Sunday, 23 September 2007

About Cats and Fiddles

We only just got back from our activity holiday in the Lakes and I did encourage the STAFF to take it easy - you know, quick walk, lots of food, sleeping in front of the fire, more grub, etc. But no, the STAFF have become right pesky of late. So, they drive us all the way out to the Goyt Valley, and insist that we climb the Matterhorn. The Cheshire Matterhorn that is.

The weather was fine at first. And I cannot deny that I did sort of enjoy myself.

But then of course it started raining. And we were so high up that we were right in the rain cloud! I do like water. But not when it comes from above. I put my sports coat on to keep the worst of it off, but that did not do me much good.

I think you'll agree that I look much less happy now! On the upside, I did find the odd grouse. Not that I like them much, unless they are plucked and roasted.

The total highlight of the walk was the trip to the pub. There was a roaring fire and lost of people who wanted to give me snacks. I had a very good haul of pork scratchings and such and would not mind going back. Also no cats and fiddles, so that turned out OK.

Friday, 21 September 2007

The grass is always greener... What about the mud?

The grass is always greener on the other side. Everything tastes better on holiday.

As a PhD, I thought I'd check these things out, empirically that is. And after thorough investigation I can tell you that there is no significant difference in flavour and taste between Lake District, Peak District and Nottinghamshire mud. You get some subtle nuances, but mainly it sticks to your gums like too much toffee and makes you choke.

So there, now you know and won't have to try it for yourself.

Whilst I am on culinary matters: I did find some very tasty sheep products on the hike around Crummock Water. Yum!

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

This Lake was made for Boating...apparently...

Went on a nice hike along Ullswater in the Lake District. And it wasn't even raining - quite unusual for this region in my experience!

So far so good.

But, then the STAFF insisted that it would be just soooo much fun to go on a boat trip around the lake. I wasn't so sure. I had never been on one of these boat trips. And I couldn't quite see the benefit of it.

It was sort of OK. I mean, it was freezing cold. Thankfully I had my travel bed and my coat. But I still couldn't quite see why we had to sit outside in the cold. It was fine at first, plenty of people to admire me and tell the STAFF how lucky they were to have me. But then the wind picked up, the temperature dropped and quicker than you could say whimp every sane person went inside where it was warm, and where snacks were served (I saw Oma had a nice hot chocolate...). Apart from the STAFF, of course. I don't know what they were thinking! I'm not giving them time off, if they catch a cold or anything.

In any case, I don't think I'd want to go on another one of these in a rush.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Grizedale Forest... It's worse than Fanghorn!

We arrived in the Lakes and all was fine. Weather didn't look too good, so the STAFF suggested that we go to Grisefale Forrest. Great, I thought. Nice easy walking, squirrels, sticks, a bit of rain cover and maybe evern a rabbit or a fox. What's not to look forward to? Pah, I should've known the STAFF cannot be trusted!

You should've seen the scary things in that forrest! Massive sheep and spiders and the largest fox I ever have seen! I tried to look non-chalant. And it seems to have worked, becasuse I lived to type the tale.

But honestly, it was worse than the Fanghorn forrest in Lord of the Rings (I watched that with the STAFF).

And, there wasn't any raincover. So we all got soaked. And there was no towels left for the STAFF after I was dried off. That should teach them to bring more along next time!

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Whistle while you (watch them) work

The STAFF, Oma and I went to see the Sheepdog Trials at Longshaw estate. I had never seen this before, and it all looked quite exciting. I thought the dogs were very naughty, because you are not allowed to chase sheep, don'tcherknow, and there was a guy with a big stick in the field who whistled the dog madly. I thought he was going to tell the dog off. But no. They seemed to be chasing sheep together.
The STAFF explained to me that it was all like an elaborate game and that the dog had to lift four sheep in a long outrun, drive them through a gate, go a lift some more sheep, and blablabla. I stopped listening. I was suddenly VERY worried that they had some crazy ideas of me doing something similar. Now. In front of all these people. I tried to hide under one of the STAFF, just in case.
One of the dogs ran out in the middle of working with a nice young girl with the big stick. It was embarrassing. I felt very sorry for her. She had stroked me earlier and called me handsome, so I had rather wanted her to win.

After that I rather lost interest. Plus, the STAFF still didn't get me the lamb I had asked for. And their explanation why it was ok for these dogs to chase sheep but not for me was rather unsatisfactory. Maybe if they got a whistle and a big stick we could chase sheep together, too. I'll put it to them next time the opportunity arises.Speaking of sticks. I don't mind saying that the highlight of the weekend was the enormous stick I dragged out of the river. I had quite an audience and the STAFF were basking in reflected glory. It was simply wonderful!

Monday, 3 September 2007

Happy Birthday to Me! 8 today - hiphip hooray!

Wow, I can't quite believe I am 8 years old today! Soon I will be old enough to drink sherry.
The STAFF got me a nice plate of Coque au Vin a la Maison (boiled chicken breast). Sure, it fell somewhat short of the things I'd asked for, but it was still greaaat! Yummy, yummy in my tummy.

I haven't felt so nicely full in ages. And now a birthday snooze. What a great day!

Sunday, 2 September 2007

I wonder why they say "tired like a dog"?

Pfuff! Weekends are sure very tiring! After our long hike yesterday, the STAFF and I went to see some friends today. I investigated and marked the big garden, went on another long walk, including some quite daring "nearly-swimming-here-guys!"-episodes in a duck pond, had pub lunch and then played some more in the garden.

Thankfully, it is the week soon and the STAFF and I will be able to relax and wind-down after the weekend. Well, I will anyway.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I wonder whether they got me the flock of lambs, chicken farm and junk food hamper I asked for? Oooh, I can't wait to find out...

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Hiking around Higger Tor

It was a really good walk today. I am often concerned when the STAFF get out the maps, boots and rucksack. They get us lost quite often. Even though I always have really good route suggestions!
Splashed in the river today. I love sorting pebbles. You pick the nicest one, extract it from the river bed and put it gently on the river bank. And then you go in for the next one. I could do this for hours!
The STAFF are always reluctant to join me in the water. But they seem pleased when I splash them - at least they make a lot of excited noise.

There was quite a bit of walking to be done, but I did have a chance to wee-mail some messages, got to admire the scenery and am now nicely back at home on my sofa. I'm trying to look very tired and hungry. The STAFF are bound to give me a nice big portion for dinner!

Next weekend we're going to the sheep dog trials. Maybe I can get a nice lamb then. It's my birthday on Monday, so the STAFF cannot say "no".