Out and about with dogs

This past week, I was lucky, every day I went training the sun decided to warm us.

Here are a few pictures of Ellie and Judy, showing off. Ellie decided to let me climb the tree and retrieve the object,

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While Judy collected it, then went for a swim, just in case I hid anything in the river bed.

Storm Doris

img_0379 As is our custom, we ignored  all warnings about the storm approaching. Luckily we did have a stock of candles, a wood burning stove and a scrabble board. However, this morning our wander about the village and into the wood was not as it should be. You can see from these pictures that Doris did have some fun.img_0380 img_0388 img_0390 img_0393 img_0395 img_0399 img_0402 img_0405

 

Our Boss Bob started off on his ramble with us but after struggling across the first pile of branches he turned for home. He kept an eye on the fire while we went walk about to find some photographs. You can spot a certain collie wandering in and out of shot as she had fun checking out these new obstacles.

Maria’s Stuff: Life is stranger than Fiction Part two

This story might be familiar to some of you already.

 

Amadeo's house

Niall’s legs felt like lead as he walked the short distance to collect his car which he had left parked at the house his sister was minding. Two days of work with only travel time between jobs left him feeling as grey as the sky overhead.

Lost in this hazy greyness he failed to notice the tiny woman until she spoke to him. “Good afternoon.” Her soft voice had an authoritative air to it which made him stop before her.

He noted her pastel pink coat, soft nude coloured shoes and pink hat thinking, she is dressed like the Queen of England. Niall noted the package she carried was square, wrapped in a crimson glossy paper and sitting on top of it a perfectly formed golden bow. He looked around him and couldn’t see how she had arrived at this old house on the top of the hill. He wondered if she was an angel.

“I’ve been invited to tea.” Her crisp words brought a smile to his face.

Niall opened the gate and she, to his surprise, walked through. He followed and they walked towards his car.

“You must work here. Are you the gardener?” She stared at him closely. “I have come to have tea with Lady Louise.”

He wondered in what parallel universe did gardeners wear nifty suits and white shirts. But she reminded him of his grandmother, whom he missed, so he made no caustic comment.

“No, I don’t work here. I left my car with my sister who is minding the house while the owner is away and I have come to collect it. I don’t think there is anyone here.” He waited for her to digest this information.

“So I am at the wrong house. I should try the other big house on the far side.” She said with a nod which sent a ripple waving across her silver hair.

He opened the passenger door intending to leave his jacket on the seat when, to his astonishment she neatly slipped into the seat.

Her blue eyes flashed at him as she said, “That is good you have your car. It won’t take a minute.”

Niall smiled while inside he groaned. He had thirty minutes to get to Dublin for his last appointment, then it would be home for food and sleep. He opened his mouth then thought better of speaking. He shut the door carefully and got into the driver’s seat.

The house in question was a mere four hundred yards away. He drove slower than normal and arrived before the large electronic entrance gate.

“It’s shut.” His passenger said. “I’ll wait.”

Lucky for all concerned the gate opened and he drove through, straight to the front door.

Then without thinking he got out, raced around to the passenger door, opened it and when she alighted Niall gave a slight nod.

With a nod in his direction she sailed sweetly past him carrying her gift.

Niall didn’t linger. Tiredness evaporated as he got back into his seat, gunned the engine and got out of there before he was snared again. “I am not up to dealing with a double dose of silver-haired trouble today.” He said with a sigh of relief as he noted his passenger had gone inside.

****************************

I was reminded of this tale last week.

It was late, I was late.  And worse the automatic gate was playing up. The reason why became apparent when I stopped outside the gate and rolled down the passenger window. A ladies voice wafted in to me “Ah good I thought I was late.”

I frowned wondering if I, yet again, had got my wires crossed. I didn’t remember volunteering to drive an elderly lady anywhere.

So I leant across the seat and peered out the window. No, I didn’t volunteer to drive a stranger anywhere, especially to a committee meeting,  which I guessed was her destination judging from the clipboard and file she carried.

She was talking at a rapid pace. I remembered NIall’s encounter and wondered should I shut my window, lock my doors but her next words caught my attention, “It is kind of you Maureen to offer me a lift.”

“I am sorry I am Maria,  not Maureen. Are you sure you have the right house?”

She looked at me blankly then grimaced. “You are not Maureen”

I overlooked the disdainful look she shot my way. I smiled and agreed.

She didn’t look happy at all. “Where is Maureen?”

“One house over,” I said , thankfully at this point the gates clanged shut and I put my foot to the accelerator and left her to toddle into the house next door.

Like mother like son, I decided.

 

 

Thank you for the Reviews

I am really chuffed when I get a good review for my children’s book but the ones that surprise and delight me most are those that are given by seven and nine year olds, and lately twelve year old blogger Olivia along with her brother Oscar (nine) added their review to the list. Thank you to Sean  and Amy and Luke who also reviewed the book for me. Their reviews can be found on Amazon

Bob, of course doesn’t listen or look for reviews, simply attention or hugs. This morning to my surprise he was listening to bird song.

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Why is he still sitting?

Was today Monday?

Bob was missing at walk time early this morning. So we started searching his usual hideouts. However when, the kitchen, the hall and his favourite blanket beside the doors to the garden revealed nothing, we widened the search.

At last I found him, but his  look had me wondering was today Monday or Tuesday.

What do you make or think of his expressionpro-campro-cam

Nature and Dogs

2017 is, so far, extremely mild though not particularly sunny. However, as the other two dogs in my life love walking, Bob is often enticed or dragged out for a walk.

I have noticed one definite thing about Judy, the black labrador, if there is water around she will find it.

I took her to Skryne today to walk across the fields. We started off well,

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Then with head high and tail working like a helicopter blade she was off – water. Everyone could rest safe there was nothing else on the river.

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The Runaway Schoolhouse

I sent St. Michaels school a copy of my book, hoping someone would read and review it. This is what Arfah thought about the book.

St Michael's School Library

Today Arfah in Year 4 has written a review of Maria Matthews’ book The Runaway Schoolhouse for us!

https://images-eu.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61lfJZTvVfL.jpgWhat is the book about?

A schoolhouse called Clearie is one hundred years old and fed up. So many times he has helped children get educated but his reward has been nothing but fuss. How much he hates the school! He dreams to go to France instead but doesn’t know how because he’s a house.

Did you like the book?

Yes, I enjoyed the book because it was really adventurous. It was also funny too when Clearie tried to move and fell apart and bits of crab came out of him!

How many stars?

5 out of 5!

Thank you, Arfah, and I am glad you liked the book!

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