Pandemic Pondering #319

Today we need to talk about Fox.

Our dogs spent their formative years living in South London. We quickly became aware of dogs ernest desire to always roll in Fox Poo. Urban foxes are everywhere and dog owners have a sixth sense about the moment their dogs bend one shoulder down towards the earth prior to a squirm of ecstacy as they rub fox excrement over their backs and onto their faces. Once we returned to Cornwall we lost that sixth sense. Rural foxes are far more discrete and many small town or country people have never seen a live fox.

In London Foxes were a part of our everyday lives. We often woke up with one.

They used our garage roof as a relaxation area and for a memorable and stinky period our garden became their larder. If foxes have a really rich harvesting and hunting period they will store excess food in a particular place to retrieve it later. Our garden, for a while became a dead rat larder. We could smell them as soon as we walked into the garden. We disposed of the stinky carcasses into an area of rough ground that was near the foxes den, only to have the exact same bodies returned to the garden a few hours later. Apparently no self respecting Fox wants such things close to its front door!

Pandemic Pondering #319 mentions the mud festival that was yesterdays walk. Hugo and Lola had made some small attempt to clean themselves up so they were spared a bath yesterday. Today though a trip to the Rugby Club for a run about revealed how much I have lost my London Fox awareness training. First Hugo and then Lola took the dive of shame into a copious pile of Fox poo. I could hope for a moment that it was just random high spirits but as they ran excitedly back to me the joy on their faces told me all I needed to know. I bent down for a sniff but it was unnecessary really.

An afternoon bath became essential, as you can see from these photos it was not universally popular.

The rewards for me are clean curls to cuddle and a slightly damp lap.

Pandemic Pondering #318

Thermal underwear can make you do crazy things. Yesterday was a day of sunshine with a side order of mud.

Everywhere here is pretty sodden with rain and winteriness. Some regular dog walks have been abandoned because they are just too muddy. The arrival of unexpected sunshine coupled with thermal underwear made walking without a warm coat entirely possible. My choice of walk has a semi-permeable surface that drains well, all should have been well but the dogs did not stick to the path. Beyond the confines of the path the parkland was a riot of quagmire and fascinating smells. Some of which the dogs felt obliged to roll in.

It was such a sunny day , two circuits of the park were completed. I was feeling toasty but the dogs were two muddy sponges, filled to capacity with moisture and mud. The ecstatic cuddles when we returned to the car were a mixed blessing.

The second walk of the day involved Tarmac and water contained in its proper place.

Pandemic Pondering #209

Warping Sunset. Sunset at Rame Head , on Sunday, was beautiful. It needed nothing to enhance it. So PP#252 presented sunset just as nature intended but the picture below, taken by Hannah on our return to the van, exploits nature and the benefits of having a clean bottom.

Warped Sunset.

The clean bottom in question is our beloved VW Camper. It takes us to some amazing places.

Hugo and Lola love it because the chances of being in bed are greatly enhanced.

And they get to snuffle within spectacular scenery.

And when the day is done, exhausted by fresh air and long walks.

They can snuggle up together without the usual bickering.

Pandemic Pondering #120

Dogs and dahlias take an early nap.

The first Dahlia of the summer @theoldmortuary decided to pop open this morning. It’s a risky life in this garden as the slugs here are super tenacious nibblers and the 22 year old cat thinks sprouting dahlias are the perfect place to do her ablutions. Thankfully both slugs and the cat choose the dull dahlias as their victims and ignore the glamorous ones. By midday this one was trying really hard to be gorgeous.

But it’s tough being the first dahlia in a summer garden and it was soon heading off for an early sleep.

Sleep in daytime was a bit of a theme. An art group committee meeting was scheduled for the afternoon. Hugo was fully ready for some Zoom action this afternoon.

But just like the dahlia he chose early sleep over the excitement of Logo design and postponed exhibitions.

Pandemic Pondering #117

Making hay while the sun shines.

Rural chic is having a moment, probably inspired by any number of city dwellers who have managed to endure lockdown in the countryside.
https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2020/jul/03/david-beckham-leads-the-way-as-men-flock-to-cottagecore-look

The nature reserve near us has cut and laid the hay ready for collecting. As a backdrop for fashion photography this location would be perfect.

It is a fabulous image of rural charm, as is the Guardian article about the decorative Mr Beckham.

My recollection of Hay making in my youth is that it is a dirty, dusty job that has been romanticised way beyond its reality.

The term first appeared in a 1546 collection of proverbs by John Heywood. It is believed to have been in regular use in Britain since the proliferation of farming in Mediaeval times. Being included in a collection of proverbs suggests it quickly moved from sage farming advice to general life event guidance.

Literally or idiomatically, making hay while the sun shines was picturesque this morning.

To make the most of the idiomatic moment I can throw in two pictures of fluffy dogs making hay while the sun shines, one of them hay coloured.

Pandemic Ponderings #7

Wonderful, wonderful Wembury.

This picture is from a previous visit to Wembury when a cup of tea overlooking the sea was just every day life. Wembury was my destination yesterday. Hugo and Lola needed their regular hair cut at their dog groomers.
https://www.nataliesdoggrooming.co.uk/

Wembury is a regular visit for this exact reason.

The hours between dirty dog delivery and pampered pooch collection are spent doing Plymouth based jobs or enjoying the beach or coast. The charity shops of Modbury are also an irregular treat.

The beauty of Wembury beach is the sand. It doesn’t cling so even freshly clean dogs come off as clean as they went on it.

These shots make it look like we were the only people there. Nothing could be further from the truth, I would like to say we are really good at socially isolating but I think I just got lucky with photographs. It was pretty chilly so many people were hunkered down against the rocks with flasks of coffee. The coast path was probably very busy but that involves mud and we don’t do mud on grooming days.
https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/

The National Trust giving free access to much of their land during the pandemic is very generous and public spirited . The car park was as full as on a hot summers day. Even after only 5 days of keeping ourselves isolated fresh air and a walk was like drinking fresh lemonade.

Quickie- #3

Hugo and Lola + ghost writer

Today started well in dogland. There was mention of birthdays and beaches. All sounding good from our large warm bed.

Random stuff was loaded into the car to be delivered to Sam the only human son in this family. He’s only just reappeared in our lives , I thought he was an adult human but for some reason a massive box of Lego was being delivered to his new house. Is this normal for a 33 year old? Books and university clutter competed with other stuff all labeled John Lewis . Who is that for, for pity sake we thought Sam lived with a woman!

The mums seemed really pleased to have empty storage under the stairs, they can be really strange some times. We’ve seen Harry Potter, lets hope they are not thinking of downgrading us fur babies to the ” so much space” area.

Harry Potter is a human they can move in there if anybody does.

Breakfast done and everything seems ready for an outing . Towels are packed and coats . We try to eat the old cats food but the mums catch us and the cat swears, a lot. She really is a foul mouthed creature, you’d think at 22 she would be a little more polite in front of impressionable pups.

The drive to the beach was lovely, warm air blowing and Radio 4 mellifluously in the background . Woman’s hour, thankfully Jenny et al were not discussing orgasms or sour dough. We get twitchy listening to that kind of talk when the mums are around. They are a little outspoken at times and crazily rant at the radio. We don’t think they know Jenny is not really in the next room.

And so to the beach, someone so got the planning wrong, the tide was high and the wind and rain was wicked. Our ears were blown near inside out and not getting wee on our fur was virtually impossible. In our world the perfect poo requires 3 rotations and a look of quiet concentration . No chance of that today there was so much buffering and blustering. We had to give up on the rotations and just scamper to opposite ends of the beach just to keep the mums occupied, bless them they did look chilly. Poos done we frolicked with the foam and chased sea gulls. It’s always so much more light-hearted once the poos are out. We know the mums really love us because they even treasure our poo by keeping it in fragrant green bags. We would not do the same for them, the very thought makes us queasy, luckily we never catch them doing one on a walk.

The mums decide coffee is needed, they really do have a problem. We are always having to find independent coffee shops to keep them in the happy zone. That in itself is difficult to work out, no tails is such a design fault in a human. Fortunately there is a parking space and we all squeeze into The Sorting House. St Agnes, Cornwall.

Coffee is not our cup of tea but cake most definitely is. All too soon the mums decide to take us on another walk . I’m never sure quite what the point is but it keeps them happy. We ended up in a graveyard, they do take this ghost writing thing seriously.

St Agnes has a very pretty churchyard but one of the road names just makes us wonder if humans really are the superior race.

Thankfully the wind and rain persuaded them to return to the car, sleep, as ever, was our happy ending, once we’d sorted out the imaginary rats in the footwell.

Great coffee and cake, rubbish weather.

H and L

PS We’ve been here before. Here is theoldmortuary Instagram feed from July 2017.