Its not been a good week this week at Bolehill Cottages (click here). Master and Mistress’s friends came to stay. That is always bad news as he is allergic to dogs. How can anyone be allergic to dogs. Doesn’t make sense. What if dogs were allergic to humans? No one would care! Anyhow this inevitably means that we are banned to the kitchen in the evening and if they go out in the car we have to stay at home.
The week started OK as we had a picnic on the Sunday evening at one of mistress’s favourite spots. Someone even remembered to bring along a chew for us. Amazing! It has only taken 9 years for Master to figure out that we would rather like to join in the picnic. The spot overlooks the Magpie Mine and Sheldon village so mistress always likes it there. After that the week went down hill rapidly.
Tuesday was supposed to be a walk but because of a few spots of rain they all decided to go to Lyme Park instead. Great. It is a National Trust property so they don’t like dogs. So another day ‘Home Alone’ with just Smudge as company. At least they were not too late back but then disappeared off for dinner in the evening leaving us yet again ‘Home Alone’. The next day was better as it was decided that we would all be going for a walk. Its a lot better when we go off for a walk with their friends as we go of with the men leaving Mistress and her friend behind.
Its amazing how much fun it is not having to stop every few minutes to ‘admire the view’. Of course every few miles we had to stop for a while to let them catch up but at least we could find an interesting spot to stop. We (they) all had lunch at a nice little pub in Mapleton and then we walked back along the River Dove to the car. As it was such a nice afternoon and mistress is always partial to an ice cream when the sun is out it was agreed that we would all meet up at the cafe in Monyash for an ice cream. Unfortunately by the time we got there it was tipping it down with rain and we had to abandon the ice cream, much to mistress’s disappointment, and head back home.
Oh I nearly forgot. When we were walking between Ilam and Mappleton we came across a field of cows. OK nothing unusual about that, but this lot were not dairy cows and had a bull and calves with them. Now I am very wary of cows on their own but this combination just sounded like trouble to me. Anyhow before I could disappear Master had grabbed me and put me on my lead and handed the lead to his friend. As we knew mistress’s friend was a bit wary of cows (can you blame her) it was decided that master would go first with Smudge to draw the cows attention. Smudge being a bit stupid agreed to this plan. Rather him than me. Anyway as soon as they spotted Smudge they went loopy. Now Smudge is used to our cows that are a well trained, docile bunch (in general). This lot were not. They didn’t react the same way as our cows and instead of backing off when he barked at them they charged forward. Smudge had to run for his life with 30-40 cows chasing him all over the field. In the end of course he gave them the slip (even Smudge, with his weight problem can outrun a cow). But instead of getting out of the field as quick as he could (as I would have done) he came back to master. This seemed to infuriate them all again so they started chasing him again. By now most of us were across the field and at last master instructed his friend to let me off my lead. I was gone. You couldn’t see me for dust. Up and over the style before the cows could even notice me. The others quickly joined me and the cows went off to annoy someone else.
All Under Control!
Me at Magpie Mine
On Wednesday I was back to helping get in the cows for milking, for the farm opposite to Bolehill Cottages. I had forgotten how easy it is. We all went down to the farm but of course we had to leave idiot brother in the car as he is scared of cows. Before we started I had a long chat with some of the cows, just to let them know I was back on the job. I think most of them remembered me from last year, so they knew I wouldn’t stand for any messing about. It only took a few minutes to get them all in so I obviously haven’t lost my touch. OK Mistress and Master helped a little bit and I did loose concentration a few times but after a yell from Master I was back onto the job at hand.
Me at Ashford in the water
Last Sunday we went for a walk over to Sheldon, down through Shacklow woods and back up Deep Dale before returning to Sheldon and back home. It was interesting watching Mistress descending the steep slope in the woods (well she seemed to think it was steep – we couldn’t see what the problem was). As we know this walk well we were off our leads most of the time. We (they) stopped for lunch just before the descent through the woods at a nice spot where Mistress could ‘admire the view’. A very skimpy lunch for us – no surprise there then! On returning to Sheldon of course we had to stop for Mistress’s afternoon tea at the village hall.
Last Saturday evening we got dragged round Ashford in the Water and Monyash Village well dressings. I seem to remember that we had to do the same thing last year. They looked exactly the same to me and they were still not editable. So why we had to go again this year is anyone’s guess.
Me on the way to Sheldon
Maimed for life!!!!
Look what he did to my ear. Well of course you can’t see what he did, because he covered it up with a bandage. Dog cruelty I call it. There I was just hanging around, when all of a sudden the scissors appeared from nowhere, and the next thing I knew he had taken a notch out of my ear. Mistress was livid and I wasn’t too pleased either. Although it didn’t really hurt, there were a few drops of blood on the floor and I wasn’t allowed in the lounge for a few hours in case I bleed on the carpet (it was hardly my fault was it). The bandage did make me look a bit odd for a few days. How would you like to walk around with a bandage on your ear? You feel all lopsided. Why we have to have our fur cut every now and then I don’t know. I was quite happy with the ‘shaggy’ look. I thought it showed a level of style. Anyhow my ear is fine again now with just a bit of a scab. Smudge found the whole thing hilarious, so that is the last time I share a biscuit with him.
First one of those I have seen.
Anyhow, on to better things. Last week we were taken to see the Battle of Briton memorial flight coming over Derwent Dam (well that was the original plan). We set off at an amazingly early time (for Mistress) of 9:00AM from Bolehill cottages (click here) and got to the Dam area by about 9:30. The road to the main Dam car park was still open so we managed to park only 1 mile away from Derwent Dam itself. As we had got there so early it was decided that we would do one of our standard walks. Along Derwent reservoir till we nearly get to Howden Dam then up through the woods to the moor above. We would then walk along the top, to get to our chosen spot overlooking Derwent Dam before the flypast at 13:00. It was very busy at the start of the walk with TV camera vans etc all over the place so we weren’t allowed of our leads until we had walked some distance from the dam. When we got up onto the moors (overlooking Howden Dam) we all decided that as it would be far quieter here, than at Derwent Dam (there were only about 10 people), we would stay and have lunch and await the flypast. So we all settled down to first await lunch and then the Flypast. Lunch was as expected. Loads of sandwiches for them and a few bits of crust of us and a bowl of water – great! Then the fun started. At first we managed to chase away a couple of helicopters that started to annoy us. Then the aeroplanes appeared. I didn’t mind the the big plane and the little one but the jets really got on our nerves. So we chased them off. They did come back a couple of times but in the end they got the message that they weren’t welcome and went away.
After all the excitement we had a very pleasant walk across the moors back to Derwent Dam were most of the crowds had dispersed and mistress could have an ice-cream before we headed back to the car.
I am very famous now, the picture Master made of me ‘watching the plane go by’ has been seen by nearly six thousand people – just call me Facebook Dog.
Discussing what to do next.
Me on Birchen Edge
Another fine day and another walk. Once again we got away from Bolehill Cottages relatively early and managed to park without difficulty at the Robin Hood car park before heading out to Birchen Edge. We were let of our leads almost immediately so we could go off and explore. We have done this walk before so even master was unlikely to get lost. But just in case, we made sure they were on the right track. As usual idiot brother disgraced us by having to be put on his lead to go through some cows. OK they did have horns and were very big but we have come across these type of cows before (Highland) and they are softies really. But oh no idiot brother had to make a scene and would have been over the wall and far away if master had not put him on his lead.
At Wellington’s monument
Anyway after that little scene we didn’t encounter any other livestock and so had a relatively peaceful walk. As usual we had to do a lot of ‘stopping to admire the view’ by mistress but we are use to that by now. We (or rather they) did, however, manage to get lost or to be more precise to use the wrong footpath. I tried to tell them but they wouldn’t listen to me. So we all had to walk a bit further than had been anticipated.
We didn’t do too badly for lunch. A few crust ends etc is better than we normally get. Of course at the end of the walk we had to stop for mistress’s afternoon tea. You can see our walk if you have a look at Birchen Edge walk (master has also added some pictures to give you some idea of the views etc).
When we got home we had to suffer master giving us our periodic coat trim (more like a hack than a trim). Well you want to see what he has done to idiot brother. I will let him explain in his next blog but needless to say Master is not coming near me with those scissors again. Mistress was furious and idiot brother was not very happy either (he is still walking around with a lop sided ear).
We had some fun a few days ago. One of our guests was flying a kite and accidentally let it go. The kite flew away and in the end the string got caught in the overhead electrical cables but the kite carried on flying. Mistress had to call out the Electricity company to come and cut it down. Once cut down the kite fluttered down to earth 3 or 4 fields away so me and master went to collect it. Idiot brother should have been with us but of course we had to go through some cows so he didn’t dare and went home. Me and master found the kite. Well actually master found the kite as I was a bit preoccupied with a few hares and crows that needed chasing. All the way back he kept grumbling at me for not retrieving it. Well that is no surprise I am not a retriever. I am a collie and collies round things up, not retrieve them. Any dog can retrieve things, that’s easy. But it takes skill and cunning to round things up which is probably why idiot brother is useless at it (well that and the fact he is scared of most things).
Admiring the view
Me in Foolow
As Tuesday was such a nice day and we had all been working all the weekend it was decided we would all go for a walk. We actually set off from Bolehill Cottages pretty early (well early for mistress) and got to Eyam before the crowds. Mistress was interested to see what the National Trust had done to Eyam Hall since they took over. There didn’t look much change to me although the car park looked to be bigger. No new dog bowls or anything useful. Anyway we set off across the fields towards Foolow where we were allowed off our leads except when master put me on mine when we went through some cows. I don’t think he trusts me not to run off in the opposite direction – as if . We stopped for lunch in Silly Dale (what a silly name) with views to keep mistress happy. For once we didn’t do too badly out of lunch although I wish master would pack something other than Marmite. I am not a Marmite dog . Smudge of course just wolfs it down. You could give him anything. To finish off the day of course we had to take mistress for her afternoon tea.
Ok I may have put on a bit of weight.
Master seems to have been busy in his study (doing computer things) and jet washing all the outside furniture, woodwork and stonework ready for summer. The courtyard is starting to look a bit more summery but we are still awaiting mistress’s flowers. It is starting to get a bit warmer but everyone is now worried that the fields are not getting any rain. I don’t understand why. When the fields are wet we have to have our feet washed (usually with the hose pipe). So surely it is better without the rain. Someone did mention about not enough grass for the cows. Well that I see as a good thing. No grass, no cows – result!
A bit windswept.
Mistress has just bought me a new mat for the kitchen. Why? Because Smudge wrecked the last one. Not his of course. Mine! I was very partial to that mat. It had that ‘lived in’ feel to it. Now I will have to wear this one in. Well I would if only I could use it. Smudge seems to have commandeered it. I wouldn’t dare go on his mat but he feels right at home on MY mat . I keep staring at him but he doesn’t seem to get the message. The only time I manage to creep onto it is when he hears the food bowl rattling.
Master has introduced a new technology. If you would like to see where we went for a walk have a look at this map. How cool is that?
Waiting at the gate
Its been a bad week this week for food at Bolehill Cottages. We have no four legged friends to play with this week and no owners to feed us. So I am having to live off the meagre rations mistress feeds us on. We have had an Electrician here working with master which gave me some hope. But I think mistress has had a word with him because although I remind him each lunch time that I am hungry, I never get anything. I suppose the good thing is that I must be losing weight and at some point I assume someone will start feeding me again. The bad thing is that I am STARVING .
At least all the snow has now gone and the sun has been out, so we can spend the day outside enjoying the countryside and chasing crows etc. I just wish idiot brother would stop barking at everything and anything. It disturbs my beauty sleep. Just when I settle down for a doze in the sun off he goes. I am sure he does it on purpose.
Higher than mistress
Mistress seems to have taken up a new enthusiasm for cookery. She has been away on a two day course over the weekend and again today she was off doing something to do with cooking. We all await the results with baited breath. Maybe her new found enthusiasm will extend to her cooking something for us. That would be good. Some fresh dog biscuits or a nice steak pie would do nicely – please .
Well at long last the snow seems to be slowly going at cottages (click here) and the spring weather returning. I have even managed a few hours in the courtyard sunning myself. However, I seemed to have spend most of the last week or so helping master to clear bits of snow. We still have a few piles left but nothing like we used to have. I thought it was quite fun but Smudge and master were getting a bit fed up of it.
There used to be a table here!
At long last it was warm enough for us to be taken out for a walk. Well we were up for it weeks ago put master is a bit of a wimp and will only go out if it is reasonably warm. Mistress decided that we would do our Lathkill Dale walk so off across our fields we went. There was still a bit of snow in the wall bottoms and in some of the smaller ‘green’ lanes but in general it wasn’t too bad. The snow of course slowed mistress down to a snails pace so we had to wait for her but in general she kept up. There was a bit of a tricky bit at the beginning where we had to walk through a field with some nasty looking sheep. Now we have learned from previous years that at this time of the year sheep are a bit tetchy (they are not very friendly at the best of times) so I made a very wide berth of them. I tried to get into the next field just in case but mistress called me back.
Me on the bridge to the Bateman’s House
In Over Haddon we stopped for lunch at the Lathkil Hotel (a pub really) where we sat outside in the sun while master and mistress had a beer, sandwich and chips. All we got were a few of the cold chips. Then it was back home across the fields.
Being dried off
At long last mistress is back at our cottages (click here). Master is OK but he is a bit hit and miss with feeding us. I can go for hours without a single treat and dinner time seems to have been completely random. At least with mistress I know I will get fed, even if it is small portions, it is usually bigger than masters portions and she always adds a little extra for us. Master doesn’t. It’s just our basic food and “Smudge there you go”. What about my little extras?
Due to the snow mistress was away even longer than expected so my waistline is even worse than I had anticipated. We haven’t had our early morning walks, no breakfast, no cuddles, very little fuss, no log fire to sleep by and certainly LESS FOOD. We have been neglected!
A bit wind swept
To be fair to master he has been a bit busy over the last few days with all the snow we have had. It has been a bit of a pain. I was even getting a bit worried that we might get snowed in. I wasn’t sure how much food we had left. What would have happened if we had run out (sorry I digress). The problem with the snow was that in a lot of places it was so high it made it a bit difficult for us dogs to get about. Of course idiot brother enjoyed it as master was here and there in the 4×4 and shovelling snow (which for some strange reason idiot brother likes to catch – nutter). In places we have had some serious drifting. At least we had a few friends to play with but it was a bit cold to play outside. I did complain a few times when we got the “Ok guys out you go”. “Why! its warm in here.” “Do we have to?” At least the snow is very slowly going and it easier for people in the cottages to get in and out. We have also learnt where we can easily go without disappearing into a snow drift.
Watching the drive being cleared
Ready for off
Smudge is starting to get very nervous. Mistress is leaving us with Master for the week. We will be ‘home alone’ at Bolehill Cottages with just master for the first time for a few years. Now although I don’t mind this so much Smudge is terrified. He still remembers the last time mistress was away. Master completely forgot to feed us one day. I keep trying to console him by telling him that mistress is bound to ring up every evening to check we have been fed but he is inconsolable. Mind you he could do with losing a few pounds. I am sure master won’t forget us this time.
I have had a busy week this week. At the beginning of the week I went over to our Buxton house to help give it its final clean before our new tenants move in. I do hope they appreciate all the hard work I have put in to make it dog friendly. As it happens we didn’t manage to finish all the cleaning so I will have to go back with master next week. Another few hours should do it.
Helping with the cleaning
On Thursday and Friday our friend the handyman came up to give master a hand with moving the logs and wood rings into the log shed to be split. Last year we had to have a couple of trees partly taken down and the logs were was still where the tree people at left it. I think master thought this was going to be an easy job but on inspection a lot of the logs were bigger than expected. Certainly too big for me to carry, even with Smudge’s help (as if). So we had to chain saw them up before moving them to the log store using masters trailer.
This wasn’t as easy as master thought as the land was all very wet. I could have told him that as I am fed up with getting my paws washed by mistress. Every time I go out I come back to a bucket of water and a cloth. Anyhow it took a lot of slipping and sliding to get the 4×4 and trailer up to the log shed. I kept offering to have a go but oh no master knew best. Anyhow we now have most of the logs in the shed ready for splitting. I assume this will be next weeks work for me.
Just checking the logs
Waiting for Breakfast.
Mozart has gone! And worse than that so has his owners. I popped up to Sheepfold for my morning breakfast but no one was there. I thought it a bit strange last night when we were invited into the office to see Mozart’s owners. They gave us both two big treats and a big hug. I am use to having breakfast but not supper as well. Now I know why! They have gone. What am I going to do? Even worse master keeps muttering about how fat I am and that mistress should really cut my food down even further.
Hopefully there are some dogs coming next week that have generous owners like Mozart’s. Can I last that long is the big question?