Tag Archives: Walk

South West Coast Path, from Charmouth to Golden Cap, Seatown and back.

Golden Cap, the most stunning South West Coast Path walk one could ever wish for!
Golden Cap, the most stunning South West Coast Path walk one could ever wish for!

It’s impossible for me to hide my love for this wonderful part of the Jurassic Coast in Dorset.  It most definitely is my most favourite walk in England.  On a fine day, the views are breathtaking and ever changing as you walk through fields and up and down cliffs to reach the top of Golden Cap.  A pretty good level of fitness is required if you wish to attempt this walk as there are many steep climbs but you are rewarded with the finest views of the coast line. 

Golden Cap is the highest point on the south coast of Great Britain at 191m and visible for ten miles in each direction along the coastline.

Today, Steve and I set off early for this 8mile journey.  We start at Charmouth where we climb Stonebarrow Hill.  This is a long, steep lane that leads to the start of the path.  You can also start this walk from Charmouth beach.  This path has recently been re-opened but was closed for some time due to the landslips and cliff erosion.  We walked back on this re-opened path, but in my opinion, it really isn’t a safe route and when wet I would imagine a slippery, muddy mess!

After a steep climb up Stonebarrow Hill, Steve and I begin the magnificent walk to Golden cap and Seatown.
After a steep climb up Stonebarrow Hill, Steve and I begin the magnificent walk to Golden cap and Seatown.

We pass a lovely cottage as we continue along the West Coast Path towards Golden Cap.
We pass a lovely cottage as we continue along the West Coast Path towards Golden Cap.
We pass through a field with the local cows and a massive bull!  Lets hope he's no where to be seen on our return!
We pass through a field with the local cows and a massive bull! Lets hope he's no where to be seen on our return!

The weather conditions were brilliant for walking; sunny with a slight breeze.  The cows we passed in the fields were not aggressive at all but I didn’t like the look of the massive bull sitting down resting as we passed him.  Please God let him be further away on our way back!!!

Golden Cap, here we come!
Golden Cap, here we come!
The hills were getting steeper.....
The hills were getting steeper.....
....as we climbed higher (looking back towards Charmouth and Lyme Regis)
....as we climbed higher (looking back towards Charmouth and Lyme Regis)

Even though we had quite a few hilly steep climbs, the smile on my face said it all.  I was enjoying this part of the coast just like I knew I would.  Fantastic!

Looking back towards our starting point....we were getting higher and closer to Golden Cap.
Looking back towards our starting point....we were getting higher and closer to Golden Cap.

We snacked on a banana and had plenty of water along the way.  The plan was to have cod and chips on the beach at the end of the day, so this exercise was essential to get rid of any guilt we would have eating the best battered fish I’ve ever tasted!

This last climb to Golden Cap is well passed the scale of a 15 hill on the tredmill!!
This last climb to Golden Cap is well passed the scale of a 15 hill on the treadmill!!
We made it!!  Steve on top of Golden Cap...now on to Seatown then back again
We made it!! Steve on top of Golden Cap...now on to Seatown then back again

The views from this height are totally amazing.  We stopped to admire the view for a while then headed towards Seatown.

We reach our destination, Seatown beach.
We reach our destination, Seatown beach.

Wow!  What an amazing walk……but we both had to turn around and go back which involved more steep climbs and stunning views in the other direction.  Seatown beach was beautiful, a quiet spot to sit and re-charge the batteries.  The Anchor Inn is a great pub to stop for lunch with sensational views.  Their beer garden is one of my favourite spots, situated on the cliff top overlooking the beach.  With a lovely thirst quenching beverage and perhaps a Ploughman’s lunch (Stilton cheese, branston Pickle, pickled onions, crusty bread and a little salad) this is hard to beat after a walk.  But it was still morning! and we had a long way to go before we could even think about such a rewarding finish…..so off we went, back up to Golden Cap and on to Charmouth.

Jenny Kirwan (me) walking through a healthy crop just out of Seatown towards Golden Cap
Jenny Kirwan (me) walking through a healthy crop just out of Seatown towards Golden Cap
Looking towards our climb to Golden cap from Seatown.
Looking towards our climb to Golden cap from Seatown.

So, we were on our way back to Charmouth and do you think the bull was in the field on our way back?  Yep!  He certainly was!!  Not only that, but the massive creature was right on the path and I could see him from two fields away.  I marched through this field like some machine on wheels!  I was SO scared!  Thankfully Mr. Bull  didn’t take the slightest bit of notice of us….I even had a brief moment to stop and take a quick, hasty photo of him!

Mr. Bull happily grazing with his girls! on our way back to Charmouth.
Mr. Bull happily grazing with his girls! on our way back to Charmouth.
Looking back at our fantastic journey to Golden cap and Seatown.
Looking back at our fantastic journey to Golden cap and Seatown.
Charmouth.....we are nearly at the end of our journey!
Charmouth.....we are nearly at the end of our journey!

Yippee!  What a wonderful sight, Charmouth here we come.  We decide to take the path that had been closed for some time back to Charmouth but was a little disappointed as it wasn’t quite safe, with deep cracks and grooves underfoot from the remains of the landslip and cliff erosion.  but it wasn’t an issue at this stage as I was still smiling from such a brilliant walk.

Charmouth Beach, what a wonderful finish to a brilliant 4hours walking.
Charmouth Beach, what a wonderful finish to a brilliant 4hours walking.
The best Cod in batter I have ever had at Seaton's 4c's fish shop and restaurant.  No guilt here!!!
The best Cod in batter I have ever had at Seaton's 4c's fish shop and restaurant. No guilt here!!!

Such an amazing feeling at the end of today to have walked my favourite stretch on the South Coast of England.  Steve loved it just as much.  We teamed our fish ‘n chips on the beach with a bottle of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc…….wish Fiona and Rob were with us because they would have loved this day!

Indi the Labrador Gun Dog is still Top Dog!

Indi the Labrador is still top dog!
Indi the Labrador is still top dog!

Indi, the older of the two Labradors I look after, is still pretty impressive for his nine or so years on this earth.  He can still haul his body over the odd fence on this big estate we live on and he keeps himself very trim with a number of sports he takes part in.

"Anyone for tennis?" says Indi.
"Anyone for tennis?" says Indi.

He is one of the best gun dogs around who also has a great love of tennis which heis not supposed to play!  He’s a great swimmer and especially loves to swim in the river and streams down in the woods and water meadows.  You will often see him taking a dip in the large swimmingpool during the summer months on the estate and always leaves the pool in a gentlemanly manner! unlike his mate Jester who bounds out of the water as quick as he can, shaking himself off carelessly.

Indi the grand old Labrador leaving the pool in a gentlemanly fashion!
Indi the grand old Labrador leaving the pool in a gentlemanly fashion!

Indi also is a great wrestler and usually wins his daily bouts with the young Jester.  Jester occassionally squeels like a baby when things get too rough but loves the game all the same.

Indi and Jester the Labradors during one of their wrestling matches.
Indi and Jester the Labradors during one of their wrestling matches.

The two dogs have a great life here in Hampshire and are lucky to have each other’s company.  Steve and I are just back from taking them for a walk in the woods this morning and as I peeked through the door to the dogs room just a while ago, the two of them were sleeping like babies.  We’ll take them out for a run this afternoon through the fields while we check on the sheep, so they’ll have another lovely day of exercise.  Happy, healthy dogs!

Perfumed Roses are a sight to see……

How incredible it is for me to be surrounded by such beauty as I step outdoors at this time of year!  Wow, if only my mum in Australia could see what I can…so many beautifully scented roses everywhere in this extensive big garden.

The Paeony Roses are now blooming in the sunken garden
The Paeony Roses are now blooming in the sunken garden

As I walk across the large terrace of the big house on this estate, I get a lovely waft of  perfumed roses.  A beautiful climbing rose covers part of the rear of the house, living happily with wisteria.  The balconies surrounding the terrace are also covered with a creeping white and pale pink variety of rose which has a very suttle scent and as it catches the passing breeze, it provides an delightful scent in the air.

The sunken garden is surrounded by a number of varied varieties of roses and a border of lavender surrounds the top wall of this wonderful display.  Just as well I am a great lover of flowers and for me this is paradise in the countryside for sure.

A special white variety of rose in the sunken garden.
A special white variety of rose in the sunken garden.

As the very warm spring is drawing to an end, one would think summer has already arrived with the spectacular garden that is blooming before our eyes.  The grasses in the lower fields are full of buttercups and forget-me-nots and a vast array of other pretty blue, white, mauve and yellow wild flowers.  As I am out with the two dogs each day, as well as checking on the lambs in their fields, I often stop to pick a hand full of these flowers to fill a vase in the cottage.  Although they don’t last very long, they provide a wonderful display and reminds us of the season we’re enjoying.

Buttercups fill a vase in the Cottage's kitchen.
Buttercups fill a vase in the Cottage's kitchen.
Roses from the garden
Roses from the garden

So, I must finish this blog now as I have to tend my own little garden!  My runner beans and broad beans need checking for the greedy caterpillars, slugs and snails that love to gorge on my tasty plants.

Not bad for 50!!

Steve the Birthday boy having a Birthday drink at the Pineapple Pub in the beer garden, Brimpton Common
Steve the Birthday boy having a Birthday drink at the Pineapple Pub in the beer garden, Brimpton Common

Well, turning 50 years of age is a big event in my book, but my husband Steve took it all in his stride and as far as he was concerned, it was just another Birthday!  He may be carrying more weight than he would like but I have to say he is looking pretty good for the big old 50!  He walks miles each day and loves the outdoors just as I do.  He loves a healthy diet and I recon the only thing he overindulges in, at times! is his favourite beverage of a good, well kept real ale!! 

Sarah's lovely Birthday cake.
Sarah's lovely Birthday cake.

It was a lovely day, starting with a walk then breakfast/brunch of leek scrambled eggs on my homemade wholemeal toast.  I’m not in the practice of making Birthday cakes, but this was a special occasion which warranted a little cake of some description (whether Steve liked it or not!)  So, I made a little chocolate cake the morning of his Birthday and covered it in peppermint chocolate and m&ms.  There was a knock at the door as this cake baking was going on and there appeared lovely Sarah from next door, with a CHOCOLATE BIRTHDAY CAKE for lucky Steve!!!!  Wow! 

My little cake for Steve!
My little cake for Steve!

In my own 44 years on this earth, I don’t think I’ve ever had two Birthday cakes made for me……it must have been Steve’s lucky day.  Just as well we had room in the freezer!

So we had drinks in our local pub beer garden in the wonderful early evening sunshine, then the cab we booked took us to the George and Dragon Pub in Wolverton Townsend for some lovely Aussie wine along with a good steak and ale pie.  Paula brought an individual treacle sponge pudding with a candle burning in it to the table after our meal and we sang Happy Birthday which finished off a top day.

Steve doing what he loves best in England....walking miles!
Steve doing what he loves best in England....walking miles!

So, my husband is now 50 years old and I have now spent 22 Birthdays with him and look forward to many more to come.  He is my best friend forever.

“The Wetter and Muddier the Better!” says Indi Boy.

Another daily walk with Indi and Jester the two Labradors through the woods and down to the water meadows.  All the heavy rain we’ve had has made the ground extremely wet, muddy and boggy……really horrible but the dogs have to be walked and so we must put up with these conditions.  Indi absolutely loves these conditions and the deeper the mud, the happier he seems!!  He had four swims in the large, full stream running through the water meadows.  Throwing a stick in the water works wonderfully well and he loves plunging in at any spot then climbs up the bank saturated and covered in mud.  The trick is to stay well away from Indi as he leaves the water….his shaking off the water business isn’t too pleasant when your too close!  Jester is scared of water still but surprisingly enters the water once.  The look of panic on his little face as he paddles through the deep water is concerning but he always manages to get to the bank and spring up to ground level effortlessly.  I guess in time Jester will learn to love the water just as Indi does….if not his master won’t be too happy to have a new gun dog who’s afraid of water!

"Let's go again Jenny" says Indi hoping to fetch the stick again in the stream.
"Let's go again Jenny" says Indi hoping to fetch the stick again in the stream.

When Steve and I finally get back to the cottage we give Indi a little hosing down but Jester isn’t at all up for any water to be sprayed anywhere near his body.  “Come on Jester, just a tiny little wash down that’s all little boy” I said trying to coax him over to the hose/tap.  He wasn’t having any of it and seemed like we were trying to punish him for something.  So he had a towel rub instead which I think he loved….he became a lot dryer now which made him happy.  “What a woos you are,” said Indi as they settled back in their room. “You’ll make a rubbish gun dog Jester if you keep this up.” he concluded.  “I’m alright Indi, leave me alone….best not to get into criticizing our faults as we could be awake all night with the list I have made for you!” Jester replied.  “Shoo-sh! now you two,” I said.  “No fighting tonight okay?  You both be good boys please and think about tomorrow’s walk alright?” I finished with.  “Okay Jenny,” they replied together and as I closed the glass door to their room after patting them goodbye, I could see them settling without any problems.  Lovely happy fit dogs gives me such great peace of mind.

Kingsclere, Hannington, Sydmonton, Ecchinswell walk.

sheep on the Gallops near Kingsclere, Hampshire.
sheep on the Gallops near Kingsclere, Hampshire.

We woke to a beautiful sunny Sunday morning but extremely cold, around -2 degrees C.  Perfect walking conditions for a long hike with only a breath of wind.  The night before we organised our gear, set the table for breakfast and made a few wholemeal cheese and onion scones to have with our thermos of coffee along the way.  Today’s hike would be a round trip of 20kms (around 12.5 miles) and would start in the lovely village of Kingsclere towards Hannington, Sydmonton through to Ecchinswell and finally back to Kingsclere.

Approacing the Village of Hannington...still freezing!!
Approaching the Village of Hannington...still freezing!!

Walking in freezing sunny conditions, with hardly a breath of wind is a sure way to wake one up early in the morning…..and we started early, just as the sun was coming up and the cold air was at it’s chilliest. 

After walking a continual slope for ten minutes or so, we were as warm as toast and enjoying the peacefulness and breathtaking views on such a still sunny Sunday morning.

The church at Hannington Village, Hampshire.
The church at Hannington Village, Hampshire.

We stopped for coffee just after Hannington seeing only a few dog walkers in the distance.  That went down wonderfully well but we didn’t stop for long as the cold was settling in my body again.

Breathtaking fields near Hannington
Breathtaking fields near Hannington

 We made our way along The Wayfarers path towards the Gallops.  The views towards the Gallops was amazing with large sweeping fields lit up by the clear bright sunshine. 

We crossed the main road at White Hill and noticed a huge number of cars parked along the roadside.  As we continued to walk we could see a number of kites being flown near to Combe Hole.  It was an impressive sight.

Viiews towards the Gallops and Watership Down
Views towards the Gallops and Watership Down

So over the Gallops we go and passed Watership Down and through the magnificent Sydmonton Court Estate, the country home of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.  This leg of the walk is definitely my favourite.  The grounds are beautifully maintained and the trees on the Estate are just magnificent to say the least.

The Gallops, near Kingsclere
The Gallops, near Kingsclere

We also pass by some beautiful Pollo horses at Sydmonton Farm.  They all looked very relaxed feeding on the grass in their well maintained fields.

Through Watership Down approaching the Estate of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Through Watership Down approaching the Estate of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.

 By this time we had been walking for around 2 and 3/4 hours so time to have another coffee and try out one of my cheese and onion scones.  Well, they were pretty decent I would have to say and Steve loved them (of course!)  We were off again enjoying the morning and now appreciating the efforts of getting out of a cosy warm bed early to brave the cold!

Steve enjoying a coffee looking towards part of the Sydmonton Court Estate and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's House.
Steve enjoying a coffee looking towards part of the Sydmonton Court Estate and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's House.

We pass a row of lovely country cottages called Laundry Cottages.  Maybe in the past they were housed by workers on the Estate?  They are in an elevated position and the outlook from their front must be beautiful.  So now the walk takes us through Watership Farm and Stables.  We pass quite a lovely pond which is still frozen over……temperatures were still hovering around zero!

Walking towards Laundry Cottages on the Sydmonton Court Estate.
Walking towards Laundry Cottages on the Sydmonton Court Estate.

On to the village of Ecchinswell now and I was starting to feel a little tired now……but we had to keep going!

 Through Ecchinswell and we felt like we were definitely on the home straight now.  We passed over a lovely bridge and stream and the ground seemed a lot softer under foot which meant temperatures were rising.  A little too late for us though.

Crossing the bridge towards Southwood Copse just out of Ecchinswell.
Crossing the bridge towards Southwood Copse just out of Ecchinswell.

The slight slope back to Kingsclere seemed to go on forever and I felt I was dragging my feet a little!  Steve kept the pace up well though.  I think he was thinking “The faster we go, the quicker we’ll finish!!”  We were also thinking about The George and Dragon Pub in Wolverton Townsend where we were going to rest our weary feet.  I think perhaps that is more likely why Steve’s pace kept up!

So, it felt like a great achievement walking the 20kms and although I felt a little knackered I knew my fittness was improving and that was an extremely satisfying feeling.

So to The George and Dragon we go for a pint and review our walk and photos…….a great way to spend a Sunday morning that’s for sure.

The George and Dragon was quite busy being Sunday lunchtime and our favourite table by the inglenook fireplace was already taken which wasn’t at all surprising on such a cold day.  We settled for another table….closer to the bar and not as far to walk which pleased Steve very much.  We talked about the walk and looked at all the photos we had taken throughout the morning….hope you enjoy a few that I have included in this post.  Cheers!

A pint of Henry's IPA for Steve and my choice is Aspall Suffolk Cider.
A pint of Henry's IPA for Steve and my choice is Aspall Suffolk Cider.

Chinoock helicopter

Well, it’s Friday and our last walk with the dogs until next Monday.  Jester has been whining in the dog’s room for over fifteen minutes, driving Indi mad.  “For god’s sake Jester, give it a rest will you…..you’re driving me nuts with that awful noise coming from your mouth!  You know we will be collected soon for our walk.  Why can’t you follow my example and wait with a little more decorum?” Indi said.   Before Jester could respond, I was already entering their room and Indi stood up in his bed excitedly, dancing with his two front feet around in little circles.  ” Who’s waiting with decorum now then you crancky old dog?” Jester said.  “Your too old to give advice anymore, you’re past it Indi……” he concluded as he leaped out the door.

“Jester, wait!” I shouted after him.  “I’m supposed to teach you to wait at the door and leave after I step out.” I said.  “Big deal, too late now, I’m out anyway and Steve’s got a pocket full of treats to feed me.  That’s more important than that sit, wait, sit, wait, silly lesson of yours.” Jester said without a care in the world.  “Don’t waste your time on that poorly trained animal Jenny.” said Indi. “He needs to go back to school….a boarding school would fit the bill.  A period of SIX months would be very nice.” he said dreaming about the peace and quiet he would have.  “Come on Indi,” I said in exasperation.  “We will have a lovely walk today, I can feel it.”

Jester was playing the “heal and treat” game very well again with Steve today and although conditions were milder than usual, the air I thought was still invigorating.  As we approached a big open field near the horse racing track, I heard a thundering sound in the distance.  “What is that noise?”I said to Steve.  Before he had time to answer, a huge massive army helicopter appeared in the distance flying very low, just above the tree tops.” 

 I’m a huge army aircraft fanatic and this was an awesome sight for me!  “Wow, look at that!” I said to the dogs.   Indi didn’t know what all the fuss was about as in his long life as a Labrador gun dog he had seen many aircraft, including this type of Chinoock Helicopter.  This was no big deal in his opinion.  Jester was looking up in the air along with keeping a keen eye on Steve’s pocket and really had no interest in the funny shaped greyish thing that was in the sky.  By this stage the Chinoock was flying closer and quite incredibly low, it was breathtaking.  Steve and I started waving at the Chinoock and it instantly changed it’s path to fly almost directly over us.  It was the most fantastic experience.  The dogs just stood there looking at us with bewilderment.  “Gee Jester, wonder what Jenny put in her soup at lunchtime today.  They are both behaving somewhat childlike, don’t you think?”  Jester wasn’t listening to a word Indi said.  He was too busy digging another hole in hope of finding another dead animal.

What a wonderful exciting addition to our walk today and as we made our way back to the cottage, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.   “Doesn’t take much to make Jenny happy.”  Indi said to Steve as they approached the orchard.   ” On a good day!” Steve replied. 

Back safe and sound in the dogs room and Jester remembered to say thank you.  Indi just bowed his head again like some upperclass gentleman as to say, “Very nice thank you Jenny.  See you next week.”   I closed the door on another eventful week walking the two dogs and felt pleased they had been exercised well.

Thank goodness for Jenny and Steve!

“Oh, thank goodness….here they are!!,”Jester said to Indi as he pressed his nose up against the glass of the dog’s room.

It was approaching 1:30pm and the dogs of course were ready and waiting for their daily walk.  As I opened the door to their room Jester was more than ready to be released out into the open air, looking up at me and waiting for my next instructions. Indi began dancing around in excitement as per usual (if only my husband was this excited when I came into a room!! I thought to myself…how nice would my life be!)

“Gee, you both are excited and waiting eagerly today,” I said.  “Oh Jenny, can we skip the chat today, I’m dying to pee,” Jester burst out.  Before I could say wait! to make him sit and wait until I was out the door first, Jester the beautiful Labrador bounded out the door like he was escaping a house on fire!

“Well, that lesson to wait at the door worked well today!” I said to Indi with exasperation.  “Jenny, he’s a monkey of a dog and in my opinion will continue to be so for quite some time…..lets get a move on now shall we….so unnecessary to waste our walking time with discussions about that unruly animal that disrespects me.” he concluded

Poor Indi has to put up with so much with Jester……but he takes it all in his grand old stride and I know Indi loves Jester very much.  Since he arrived on the scene, Indi has gained a new lease of life and become more playful for such an older dog.

So, another wonderful walk today through the woods and fields for the dogs.  Jester found part of a dead animal again and crunched up the bones before we had a chance to examine what he was getting into.  He did manage to tease Indi with his find before he demolished every ounce saying, “Na, nah nah nah nah, found a dead bird again…..it’s all mine and you’re not getting any of it!”   Indi took one look at his beaming face and thought what an insolent rude boy he was..no chance in hell of him trying to confiscate that dead matter from his mouth!

But Indi was very well behaved today and didn’t run off, although oblivious at times to his name.  Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you call him as often there is zero response and as I tucked them back into their beds and topped up their water bowls, I could feel their gratitude in the way they looked at me….”Thank goodness for Jenny and Steve!”

Sunshine at last!!

Set off this morning at 7:30am after a quick breakfast and cup of tea for another long walk.  I made us sandwiches, thermos of coffee and we were off to Kingsclere.  A pretty good start to the New Year ahead, that’s for sure.

BBC weather website is wrong again! and instead of expecting thick fog, we were greeted with a lovely morning…..broken cloud with the sun trying hard to peek through in places.  Walking conditions were pretty good temperature wise with little wind….but quite soft underfoot.  Mud that cakes hiking boots like you weigh an extra tonne isn’t the best but being out in the fresh air was wonderful.

So, from Kingsclere we walked to the outskirts of Hannington towards Malshanger Park.  It was beautiful…..Steve added a detour on another trail we had not yet walked and it was worth the extra distance.  We then made our way towards Kingsclere but this time through some lovely countryside we hadn’t walked for a while.  It seemed we were constantly climbing slopes and not many down hill sections.  No complaints really just pleased to achieved such a great distance for our fitness…. not to mention the enjoyment and health benefits of breathing in all that clean, country air.  In all, we walked about 25kms (that’s about 15.5miles I think)  A little further today but we pulled up very well with no injuries to speak of.  Of course we finished the walk with our traditional pint in “The George and Dragon” pub and after a lovely hot bath to soak our tired muscles we were feeling pretty good.

Having an Italian Beef Casserole this evening with some lovely savoy cabbage.  Think a serve of this in front of the fire will do us the world of good after our efforts today…..and along with a glass of red or two, I think we will sleep very well tonight!

A Merry Chilly Christmas

Woke up a little later than usual on Christmas morning…wanted to go for a walk but it was quite foggy and bleak and also very cold….made my husband and I leek scrambled eggs and bacon.  A beautiful start to the day.

I make a brief visit into the dog’s room to wish Jester and Indi a very “Happy Christmas!”  Jester is absolutely totally absorbed with his new Christmas bone filled with chicken (our present to him)  His tail is wagging madly but doesn’t move from his bed…”Thank you Jenny, Merry Christmas to you too but could you let me finish my bone?”

Indi gets up out of his bed thinking I’ve come in to take him out for a walk!  “No Indi boy, just coming in to wish you a Happy Christmas.”   “Oh, that’s a shame.”  I think I heard him mumble!  “How come Jester’s got a special treat then?  Where’s my special grand treat?”  I bet he said.  “In you bed Indi, have a good day.” I say to him  and give him a good old pat.  The look he gave me was disappointment and he resumed back to huddling up in his cosy bed.

 Meanwhile Jester the little monkey was still madly wagging his tail while engrossed in his new bone.  When I went over to him to say goodbye he rolled over onto his back (bone still in his mouth) and let me tickle him a little on his belly.  left their room pleased to have seen the two lovely dogs.

So, it’s just the two of us this year for Christmas day (I rang my parents in Australia last night to wish them Merry Christmas as they are 11 hours in front of us here in the UK)  So, I have no stress cooking for a large number and am enjoying this quiet time very nicely thank you!  Not doing a traditional lunch. We will be serving a slow cooked leg of lamb marinated over night with rosemary, garlic pesto and tomato paste, topped with onion and a decent amount of red wine in the pan.  This will cook for 3- 4 hrs and will fall off the bone to serve.

So, this morning I’m setting a lovely table for two! with candles.  I’ve made a cauliflower cheese, prepared brussel sprouts and carrots.  Also made thin wholemeal bread stick toasts for our smoked salmon caper and creme fraiche starter (we will have this when we get back from the “George and Dragon.”  Cheese board includes a West Country Cheddar, Stilton and French Brie.  We have some New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (a gift for Steve from the big house) as well as some French Champagne and some decent Australian red wine. 

We have a gorgeous fire burning now and the cottage is very cosy….oh my God! the sun is out now which is quite lovley….think I will turn a few lights off now and let the Christmas tree lights take centre stage.

We just rang Steve’s mum on skype in Florida for a Christmas chat.

Jester loves the snow!

 

My husband Steve and I are geared  up today to venture out again in freezing temperatures to walk the dogs from the big house.  Just Jester today though.  Indi has gone shooting down in the West Country with his master.

We have some dogie treats for Jester today, and he behaves very well.  Always running ahead of us stopping to let us catch up a bit.  He absolutely loves the snow …….. and being outside in the cold.

When we finally get back home, he looks up at Steve and says, “Thanks for being so kind to me, I loved the walk.  Any treats left?”

“Good boy Jester,” says Steve.  ” You have been very good today.  See you tomorrow (with a loving pat on his head)”

Okay, no more treats by the looks of things Jester concludes….See you too Steve….

I take Jester back into the big house and pour him some fresh water in his bowl which he demolishes within a minute.  He decides to settle down into Indi’s bed (it’s much bigger and cosier) and he gets away with it today! as Indi isn’t back until late tomorrrow.  I put another couple of logs on the fire in the large kitchen/breakfast room and say goodbye with a rub on his tummy and a kiss from afar.

“Thanks Jenny, you’re pretty great to me,” I think he whispered!