Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...


What happens if ....

I am sitting on the settee with a mug of tea within easy reach and a sleeping (damp) dog near my feet.  I can smell her .... not pleasant.... she has been in the river and despite the water looking clean - the wiff that keeps wafting up tells a different story. But before I can tell you why she is damp, I shall start from the beginning.
We have/had a large and ugly conifer tree completely dominating the garden. It visibly ate up space and light, drank the groundwater until the soil cracked and shrank, dropped needles and sticky sap, souring the pond water and acidifying the garden. It's biggest sin was the amount of sky it hid from me. Last year we'd earmarked it to go - but things got in the way. The pandemic (who'd forget that) and the baby squirrels (who's rather thoughtless mother first used the conifer as a nursery then abandoned them in the same tree which they then both fell out of...).
We have a tree surgeon friend who came round and eyed up the offending tree, gave us a quote and a date and today he made good his promise.
This morning he, two chippies and an apprentice arrived and within moments of arriving had mugs of coffee in hand and were sizing up their task. Last dregs of brew drained they donned their safety gear and shot up the tree. I have never seen such professionalism and speedy work.
Within an hour the tree was down and chopped into easy to move pieces and all the branches were shredded and piled up into a neat mound of woodchip.

I gave them a second brew as they swept up, a quick catch up then they were gone. From start to finish just under two hours and I have now acres and acres and acres of blue sky filling my garden and my heartπŸ’™.  I stood outside and just looked up and I could feel my plants (the ones that managed to survive the falling branches) reach up and feel the air and the sun on their leaves.

Moss had been rather excited by all this activity - she is a complete sucker for boys and their toys (especially noisy toys) so was banished to the house to keep her (and them) safe. So once they'd tidied up and gone, I thought I would let Moss take me on a 'Moss made me do it' walk.

I'd planned to do another one of those - let Moss decide where to go walks and let her take the lead (see what I did there?!?) so why not do it now?
We start by going up the old tram lines, alongside the garages and allotments. Where the geese hiss and chickens run down to the fence in hope of a treat.
At the top of the lines, there is a favourite pathway and I know she will head that way and sure enough, a quick as you please turn to the left and Moss shoots down the path to the gate in no time at all. Towards 'Claire's Field'.
As we reach the gate, I peep over - the field is sometimes full of rare breed sheep so Moss has to go back on her lead (she is used to this and did not mind). However, by the time we reach the bottom of the meadow and on to the foot bridge - she is wanting her lead off again and gives me a rather exasperated look over her shoulder.
Across the footbridge and up to the fairy trees - here she runs free as there are no stock and the land is quietly reverting back to it's wild and moorlandy ways.

At the top, the path sneakily winds through a couple of converted farm builds and splits in two - I once again loosen Moss' lead to see which way she wants to go ..... left. 
No mistaking the decision. I nod to myself - I definitely know where she is leading me now.
We cross over and into 'Stone sheep' field and as usual the 'stone sheep' are there. The reason for the name is down to the colour of their fleeces, a mottled browny-grey colour. When the sheep are lying down, the field looks to be filled with boulders until a head pops up and the boulder suddenly turns into a sheep!
At the end of the field, we enter a small and tidy farm yard, where barns are filled with the bleating of tiny lambs and the comforting replies by the ewes.
On the other side, the slightly older lambs are outside in the nursery fields with protective mums watching as we walk by - Moss has no eyes for sheep (actively avoiding eye contact if at all possible) and heads straight for the cattle grid.
An easy and simple leap for her, she has the lane to play in as we head towards her chosen destination.
I love this lane, I have photographed, drawn it and painted it over the twenty odd years of walking up and down it (hell that makes me feel old!!) Moss just loves it for two reasons - there are often sticks that can be picked up and carried and it takes us/her towards one of her favourite spots for running around like a lunatic.
The rec. The recreation grounds, a lumpy bumpy field where playing football at Fifa level is aspired to but not necessarily manged when the pitch has naturally forming potholes ....

Potholes which hold the most glorious wallow-worthy mud, where you can sink up to your furry belly and have a full on mudpack. A place where you can shove your snoot in and blow thick mud-bubbles (yay says the dog, urgh says us).

By the time we reach the far side of the rec, Moss has her lead back on, I know that whichever way she takes me, we will either be on the lane or go through sheep. She chooses the latter and we head through the 'souterills' (we have found out it has a franco-influence and means southern 'something')

Head down, once again Moss refuses to look at the sheep, choosing in the straightest line possible to the far gate. Through the next field we continue, Moss is 'on a mission', she has a plan and I suspect by now she knows who was taking who on the walk and she is going to make the most of it!

Finally we arrive at the 'best gate' - the one that lets us in to the nature reserve, the one that a favourite swimming spot lives behind, the best gate indeed says Moss!
I slip her collar off so that she can swim. Moss runs off without a backward glance straight for the water. Happy dog.
We walk on through the woodlands, plenty of sniffs to be sniffed and smells to be smelt. Then by the end of the nature reserve, I replace the collar and the lead and let her continue her walk. Moss takes up her task and we set off at a cracking good pace. 

Interestingly enough we drop down to the road and we have a short stint on the pavement - I am surprised as Moss does not like this bit. Then, she takes a quick turn and up to some cottages - ah - I know where we are going. She leads me to a door of a lovely friend and she sits wagging her tail. I do hope our friend is in, we have not seen her for a while, so I knock and step back several paces. Sadly to no avail, I have to lead Moss away but delighted that she wanted to visit and did without any intervention by myself.
We return up on to an old lane, away from cars and surrounded by fields and sheep. Then for her final choice, Moss nips down to the river for a final dip before returning home.

4.75 miles later - we sit quietly at home, Moss having had a big drink and a couple of dog biscuits is stretched out, eyes drowsy and nearly closed. I have a mug of tea and a biscuit of my own.  

Today's walk was an interesting experiment - letting Moss lead the way. I wonder if I allow it to happen again - what route would she take? I may wait a while and try it again.



  1. Gosh! I wish I had been with you, what a fabulous walk! It is midnight here in Spain and you'd think at this time of night I'd be far too tired and sleepy to think about walks or even read about one but Moss has inspired me. Tomorrow I am going to go for a long walk not so green and wild as yours but down to the Palmeral park where there are nosy cats and birds galore. It is nice and quiet during the week. Your Moss does love the water! What about the sea? Has she ever been to the seaside? keep well Amanda x

    1. She absolutely loves the sea - dives through the waves - never seen a 'land' dog do that before. We don't know her full history but wonder if she grew up on a farm near the sea/near a large body of water. She was not afraid of the sea the first time we took her and as soon as she scented it she wanted to go down to the water's edge. Enjoy your walk today :D and do share your photos xx

  2. What a wonderful walk. Much like your lovely Moss, given an option, Lily will always choose to go where there is water. She cannot resist it :)

    1. Ah - so they would be the perfect walking partners - straight to water (wonder if they were both mermaids in a previous life🧜🏼‍♀️ 😊

  3. So glad you posted about the ugly tree being removed; only 2 hours? They did work well. Moss certainly took you on a proper walk. I've done that walk but not in one go! It was great to recognise it. Thanks. x

    1. Less than 2 hours (to include a chat and two brews) talk about not messing about. I would recommend them if you ever needed a tree sorting 😊 That particular walk - we used to do fairly regularly last year but after a while you get bored with them. So it was a pleasant reminder to walk again, Moss obviously had not forgotten it and was more than happy to walk it again 🐾

  4. Isn’t it fascinating watching tree surgeons at work ... they make it look so very easy. What a lovely walk too. We have friends with a dog that loves the water too ... especially the sea. There daren’t walk him off the lead along the cliff tops as he’d be jumping off to get to the water πŸ˜ƒ

    1. I was very entertained by them and impressed by their professionalism. Our neighbours had a dog who did exactly that - she threw herself of the edge of an old quarry after a bird and we all assumed the worst. But she was (luckily) just below on a ledge looking rather surprised!

  5. Moss chose a great walk, I felt like I was with you all the way. I like the lane where the cattle grid is, it looks very pleasant there :)

    1. I am curious to know if she would take me on the exactly same route if I gave her another chance - I shall leave it a while then offer the opportunity and see what happens!

  6. I did so enjoy taking that walk with Moss. Thank you for that.

  7. Well, what an adventure you had with Moss as your guide. Lovely to have such a good friend. I'd not know the garden if I saw it ever again, but do remember you showing me the large pine & saying it blocked quite a lot of light from the glasshouse too. Thanks for sharing your walk, take care & hugs.

    1. The garden is very different and now the tree has gone - will change again - ever changing, until I am happy with it :) With the added sky and light - it opens ups my choice of plants.

  8. What an adventure you both had. Looked very interesting
    Julie xxxxxxx

  9. Thanks for sharing that walk. I could follow most of it but got a bit lost at the end. Love the way that Moss makes the decisions. I agree that the tree surgeon is most efficient and professional. Cut our hedge for many years now. Enjoy replanning your now light filled garden.🧑 xx

  10. It must have been so satisfying to see the mutant conifer being shredded. I love watching tree surgeons at work. They really do shimmy up and get them down so quickly. We have a sycamore earmarked at the back of the garden, not technically in our garden, but the owners of the retaining wall do not look after it as they should.

    Looks like you had a great walk with Moss. I noticed an advert on TV saying 'Our Yorkshire Farm' is back on tele this week, yay! Lulu x


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