Monday, 31 October 2016


Halloween is coming, the geese are getting fat!
Please put a penny in the aulds mans hat!

Perhaps one of my favourite times of year, Autumn has truly settled in, everything is red and gold and the weather is still just mil enough to be pleasant for a dog walk.

Missy is a pirate this year (as she was last year) and has been delighting all the trick or treaters that come to the door. Although she's starting to have had enough with all the getting up and down! This year I've modified an actual kids Halloween costume as I have found absolutely nothing for a dog her size - come on pet companies, people with medium to large breeds want to dress up their pups too! All I could find were chihuahua size costumes....

Enough grumbling! I've gone for Pokemon pumpkins this year (I perhaps have too much time on my hands!) and so far one kid has correctly identified team Mystic (L) and team Instinct (R) and I congratulated him with an extra lollipop. 

After hearing that 70% of pumpkins grown aren't actually eaten, I felt shamed enough to do some baking with the pumpkin pieces and innards. I blended the pumpkin into a puree and made cupcakes (for humans), a loaf cake and then Missy of course got some cupcakes made for her! I adapted this recipe and substituted the banana for 4oz of pumpkin mulch. 
As you may have guessed, I am not a fan of pumpkin anything. I was brave and did try a slice of the loaf cake and have to sadly concede that my tastes have not changed, and sent the hubby of to work with the cupcakes (he's going to finish the loaf cake!). Missy loves her cakes and, as pumpkin is super high in vitamin A, I've frozen most of them and she's getting them as a special treat now and again.
I made myself some flapjack, and made sure it wasn't contaminated with the pumpkin! Perhaps next year I may try again...

As a final update, Plec-Gate is still ongoing. I've had two definite sets of eggs, and the babies themselves look to be in possibly 3 age categories. I've finally set up my nursery tank and mnaged to one-by-one, catch 36 babies out of the main tank! They're now safely away to themselves, and I'm concentrating on getting them grown on a bit more before taking them to the pet shop.
Although, I'm rather liking the second tank being set up...

Happy Halloween! 

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Bothwell Castle

We've been desperately trying to enjoy the last of the nice weather, and also squeeze in all those obligation family visits before the mania that is the Christmas season begins! My hubby works in retail, so this really is the last stretch of time that we'll see each other before our lives dissolve into ships passing in the night.

I have family out in the Glasgow area so we decided to squeeze this fabulous castle in on the way home and give Missy a chance to stretch her paws and run off all the custard creams she'd been fed (even though I had provided Missy-safe biscuits, it was insisted upon that she should have a custard cream - even at a diminutive 4'11'' inches, I am too terrified of my grandmother to argue!). 

Anyway, back to the castle. Bothwell wasn't too difficult to find and, being a keystone castle back in the early independence wars with England, bears its battle scars with pride. As the tourist season is truly over, we were allowed to break the dogs on lead rule which made the spiral staircases somewhat less challenging!

The grounds of the castle look like the local dog walk and we saw a lot of collies and such. After a good little run we went into the little village we had originally driven through and enjoyed a very late lunch out in the sun.

The last of the good weather!

Well, that's all for now, just a short post today! Till next time.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Lake District

So that's us not long back from our week away in the  - I've posted before about how wonderfully dog friendly the area is and we were not disappointed a second time!

I wont witter away for too long, so here are the highlights!

Our first port of call was in Ulverston (about 40 minutes from where we were staying) to the Laurel and Hardy Museum. Its completely dog friendly and goes over the life of Stan Laurel who was born in the village. There is a little bit about Hardy too and there is a cinema screen constantly playing the movies. The chap who runs the place (his grandfather founded it) was very chatty and full of interesting facts. A definite recommend! 
We then went to the nearby Buddhist temple and took Missy on a nice walk along the 'beach'. We had planned on stopping at the Stott Bobbin Mill, but fortunately I noticed when putting in the postcode that as it was off-season, it happened to be shut the Tuesday.

Wednesday we did a cruise with Windermere Lake Cruises and did the green walkers route, which picked us up at Brockhole, took us to Ambleside (we found an amazing pet shop there and got Missy a new collar and a lovely tea shop) and then to Wray Castle. We had planned on walking out to the newly built view point but hadn't realised it would be a 6 mile round walk (next time we'll do it!). We had a theatre show booked for the evening, so instead did a 3 mile walk to a lovely old barn house that was another viewpoint. 
The show that we saw was "Meeting Mrs Bea" at the recently built Old Laundry House theatre. It was about Beatrix Potters later years as Mrs Helis when she had become an accomplished sheep farmer and had given up on writing stories - I wont say more than that, but if it tours by, or you can find the original radio play its based on, its well worth a watch.

Thursday was a busy day! We started out by hunting down the locally infamous orange sheep and enjoying a walk around Troutbeck which is were we were based for the holiday. The sheep did not disappoint and are much more orange in real life than either photo or video shows!

We then took Missy out on a row boat and, whilst unsure at first, she quickly settled into it all, even risking a damp nose and peeking into the water a few times! Whilst Missy is an incredibly strong swimmer, she stoically makes a beeline to shore and does not enjoy the experience in the slightest , so we had no worry or concern that she would jump into the lake (living by a river that flows very strongly after rain, we did test that she could in fact swim not long after getting her, whilst she would allow me to carry her into the water, she did not venture in on her own free will!).

Our last day was going home through Keswick. The Pencil Museum was sadly closed for refurbishment, but we found some nice shops and a lovely little cafe to enjoy our last day in.

Its now Sunday and Missy is still quite tired from her adventures, and we're already planning the next one! Till next time!

Monday, 3 October 2016

Stockley Farm

It was my niece Felix's 3rd birthday party on Saturday and we decided we would travel down for it and start our Lakes holiday off with a bang. The party was held at Stockley Farm as it was deemed an easy location and was relatively cheap for a whole day. By pure coincidence, its also incredibly dog friendly - there was an old trip adviser review stating that dogs weren't allowed most places, so I emailed the place who informed me the policy had since changed and they were welcome everywhere so long as they were well behaved.

I would add photos of the birthday girl, but alas, my sister (the mum) doesn't particularly like the idea of said child appearing online, which is fair enough, so I will just spam you all with more photos of my (fur)baby!

It was a great day out - there was meet the ponies, a great big indoor bouncy castle and sand area, and a great big outdoor play area too. We found a pig who was desperately trying to escape, a goat with a bucket on its head and a lovely nature trail handily marked with very large red triangles - perfect to let a three year old think they're leading the way for us all! At this point we squeezed in a picnic and sung happy birthday and Felix got to blow out her candles.

The only thing that wasn't dog friendly was the owl show. The woman running the event came over and was very good about the fact that Missy would upset the owls and pointed out a screened area where the hubby could still watch the show and the owls would be happy. It was a very scaled back show that was really more of a 'here's a barn owl, line up kids and maybe you can hold one' kind of affair and unfortunately my niece is minuscule for three years of age and wasn't keen on pushing in on the press of excited children!

The little red rocket!
By this point the birthday girl was fairly tuckered out, so we finished the day with the sheep racing. You could bid on a sheep to win (you bought a numbered badge for 50p) and in order to ensure both family's won something, the hubby bought all the badges for both races (8 in all) and divided it up. By great coincidence, the birthday girl herself won and so did I - although I decided Missy suited the rosette far more than I did! All in all, a great day had by all!