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

On the beach at Highcliffe

Wednesday 2nd November 2016

This morning I went to Highcliffe, as usual on a Wednesday morning, to visit my Dad. It was bright and sunny so Jez decided to stay at home on the bed in the sun. Once I’d done all of the bits and pieces Dad had lined up for me I suggested we go for a walk down the beach. Although there was a cold wind it was from the north so I figured that the beach should be fairly sheltered. I was right.

Here’s Dad heading towards the section of beach where we play with the dogs.

Dad heads to the beach

And Max, waiting expectantly at the water’s edge.

Max waits to play

We weren’t the only ones who had had the idea of taking the dog to the beach. As you can see, there were quite a few people and dogs down there.

It was quite busy down on the beach

After I’d played with Max for a short time (not too long as it makes his hips too bad) we walked along the promenade in the opposite direction for a while. Dad had a seat in the sun while I wandered on with Max. However, Max managed to get himself on a section of beach between two groynes and struggled to get out again over the rocks, so after that I joined Dad on the seat.

And then we headed back to the car which was parked on the clifftop in the wind.

Heading back to the carpark

It had been a good choice of venue for a walk, although Max struggled to get up the stairs when we went to bed.

And one last mention for today: it would have been my Mum’s birthday, so Happy Birthday Mum.

A year ago today

Max and I went for a walk on Upton Heath. Here he is by the stream where it crosses the Roman Road.

Along the Roman Road

Fun on the beach

Wednesday 12th October 2016

Wednesday is my morning to go and visit my Dad, and today was no exception. It was a beautiful sunny day though, so I suggested to Dad that instead of our normal walk around Nea Meadows we go down to Highcliffe beach and then wander up Chewton Bunny. And in case you are wondering a ‘bunny’ is a small, steep valley made by a stream. In Bournemouth they are called Chines. As with many such valleys along the coast here that lead to the sea in past times it was used by smugglers.

Anyway, back to the beach. I parked in the clifftop carpark in Highcliffe and was delighted to see that at this time of year it is free. We then made our way to the beach.

Walking down to the beach at Highcliffe

This was the view looking west towards Sandbanks (which is the peninsula you can see).

Looking across to Sandbanks, Poole

With the tide going out there was a lovely section of sandy beach close to the bunny.

A nice day for a walk on the beach

Jez was delighted to be down there, although Max was only interested in his cone.

Jez is a very happy dog. Meanwhile Max is focused on his cone

While I played with Max Dad perched himself on the cliff.

Dad has a rest

And lastly, one finally shot of my very happy little staffy.

Jezebel

I’m afraid there aren’t any photos of the bunny. We walked up it a way and I washed the salt off Max in the stream. But it is tree lines and it was very dark in there so any photos wouldn’t really have come out.

A year ago today

We went for a walk on Upton Heath and met our friend Jasper the lurcher.

The look of love

We celebrate Pat’s 96th birthday

Wednesday 14th September 2016

Today was Pat’s 96th birthday. For those of you who don’t know Pat was my Dad’s partner for many years, but had to move out when her frailty and his broken hip meant that he couldn’t look after her any more. She now lives with her son, and as her birthday fell on a day when I normally go to my Dad’s I offered to pick her up and cook them both dinner, which I did.

Here are Dad and Pat on the sofa just before lunch.

Dad and Pat

After lunch I washed up and then left Dad and Pat at the flat while I took the dogs over to Nea Meadows Nature Reserve, where we often walk with Dad on a Wednesday. Today though I had a decent camera with me so took a few photos. Here are the ducks on the pond.

Ducks on the pond

And in the gap in the trees you can see the seat Dad likes to sit on.

Our usual seat

Today we walked up to the top of the meadow and I sat on a seat under an old oak tree while Jez had a rest. Max, of course, wanted to play.

Max

And while we played Jez kept watch over the meadows.

Jez sits and looks across the meadow

We walked back towards the stream and had to pass under the second of the two large oak trees in the meadow. I thought it looked magnificent in the sun.

Oak Tree

I love big old oak trees.

And then we walked back to the flat and after a while I got Pat and the dogs back in the car and dropped Pat home before coming on home myself.

A year ago today

We went for a walk on Upton Heath.

Upton Heath

Max is in trouble again

Wednesday 31st August 2016

Today, being Wednesday, I went to visit my Dad in the morning. After I had finished all the bits and pieces he had for me to sort out we took the dogs down to Mudeford Quay as I wanted to do some filming for Chris’ company. We parked, and before I got the tripod out of the car (it weighs a ton!) I walked the dogs over to the water’s edge so that they could get in the sea. As you can see, the weather was very different to yesterday as it was overcast and there was quite a cold wind blowing.

Mudeford Harbour

My thought was that if they went in the water first they would calm down and then I could get the tripod and we could walk around the quay. So here is Max in the water. As usual he is waiting for me to throw something for him.

Waiting for his cone

After the dogs had had a paddle I went and got the tripod and we headed for the quay. That’s Dad in the photo below walking towards the quay.

Mudeford Harbour

I put the dogs on the lead and as I had a heavy tripod with camera attached in my left hand I gave Jez to Dad and I kept hold of Max. And what a good job I did. Jez wandered around like a good little dog. Max was a total nightmare. He pulled and pulled on the lead the whole time and it took all my strength just to hold onto him. It was not a pleasant experience. I did manage to get some film but was so busy struggling to control Max that I got the exposure wrong. At least some of it was usable though.

Eventually I gave¬†up and ¬†headed back to the car via the sea again. Here’s Jez having a paddle.

Jez has a paddle

And one last photo of Max.

Max on the little beach

I won’t be doing that again in a hurry.

A year ago today

Max and I had a bit of a wet walk on Upton Heath. Here is a Grisette that I spotted on our walk.

Grisette

Off to see Dad today

Wednesday 24th August 2016

Wednesday morning is the time we go and pay my Dad a visit in Highcliffe. Once again we walked over to Nea Meadows while we were there. I only have one photo to share. A very nice photo of my Dad taken on our walk.

Dad

A year ago today

Max and I had a very wet walk over to Upton Heath.

There's water by the boardwalk again

Meanwhile, Jez made herself comfy at home.

Jez has made herself comfy

We visit my Dad

Wednesday 17th August 2016

As usual on a Wednesday morning I drove over to Highcliffe to visit my Dad and took the dogs with me. There was nothing much for me to do over there today, so we walked the dogs over to Nea Meadows nature reserve which is near him. I didn’t have a camera with me, so as is often the case when I’m at my Dad’s, the photos were all taken on my iPhone.

Back at Nea Meadows

We walked around the pond and, as is Dad’s habit, had a sit on the seat part way around.

Dad

While we sat there I was throwing a ball for Max, but it was hot and eventually I persuaded him to have a rest.

Max

After that we walked on round and the dogs cooled down in the stream before we walked back to Dad’s flat.

A year ago today

We went for a walk by the River Stour. Here’s Jez on Eye Bridge.

Crossing the bridge