Crossroads

Good evening all, quick post from my iPod to see what everyone’s up to.

I’ve had a fairly eventful week but, with all good news I’ve received only brings more questions and confusion. “What do I do now?” “What should I do next year?” “The year after?!” I am definitely struggling with being 18, coming up 19. It’s such an awkward age, decisions have to be made but they aren’t as important as the decisions made by a 29 year old… Are they? Who knows. I certainly don’t.

Anyway I’ve managed to send off a form for my provisional license (so, driving lessons soon), secured a position of employment once my current apprenticeship is over and got my ear cartilage pierced. (Yeah, the last one is a bit rubbish but hey ho).

The constant thinking and worrying about the future is giving me a very dull headache. I just want to live for now! I’m aware I can’t really do this but it would be ever so nice!

Pfft, look at me blabbering on like this blog is centred around me. How dare I take the shine away from my happy little Staffie. Mr well trained and well mannered doesn’t spend too much time on the lead now when he’s on the hills. He jumps ahead slightly when he nears a particular vast, empty field where dad throws his ball for him for about 20 minutes or so.

For now, I am enjoying a family filled weekend, especially the Newcastle match tomorrow. I guess that going through the crossroads of life at 18 is normal and I guess it’ll be fine too.

Sorry for the short post everyone – hope you’re all happy and well, it’s the best way to be.

Goodbye for now!

Smartie’s Terrible Two’s

“Happy birthday Smartie!” I said as I scooped him up in my arms, Saturday morning at 6am. He appeared to be hugging me back with his tail wagging rapidly, he circled me then ran down the stairs to mam and dad in the kitchen. I smiled to myself and went to get ready for the day ahead. 

My mam, dad and I left for Cumbria Friday afternoon to a quaint three bed house in Maryport for Smartie’s birthday. The drive down was filled with good music, beautiful sunshine aaand Smartie sprawled across my legs… Snoring. 

When we got to Cumbria, I noticed parts of the outsides of the houses were painted a bright colour. Intrigued, I did some googling to no success – if anyone knows why then I am all ears!

We arrived at Maryport at about 5:30pm, had tea and watched a film with some pre Smartie birthday cuddles. We sat closely around the fire listening to the wind hurtle through the street, there is something ever so calming about being warm indoors, away from it all. Safe and secure. 
That night I slept soundly, and it’s a good thing I did! 7:30am the next morning we were on Maryport beach for the first of many walks! I have to say, the first walk was full of the most dramas (mainly because all the walks had no dramas!). We walked along the beach and back around again towards the house only, on the way back I notice a large dog trotting through the tall grass in the distance. He soon disappeared. I assumed it headed back to it’s human. Minutes later a woman walked by with a Husky and a Staffie cross shouting for Fly. I thought nothing of it. Several more minutes later the same woman was still shouting for Fly although this time her tone was distraught and anxious. I realised the dog I saw never returned back to it’s human and she is growing more and more concerned as time went on. 

We walked and stopped and walked… and stopped. Having a constant back and fourth in my mind about whether to follow the woman and offer help or search the sand dunes for Fly. More minutes passed and a gorgeous white greyhound appeared over the hill… Without a human in sight. I made the link immediately and ran towards the direction in which I last saw the distressed woman. The ground was harsh and uneven, nearly going over on my ankle time after time. I eventually reached the small gap in the rusty, barbed metal fence and forced my way through the trees to a roadside. No woman, Husky or Staffie cross in sight. I stood there for a moment, confused and upset – in front of me was a large industrial state. “Where on earth did she go? to get help? Doubtful…” I thought to myself. I sighed, turned back and made my way through the trees and metal fence again. I glanced to my left and saw the woman. “HEY! Fly is over here!”. Jogging back to the path I remembered I did absolutely nothing about Fly when I spotted him. Panicking, my pace slowed and heartbeat quickened. This woman thinks I am reuniting her with Fly when actually I am bringing her to absolute nothingness. I caught sign of my mam then looked further to left, up the path and saw a different woman had Fly by the collar. I put my hands to my knees and leant over to take a quick moment, “thank goodness” I breathed to myself. The woman glanced at me, I pointed in the Fly’s direction and watched her eyes light up.

She ran over to him, Husky and Staffie cross by her side. I smiled and jogged back over to Smartie, mam and dad. No thanks needed, I knew she appreciated it. We walked on towards the house, got in and packed everything up for the rest of the day. Locking the house up at about 9:30am and we were off to Keswick!

I was amazed at how dog friendly Keswick is, there were literally dogs EVERYWHERE. Walking out of pubs, cafe’s and shops with their humans. Amazing. I don’t know why I was so amazed, I see dogs siting outside of cafe’s all the time in Durham. Just not walking through the doors of them. I once saw a man in Waterstones with his Staffie. I was baffled but, happy that no one was causing a scene about him bring his dog inside or that it was a Staffie… 

Smartie rubbed noses with all the fellow canines walking passed him, occasionally acting up to play with the nearest greyhound or Staffie looking type (they appear to be his favourites). We stopped at a delightful cafe, Laura In the Lakes ( http://laurainthelakes.co.uk/ ). Smartie sat patiently as we had breakfast, occasionally peering over the table to see what was left. Some dog related ruckus kicked off slightly further up the market square and a little girl walked passed, pointing at Smartie saying “at least one dog is well behaved”. The comment was relevant and made us laugh, Smartie received several pats on the head from then on wards. 

So many people stopped to say hello to Smartie, give him a stroke or a biscuit. I love it when people do that. I am very aware of the Staffie stereotype and when people don’t adhere to it, it is a truly wonderful thing. I’m proud to own a Staffie and will take any opportunity to Champion the breed and educate others.

We headed to Ambleside to take Smartie for a well deserved long walk. Yeah, Ambleside is aesthetically pleasing but, it’s full of people who really appreciate what they’re looking at and walking on. It’s a beautiful town with so many hidden treasures – I hope to find them all one day. The rain threatened but, kept off – we soon found a large, open field. Which meant, Smartie could have 20 minutes fetching ball. He ran from one side of the field to the other, sometimes not even fetching the ball and just enjoying the run! The run wiped him out and to be honest, he was knackered for the rest of the day! 

We then shot off to Penrith for a final bite to eat at the Eden Coffee Lounge ( http://www.edencoffeelounge.co.uk/ ), again outside with Smartie, only with a bit more commotion from Smartie. He didn’t approve of the two small dogs that barked at him so he sent some noise their way – fair is fair, right?

We were homeward-bound after that. Smartie snoozed all the way back then continued to snooze at home on his bed. What a life, ey? I would say that is a Smartie thumbs up for his birthday weekend! 

I hope you enjoy the pictures! 

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Here we are again

Well, Sunday evening has once again again rolled around and of course, here I am, posting. I have had a fairly delightful weekend doing nothing in particular. I had already booked Friday 14th off from work to spend time with my other half on his birthday/Valentines day (yeah – I got stung having to buy two lots of presents!) Ha, kidding – I enjoy buying for others and the favour was returned as I opened the H. Samuel box he presented me with, greeted by a beautiful heart shaped silver necklace. I cried for a little bit due to the general loveliness of it and how it was so evident he had spent careful time picking it for me. We often walk pass jewelry shops, something catches my eye and I stop for a moment or two and I can feel Scott investigating what exactly I’m looking at and then mentally noting my tastes, likes and dislikes. 

Went home that afternoon, quickly packed a bag with the necessities and went to my grandmas and granddads. I have been staying there since I was very young – I think they wondered at what age I would stop going over and staying over (they probably estimated around 18). However, I still try to stay at least every other week. I cant stay as much as I used to due to me working now and I have a lot of responsibilities at home. But, I do my best for them, I love them dearly and very much enjoy spending my Friday nights watching films, baking, playing cards, whatever it is, it’s with them and I treasure that time. I even have my own bedroom there! Plus, I adore Old Man Max (the nearing 15yr old greyhound who was rescued by them approximately 9yrs ago). 

Saturday had it’s ups and downs but, thankfully it ended well with. Crap telly, then an hour or so with Assassins Creed finishing with a couple of DVDs. Lazy, I know. 

Now today was just wonderful. Pulled the curtains back this morning to glorious sunlight spilling into the room, partially blinding Scott (oops haha). Durham was on the agenda with mam to get a few last bits for a wedding next Saturday – I have never been overly organised, why start now? We wandered around the shops and around the town as everyone else did the same. I love seeing people taking their dogs to Durham! So many places cater for them as well which I think is quite marvelous. We grabbed a delicious dinner at La Tasca with the full three courses! 

Pretty much nearing the end of my post now, Smartie is well apart from a nasty blister under his armpit! Sudocrem seems to be healing it up nicely though. In two weeks time he will be two year old and celebrating in Cumbria. I keep asking “is Smartie going on holiday?!” and watching his little ears prick up and his tail to wag excitedly. His happy Staffie face always makes me smile!

Well, happy Sunday evening everybody! 

Shaking off the cobwebs!

I woke up this morning thankful of the wonderful day I had with my other half in Newcastle on Saturday/dreading the usual Sunday boring blues. At 10am-ish I said goodbye to Scott and jumped back in the car to head back home – sighing all the way, in my head. 

Home I arrived and dinner was prepped by dad and ready about an hour or so later. Potatoes, veg and peppercorn steak… Quorn of course. 

Dad and Smartie had set 2pm for the Sunday Waldridge walk time – “bugger it” I thought, I’m going too. So 1pm arrived, myself, dad and mam all wrapped up and ready so we set off a little way up the road to Waldridge. So lucky to be so close to such a fantastic walking area.

I did not prepare myself for how grueling, muddy and outright hard work it would be but, I had an unfathomable amount of fun. 2 hours and 20 minutes of really difficult walking due to the constant rain we’ve had… (England, what a surprise).

Smartie made up for all the pain and tiredness that I was feeling as I was able to watch something truly wonderful for the first time. Smartie… Off the lead… In a field… With a ball.

Fantastic fun! Watching him bound around from one side of the massive field to the other. It was amazing, I’ve never seen him so happy. He had zero interest in the other dogs in the distance or even the treats in my pocket! He just wanted to fetch his yellow ball back to us over and over again. 

It is a heartwarming scene when you watch a dog with their human just enjoying life in the ‘great outdoors’ so to speak. Even more heartwarming when it is my dog and I am his human – well, one of them anyway! I had a very ‘then… and now’ moment watching him dash from one end to the other. Coming from a very insecure, lonely and very much abusive upbringing – to this. A family who searched long and hard for months and months to find him. How happy we are that we did, finally. I found myself silently thanking everything that drew us to Smartie and everyone along the way who made the adoption successful. Ah, so very proud to see how far he has come with his recall especially and along with everything else. 

So, the puppy is absolutely shattered, snoozing away on his bed and I am feeling happy, instead of grumpy and lazy after a nothingness Sunday as it so easily could have been. 

We saw a deer also in the depths of the woods, such a quietly perfect site. I’ll never forget how it sprang away into the trees. 

Happy Sunday everyone and enjoy the photos!
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So many things, so very little time.

Good evening all! Sorry it’s been a little while since I have last said hello, I hand wrote a few gloomy paragraphs on Saturday morning that I was meant to post but, by the end of the day I felt quite alright again! I’m sure that I will feel like that again someday so for now, it can stay on the pages of the ‘idea’ book.

My life seems to be full of busy at the moment, it was my baby cousins’ birthday party yesterday – you know the usual party food and lovely family faces AND a bouncy castle (I resisted a bounce on it as I felt it was fairly unacceptable now that I’m 18 going on 19 in July… and the carnage of all the children that would have been flying everywhere!). So yeah, pretty cool, chilled day was yesterday. I returned home to nothing other than my perfect little pup and my newly acquired PS4… *is feeling ultra skint now*. I keep justifying my purchase by saying to myself “what’s the point of working so hard if you can’t by nice things?” and “it looks so cool and lovely in my room… It’ll look even more lovely when I get my cabinet in my room to store all of the books, games and DVDs that are overflowing everywhere”. 

I’ve also had a bunch of things arrive from Amazon this week and that makes me stupidly happy (probably because they were books and my boyfriends birthday presents) yes, it’s his birthday soon also – February 14th. I have booked that day off work to spend time with him on Valentines/Birthday day. 

Oh, it’s someone elses birthday soon-ish also! He is very close to my heart also. Can you guess who it is?
That’s right, it’s SmartZilla’s birthday next month. Although it is his second birthday, it is his first in a real home. That speaks volumes to me and hopefully to him too. We intend to celebrate by taking him to Cumbria for a long weekend in a lovely terraced house we stay in over there. Yep, it’ll be a day full of long walks along the beach, meeting new people, food and an awful lot of “HAPPY BIRTHDAY PUPPY” *takes five million selfies with dog*. Best. Birthday. Ever. 

So I have a busy few months ahead – here’s a few pictures of the busy days that are behind me for another year. 

 

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 A
mazon purchases – very happy with these. 

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My brother got a new bed… Smartie was just testing it for the comfy scale. 

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York, York and more York.

Many and most of us in the UK have been to York – it’s beautifully enriched with so much life. Old and new. The cobbled roads and stone walls have watched so much pass by over the years – I wish I could be inside of the walls and the roads to watch it all.

A Hen Night was the purpose of visit this time – I am a bridesmaid for the bride to be and we truly celebrated in one of my favourite cities. I don’t need to go into detail of the celebrations (and the consequences) over everything, I enjoyed time with family members I see an awful lot less than often. I hope they enjoyed taking the second youngest in the family out for the very first time as much as I enjoyed it!

We partied away – singing and dancing door to door and discovering revolving dance floors with stumbling legs. It was great.

The life in York is magical – it doesn’t matter who you are, what age or who you are with, you are guaranteed a wonderful time. I urge all of you to indulge in a trip there if you haven’t been, if you have, why haven’t you returned yet? Get those train tickets guys!

I arrived home this morning, bags and high heeled boots in hand – greeted by Smartie with hugs, kisses and toys. I missed you too little man. I thought a lot about what to blog about, what you would enjoy and what you wouldn’t. Then it hit me – I have had a fantastic weekend and if you all hear about it, you can create your own York memories. (I have so many, I’ll tell you them all sometime).

I hope you all had a great weekend and spent your time with the best and most important – I’d love to hear your city stories!

Watch your dog! Or at least let other people…

Naturally, everyone worries about their safety when they are out and about on foot at night but, do you naturally worry about four legged furry pal too?

These awfully dark evenings are dragging on and countless times I have been travelling in a car at night to wherever place for whatever reason and jumped out of my skin when I suddenly notice a tall and smaller figure creeping out of the darkness. Frightening stuff. Perhaps I dwell on it too much but, I can’t help thinking that a dog owner taking their buddy out for a walk with no visual aids for others or general flashy things to attract attention is a recipe for disaster. 

Sorry to be so ‘safety first’ but, if people are aware of you walking and that you have a protective dog with you then they are so much more likely to leave you the hell alone. You don’t have to be as over-cautious as me – making sure Smartie is the furthest away from the road and I am the closest so that if a car loses control towards us Smartie will have more time to get out the way. (Strange? Yes? No?). We have even considered buying him a Hi Vis jacket! Yes, these exist and they are wonderful. 

Truly it can be the simplest thing just to make you and your dog visible to anything and everything around you. Flashing collar tags can be bought for next to nothing! The element of surprise is not always the way forward.