Here in the UK we are basking in a glorious early heatwave. We can only hope there is more to come, and that this isn’t all the summer we are going to get this year. British people joke about this all the time, for example, ‘I hope summer falls on a weekend’ and so on. Well I made the most of it yesterday with two beautiful and very different walks.
I did my usual Saturday dogwalk with Meggie & Badger (or Madge as they are affectionately known). I was thrilled to be joined by my friend and her 3 month old puppy Bluebell, out mingling with the big dogs for the first time after her vaccinations. There are lots of regular walkers in the local park so it’s always sociable, but even more so with a new puppy. We had a great time talking to our dogwalking friends and watching Bluebell interact. She was so good and just wanted to play. The other dogs were great with her and it was fascinating to watch her learn. She was allowed off lead for a short while and she ran around madly with Meggie which was wonderful to see. She raced after her ball but has yet to learn that she needs to bring it back – I wonder if Meggie can teach her this important rule?
Later on I accompanied the OH on a walk on the moors to catch the sunset. It’s usually a lot colder up there and almost always windy, but we found it balmy and still. With hardly a cloud in the sky we watched a beautiful sunset at ‘The Hut’. This is an abandoned shepherd’s hut by a large pond in the middle of the moor, inaccessible by car. It’s quite substantial for a hut: stone-built with two rooms and an ancient kitchen range inside. It has a real air of mystery and makes a great focal point for pictures.
We have done this walk loads of times in the biting cold and snow, sometimes we are almost blown backwards by the winds, so it felt quite special to be there in the fresh warm air, after such a long winter.
No knitting for ages, and a neglected knitting blog as other activities have taken over. My art print business, Go To Design, has kept me busy with a load of trade orders. Great news for the art biz, but curtains for the knitting, for the time being. I have a full-time day job too, which quite often takes me away from home.
The joy of the last few months, however, has been my new dog-walking gig with the Cinnamon Trust. Every Saturday I walk Meggie, a classic black and white collie, and Badger, a black field spaniel.
They are adorable and so different. Meggie is very engaging and just wants to play ball. She doesn’t care where we are, as long as I am throwing a ball or a stick for her. In fact she is so ball-obsessed that I have to watch out for kids in the park playing football, because she will invade the pitch. She looks at me all the time and I talk to her constantly. She is wonderful and I am a little bit in love with her.
Badger is not interested in balls, sticks, or me. He just wants to scurry about following scents in the bushes. His recall isn’t great. He has been known to chase squirrels or rabbits and he once stole a chicken from someone’s back garden (not on my watch – and the chicken was OK). So we have made a deal. He is off-lead in the park where we begin and end our walks every week. Then for pastures new he is on a long lead and I do my best to keep up with him. When we sit down for a rest he leaps into my lap and snuffles for a treat.
I have to plan the walks to cater for their different interests. Meg needs a big space to run in, and Badger prefers footpaths in fields or woodlands. He also loves water, especially in the hot weather. He can’t wait to find a river and jump in it.
I’ve found the ideal walk for us – at Rivelin Valley in Sheffield. The river goes along the valley floor through stunning woodlands, with rocky paths and little bridges. There are lots of shallow places where they can go for a paddle and a sit down. Today they spent most of the walk trotting through the river.
Till next time,
Stressful times at KR. This morning I simply had to get out of the house so I grabbed my bag and keys, and set off walking. I considered walking and walking and walking all day, but after a brisk half-hour I felt calmer. It is unseasonably warm and sunny here, and I turned homewards, thinking of a cup of tea in the garden and some reassurance with the OH.
I have just four more days left in my job of 16 years. My redundancy is going to be paid in tiny monthly instalments, instead of the lump sum I am entitled to, and was counting on, since I have no other job to go to yet. I have to take my employer to court in order to get the lump sum. This could take months and will incur costs. Financially, this is a huge worry. In the meantime I have to turn up and do my job, through gritted teeth and with a false smile on my face. I am very sad about this because I have enjoyed this job very much, and I never thought it would end like this.
Still, fingers crossed that I will get another job soon, even if it’s only temporary.
Yesterday I spent the afternoon with a dear friend in the city centre. The sun was shining. We took our picture reflected in these great spherical water features in the Peace Gardens.
Water feature in Sheffield Peace Gardens
Onwards and upwards!