Parks and gardens in Halifax, England . [1] [2] [3] [4]



Because it was lovely sunny day, I decided it would be nice to stay outdoors. Driving west of the town centre, I came to Savile Park, a vast, green common, with football posts dotted at one end of the green. It was the perfect place for Mr Kipling to run around in, although by this time he was rather worn out. We sat together on the grass watching children playing, people enjoying picnics and boys playing football. I, of course, was keeping my face well out of the sun, but I basked in the sunshine all the same, closing my eyes behind my sunglasses. It was five minutes later that I realised someone was tapping me lightly on my shoulder. Looking up, I spotted a middle aged man standing beside the bench, peering down at me.

“Can I help you?” I grinned at him.

“Is this your dog?” he asked politely and calmly, pointing down at Mr Kipling, who I realised was sitting calmly at his feet.

I was slightly puzzled. “Yes,” I replied. “Why, what’s Mr Kipling done?”

The man seemed to want to laugh at the choice of name for my dog, but he composed himself and said, “He went for a walkabout around the park. He found our picnic and decided to relieve himself over our ham sandwiches.”

I began to apologise profusely, offering to buy some more ham sandwiches for the gentleman and his picnic friends, but he just brushed my offers and apologies away. He said they hadn’t minded and found it quite amusing. Besides, he said, Mr Kipling was a very patient and calm dog. I could not see how a dog urinating over your sandwiches made him patient and calm, but I nodded along. After the man had left, I clipped Mr Kipling’s lead back on his collar and forced him back in the direction of the car.

We left Savile Park via the exit by the children’s playground. The man’s mention of ham sandwiches had made me peckish and I subsequently came across a delicatessen along Skircoat Green Road. The quiches and patè looked delicious, but I went for a pesto chicken sandwich with a tomato and basil mayo. Finding another park to sit in, this one being Skircoat Green Park (named ‘surprisingly’ after the area of Skircoat Green) I tucked into the sandwich as Mr Kipling looked on disappointedly. The park was certainly beautiful, with leafy paths leading through the woods, and benches overlooking the flower gardens and spacious fields.

I had some friends who lived in nearby Brighouse and invited them up to Halifax for a few drinks. First of all, however, I drove Mr Kipling to their home, where he happily curled up on a blanket in the kitchen. Knowing he would be all right on his own and wouldn’t while away the hours chewing at the leg of the kitchen table, I and my friends returned to Halifax.

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