A Friday night wander with Stella the Staffy Bull 

the tunnel to Berechurch hall rd, where i saw the beetle

So it finally came, Friday evening, and a well deserved weekend break for Stella, Louise and I.

But Stella and I are out for our evening walk around Monkwick and the back of the barracks.

a female stag beetle

Just to mark this, I believe a stag beetle, whether male or female I know not, but we saw this in the tunnel cutting thru from Friday wood Green onto Berechurch Hall Rd.

After the Heat wave earlier in the week, it’s cooler and may even rain which we shall enjoy as long as it is not too heavy, or cold.

Well walk along Mersea Rd, into the Willows then along the back of the barracks to home which should be around 3 miles if memory serves.

The local take away, Dillons, smells delectable but we are before we came out and fresh conker growth on one of the trees lining Mersea Rd tricks a memory of my grandfather throwing a stick into the trees in my local park and myself and a friend collecting the falling conkers to be strung and to become 6ers or 9ers depending on how many victories that conker gained. A pity health and safety robs this generation of that joy.

This pill box marks the start of the doomed ranges

The wick who’s fate seems sealed comes up quickly on our right, and Mersea Rd traffic still seems busy for a Friday evening.

Odd blue patches punch holes in an otherwise grey cloudy sky and a small group of pigeons coo their watchful presence as we pass.

Stella Seems pleased for her prolonged walk as they’ve been short bursts all week due to the extreme temperatures.

The watching pigeons are replaced now by a solitary Crow as we turn left into the Willows which has one of the better of Colchester’s chippys on its small parade of shops.

The wind is getting up and now the air smells of rain, i hope it won’t be long as the sky almost seems like one massed cloud

grey clouds overhead

Stella pulls at the lead, wanting her freedom, Her tail points straight back telling me she’s alarmed at something but then quickly relaxes as a  couple of children bounce into view and two ah64 apache helicopter gunships buzz over head.

I love the apache, something awesome about the threat of her crossbow radar and monacle aimed canon which seems to being a touch of Firefox to reality.

We’re out the back of the Willows estate now and moving into the return phase of our evening walk.

The allotments seem inactive now and the cream eerily quiet, a couple more turns and Stella will be freed when I can see far enough to assess approaching threats.

Suddenly my choice of vest top seems a little daft as I will thru a swarm of blood thirsty gnats.

I look to my left and my right now and the child in me sees loads of good den sights which seems another thing that has died off in this modern age if tech this and tech that.


Soon these flowers will be be bug juicy blackberries to mix with Bramley apples to become pies or crumbles yum yum.

A small clutch of poppies make me think of remembrance Sunday but that’s months away in November.

A magpie now takes his lonely watch as I offer him a superstitious salute, and say good evening.

Apparently the superstition comes from the fact that if you see a lone magpie it’s mate us hassling livestock somewhere nearby.

Stella has been freed now a long time back but lingers at my feet after disappearing in the longer grass to do what she must. We’re definitely along the back of the barracks and on the other side Monkwick Estate.

Two rows of foreboding razor wire mark the boundary of the military grounds and I cannot help but picture armed watch towers if it were an American base. The playground is populated by older teens who are at least not wrecking the joint.

The threat of rain seem to have subsided unfortunately on this Friday evening but it is so  much fresher than it has been as I approach Berechurch Hall Rd again intending to cross into a short walk along Ramparts lane and team into the rear of Friday wood green.

The traffic seems finally to be dying off but Stellas eagerness does not she seems to still gave plenty of energy left even though her tongue says otherwise.

Crossing Berechurch Hall Rd into Ramparts lane it still seems quiet as I loose Stella from her lead again passing a rather ignored 20mph sign. The canopy seems less welcoming this evening but I know the lane well enough a long straight lane, one vehicles width that stretches probably half a mile.

The one remaining glasshouse in the UK is seen to my left a place of military myth and legend mostly to keep you from wanting to go there but then according to an old legend those that remain in the army after their sentence learn enough discipline to pass the SAS trials.

we are off the lane next and on the track back in to the back of the estate, Stella is easily recalled to her lead, and always has been, she is a well behaved dog apart from her dislike of other dogs, and her extreme hate of Border Collies.

Shortly after we are finally heading home thru the back of the estate, and Stella is leashed as a lical recovery mechanic approaches, to say hello to Stella and I, and i have a quick catch up with the company with whom i used to be employed myself around 12 years back.

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