Images of Max

Thursday 20th November 2014

Today Max and I went back to Upton Country Park for our walk. As we had been there yesterday I tried putting a different lens on the camera in an attempt to ring the changes. Unfortunately, cows, sheep and birds were all in different, not-easy-to-photograph places today, so I am afraid you will just have to make do with photos of Max taken around the Country Park.

First we have the classic stream shot.

Max in the stream

But more interestingly, on the path just along from the shoreline the maples are shedding their leaves, leaving a wonderful yellow carpet on the ground, so once again I tried to get Max to pose for me. This time I was a little more successful.

Max amongst the maple leaves

And lastly a portrait, taken in the same place, for you.

Portrait of Max

In other news I got the results of my blood tests and X-Ray back from the doctor and it appears I have osteoarthritis in my right hip. But I can’t help feeling let down by the NHS. I was told to take paracetamol and excercise. That was it. I wasn’t even told what type of exercise I should do. So in the evening I went back to a private physiotherapist, who has advised me further. I now know what exercise I should do and what I should avoid (basically any high impact given that I walk the dogs for at least an hour each day already). He has also given me some specific stretches to try and improve the very poor range of movement I currently have in that hip. I’ll let you know how I get on.

A year ago today

It was a very cold day down in Cornwall and we got caught in a downpour on Seaton beach, which was looking a bit bleak (and no, this is not a black and white photo!).

A bleak scene on Seaton beach

Happy 6th Birthday Max

Thursday 17th July 2014

Today was Max’s 6th birthday. I don’t know where the time has gone. We started the day by going for a walk along the River Stour at Cowgrove.

River Stour at Cowgrove

When we got to the shallow part of the river where we play both dogs went in the water. Then, while I continued to play with Max, Jez got out and sat on the bank.

Jez by the River Stour

A little bit further along the path and we got to Max’s swimming spot.

A swim on his birthday

And here is another photo of the birthday boy.

Pause for breath

We did out little loop through the farm and then went back to the shallow spot to play. By now there were lots of dogs there. Max didn’t let that detract from the serious business of retrieving his cone though.

Max retreiving his cone

I had put my old trainers on, so was able to wade out into the river to play with the dogs. We had a lovely time. And Jez even had a long swim – it was the first time ever that she’s done more than a couple of panicky strokes when she has got out of her depth. It was so funny to watch as she keeps trying to shake while she swims. As I was in the middle of the river I was able to take some video of her, which you can see here: . And if you’re wondering, the vet says the fact that she leans her head to the side as she swims is most probably due to her back injury.

So back home I made some cup cakes for Max’s birthday. The four on the left are for the dogs and the others are for Chris and I.

There were doggy and human birthday cakes

And then Max had his presents.

The Birthday Boy - 6 years old today

Later in the afternoon, while Chris took the dogs for their second walk, I was sitting in the garden and heard this funny clicking sound. Turned out the ants were flying.

The ants were flying today

Which seemed to give the seagulls something to gather for (I can’t think of any other reason as they don’t normally do this over the housing estate).

Seagulls gather for the feast

So I lay and watched them circling above.

Circling overhead

All in all it was a very good day for a birthday.

A year ago today

Guess what? It was Max’s 5th birthday, and he celebrated by going over Upton Heath, getting soaking wet in the lake, and then rolling in the horse poop!

Max's 5th birthday present to himself

Time for a bath

Friday 11th July 2014

I’m talking about Max here, you understand, not me. Before I headed back to Highcliffe today I decided that Max might benefit from a good bath, especially as he had to be hosed down when he came back from his morning walk. His skin is not good at the moment, despite his new meds. The long grass, to which he is allergic, is making him really red and itchy. So I gave him two shampoos before towelling him off.

Guess who's had a bath

And then I headed back to Dad’s. It’s not for long though. The plan is for me to come home on Sunday.

A year ago today

We had a visitor. This beautiful Emperor Dragonfly flew into the living room and landed on the windowsill.

Emperor Dragonfly on the windowsill

Time for a visit home again

Friday 6th June 2014

Yes, that time has come around again. Time to wash the sheets and take them home to dry them. Dad’s not really got anywhere to hand out washing here, which is a real pain. So as it was a nice sunny day I hung a few bits out to dry at the flat but took the sheets with me. Before all that, however, I took Jez for her morning walk. I say ‘walk’ but it’s more of a ‘move from one spot to another for a bit of a laydown’. Here she is having one of her lay downs close to the nearby shops.

Jez's idea of a morning walk

I also did the shopping and some cleaning in the morning and then headed home after lunch.

Once again Jez was pleased to get home, and today she was especially pleased to get back to her big drinking bowl.

Jez is pleased to get home to her big drinking bowl

Max, meanwhile, has become completely obsessed with frog hunting in my absence, possibly because he is becoming quite successful at it. Here, he takes a short break while Chris sits in the garden and chats to me.

Chris, with Max taking a quick break from his job of froghunting

In my short absence, and with the warmer, damp weather the garden is turning into a bit of a wilderness. I didn’t have time to weed, but at least I was able to stake my tomato plants and tie them up.

My plants are growing quickly

It was lovely to be home, and I didn’t want to leave again. But leave I had to, and late afternoon Jez and I got back into the car and headed back to Highcliffe.

It wouldn’t be right to end this post without mentioning the events of 70 years ago today. I am referring, of course, to the D-Day Landings. Poole Harbour had been used for practice landings, and on 4th June many landing craft left from the harbour. Then today it was the turn of the US Coastgurard ships to leave to bring home the wounded. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for those who took part in the landings, but they earned my undying respect and thanks. Lest we forget.

A year ago today

I got my new camera (the EOS 6D) and was trying it out in the garden.


Jez and I pay a visit

Friday 30th May 2014

I’m talking about a visit home here. I had a morning doing chores and cooking lunch for Dad & I (he likes to eat his main meal at lunchtime, which has come as a bit of a shock to my system), and then in the afternoon Jez and I went home for a couple of hours. My big problem was fitting Jez in Dad’s car, which is a Hyundai i10 with a miniscule boot. I have a Clix car harness for her but it is worse than useless. The clip only reaches the seat belt anchor if she’s laying down which, of course, she didn’t want to do in a strange car. It would also have meant that she had to stay laying down and hardly able to move for the whole journey, which can take between 40 minutes and an hour. As for the boot – well poor little soul just fitted but again she wouldn’t have been able to turn around. In the end I tilted the back seats forward and left her in the boot area, but it wasn’t ideal and she wasn’t happy.

She was happy to be home though, although you can’t really tell it from this photo.

Jez peers out the patio door

And I would say Max was pleased to see us, but once again the photo belies the fact.

Max is underwhelmed to see me

While I have been away Max has apparently been honing his frog hunting skills. We think it’s to relieve the boredom where he doesn’t have Jez to ‘entertain’ him.

The master frog hunter at work

So he was keen to show Jez all he had learnt in her absence.

Max leads Jez in a frog hunt

While I was there Chris also ran me down to Poole hospital, who had phoned to say they might have found Dad’s glasses. I didn’t think they looked right, but took them all the same. Good job I did as it turned out they were his. He’s really pleased to have them back.

A year ago today

Max and I went to Upton Country Park for a walk.

View across Upton Lake to Poole

New beginnings

Monday 21st April 2014

There was a slight variation on our walk today. Before Jez hurt herself I used to walk the dogs over to Upton Heath, walking back via Creekmoor Ponds. Recently, to cut the walk down, I’ve been driving them over. Jez keeps wanting to leave the heath at our normal place though, rather than walking back along the Roman Road to get to the car. So today I got Chris to drive us over there and drop us off, so that I could walk them home via the Ponds.

After all the rain yesterday it was a lovely sunny morning today, although there was a bit of an obstacle course at Max’s favourite pond.

Obstacle course at the pond

It’s funny how you can walk round places day after day and still not spot things. Today I noticed a crab apple tree on the edge of the old Pits. I’ve never seen it before, or at least, not that I can remember.

Crab Apple in blossom

Jez was a really happy little dog when we left the Heath to walk back home via the ponds. After a quick paddle in the pond she spent her time investigating the bank while Max swam out after his cone. She’s still a bit unsteady on her feet at times though, and just after I took this photo she lost her footing and nearly fell in.

Don't do it. Don't jump Jez

The female swan is still sitting on her nest while the male patrols. Today, though, her neighbour, the Great Crested Grebe, was out on the pond with her three young chicks.

Keep up now

I love the Grebe chicks. They look so cute with their black and white striped heads.

Adult and chicks

I’ll have to keep an eye out for them again.

A year ago today

Jez goes to say ‘Hello’ to a cow on Canford Heath.

Jez goes to say 'Hello'

A wet Easter Sunday

Sunday 20th April 2014

I felt so sorry for all of the people who had planned Easter Egg hunts down this way today. It chucked it down with rain for most of the day, and certainly from noon until mid-afternoon. Oddly enough it brightened up and we had some sunshine around teatime, but I digress. S

So as it was Easter Sunday I cooked roast leg of lamb for lunch. Well, for Dad, Pat and I. Chris doesn’t like lamb so I cooked him a port chop. This was the lamb just before it went in the oven.

The lamb ready for the oven

I have to say, it was very tasty. So tasty, in fact, that Dad couldn’t wait for us all to sit down and I caught him sat at the table nibbling it.

Caught sneaking a nibble of the lamb

We did all manage to sit down and eat eventually, though.

Easter Sunday lunch

I have one more photo from today (sadly, I forgot to take a photo of the Simnel cake I made). Of Max and Pat of the sofa.

Max is in seventh heaven

A year ago today

We went for a walk on Upton Heath, and on the way home I managed to take my favourite photo of Max in Creekmoor Ponds.

Max in Creekmoor Ponds