“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Are you free to take a walk in the countryside with me?

Are you free to join me in one of our first New Year walks? 
It'll blow off the cobwebs and maybe if I'm lucky a few festive fat cells too!

Talking of which reminds me of a tweet I sent out yesterday...it was so funny I had to share it. 
(sorry to all of you who may not see my tweets...you don't know what you're missing by the way, as I don't always post the same things on my blog
The tweet was about my hubby's first day back at work after the holidays. He went to put on his work trousers...well the look of sheer horror on his face was priceless. 
The waistband didn't even come anywhere near where it needed to be to fasten. 
He took a huge in-breath and stretched up tall sucking in his cheeks making them indent 
(his face cheeks that is peeps...tut tut...what are you like? :$)
Anyway, as I dried my eyes from all the laughter tears, I found him an alternative pair which were slightly less painful. It's such a shame because he's not really anywhere near overweight, so it came as such a surprise or more accurately horror to him! 
(which I find amazing really...if he'd only analyzed just what a great holiday he'd indulged in...quite literally...he'd have realised that there'd be trouble ahead)  
So maybe they'll be lots of walking now and his bike might even get an airing too.

Off we go McMuffy...the great beyond lies ahead!

A lovely off lead walk through the woods and country lanes...what more could a dog want? 
We even found an old water mill which was a complete surprise. 
Don't you just love coming across something unexpected when you're out walking. 
I think it happens every time I walk...whether it's a bird, plant, the clouds formation or meeting someone...you just never know what you'll see until you step outside. 
These buildings are part of an old dairy farm and here's even the old cheese press.
I think this is magnificent. 

(obviously my blog name isn't engraved into it...wouldn't that be spooky)
Because of the amount of rain that we've been experiencing in the last week or so, this 'burn' was fast flowing. It had a fantastic gurgling and bubbling sound. 
(By the way just in case you've never heard of the term 'burn'. 
It is the Scottish Gaelic word used for smaller rivers and larger streams
I love this little gate and all the stones covered in moss. 
It's like they've got their winter togs on don't you think?
I'm not sure if the recent gales blew this tree down or whether it's been down for some time. But I'm sure it wasn't there last time I walked this way. 
It's sad to see it upended in such a way, but it shows just how shallow the root system is on these magnificent trees. 

(Here is my daughter and McMuffy investigating...I think this shows the scale of the tree perfectly
I wish that I'd thought to take another photo just shortly after this one was taken, but I was too distracted and laughting once again because Muffy went through a kind of assault course and didn't come out of it very well. 
There was a little plank of wood that someone had kindly laid across a particularly bad patch of mud, water and basically all things grotty but did Muffy use the plank to follow me? You know the answer already don't you? 
Yep she ignored the plank and walked alongside. 
Well walk possibly isn't the right word...more like waded through. 
Remember she's only a mini Shih Tzu so her undercarriage is very near to the ground...and in this instance we lost sight of it completely and of her legs and midriff. She emerged at the far end like the creature from the deep with black limbs and dripping debris everywhere. Twigs, dead leaves and moss attached throughout her coat. 
Like my hubby's face described above, she looked horrified and confused all at the same time as to what had happened! 

(Brr...that water was %$#%%@ chilly ^..^ I'm NOT amused!)

So looking like a drowned rat, we had to make a quick retreat for home and a warm bath.

But not before we were in open ground and I was amazed to find a field full of geese quietly contemplating the day until we arrived...then whoosh up they rose into the heavily-laden sky. 
I was disappointed I didn't manage to get a good photo before they became aware of us. 
We tried to be so quiet and still too. 
Perhaps Mufftypups shivering gave the game away? 

Just before I sign off today I'd just like to wish everyone who is suffering due to the incredibly tough weather conditions we're experiencing...whether it's here in the UK with all of the floods or in the US with the freezing temperatures. 
Take care, stay safe and warm everyone.

May the New Year bring your visions into focus and your dreams into reality. 


  1. Well, that was a lovely walk. I had forgotten you had moved so was thinking we were going to get some Australian summer sunshine. :) Wow! That tree is humongous! Poor Muffy! I bet she came out the other side looking an awful mess. Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy new year. Tammy

    1. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed our walk, but sorry for the confusion Tammy...sometimes I forget where I am too ;D
      You're right about Muffy, she was a mucky mess but soon scrubbed up nicely. She's getting the hang of this UK weather walking...it always ends in a foot bath at least!

      Thanks for stopping by and I wish you and yours a happy and healthy new year too.

  2. A splendid first walk of the new year! The day looks so lovely and clear yet conveys a feeling of chilliness in the air. Similar to here today as I might just venture out myself. 43F, clear and sunny but COLD. I hope McMuffy doesn't catch a sniffle. :) Enjoyed the walk, Nessie. Think I'll join McMuffy inside where it's warm. Sending almost warm hugs... :)

    1. Oh there's certainly chilliness in the air Nan, but nothing to complain about after hearing all the awful weather reports out there. Against some parts of the US I think we're positively tropical here at the moment. We've also been lucky to miss all of those terrible floods that are happening around the UK too.
      Muffy certainly knows the best place for a good warm and if not, she just stands and stares at you whilst shivering until you get the gist she needs sorting either by adding another warm layer or putting her bed next to the fire or Aga!

      Stay warm and thanks for the hugs ;D

  3. oh your poor husband, maybe they shrunk!
    What a beautiful walk, I wish I was there! I hope someday to visit your fair land, lol

    1. That's exactly what he said Laurie ;D hehe
      I'm glad you liked the walk. We are very lucky having all of this on our doorstep.
      I'd have loved you to join me...not only virtually but in the flesh.
      You just let me know if you ever plan to come over this way...I'll pop that kettle on nae probs!!! :D

  4. Your poor hubby. It's annoying how weight just creeps up on us like that. I also need to lose some extra flab that suddenly appeared one day when I wasn't looking. lol

    Thanks for taking us on such a lovely walk, Neesie. Great photos! Poor little Muffy...at least she had a warm bath when you got home. :)

    1. I know exactly what you mean Serena...I really shouldn't have laughed so much but it was just the look on his face. lol
      I think he's had salad everyday in work since (poor thing) ;D
      I was happy to take you along with me on my walk and it's great to hear that you liked the photos.
      I think Muffy was having a fantastic time and enjoyed her walk up until she decided to go her own way instead of following my instructions...maybe next time she'll listen! ^..^ Nah probably not!
      Thanks once again for popping over.
      Have a great day xoxo

  5. Know the feeling with the expanding waist though I only put on a couple of pounds. You should have gotten a Whippet not a fluffy as they don't like getting their feet wet, more than I can say for the Sheltie we have. Did you not have the rain we had then?

    1. I think that's allowed Bill...it happens to us all over the festive period. Besides I just think we need a little extra over the winter months. Well that's my excuse anyway! ;D
      i couldn't believe it when she went straight through the mud instead of walking the plank. Talk about being blonde! A fluffy certainly has downfalls which I didn't consider when we got her when living in the Middle East!
      We've been very lucky here on the North East coast with the awful weather that has swept through the UK. It's been wet but certainly no flooding as far as I'm aware.

      Stay safe and dry and thanks for stopping by.

  6. What a lovely place to walk. I wish you a wonderful New Year.

    1. It is very special Patrice and something I don't take for granted.
      I'm very lucky ;D
      I wish you a wonderful New Year too!

  7. That looks so calm and nice, think I'll get on a plane and leave all the craziness of my household behind. I'm going nuts here. Lovely to see you enjoying the wonderful countryside.
    Will write when the madness subsides a little.
    Luv Von.

    1. Come on over Von...I'll pop the kettle on, bake a nice cake and make sure the fires blazing...plus peace and quiet. How's that?
      You sound like you're really having a time of it just now...you poor thing :(
      Take care and let's chat soon

  8. such stunning photos and gad it is warm enough you can get away from the aga...that walk is so fabulous though... so picturesque... thanks for sharing Neesie...xx

    1. It was my pleasure to share my walk with you Trace,
      I'm happy that you enjoyed it. I'm so very lucky to have all of this wonderful countryside all around. I really love and cherish it ;D
      I'll be popping over to you to have a natter hopefully later today.
      Shall I bring my tim tams or do you have more in your stash?
      See you soon

  9. You have a wonderful place to walk. I would have enjoyed listening to the water as it rushed by. Good thing you didn't take a photo of McMuffy soaking wet. I'm sure she would have been quite indignant if you had and can only imagine her outrage if you posted said picture on your blog.


    1. I do don't I Darla...I know I'm so lucky and make sure that I don't take it for granted ;D
      It's a pity I didn't take a little video of the burn so that you could hear the sound...it was beautiful.
      Oh how you know McMuffy so well. I'd have certainly been made to suffer if I'd posted the photo of her in that state. She had a black coat instead of beige!
      I'll be interested to see if she walks along the plank if we walk that way again. Hmm...i was forgetting she can be so blonde at times so maybe not! ^..^

      Thanks for visiting our place.
      Have a wonderful week whatever you get up to...have fun!
      I hope to catch up with my visiting soon.

  10. I enjoyed our walk today... such beautiful scenery.. That damaged tree is massive..wee McMuffy is so tiny next to it...I hope she enjoyed her pamper session after her soaking... Hugs May x x x

    1. I'm so glad to hear that May. We had another fantastic walk this morning too but sorry didn't have time to call to see if you were free ;D
      The weather here today has been fantastic and I wanted to make the most of it.
      We've even been in the garden tidying up a wee bit too.
      No doubt this is a flook and the temperature will come back to bite us.
      How have you been...hopefully not flooded out or damage done?

      I'm not sure if McMuffy enjoys her pamper sessions but the warm foot bath certain seems to appeal. It's hard luck if it doesn't because the amount of muck she attaches to her paws is unbelievable!
      Hugs to you too plus McMuffy send her favourite aunty a gruff! ^..^

  11. Good morning Neesie, Yep, I am back to my blog and visiting is fun here today. My daughter had a dog she named McDuffy. Your pup is so cute.

    Your walk was a fun one and very interesting with your pics. Here in the NC mountains it has been 0 temps and too cold to do anything outside. It will be warmer today.

    I too am suffering increased "waist" syndrome.Too much holiday pie...not just pie. HA! The diet is on!!!

    Happy New Year to you and yours. Thanks for sharing your walk etc. with us.
    xo, Jeanne

    1. It was my pleasure to have you join me Jeanne,
      Maybe if we keep a steady pace up, we might even burn off a few calories?
      Hmm...nah that'll not happen if we take McMuffy with us...she keeps stopping to check out sniffs and smells, so there's not much chance of feeling 'the burn'!

      Anyway it's great to see you back and blogging once more.
      Happy New Year to you and yours too.
      Keep cosy until that warmer weather arrives ;D

  12. I really appreciate being taken along on your walks. I don't get to travel as much as I used to, so living vicariously is next best.

    1. That's just what I love to do and it's great to hear that you enjoyed the walk.
      I have a few followers that love to travel with me vicariously especially when I went overseas...then at least there's no need or hassle of packing etc.

      Have a great week whatever you have planned...enjoy!

  13. Hey sugar - so glad to see you back and up to snuff! You do write so beautifully and so descriptive too - I can picture everything you say in my mind. Tell your husband hello!!
    The pictures are wonderful and since I cannot be your neighbor, I can see through your camera lens. I am looking forward to many more of your posts in 2014!
    Sandy xx

    1. I'll not do anything of the sort Sandy...saying hi to my hubby indeed! Why you ask? Because then he'll know I've written about him that's why. He'll check it out and I'll be in the dog house (if we had one) ;D
      Thank you so much for such a lovely comment. In fact as McMuffy and I had our walk this morning (a different route) I wrote another post in my head, but this time it was describing all that I could hear around me. I was trying to think about walking with a blind person and it was amazing just how much there was to describe.
      The cows mooing, pheasant squawking, crows calling, magpies chattering, the wind whispering through the trees and the bubbling and trickling burn that ran along the lane. That was just a few of the sounds. Who ever said that the countryside is quiet?
      I've got so many posts already in my mind Sandy...I only hope that you continue to visit and enjoy your time here.
      Have a great week and I'll see you again soon

  14. Yes, I love to go around it :)

    1. Great ... it's a great day for a walk in the country ;D
      Have a wonderful week!

  15. Hi Neesie
    Thanks for the walk - nothing like a enjoying a bit of bracing fresh air with an old friend, especially as I know that you'll have the kettle on and have baked a nice cake for afterwards...
    Oh sorry are we supposed to be cutting back after Christmas? Can we start next week??
    I did enjoy your tweet about the trousers not fitting, very funny!!
    Have a great week
    Wren x

    1. Oh you know me so well Wren,
      It was bracing as you say but the sun makes it all worthwhile. It certainly blows the cobwebs away.
      I hear that you may have 40 degrees tomorrow? Well this morning we had 4!!! hehe
      We most certainly can start on the weight thingy next week or better still perhaps next month .
      I haven't heard how the weekly weigh in went this morning in my hubby's office...(they have a charity donation for a weigh in each week and the person that has put on the most weight has the Buddha on their desk for a week)...I think if my hubby had been presented with it then he'd have let me know. I think everyone's in the same boat and packed on a little winter warmer during the festivities. Hey if you can't hibernate then festive fat is a must surely? ;D

      Have a great week too...whatever you get up to I'm sure you'll have fun.
      I bet you're excited for the tennis to start? I know I am.

  16. ♥♥♥ - I know the weather over there has been challenging but this walk was sublime… and so was a very special card I just received yesterday in the mail - ABSOLUTELY MADE MY DAY!
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart beautiful lady because I really needed that! Wishing you and yours a truly sparkling 2014… can't wait to see all the new adventures! ♥♥♥

    1. Hello Angy...Happy New Year to you,
      The weather certainly has been incredible over the last few weeks here in the UK, but I have to say we've been so lucky here on the North East Coast of Scotland because we've missed most of it.

      What a pity that your card took so long to get to you...but at least it arrived in the end.
      I'm happy to hear that it lifted your spirits. I have been wondering how you are doing.

      I like the sound of a sparkling 2014, so I'll wish the same for you and yours Emoji
      There's lots of adventures in my head...I just need to get them out into posts.
      It should be a very interesting time ahead.
      Hopefully we'll have lots of fun too

      Have a wonderful week ♥x♥

  17. I really enjoyed the beautyful photos from your walk!

    1. Oh thank you so much Catharina,
      It's fantastic to hear such lovely compliments ;D
      I'm glad you could join me.
      Have a wonderful weekend xoxo


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