When you see your name in print!

Oh wow, how excited was I on 21st August , when I opened my emails?  There, in black and white, was an email from Countryfile Magazine, telling me a photo I had sent in of one of my dogs,  was selected as the winning entry, for the September edition of their magazine.  The competition was being sponsored by Halti, so I was also to receive a selection of their products!

I have been a fan of Countryfile ever since it started! Thankfully, my husband really enjoyed it too.  It has become a religion in our house now.  Every Sunday evening, we would have a roast dinner, then curl up on the sofa, to watch that weeks episode.

One day, I was sitting in a waiting room waiting for my medical.  On the table was a Countryfile magazine.  I had never seen it before, but was so absorbed in it, I was gutted when I had to go in for my appointment.

I immediately went out and subscribed to the magazine.  That was June 2012. And I’m still subscribing to it!

Every month, I have read the articles, looked at the walks and the competitions.  I have mentioned to my hubby many times that he should enter the competitions.  Both hubby and I love photography.  I have seen his photos, and I firmly believe he has some award winning pictures of his own.

I have never really thought any of mine would be good enough.  Then in July, after a trip to Isle of Skye, I saw the competition regarding pets on holiday.

I love taking photos of Fido and Lola, and had been pleased with how they had come out.  My hubby actually was the one who thought I should enter one of them into the competition.

I thought – why not!  What have I got to lose?  So on 16th July, I send off my photo.

When I received the email telling me I had won, I was absolutely shocked.  I didn’t care about the prize!  It was the fact that someone had thought my photo was good!  I couldn’t stop smiling.  Immediately, I started spreading the news!  I was now an award winning photographer!  Ok, it isn’t like I’m on TV or anything, but I was having my photo published in September’s edition of Countryfile Magazine.  I mean, Countryfile!

I have been waiting in excitement to see it in print.

Last night a friend received her copy of the magazine.  Mine hadn’t arrived, but she sent me a photo.  I was again in ‘smile’ mode!  She promised to bring me the magazine into work the next day.

When I saw it in print, it was like I had won the lottery!  Ok, most people won’t know me, but everyone who buys the magazine, will see the picture I took of Fido!

I was always into photography and competitions, just not both together!  This has given me a new motivation, to get out there and take more photos.  Learn more about my camera and  explore the countryside.

Sometimes, you just have to have confidence in your own ability.  If I hadn’t won, I wouldn’t have been disappointed, however now I have, I feel 10 feet tall.  I am very proud of myself, but more importantly, I am proud of my husbands word.  I know he takes some amazing photos too.  I will be pushing him more to get his work out there now!

Don’t ever doubt yourself.  Push yourself out there!  Sometimes, it turns into nothing, but other times, it fulfills your dreams and more!  I certainly will be doing more photographic competitions.  You never know, once day it may even get me on the TV with my photo in the Countryfile calendar!

You have to have a dream and ambition!

I have now started uploading some of my photos to YouTube.  If you are interested, subscribe to my channel.

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Can dogs make you a better person?

You may think this is a funny question to ask, but I think they can!  I’m not saying if you have dogs you won’t commit a crime,  but I do think dogs as pets do make a difference in your life!

Since I was born, my parents had dogs.   As a child, there are many options  we want as pets.  Some want fish, some cats, some even want snakes and spiders, but like me, it has to be a dog.  Whatever the pet, the one thing they all teach kids is responsibility.

If you own a pet, you have to make sure its given food, water, a nice home to live in, and depending on the pet, exercise.  What it also does is give you the feeling of love!

How many times have you seen homeless people with dogs?  I have seen many! You may wonder why they have them when they don’t have a home.  For someone who is homeless, they not only give them someone to protect them, but it also gives them someone to love, and love them back!

When I left home at 19, I decide to have 2 kittens, rather than a dog.  I loved my cats dearly, but they are very independent creatures. Yes they would be waiting for me when I got home, but they still wanted to be out exploring!

Dogs on the other hand want so much more from you, and give even more back!

As a child, my fondest memories were of walks at the weekend with my parents, siblings, and the family dog.

We lived near Warwick Racecourse, which is also public land. When the weather permitted, this was a great spot for walking the family dog.

I’ve always loved walking, which I think came from that experience. Even when I left home, I continued with my walks!

One day, I was walking on my own around the Malvern Hills! It struck me that something was missing in my life! I loved my walking, but I really missed that one true friend ! Don’t get me wrong, I had lots of friends socially, but just going for a walk needed a special friend. – a dog!

I worked full time so knew a puppy was out of the question! I decided a trip the the ‘Dogs Trust’ in Kenilworth was the answer !

If you have ever been to a dogs home, you will know what I mean when I say, you know ‘the one’!

I hadn’t really got anything in my head, except it has to like walking!

I looked up and down the kennels, I saw lots of cute dogs, but none said ‘take me home’! So I decided to give up and go home !

Later that day I spoke with my mum. She was disappointed that I hadn’t taken her with me! I felt bad, so even though my last trip was unsuccessful, I decided to return the same day with my mum.

As we walked around the kennels I saw the same dogs again.  My views on them hadn’t changed.  I felt sorry for them, they were cute and sad, but none still didn’t pull the right heart string!  Then I saw her.  She was a beautiful golden dog.  She was called Tilly.  They thought she was a german shepherd and greyhound cross.  She was 8 years old.  They didn’t know much about her except she was found in Ireland.  I fell in love with her immediately.

I registered my interest in her.  When you take a dog from a dogs home, they always make checks on you and where you live before they agree if you can take the dog home.  Thankfully, I passed the tests and Tilly came home with me a week later.

The dogs home had named her Tilly.  She hadn’t been in there long so didn’t really know her new name.  I decided to change it to Sophie!

She was a beautiful dog.  Very loyal.  In the 4 years I had her before she passed away, I never heard her bark.  She was frighten on newpapers though and bangs.  She had a bullet a few millimetres from her heart.  It was believed she may have been shot.  As it was so close to her heart, they couldn’t remove it.

Sophie and I became immediate friends.  She would love coming out for walks with me.

When you walk with your dog, something changes.  You become more sociable.  When its just you walking down the street, you wouldn’t often say anything to someone you pass!  When you have a dog at your side, you seem to have to be polite and make a gesture.  Good morning or afternoon become normal phrases.

You meet other dog walkers.  Funnily enough, you always get to know the dogs names but never the owners!  I was ‘Sophie’s mum’.

I have had 3 more dogs since Sophie.  Ember was next.  He was 2 years old and again from the dogs home.  He was my best friend and very beautiful.  Everyone would stop and talk to me, sparked by their love of my dog.  He was so well behaved.  It broke my heart when I lost him 10 years later.

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We had  a great time with him.  He was walked miles in the Lake District,  up and down Snowdonia as well as the Peak District.  He came down to Devon and Cornwall with us.  In fact where I went, he came too!

He helped me through my cancer treatment.  He didn’t need a lead, so I could walk him straight away.  The exercise helped me keep fit and prepared for my radiation treatment.

Dogs need walking.  You can’t just ‘veg out’ in your house!  You have to get up in the morning to walk them, and again in the evening.  Not only does it give you exercise, but it means you are always out and about meeting new people.  This was vital after my cancer operation.  it could have been so easy just to sit around at home, worrying.

It can be extremely lonely, if every night you just go home to an empty house.  I know some people who go home on a Friday night from work, and not see or speak to someone again until they return to work on the Monday morning.    That is when depression and loneliness can set in.

Having dogs mean you have to leave the house.  Even if you don’t speak to anyone, they will speak to you!  It forces you to be more sociable.

I actually met my ex husband from walking my dog.  He had seen me out and about and wanted to get to know me.  He didn’t have a dog, but he had noticed me.  Whilst he is now my ex, it does show that having a dog can bring new experiences in your life.

I now have 2 border collies. Fido and Lola. They are very beautiful and draw a lot of attention.  Even people without dogs stop to talk to me about them.

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One of my walking routes takes me around an estate where there is a lot of bungalows.  This means that there are a lot of elderly people there.  Every day I meet many of them, either looking out of their window, going to their cars, doing their gardens or putting out the bins.

As I pass them, I always give them a wave, or say hello to them.  I wonder how many other people they see or talk to in that day?  I feel that that little gesture to them, may make a lot of difference to them.

When we are not walking we are also missing out on our surroundings too.  We have recently come back from a week in the Lake District.  We had the 2 dogs with us too.   One of the walks we did was not far away from our cottage.  We had driven the same road every day when we were there.

As we started our walk, I spotted a river which I hadn’t seen before.  I had passed that route so many times, but I had never seen that river.  I then started to spot other things.  Feels with cows and sheep, views over the countryside.

During that week we did over 139,000 steps.  It took us to many places.  If we hadn’t had the dogs we might have just jumped onto a plane somewhere.  Instead we explored the countryside.  We did the same in June in Scotland.  We got to see some stunning views as well as get plenty of exercise.

Dogs help us see more of our surroundings, which we are blind to when we are just driving through!

So do dogs make you a better person?  Yes they do!  For so many reasons

Our walk from Pooley Bridge

So this morning we can’t blame the neighbours for the early start!  They seemed to have left yesterday!

5.24 am Lola lets off a half-hearted little bark.  I know that is a signal that she needs the loo, so I get up and take them both out.  We come back in and both of them jump straight back into their beds!  I’m ever hopeful of a few more hours sleep!

Ok, it was going quite well until just before 7 am, when Fido starts whining and howling. Only gently, but you know he isn’t going to stop until you go to him.  Lola has her attention seeking bark and he has this!

Hubby is awake, so offers to go down to him. He comes back with a cup of tea for me.  I say I’ll just have 20 minutes then I’ll get up and join him.  That turned into an hour!  Whoops!

This is our last full day in the Lakes.  We decide to go to Pooley Bridge.  There is a 7.2 km walk from the village, which takes about 2 hours!  From the walk you should get amazing views of Ullswater, see the Cockpit stone circle, and Cop Stone.

The route to Pooley Bridge is via the Wrynose Pass again.  This really isn’t a fun road, but we are now getting used to it.  Before hitting the village you also go over the Kirkstone Pass.  Nowhere near as bad as the Wrynose Pass that is for sure!

What we had forgotten until we arrived at the village, was that in 2015/2016 floods washed away the old bridge.  There is a temporary one in place at the moment, but it isn’t a photo opportunity!

We start the walk and head up the hill to the stone circles.  It’s a bit cold and damp.  Then it all goes a bit wrong.  We keep climbing, but can’t seem to find all the right paths!   The higher the climb the rougher the wind!

After 2 hours of some really steep climbs, we decide to turn around and go back to the car.  The forecast was for heavy rain around 3 pm.  It was now 2 pm.  It had been very windy and damp at the top so didn’t want to risk it any more.

The views from the top were stunning though, so I wasn’t complaining.  Ok, I wasn’t quite complaining, but one of the climbs was really really tough.  We had to stop a few times, before we got to the top.  I think even the dogs struggled!

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As is usual for us, the 7.2km walk turned out to be 12.67km.

As we head back down the weather feels likes it’s improving, so we think we must have missed the worst of it.  We could see heavy rain in the distance though!

While hubby takes the dogs to the car, I pop to a local shop called Chestnut House, to get a bottle of wine.  I was amazed at this shop.  It had so many Gins, Vodkas and whiskey’s in the one place that I have ever seen!  I ended buying a couple of miniatures as well as the wine to try when I get home!  I was hoping it might had some sweets or biscuits too to take home as gifts, but sadly not!

We picnic in the car before heading home.  The weather has now taken a turn for the worst.  Hubby rightly takes the decision that we shouldn’t go via the Wrynose Pass on the way back, as it would be too dangerous.  I was so thankful.  Visibility wasn’t good on the Kirkstone Pass, so the Wrynose would be worse!

I took a video of the Kirstone Pass and Wrynose Pass which I will put on Youtube shortly.

He sets the sat nav to detour us via Lake Windermere!  Although it was pouring with heavy rain, it was still nice to drive through that way.  I hadn’t been there for many years.  Although we didn’t stop, I was still surprised at how it had changed.  So many more shops. It felt very commercialised now.

We are now home safe and sound in our comfy  cottage!  Tonight is scrabble and curry!

Tomorrow we are heading back home.  We plan to take a detour via Morecombe.  It will break up the journey but also give the dogs a chance to stretch their legs.   We are in no rush to get home so we may as well make the day of it.

Its been a good week even if the weather wasn’t on our side.

Taking the Line to Latrigg!

Taking the Line to Latrigg is another walk from our AA walking book of the Lake District.

I was so happy this morning!  The first bark from the dogs next door wasn’t until 7.13 am!  An improvement on the previous days!  Even better, Lola only managed a weak bark, then went back to sleep!

Just after 7.30 am Lola then did her usual attention seeking bark, as she needed to loo!  Obviously, she must have been lying there wondering if she had the energy to get up or not!  Eventually, her bladder won!  I didn’t mind then as I was already awake.  I took them both out  and came back to make the usual cups of tea for hubby and I.

As he was still sleepy I returned the favour from yesterday, and let him sleep, while I came down and sorted dogs out.  I wanted to catch up on the news anyway so I didn’t mind.  I do miss that hour of the news in the morning.  It also gave me time to sort the picnic out for the day.

Today we were going to try and do a lighter walk.  After yesterday we felt we, and the dogs needed it.

We decided on a walk from Keswick, along a disused railway line.  The line was used regularly from 1864 until it was closed in 1972.

The walk according to our AA walking book would take around 2 hours,over 8 km!

To get to the starting point, we had to drive over Wrynose Pass again!  Thankfully hubby offered to drive today.  I wasn’t going to argue.  Although I’m not sure if being a passenger is worse.  At least when you are driving you are more in control! At least I got to take some photos and videos on the way!  Check out my Youtube channel to see them!

The walk starts at a car park outside what used to be the old railway station.  It’s now a hotel, but I’m pleased to say they haven’t changed the look of it from the outside.

As we started our walk we saw a few signs talking about a bridge being closed.  As we had walked over 2 bridges, which took you over the River Greta, we didn’t think they related to us.  In fact, we thought they were signs that hadn’t been taken down!  Well, that was until we reached the reached the bridge that was actually closed!

A flood in 2015 damaged a lot of the old railway track path, as well as taking out the bridge across the river!  We thought our walk had ended before it started!  Have no fear, we found a signpost just back down the path, and decided to take it!

As luck would happen, although this was quite uphill and with a few nervous drops to our right, on some thin paths, it actually took us back onto the path we wanted.

After a long climb, we eventually came to a view point at Latrigg, which gave spectacular views over Keswick.  It was extremely windy, but the sun did try and come out!  At the top, I remembered that I had been here a few years earlier.  We had been to the Lakes with my mother, brother and sister in law.  My mother and sister in law were over from South Africa for a holiday, so my hubby, stepdaughter and I had a week together with them in a log cabin in the Lakes, along with my brother in law who also lives in England now.

There was a carpark to the right of this view point, which we drove to, then walked up to the viewpoint. It was windy that day too!

Many years ago, hubby and I were up in the lakes with our old dog Ember.  We did a walk up Cat Bells.  It was such an exhausting walk which took us about 7 hours in total.  The views were stunning though.  From the viewpoint at Latrigg you can see the same mountain.  When you look at it, you can see why it was so tiring and long!

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We really wanted to do this walk again on this holiday, however the weather has been against us!

We then descended down a track.  The views on this trip were amazing.  Wherever you look, there is always something to photograph! Thankfully we missed the rain, which after yesterday was a great bonus!

So, the walk was supposed to be 8 km.  My app on the phone worked today!  Ok, we do stop a lot to take photos, so it was always going to take longer.  In fact for us, it was 2 hours 44 mins.  How far did we walk?  Over 11 km’s!  That detour must have really added on the km’s.  Not that I am complaining.

Another quiet night is required especially for 2 tired dogs!

Tomorrow is our last full day.  I have clocked up over 130,000 steps in the last 7 days!  Tomorrow, will no doubt be another good walk!

Yew Tree Tarn From Coniston – Lake District

Well today started a lot better than the last few days!  The dogs next door didn’t start barking until 6.30 am!  What was even better, Lola and Fido must have been so tired as Lola  gave out a little quick bark, but that was it!

I came down anyway just to check on them.  Lola was fast asleep on the sofa!  Yes the sofa!  She isn’t allowed on it, but had got herself comfortable with her head on the cushions!  Fido was in his bed.  I took them both out for a walk anyway, so they could do their business.

They both must have been very tired, as I hadn’t even put the leads away when Lola was back on the sofa asleep!

I went back to bed for a bit.  The dogs next door had quietened down very quickly today and we didn’t hear from them until 7.30 am.  I got up and made a drink to take back to bed.  I was so so tired.  I was so relieved when hubby told me to go back to sleep, and he would go down with the dogs!  Lola was quiet but Fido was crying for attention so we couldn’t really leave them on their own.

I slept right through to just after 9 am!  Heaven!

Today we decided on a 10 km walk from Coniston to Yew Tree Tarn.  It was absolutely pouring with rain when we arrived, but as we started to walk it eased off!

Just before we went around the Tarn we spotted an ice cream van.  Hubby can never resist an ice cream so while I had a diet coke, my  hubby and my stepdaughter both went for a 99!  Just what the doctor ordered!

The walk round the tarn was beautiful.   With the rain there was a lot of mist, but you could still see the beauty of the place!  We were doing so well up to this point, but then we just couldn’t work out the correct route.  We use a book called ’50 walks in The Lake District’ by AA. Most times it’s easy to follow, but today it certainly wasn’t clear!  We had to change our route a couple of times and were still not convinced if we were right.

At this point the heavens opened!  And it stayed heavy for the rest of our walk!  We really wasn’t sure our path was the right one and with the rain, our book was getting soaked and so it was hard to turn the pages!

In the end, we saw a path for Coniston.  Even though it wasn’t the books route, we knew we would be going in the right direction for the car.  We had been walking for 4.45 hours at this point,  we were soaking wet, and hungry.  I think all of us just wanted to head back to the car!

According to the signposts we were 1.5 miles from Coniston.

We start to see the village in the distance and my spirits lifted!  By this point, my shorts were so wet they were dripping!  I had a waterproof on, but I don’t think they are designed for this type of rain.

We finally reach the carpark.  When we arrived, I spotted a shop that sold lolly pops.  When I say lolly pops, I don’t just mean your ordinary ones.  Oh no, this one had probably about 30 different flavours if not more!  I just had to stop and get some for my stepdaughter.   I wish now I also got a couple for me too!  They smelt delicious. I just didn’t think at the time! Doh!  I have never seen a shop with so many.  Next time I’m definitely stocking up!

We got into the car and I think we could all agree that we were starving.  We were only 45 mins from home, but after walking what was actually nearly 16 km in 5.5 hours, we just needed fuel!  I’d done my usual picnic so we all sat in the car tucking in!

On the way home I had the heating on to try and dry us all out!

The hot shower when we got home was so so welcome!

The fire was put on to dry the book out and our bags.  Even though we were wet I think we all had a good day.  Even the dogs.

Sadly the app on my phone didn’t pick up all the walk, but my fit bit recorded 25,000 steps!  I think we will all have a few aches in the morning!

A quiet night in front of TV is definitely in order tonight!

Walk around Buttermere Lake

Ok, I’m quite a tolerant person, but enough is enough!  Once again not long after 5 am the dogs next door start barking!  Of course, that is going to wake up Fido and Lola, who have been fast asleep all night.

The problem is, with Lola and Fido, they are really good all night.  Once they have had their evening walk that is it until they wake up again.  Once they are awake both will need the toilet.   Even if I wanted to ignore them I can’t! So once again I am out walking them early!

They are both really good now at going in the new place, so I don’t spend as much time out in my pj’s with them!  Mind you I say that, but I’ve done over 3000 steps before we have left the cottage for the day so maybe more than I think!

Hubby and I both decide that once next doors dogs start barking,  there is no point in trying to lay in bed.  They don’t stop until the family obviously get up to them, which is not for another 2.5 hours!  I can’t believe they can sleep through it or even ignore it.  I don’t let my dogs bark for even a few minutes, for my own sanity, for their behaviour and also for anyone around who may hear them!

I was already cross with the owners last night.  I took Lola and Fido out about 11.30 for their last walk of the night.  It’s pitch black out the back, so I only had the torch off my phone for light!  They just opened their back door and let their two run out.  Both were barking and ran straight to Fido.  They were barking in his face.  He was on a long lead so he could have a bit of freedom.  I couldn’t see him very well and was desperately trying to pull him back to me.  I was calling to Fido so they opened the bedroom window to look.  They gave me the look that I was in the wrong.  My 2 dogs were on leads and behaving!  Their 2 dogs were barking and running riot!  I was not impressed.

The male owner is a big guy and hubby had advised I don’t say anything to him!  I fully agree, we are only here for a week so it’s not worth a fight,  but I am not a happy chappy!  Another night of only  5 hours sleep and I’m certainly not impressed.  I get up at this time every day for work.  I go to bed early to make up for this which is my choice.  I don’t expect to have to do the same on holiday, just because next door can’t control their dogs!

Anyway I’m not going to let it spoil my holiday!

Today we decide to do a walk around Buttermere Lake.  After yesterday, we decided something flatter might be better for all of us and the dogs.

The drive there is a nightmare! You have to go over Wrynose Pass again – we did that on Sunday too!  It’s so scary at times, sheer drops with thin single track roads.  There isn’t many passing places either, so not great on the nerves.

You then go through my favourite town in the Lakes, Ambleside then Grassmere!  Next you head to Keswick.  We needed to get something from the town, so had a quick stop off there.  I stayed in the car with the dogs.  It was a good excuse to try and get the first reception on my phone in over 2 days!  I got a little, but not enough to get all my emails and messages sadly!

The next stretch was over Honister Pass.  This is another steep climb before we got to Buttermere!   The journey should have taken us around 1.5 hours, however due to traffic and lots of lorries trying to pass on narrow roads, it ended up nearly 3 hours!

We are looking for National Trust parking but end up behind the Fish Inn.  Parking there is £6 for only 4 hours!  I don’t know about you, but I think that is expensive to park on what is effectively gravel!  What is worse, you have to pay 30p to spend a penny!!

The weather is a mixture of showers and sunshine.  We have waterproofs, so we are not going to let the weather stop us getting out!  We did over 25000 steps yesterday, so I don’t want today to be much less than that!

Lola broke her lead before we came away.  I thought I had repaired it!   We had swapped it onto Fido as he doesn’t pull as much.  Today of all days it decided to fail again.  Fido didn’t mind.  It is an extendable lead and now it was full length.  Yey, so he thought!   Not likely!  I had to use Lola’s figure of 8 lead which wasn’t ideal, but did the job!

The changing weather really transforms the landscape in the Lakes, and today is no exception.  The walk is quite relaxing but there still is a lot to see.

The walk takes just over 2 hours and is 8 km. We stop at the car again afterwards and have lunch.

My walking shoes have this holiday started to fail me.  I’m gutted as I love them.  They are 12 years old, so have done me well! I have a summer pair and winter pair, and these are my summer ones!  We decide to call back into Keswick on way back and get myself a new pair.  I saw a pet shop there on the way in this morning, so plan to call there too to get a new lead!

The route home started off easier!   We didn’t have to do the Honister Pass.  Woo hoo!  The sun was out when we left Buttermere so I had high hopes for the journey home!  In Keswick it was still warm, so yey!

I bought my boots and a bit random, but a pair of binoculars too!  I have a small pair, but they are not great for birds of prey at a distance!  Along with sheep and highland cows, I have a fascination for birds of prey!  Who knew that Millets give you 15% off if you are members of National Trust!  It would have been rude not to buy them!

I also managed to get a new lead for the dogs.  I love the extending leads, but I won’t have the cord ones, as I have seen and experienced too many friction burns from them.  I am sure they are great for small dogs but definitely not my size dogs!

I start the drive back to the cottage.  The road isn’t too bad, but then I remember I have to go through Wrynose Pass!  What is worse, it starts to rain really hard!  My heart is in my mouth!  There are so many steep drops and the roads are steep, twisting and very narrow!   I really don’t feel happy doing this drive.  Its only 10 miles, but believe me, it feels like 100!

I am so glad when I see our cottage.

We get out the car and guess what?  The neighbours have gone out and left their dogs again, and they are both barking!  Great!

I am so so tired today!  I prepare dinner and while its cooking have a quick shower!  Time for a nice glass of Slimline Wine!  I so deserve it!

Keep watching my Youtube channel for more photos of today, including some gorgeous scenery and cows.

 

 

Our first full day in the Lakes

So today was our first day here.  The cottage has beautiful views over the mountains.  I imagined waking up gently, to the view shrouded by sunshine!  Instead, I was woken just after 5 am by Lola with her attention seeking bark!  Believe it or not, Lola has 2 distinct types of barks.  There is a deep bark which means she is unhappy, and then there is this high-pitched bark which is solely to seek attention!

I know you should ignore her when she is seeking attention, but that time in the morning she knows she has got you! It rings through your ears!  She is such a little drama queen!

The cottage we are staying at is dog friendly, however there is a strict policy of no dogs upstairs!  The dogs are therefore downstairs whilst we sleep upstairs.  At home both dogs sleep in our room so this is a bit weird for them.

I sleepily come down stairs to find Lola by the door.  She obviously needs a toilet break!  I have to make a quick decision!  It’s absolutely pouring with rain outside!  I could find my car keys and run out to get my coat – which I stupidly left in there last night.  This would cause Lola to bark further!  We are in a semi-detached cottage, so I didn’t want to wake the neighbours!  The alternative was to take them out in my PJ’s (a vest top and shorts) and try and take shelter under a tree as quickly as possible!  I opted for the latter!

So just after 5 am I am stood under a tree in the pouring rain wishing Lola and Fido would hurry up!  Typically, as this is a new place for them, they both had to sniff around a lot before they could even think of doing anything!

Finally, I get back inside, completely soaked, but at least it was still warm outside!  I leave them both downstairs and go back to bed hoping to get another hour or so!  Oh, I wish!  Lola is now obviously awake!  I can hear her moving around and I just know she is up to no good!  I have to go down and check on her!  Thankfully I did, as I found the oven glove in her bed!

With a telling off I head back to bed!  She doesn’t want to be left so we get a few bouts of the high-pitched barking again!  By 6.30 am we could almost kill her if we didn’t love her!  She then goes quiet!  That is always dangerous!  I lay there not thanking my lucky stars for some peace and quiet, but wondering what she is up to!  I have to take a look!

What do I find?  Our walking book in her bed half chewed!!!  I was so cross at her!  She knew she was in trouble as she immediately hid in the kitchen!! And then she does the most un lady like thing! I think you can guess!  I can’t help but give out a little laugh.  She looked horrified !

I tried to tell her off for the book and barking again, in the hope that she will go back to sleep!  But oh no!  She really doesn’t want to go back to bed!  I end up making tea for hubby and I!  Even drinking that in bed is a no no!  More barking results in us both having to get up with her!  So much for a holiday lie in! I have to point out that Fido is being the perfect little boy!

So it’s not even 7.30 am and hubby and I are up having our second cup of tea!

When I’m at home I always love to watch BBC news in bed drinking my tea.  We don’t have one in our bedroom at the cottage so having to get up meant we could watch the TV in the lounge.

It sounds silly but I love mornings.   Once the dogs had chilled out it was relaxing just sitting on the sofa, drinking tea, watching the news and discussing with hubby plans for the day.

When we originally planned this holiday, we both wanted to do a specific walk.  It’s 15 km up Cat Bells.  Its quite a strenuous walk so we thought it should be one of the first walks we did of the week.  Now today looking at the weather outside, that really isn’t going to happen, so what was our plan B?

We have our waterproof clothes and walking boots, so the weather shouldn’t really stop us going out, but we do have to think about slippery paths and how muddy the dogs might get.

After a good bit of reading by hubby we make a decision!  A walk around Grassmere!  It is relatively flat and from memory the paths were really good!

The walks starts at Dove Cottage, the home of Wordsworth.  You then head towards some woods before you come to the Lake.  A lovely walk around the lake brings a changing landscape.  Whilst the heavy rain has gone, there is still the odd sprinkle!  Surprisingly though it’s really humid! The weather means the mood of the lake changes continuously.  It’s still very beautiful.

The walk takes just under 2 hours and 6 miles.

We return to the car to have lunch and plan on what to do for the rest of the day!  We decide that its probably not the weather to do a long walk so instead head to Lake Windermere!

En-route we stopped off at Ambleside.  There is the most amazing Apple Pie shop there.  It also does a great selection of cakes and breads.  My stepdaughter loves Soda bread and flapjacks which they have available.  In fact, the flapjacks are still warm as only just been made, so it would be rude not to buy them.  If you are ever in the area, you really have to stop at this bakery.

Just as we head off to Windermere, the heavens open!  We decide that it would probably be better to head back to the cottage!

The road to the cottage is a challenge!  Its single lane, very steep (1 in 3) with lots of shear drops. With a distance of 10 miles through these roads, it certainly tested your nerves!   I have a 4 x 4 but even my car was struggling at times.  It was no surprise then that we saw one family stuck halfway up a hill.  Their small car just didn’t have the capacity to go any further!  The family had to get out of the car to lighten the load, while the father reversed it down the road.  With other cars like ours on the single track, it was quite a difficult move for him!

We get back to the cottage.  I didn’t bring  my book with me, so knew that sitting doing nothing wouldn’t be my first choice.  Anyone who knows me knows I’m terrible at just sitting doing nothing!  In the morning when I was out with the dogs, I saw river just behind our cottage.  I suggested to hubby we try his camera lenses out there with the tripod.  He has some filters which he hasn’t yet had the chance to use properly.  This seemed an ideal time just to play around.

It does kill a bit of time but not much, so what to do?  I’ve now downloaded my photos onto my laptop.  We don’t have WIFI in the cottage or phone signal, so there isn’t much more I can do!  Then hubby suggests Monopoly!   We haven’t played it for a long time so a good idea.

So, the 3 of us spend the next couple of hours trying to out wit the other while I multitasked cooking a roast dinner!

I really thought I had come up with a great strategy of buying every property I could on the way round to stop others.  My stepdaughter tries some hard negotiation for a swap of some of our properties.  I think it will work for me so agree an exchange to give us both full sets!  Oh, what I fool I was!  Whilst she had plenty of cash to buy properties, I was very poor.  Mainly because every time I passed go I stopped on the tax square!  Grrrrr!

The first to fall was hubby!  I knew that my time was limited!  After a few more rounds, remortgaging and remortgaging, I can’t meet the £1250 bill for landing on her!  My stepdaughter is victorious!

After such an early start I’m now getting quite tired.  We have dinner and I’m struggling to stay awake.

We have basic TV in the cottage, so channels are limited.  We have found Pirates of the Caribbean.   Its great watching classics like this, and this is one of the funniest films.

There is obviously a storm somewhere as the signal keeps breaking!  Then there was the biggest clap of thunder I have ever heard!  The poor dogs (and me) jumped out of our skins!  That was the TV out for a while. We eventually get it back but I’m so tired!

After a hot bath, I decided to call it time!  I know I’m going to be up early again with the dogs tomorrow so its time to stop fighting it!

Tomorrow is another day!

Check out more photos of the walk on my YouTube Channel!