Week 60 - 64
July 2010 Week 60 – 64
When mum keeps putting things in the caravan it is a good sign that we are going away on a trip and she has been really busy this week. But then just to confuse me we had a day out with Helen and Ed at Audley End.
I rode all the way there with Ed on the back seat and we had a great time. When we got there the park was just lovely and we did a lot of walking. Helen borrowed a scooter which I wasn’t too sure about to start with but I got used to it, and we all piled our belongings on it so we didn’t have to carry anything.
We had a good look around the organic kitchen garden, and if I say so myself our allotment has bigger and better vegetables in it. Ed puts a lot of time and work in to the allotment and he grows loads of things.
I quite like a few fresh vegetables and when we can pick our own they are yummy. Sometimes I ask for a carrot when mum is cleaning them and I like pea pods when they are young and crunchy. I will never be a vegetarian, I like meat, fish and cheese too much, but a bit of variety in the diet is good for one.
We had a very good picnic at lunchtime and met some very nice people. It was a hot tiring day, but we ended with a cream tea before we went home.
The very next day, Sunday, we hitched up the caravan, and mum and I headed north, so I was right, we were going on a trip.
We arrived at Top Lodge near Stamford at lunchtime and were offered lunch, so we quickly put the caravan on a pitch and joined the party. I met Minty, who is a retired greyhound. She is just huge compared to me, but lovely. We sat under the trees in the shade most of the afternoon and then mum and I had a walk in the woods. What a great place. I walked with Minty on our last walk tonight. She doesn’t want to run with me which I find odd. Surely if she used to run as a career she should enjoy running with me, but I could not get her interested. She won 8 races out of 16 and then she retired. Now that’s impressive. I am pretty good at chasing rabbits, but my legs are about a third of the size of Minty’s legs, so I think she would beat me if we had a race.
Monday -- Mum and I followed the orange way-marked route this morning through the woods and then had our breakfast when we got home. We did not meet anyone on our walk, but I did get mum up early today. Well, the sun was shining through the caravan roof and the birds were singing so I just wanted to be out there enjoying this sunny morning. Everyone had coffee together and then some of us went for a walk to the hide. We sat very quietly and we saw woodpeckers and squirrels, lots of tits and chaffinches and then four fallow deer walked across the clearing in front of us. What an interesting morning, I have never done that before.
We stayed four days and each day we went to the hide. One day on the way back to the caravan there were some deer on the path, but they ran away when they saw us. I was with Kim and Dave that day and Dave and I gave chase, but they were too fast for us. Dave has got shorter legs than me but she gave it her all. Yes, Dave is a girl.
This morning, Thursday, we hitched up and headed north again. I was a bit fed up and sat on the back seat with my head down most of the time. I really enjoy being out in the caravan and I thought we were going home, but two hours later we pulled up at a gate and I started to cry with excitement. Here was a field of caravans and we were joining them!
My friend Finlay the spaniel was already here and so was my friend Cindy. Finlay was a bit grumpy at tea this afternoon and he got shouted at.
Friday morning dawned, another wonderful sunny day and mum and I set off to find a walk. We had found a gate at the corner of the field last night and so this morning we went through it and just followed our noses. A path led to a wood and we walked along a ridge with wonderful views of the Derwent valley in Derbyshire. When we got back mum told everyone about our walk and this afternoon we did it again with Finlay and Cindy. Finlay was still a bit grumpy and on the way back he ran off in front and we could not find him. We waited down by the stream while Clive looked for him. That was good because I ran up and down in the stream lots of times until I was really wet and I got so excited. Then Finlay was found sitting at the gate waiting to get back into the field, so we left the stream and went home. I cannot understand why anyone would prefer to be at home when there is the most delightful walk with a stream to be enjoyed. I think Finlay needs to get out more and learn to enjoy himself.
We popped into Wirksworth for a paper and also had a look at the Crich Tramway museum to see if dogs are welcome, which they are. When it is a bit cooler we will have a day here.
Saturday 10th July
We met several people and dogs this morning including 4 working wire haired Vizlars. They were so well behaved and mum said I should take lessons from them. We followed a lady down to a large pond where I had a swim and then we went rather a long way to get home, so we did about 5 miles which was great.
After breakfast we went into Ashbourne to see Christine and Hilton. Great news, they are having a new puppy next week, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, and she is to be called Sophie.
We had coffee on the terrace and I explored the garden. They have some interesting bits where you can climb up and look down on everyone, and also where you can hide round corners. After lunch we walked into town, it was very busy with people and dogs, but lots of interesting things to see. The men were packing away the market stalls and I sat and watched from the steps of the Tourist Information Centre while mum was picking up leaflets. There are a number of things on in the next couple of weeks that she wants to go and see.
We stayed for dinner and it was dark when we got home and mum had to struggle with the gates, because the farmer had closed up for the night.
Sunday 11th July
We walked Peat Pit Wood this morning but did not go into Shining Cliff Wood to the pond as we did yesterday. This was because mum had promised Christine that she would help with the teas and coffees at church this morning so we had to get going. I stayed with Hilton and had a nap and then they all went out to lunch and I was left for an hour or so. In the afternoon there was the strangest of noises. I barked and then I howled time after time. The noise went on for nearly half an hour and mum said we had to go home because she could not stand it. The church where she had helped with the coffee is just below the house and the noise was coming from the steeple. I have never heard anything like it so I kept joining in, but it was not like the normal music we have at home.
We came home and I had dinner at the caravan today which was a tin. I have been having kidneys so this was not up to the normal standard.
We woke up to the sound of pitter patter on the roof this morning. We have had no rain for weeks, so it will be good for the allotment if it is raining at home. When I say we woke up I am of course referring to the royal ‘we’. I wake up about 5.30am and then I remember mum is here and so I walk along the caravan and lick her face. She usually gives me a pat and says “too early” and I have to go back to bed. Sometimes, like this morning I wait a few minutes and then I creep up on her bed and snuggle down. What a great way to start the day having a cuddle with mum in bed.
We had a reasonably dry walk through Peat Pit Wood, but the rain started again when we got home. Mum asked me if I knew why it was called Peat Pit Wood today, she says the names of the 2 woods are very interesting and we should find out where they have come from. There is an old trackway that we follow which is just so bumpy because it was made with big and small stones and the ground goes up and down. It must have been extremely uncomfortable to have ridden in a carriage hundreds of years ago. No wonder they had wheels come off and sometimes they tipped over. Imagine what an adventure it was to travel anywhere.
There was a man called Robin Hood who lived in a great big wood just like ours and he used to stop the carriages and take money from rich people and give it to the poor. Tomorrow I am promised stories of highwaymen so it will be an interesting walk again.
It is our day in today, when we are in charge of the field. We have to look after all the caravans and another one arrived today so we put it in the right place and told them where the water is and made sure they settled in alright.
There was a highwayman called Dick Turpin who robbed everyone he could and eventually he was caught stealing horses. Mum says he came to a sticky end. Does that mean he fell from his horse into a pot of honey?
It rained a bit today and I had to be dried off after our walk. Finlay told me today that his dad forgot to pack his raincoat for the last caravan rally and he was made to go out in a Morrison’s carrier bag with holes cut in it for his legs. No wonder he gets grumpy. Does nothing for a chap’s street cred, having to wear a carrier bag.
Mum went on a tour of Strutt’s Mill at Belper today and learned all about cotton. She found out that our stony path through the woods which is very wide for a path was a packhorse route. The horses carried bales of cotton on each side and took it to the mills on the Derwent. That must have been such hard work, trudging along those rough paths up and down hills for mile after mile with great big heavy loads strapped on them. They must have been pleased when the railway was built and they didn’t have to do it any more.
A family called Kelly who lived in Shining Cliff Wood many years ago were charcoal burners. They had eight children and lived under a big tree. Someone wrote a song about them called ‘rock a bye baby in the treetops, when the wind blows the baby doth rock’, because that is exactly what happened, when the wind blew the baby would be gently rocked to sleep in the branches of the tree. Fancy living in a tree with all the birds and squirrels. I think it would be nice in the summer but not very good in the winter in the cold and the snow.
This evening, mum and I went round to Finlay’s caravan. There were plenty of chews and biscuits so it was a good evening.
Week 62 Thursday
We met Stanley a Springer Spaniel on our walk this morning and he and I had such a good time. We raced through the woods together, backwards and forwards and round in circles. He lives near here and does this walk every day. I thought that I was pretty fit but he kept jumping over the dry stone walls and I was not quite brave enough to follow him.
Mick and Dorothy came round for coffee today and I jumped all over them and so
I was pretty tired after all of this exercise. Then, just before lunch, Ken and Dorothy said did I want to go for a walk in the woods, so off we went again. They thought that I was a bit subdued today but they did not know that I had already run several miles earlier this morning.
Mum went out for a bit of retail therapy this afternoon and I was pleased to have a nap. Liver for dinner tonight and then I collapsed on the bunk again for a well earned rest. Somebody wake me for breakfast.
Went to have lunch with Sophie today. Sophie is a nine week old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who has been adopted by Hilton and Christine. She is the smallest dog that I have ever seen. We took lots of pictures and here are some of them.
Saturday 17th July
Mum and I went to the National Tramway Museum at Crich today. We had a lot of fun riding on the trams.
The first one we went on was the Sheffield one and we were downstairs at the front just behind the driver. It was interesting to see how he worked the pedals and the brake. When we got to the end of the track the driver and conductor changed ends and instead of being at the front mum and I were now at the back. The people upstairs changed the seats round to face the other way and back we went down the track.
We got off at the next stop and went for a walk in the woods and stopped on the bridge and looked down at the track.
We had our picnic lunch and then walked back to where the trams started from. Then we decided to ride on the open top London tram and we clambered up the very steep twisting stairs and sat right at the back. This time we rode all the way up the track, turned our seats round, so now we were at the front of the tram, and rode all the way down. I will let the pictures tell the story, but I enjoyed the wind in my fur so much as we came down the hill on the tram, that I kept popping my head out of the car window when we drove home.
The speed we were going took all the curls out of my fur and I really could have done with a pair of goggles.
Sunday 18th July
Mum and Dorothy went out today and I stayed with Ken. He really likes to walk and run so I got four more walks in the wood after my normal morning walk and we ran up and down the field quite a few times. I slept all evening stretched out on the bunk, after I had had my dinner.
It was a cleaning morning so it was better to stay out of the way or you might get washed and polished. Then mum went off to Bakewell market and when she came home I got a pig’s ear and a new toy. I stayed with Maureen for the morning and Cindy was there too. We sat under the hedge in the shade.
Tonight we had a chat with the farmer, and mum asked him about the Bear pond and Bear pub names. Although he owns Bear pond, he didn’t know the history, but he said the house just up the road used to be an inn and was called the Packhorse and both pubs were on the Manchester to London coaching route. The route was down Dalley Lane to Belper and he thinks this lane was a Roman road. Imagine all those Roman soldiers who built these roads and then marched up and down all these hills. We are right on top of a hill and we have great views on our walks.
Wednesday 21st July
Christine and Hilton came to us for lunch, but they did not bring Sophie, so that was a disappointment, but while they were all eating I went off with Dorothy and Ken for a walk.
Thursday 22nd July
Moving on; after an early start and walk we hitched up the caravan and off we went again. When we stopped we were at the Vanmaster factory at Wigan. We had come to get the caravan serviced and to have a few jobs done. We left them working on our caravan and off we went to Haigh Hall. What a great place, on the outskirts of Wigan and miles of walks to explore.
Friday 23rd July
We did not get a good night’s sleep in the noisy factory yard, and we had to vacate the caravan early to let the work continue, but it meant we went back to Haigh Hall for several hours of walking again.
We returned to the factory, hitched on the caravan and started south. We only went 50 miles but we got stuck in a traffic jam on the M6 and so it took us over 2 hours to get to our next stop at Nantwich.
Nice spot here, but a rather large horse in the next field was just a bit too friendly for my liking.
Saturday 24th July
A nice sunny day and Helen who lives on the Wirral came over for lunch.
Sunday 25th July
Up early and hitched on. Today we are going home. We did not stop today, and we had a good run and were home by lunchtime.
Monday 26th July
I took up my normal guarding position on the stairs so that I can see anyone walking through the close, but mum caught me off duty snatching a quick nap. Well it has been a tiring three weeks holiday.
Thursday 29th July
It has been all go this week, washing, ironing, grass cutting, well it is tiring just to watch mum.
Friday 30th July
We went to the coach station today and picked up Helen who lives on the Wirral. She had come all the way from Birkenhead to stay with us for a few days.
Saturday and Sunday I spent with Helen and Ed, and I hurt my leg. It was really painful to put any weight on it, so I hopped around on three legs. I also had an upset stomach, which mum says I have got from eating anything that I can find when I am out.
Monday, and I was just so depressed. I spent most of my day in my basket feeling sorry for myself. Mum gave me some painkillers in the afternoon and then I started to feel a bit better.
Tuesday I had another day with Helen and Ed, and Wednesday 4th August, a day with Bryan at number 2 and by then I was beginning to feel my normal boisterous self.
This site was last updated 08/24/10 by Helen Mortimer
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