It must be Christmas. Master is even more grumpy than normal, mistress is highly stressed (that can be bad as she might forget my dinner), there always seems to be something going on which keeps me awake and to cap it all I have to pose for the ‘Christmas Photo’. OK I get a treat for it but even still it is a bit demeaning. Idiot brother of course just thinks its fun. Well he would. Mistress has slowly got all the cottages (click here) ready for Christmas with not much of a help from master. He has managed to keep a low profile and pretend to be busy doing something else. I suppose he did put up the outside lights but that was mainly supervising our handyman. So all in all he hasn’t done much. It is usually best to keep out of the way when all the Christmas preparation is going on or I tend to get yelled at. “Smudge you’re in the way” seems to be a common refrain. Never “Blue you are in the way”. No, people just pick on me. So I try to find a cosy corner and keep my head down.
Its been a tiring day.
Mistress seems to be calming down a bit now, so I assume most of the preparation is over. Maybe we can get back to normal. At least she has been putting the log fire on for me in the afternoon, which is nice. A dog can get very cosy in front of a nice fire, even if I do get disturbed every now and then by master turning me over ‘to do the other side’. We have had a few bad days recently where mistress has been away at our dinner time. Something to do with WI or carol concerts etc. It is always worrying when master feeds us. Mistress tends to be a lot more generous with dinner than master is. We never get any ‘little extras’ with master. Just our standard dinner. But we seem to be back to our normal routine now. I suppose we can look forward to some nice scraps over the Christmas break. At least that is something to look forward to.
That’s bad. Someone has moved the bowls.
Nothing much seems to be happening around our cottages (click here) at the moment. Well don’t say that to master as he has been doing lots. But nothing exciting I can help with. OK I did help with the digging out of the log store (although I do admit the tractor thing was a lot quicker than me) but apart from that not much has been going on. I am not allowed on the top of scaffolding, so could not help with the gutters. With the cleaning up of the leaves all that happens is I get yelled at so I decided that wasn’t much fun so myself and Smudge made sure the cows didn’t interrupt master’s work. But I guess the gate did an equally good job.
Bakewell Christmas Market – BORING.
We did get dragged of to the Bakewell Farmers Market, no dogs allowed so didn’t see much of that, and the Bakewell Christmas Market. Well that was just boring. I wonder why anyone would want to willingly wander around a town with stalls (well I suppose mistress did and master just tagged along as did we). The visit to Tissington Christmas Market was a bit more interesting although not having any of the crepe at lunch time was a bit of a disappointment and being abandoned outside the church while they went in for a mince pie and tea wasn’t my idea of fun. It was cold sitting outside waiting. We did our ‘cute we are hungry’ routine at a number of passers by but unfortunately they ignored us.
Any for us?
Anyhow master is happy as he has now finished all the outside work ready for the winter. Mistress isn’t too happy as he has ‘pruned’ the car park bushes a bit too enthusiastically. We are currently quite busy trying to decide what paint colour to use when we start work on the cottages. A nice ‘Blue’ would do if you ask me.
As it was such a beautiful day on Sunday it was decided that we would go for a walk. After much debate it was decided we would visit Derwent Reservoir (about 20 mins from our cottages – see here for details). Mistress always likes this area in Autumn as the trees can be spectacular (or so she says – I just find it an interesting area to explore). When we got to the car park master realised he had forgotten our leads. Yes! Result. No messing around with leads. But oh no he managed to find some old bungee straps in the back of the car. Now although idiot brother didn’t seem to mind, I did. I have a reputation to uphold (unlike him). Every dog we went past was laughing at us. Idiot brother didn’t even seem to notice but I found it very embarrassing. Luckily once we were past the main dam we were allowed off our ‘bungee’ and could go off and explore. We have done this walk many times before so we were quite used to it. As usual there was a lot of stopping to ‘admire the view’ by mistress so we got plenty of time to go off on our own.
My best side
Lunch was had overlooking Derwent reservoir. Master even remembered to bring something for our lunch. I have a suspicion that they only bring it along to distract us while they are having their lunch. Well that didn’t work as I had eaten mine before master had managed to unpack their sandwiches. So I could be on ‘station’ to capture any leftovers. I do wish master would stop making Marmite sandwiches. They are not my favourite by any means. Mistress’s Peanut butter and Honey one’s were far more interesting. After lunch we slowly made our way towards Howden dam and then back along the edge of Derwent Reservoir back to the car.
The walk was only about 6 miles long but that night I did feel a bit stiff. I must be getting old. Idiot brother was worse than me and was definitely creaking a bit. I have a feeling he was putting it on the next day as he was still limping but as soon as he realised no one was taking a blind bit of notice of him he seemed OK. Typical.
At least I have had another relatively quiet week with Idiot Brother ‘working’ over at Buxton which leaves me with mistress and my duvet. Peace and quiet. She does wake me up every now and then and tries to throw me out into the cold but I have got wise to that and just pretend I am asleep. We did have to go over to Buxton one day which meant I had to stay with idiot brother and master in the Buxton house. Idiot brother loves it but I just find it boring. Whenever I go and find out what is going on I get “Smudge you are in the way”. There are no comfortable duvets to sleep on and worse of all I couldn’t find any supply of food.
me on a bungee ‘lead’
Me in Padley Gorge
It seems ages since we were last taken for a walk. Mistress’s knee has kept us at home (see our web site) for ages. Why master couldn’t have taken us for a long walk I don’t know. Anyhow last week we managed to persuade mistress to go on a short walk from Grindleford station up Padley Gorge and back. We knew this might get her out as it is one of her favourite walks at this time of year. We like it because there is always lots to see and do and we don’t have to be on our leads.
After a short stop for master to have his ‘Bacon Butty roll’ at the Grindleford Station Cafe we headed up the gorge. Of course it took ages. Every few minutes one of them would stop to take pictures. Then we would climb down to the river but have to climb back up because mistress couldn’t get through the rougher rocky parts of the gorge. I couldn’t see the problem myself and I am sure master could have managed but we thought it best to take mistress back to the path.
Now what is he photographing?
Mistress didn’t complain once about her knee and she did enjoy the spectacular colours.
Most of the last few weeks I have been over at Buxton with Master helping to clean, repaint and install a new kitchen. Its a good job he takes me along. He would be in all sorts of a mess if I wasn’t around to help. Of course he won’t directly take my advice so I have to just drop hints and suggestions and help out with the painting. He didn’t seem too impressed with my assistance with the painting though. Anyhow things are slowly coming along and we hope to finish shortly.
Just inspecting the workmanship
There must be a bit for me
It has been lovely at our Bolehill Cottages (click here). For the last few weeks Master has been working over in Buxton so has been taking idiot brother with him. Why? I have no idea as I am sure he just gets in the way all the time. Idiot brother claims that he is an integral part of the ‘Project Management team’ and is constantly helping to sort things out and making suggestions. I personally think he is an idiot and he will be getting in the way all the time. For instance he came back covered in Magnolia paint the other evening. He claims he was helping with touching up some bits of wall master had missed. I don’t think master saw it that way.
Did someone mention FOOD.
Anyway while idiot brother has been away I have been able to check out my mats, find new little snoozing corners and get in some serious snoozing time without the idiot waking me up barking at something. I do get the odd prod from mistress to see if I want to go out but have learned that if I keep my eyes closed she leaves me alone. Why would I want to go out – it might be cold or even wet out there. Mistress did take me over to see them both one day and trust me it was boring. No proper mats to sleep on, no food, and constant banging and clattering. How is a dog suppose to get some rest with that noise going on. There was one interesting moment when lunch time came around and they all sat down for sandwiches. I thought for a fleeting moment someone might have brought something for me. But oh no. I just had to sit there while everyone else got fed. No I think I will stay at home and leave idiot brother to his ‘Project Management’.
Me at yet another stile
As mistress’s knee has been playing up the last few weeks we haven’t had much of chance to go for walks. I keep asking master to take us but unless mistress organises it and makes him go he is just stuck in front of his computer. I have all sorts of problems getting him off it so I can do my blog. Master has even started taking us out for our morning constitution. What a pain. Mistress is great as she just lets us run around and enjoy ourselves. With Master it is “Blue this way”, “No Blue”, “Blue Sit”, “Blue Stay”. He seems to have a thing about ‘training’ at the moment. Come on it’s early in the morning lets save that for later.
It was a very big Ice-cream
Well Sunday was such a nice day at Bolehill Cottages that mistress gritted her teeth and decided we should go for a short walk. Well of course we didn’t realise it was a short walk, until we got back to Monyash after only a few hours. I suppose we should have noticed there was no frantic packing of sandwiches. The other problem we had, was that as we haven’t done this walk for some time, so there was a lot of stopping to admire the view. At least we were off our leads for most of the time, so could go off and explore.
When we got back to Monyash mistress of course had to stop at the Old Smithy for an Ice-cream. Nothing for us mind you. It was a very big ice-cream so mistress did let master have a few licks.
Although it was a short walk it was a very pleasant change and I think mistress’s leg coped.
Where has she got to?
Me at Chatsworth
It’s that time of year again when we get dragged around the Sculptures in the grounds of Chatsworth. As it was supposed to be a glorious day today, it was decided we would take the day off from our cottages (see here) and go to Chatsworth to see the annual sculpture exhibition beyond limits. We always dread this as it means being dragged round numerous funny looking things in the gardens of Chatsworth House and one of us has to sit and look stupid in front of some of them. Over the last few years I have been lucky as it has been idiot brother that has had to pose for all the daft photographs but this year it was my turn. “Sit here”. “Turn this way”. “Smile”. “Don’t sulk”. An entire afternoon having to be on our leads and told what to do. Its a tough life being a dog at Bolehill Cottages. To cap it all the sun didn’t come out once,it was just miserable all day.
Well if nothing else it looks colourful
When we got there of course we got the usual “stay there we will be back soon” as they disappeared for hours looking round the house. I suppose it could have been worse we could have been made to go with them. Now that would have been boring. Anyhow once they had been round the house they came back for us and took us round the garden – one sculpture at a time. As usual there were 100’s of them (well actually 20 but it felt like 100’s). All as boring as each other. Master usually plays a game of finding the most ‘stupid’ sculpture. This year’s contender for stupidest achieved a score of 9/10.
The winner of the stupidest sculpture
A former winner scored 10/10 but that was just a stack of breeze blocks so that had to achieve top marks. This one was just some painted rocks so didn’t do badly.
Of course on the way back to the car we had to stop for mistress’s afterno
Not sure about this one
- It was a very hard day
I quite like this one – almost looks edible
We seem to keep getting left behind. Last Sunday we were left behind when they went to see the Red Arrows. Now I can’t altogether blame them for that as I personally would have left Smudge behind as he is a major pain when the Red Arrows are around. He just never stops barking which gets a bit on your nerves. I personally don’t mind them too much so I could have been taken. Especially as it was supposed to be a nice walk out to the edges. But oh no I had to stay at home with Smudge.
Three days later it happened again. They went out and left us. What is going on. We never get left behind. It must be something Smudge has done as I don’t think I have been in trouble for a while. Luckily they weren’t too long.
Another three days and we get left behind AGAIN. This time it was to Buxton. I always go to Buxton. I am Buxton Dog. What have we done wrong?
Today was the last straw. They went to Manchester without us. That would have been a major adventure but oh no I get stuck with Smudge all day. It wouldn’t be too bad if I could get some sleep but I can’t. One of us has to be on security duty and Smudge is no use. He just curls up on his mat and is instantly asleep. So I have to stay alert the entire time, on my own.
At least we got taken out for a nice walk in the afternoon by one of our guest’s dog’s. It gave us a bit of a chance to stretch our legs and Smudge to get the sleep out of his eyes. It was nice to see master and mistress when they got back although I didn’t get any gratitude for all the security services I had provided.
I am going to be very careful over the next few days. If I notice anyone getting ready to go out I am going to be off to the car to make sure they don’t forget me.
Oh by the way if Smudge happen to mention about me being chased by some lambs in my defence I should point out they were very very big lambs and very scary.
Mistress has wanted to try ‘climbing’ Chrome Hill over in the Upper Dove Valley for years. Until today she has always found an excuse why not to but today all excuses had been used up and it was the day. Mistress is not good at heights (high heals and she can be in trouble) so the thought of having to go along a high up ridge line filled her with trepidation but being one for ‘views’ she just knew she had to ‘climb’ it. We set off from Bolehill Cottages (click to see) relatively early and headed off over to Longnor and then on to a tiny little village, Hollingsclough, where we parked up and set off. The first mile just bode well for the rest of the walk. It took us over an hour. Well to be more precise it took mistress over an hour, we just wandered off exploring waiting for her to catch up. OK it was a bit tricky in places but not that bad. Then we got lost (handy things SATNAVs). But master managed to figure out were we were supposed to be and after some scrambling and mistress having to slide down a hill on her bum we got back onto the correct path.
The path up to the top of Chrome hill wasn’t as steep as mistress had feared. In fact we found it quite easy although mistress went white every time we looked over the edge. It was quite a long way down I suppose but as long as you didn’t slip it didn’t seem a big problem. We (me and idiot brother) ‘summited’ just in time for lunch. Unfortunately we had to then wait for mistress who looked a bit worse for ware when she arrived 15-20 minutes later. Master didn’t look much better either. Anyhow after the mandatory summit photos we could settle down to lunch.
Master had remembered a snack for us! He is getting better at remembering. Mind you, our snack didn’t look as interesting as their sandwiches. Mistress did enjoy the views. You could see for miles. Unfortunately we were tied up during lunch to stop us ‘running off over the edge’. Do I look stupid? Why would I do that? Anyway it did mean I had to hang around to see if there was any extra lunch going. There wasn’t.
The way down was a lot easier than the way up. We had all expected mistress to take hours getting down again but as it turns out she made it relatively quickly (for mistress). The walk back to the car was a simple stroll or should have been. When we got to one field with some sheep in it, two of the big lambs got a bit above themselves and came and tried to scare me. Well I just stood my ground and gave them the ‘Collie Stare’.
That worried them and they moved off to try and intimidate idiot brother. Well that is not hard. He took one look a the two lambs running towards him and ran off down the path with the lambs chasing him. Master was in stitches and Mistress wasn’t much better. When master had recovered we all had to go back along the path to persuade him to come back. No chance he wasn’t going anywhere near were the vicious lambs were. He is a disgrace to the collie breed. They are small Sheep. He is a sheep dog. He should be chasing them! Anyhow in the end master managed to get hold of him and put him on a lead so we could drag him back through the sheep and then on back to the car.
Me on the packhorse bridge
Well at long last. After weeks of being dragged round shows, gardens, well dressings and goodness knows what we were at long last taken on a proper walk. What is it with mistress. Isn’t one show a year, and one garden a year good enough. Anyway on Tuesday it was agreed we would all go for a walk to see the heather on the moors up at Howden reservoir. We left a bit late due to saying goodbye to guests from our cottages (click to see) but it wasn’t too late by the time we parked up at the northern end of Howden reservoir. We set off along the track up to the slippery stones bridge and then on up onto the moor. We were let off our leads from the start so we could explore which was just as well with the speed mistress was walking. As we came away from the bridge we met a National Trust man who explained that a Helicopter was helping them deliver some fence posts up onto the moor.
Admiring the view
Now in general we don’t like things that buzz around in the sky but this particular helicopter didn’t seem to be too bad and it did have a job to do rather than just annoying us like they usually do. So we were not too concerned. Mistress is always fascinated with anything that flies so we had to hang around while she watched it coming and going. In the end even mistress got bored and we could continue up the hill. I think it was a bit steep for master as he kept stopping for breath. It didn’t seem too steep to me.
Once we were up on the top it was declared to be lunch time, so we all set about finding somewhere to sit, out of the wind (it was a bit blowy up there). In the end master found a great spot out of the wind with magnificent views over the moor towards Howden reservoir. Then master dropped his bombshell. He had forgotten to pack our chews. It has become a regular thing to bring along something for us to eat. Master felt it was easier giving Smudge something of his own to eat rather than Smudge virtually sitting on his lap while master ate his sandwiches. But he had forgotten! Smudge was devastated but soon got over it once he had been given a few crusts etc.
Taking a rest on one of the shooting butts
The next stage of the walk was a bit tricky for mistress. We dropped down from the ridge to a lower ‘footpath’ but there was no ‘footpath’ that we could see. Master’s Satnav thing said we were within a few feet of it but none of us could find it so we had to walk through heather, scrub and bracken for about a mile. Mistress found this very hard going. Even we took our time as the heather in places was over the top of us. There was an amusing bit where master fell into a creek. Luckily it wasn’t too full but he did get a bit wet. After about a mile we did find a footpath of sorts and started to descend back towards the reservoir. Once back to the reservoir it was just a matter walking along the track back to Slippery Stone bridge and then back to the car. Unfortunately master spotted a short cut. I wasn’t too concerned to start with until I realised that the short cut was across the river – without a bridge. Now he knows full well that we (and especially me) doesn’t like water. Its OK for him, he has boots on, I don’t. Anyhow he waded across followed by mistress and Smudge leaving me all on my own on the far bank. Well it was either walk all the way round or get my feet wet. So being a very brave dog I decided to go for it (see picture).
It had taken mistress so long to walk over the rough bit that it was nearly tea time and she therefore missed her usual afternoon tea.
Fording the river
To see our walk have a look at Howden moor walk