Thursday, 23 September 2010

Willow`s Friends

They are a sprightly lot, 
Of different colours and names not forgot.
All eight of them they run.
They love to sniff and play for fun!
But then they sit down all proud and awaiting instructions.
They are Cocker Spaniels and working dogs too.
There is Lexus, Findlay and Willow number 2!
Then there is Houston. A Down syndrome dog, full of character all of his own.
Then there is Pebbles, Star, Arty and Fluke.
They all live together, no one is alone.
Least of all Willow in her new home.

They are a bundle of joy and happy as can be,
They are all best friends and its lovely to see!
With them roaming round and enjoying the sun,
They are having far to much fun!
But soon it`ll be dark and they`ll be tucked away
`Cos they won`t get up until night turns to day.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Rutland food festival And Boney M join in the fun!

Every year Rutland hosts the Food and Festival show near the water.
It boasts an array of stalls selling different foods and drinks with plenty of mouth watering samples.
There are also plenty of donuts, burgers, jacket potatoes etc for all to enjoy and there are family things to do and take part in.......

A new craze, step into a giant plastic ball and walk on water!

Plenty of food queues!

And drink queues!

Fun on the inflatables

And up the wall!
But it is also a place to bring your dogs.......

And finally enjoy some entertainment curtesy of Rutland Radio with Rob Persani and special guests Boney M.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and remembered the songs they once sung, even when the mics went down, the audience helped them sing along, bringing an atmosphere all of its own and they proved true professionals, Thankyou for good entertainment, it was nice to have a singalong to songs you could sing to!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

The Old Horse, Leicester

Leicester is like so many towns and cities in the uk.
It has its own cathedral, buildings from different eras with even more bizarre architects designing the buildings.
Leicester is also an old town, bustling with energy that boasts new and old combinations which can look enigmatic and disgusting!
It also boasts a good football team (Leicester City FC) and rugby, Leicester Tigers.
Every year there is also a huge church walk/cycle day that involves, well, you guessed it, a walk or cycle around Leicestershire and visiting every church going, and it is all in aid of  good causes. 

One of the many churches en-route of the visit the churches and chapels of Leicester day.
Had a lovely cup of tea and biscuit and a friendly chat here.

Some of the old and grand designs and still an old shop sign on the side of buildings. Alot of places still have these on.

One of the many signposts pointing the way!
Like most towns and cities too  Leicester has its universities and lots of student accommodation.
In the middle of it all though, I found an absolute gem of a public house and even its sign outside made me want to go and explore!
It is called The Old Horse and a visit you will not regret.
See for yourself......

It faces Victoria Park..

The sign that drew my curiosity - Man Creche!

You are greeted by Burt and the coffin.
Burt is currently on facebook and has more friends than me!

For those who like the "Sharpe" stories, his tunic and memorabilia are here..

The Policemans corner....

Whilst outside, there are signposts telling you how far you are away from.....

A police box... or is it the Tardis?

The Blues Brothers keep an eye out.....

Whilst Laurel and Hardy are flowering around!

And finally the ladies that make you welcome, Dee and Charlie.
The pub does an excellent choice of food and has been seen on the T.V and covered in the local press, I look forward to my next visit and seeing the rest of Leicester myself......... 

Monday, 13 September 2010

Willows best side! And a good Steak

Hello, me again, Willow.
Quick while the humans out! 
I know I watched her how to use the photo thingy and thanks to Jayzspaze I can tell people what I`m upto without Karen - cool huh! now how to work this thingy
Ok, I need peoples opinion as to which is my best side, I can`t tell and although Karen`s had a day in Leicester and Nottingham (without me, may I add) there have been no more photos of me!
Bah humbug! Here goes and then I`ll tell you how to cook a really good steak whilst out camping! Sorry, there are no photos though, I enjoyed the food to much.

This is lie down posing mode, any good?

Ooh deary dear, this won`t do,I forgot to look up and I put it wrong way round, can`t sort that out now.

Try this one, left side?

Or right side?

And who said I had a double chin? 
Ok, I`ll have to try again, now onto the best bit - food......

A good cooked steak.

1 Sirloin steak

Sirloin is actually a true steak that was knighted by a king - Richard I believe, although I will have to check my facts. But it was said, that King Richard would not eat the loin until it had been knighted because it was too good to give to peasants of the day and the marble effect that runs through it helps add to its flavour and stunning colour

1 onion (peeled and chopped)
A handful of mushrooms (any sort)
2 tomatoes (not tinned as they contain too many e numbers and ruin a very good piece of steak)
Salt and Pepper
Worcestershire sauce
English mustard.

Ensure your frying pan is very hot, then add the onion, mushrooms, tomatoes and a splash of Worcester sauce and fry for about 2 minutes, then put on a plate to one side.
With the steak salt and pepper one side, and with a knife add a bit of mustard and then place steak into frying pan and watch it sizzle.
Whilst one side is cooking, add salt and pepper to the other side with the mustard, wait 2 minutes and turn to cook the other side.
A good steak will only take between 2 and 5 minutes to cook (depending how well you do or don`t want it) and whilst it is doing the other side, add the ingredients that were put aside and add a splash more Worcester sauce and serve.
You can have it as an accompaniment with chips, wedges, sauteed potatoes or anything else really, but this recipe gives it a bit of a kick and you can`t ignore a good steak!

Friday, 10 September 2010

Willow and the mist

I`m Willow, my owner would have told you about me.
Well, I`m going to tell you a little about my journey so far......
As a dog it is custom to take me plenty of walks, I don`t really have any gripes there, but I do enjoy a good rest at the end of the day with plenty of wholesome food (not just the dog biscuit, its very boring!) and the odd meaty joint with gravy goes down a treat!
I enjoy pinching Karen`s bed when she`s not looking, especially after I`ve been for a swim or rolled in something smelly! Ha, she was not impressed when I did, she wouldn`t let me in the tent until after she`d washed me, but the smell lingered - ooh it was funny!
But yes, alas, it is a dogs life, good cuddles and I look up at Karen when she talks to me, which is quite alot, I haven`t a clue what she`s on about half the time (so she thinks) but I pay attention, afterall humans need attention!
But, she lets me wander and have a good sniff around.
I was talking to mrs moo the other day (one of the cows on the farm) you know, talking about the weather and such after August had been such a bad month with the rain and mrs moo had had such trouble with a foot, but after the owners and Karen had visited and helped right the problem she was feeling alot better, but couldn`t walk very easily but it was getting better, anyway (I`m waffling now - sorry, like owner, like dog!) as I was saying I was talking to mrs moo when Karen spotted a one legged duck, she called it Jake - don`t know why, but this duck (Jake) was just hopping by, he was fine, born like he said, but she kept an eye out, just to make sure and yep, he was fine too.

The one morning Karen took me to work on a fruit farm, clearing, but it was so misty, I could smell alot of things and see strange shapes, but it worried me a little, seeing "things" my owner couldn`t see.
She could see I wasn`t sure and reassured me that everything was ok, so I carried on......

You can see why it looks so scary, with the trees branches lurking and trying  to reach out, but I now find them fascinating because the air was so still and everything eerily quiet, until a lorry went roaring by and I scuttled behind my owners legs!
She never got mad at me, just kept reassuring me, but I remember the film "the fog!" and I remember the trail going to Kimmeridge last year and the horses that ran at us, but they never came, that was on our South West Coast Path Walk, I did enjoy that, walking along the coast! 
At least I`ve managed to have a little chin wag! I very rarely get chance to do that, maybe more later, but I`ll leave you with the scary mist, you make up your mind about horror stories, I`m going for a cuddle and bed!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Aberlour to Aviemore

We bade our goodbyes to Aberlour and with a rucksack armed with Walkers shortbread we headed south and our next stop would be Grantown-On-Spey.
We were still following some of the old railway track but we headed more onto farmers fields and then we followed a fence that protected both person and livestock, a double fence to walk in-between and had to cross two streams with stepping stones and the route was sometimes wet underfoot, but it wasn`t an unpleasant journey, just a little awkward.
Grantown-On-Spey is surrounded by ancient woodland known as the Anagach woods where there are several marked trails that you can follow.
The place itself is also quite an old place with numerous bars and cafes so you are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out!

From Grantown-On-Spey we were advised not to walk the next section with the dog due to the livestock, but I was a little disappointed, but it is advised for a reason as the livestock would either attack us or be terrified themselves, so to avoid any unnnecessary complications we caught the local bus to Nethybridge and continued on from there, onto a more pleasant route without the double fencing and it seemed a more relaxed walk here and the mountains (still with snow on) could easily be seen and the air was very different here too, cooler but fresher.

It was an unbelievable site but beautiful and beckoning and I believe there were still skiers on the mountains.
Our next place that saw us arrive was Boat Of Garten.
The place was tiny and welcoming with a train station housing a steam engine that was not running until 10am tomorrow, but sadly we wouldn`t have chance to enjoy it as we had to get to Aviemore to get a diesel train to Edinburgh!

The Boat Of Garten inn (which serves very good food at a reasonable price) and the steam train in the background.

We continued on and followed the road through Boat Of Garten for a while before it turn onto woodland tracks and it was pleasant to follow to Aviemore for the last 5 miles.

The view of the mountains from Aviemore Train station, a phenomenal  and awe inspiring view, maybe one day we shall walk them, but for now our journey ends her, next Edinburgh....... 

Sunday, 5 September 2010

A Travellers Ditty!

 This is just a little rhyme I made up en-route, I make no apologies as I do this all the time!

I`d climb the highest mountain,
I`d roam the furthest land,
But I`ll always end up back where I started `cos I`m stuck on an elastic band!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Aberlour to Ballindalloch

We left Aberlour and headed south following the old railway track that would take us passed some old disused distilleries and then onto the station at Ballindalloch.

This disused Distillery at Carron is still well maintained even though it is no longer in use, serving as a reminder of Scottish history.


Following the route, we would have the river Spey on our right and then our left as we crossed the many bridges along the route.

Ballindaloch station, which is very well maintained too, though not in use.
You can camp here, which is a good place to stop and you can decide which route you would like to follow: carry on to Grantown-on-spey or take a detour to Tomintoul, over the spur.
We would carry on to Grantown, but people say the route to Timontoul is well worth doing.

Just a couple of reminders along the route of train speeds and disused track.