August 2, 2011

It’s hard to know where to begin . . .

We walked the lanes of Hazon today, and there was more to it than I had thought.

I had looked at Hazon on Google Street View a couple of weeks before the trip and saw that it consisted of exactly two houses, one called the Hazon Cottage, the other larger house had a sign that read Hazon Lea House and I decided I would knock on this door,  which I did while the girls hid around the corner.

A lovely lady named Pat answered the door and I said, “Hi, my name is Dan Hazen and I’m visiting from America.” Recognition bloomed on her face as she shook my hand.

“Ha-zen, you say! I can guess why you’re here!”

We had a lovely chat in which she explained that she and her invalid husband had only moved in 4 years ago, and that the couple in the nearby cottage had been there for less than 2. She knew only that the name of her house, like all named houses in England, came from a distant family name.

I was not surprised, but I was admittedly a little disappointed that there was not more to discover.

Then Pat said, “Have you been up to the village yet?”

“Village?” I said

She walked me out into the garden and indicated  a group of trees on the rise just across the field from her place and explained that the MAIN house and a few other houses still stood, just on the other side of Hazon Burn (creek).

She said that we need to find Drew Bell, the “Ol’ Timer” in the village and that he would know more. She gave detailed directions, and scrounged up Drew’s phone number for us and sent us on our way.

We drove a short distance further down the lane which rapidly narrowed into a one lane track, flanked by high hedges for which the place and my family get their names. It began to look just like a scene from “All Creatures Great and Small”: a lane winding through alternating stretches of wheat and oat fields and stands of enormous oak, elm and larch.

As we came to the bottom of a hill, we crossed over the babbling burn, and I got distracted by a sign to our right which indicated a gravel road and read “Hazon Mill”.

Hmmm. Down the road we went, and out from a wee stonehouse came a man to investigate his barking dog as we pulled to stop. Standing just behind the open car door, I gave my same greeting, “Hello, I’m Dan Hazen visiting from America. . .” He smiled a broad smile, turned and shouted into the open door of his house, “Did ya’ hear, Helen!? ‘is name is Hazen!

“Wha!” came the exclamation from inside?

“Hazen’s ‘is name . . .’e’s come from America!

 . . . To be continued.

6 thoughts on “August 2, 2011

  1. Can’t stop grinning! The movie is filmed, edited and in the can ( in my mind). I can feel my heart racing with yours as you knock on foreign cottages and drive down dusty roads. 🙂 Thanks for letting us all in on this very personal journey.

  2. We are both sitting in our tent, reading avidly too. Hoping to catch a sneak preview of part two of the Lanes of Hazon trip, but first hand from the man himself, wife, Jump Seat Pixie and other daughter….. see you on Holy Island tomorrow, God willing, as long as we survive the boat trip to the Farne Islands…

  3. I’m waiting on tenterhooks, …..with tears in my eyes! Glad to hear Brenda is better – ignore my post on the forum. And say hi to Jeff and Jill for me will you? And all the other people you see at Acton Farm when you get there. Have you actually gone out to Holy Island yet? Say hi to Andy and Anna for me too! I am loving your journey – and it now has a poignancy about it – to be back in the “land of our fathers…” The Saints and Saviour, watch over thee!


    1. Thanks, Diane. We will be on Holy Island today and tomorrow. I will certainly be looking up Andy (based on YOUR advice!) so I will pass along your greetings . . .and to the others.

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