New beginnings and not being lost

Is it a tradition that Boxing Day and New Year’s Day should include walks? I guess it’s to walk off the excess of the festivities! I managed not to get lost today, after having managing to get lost on an epic, two-hour, scale yesterday. That’s always an achievement.

The Beast, the Ewok and Madame Cholet, wombling about

I took the dogs down to the forest again – a different part this time. It definitely seems that the bit north of the main road is a lot less accessible and that the devil has a lot of business with the signposts, and the south-side is a whole lot more organised and Godly. We parked up by the Maison Foresti√®re at Le Gros Fayant and just did an hour trail. However, after yesterday, this felt like a simple stroll and not worthwhile. I suspect my Achilles tendon won’t have that ripping feeling tonight, and if your Achilles doesn’t feel like it’s fabric that’s been stretched to within an inch of its resistance, it’s not really a walk, to me.

Moments later, they decide to 'off-road'

It was bitingly cold by the time I got there – bit of Vent du Nord going on, and the sky was that grey crime writers always call ‘gunmetal’ and I love. The forest is mostly deciduous and so I spent most of my time marvelling at how green some stuff is. It was quite a bit above freezing, but it was still cardigan, hat and scarf weather. Speaking of scarves, I have had a hair-brained idea (why do they call it hair-brained? Or is it hare-brained? I need to know this!) to take up knitting. I haven’t knitted since primary school, but I spent much of last night looking at knitting videos on Youtube and believe I can do it. Plus, I’m from a family of knitters. I sense hand-knitting will return in a big way. Anyway, I digress, and I’m back on my ‘yule’ theme…

New Year Gloom

I can kind of see why we have ‘The Holly and the Ivy’ as a pseudo-Christmas carol – though let’s face it, we all know Holly and Ivy had nothing to do with Jebus or his birth. Still there was lots of fabulous shiny holly dotted about in between trees, lots of ivy and then occasional bunches of mistletoe here and there. Very yuleish. If I wanted to bring something green in to remind me spring was on its way, I’d go for a Christmas tree and some holly, some ivy and some mistletoe. There was only the bright green swathes of broom alongside that, and let’s face it, that’s not photogenic at all. Nobody is going to make up a carol about broom.

Holly - nothing whatsoever to do with Jebus

Still, had a good (if short-feeling) walk with the dogs, spent much of the walk getting giddy with Moll about sticks. The other two are not bothered at all about sticks. Saffy goes crazy for a ball, but Tilly just ambles along looking like an Ewok and being cute when she gets batted over by Moll. It’s almost regular, now. Madame ‘Cuisses de Tonnerre’ – Molly Dog – will turn around, find Silly just behind her, jump over her – or attempt to – not quite clear her and knock her flying on to her back. Silly Tilly always looks at me as if to say ‘Make this indignity stop!’ but after she chased my cat today, we’re not best of friends.

Molly de-molly-ishing a stick and Saffy, looking on, bemused

Moll, it must be said, takes no prisoners when she’s giddy. She quite often – pardon my French, but it’s the only word that works – twats me on the back of the calves with a ficken great stick. She did it again today. Sticks are part-toy, part-weapon to the Moll. They’re all weapon to me. Now all three girls are asleep and cute and clean – Moll and Saff snoring, and Tilly cute as it’s possible for a blonde dog to be.


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