Monday, 5 January 2009

Hearts and Rascals

I am back at my favourite practice for the next 2 weeks the Heart Referral. I wish they were closer l would have applied for full time work. The only place l would consider doing that for. I like my freedom as locum so it says a lot about the place.

Driving down in the pitch black at 5am was not much fun. I envied Wibble snoring in the back in her bed all snuggled under the blanket. As l got to Warrington there was snow on the sides of the roads and quite a bit down here.
It reminded me of when we arrived in UK. During the early 80s the winters were much colder and we lived down south.
I worked for 7 years with racing greyhounds at a kennels based at Biggin Hill, for a trainer called John Horsefall. We were licensed to Catford now sadly closed.

One very bad winter l was on the way to work at the Greyhound Kennels at about 05:30 and going along Layhams Road where the kennels were based. In winter a cold and miserable trip, the road runs alongside the Met Police Dog Training estab. One section of the road glided under bare, overhanging trees, which made a dark tunnel, the road covered with dead slippery leaves into a sharp bend that ran alongside the graveyard of police dogs killed in action.
In summer it is very different, wildflowers grew around the graves and a green canopy overhead it was very peaceful.
Layhams Rd then swept up past the main training section. The rest of Layhams rd runs between either steep banks or open windswept fields.

A small van, l call a “scallywagon”, the Rascal came towards me. Three men walked by it’s side. Every few paces the van would slip and fall onto its side and they would skurry round to whichever side was lying either on the floor or snowbank and push it back upright.
l stopped, tucked myself and Honda tight into a snow bank and watched them. It seemed a bit unsafe to try and ride past them as the road was very narrow with high snow banks either side. They were chatting away having a good gossip as though this was a normal job for anyone.
They gave me a cheerful hello and l wish l had got the courage to ask where they were going from, too but l was shy back then.
It was so cheering to meet them on a freezing morning when l was cold and miserable. I often think of them if the roads are snowy and l am driving. l never saw them again l hope they got to where they were going, in one piece.


joker the lurcher said...

i love the rascal story! there was a programme recently on radio 4 about someone who had owned kennels who raced at catford. might even have been the same man but i can't remember his name - i'll look on teh bbc website and see if i can find a link.

joker the lurcher said...

i found the link but it was walthamstow stadium , not catford. here it is anyway - you might still like the programme!

Vetnurse said...

I know it isnt John he died about 15 years ago unfortunatly. But would be interested to know who it was.

Walthamstow was the posh end but in it's heyday Catford was the biggest. Will have a mooch thanks.