Tag Archives: walking

Shall I? Shan’t I? Ooohh, I dunno!


It’s Wednesday evening, walking night. The rain has been on and off all afternoon and I’m physically and mentally pooped (not because of the rain. It’s been a traumatic day).

My walking buddy phoned me to make the decision as to wether we were going or not. “I dunno. Let’s give it an hour and see what happens.”

What’s happened is that although it’s stopped raining the sky is glowering and just waiting for us to get to the point of no return before piddling down on us from the heavens.  I’ve done this enough times in the past to know this. Oh well, I won’t melt if I get wet, will I?

I’m reading a book at the moment, well, you know, not at this exact moment or I wouldn’t be able to chat with you. The book is an absolute bag of poo,written by an ex policeman, the one who was signing his books at Hoghton Tower on Sunday.

I haven’t read a book where the characters start sentences with “Why…” since I last read an Enid Blyton book.

Who the hell  these days starts a sentence with, why..?

“Why, the rain is Spain falls mainly on the plain.”

Nah, doesn’t work unless you’re Geordie and in that instance it has to be followed by ‘aye, man’ as in “Why aye man, this brown ale is smashing. Fill yer boots”

I’m sorry Mr ex policeman, you’re not the next JK Rowlings after all. I withdraw my daughter’s betrothal.  Try and write  without sounding like something out of ‘The Famous Five and everything will be ticketyboo.

Ok. I have to go and change to go walking. Remind me to tell you about today’s traumatic events. Why, I don’t know about going walking, I could really do to have a lie down in a darkened room!

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Tip of the Day


Tip of the day parts one, two, three and four:

1. When out walking with the dog and attempting to climb over a wire fence while carrying a bag of poo and the dog’s neck cone, make sure that there are no hidden stones to make you lose your balance, get your leg caught in said wire fence and fall straight into a bed of nettles.

2. Having  actually taken the plunge and fallen into the bed of nettles, the first thing you must do after landing  is jump to your feet and look round and establish that no one saw you.

3 . When falling into a bed of nettles, try not to be wearing thinnish leggings at the time as the aforementioned nettles will not only sting you straight through them but bits of nettle will embed themsleved in them and continue to sting you for many hours until you’re in a position to change your clothes.

4.  In the absence of dock leaves to rub on nettle stings, try saliva. Don’t try this if it involves removing leggings in full view of a main road – you may get arrested.

I hope you find these handy tips useful.

Deer! Dog! Boy!


Oh, bloody hell, what a drama.

It’s been a week or so since I’ve seen my sister so I sent a text: ‘Fancy a walk in the park?’

Mrs Woofy is allowed out again now that the £2 coin sized wound in her side is as small as pea, that would be a petit pois not a marrowfat pea and I thought a nice gentle stroll in the park would help her to convalesce.

‘Fab. See you there.’ came back the response. We met at the appointed place, Me, my sister, niece and her boyfriend. Mrs Woofy was all over excited and straining at the leash, eager to burn off three weeks worth of steam and generally being a pain in the proverbial.

My sister’s dog, a huge  and powerful alaskan malamute who goes by the name of ‘Flick’, looked at  her disdainfully as if to say, ‘Calm it down a bit, love.’

Alaskan Malamute

Source: http://www.gotpetsonline.com

Through the park we went, keeping a wide berth from other dogs as Mrs Woofy still has an open wound and Flick has a short temper. He won’t start a fight by by God, he’ll finish one.

Eventually we began the climb up into the wood, it was a nice, sunny and  breezy day, perfect for a walk. The dogs sniffed around and inestigated everything while we all walked and chatted when we were all disturbed by excited shouts from somewhere to our right.

The next thing we knew was that a  biggish deer leapt straight out of a bush about five feet in front of us. We all stood, frozen to the spot, all that is except Flick who set  off  with a howl at lightning speed  to bring it down.

My sister shouted:  DEER!

Then as realisation dawned:  DEER!  DOG!  FLICK! OH  NOOOOOOOOOO!  FLICK! STOOOOOOOPPPP!

Off course the dog threw her a deaf  ‘un at that point as he bounded off into the woods for his prey.

So the dog set off after the deer, the boyfriend set off after the dog, the niece set off after the boyfriend, my sister and me set off calling the dog and praying that he wouldn’t catch the deer and Mrs Woofy set off after everyone thinking that there was a nice game of chase going on.   It  was all a bit chaotic and  Benny Hill -ish.

Eventually, Flick came back, with no evidence of having caught the deer. I think the boyfriend just kept running I don’t know where he got to but he was gone for ages.We just carried on with our walk,  keeping a wary eye out for livestock and laughing like maniacs with relief that we weren’t going to prison for killing deer.  Bloody animals, it’s enough to give you a heart attack.

It’s a bit early in the day


What the hell am I doing awake at 6.30 on a Sunday morning?

I must say I’m loving this bank holiday business, even though I’m getting my days are all muddled,  every one feels like a Sunday. It is Sunday today, isn’t it?  *checks diary*.

There was a comedian on telly last night who really made me laugh. He was talking about all the different tv channels we have now, including one called ‘Yesterday’

Can you imagine telling your already confused elderly parents that ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ is on Yesterday today?  Hahaaaaa!!

Anyway,  ahem, moving on.

Yesterday I had to take our nineteen year old  cat to the vet for her toenails cutting again. This time she didn’t get the usually obligatory antibiotic so it only cost £20 instead of the £40 it cost last time which left me traumatised for a week.

This time it was the cat who was traumatised. When we got back home I let her out of the basket expecting her to run upstairs and snuggle down in her usual corner and spend the rest of the day giving me the evil eye.

That didn’t happen at all. Instead she spent the whole of the rest of the day wandering round the house screaming at the top of her voice: “MY FEEEEET! MY FEEEEEEET!!! HELP! HELP! HELP!   Ooh, tuna and goats milk! *lap, lap, lap* HELP!! MY FEEEET!!”

What a bloody racket. There was no consoling her. At least she’d got it all out of her system by bedtime or it would have been a night on the tiles for her.

In between the trip to the vet and all the howling I managed to get the spare bedroom repainted. It’s now a lovely soft shade of hospital green as opposed to the lovely soft shade of sludge green that it was before. There is really only a few shades difference but it looks so much lighter and more feminine.

While I was doing that Boofuls continued to carry out the building work in the garden. How, I have no idea. He’s managed to pull a muscle in his back and he’s walking a bit like Galen from ‘Planet of the Apes’ at the moment.

Not much point in asking him if he fancied a walk in the woods then. He doesn’t walk at the best times. I asked Batty if she fancied going with me to the enchanted wood to take some photos.  Batty is the only other member of the family who likes walking so she snapped up my offer in no time. Off we trotted to the woods, well, actually, we drove to the woods.

Now I could have taken a hoofing great camera with me, the plan was after all to take photos but I’ve decided to challenge myself and come up with an exhibition’s worth of photos of the various moors and woodlands I walk on a regular basis, all taken on my phone. Not that I’m planning an exhibition, it’s only a project for my own amusement.

Whaaaatt? On your phone? How ridiculous!  I can hear you saying. Well, actually, no.

The camera on my phone is amazing. All the photos you’re about to see were all taken using my phone. It’s not easy having no meter to take light readings from but that adds to the fun of it. All of these photos are pretty much SOOC (straight out of camera).

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This afternoon should be FAB-U-LOUS!!  Boofuls, me Lashes and Len are going to an Argentine tango workshop. I can’t wait for that!!!!  If there’s no lesson on after the workshop I think Boofuls and me might stay for a while after and get a bit of general practice in. We haven’t been dancing for weeks and it’s starting to become an issue. Let’s see how Boofuls’ back holds out first, eh?

Our “Big Adventure” to go and see the northern lights isn’t progressing terribly smoothly. I got a quote from a travel company who I think thought of a price and doubled it.  Apart from the fact they have completely ignored what I told them I wanted, they’ve quoted almost £3000 for three nights. Crikey!!

Doing some independent research, it looks like we can’t get a direct flight from Manchester or even Heathrow and we need to stop overnight in Stockholm. No big hardship, that. Stockholm’s lovely. Except.

We would arrive in Stockholm in the evening and fly out first thing the next morning so not a lot of opportunity for sightseeing, just a night in a hotel.  Major faffage!!

Research is continuing but I need to be aware that winter is peak season in Scandinavia so things are going to book up if I don’t get a wiggle on.

It’s much easier booking a holiday to Spain or Greece or somewhere!!

strolling, just strolling


STROLLING:  Flanagan & Allen 

Strolling, just strolling,

In the cool of the evening air,

I don’t envy the rich in their automobiles,

For a motor car is phoney.

I’d rather have Shanks’s pony,

When I’m strolling,

just strolling,

With the light of the moon above,

Ev’ry night I go out strolling,

And I know my luck is rolling,

When I’m strolling with the one I love.

(source: http://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/s/strolling.shtml)

Aah, the council organised, Wednesday walks are back on. How I’ve missed them.

From April to October between thirty and 50 intrepid walkers, and me,  meet up in all weathers once a week to explore the hidden wonders of lovely Lancashire.

Tonight was week three. These walks are advertised as ‘a stressbusting two hour walk at a brisk pace.’

Brisk? A moderately paced jog is more like it  – and strolling doesn’t even come into it.  As for strolling with the one I love – it’d kill him!

There has been a definite improvement in my fitness levels though since I first started to do these walks, three years ago. Now I don’t feel like I am actually going to die as we race up every hill the walk leader can find,  and I don’t often have to stop for a breather.

Tonight we covered five and a half miles and it was magbloodynificent!

The bluebells carpeted the floor of the woods, the sun sparkled through the trees and off the water of the reservoir, the birds sang and the overall effect was that there was just a hint of magic in the air. Half expecting to see a fairy peeping out from a mossy tree stump I walked enchanted through the magic wood and was sad to leave it behind as we climbed up the hill back on to the moors.

Sometimes it’s just about perfect. Sigh.

It’d be fantastic if I had half a dozen lovely photographs to show you but we don’t have time to stop. Loiterers get left behind. I did snatch a couple of photos on my phone and then had to run to catch up with everyone else as they disappeared into the distance.

bluebells
sunset in the woods
in the woods

So I don’t have a lot of photos from tonight’s walk but I do have a few photos from the photo shoot I did for my friend and neighbour the other day. The puppy is about nine weeks old and is a cross between a belgian Shepherd and  German Shepherd. He’s going to be gorgeous later. He’s already quite gorgeous now.

Black puppy

The border collie is Mrs Woofy’s bezzie mate. I don’t know why as she took a chunk out of her last week which resulted in visits to the vet’s and lots of money changing hands.

Border collie


Counting down and speeding up


It’s now only a week until we set off on the  big adventure for me and my beloved to retake our wedding vows.

Obviously, instead of  work gently winding down, it has been coming at us from every direction (that’s really a good thing) .

Various family  and friends have been needing support through assorted crises.

Even the estate agent has been on the phone for the first time in sodding months to tell us that a couple from Oxford want to come and view the house. Now we are running round like nutcases trying to get all the garden beautified and hiding all the clutter that somehow manages to accumulate without me noticing it until I look at my home through a stranger’s eyes.

It goes without saying that all of this ensures that  we will be kept busy right up to the minute we clamber aboard the love boat to paradise.

Oh well, such is life.

Do you know what I realised the other night as I was lying awake listening to Booful’s latest symphony for snorers?

I realised that by the time we get back from this trip there WILL be houses trimmed up for Christmas!!!!  Actually, now I come to think of it, there’ll probably be houses trimmed up for Christmas before we even go – they get down to it early around these parts. It generally starts around, well, now – and lasts until mid to late January. Halloween and bonfire night just serve to give another excuse to get some coloured lights and streamers up a bit earlier.

I saw  a house all trimmed for halloween a few days ago it had a huge great banner in the window saying ‘Happy Halloween’  It struck me as a bit of an oxymoron, and then it made me laugh.

The weather has been fabulous for the last few days, Mrs Woofy is now not in season so we managed to go for a luuuuverley, long brisk walk through the woods. The air was crisp and clean, the sky was blue and the ground was a veritable shag pile  of golden and orange tones that crackled in a very satisfying way as we walked over it.  All in all it was just about perfect.  I swear even the dog was smiling.  I’m hoping that the weather holds till we set off on our hols, that will set us up nicely.

This is the Life


What’s going on? Sitting here on a Thursday afternoon, glass of frizzante in front of me, the prospect of a lovely dinner followed by an evening lovlier pud and all courtesy of M & S’s,  ‘two for a tenner’ deal.

I’ve got that Friday feeling  – and it’s only Thursday!  (hang on…slurp ).  I have absolutely no right to have that Friday feeling today as I still have a ton of work to do including the stupidly late accounts.  I’m expecting the accountant to phone me and give me grief any day now.  I’m going to blame B – for the Friday feeling, not the accounts not being up to date – because he came home from work early so it feels like a Friday.

I’ll probably regret it  all later when it’s time to go out dog training and I’ve got a thick head and only want to sleep but at the moment it’s all very sophisticated and makes me feel like there is still a hint of summer in the air even though the clouds are glowering and threatening to empty tons of water on us at any moment, probably the very moment I take the dog for a walk as that seems to be the routine of late.  In the meantime though I’ll just sit and chat with you.

So. How have you been? Family all  alright? Work ok? How’s your bunions?  Good, good.

Me?  Ohhhhhh, it’s all good here.

We went to view a house we LOVED the other day. Now I know I loved the last one we went to see but that was only in lower case. We LOVE this one!  It’s at the end of our field.  That brilliant  medium I went to see told us we’d move to a house on the edge of where we live now.  Our buyers are due to turn up any day now and funnily enough I saw a huge beamer coming out of the top of our track earlier, I had to reverse to let them out.  They must have been doing a recce.  Asking price only, please. No offers.

Our posh cat spent a night on the tiles the other night. I don’t know what he got up to because all the wedding tackle was taken car e of years ago but whatever it was he got up to he was absolutely exhausted when he came in the following morning.  Taking up his favoured sleeping position on the back of the chair, he never moved all morning until it was time for me to take N to work. “Throw the cat out of here will you please, N.” I said.

N picked up the very floppy cat and place him on the stairs, elegantly draped over two steps. Five minutes later I walked past and the cat was still in exactly the same position as N had left him in, and fast asleep. he wearily opened one eye as I went past him and managed to get up another 5 steps before stopping for another short kip. It took him all day to recover from his night out, I’m sure I heard him saying to our other cat, “Never again, uuuuuuurrrggghhh.’

**************

The Wednesday walk was good last night, for one: it didn’t rain till the last 10 minutes and not much then and two: the laugh we had.  The walk started, as it has all month, in Pleasington.  Fifty or so of us intrepid walkers set off for a brisk walk up through the yellow hills, so called because of the huge amount of gorse bushes. We got to the top in about half an hour, not bad going.  At the top of the hill there are magnificent views right across to the coast as well as a little natural lake which is quite pretty . Well, lake might be a bit of a grand word for it, it’s actually more like a pond. A small pond; more of a largish puddle really, but still a lovely spot.

As we approached the summit one by one we all noticed the young couple who’d obviously thought  they’d found a romantic, secluded spot where they’d never get disturbed as it was miles from anywhere.

Complete with blanket, picnic and champagne, they blushed furiously as fifty hikers went past with huge grins on their faces. “Lovely evening for it.” One wag said, which made them blush even more as ‘it’ had clearly been on the agenda.

To make it (the situation, not ‘it)  even worse (for them, not us) it was the very spot where we stop for a rest for a few minutes. There was absolutely nowhere for them to hide so they steadfastly tried to pretend we just weren’t there.  After a few minutes we set off on our travels again. We could almost hear their sighs of relief. The relief wouldn’t have lasted for long though, as we set off up the next hill a group of fell runners, about fifty of them ran down it, straight past…. yup, you’ve guessed it. Poor things.  I’d have given up and gone home.

Foiled again


Bloody weather.  I got soaked to the skin this afternoon taking poochie for a walk and wasn’t keen to get soaked again tonight on the Wednesday walk so at 6pm, after keeping a close eye on the huge black clouds hanging over us I made the decision not to go. Within ten minutes of it being too late to go the bloody clouds parted and the sun shone through. Now it’s a glorious evening and I’m stuck at home with no where to go. Gutted for me.

Ah well, I’ve just  watched a nice film starring the brilliant Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman, ‘Last Chance Harvey’. Very sweet and not a single person got shot/chased in a car/murdered/blown up/wore a space suit. Lovely.

*******

After whinging my brains out today at my friend and rival photographer, Paul  about lack of reprint sales from portrait sittings, I home home to find a monster sized order waiting for me. Yay!!!   Obviously a good whinge is the way to go. The future is whinging.

********

After dog training the other night we arrived back at Deb’s house to find her daughter in a flap. She’d lost some work and desperately needed it for the following day, could I possibly help as I’m a computer genius (blushes slightly).

If only she knew the truth, just keep bashing the keys and talking bullshit till the right thing happens. The real computer genius in this house is Boofuls. Anyway, I invited her to come down with the laptop and the offending memory stick to see if we could find and get the bugger to print for her.  While Boofuls was messing with the computer I asked her – and the little sister who she’d brought along for moral support, if they’d like a glass of lemonade.

Easy enough question, I thought.

By the the look on their faces you’d think I’d asked them  what their opinion was of the Large Hadron Collider and the Higgs Boson experiments.

“Err, dunno.’ Came back the answer as they both squirmed on the spot, shuffling their feet and giggling like lunatics.

Well, y’see it’s at this point that I tend to get a bit tetchy, I try not to, really I do.  I pasted a smile on my face and tried not to appear menacing.

“It’s a simple yes or no answer. Would you like some or not.”

“Errr, not bovvered.” Squirm, shuffle, giggle.

“Right, two lemonades it is then.”  Ggggrrrrr.   Basic social skills really aren’t that difficult, are they?  I know we live in the back of beyond but ffs!!!

I stropped off to the kitchen leaving Boofuls to make (very) small talk with them. Thank God it didn’t take too long to get it all sorted out for them.  To their credit they did manage a feeble, ‘thank you’ as they left.

Here a few photos taken on my new  iphone. I’m stunned with the quality of them when the photos are taken in good light, or even in average light.  It doesn’t cope too well in low light but then I have to remind myself that it is after all only a bloody phone!  This first photo is a massive crop and it still looks acceptable, I’m soooo impressed. Now if I could only work out how to ring people….

Hairy Moth

Darwen Tower from Tockholes

This next photo has been very clumsily tinkered with. If you guess what I’ve done to it – and I’ve left you a massive clue- you won’t win anything at all.

Tockholes field