We have had quite an exciting week this week. Our cottages (see cottages) are full for half term and we have plenty of friends to play with and show around our grounds. On Sunday afternoon we actually got taken out for a few hours. We were taken up to Derwent Dams to see the water coming over the dams. It was quite impressive even if a bit noisy. We were hoping to go to the Dam buster exhibition in the West Tower but unfortunately we got there too late so we just walked around the dam. We also dropped by to see the Ladybower ‘plug hole’ which of course we couldn’t see as there is a wall in the way. I wasn’t allowed to jump up on it to see what was going on but Mistress was impressed.
Not to sure about this
On Tuesday we got taken to the vets for our annual check-up and booster jab. Now I now most dogs don’t like the Vets but I don’t mind. They are always very kind and we sometimes get given a treat. The other thing is I love to see masters face when he finds out how much the visit has cost. We are worth it though. Well I am. I am not so sure about Smudge. Smudge is not too keen on the vets as we always get weighed and he always gets told he is over weight which means he gets put on ‘another’ diet. I don’t know why mistress bothers as all he does is go begging food from our guests.
Me in the Ashbourne tunnel
Today we were taken to see the snowdrops at Hopton Hall (near Carsington). Well we thought we were going to see the snowdrops but it turns out they don’t allow dogs in the gardens, so we had to stay in the car. Mistress enjoyed the snowdrops. After Hopton Hall we went off to Ashbourne for the rest of the day. AGAIN we got left in the car while they went off for lunch. At least when they got back we were taken for a walk through the Ashbourne tunnel and along the Tissington trail for a few miles. I suppose it wasn’t too bad a day in the end.
Even I have to sleep some times
Me on Curbar Edge
For once Master wasn’t working all day in one of our cottages (Bolehill Cottages) and actually had time to take us out for a walk. It seems like months since we were last taken out. Anyhow on Sunday it was announced we would go for a short walk. Mistress decided that as it was such a nice day we would go for a walk along Curbar Edge. When we arrived it was a bit busy but as we walked along the edge it got busier. We, therefore, had lots of friends to chat to and get acquainted with. However, Master got grumpier and grumpier and in the end declared that he was going home. “Hold on a minute we have only been out for 30 mins or so. I thought we were going for a walk.” As usual he got his own way and we had to turn back to the car. On the way home, however, he suggested that we go for a walk down in Lathkill Dale. A few people had reported that it was flooded and it would be interesting to see how bad it was.
Me in Lathkill Dale
So we parked at the car park and walked down the hill. Before we got to the dale we met up with a couple of friends who live on the way down. Teddy (a Scotty) and been very ill so we enquired how he was doing. Apparently he had had dog meningitis (whatever that is) but was slowly recovering.
Once we go to the bottom of the hill we turned right to head up the dale but after about a mile we came across the flooding. It had flooded up over the path and we would have to go up the bank to get past it. It all looked a bit muddy and wet to me. Although master declared it wasn’t difficult to get round, luckily it was decided that we would walk back down the dale and on to Conksbury Bridge and then up the hill back to the Lathkil Hotel (a pub). The river was very high all the way back. At the cascades you could hardly tell where some of them where. Usually you can walk out onto them but not at the moment (or at least I wasn’t going to try). When we got to Conksbury bridge we turned up the lane and then across the fields to the pub where master and mistress had a sandwich and a cake. Nothing for us though. At least they ate outside with us rather than the usual of just leaving us outside in the cold. As it turned out it wasn’t such a bad day and mistress did enjoy her cake.
Me trying to get mistress to catch up
Me in Lathkill Dale
As master is rushing around finishing off the upgrade to one of our cottages (see link) I had expected quite some trips down town and over to Buxton and places. We have had a few trips out but not as many as I expected. As usual he hasn’t taken much notice of my advice which is why he gets into problems every now and then. A few days ago it looked like we were off somewhere, so I followed him around and as soon as he got into the car I jumped in too (just in case he left me behind). He brought the car up into the courtyard then disappeared. The next thing I knew mistress had jumped into the car and was setting off. Hold on! I need to be where the action is not stuck in a car with mistress. That is Smudge’s job.
Why put a trough inside?
Anyway we set off to Buxton. Now the Buxton run is great fun with master. It is like a white knuckle (paw) ride as we zip round corners via the back roads. I sit in the front seat watching where we are going. I have learned how to lean into the corners and how to anticipate him breaking (if I don’t I sometimes find myself nosing the front window). With mistress it was just plain boring. A steady 30 miles an hour, slowly going round the bends – how boring is that? After a few minutes I decided I might as well climb into the back and to try and get some sleep but all the way there and all the way back she kept on explaining where we were going and why she was getting out of the car each time. I am not used to this. Master usually just jumps out with a “Blue stay” and I sit around wondering were he has gone and how long he will be. At least when we got to Buxton Mistress explained where she was going and how long she was going to be. As it turns out she had popped over to Buxton for master as he was ‘busy’.
A light snack
Its OK all this upgrading Dove bit (see our peak district cottages at www.bolehillfarm.co.uk) but it does disturb my morning, my mid morning and my afternoon siesta. It’s not that they are noisy or anything, its just master keeps rushing in past my bed to ‘get things’ and ‘discuss things’. Why can’t he be a little bit less noisy. Can’t he see a dogs is trying to nap. Idiot brother is, of course, in his element. Rushing here, rushing there, going off with master to get bits and then rushing again. He loves it. It exhausts me just watching them. It’s not as though he is of any use. He just seems to be constantly in the way. I bet if I did that I would get yelled at and probably end up with plaster or paint all over me. Far better to just stick to my bed.
I am not really here.
One thing with having builders around, there is always a chance of a free lunch but this lot are not very generous with their lunch and it is hardly worth the effort. All in all January is a bit of a lean month for food. After all the treats I got over Christmas the last few weeks have come as a bit of a shock. Very few dog friends in our cottage so not much chance of a free meal.
I had a major scare the other day. Mistress disappeared out after their tea without feeding me. Master didn’t seem to have remembered. So it was up to me to get him to remember (idiot brother doesn’t worry about such things). I kept nudging him and generally trying to point him towards the food but to no avail. All I got was “Smudge – What do you want”. “I want my dinner obviously” but as he is a human he can’t understand me. And I thought humans were supposed to be smart. What does it take to realise you haven’t fed your best friend – ME . Anyhow in the end the penny dropped and he realised he had forgotten to feed me (us). The next worry was that he might have forgotten how much we get (that could be good or bad). OK I accept that we never get any ‘extras’ when master feeds us but as a minimum I expect the same amount as I get from mistress. Who knows what we got. It looked a measly small amount to me but idiot brother seemed happy enough (well he would wouldn’t he).
My new hat.
At last Christmas is over and things are getting back to normal at our Holiday cottages (click here). Mistress is less stressed, master isn’t as grumpy and we are allowed back into the lounge (Smudge had missed his snoozes in front of the fire). Master and Mistress’s friends came for the Christmas period, you know the ones that are allergic to dogs (how can anyone be allergic to dogs), so we were banished to the kitchen. I much prefer to be where the action is and Smudge was terrified there may be some food going spare that he might miss. So all in all I don’t like Christmas. OK we did get some nice treats, and we did get taken out for some walks, and we did meet some nice dog friends in our cottages and we did get some leftovers (made Smudge happy) but that is not the same as being looked after properly and treated like proper family dogs. Kitchen indeed – that’s where cats are supposed to be kept not man’s best friend.
What happened to the roof?
I suppose we did get taken for a few nice walks. On Christmas Eve we got take to Derwent/Howden reservoir for a walk round the top end of the dam and back to Derwent Dam car park. We had to do a lot of waiting around while master went to fetch his car from the top of Howden. We are not allowed in their friend’s car as we might leave dog hair in it (as if). It was a bit blowy but not too bad. I must admit I must be getting a bit old as I did feel a bit stiff in the evening and it was only a 5 mile walk. Problem is we are use to all the ‘stopping to admire the view’ we get with mistress. When we all go for a walk with their friends it is more a walk, no stopping, and we are not use to it.
On Christmas Day we all walked down to the Lathil Hotel (pub) for a lunch time drink. We were left outside in the cold. How is that for Christmas cheer? Lots of other dogs were inside in the warmth. Why weren’t we? I have considered a formal complaint to the RSPCA.
Looks to be working
On Boxing Day we were taken for a walk we do quite often. Across our fields, down into Lathkill Dale, along the dale, then up past our picnic spot, along to the Lathkil Hotel for a drink (they sat outside with us this time – I think they felt guilty about leaving us out on our own the day before) and back across the fields to home.
I suppose over all it wasn’t too bad a Christmas. Happy New Year.
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’.