Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Out and about with Benji

He is a changed dog!  After 2 weeks, he has conquered his fear of dogs, children, people in general and has met, for the first time, sheep, cattle and ponies.
Whereas he would stand rigid with fear whenever another dog approached him, he is now happy to accept them and even sniff back. 
Next Friday, I have arranged to have him weighed again at the groomers; it will be 2 weeks since he weighed in at a massive 17.15 kgs. and I am hoping that he will have lost some weight, what with the daily walks and healthier diet.  At least I will be able to tell whether I have his portions about right.

 I'm very happy that he is friendly around children; here he goes off with my two youngest grandchildren with just an occasional backward glance to check I'm still there. 

Guess who has fallen in love!  

 There was very nearly an argument between this Belted Galloway cow and one very small dog - Benji objected when the cow turned to look at him, so he 'wuff'ed at her. She lowered her head and stepped towards him, so we beat a hasty retreat. Just look at that expression; she looks quite annoyed, doesn't she?

 Benji also found out that when a ewe positions herself between her new lamb and an irritating dog and stamps her foot - she means business.  Once again, we retreated. Only part of Benji appears on the photo because I was trying to reel him in at the same time as focus my camera!

Anyone for garlic? The Cornish lanes are smothered this year and the scent of garlic is amazing.  I love it. 

 I found a bank of this white-flowering plant, which I thought might be Vinca - but the petals are the wrong shape. I'd be grateful for help with identifying it. 

 And above all, a wonderful deep blue sky - with sunshine.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Introducing 'BENJI'

After my lovely dog, Zac, died last August, my life changed; I stopped going out for walks because it felt so strange after having a dog by my side for most of my life.  Having lost some weight (Yay!) I started to put it back on because of lack of exercise. But although I missed having a dog - and the house felt empty and too quiet - I felt that I didn't want another one, because I could never replace a dog like Zac.
But I realised that things were getting worse; I was only going out when absolutely necessary, ordering my shopping online and often not even getting dressed unless I expected visitors.  I NEEDED a dog and somewhere out there, there might be a dog who needed me.
So I recently contacted The Cinnamon Trust ( and enquired about dogs needing homes.  And I heard about Benji.  He lived with an elderly couple who couldn't cope with him, were unable to exercise him and didn't want him.  He was kept in a small dog crate.  I learned that he was fed on unsuitable food - and far too much of it. He needed to be re-homed as soon as possible.
So Benji, a 4/5 year-old Bichon Frise, came to me and I found that cruelty to animals doesn't just mean they have been starved, or beaten.  Benji had been given unsuitable food and far too much of it. A male Bichon Frise should weigh about 5 Kgs (11lbs); Benji was weighed yesterday at 17.15 Kgs (38lbs)!!!! That is 2 Kgs more than my son's Staffie bitch!
Obviously, I have already started him on a diet - good food but very much less than he has been used to.  It's hard to resist those pleading eyes, but it has to be done for his own good.
He has also been shampoo'ed and had his nails trimmed - he no longer smells like a stale ashtray and his fur is whiter, softer, fluffier and much more pleasant to touch.
He has a sweet nature and loves his walks; he has never been socialised with dogs, children, people or animals of any sort, so our walk on Bodmin Moor yesterday introduced him to sheep, lambs, cattle and ponies.  He was amazed - just stood and stared! The sheep were glaring at me; I think they suspected me of stealing one of their lambs!
So here are the photos, the 'Before' photos; I hope to eventually bring you the wonderful 'After' photos when he has been transformed.

Cleaner, sweeter-smelling Benji - he also has a spring in his step and a michievous twinkle in his eye.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Caerhays Castle, Gorran, St.Austell, Cornwall.

Caerhays is home to the x williamsii camellia hybrids but is perhaps best known for its huge, Asiatic magnolias which are usually in their prime in March and April. Caerhays hosts the Plant Heritage National Collection of Magnolias with over 500 different varieties on show. There are also over 80 UK record sized trees in the gardens as measured by height and girth.
Opposite the Castle entrance is Porthluney cove, a private beach which is open to the public.

Still some late daffodils to be seen.

The rear of the Castle.
The Tea Rooms in the Castle Courtyard

My thanks to Charles Winpenny for the lovely photographs; many more photos of Cornwall can be seen on his website -