Tag Archives: walking

What’s in your drawers?

So what have you got in your drawers?

Oo-er, steady on Mrs! I meant literal drawers not yer underpinnings, as my mother would have called them. Good grief woman! I know what you’ve got in those drawers, let’s never discuss that again! *shakes head to get that image out of my mind*

Every house has a drawer of plenty, you know, the place where you keep all the bits and bobs. Bits of string, fuses, hair grips. It’s the first place you look when anyone asks, ‘have you got a ….?’

Now, in our teeny temporary flat  we haven’t really got a drawer of plenty since it’s a holiday let and not a real home but we do have a drawer of’ I’ll not be needing that again.’

It was with a huge amount of pleasure and smugness that I filled this particular drawer with all of my cold weather clothing, the padded trousers, the fluffy hat and thick walking socks. Now we live in ‘The English Riviera’ there’ll be no more need for this stuff, I thought. At worst I’ll be needing a light jumper from now on.

How wrong can you be?

One morning last week  I got up and strolled down to the garden in my dressing gown so the dog could have a wee.  Just so we’re clear, the dressing gown isn’t paramount to the action of the dog weeing, it’s just what I happened to be wearing at the time since it was still stupid o’clock in the a.m. The action of poochie weeing isn’t influenced in the slightest by my clothing choices.

So, back to the plot…Imagine my shock and horror when an unexpected icy blast of wind swirled round my ankles. I pulled my dressing gown closer round me and chivvied Douggie the doggie to stop messing about and ‘go pee’. He lifted his leg on command and I could see the shock on his face as the same icy blast caught him round his now exposed nether regions. He was clearly thinking the same as me, ‘What the hell’s going on? We were promised balmy, warm weather, sunny winter days and absolutely no rain’. We’ve been conned!

Totally unimpressed was I as I pulled the thermal trousers and Miss Marple hat, which I’d bought on a previous visit when I’d been caught out by the cold, out of the drawer in readiness for our walk. My Deputy Dawg hat with the earflaps, the one I usually wear for dog walking is still packed up in storage with 95% of our other belongings so MIss Marple saved the day.

It was an eclectic mix of clothing I wore that day, wellies, anorak and Miss Marple knitted hat with a jaunty crocheted flower on the side accented with a little feather. The locals must have thought that we northern folk have no sense of sartorial elegance.

How did they know I was from the north? It was probably because I walk round calling out “Ti reyt cocker? and singing “On Ilkley Moor baht ‘at”

For my non English, and southern, bloggy friends I’l translate for you:

‘Ti reyt cocker’ translates as  ‘How are you this morning?’

‘On Ilkley Moor baht ‘at’ means on Ilkley Moor ( a place in Yorkshire ) without a hat’. 

Once the walk got underway and I’d warmed up a bit I soon recovered from my distress  at the cold weather. Douggie and I yomped  along the coastal path at a rate of knots listening to the sound of the  waves as they crashed against the rocks. It was all very dramatic and invigorating. Worth looking like Miss Marple for.

Ok, I won’t move back up north after all. I still prefer it here.

Moving onwards and upwards – well some of us are.

What an absolutely brilliant day Monday was. It was one of those days that stays in your memory forever. A rare, happy go lucky, relax and enjoy day.

Just like the when the stars come into line, all the events worked out and I found myself in the happy position of playing host to all three grandchildren. Happy day indeed, especially as they were all in a good mood and in high spirits. As the sun was shining and the day was neither too hot nor too cold, neither too windy nor too still, we decided to take the dog for a walk up a nearish by big hill. The clingons thought that was a real adventure so we packed supplies to keep them going on the arduous journey. Cartons of juice and sweeties, what more does an adventurer need to keep their strength and spirits up?

Douggie the doggie came along as well and decided that he wanted to be a real golden golden retriever instead of his usual white so he found a ditch full of orange muddy water to wallow in. Dear Lord, what a mess.

Other than that we had a delightful walk and even managed to find a geocache. Dangerous was the team leader for that one. Taking the directions quite literally and taking us in a line as straight as an arrow to the cache, she plunged straight off the path and onto the heathery moor sinking right up to her knees in the springy moss. Poor old Batty was terrified but bravely carried on when she’d have been perfectly entitled to have sat that one out. She really is an inspiration. It was worth the trauma she endured though because she was thrilled when she actually found the cache. Munki couldn’t wait to get her head into it to see what the treasure was. Such a lot of excitement for a plastic container with a pen that didn’t work, a small note book and a few miniature plastic toys. We celebrated by cracking open a box of butterscotch sweets, eating them with relish as we enjoyed the amazing view and congratulating ourselves on being brilliant treasure hunters.







Later in the afternoon I had to take Pebbles, yes, the very one that this blog is named after, to the vet for a pedicure. I dropped two of the clingons off at home and took Munki with me. Pebbles, always a timorous wee beastie, has grown even more timid as she’s got older. Estimates vary as to her exact age but we know for a fact that the least she is is twenty and possibly as old as twenty two. She deserves to be handled with a bit of care. The vet picked up the clippers and took a chunk out of the first toenail. None too gentle as she did it she also took a chunk of the poor little cat’s toe as well. There was blood everywhere. I was not best pleased. Eventually we got the rest of the claws clipped and Pebbles slunk gratefully back into the safety of her box, the very same box I’d fought to get her into an hour before. Poor thing was traumatised, she wouldn’t come near me for the rest of the day but at least she can all comfortably now – or will when that wound heals.

On the way home from the vet’s I dropped Munki off at Lashes’ work. There is a new sign offer the door. RECEPTION. “Nanny, why does it say reception?” “Well, that’s how people know where to go when they come to visit. “Mummy works in reception, doesn’t she? That means when I go back to school I’ll be in year one but Mummy will still be in reception!”

Hahaaaaaaaa. She’ll go far, that child!

The Enormous Crap

I imagine after a title like that, (well done for progressing past the title if you’re still here),  you’re starting to read this with a certain amount of trepidation about what’s to follow.

Well, fear not, dear reader, it’s not as bad as you might be thinking.

As you know, Munki has been at ‘big’ school now for some months and has taken to it like a duck to water.  If ever a child needed to go to school it was that one . The structure , the discipline and  the mountain of knowledge just waiting to be uncovered have made this an exciting time for her. It turns out that the child is a bit of a mathematical genius and can’t wait to get home from school to log on to  ‘Mathletics’ on her computer and earn herself a few hundred more points. Long may that continue!

Somehow, the teachers took a long time to notice that she is also a very good reader, mostly down to the fact that Lashes has read to and with her almost every day since she was born.  Day after day Munki has been  coming home from school with books  that had a  single word on a page and complaining, “They’re BORING!”  They aren’t  even the beginning of a challenge to Munki who’s reading age is far above her years.

Lashes continued to quietly read to and with Munki on a daily basis, from books far in advance of the ones coming home from school and eventually they realised at school that they might actually be holding Munki back a bit and so now they give her books from the junior readers.  They have at least four words on a page. Still no kind of a challenge but a move in the right direction.

In their defence I imaging they are trying to establish that she is actually understanding  what she’s reading before giving her works of literary genius to have a go at.

One day last week, Munki came home with another book from school.  Lashes duly read it through with Munki, it was an engaging little story about an enormous crab. After the story was finished Lashes picked up the reading record book to sign and therefore prove that Munki had done her homework.  Imagine her surprise when she read what the teacher had written earlier in the day when she wrote the title of the book:


Lashes, didn’t know if she should laugh, cry, complain or ignore it.  In the end she decided to laugh and then have a word with the teacher about it. Me, I laughed and laughed and laughed.

Yesterday I spent some time with Dangerous and Batty. We went for a lovely walk through the woods and had a fantastic time climbing over all the trees that had blown down in our recent storms. Of course Douggie the doggie came along as well. Why can’t I just have a nice little dog who doesn’t like to get dirty? I think it’s fair to say he enjoyed his walk. here are  the before, during and after photos.





To be honest, if you’d  have taken a picture of me after that walk I’d have looked a bit like that last picture as well.

Word camp sheffield anyone going?

Ow! Ow! Ow!

Flipping heck!

The weather’s a bit uninteresting here at the moment. Certainly in comparison to other parts of the world and even the UK. All we have weatherise  in Littletown today is a grey nothingness .

That’s not a complaint. Grey nothingness, while it’s certainly not my favourite weather, is preferable to howling gales and rain. What’s my favourite weather? Mmmm, let me think. Snow has to come top of the list followed by a lovely crisp frosty day with bright blue skies. Sunshine is always good but not too hot. I’m a tender flower and I wilt in the heat.

Right! You at the back. Stop that guffawing immediately! I AM a tender flower! Tsk. 

What’s your favourite weather?

It’s exactly this time last year that Boofuls and I were making the final preparations for our trip to the Arctic. I like to say Arctic as it sounds so much more exciting than the Swedish/Finnish border but we were inside the Arctic circle so it qualifies. Poor old Boofuls doesn’t half put up with some stuff from me. Given the chance he’d always head south to the Carribean. Me? Let’s head north! The whole trip exceeded my wildest dreams. I’ve already blogged about it so I won’t repeat it all again but if you’d like to read about it or look at the photos you can find them here.

Several years ago a past life therapist told me I a was  a Viking in a previous life. I’m not altogether sure she’s wrong. I do love that part of the world and definitely feel an affinity to it.

Anyway. Where were we? Oh yes, grey, gloomy weather.

Douggie the doggie and me set off for the nearest park this morning. It’s the best place for a boring weather day as it’s quite an interesting  walk with the park, woodland, cemetery  and moors  all within a few minutes walk from each other. In a nod towards my new year ‘get rid of the half a stone I’ve put on recently’ campaign I set the workout monitor to track the walk and set off at a brisk pace.  We walked up through the Victorian park, through the beautifully scented fir forest, over the fields until finally we walked along the top of the cemetery on our way back to the car. What a brilliant walk. I felt refreshed, revived and at peace with the world.

Douggie met a new friend. A golden labrador called Milly. Round and round they ran while I chatted to Milly’s human. Suddenly my eyes widened with horror as two wildly galloping  dogs headed straight towards me. OH MY GOD!!! With no chance of getting out of the way I stood terrified while Douggie skimmed past me but Milly ran at full speed into my legs. OW! OW! OW!

I tried not to cry as I sank to the ground, unable to put any weight on my right leg. Poor Milly’s owner was distraught, offering to carry me back to my car, call an ambulance, get help and anything else she could think of that might be helpful. What he hell are these dogs made of? Reinforced concrete? I felt like I’d been hit by a sledgehammer.

Eventually I managed to get back onto my feet and hobbled back to the car. Douggie stayed by my side all the way as good as gold. They really do understand when something is wrong, don’t they? Well, it certainly messed up my workout pace. I hobbled back at the rate of half a mile an hour. It’s sore and there’s a cracking bruise appearing but I don’t think it’s any worse than that.

It certainly livened up a grey day.

I’m back at home now,  ensconced at my computer to get on with a bit of work before all the family come round later for an end of the festivities festive meal. I’m sure I have grounds for getting someone else to cook it. I’ll just smile wanly, wince  and exaggerate my limp as I walk to the kitchen. Oh! The mileage I could get out of this.

Every cloud, eh?


I listened to my intincts today

Bored of our usual morning walk up the track and down the lane and then the reverse journey home, up the lane and down the track I decided Douggie and I would have a change of scenery yesterday. We jumped into the car and headed off for the nearest wood.

When we arrived at the woods I was surprised to see that the  the Himalayan balsam was standing six feet tall, obscuring any view through the trees, the path was overgrown and it was all looking a bit jungle-esque,  and it was all very peaceful, not another person or dog in sight.  We could have been all alone in the world. Perfect for clearing the head. You can’t beat a nice bracing walk through the woods.

I set off eagerly while Douggie sniffed around excitedly, weeing on almost every blade of grass.

I’d only gone about twenty steps through when I heard a text recieved chime. Then almost immediately I heard a twig snap.  After that there was just silence.  Even the birds seem to have stopped singing and the insects stopped humming as if they were all collectively holding their breath.  A quick look round ascertained that there was no-one on the path in front or behind me but there was most certainly someone nearby and out of sight.

Hhhmmm. Interesting.

What to do? Continue on our walk and ignore what I’d just heard or abandon the walk  and go somewhere else more public? I felt foolish even considering the options.  I’ve walked in these woods many times.

What would you have done?

Feeling like a complete twerp  I did a quick about turn and headed back to the car.  All my instincts were telling me to get away.

What happened?


What would have happened? I don’t know.

Maybe nothing.  Maybe something.

What I do know though is that over the years my instincts have served me well. I still feel like a complete idiot but you know what? I can live with that.

Do you listen to your instincts?

There are those who do and those who don’t

There are those who do and those who don’t.

There are those who move and those who don’t.

I’m a doer. Sitting around watching telly bores me to death, I prefer to be doing something, anything.

I’m also a mover. I discovered this in a big way when I went to a pilates class for a few weeks to try and build up my core strength. I almost lost the will to live. Anyone with as much energy as me needs to be burning it off not moving slowly, gracefully and with intent. Give me a zumba class any day – bugger core strength, I wanna wiggle! I’d be crap at yoga for the same reason, you don’t generally see a lot of wiggling going on in yoga. I bit of wriggling, maybe but definitely not wiggling.

My Boofuls, while he is a doer and likes to get on with things is not really a mover. He’s been showing willing this last week or two and occasionally coming on Douggie the doggie’s evening walk with me but he doesn’t really enjoy it as I do. Unless, that is,  we happen to find ourselves in a graveyard. He has the most bizarre interest in gravestones and stops to read almost every one of them, every now and then turning to me with a, “54 ( or whatever age the deceased happened to be) bloody hell! Fancy that!”

Last night, once the sun had cooled down a bit, I encouraged him out for a walk. Of course we have to precede our walk with a short trip in the car.  He would have headed for the nearest cemetery but I managed to head him away with the lure of a nearby geocache hidden in a nice and shortish woodland walk. We found it fairly easily and completed the log as Douggie  gamboled around our feet and then went for a swim up the stream. That wasn’t a problem until he decided to hold his breath and swim  under a fence, like a commando,  across the stream and found himself in a field full of sheep – and out of our reach. Note to self: Don’t take eye off dog for even a moment.

Of course he threw a complete deaf ‘un at us as we shouted, cajoled and threatened, the main aim of the exercise being to prevent him noticing the sheep a few yards behind him until he decided to come back to us. Luckily for us he was more interested in the water  and after swimming up and down for a few minutes he came back grinning from ear to ear, not understanding why we both had stern faces, clipped his lead straight back on and walked him smartly away.

After that little incident we headed back to the car. “Is there another cache nearby?” Boofuls asked me. There was. 3.1 km away. Easy peasy just off the main road. We decided to go for it.

As we arrived within 50 metres of the designated point we realised there was nowhere to park nearby. Boofuls, already having done fulfilled his walking quota for the day decided to drive up the footpath which, in fairness was wide enough to take a car but still…

I jumped out of the car and began to search. Boofuls directed from the driver’s seat. There had been a lot of re-fencing going on and I feared it had been buried but eventually I found it. As I filled in the geocache log Boofuls drove  further up the track to find a place to turn round. I set off walking to meet him at the top but he met me halfway down.”What’s up there?” I asked him to which he replied, “Nothing.”

“Nothing, there can’t be nothing. There has to be something. What’s there?”

“Nothing, I told you.”

“Well, I’m going for a look.”

I closed the car door and headed off up to the top of the track.

Nothing? Really? There was the most spectacular view and a metal gate, that for some reason had holes drilled in it, seemed to be singing as the gentle breeze blew through it. It was a beautiful sound.

Boofuls hadn’t noticed any of it. I suppose that’s the difference between someone who wants  to be out  experiencing and living  a walk and someone who sees it as a pointless waste of time unless there is a goal to achieve, hence the geocaching.

Each to their own, I suppose.

Hugs from Amma

I saw this  on the news this morning about a woman from India who has made it her life’s work to hug people.  A few years ago a group of friends and me were talking about going to London for a hg from Amma. I wish we’d done it.

There’s just not enough hugging going on in the world.

I could do with a hug right now.  Virtual hugs, please.

We had no Thursday dance lesson today because our teacher is on the other side of the world teaching and examining at the moment.  Old habits die hard though and I was still out of bed and racing round the house like a nutcase getting showered and dressed for an early start after which I was  left twiddling my thumbs and feeling a bit lost. What to do now?

It was a lovely foggy morning so I grabbed Mrs Woofy I set  out for a walk  up on the moors. We were up there  before  9.o’clock.  What a lovely way to start the day.  Not as good as starting the day with a paso doble, obviously but a very close second.  Of course my trusty phone was with me to take a  few photos.

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It’s piddling down with rain! All our plans to get on with the garden have been foiled again! Mind you, it’s not like we need to get on with it before summer starts, is it?  Of course we are exhibiting at a wedding fair tomorrow so we won’t get anything done then – and the forecast is lovely. Typical!

We either have the time or the weather but hardly ever both – and when we do have both we’re too knackered to do anything about it.  Oh well, it’ll be a day of lounging around for us today then.

Slightly disappointing day yesterday when I took the kids to the nature reserve. As we walked in to the craft room the teacher looked at us with a wild look in her eye, threw her hands up in the air and announced,”I’m so behind this morning! I haven’t got anything ready yet. It’s been a terrible morning!”

“Never mind,” says I, “we’ll go in the cafe and have a drink while you get ready.”

“That won’t make any difference. The others will be arriving and I’m not ready!”

“Ok then. ” (backing away making placatory gestures before she burst into tears or threw a craft knife at me) “We’ll just wait out the way.”

Deciding that we would  get drinks to take in the class with us we headed over to the cafe anyway. The girls chose  juice, I asked for a cappuccino to take out. “Can’t do that. You can have a filter coffee to take out but not a capuccino.”   Turning into a cracking day, this. I thought to myself. I didn’t question as to why the cappuccino wasn’t allowed to leave the premises, I just settled for a tepid filter coffee and we headed back to the craft room, drinks in hand to discover that the teacher had started the class without us!!  Tsk! Speechless!

The lesson itself was very good. The girls got to try their hand at screen printing. They created their own design and then printed it onto tee shirts. All good. The downside was that the class ran out of steam a full hour before the published end time. Thank God I didn’t just leave them to it and go back to pick them up. They’d have been sitting around twiddling their thumbs for an hour. I’m rapidly falling out of love with Brockholes  nature reserve. Don’t even start me off about the wedding fair saga!

Moving on….. The Wednesday night walk was amazing this week. Apart from the fact that i thought the walk leader was trying to kill us. We set off up a steep hill. That was followed by a hill and then by a ridiculously steep hill. For a full hour we walked uphill. Just as I was getting really fed up with it all the terrain flattened out and after another half a mile or so we were met with the most wonderful sunset.

High enough to be able to see all across Morecambe Bay to Cumbria, the sun was shining on the sea, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. It was stunning!!  Typically, I’d made the decision to leave my phone at home so I didn’t have a camera about my person to photograph it but do you know what? It didn’t matter. I was happy just to stand and admire the  breathtaking scenery ( while quietly making  a plan to take a proper camera up the night after to photograph it).

The following night Boofuls was suitably schmoozed into going with me and Batty came along as well. We took a gentler route than the previous nights walk. Even so, Boofuls nearly dropped dead of exhaustion while Batty skipped along like a mountain goat.  Me?  Well, in comparison to the previous night I found it  a doddle, even though it was really quite a hard walk.

When we got to the summit, the sun decided to hid behind a huge bank of clouds that had sprung up since we started our walk.  We could see tantalising glimpses of a spectacular sunset just behind the curtain of cloud. Typical! Can you Adam and Eve it? You couldn’t bloody make this stuff up, could you?!

Since Thursday, Boofuls has been hobbling round like a ninety year old.  Poor Boofuls. What  he needs is a lot more exercise. Get yer boots on (or maybe not).