July 25th – First post-lockdown dinner

My fab step-son Andy and his lovely partner Stella took us out for a meal last night in Bristol.

Prior to the evening, I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about it, as we had been isolating due to Denise’s asthma, but it was great to eat out again.

The staff at the restaurant were great and were buzzing around constantly cleaning. A track and trace QR code was also in place, as well as a one way system for entering and leaving the premises.

Eating out with friends is one of our favourite pastimes, and it feels good to have that initial one under our belts. As mentioned before, we have ran a hospitality business, and feel for the owners of small outlets. It’s nice to support these guys as they try to rebuild their businesses.

A lovely evening, in a lovely restaurant, with great food and company. Thanks Andy and Stella x

July 24th – Solitude or loneliness?

Today’s picture is from the archives, but I thought of this image after doing a tough shift for SHOUT.

Some people may look at the picture and see a lonely dog, down on it’s luck in the middle of nowhere. Other’s may see a dog enjoying the peace and quiet, looking enviously at this serene creature, and some might just see a dog, or countryside. Some maybe inspired to visit this place (Pen-Y-Fan), and others would hate every second.

So the same image can be seen really depends what your state of mind is, and the emotions within us at the particular moment in time. We are all different, and we are constantly changing. There are no right or wrongs here.

July 23rd – Ancient monuments

Today’s picture is from a nice stroll around Avebury. The neolithic henge monument containing three stone circles, around the village of Avebury in Wiltshire, in southwest England. One of the best known prehistoric sites in Britain, it contains the largest megalithic stone circle in the world.

The Neolithic, the final division of the Stone Age, began about 12,000 years ago when the first developments of farming appeared in the Epipalaeolithic Near East, and later in other parts of the world.

There are loads of websites giving details about Avebury, but here is a link to one which is a little different…. enjoy x

July 22nd – Birthdays

11 years ago today, I gave my wife a piece of paper, upon which was written:

“Hello, my name is Echo, and for you birthday you can have one of my pups” followed by a picture of the lovely Echo.

She had a litter of 13 flatcoat pups, on July 22nd and after a couple of visits Denise chose one. She had owned a flatcoat many years before, and had already decided to name the pup Velvet, prior to choosing the pup, so imagine the surprise when we discovered that our pup’s pedigree name was already registered as ‘Willowswind Velvet Maple’. It was meant to be…..

The only downside is, there is no way in which I could possibly surpass this gift, but these days we value presence, over presents. Being around loved ones and creating happy memories together is worth more than any material gift.

So, my lovely wife, and our ‘special’ girl Velvet shared their birthday again today, in the sunshine with friends over for lunch. Time to sit and chill this evening and reflect on how lucky we are.

July 21st – First spin in 6 months

Before our European trip I took 4/5 spin classes a week, but obviously that stopped whilst traveling and then we got home all gyms were closed

As mentioned in previous posts, gyms have been hit hard financial, and so it’s great to see them being able to reopen and rebuild their businesses.

It did come as a bit of a shock to the system to jump back on the bike, but it felt good to be back. ( I’m not sure I will feel the same tomorrow 🤣).

Many thanks to Emily for a great session in blazing sunshine today.

July 20th – “I’ll help Mum”

So we picked most of the cherries on the tree this year because the dogs have been hoovering them up, despite our attempts to keep them out of the orchard area with fencing.

We aren’t being mean! A few weeks back, Callie (our flatcoated retriever) was quite poorly, and kept being sick. We looked at the contents deposited on the new lounge carpet, and managed to work out that she had eaten a load of cherries off of the tree. This is the first year she has shown any interest in them. Further research informed us that the cherry pit, leaves and stalks contain cyanide, and eaten in large quantities can be fatal.

Thankfully Callie recovered, but this is the reason for the picking, and subsequent jam making of the cherries. Please be warned about the dangers to dogs of cherries, and let friends / family know if they have cherry trees and dogs.

Today’s picture is of Alfie (our Large Munsterlander), taking a very keen interest in the whole jam making process…..

July 19th – Not another animal!!

The wife went out this morning and came back this afternoon with an elephant!….

OK – she went on a felting course, something she has wanted to do for a while, and her first creation was very impressive. I wonder if she could use that technique on my head so I can get some hair back 🙂

It is great to have hobbies, and even different hobbies so that we can be individuals as well as partners.

July 17th – Cake….

Mrs L has been doing the baking thing again. I wonder, does a slice of this carrot cake count as one of your 5 a day?

It baffles me how food has developed over the years. Who first thought of putting yeast in bread, or vegetables in cake?

I also wonder what we’ll be eating in 100 years? I don’t think this cake will last 100 minutes, let alone years – Nom Nom

July 16th – Neighbours

Today’s picture is of our friendly neighbour, ‘Power-tool Phil’. We were talking about old children’s TV programs whilst having our socially distanced coffee, and it would appear he is putting on his own version of sooty and sweep, either that or he hasn’t read the instructions on his new fishing rod …..

Joking aside, Phil is a great neighbour, always willing to help out, and very handy with DIY jobs. There is absolutely, no way I’d be clambering on a roof.