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 bit of a damp week

Sunday 23rd July to Saturday 29th July 2017

I didn’t think I had much to share with you this week, as we’ve had quite a damp, showery week. But it turns out I have more than I thought, including 3 bits of video.

So I’ll start last Sunday, when I took Teddy down to Lake Pier at Hamworthy. It used to be a favourite destination of Max’s, but since they’ve started charging for the car park I haven’t been back. Anyway, it wasn’t a particularly nice afternoon: fairly breezy with squalls of rain. I don’t think Teddy has been to the beach before as he didn’t seem to know what to make of the waves.

He did find the seaweed quite tasty though (you would think he was never fed).

Teddy finds seaweed quite tasty

And he had a great time chasing the wagtails along the beach and then the seagulls into the water. Monday we actually had some sun for our walk over to Upton Heath, and Teddy made a new friend at the pond: a young German Pointer. Here they are having a great time.

Tuesday was another nice day and I decided to take Teddy out to Wareham Forest. We hadn’t been there long when we met two 13 week old French Bulldog pups.

Teddy meets two 13 week old French Bulldog pups

They wanted to play with Teddy until he started chasing them and then they got scared, so I put him on the lead and walked him on.

As I said, it was a very nice day, as you can see from this photo of Teddy approaching the Dragonfly Pool (on the left).

Walking towards the Dragonfly Pool

And here is said Dragonfly Pool, looking rather lovely in the sunshine.

Reflections in the Dragonfly Pool

I took Teddy for a slightly longer walk today and chose I route I used to take with Jez and Max but which I don’t think they’ve been up to walking for the past 3-4 years. It bought us back along the side of Decoy Heath.

Looking across Decoy Heath

Although it looks like grass it is mainly bog, covered in grassy hummocks in places and reeds. Walking along Teddy spotted a crow out on the heath and took off after it. He was doing fine until he fell into one of the boggy pools, at which time he came to an abrupt halt. Just look at the state of him afterwards.

Guess who fell in the bog

All that mud can make a little dog quite frisky though.

I tried to wash him off in the Gruffalo Pool but he wouldn’t go in, choosing to run after a horse and rider that I thought was far enough away before I let him off the lead again. Fortunately no harm was done but I’ll have to hold onto him for longer when we meet horses in future.

So I arrived home with a very muddy dog, and had to bath him, which he did not appreciate. I had a nice clean, dog afterwards though.

Teddy after his bath

After that the weather got worse and it was either overcast or raining and I didn’t take any photos until we went to Delph Woods in the rain on Saturday afternoon. We had had strong winds overnight and I came across a fallen silver birch tree alongside the stream.

Tree down

With all the rain Teddy looked very bedraggled and sorry for himself.

Teddy's not happy about all this rain

Even the lake looked pretty dismal.

Rain on the lake

So we were happy to get back to the car and the dry.

At the end of a wet walk

I’m hoping for slightly better weather in the coming week. Perhaps I’ll be able to get some of my washing done.

Introducing Teddy

Saturday 10th June 2017

After losing Jez and Max in such a short space of time Chris and I found ourselves with a huge hole in our lives. Our whole routine changed, and although we did still go out for walks from time to time, it just wasn’t the same. So we started to search for another companion. Last weekend we found Teddy at a local rescue.


He is a young lurcher of some description (I believe they are also known as Longdogs in the US), approximately a year to 18 months old. The centre had called him Yeti. They didn’t know his name as he was picked up as a stray by a local dog warden. He had been microchipped but his details hadn’t been updated. He is very gentle and was very calm and we said we’d have him. We went back a few times over the course of the week, during which he was neutered. This was taken on one of our visits.

Teddy licks his lips

And today he officially became ours and we bought him home.

Teddy's home

He’s a very pretty boy, as you can see.


And very good on the lead. Once he’d had a while to settle in I took him round Creekmoor Ponds for a little walk.

Teddy's first walk with me

But with all of the things that had happened to him during the day he was soon worn out.

I think Teddy's settling in ok

And it wasn’t long before he made himself at home and discovered the joys of a sofa.

I just about managed to squeeze onto the sofa

There was just about room for me.

After which it was time for another snooze.

Teddy has worked out where he wants to sleep

Max and I go to Upton Heath

Monday 7th November 2016

This being Monday I went over to Upton Heath as usual for our walk this morning. I only had Max with me though as Jez stayed at home asleep in the sun. She does like to catch her rays when she can in the winter.

You can see it was a nice day. Here’s Max and I at the pond.

Me and Max at the pond

And here’s one of Max on his own.

Max in the pond

It was one of those days when Max was going from one pool of water to the next. Here he is in the little pool by the boardwalk.

Max in the pool by the boardwalk

We walked around the lower heath and then came to the Roman Road. The sun looked lovely through the trees in Longmeadow Lane woods.

Longmeadow Lane Woods

Longmeadow Lane Woods

This one was taken where the stream crosses the Roman Road.

The stream across the Roman Road

And lastly for today, Max in the leaves in Longmeadow Lane woods.

Max in the fallen leaves

It had been a lovely walk and did not feel quite a chilly as I was expecting.

A year ago today

Jez, Max and I were also walking on Upton Heath, although it was not quite such a nice day.

The heath in the late afternoon

Well that was a mistake!

Friday 17th June 2016

At the moment Friday’s are Jez’s hydrotherapy day, which means that I get up early and do my grocery shopping before taking her to the vet in Bournemouth. It’s well worth it though as she is definitely improving. This morning she had a long session and was very tired afterwards.

It was raining when we left the vet, but then it eased off. In the afternoon Chris was watching the football so I volunteered to take Max out. What a mistake! We walked over to Upton Heath and half way round the rain started.

Today we had a WetWalk

After a while it eased off, so I thought ‘Well that wasn’t too bad’. As we reached the Roman Road it started to rain heavily though, and the rain was joined by thunder and lightening. So to shelter from the storm there I was, stood under the sweet chestnut trees next to the stream! We must have been there for about 20 minutes. I was throwing Max’s cone so he was happy, and I was relatively dry.

Eventually I decided it had eased enough for us to walk home. Wrong! Half way home the heavens opened and we had a torrential downpour. Within a minute I was soaked to the skin. By the time we go home the footpaths had turned into steams and I was paddling inside my walking boots.

Summer? What Summer?

Even Max looked like a drowned rat.

Max was a bit wet

Remind me not to do Chris’ walk for him again.

A year ago today

Max and I went to the River Stour at Eye Bridge.

Eye Bridge (with Max at the far end)

Weekend Guests

Sunday 14th February 2016

My cousin, Linda, and her husband, Paul, came to stay this week-end. They arrived late lunchtime on Friday and after lunch we went down to Poole Quay for a wander. I don’t have any photos though as it was getting a bit dark on an already gloomy day. On Saturday Linda & I went shopping, so again, no photos from me. Sunday morning, however, dawned clear and bright and so we went over to the Sika Trail in Wareham Forest.

Here’s Max checking that Linda and Chris are keeping up.

Max checks that Linda & Chris are keeping up

And here’s Chris, Linda and Paul posing for a photo.

Chris, Linda, Paul and Max

Linda took this one of Chris, Paul and I. She told us that Paul likes to have people’s feet in the shot, so Chris and I were making sure our feet could be seen.

Making sure our feet are in the shot

Of course, as usual, Max was in every pool of water there was.

Max waits for someone to throw something

Jez was just happy to trot along with Paul and Linda, though.

Linda, Paul & Jez

And here’s Jez standing by the Dragonfly Pool.

Jez by the Dragonfly Pool

We called at the Gruffalo Pool then took Linda and Paul up to the viewpoint.

From the viewpoint

Where Linda insisted on checking the direction of the wind.

Testing the wind direction

They went home after lunch, but it had been lovely having them for the wee-end.

A year ago today

Jez, Max and I went for a walk on Upton Heath. This photo of Max was taken along the Roman Road.

Max in the stream

Time for the Big Garden Birdwatch

Sunday 31st January 2016

Every year at this time I take part on the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, and spend an hour of my time on a Sunday morning watching and recording the birds that land in the garden. Here I am sat at the table…

Time for the Big Garden Birdwatch

That is a self-portrait, by the way, as I continue to experiment with flash. The Birdwatch was a bit of a wash out though. Although I did see quite a few birds there was nowhere near the usual number and variety, which I’m guessing is down to the weather. In the afternoon I took Jez and Max to Upton Country Park. Here’s Jez on one of the stepping stones in the stream.

Jez on the stepping stones

And one of the young calves took an interest in us.

A young calf watches us

A few yards further on there were a couple of the calves near the fence, so Max insisted on barking at them. But instead of frightening them it just made them inquisitive and several more wandered over. A young girl came along with her family and went up to the fence to see them: which was ok until one of them tried to lick her.

The little girl isn't too sure that she wants a kiss

She wasn’t very keen on that! Max looking on in that photo makes me laugh.

When we got on round to the gardens, though, Max suddenly started limping badly and couldn’t put any weight on his front left leg. I checked his paw and couldn’t find anything wrong with it. By the time we got home he was worse, though, so I’m guessing it’s an arthritis flare up in his elbow again. Fortunately he has a check up at the vet first thing so I can get him checked over.

A year ago today

We had a walk in the sunshine on Upton Heath.

Max waits by the pond