I've just been reading over the last two posts from January last year and it may seem strange, given that this was always Lurcher Tales, that it should be Holly's death that stopped me from regularly posting.
So, what has changed since then? Well, Owain and Becky moved out not long afterwards, then moved again. They have another dog now, a Collie/ Chocolate Lab cross, called Ebony. They also got married in October, which was nice.
I started teacher training in August, but it was not to be. It is one thing to think that you would make a good teacher, but quite another to actually be one. So I am back at home and walking the dogs every day again while I try to find something else.
Rover has his own Facebook Page, courtesy of my daughter. Apparently he is a Public Figure. I cannot argue with that! He will probably get more Likes than my Author page on Facebook before too long.
So, today's walk, what can I say? I have to admit that there were long sections that I was very distracted, so I was a little unobservant. This largely stemmed from me playing over a conversation in my head that I missed the opportunity of having with a couple of men with Newcastle City Council high vis jackets outside Broadwood School about the ongoing disrepair of the school wall.
If I had been blogging through the summer I would have had a good few interesting observations to report. In the North East we suffered a lot of damage from a storm that the local press imaginatively named "Thunder Thursday." The day after we discovered that there had been a massive build up of water on Broadwood Road with the result that the school wall collapsed and the pent up water rushed across the playing field, following a natural low point, and cascading down into the Dene. A 10-15 metre section of wall had been taken out and the remaining wall on either side buckled inwards. The Council very quickly responded by installing a temporary metal fence on both sides of the damage, but they have done absolutely nothing since. There is a bin behind the fences that is now inaccessible and has not been emptied in months - I do not envy whoever has the task of eventually emptying it! More importantly, it is another bin removed from use and that is not a good thing for a conscientious dog walker!
Speaking of bins, I was just looking at the state of the one in the Dene next to the Number 38 Terminus (which has been uprooted again) when I realised that I still had Rover and Amazon on the lead and they were looking at me strangely. It was probably a good thing, as it happens, as they normally hare down there looking for squirrels and there was a lot of nasty large glass fragments. I walked them past these and then let them off.
I woke up a bit after that, but the snow meant that most of the time my head was down. Occasionally I would stop and look about, for the snow was just beginning to lie and it was quite a gentle fall with little wind. The Dene is too soggy and dead at the moment to really provide much in the way of inspiration, but it was nice to see the stuff come down. I always find a snow covered landscape to be so beautiful and the Dene will hopefully be so much more appealing if this does settle. The snow that fell yesterday evening was gone by midnight and the forecast is being understandably canny about whether any more precipitation will be solid or liquid.
I passed one or two other dog walkers today, mostly as buttoned up and distracted as myself. There was a little Jack Russell who always lies down when he sees Rover and Amazon and stays that way until they pass. There was a pair of Staffies who seemed well socialised and there was another small dog whose owner cheerfully announced to me "It's going to lie" - talking about the snow. Oh, and not forgetting the old shaggy dog that Amazon was very nice saying hello to.
The pair of them were well behaved passing The Alsatian House, from which there came a very welcoming smell of woodsmoke. As often as not Rover wants to stick his nose under the gate and get barked at and Amazon causes a fuss by barking at Rover and snapping at him. I put Amazon on the near side with a long lead and Rover on the far side on a short lead. I think this may be the winning formula, but we will have to wait and see - it may have been a different matter if either of the Alsations had been near the gate.
Well, that was the walk. I don't think I will be back to daily blogging, but I might do one or two a week if anything that I find interesting happens.