A cold end to the year

Sunday 25th December – Saturday 31st December 2016

Christmas Day was a wet, miserable day, so Chris and I didn’t do our ‘traditional family’ walk with the dogs until Boxing Day (the 26th) when we took the dogs out to Kingston Lacy after lunch. It was pretty cold, so I made sure Jez had her nice warm jumper on. Here’s Chris with the dogs

A Boxing Day Walk

The sun going down behind the trees.

A chilly afternoon

And, yes, it’s treat time again.

Time for a treat

The next morning was cold and frosty, and while Jez stayed snuggled in bed, Max and I went over Upton Heath.

Entrance to a frozen heath

We almost met the cows, but they passed us by.

A procession of cows

I like this photo of one of the Exmoor Ponies with the mist lying low across the heath.

Exmoor Pony

The grass around the boardwalk was frosted…

Frozen Grass

… and the water icy (not that that bothered Max).

Max in the icy water

So a pleasant but cold walk.

The next day was cold and frosty again and this time Max and I went to Upton Country Park.

I liked these leaves, covered in frost but with the sun just touching them.

Frosted leaves in the sun

The picnic tables were pretty frosty too.

Frosty picnic tables

The sun was low along the stream.

By the stream

But Holes Bay was looking lovely in the sun.

View across Upton Lake to Poole

And so on to Friday 30th December, and Max and I went over to Canford Heath where the sun was low through the trees.

Light and shade on Canford Heath

It was quite misty too.

A foggy morning

Which made for a few nice shots.

Max waits for me Overlooking Canford Heath estate

But by the time we got up onto the main heath the sun was out, although the wind was bitter.

Me and Max in the sunshine Heading towards the stream

There was lots of ice on the water though.

The ice doesn't bother Max

And finally to the last day of the walk and and a chilly, grey walk on Upton Heath with both Jez and Max.

A grey end to the year

So here’s Max signing out with his last game of cone in 2016.

Last game of cone in 2016

And Jez waiting patiently for 2017 to arrive.

Jez waits

Happy New Year to you all.

A year ago

Max and I saw 2015 out down on the beach at Lake Pier, Hamworthy.

Max

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A busy week

Sunday 18th December – Saturday 24th December 2016

I had a busy week this week: getting ready for Christmas, choosing new flooring, picking up new spectacles, taking the dogs for a hydro session, walking the dogs (of course!), going out to Kingston Lacy to photograph their Christmas lights, and finally cooking Christmas dinner for Dad.

But first on Sunday 18th we were out on the top of Upton Heath as usual.

View over Upton Heath

I actually got Jez to look into the camera, rather than turn and walk away.

Jezebel

And although it’s technically rubbish, I got a great shot of Jez and Max together.

Jez and Max - cuaght in the flash

Moving on to Monday 19th and it was a bit of a grey day on Upton Heath.

View across the lower heath

I did get a nice photo of Max under the pine trees though.

Max

In fact, most of the week was grey and damp. But sun was forecast on Thursday so I chose this day to go out to Kinston Lacy to see their Christmas lights – and even then it managed to rain on me! I loved the wooden reindeer they had all around the park – here in a small group.

Reindeer Family

The path was bordered with lights and trees were lit up.

The Christmas Light trail

The house and the Philae Obelisk looked lovely.

Philae Obelisk & Kingston Lacy House

Philae Obelisk & Kingston Lacy House Kingston Lacy house

This is from the back of the house looking towards the Victorian Fernery.

Christmas lights in the trees

And looking back the other way.

Chirstmas lights at Kingston Lacy

The side of the house was lit up too.

Kingston Lacy house

This was in the Victorian fernery.

In the Victorian Fernery

And finally, the old Laundry (where Father Christmas was visiting) and the house.

The Laundry and Kinston Lacy House at Christmas

There are more photos over on my Flickr stream if you care to look.

On Friday 23rd Dad came for Christmas lunch. Pat was supposed to come too, but she was too poorly, which was a shame. Here’s Dad before lunch.

Dad

Time for crackers.

Happy Christmas from the Grinch

And for lunch.

Christmas cracker time

We had a capon (cockerel) at Dad’s request, with all the usual trimmings, followed by Christmas pudding.

And so onto Christmas Eve, when we went over to Upton Heath for our walk.

The sun sets over the heath

So it’s a belated Merry Christmas from Max…

Max in the pond

…and from Jez.

Jez

 

A year ago

On 20th December Dad and Pat came for their Christmas lunch. Here Max decides that Dad’s ears need a good clean. Max wants a kiss

A day out

Sunday 6th November 2016

Today we were invited to Chris’ parents flat in London to see their new kitchen and bathroom. It was also an opportunity to see Chris’ Dad who has been quite poorly of late. As usual when we visit them we stopped off at Virginia Water Lake which is part of the Royal Parks around Windsor. We only stay for an hour as parking is exorbitant, but the dogs love it. Today it was cold, sunny and packed with people and dogs.

Both dogs started out by having a dip in the lake. Here’s Jez…

Jez

… and here’s Max being joined by a little terrier as Chris throws his cone.

A small terrier chases Max as he chases his cone

We walked along the main path towards the Duck Pond in the crowds of people, but then turned off into the trees.

Walking through the woods

It was lovely through here.

The woods in Auturmn

A little bit further on and the track opened out.

The Royal Park

At this point we veered left to loop back around to the Duck Pond. En route Chris stopped to give the dogs a treat.

Treat time

We walked on to the Duck pond…

Walking towards the duck pond

… where I liked the reflection of the trees in their Autumn shades in the water.

Autumn colour across the pond

And then we headed back along the main path until we cut back through the trees towards the car park.

The woods in Auturmn

It had been a lovely walk as the woods were stunning. And we had a lovely visit with Chris’ family after that. Sadly the journey home out of central London wasn’t so good, especially as there was a large firework display just off Ladbroke Grove and we got stuck in a traffic jam on Holland Park Avenue.

A year ago today

A very high tide had caused the stream to flood at Upton Country park.

The stream's more swollen than ever

Jezebel’s 9th Birthday

Monday 12th September 2016

Today was Jez’s 12th birthday. She decided not to come with Max and I when we went for our walk on Upton Heath in the morning. Rather she chose to have a lie in. She did go out with Chris in the afternoon though. When they came home we had presents and the peanut butter cookies I had baked for the occasion. There are lots of photos on my Flickr feed, but I will share a few of the best ones here.

We started with Chris teasing the dogs with the peanut butter cookies…

Chris teases the dogs with peanut butter cookies

…before allowing them to have some.

Time for a peanut butter cookie

Then it was time for presents.

Present time

Max helped himself to a new Monkey soft toy.

Max helps himself to Monkey

Whilst Jez took some persuading that the small, squeaky space hopper was something she could play with.

Chris tries to persuade Jez its a toy

She did, eventually, get the hang of it though.

Jez investigates

Here’s Chris and Max.

Chris and Max

And here are the two of them with Jez.

Chris, Jez and Max

I also took a bit of video.

And a portrait of the birthday girl.

Birthday girl

Who soon got a bit tired of the proceedings.

Birthdays can be very tiring

And then after all that there was chicken and rice for their dinner. I hope she had a nice birthday.

A year ago today

Of course, it was Jezebel’s 8th birthday. Here she is posing for me on Upton Heath.

Posing

A day out with the family

Wednesday 20th July 2016

When I was speaking to Chris’ Mum and Dad a few days ago I suggested we pick them up then go to pick my Dad up, and to all go out for the day. So today that’s what we did. I packed a picnic, collected everyone, and drove out to Buckler’s Hard in the New Forest in Hampshire.

Buckler’s Hard is an 18th century shipbuilding village situated on the picturesque Beaulieu River. This is the view down to the river. You can see my Dad, Chris, Jez and Max in the photo.

Dad, Chris and the dogs

This is looking downriver close to where we had our picnic lunch.

Looking down the Beaulieu River

And this is a panorama looking up river, encompassing the sailing club.

The Beaulieu River

The river is tidal, so contains quite a lot of sea water. Nevertheless, it was was a very hot day and both dogs were glad of its presence. They spent a lotĀ of their time cooling down in it.

Jez and Max managed to keep cool

After we’d had our lunch we went on a short boat trip down the river.

View up the Beaulieu River from our boat cruise

Here are Chris’ Mum and Dad (Ann and John) on the boat.

Ann & John on the river boat

And Chris.

Chirs

We also met a little 17 year old Jack Russell terrier, whose owner was wheeling him around in a cart. He had a little cooling jacket on and soon settled down to snooze on the boat. His jacket said ‘Chill Out’ and I think you’ll agree that’s exactly what he did.

Chill Out

And being on the boat meant that I could get a nice shot of Buckler’s Hard from the river.

Buckler's Hard

After the boat trip we had a cursory look around the museum. I say cursory as you could have spent hours in there. It was really interesting though and worth a visit. And after that we headed back home, through the New Forest to drop Dad in Highcliffe before dropping Chris’ Mum and Dad in Bournemouth. When we eventually got home my cousin, Linda, was sitting in the garden waiting for us. She has come to stay for a few days.

Two years ago today

There are no photos from a year ago today. Two years ago today, though, Jez, Max and I went for a walk in Wareham Forest.

Queen of the Castle

We have visitors

Sunday 17th July 2016

I had a phone call on Thursday night from Chris’ brother to say that his parents were coming down to Bournemouth on holiday for a week commencing Friday. I suggested that they come to dinner Sunday (Chris picked them up and took them back to their hotel), and I also invited Dad and Pat. And there was another reason for celebration: it was Max’s 8th birthday.

I did a salad for lunch, cooking gammon and a leek and Camembert flan, and made a pavlova for dessert. After lunch we all went and sat in the garden and I took the camera.

This is Chris’ Mum, Ann.

Ann

And his Dad, John.

John

This is my Dad.

Eric

And this is his partner of 16 years, Pat.

Pat

Pat will be 96 years old in a couple of months.

Chris and the birthday boy took a more laid back approach to the whole thing.

Chris and Max

In fact, a very laid back approach.

A man and his dog

It was very nice to see everyone, but I was glad of a rest when they’d all gone.

A year ago today

It was, of course, Max’s 7th birthday. Here he is with one of his birthday presents.

Max on his 7th Birthday

On Upton Heath

Saturday 9th July 2016

Apologies to everyone. I’ve been a bit busy and so haven’t had time to edit my photos, let alone write a blog post. But things are back to normal now and I’m in the process of having a bit of a catch up. My problem is going to be remembering what happened on our walks, so I think most of the time I will just have to let the photos tell the story.

So, on this particular Saturday Jez, Max and I went for a walk on Upton Heath in the afternoon. It took me a while to get Jez up the hill to the old railway line as she insisted on having a rest half way up.

Jez

While I was waiting for her to move on I took a photo of Max too.

Max

We walked along the old railway line and headed for the pond, and I was surprised to see that the fungi, in this case Amanita pantharina, are already coming out.

The first Amanita Pantharinas

When we got to the pond a couple of ladies were already there with a lovely little 2 year old staffy-cross called Alice.

Meet Alice

As it was quite a warm day Jez had a long cool down…

Jez takes the weight off

… and a shake.

Shake time

Meanwhile Max waited patiently for me to throw his cone as usual.

Happy boy in the pond

And while my two were standing around calmly, Alice raced in and out of the water with her ball.

You've dropped your ball, Alice

After that we walked back to the car and came home. Chris had been cutting the lawn in the back garden so was ready for a rest and a beer.

Chris and Max relax in the garden

Of course, Jez had to join in.

Jez wants to join in

But she soon showed Chris what she thought of him.

Jez shows Chris what she thinks of him

So Chris retaliated.

Chris retaliates

And that’s it for today. We’d had a very pleasant afternoon.

A year ago today

Max and I went to Upton Country Park. Here he is in the stream.

Max wants to play in the stream