Saturday, 15 September 2018

A Bit of a Rant.

I have mentioned before (in May 2017) my disappointment & annoyance at the 'dog-friendly cafe' on the National Trust's Lanhydrock Estate in Cornwall, when I found that if you have a dog, you can't enter the cafe; you can only eat at the outside tables on the verandah.  But if you aren't allowed inside, how do you buy food or drink?

Then recently I visited The Lost Gardens of Heligan, where dogs are welcome.  I made my way to the outside tables of the Tearoom - and once again found that I couldn't take my dog inside to get lunch or a drink.
Tying him up or even leaving him with someone willing to look after him would have resulted in blind panic from my little rescue dog who has Separation Anxiety - and frantic yapping and howling once I was out of sight.
Heligan is not a National Trust property, so I have now written to both places and asked if there are any solutions to this problem, pointing out that the UK has thousands of people who live alone with a dog as a companion.  Their strict rules prevent us from enjoying their wonderful estates and gardens.

Incidentally, I also used the lovely little National Trust cafe above Bedruthan Steps, where I was welcomed in to buy my breakfast bacon roll and pot of tea, then after walking the coastal path, returned and enjoyed a Cornish Cream Tea with my little dog alongside, both at the counter and at the tables, inside or out.
If only we could be sure of a welcome in all similar properties.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Spitchwick Manor reunion September 2018

Now that the hedge has gone, Benji loves to watch what's going on in the world outside so has commandeered the padded stool.

But occasionally he needs to snooze . . 

On Sunday we had a day out, the occasion being the Annual Get-together for the Red Setter Rescue and Re-homing Charity.
My friends two dogs came from Ireland via this charity, so we go every year to support them.  Spitchwick Manor is the setting, with its 6 acres of grounds and wonderful views over to Dartmoor.  

Looking into the secret garden, where there's Lady Ashburton's Plunge Pool, a tad cool even on a sunny day as it's fed by a natural spring.


But the day was all about the Red Setters and their friends, so most of them set off to walk on Dartmoor and admire the various Tors that they passed on their 4-mile hike.  Others chose the shorter route, about 2 miles on fairly flat ground - and others, like us, chose to wander the grounds and admire the views all around, which also meant our 3 dogs could be off-lead to explore. We also had a refreshing cup of coffee back at the car, parked under the beech trees in dappled sunlight. 

Gradually, the walkers drifted back and we headed back to the house where we enjoyed a scrumptious English Tea in the Rose Garden - plates of assorted sandwiches, very tasty sausage rolls, more plates of scones with jam and cream and even more plates of home-made cakes, enormous slices!!! And of course, lashings of tea.
Afterwards we all waited for the command - "DOGS OFF LEADS!!!"

I thought Benji would be overwhelmed by all those BIG dogs, but he joined in with the excitement. Until he spotted me . . "Mummeeeeee!!"

Unfortunately, my attempts to capture the sight of dozens of racing Red Setters turned out to be blurred streaks of shiny auburn fur as they flew past.
So here are 2 handsome beauties standing still.
An Irish Setter and a Gordon Setter.

After the chase, a cooling dip in the Rose Garden fountain.

What a lovely day it was, a long day for us but the sun shone and our dogs enjoyed meeting so many old and new friends. 
Here's to next year. 

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

YOOHOO! Here I am!

I've had a 3-month break from blogging; been reading but not writing.  I hope to come back refreshed and ready to take up the reins again.  We'll see.

So today I gave my car a treat - a proper wash and wax in a car-wash.  It's ages since I last used one and I found that my closest one has been re-vamped. So when I paid my £4.99, expecting to be given a token to put into the machine, the young man slid something across the counter that resembled an over-long condom!
"Erm . . . is there something I should know about this?" I asked, leaning in to the counter.
"Wiper." he replied.
"It's for the back wiper."
"Oh!  OK!"
So I dutifully covered the rear wiper before closing the windows and heading into the unknown.
It's quite nerve-racking, sitting in the car while those giant brushes go thundering across and alongside the car, making all sorts of noises.  Both wing mirrors were bumped into their 'folded' position and horror of horrors, I noticed a full length crack in the nearside one, which I knew wasn't there previously. Imagine my relief afterwards to discover that the 'crack' was simply a hair!  Phew!

Next - some photos as the BIG thing this week is the removal of the 8ft high conifer hedge from the front of my garden.  It was planted back in the 60's when the house was built and over the years had grown upwards and outwards and overhung the pavement .  It had definitely reached the end of its life because only 2" of greenery was available to trim and the overhang was 2 feet long.

These next two photos show the encroaching hedge then what is left when the overhang is sheared off. 

 My 12-year-old grandson was thrilled to be shown how to use the leaf-blower and I suspect he hopes to be able to help again. 


Now all I have to do is persuade Benji that anyone who walks past has a perfect right to do so - there's no need to break out into a frenzy of yapping to see off the invaders!

Sunday, 13 May 2018

A sad day

A  small token of love and sympathy for Sue, a fellow blogger, whose lovely husband Colin has just died.  I know your family will give you support, love and strength at this sad time, Sue.  xx

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

In an Ancient Woodland

Golitha Falls is indeed a very ancient woodland, mentioned in The Domesday Book ordered by King William the Conqueror and published in 1086.
It's a National Nature Reserve, important for its liverwort, lichens and mosses.
To me, it's a well-loved place of beauty, tranquility and peace completed by the sounds of birdsong and the River Fowey as it makes its way from its source on Bodmin Moor to the harbour of Fowey.

 The path was a bit tricky here as some of the path had fallen into the river, thanks to the incessant rain of the winter months.

 The lichen- and moss-covered trees and rocks are testament to the pure air in this area. 

I tried to add a video of Otters playing in the river at Golitha Falls, but the best I can do is the link.  It's a YouTube video - if you highlight the link and right-click, you should find on the list a direction to view it. 
Otherwise, highlight the link, copy it and open in a new tab.  

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Oh, what a grey day.

When the rain is non-stop, it isn't pleasant up on Bodmin Moor, with squelchy mud underfoot and a constant barrage of wind and icy rain to the face.
So we settled for a short circular walk on firm ground.
This is the main road through the village - busy, isn't it? 

 The little church, shared by Methodists and Anglicans, which is open all day for anyone to visit.  On my walk, I was chatting to a lady tending her garden who is the key-holder and responsible for locking the church around teatime. 

I'm always intrigued by these ornamental bricks which form a stretch of the pavement in front of a row of cottages.
Unfortunately, many of them are damaged badly because of the number of cars which are parked on them.

Benji's nose was twitching when he came to this gate; he knew there was another dog inside.  What he didn't know was that it was a rather large Weimeraner!

So little traffic (in fact, none while we were there on that day!) that Benji is allowed off-lead along this lane so he can explore and enjoy an occasional gallop.

Ewes and lambs pointedly ignoring the rain whilst grazing.

Not the most exciting walk, but we did have a couple of better days so I have a few photos lined up for another post.

Sunday, 1 April 2018


Some Cornish Daffodils (and other flowers) to brighten your day.