Escalating The Situation

With the aid of Elizabeth’s stick

I managed to walk the whole length of Downton Lane and back.

A cyclist passed me on the way down, and was himself

overtaken by a car.

As they approached the bend, round came another bicycle The pedallers made a neat vehicle sandwich and no harm was done.

Across neighbouring fields parked vans

could be seen. At any time of the year you will always see one carrying campers on this lay-by.


The road narrows and bends at the bridge over the

shallow stream now barely visible beneath the scrub. It is quite difficult for a pedestrian to hug the narrow verge, especially when not wishing to grasp the metal rail that someone else might have touched.

After leaving the bridge I passed this friendly young couple approaching it. They seemed to have understood the principle of social distancing in the time of Corvid.

On my return back up the hill I passed a comma butterfly enjoying a mud bath provided by

an underground stream irrigating the tarmac.

One border entrance to Shorefield Country Park appeared to be quite effectively closed.

While I followed a cock pheasant trotting up the lane (biggification will reveal him keeping to the right hand verge) I noticed the two young people holding a conversation in the distance. As I approached I rather expected them to move over a bit to let me pass.

When they shifted just a little to avoid a passing cyclist who had been forced onto the wrong side of the road, it became apparent that my assumption had been erroneous.

The standing couple stepped back again after the cyclist had gone. When I arrived I stood quietly in front of the vehicle, slightly to the right. It appears that I was invisible. Eventually I said “I don’t think you are giving me two metres to pass”. The pedestrians laughed, “It’s not funny”, I calmly announced. There were two women in the car. The driver cried “He’s my son. I haven’t seen him for a long time”. Raising my voice a little to make sure she heard me, I replied “I’ve seen him twice today. The first time I thought he’d got the idea, but clearly not”.

The driver started the engine and drove on as I stepped aside. The couple continued on up the hill. I called to them “You didn’t need to go right away. I just wanted space to past.”

Making no reply they walked on in silence. As so often when a third party makes an unnecessary intervention, the situation is escalated.

It was only when I uploaded this last photograph that I noticed the sign in the window.

In the meantime Jackie photographed

two Japanese painted ferns;

the budding Cordeline Australis;

a very hairy caterpillar;

a tellima grandiflora;

a red leaved pieris;


an enlarged camassia;

and a pigeon perched on the weeping birch.

This evening we dined on moist smoked haddock; piquant cauliflower and broccoli cheese; boiled Jersey Royal potatoes; bright green spinach; and flaming orange carrots, with which Jackie drank Peroni and I drank Wairau Cove Sauvignon Blanc 2019.





  1. difficult isn’t it? Just moving away to let you past would have solved it. Ah well some people get the’ump a bit too easily eh?

  2. They didn’t carer ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes folk are just so self absorbed they forget all about everyone else. I have to say it is mostly older men who hog the footpath and make no move to step aside. I have taken to standing stock still and staring at them as they bustle up towards me – but it does me no good at all as they still make no form of detour what so ever. #sourpuss ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I really have to be alert when I go on a walk. Some people are really oblivious, and then I wind up having a less than satisfactory experience–as you did. Still, you can have a good meal and hunker down in that fabulous garden.

    1. It was all very harmless, really, Lisa. My only concern is that as I didn’t see the mother’s face and if she really was visiting someone locally I wouldn’t recognise her if I met her again ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks very much.

  4. It looks like you had a lovely walk until you encountered the oblivious or self-absorbed people. I go out early in the morning to walk, and so far I haven’t had problems. My friend almost got pushed off her road by a truck when she was walking yesterday.

  5. You try passing some one at 1.5 metres in a shopping aisle that’s 1 metre wide?

    Or, on a 60cm concrete path to our residents community skip bin.

    Enjoyed your walk though..

  6. Good walking, congratulations. I am sorry about the obstruction. I think that the thing to do might have been to approach them coughing very loudly.

  7. Some people are just gonna’ do what they are gonna’ do…they think being considerate, following the rules, etc., don’t apply to them. They always have an excuse as to why they are doing what they are doing. ๐Ÿ™

    I agree with tootlepedal…I thought of coughing or sneezing, ha! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Oh, so that’s how butterflies stay so beautiful! Mud baths! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ˜€

    Love seeing the fuzzy-wuzzy! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Jackie and Derrick: Your photos are so beautiful! I especially love the painted ferns! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I wish you both a beautiful day! ๐Ÿ™‚
    (((HUGS))) ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I’m sorry your walk was spoiled by others, Derrick. These are strange and difficult times. Rick and I are fortunate to have this farm and have plenty of space to get out in. Supply runs are a bit of a nightmare, though.

    I did enjoy biggifying the pheasant trotting up the road! The flowers and gardens are beautiful, as always.

  9. “He’s my son” Reply: “Maybe. But I’m not.”
    In regard to the cordyline; my wife was quite a fan, but after ten years they got too tall to allow for adequate maintenance and the flower heads died and became a haven for sparrows who nested in large groups. The nests were then taken over by a few rats. Then the possums.
    I wasn’t quite as much a fan in the end as I was earlier on.

  10. Hi Derrick. Your two Japanese painted ferns, look the same as my fern, which I call a Burgundy Lace fern, and upon Wikipedia investigation, they are indeed, one and the same…

  11. Young folks seem to think they’re immortal. They just don’t get it. But you’ve offered them something to think about, at least planted a seed. Either way, remember beautiful blue sky and flowers, and oh, those ferns! I’m glad you took Elizabeth’s stick on this journey.

  12. That must have been unsettling. I hope it didn’t play on your mind for too long. It could have so easily been avoided by them moving to the back of the vehicle until you had passed. But, as others have pointed out, maybe they were too distracted to think logically.

  13. I haven’t seen my son, who lives in the same town, for five weeks – we cannot even entertain the idea of meeting ‘accidentally on purpose’ on a walk because exercising outdoors is not allowed! In one way I can empathise with the explanation “He’s my son …” yet cannot condone what followed – the behaviour of both parties is strange. I have noticed this odd behaviour in our supermarket too: no cheery waves or greetings there any more. Instead, masked or not, shoppers have their heads down or grimly aim for items on shelves. The subdued air within is getting worse as the lockdown continues.

  14. Great skies. We sat in the garden yesterday and noticed it was an especially wonderful shade of blue. We speculated that it my because of reduced levels of pollution during lockdown!

  15. Oh my goodness, Derrick, you dared to call out a member of the “entitled generation” (good for you getting away with it). If mother and son hadn’t seen each other for a while, who’s fault is that? Certainly not yours!

    1. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have one Aussie and one NZ daughter in law. One Christmas some years ago they each handed me a bottle for the table, wanting to see which I would open first. I opened them both. Thanks a lot, Yvonne.

  16. Shame about the inconsiderates, but I did enjoy the stroll along the lane. I like to see the patterns of the shadows on country lanes. The camasia flowers are rather lovely with their purple/bright green contrast.

  17. It looks like a lovely walk. You’re so good at noticing interesting sights, large and small, even the little caterpillar and butterfly. I loved that camassia.

  18. Hi Derrick – this kind of thing has also happened to me. I frequently come up to people on our walking trail and they are in their own world. I always move off the trail to the right and more often than not, the walker(s) coming toward me do nothing. Sometimes I’ve waited until the last few seconds, to give them a chance to make a move. Still nothing. In your case, the car didn’t give you an option. But, as Jill noted, it was a beautiful day otherwise.

    1. Thanks very much, Barbara. I always signal that I am moving aside and usually people thank me. As you say, here I had no option. In the current circumstances people should not be in their own worlds in such circumstances. Never mind, I didn’t and don’t lecture. I simply asked for space to pass.

  19. Looks like a lovely day, despite the inconsiderate behaviour of other people. Flower pictures are good too. There should be a word for walking round people – something like circumperambulation…

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