In twelve days time I will walk 33 miles from Horse Hill to Woodlarks with 11 other rogue bloggers to try to raise £40,000 for a charity that really needs that cash. So if you are yet to sponsor me please do so now HERE. Sagturday saw a training walk allowing me to explore the area around my new home, the Welsh Hovel, on the River Dee.
I started at the Hovel. It had been a cold morning so I had three layers on. And for once I did not take my rucksack so had no water with me, a schoolboy error.
The first half a mile or so was on the Welsh side of the Dee before crossing over a 13th century Bridge into England. It is on this bridge every morning and afternoon as I drop my son Joshus off at nursery (in England) or pick him up that he says “Goodbye Wales” and then a minute later “Hello England” or vice versa.
On the far side, I headed towards Chester keeping the Dee close to my left apart from in one place where there was a field full of bulls and I decided to take a rather long detour.
I walked through woods and fields on a path that seems, after a while, to be rarely used. I met few walkers and as I waded through nettles in some places I undersgtood why. Joshua would have loved the deep dark wood and would have started chattering about the Gruffalo. In one wood the smell of wild garlic was almost overpowering.
At about two and a half hours I saw a small village ahead and reckoned that I had done at least seven miles so turned and headed back the way I had come. By this time the sun was hot and I was sweating badly and feeling a tad dehydrated as my schoolboy error came back to haunt me. But my feet were fine and though a fourteen mile walk is no real test, that it was essentially so easy, is a good sign for what is to come. And the scenery was wonderful, the North really is not so grim after all.
If you are yet to donate to Rogue Bloggers for Woodlarks please do so HERE
I came home to the Welsh Hovel late last night to see cat Quincey sitting outside in the yard. In my absence the Mrs had, for a second time, let him escape his new home. after driving almost 400 miles in a day I let rip with a few choice words and then wasted an hour of my life coaxing the wretched cat back inside where I pounced and recaptured him. He has just rewarded me with another shit on the kitchen floor.
The other sight to greet me on my return was a fridge magnet bought by the Mrs at the insistance of Joshua who is very taken with the Welsh dragon we see every day as we walk back from his nursery in England, over the bridge and back into the rain sodden second world.
As you may remember, my daught Olaf is half Welsh and a fierce patriot. She will no doubt be delighted to see similar tendencies emerging in young Joshua after just three weeks in this welfare addicted land.
Since the sad demise of my once morbidly obese three legged cat Oakley late last summer, my two year old son Joshua has not stopped talking about his friend who used to sleep by his cot, keeping watch every night. Our old house in Bristol is “Oakley’s House” and while you and I know that the old boy lies at rest next to the body of Kitosh and across the yard from that of his long time companion Tara who is under the rhubarb, Joshua and his mother and I have agreed that the three legged one has “gone to the jungle” where he is happy. But there is a gap in all of our lives anmd so yesterday we told Joshua we had a treat.
We headed up to the RSPCA facility in Wallasey where we had identified two four year old rescue cats who looked just like “da King” and so when we arrived we told Joshua we were going to see Oakley’s cousins. The RSPCA don’t normally house cats with families with a child under four but Quincey (playing below) and Sian (keeping watch) are very friendly I told a white lie about how Joshua was almost three and by the time we filled in forms the lady had marked him down as actually being three. The staff saw Joshua and the Mrs playing with Oakley’s cousins and there was no doubt that we were well suited.
The Welsh hovel is pretty cold but compared to their cells at RSPCA Wallasey it is balmy and both cats have settled in well. For a week or so they must stay in two rooms then there will be another two weeks roaming the whole house before they are unleashed on the outside world. As I type Sian is nuzzling my keyboardwhile Quincey is rubbing against my leg. Oakley would be delighted to see how friendly his cousins are.
The only moment of sadness was saying goodbye to the other cats at the RSPCA. There were a couple of adorable young cats, one of whom looked just like Mrs Chav’s pussy, who had been there almost since birth last August. Sian and Quincey have passed through RSPCA Wallasey twice in their lives, poor things. If you can spare a home and live in the Grim North….
George the Architect sends over photos from the Greek Hovel where there is good news and bad.
The good news, as you can see below, is that progress on the swimming pool continues apace. Now I know it does not look very deep but walls will be built around it so, fear not daughter Olaf, at the deep end the water will be 1.9 metres deep.
The bad news is that the water connection to the hovel and indeed neighbouring houses has broken so we are without water to fill the pool, in due course, or to water the olive trees we moved to make room for the pool. Greece being Greece, no-one has any idea when this will be fixed.
The good news is that God has been watering the trees - it has been raining heavily for days. The bad news is that heavy rains stop any further work on the pool.
For now my attention is on our house move in the UK to the Welsh hovel but, fingers crossed, the Greek hovel will be utterly completed by mid May.