Another bright sparkly day! I feel as though for the last six months or so I’ve been living beneath a damp grey flannel – which has suddenly been whisked away to reveal a lovely sunshiney world with blue skies and little white puffy clouds – instead of dreary grey skies, mud and almost incessant rain. It feels wonderful to be able to throw open windows and doors, pull on my walking boots (instead of wellies) and set off for a lovely walk without the expectation of returning home soaked through or plastered in mud. So yesterday we decided to revisit a walk we haven’t attempted since well before Daisy joined our little family.
I parked near the old station at Loddiswell (a victim of Beeching’s cuts in the 1960′s) which is now a private home – but you can still clearly see that it was once a busy little station. Our walk takes us along the path of the old railway track, alongside the river ….
My furry companions ran ahead, as always. Daisy is in front – goodness knows why – she hasn’t a clue where we’re going. Ben knows though, and remembers the path down to the river….
the River Avon – a beautifully clear, shallow and fast-flowing river that runs down from Dartmoor. It’s great for splashing around in – sorry about the poor camera control here ….
It’s not easy when you have TWO naughty newfies doing their best to soak you by splashing and shaking as much as they can!
Then on the way back we walk more slowly – the air was pungent with the aroma of wild garlic – great banks of green strap-like leaves lined the path on both sides. I think we’ll come here again next week to see the blooms – and perhaps there’ll be bluebells too by then.
I spotted this baby fern frond uncurling itself amongst the garlic leaves. And of course Ben had to stop for a drink at one of the little rivulets that run down the mossy banks towards the river – this one formed a lovely little pool at just the right height for a newf…
Although how he could possibly have been thirsty after all that splashing about goodness only knows!!
At last – I think spring has finally sprung here in South Devon, so this week I’ve been looking around my garden – assessing the havoc and mayhem caused by both the excessive rainfall/prolonged cold weather and two very naughty newfies with large paws and inquisitive natures!
The entrance to Ben’s den where they both like to hang out!
I am sorry to say that Daisy is a bit of a digger! She started her first hole in the border whilst still very young and it didn’t originally amount to much. However, over the last week or so she has enlarged it considerably and started not one, but two additional excavations which are much more impressive! Ben, on the other hand, does not like to dig – he enjoys pruning and snipping much more – and has been working hard on enlarging his “den” hidden in the hedge at the end of the garden where he can peer through the fence and monitor the activities of my lovely next-door neighbours!
Luckily my baby courgettes are well out of the reach of their large furry paws and inquisitive whiskery faces!
My friend Jacqui, of Flapdoodle Designs is a passionate gardener – and has put together a free printable for everyone who loves their gardens – whether as keen diggers, pruners and planters – or simply sitting and enjoying the sunshine and flowers (I’m hopeful that this year we’ll have a good summer and there will be lots of sunshine and flowers!).
It’s a lovely gardener’s notebook, with nice clear lined pages for each month of the year – and some of Jacqui’s lovely illustrations too …
Jacqui’s giving away her Gardener’s Notebook printable to everyone on her free newsletter list. So if you’d like your own copy then just CLICK HERE to receive her free newsletter and receive your free printable Gardener’s Notebook. And, like me, Jacqui promises never to share your email address with anyone else.
Note: This is the printable birthday bunting that I’m giving away with the May issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine on Thursday.
Here at Coombe Leigh we are all very patriotic – and would like to wish everyone a very happy St George’s Day. But as far as one member of the family is concerned, 23rd April is very important for quite a different reason! No, not Shakespeare’s birthday (though it is), but Ben’s birthday – the big fellow is SIX today!! And so, in honour of this very special event, we went on an especially favourite walk this morning. Luckily the day dawned fine and bright ….
We parked at the top of the hill opposite Salcombe in the little car park at East Portlemouth. The view is amazing – right across the estuary and as far as Dartmoor in the distance on a clear day. But I wasn’t allowed to linger – my two furry friends were keen to set off …
Down, down, down – the path through the woods … can you see the impatient black shapes just disappearing around the bend in the path? I hope they’ve remembered that we’ll have to climb up again at the end of the walk!
Hmmmm … which way shall we go – beach only – I think!
Here we are – and nobody else in sight. A private beach for Ben on his birthday! The newfies rush ahead of me now ….
Anxious to dive into the water! This is a lovely safe sandy beach that shelves very gently so is ideal for Daisy to practise her swimming skills. Ben pretends he doesn’t know her!
There’s a stream to paddle in too. Lovely cool fresh water – nice and clean too – great for thirsty canines!
What a wonderful walk – we came back across Mill Bay and turned up the steps to East Portlemouth at the Venus Cafe… we didn’t stop for an icecream today though.
Brrrr ….. I am reliably informed by my trusty radio that we are experiencing the coldest March for 50 years! It certainly feels like it – and just lately I have been wishing that I owned hamsters, gerbils, a goldfish or anything at all that doesn’t need a walk! But … I don’t and so, because I love my dogs, I wrapped up warm and we set off on our daily expedition. Ben’s paw is much improved – unlike the weather which was grey and misty with a biting wind – and both dogs were feeling very cheerful all wrapped up in their woolly black coats!
With no zips or buttons to let in the cold air! As we walked, the mist grew more dense ….
…. the air grew colder – and then we came to the muddy part of the path …..
… and it started to rain! So I regret to report that at this point I wimped out – and said to the newfs (who were revelling in the conditions – you can see here that Daisy is up to her knees in mud and ooze) “We’re going home now.” So we did … and I was delighted to return to my warm spot next to the Aga to thaw my frozen fingers and toes!
Can you spot the cushion on my chair? That’s from last month’s magazine – and very comfy it is too! Which sort of brings me to the second part of this post – what’s in the April magazine. Lots and lots is all I can say!
As well as all the Bustle & Sew projects, Rosie makes a welcome return with some totally scrumptious Creme Egg brownies for Easter, there’s an interview with the talented (and award-winning) Ruth Bowman of Flutter-by-Bears who also shares some bear-making tips – and loads more too. And as always, the end of the month is a great time to subscribe because for your first payment (just $1!) you will receive the March issue straight away – together with the April magazine when it’s published next week.
And your free copy of ” The Stitcher’s Companion too!”
Super-bargain time!! And perfect to snuggle down in the warm and enjoy – whilst planning your Easter stitching! To learn more and subscribe just CLICK HERE.