wishing you well . Kind regards Graham et Jiselle .

  4. Seeing those thatched cottages always make my heart sing Derrick! I’m a bit onside with the local’s view of the sculpture though. ‘It’s a good beginning,’ is my view – I wonder when he will come back and finish it……. And I’m quite glad you didn’t feel the necessity to be open about the urologists process.

  5. You get to see such beautiful sights on the way to the doctor’s. The landscapes are beautiful–I like that view from higher ground. I can understand why you weren’t hungry after that breakfast!

  6. Getting medical attention has started sounding like Quantum Physics. The simplicity and pristine beauty of the forest is reminiscent of a way of life we seem to have forgotten.

    PS: I guess you mean red vans there.

  7. The thatched cottages are indeed very attractive. Are they special for this village of Hale? Can we see such structures in other part of England?

  8. You know I love the livestock pictures, but today the thatched roofs caught my attention. I’m glad to see they still exist. When I was a kid (and unfortunately that was long time ago), I went to ‘Plantation’ and saw the start of the reconstruction of an early American settlement. To have authentic thatched roofs, they had to import Irish thatchers. The guide told us it was the only place that still people adept in the trade.

  9. Derrick, that brick structure has me fascinated. Next time you have nothing to do (Oh and do you swallow the miniature camera ) you’d better go back and find out what it is. “Ice House” is an unsatisfactory detail.

    1. We’ve twice pondered the brick structure. We may have to find a local to ask. I’ll leave the camera’s insertion to your imagination. I refuse to think about it. πŸ™‚ Thanks a lot, Paol

  10. I thought it was a malevolent pig, and even when you told me what it was, I still couldn’t see it. Good luck with your procedure. As an old Yankee might say, if it’s not one thing, it’s something else.

  11. Your sharing is always a treat to the eyes and takes us to the memory lanes of my childhood days when I used to have these experiences. Wonderful sharing indeed. Regards

  12. Good luck with the camera – they let me have a look in my bladder last time they put one up. Very interesting. Though it didn’t seem very miniature…

    Hope it all goes well.

    Great photos, and a great breakfast too from the sound of it.


    1. Just what I needed to read, Quercus πŸ™‚ Thanks for the good wishes. There were several breakfast options bigger than the one we chose. The toast was great thick doorstops that would not have fitted into any toaster I’ve seen.

  13. I can see the mare and foal in the sculpture. The tree behind has grown well – must be better soil than my back garden!

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