24th & 25th December 2017

On Christmas Eve we had my Dad to dinner and I cooked our Christmas lunch: a very large roast chicken with all the usual trimmings, followed by Christmas pudding. Rather than making an iced Christmas cake this year I thought I would try Mary Berry’s recipe for Tunis Cake: a lemon and almond sponge topped with a chocolate ganache and decorated. I was very pleased with the result, although I dread to think how many calories Chris and I consumed eating it over the following few days.

Tunis Cake

Anyway, we had a very nice dinner and I took Dad home again in the late afternoon. And so onto Christmas day. We think it was most probably Teddy’s first proper Christmas as we suspect that he was a travellers dog (not house trained, frightened of people (especially men), frightened of big sticks and people shouting, but very dog friendly). I had explained about Santa Paws before the big day (I know, I know!) and he seemed to enjoy himself.

Here he is with Chris.

Teddy and Chris

Kissy, kissy time…

Kissy kissy time

Wearing Max’s old reindeer antlers


And with me.

Teddy is enjoying his first proper Christmas

I Hope you all had a nice time over the festive period.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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

At the Country Park again

Thursday 3rd November 2016

Max and I went back to Upton Country Park for our walk this morning while Jez lay in bed. Today I decided to walk the opposite way around, which meant that we got an early reminder that Christmas will soon be upon us.

Christmas is coming

But although the staff think that Christmas is almost here, the gardens know that we’re actually in the middle of Autumn, as can be seen from this cluster of fungi at the base of a tree.


We walked on down to the shoreline and looked across Upton Lake towards Poole.

The view across Upton Lake

And then we made our way to the boardwalk.

On the boardwalk

They are changing this part of the park and putting in new paths through the fields. Apparently they are planning to close part of the shoreline path which will be a shame as it’s a nice path to walk. All of this suggests to me that the re-design was done by someone who doesn’t use the park on a regular basis.

We walked onto the stream…

Autumn leaves surround the stream

… where Max waited to play.

By the stream

And, of course, he had to get in the water.

In the stream

We carried on round and took the path through Grove Wood.

The path to Hamworthy

And then cut through to the Woodland Walk where I got another nice photo of the Dark Age Dwelling.

In the Woodland Walk

And from there we headed back to the car and home.

A year ago today

It was a bit of an overcast day when we went to Broadstone Rec. As you can see, the leaves were coming off the trees earlier last year than this.

When she got there the tree was bare

Christmas Day 2015

Friday 25th December 2015

I had originally planned for Dad to come to lunch today, but he decided he wanted a nice quiet day at home, so this year it was just me, Chris and the dogs for Christmas.

We had a nice relaxing morning, which started with coffee and shortbread biscuits in bed. Max desparately wanted a bit of biscuit. Here he looks imploringly at Chris, but notice he does not attempt to help himself from the box. He’s a really good boy and knows he’s not allowed.

Go on Dad, give me a biscuit

After Chris had eaten his biscuits Max turned those pleading eyes on me.

Oh please Mum!

You can’t really resist, but he only gets a little bit of biscuit broken off of ours.

Then it was time to get up and put my Christmas socks on.

The Christmas socks are on

They’re getting a bit old now. We opened presents and enjoyed a cooked breakfast. Then both Chris and I sat down at our respective PCs: him to work (!) and me to edit photos. Max commenced the all important job of destroying his Christmas presents.

Wee poor elephant did't last long

After lunch we all went to Delph Woods together for a walk.

A Christmas day walk in Delph Woods

As you can see, it was a bit wet and muddy.


Here’s Chris with the dogs by the pond.

Chris and the dogs by the lake

And, as is becoming traditional, one of the trees by the Scout field has been decorated for Christmas.

Christmas bauble

Back near the car park we met our fried Jasper, the lurcher, with his owners and their son. And then we headed home where, after watching Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom we settled down to a lovely dinner of slow roast pork. Oh, and not forgetting watching Dr Who, of course.

A year ago today

Sitting down to Christmas dinner last year.

Time for the Christmas Pudding

An early Christmas Lunch

Sunday 20th December 2015

We had Christmas dinner early this year. Well, the traditional turkey dinner, that is. The reason is that I asked Dad and his ex-partner Pat over the Christmas lunch today. Pat loves a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, but she lives with her son now and he doesn’t like Christmas dinner or Christmas pudding, so I cook it for her.

I managed to get on well and by mid-morning the table was set.

The table is laid ready for an early Christmas dinner

I thought it would be nice to have some family photos this Christmas so set the camera up on the tripod.

A toast.


My favourite photo of Dad and Pat.

Dad and Pat

Me and Chris with Dad and Pat.

Chris, me, Dad and Pat

Max wants a kiss.

Max wants a kiss

Dad gets a wash.

Dad get's a wash

Dinner was good too, although I say it myself. And both Dad and Pat really enjoyed it and ate large helpings. which was good. All in all we had a lovely day.

A year ago today

We went for a walk on Upton Heath. Here’s Jez.


A late walk at Upton Country Park

Sunday 29th November 2015

I was slightly late going out with the dogs today: by which I mean it was after 2.30pm when I got out. At this time of year I need to get them out fairly early in the afternoon or it’s dark before we get home (at which point I’m in danger of losing Jez). Once again it was a bleak day (I didn’t even bother taking a camera with me yesterday). As it was already looking dark when we went out and I had Jez with me I took the dogs to Upton Country Park.

A dull Upton Country Park

We walked round the new area and then headed to the lake, which is looking pretty dismal where they are cutting back all the willows. Max didn’t care though.

Where have all the trees gone?

I thought at this stage that Jez would head back through the Woodland Walk to the car, but she decided that we would walk round the back path. As we cut up through the gardens back to the car we found that the little Christmas shops were open so went to investigate.

Christmas chalets

Unfortunately, although there was a nice little shop selling dog treats, I didn’t have any money on me, so I’ll have to come back next week-end with some cash.

A year ago today

It was a much nicer day for our walk on Upton Heath. A bit of a hazy outlook