Tag Archives: Autumn

A Perfectly Vintage Weekend

Rocking Dog Loves A Bit Of Domestic Science!, Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Loves A Bit Of Domestic Science!

After a very difficult week it was lovely to have the most perfect weekend. On Saturday morning there was the sudden and delicious realisation that a Vintage & Handmade jumble sale was happening at Rangeworthy Village Hall. I have a feeling that there are plenty of women like me who attend these events. We certainly don’t need any more textiles, bobbles, ribbons or braids… but we simply cannot resist! My haul this time included some tapestries which had never quite made it to a frame or cushion pad. I have a feeling they will be heading for cushions of the “make it up as you go along” variety. On another stall I picked up a pretty embroidered cloth for £1 which is destined for another Rocking Dog quilt. More contemporary was a stash of small remnants including fabrics by Celia Birtwell. Small whimsical cushions, patchwork squares, appliqué they will await their fate on Material Mountain. My favourite buy of the day was some jolly 70’s Sanderson nursery print. I quite fancy making a pair of dungarees for baby Doug’ (hope not too “Sound of Music”!) and there’ll be plenty for some fab’ Christmas stockings.

After a lovely vintage trawl, and alas no time for delicious WI cake I headed back to the kennel. I then went with lovely vintage friend (we have known each other for over 20 years) to Tetbury. Domestic Science was our first port of call for a sandwich and then a gander over four floors of vintage, domestic, wearable, smellable loveliness. My friend MADE me buy a lovely electric blue linen dress…she’s very persuasive! The honey coloured town was buzzing with people and a throng of noisy vintage convertibles. There are wonderful things to buy in the town but you need deep pockets, especially in one of the many antique shops. A cup of tea, and then it was time to head home. On the way back we passed Westonbirt Arboretum the colour of the Acers were truly spectacular. Autumn has arrived despite the welcome warm daytime temperatures.

Sunday we ate lunch with more gorgeous vintage friends (25 years). I was so pleased with my Yorkshire pud’s. Why is it that when I weigh everything out they are a disaster and if I simply chuck everything in without much thought they are belters!

Vintage fabrics were laundered, dried in the sun and folded. Tomorrow I will sew. It is a lovely prospect and my way of being kind to myself.

Have a wonderful week and I hope the autumnal (or not) colours are glorious in your part of the world.

Love vintage loving Rocking Dog x

Vintage Tapestry,Rocking Dog

Vintage Tapestry

Vintage Nursery Print,Rocking Dog

Vintage Nursery Print

£1 Vintage Stitches,Rocking Dog

£1 Vintage Stitches

I Love Celia!,Rocking Dog

I Love Celia!

Make Space!,Rocking Dog

Make Space!

Awaiting A Sewing Day,Rocking Dog

Awaiting A Sewing Day

It’s Time For The September Huddle

Rocking Dog Vintage Haberdashery,Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Vintage Haberdashery

The nights are drawing in, there is a nip in the air and it is definitely beginning to feel more autumnal. Time then to come together for the September Rocking Dog creative huddle. A warm welcome awaits any battle scarred huddlers or indeed any brave newbies. No, really you need not be afraid, we are all relatively normal and there is always cake to gobble! It all happens on Wednesday 7-9pm and as ever donations into the teapot for Fine Cell Work, encouraging and supporting prison inmates to sew and embroider.

I am so hoping that Keep Calm & Carry On Karen comes. I’m so desperate to hear the latest on her house renovation (or should that be demolition). Hopefully Atilla the Hun (garian), yes really, will have got the roof on. We all want to know how Karen keeps SO calm! Peppermint tea, a bucket load of Rescue Remedy, a secret flotation tank, SAS survival training perhaps? Maybe this huddle she’ll let us into her secret! I would have definitely benefitted from a dose of Karens calmness over the last few days. I have been so angry ….but that’s another story and not helped by a trip to Asda at Cribbs’. Having a supermarket that size is the devils work ….breathe,breathe,breathe! I solemnly promise never ever to set foot in there ever again. I made that promise years ago about Toys R Us, that too gave me the Asda anger effect!

I promise to not be angry on Wednesday, I will be my usual glittering charming hosting self (with a bit of grumpiness thrown in for good measure). Do please come we really are normal, promise! We even manage to do a little bit of sewing or crocheting in between laughing and eating cake.

Cosy Kennel!,Rocking Dog

Cosy Kennel!

Vintage Frou,Rocking Dog

Vintage Frou

Fantastical Bird Snips,Rocking Dog

Fantastical Bird Snips

After The Rain, It’s A New Dawn, It’s A New Day

It's A New Dawn, It's A New Day,Rocking Dog

It’s A New Dawn, It’s A New Day

It rained heavily here on Monday. It was really wet rain, large long wet drops that saturated everything. With Real Live Rocking Dog and a guest dog, Darling Dougie (a Labrador/Scottie Dog cross) to walk, the weather had to be simply …well..weathered!

How lovely therefore to awake yesterday to a beautiful morning. The warmth and the moisture meant that there were fairy rings of various species of fungi in the field. There was even a circlet of red mushrooms, the stuff of illustrated children’s books. Alas, the mushrooms had been blemished and disfigured by hungry creatures unknown. The field is now devoid of colour save some clover and a sprinkling of moon daisies. Hedgerows of blackberries, haws, elderberries and sloes continue to flourish and ripen. Fat wood pigeons feed and somewhat noisily and ungracefully take to the skies after their fill of natures harvest.

Down by the Frome it was quiet. There were the first characteristic smells of the impending autumn. Leaves, beech masts, conkers and wet mud all formed part of the intricate riverside carpet. This carpet was positively autumnal, but the woodland canopy punctured by blue sky was still decidedly summery.

After dog walking an adored friend and I went to Kilver Court. It was lovely to talk, drink coffee, browse and simply enjoy each others company. As we walked to the car there was the most amazing patch of wild flowers. It was such a lovely splash of colour and so much more magical than uniformly planted beds filled with low maintenance shrubs.

Natures Carpet,Rocking Dog

Natures Carpet

Mushroom Harvest,Rocking Dog

Mushroom Harvest

Woodland Canopy,Rocking Dog

Woodland Canopy

Infant Pine Cones,Rocking Dog

Infant Pine Cones

Rosy Red Apples,Rocking Dog

Rosy Red Apples

Late Summer Colour,Rocking Dog

Late Summer Colour

Come On A Walk With Real Live Rocking Dog

Come, Walk With Me, Rocking Dog

Come, Walk With Me

Real Live Rocking Dog loves a good early morning ramble. Yesterday it was still, positively silent, and there was a characteristic autumnal nip in the air. Mist clung to everything. Cobwebs sported pearl like dewy droplets and ferns dripped their moisture like exotic Amazonian rain forest flora.

The fox had been busy overnight. There were four tell tale feathery piles along the trail. Later I spotted the wily white tipped tailed gentleman during my afternoon walk. He sat staring at me nonchently for a while before heading off into the undergrowth. Real Live Rocking Dog was oblivious to his presence.

There is foraging to be done, rose-hips for syrup perhaps, blackberries for pies and crab apples for jelly. Mushrooms have literally burgeoned overnight and get you questioning “are they fit for eating or not?”

With the cold chill, rust coloured leaves are leaving the security of their branches. They will form a cushioned pathway and in time form humus. Absorbed into the earth the hedgerows will brim with renewed growth and vigour heralding the spring.

After his walk Real Live Rocking Dog loves nothing more than to sit on an upstairs window seat watching the world go by. Even better the experience for him if the radiator is on and someone comes to wrap a blanket around him. A spoilt precious pet indeed!

Skeletal Flora, Rocking Dog

Skeletal Flora

Make Syrup?, Rocking Dog

Make Syrup?

Dewy Web, Rocking Dog

Dewy Web

To Eat Or Not?, Rocking Dog

To Eat Or Not?

Fox Filling!, Rocking Dog

Fox Filling!

Billy Goats Gruff, Rocking Dog

Billy Goats Gruff

Autumn Mist, Rocking Dog

Autumn Mist

Sour Harvest, Rocking Dog

Sour Harvest

Bountiful Berries, Rocking Dog

Bountiful Berries

A Lost Rocking Dog Fortnight In Pictures.

The Rabbit, Rocking Dog & The Wardrobe, Rocking Dog

The Rabbit, Rocking Dog & The Wardrobe

Where have you been Rocking Dog? Chasing my tail, yes chasing my tail! Broken sleep has meant writing my blog has been difficult to contemplate. That doesn’t mean to say I haven’t been busy, I have managed to find some creative fuel! So this post is dedicated to the lost Rocking Dog fortnight.

Last week I took my 86 year old neighbour clothes shopping in Bath. I hope I have as much style and verve for life as Molly if I’m still around at 80 plus! In between octogenarian Gok styling, I managed to nip into “Anthropologie”. I left Molly downstairs with a VERY patient and friendly member of staff whilst I legged it upstairs for knobs. Sale knobs were quickly chosen, Bloomsbury inspired ones for my Bloomsbury inspired painted doors and whimsical porcelain rabbits for a wardrobe (more on that later!) We ended our trip in Waterstone’s. Molly was so happy…with her bags of clothes and books. Good job!

Another morning was spent with another friend in Tetbury. We made a beeline for “Domestic Science” where we drank coffee and ate cake before perusing four or five floors of vintage loveliness. If I ever win money Andyman can head to the car showroom (isn’t that what every man would do? excuse the stereotype) and I would head to Tetbury for antiques. I spied a particularly lovely set of Swedish chairs, but didn’t even bother to glance at the price tag!

Other vintage moments included chancing upon “Rag and Bone” in Bristol. This just could very well be my new favourite shop. I bought a lovely set of bobbly brass curtain rings for £10, whether they’ll be used for curtains or incorporated into Christmas decorations remains to be seen. After “Rag and Bone” Liv and I headed to River station for eats. The previous evening we had eaten the first mince pie of the season, a little Harrod’s number. Sorry and excuse my boastfulness I still think Rocking Dog’s mince pies win hands down! No Michael, no, it really isn’t time yet.

Talking of pies I made chicken pies in traditional enamel dishes for a night with friends. A retro 70’s dessert followed, Chestnut Turinois. The wood burner was stoked and we celebrated the start of autumn and enjoyed the joys of friendship and the circle of life.

The daily walks with Real Live Rocking Dog have been wonderful with blue skies and a plethora of wildlife. Deer, the heron, kingfishers, moorhens and ducks intermingle with the joy of observing leaves turning to rust and copper hues. Just as Real Live Rocking Dog begins to enjoy his warm woolly coat he is destined for the dog groomers later this morning. He’ll need a sleeker cooler coat ready for his road trip to Italy later this week.

Poor Andyman is getting rather perturbed by the amount of stuff destined for Umbria. I seem to think his car is like a Tardis. Of course unlike Dr Who’s iconic Tardis, our car is not deceptively spacious! Included in the haul are oak shelves and paint, together with the rabbit handles to make a wardrobe into a larder cupboard. Is this genius or madness, only time will tell!

This week I am expecting 300 jars to arrive. At some point these will need to be filled with delicious things. Is it too ambitious to pickle and preserve this week, somehow I think so. Perhaps I can bring back prized Capri lemons to marmalade, preserve and pickle. I am enjoying the brilliant book “The Land Where The Lemons Grow” by Helena Attlee. I always thought a lemon was simply a lemon…..but it is simply not.

In December I am momentarily coming out of Heaven’s Cake retirement and am rustling up a vintage wedding for a lovely couple. Stupendous cakes, vintage china, steaming mugs of cranberry zinger and of course the obligatory pots of tea. It will be perfectly lovely, especially if there is a dusting of snow.

One of the loveliest tasks over the last week or two has been to work on a quilt with my brave friend. She gallantly cross stitched and embroidered panels to insert into a play mat. It now resides across the pond with her new scrummy little grandson. So much strength, so much love, so much care to behold. x

So there it is a potted history of the last two weeks- well the nicer bits. A John Lewis member of staff and I fleetingly talked about tasks such as laundry, cleaning, shopping etc.. being so damned time consuming and yet so annoyingly unconstructive. It always feels feeble describing how you have spent a few hours just doing domestic dross! However I am not complaining, hallelujah for automatic washing machines, dish washers and cordless vacuum cleaners, yes absolutely blooming hallelujah!

Have a great week and hope there is not too much domestic dross to deal with in your household.

Bloomsbury Knobs, Rocking Dog

Bloomsbury Knobs

Bloomsbury Door, Rocking Dog

Bloomsbury Door

New Haunt, Rocking Dog

New Haunt

Bobbly Brass, Rocking Dog

Bobbly Brass

Lovely Lunch, Rocking Dog

Lovely Lunch

Mince Pie Tasting!,Rocking Dog

Mince Pie Tasting!

Prefer Mine!, Rocking Dog

Prefer Mine!

Chicken Pie, Rocking Dog

Chicken Pie

Autumnal Daily Walk, Rocking Dog

Autumnal Daily Walk

Creative Hub, Rocking Dog

Creative Hub

Domestic Science, Rocking Dog

Domestic Science

Jars To Fill, Rocking Dog

Jars To Fill

Wedding Food, Rocking Dog

Wedding Food

Stoking The Fire, Rocking Dog

Stoking The Fire

Sewing Something Special, Rocking Dog

Sewing Something Special

Waiting For A Light Bulb Moment!

A Light Bulb Moment, Rocking Dog

A Light Bulb Moment

Oh dear! I have been off the radar for a while! Busy but quiet, do busy and quiet actually correlate? Unfortunately I haven’t been able to give brain space to blog space. I am waiting for a light bulb moment, and think there just could be an ambient flicker!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend and enjoy the beautiful autumn sunshine. Love Rocking Dog.

PS. I made a set of six cushion covers literally in my sleep. I think that possibly rivals the two tier wedding cake which I baked and iced with absolutely no recollection! Insomnia it’s a strange old beast!

Summer Makes Way For Autumn

Looks Like Cocoa Sprinkled Meringue, Rocking Dog

Looks Like Cocoa Sprinkled Meringue

Summer seems to be making way for autumn. With the mix of rain and warmth there is a plethora of fungi in the hood. I would dearly love to do some foraging with old Bear Grylls, wouldn’t we all! Knowing what mushrooms are safe to eat, and ones that shouldn’t under any circumstances  be tossed in a pan would be supremely useful. I did make a tart last week which incorporated fresh shop bought mushrooms, porcini and smoked bacon. A tart doesn’t need to be sloppily eggy!

Mushrooms abound in the field, on fallen trees and on leaf covered tracks. Yesterday morning I took Real Live Rocking Dog on our favourite daily trek and got quite a fright. I spied what I thought was a small skull perched on a dry stone wall. On closer inspection and after a poke of confirmation with my “Wicked” brolly, it turned out to be a very ugly fungi. Phew!

A little later along the walk I narrowly missed a squirrel jumping into my hair. I really must book a hair appointment! Nearing home a pair of deer on hearing my footsteps sprung across the path and in the brook a heron patiently waited for a passing fish. Most walks really aren’t this eventful.

At home we are fortunate to have a Horse Chestnut tree in the garden. I love the tree, the sticky buds, the candle like blossoms and now the conker harvest. Unfortunately the squirrels love the conker harvest too and there are sparse pickings for the lovely little boy next door. Sorry Noah.

This is the time of year I like to create a nature table. It reminds me of the one we used to have year round at school. Beech masts, Old Man’s Beard, rose hips, conkers, sweet chestnuts, haws, acorns and oak apples would invariably put in an appearance as autumn beckoned.

In Zara one or two garments sport embroidered harvests. I loved the appliqué but sadly not the style of the clothes. Boo hoo!

I smelt our neighbours’ wood smoke last night and I couldn’t resist lighting the wood burning stove, the first of the season. Real Live Rocking Dog was adoring the cosiness. He purred contentedly like a cat!

Happy Autumn!

Ugly Fungi!, Rocking Dog

Ugly Fungi!

Fantastical Fungi, Rocking Dog

Fantastical Fungi

Fungi In A Tart, Rocking Dog

Fungi In A Tart

Sweet Chestnut Bounty, Rocking Dog

Sweet Chestnut Bounty

Favourite Daily Trek, Rocking Dog

Favourite Daily Trek

Seed Heads, Rocking Dog

Seed Heads

Autumn's Harvest, Rocking Dog

Autumn’s Harvest

Zara's Harvest, Rocking Dog

Zara’s Harvest

Log Pile At The Kennel, Rocking Dog

Log Pile At The Kennel

Another Peek In Rocking Dog’s Wardrobe

Hello Summer!, Rocking Dog

Hello Summer!

With post wedding exhaustion in full throttle, last week I settled on carrying out simple tasks that did not require a huge amount of brain boggling thought or physical capability. One job involved bringing summer into my wardrobe. I thought you’d perhaps like another peek in Rocking Dog’s wardrobe. February 2015 was the last time I opened the doors, and unfortunately not a tremendous amount has changed!

I still have a predominantly black winter “uniform”, with a switch to white for the summer. Somewhat scruffy dog walking garb however tends to dominate my everyday clothing decisions. Needless to say brightly coloured sale price “Hunter” wellies are the all year round very practical footwear choice!

Sadly, there have been no major buying splurges to report. Last weeks sort involved moving black wool, velvet and other wintry fabrics into hibernation. How I enjoy having a spare wardrobe or two now that Andyman and I are empty nesters! With all the cuddly warm wooliness huddled into its new home I could transfer the somewhat lighter brighter garments into my wardrobe. With our recent trip to Cuba the linens had enjoyed a very brief tropical encounter, but it was now time to make the brave decision that the English summer had indeed arrived!

The cream wool Toast tunic which i’d just bought in February ’15 I am sorry to say remains unworn. The winter has simply been too mild and i’m too warm blooded! Hopefully winter 2016 will bring snow and frosts. Indeed my plethora of market bought Italian wool coats haven’t been given much of an outing either! Inpenetrable suit carriers will swathe the wools and silk velvets from the destructive chomping jaws of a fleet of moths. I will add Rocking Dog crooked hearts for further protection and hopefully my clothes will escape unscathed when Autumn and the need for warm garments returns.

Summer wardrobe installed, I surveyed my colourful closet. Linen has an awful reputation for being high maintenance and to crease easily. However, I love the feel of cotton and freshly pressed linen against my skin. Textiles which include synthetic threads can make me hot and bad tempered, flushed and murderous! I can’t ever imagine a time when I won’t want to wear linen. If and when the time comes that i’m simply too gnarled and infirm to use an iron i’ll just have to employ a butler! Many of my linen pieces have been coming out for the past six or seven years or so. East, M & S, Zara, Laura Ashley and John Lewis are worth a look, especially when they have their summer sales.

Regarding buying clothes, I still don’t like paying full price for anything. I still use my hard and fast rule that if I see a bargain I will ask myself “If money allowed, would I pay full price for the item?”. If the answer is a decisive yes i’d hurtle to the cash desk, and if no, i’d leave the bargain hanging there. I’m still not an internet shopper, I like the experience of just seeing what’s out there, to feel fabrics and look at trends. A fashionista I am absolutely not, but I adore people watching and looking to see what shoppers are trying on and buying.

Now, a quick rundown of some of the images I have included in this post. We’ve dealt with the winter wools, the velvets and the unworn jumper.

The wedding coat.. my latest item in the wardrobe, and the infamous garment I made very tentatively from Christian Lacroix curtain fabric (Ebay remnant). This was the first dress making i’d done since the 1980’s and not a shoulder pad in sight! I really enjoyed the process and could there be another coat in the offing?! The Vintage Coat has a degree of man made fabric in it’s composition, and so it does tend to make me hot and ratty on occasions! However, I like the shape and colour and it’s become a really useful wardrobe staple. I bought this coat in a favourite charity shop a few years ago for a tenner. The last coat of the trio is one my sister made for me about 35 years ago. Made from heavy linen union I have always loved it. Being floral I confidently wore it to Chelsea Flower Show last year. Thanks sis”!

Ah yes.. the itchy jacket. I love this jacket, but it is itchy. I need to have neck and wrists “lined” to wear this one. I’m sure we all have an item or two in the wardrobe that we have to brace ourselves for, be it a nose tickling angora cardi’ or skirt that mysteriously rises up for some reason!

The latest Liberty buy. Whilst on my recent foray to Liberty I spotted these lovely wide legged lounge pants. Calf length and with pockets, they are far too nice to just lounge around in, I think they’ll be part of my cooling hot weather wardrobe! Uniqlo have collaborated with Liberty for this range and at £12.90 these pants are bargainous! I never discount leisure/sleep wear as something I can wear out.

Full Price Garb’. Very occasionally I do pay full price for something and this outfit was indeed one of those times. Made from Lithuanian silk this top and pantaloon trouser get up was bought in Edinburgh for a wedding & other social event five years ago. Made by Grizas I have loved wearing this. One of the best features is that it requires absolutely no ironing!

Parisian Flea. I bought this skirt a few years ago in the Montmartre district of Paris, in a secondhand clothes shop. I paid about 10 euro for it and I still love it. The draped tulip shape reminds me of the designs of Paul Poiret and harks back to enjoyable nights watching The House of Elliot! A simple black light weight jumper and quirky shoes, I can still see me wearing it in ten years time.

Poppy Love. I haven’t worn this skirt a great deal, a full length organza skirt isn’t something you can wear everyday. I bought it in Jigsaw for a commemorative event around the same time as Remembrance Sunday. I adore it, despite it being quite brown. Brown is a colour I do not enjoy wearing. Maybe it relates to the fact that I had to wear brown when I had a Saturday job at Debenham’s, and further back my mum quite often put me in brown because I had brown eyes. My sister meanwhile was dressed in the more cheery blue garments because she had blue eyes!

Back In The Box. My lovely wedding shoes. Unconventional I know, but as youngest daughter said “Mum you aren’t really Kate Middleton nude shoe material are you!”

So there it is a little whizz through the Rocking Dog wardrobe. What treasures lurk in your wardrobe and do you have any good shopping tips? Please tell all!

Hope the week is a happy one for you all. Love Rocking Dog x

Goodbye Winter!, Rocking Dog

Goodbye Winter!

Still Unworn, Rocking Dog

Still Unworn

Velvets No More!, Rocking Dog

Velvets No More!

Wedding Coat, Rocking Dog

Wedding Coat

Vintage Coat, Rocking Dog

Vintage Coat

1980's Floral Coat, Rocking Dog

1980’s Floral Coat

Itchy Jacket, Rocking Dog

Itchy Jacket

Latest Liberty Buy, Rocking Dog

Latest Liberty Buy

Full Price Garb', Rocking Dog

Full Price Garb’

Parisian Flea, Rocking Dog

Parisian Flea

Poppy Love, Rocking Dog

Poppy Love

Back In The Box, Rocking Dog

Back In The Box

Sorry I’ve Been So Silent, Love Rocking Dog.

Sorry I’ve been SO silent! I’ve been a bit under the weather. I wanted to test drive the Accident and Emergency Department at the local new super hospital myself! Back home, I have been snuggly and relatively painlessly holed up, and somewhat ashamedly have let little penetrate my peacedom.

Today I tentatively stepped outside for the first time in nearly a week, and was amazed how Autumn has swept in so confidently with her capacious metallic coppery cloak. My usual riverside walk was so different to the ramble I took there last week. My earthy path was swathed with a rich carpet of rusts, coppers and bronzes. The Frome was afloat with a veritable Armada of curled mystical leafy sailing craft, whilst in the stream a log was docked together with its delicate fungi passengers. It all felt quite surreal.

Autumn had touched the leaves of the Sycamore with her magical welding tool. The metallic weld had dripped sporadically and artistically on to the citric yellow base layer. Nature’s painterly beauty, competition indeed for Jackson Pollock!

Everything was really so deliciously quiet, sun-beamed and glorious.

Nearly at my door, there was raucous cawing. A Murder of Crows (how I love that word for a grouping of crows!) were in my neighbours orchard. Such fights for the plentiful crop of ripe rosy fruit. “Listen here you Murder, there really are plenty for everyone!” “Mind, can you leave me a few apples, i’d love some to make mincemeat….. when i’m feeling a little more energetic!”

Leafy Islands In The Stream, Rocking Dog

Leafy Islands In The Stream

Hanging On, Rocking Dog

Hanging On

Autumn's Metallic Weld, Rocking Dog

Autumn’s Metallic Weld

Leafy Trail, Rocking Dog

Leafy Trail

Firewood, Rocking Dog

Firewood

The Apples Are Ripe!, Rocking Dog

The Apples Are Ripe!


 

Just Gone To See A Man About A Dog/Goat!

Nosy Nanny!, Rocking Dog

Nosy Nanny!

As a child, whenever my mum didn’t want us to know where dad was, or simply didn’t have the energy to tell us where dad was, she’d say “He’s gone to see a man about a dog”. On one occasion he really had gone to see a man about a dog, and we ended up with a Golden Labrador that we named Bracken. Another time dad went out and saw a parrot. However, that time he thought better of all the squawking, talking and mayhem, and came home empty handed. I remember that phrase ‘He’s gone to see a man about a dog’ with great affection. I’m sure most of the time dad had gone for a quiet pint, or sought solace in the cellar or garage, where there were the ilicit chocolate stashes.

Yesterday, whilst walking Real Live Rocking Dog I came to the field with a herd of goats, and met their owner. We had a great goat husbandry chat. In half an hour I learnt what they ate, gestation period (6 months), size of litter, common ailments, popularity of goat meat in UK, life expectancy (roughly 30 years), sociability (quite) etc.. I think the large Billy rather thought that RLR Dog was an escaped kid for they made nose to nose contact through the fence. Mmmmm, let me see now, I think I may have found my doggy day care solution! It was all rather endearing, and these local goats are not for a tasty goat stew or milked to produce delicious cheeses. All thirteen of them are one mans beloved pets (together with hens, thirty ducks, two dogs and goodness knows what else). I expect his wife will be known to say “He’s gone to see a man about a goat”!

Not far from the thirteen billy goats gruff exists a field that I only fairly recently discovered. As soon as I set eyes on the brook in the middle of the field I had a real sense of de ja vu. This was the little bit of water that I paddled in, fishing net in hand in the 1960’s as a young child together with my siblings. I remember picnics, other children, sun, strung jam jars and I can even visualise one of the outfits I wore. It was a two piece floral playsuit in psychadelic orange, and I loved it. We had our own name for the brook which sadly has been lost in time, but it was something like sunny brook or buttercup brook. I am so pleased to have rediscovered this pastureland, full of warm summer minnow catching memories.

Autumn really is gathering pace, with leaves falling and flowers in their final ebbing summer crescendo. It is such a wonderful time to be walking, especially with interesting and slightly eccentric conversations with the local goatherd.

Must leave this now, i’ve got to go and see a man about a dog!

13 Billy Goats Gruff!, Rocking Dog

13 Billy Goats Gruff!

Eye Eye!, Rocking Dog

Eye Eye!

Man About A Dog, Rocking Dog

Man About A Dog

Childhood Memories, Rocking Dog

Childhood Memories

Cow Parsley, Rocking Dog

Cow Parsley

Downstream, Rocking Dog

Downstream