|Local wildlife in Selly Oak|
Brian’s right, I am a bit of a ‘dogvert’ it all started with RoddieDog, Helen and Ian’s black Labrador, but he was different as he didn’t actually think he was a dog. Then the four dogs at Robyn and Murrays ranging from cat sized to small horse all with such different personalities, only to be followed by Sam who is such a star, I was a bit unsure about letting a ‘borrowed’ dog off the lead, and this uncertainty was backed up by Helen, but actually when walking in the park he would wait to go back on his lead as we came to leave the park and cross the road and in the Malverns he was only on his lead for a brief moment as we came upon some dogs on theirs (not that he took any notice of them!)
|Gill's back garden|
Now we are in N Yorkshire with Dave and Pol and Kanga the labradoodle who is four, full of boundless energy and gets blinkers on when seeing rabbits, so we haven’t let her off the lead, except when just outside the house kicking the grass for her to attack? Mad dog! My original theory about dogs all being small and yappy, dribbly or bigger than me has proved to be so wrong, now I’m still not sure I’d want one as they are such a tie, but actually they are not as bad as I thought! Cats still win hands down obviously, but perhaps dogs are OK!
|A last picture of Sam, the 'action dog!'|
|Mummy swan sitting on the nest, daddy swan looking protective|
Our time with Sam the dog and Keith the cat went so quickly, it was a real shame. I got quite used to sharing 1/3 the bed with a cat and a dog while Brian had the other 2/3. Taking Sam out for a couple of walks a day to check on the swans (don’t think there are going to be cygnets sadly as she seemed to be down to one egg and has apparently been upset and moved from her nest more than once by the local youth). Keith only brought one more bird in, as an act of rebellion? He’d tried going for a walk with B and Sam only to be chased away, so he brought me another ‘present’
|Just one egg in the nest|
We quite got into the dog subculture in the parks too – people knew who Sam was and that we were only minding, even though they didn’t know Gill’s name and dogs that were normally really stand-offish said hello as they recognised a four legged friend! So it was very sadly that we said goodbye, but hopefully with a new friend in Gill we will all meet again.
|Keith sheltering from the sun as we packed the car|
|Dave and Pol's house in the tiny village of Thornton Steward|
So Friday we packed the car for a fortnights ‘holiday’ and headed up north to Dave and Pauline’s in a tiny village just outside Leyburn (where I realised I’d been before when having previous weeks away with Sarah and John in Gunnerside). After a lovely evening on Friday catching up and talking nineteen to the dozen we got up for a walk on Saturday. Off to Buckden Pike, probably not that far but in very high humidity and with some good uphill pulls! Lovely views and lots more talking, too much for Kanga I guess as she hardly seemed like she’d been out for a walk!
|Ready for our walk: Brian, Dave, Pol and Jackie (Kanga just behind Dave)|
|Jackie and Pol cross the stream with Kanga and Dave looking on|
Ended the walk in a tea shop for cream tea and midges (a gentle break in for what to expect in Scotland possibly!) before stopping at the pub on the way home for a very good local pint. Sunday we decided that DIY was the entertainment for the day with B and Dave flooring the bathroom, I did some sanding in the bedroom and cooked the dinner and Pol painted and gardened! (B is currently painting in the bathroom as we speak, just to prove it was worthwhile bringing the working clothes!)
|Jackie, Brian and Dave|
|On the summit!|
Yesterday we had a potter around the locality, Jervaulx Abbey, Masham and Marfield wetlands before B and Dave went out for a good evening walk to again try to exhaust the dog and for B to ‘practice’ his walking for Saturday.
|Near the tea rooms!|
|Kanga plays in the stream|
Everywhere we went there are yellow spray painted bicycles and notices about road closures and parking restrictions on the 5th July when a stage of the Tour de France comes this way (yes, I’m confused too!) Fortunately we’ll be back in the Midlands by then as I think it could be chaos round here!
|While Pol amuses herself|
|A bit of DIY for Jackie|
Anyway, lots more to do and afternoon tea and Pol’s flapjack are calling…
|Brian and Dave's half finished handiwork|
|Kanga gets ready to catch the grass cuttings...|
|Up she goes...|
|Again and again (we don't think she was being strangled by her lead!)|