Shortly before Christmas, just in time for my granddaughter’s tenth birthday
(‘NO!’ I hear you say… ‘Surely not? You are FAR too young to have a ten-year-old grandchild, surely?’ And if you weren’t saying that, then WHY weren’t you? Huh? HUH?? The answer of course is that I was but a wee teeny little bairn myself when I married and began sprogging, so of course you are likely to mistake my youthful, ironed face for one that is much, much younger. People do this all the time. True story.)
… Where was I? Oh, yes, just in time for Kitty-kat’s birthday I traveled to where she lives in Oxfordshire by the most delightful mode of transport – the train. There is a very great deal to be said for train travel, not least of which is the arriving at your destination without any of the usual flustering frustrations when you are unfamiliar with the one-way system, for example, of the journey’s-almost-end (if it were the ‘end’ then you’d already have arrived and there’d be no point to this sentence. Dammit.) I still get lost in York, a place I used to know well before we jetted off to far-flung shores twenty-two years ago; I have made many trips into York over the past two years but am only just regaining my bearings. So I was delighted to find myself arriving at the station in good time, feeling very refreshed.
Another day, dear reader, I shall regale you with tales of our epic train journey around Europe that my two (then teenage) daughters and I made when I was four to five months pregnant with our Neanderthol. That will be interesting reading, I recently found my journal of the entire trip and it was clearly an eventful, intriguing thing to do. But that’s for another day. Back to the present please…
So, the day AFTER KK’s big day, my daughter invited me to accompany her and the two smallest children (you may remember Harrie from previous posts, who is almost three and Scarlett who is almost eighteen months), on a gentle stroll in the woods with them and Mrs B’s dog, Indie. Mrs B, in case you’re wondering is KK’s class teacher and good friend of my daughter’s. She lives in the next village along and Nathaniel J. Wildebeest (my daughter) has developed a Friday morning routine where the dog is collected and taken for a long walk.
‘Fantastic!’ thought I , only ever-so-slightly concerned that my problematic posterior may not stay the course and I also lacked appropriate footwear having turned up in a pair of (flat) black dress shoes, but I was assured that it would just be a leisurely stroll through a well-trodden and graveled road through the woods. Piece of cake!
Harrie, it should be said, simply adores Indie. Indie returns the sentiment in spades as he is an excitable cross-bred cocker-collie with all the beauty of the cocker-spaniel and the tenacity and physical prowess of the border collie.
However it should also be noted that when he was being created, Indie found himself in the queue for the cocker-spaniel’s brain, rather than the collie, which frequently means that he gets himself into all kinds of difficulties, but at least he looks beautiful with it!
Unfortunately, he cannot yet be trusted off-leash as he runs off and gets totally, comprehensively lost within just a few seconds so he had to remain on the leash at all times.
So, when a couple out walking their lurcher, a recently rescued dog with some issues around other dogs, spotted us approaching them from down the lane, they too buckled up and then stopped for a short chat.
I snapped this shot of the two dogs getting to know each other, which looks like the lurcher is telling Indie a fantastic bit of gossip…
Throughout the lovely walk, Indie repeatedly *forgot* that he was on the lead and, thanks to his corporeal aptitude and strength, flung himself forward at a rate of knots, frequently almost garroting either himself or Harrie in the process. Indeed, it was fun though. It was one of those gloriously beautiful December days, not bitingly cold, lovely cerulean sky and dry as a ship’s biscuit. It was probably just as well for he’d have certainly drowned himself if the puddles had been any deeper.
You see, the one thing Indie loves most, more even than Harriet, is water. He is drawn to it like a magical magnetic allurement. He can spot a puddle no more than saucer-sized from eighty paces and, having finally reached the miniature quagmire, attempts to drink it dry whilst placing his entire body into the water. This can be quite messy, as I am sure you can imagine.
Couple this with Harrie’s equally single-minded obsession with puddles and a walk in the woods and the two of them were simply in heaven!
As we headed back towards the car, Nat decided we should take a little short cut through the trees, where we came across these teeny, tiny mushrooms. Scarlett and Harrie are convinced that they are for fairies…
Thank you for reading!