I love travelling, the sense of movement and discovery. When I first moved to my current home Sundays used to be picnic day, where I went out for the day, whatever the weather, and explored places I’d never been to before.Over time life encroached on picnic day, but I made a promise to myself that at least once a week I would do something or go somewhere new. I haven’t always been vigilant in keeping those promises but I did today when I took my friends’ dog for a walk in Kilsture Woods.
I don’t own a dog but I do dog-sit for friends; I also house-sit for them and I love to do this. Not only do I get to spend time with a pet but I also spend it in an environment where I’m not distracted by telephone calls, bills or other mundane paraphenalia of life. It gives me a sense of travel and provides lots of opportunities to explore.This week is the first time I have stayed here and I’m looking after hens, watering greenhouse plants and re-filling bird feeders while my friends are away on holiday in Orkney. I also have a dog with me because other friends are in Edinburgh and I usually look after her while they’re away.
After a week of cold, unsettled weather we had a lovely day yesterday and I took Bonnie up to Kilsture Woods for a walk before bed. Hoping that summer was eventually going to arrive and believing in the old “Red sky at night” thing I was looking forward to another sunny day. However, this morning I woke to the drumming of rain on the Velux window. Bugger.
Bonnie (the dog) is no fonder of walking in torrential rain than I am but there was no let-up with the rain and the tv weather forecast didn’t look promising. Eventually at 11am I gave in and took her out. Kilsture Woods was the nearest place and driving there I remembered it was Sunday so decided to try a different trail from yesterday. Bonnie, however, had other ideas; she shot off on the path from last night and I followed behind her. It was not a good idea. Where yesterday the ground was dry and firm, today it was boggy in most parts, flooded in others and whole sections of the trail that went uphill had become fast-flowing streams several inches deep.
Years ago I did my Mountain Leadership Certificate (Summer) and one of the things I had to do was cross a raging river and get a group safely across. I never expected to have to do any sort of crossing on a riverless walk in the woods. I only had hiking boots with me and no gaiters, so it wasn’t long before the water penetrated through the laces of my boots and over the top of them, so I was not best pleased. Bonnie, on the other hand, was in her element. Whilst she shies away from being let out in rain to do her business, she loves to plunge through water and swim. Needless to say she couldn’t have got any wetter and her antics made me, literally, fall down laughing. On the journey back the car quickly steamed up and I’m not sure who smelt worse – damp dog or boggy me.
I love Sundays.