Happy New Year Cali Campeeeerrrrrsssss!!!
Now, let me start by saying that I'm not one for new years resolutions or promises that this will be OUR YEAR! You hear that a lot and a year is an awfully long time to maintain such high expectations! That's a lot of pressure! I'm definitely more for going with the flow and taking each day as it comes.
In that spirit I was pleasantly surprised when I got up at 8am to find Shaun walking in through the front door after work had let him go home early since he'd worked Christmas eve AND Christmas day! He told me to throw on some outdoor clothes and walking boots as we were off on a New Years Day walk up Old Winchester Hill with Bentley.
It takes us around 30-40mins to drive up to the nature reserve and we must only have seen a handful of cars on the way. Bentley was happily panting in the back of the car knowing that he was off on another adventure. When we got to the car park there was absolutely no other cars there and we knew it was going to be just us....pure bliss!
As soon as we walked through the gate I realised that this was going to be a really filthy walk for the dog. I am used to the process of constantly cleaning our ridiculously white dog. It's not even the fact he's so so light for a golden retriever but the fact that he seems genetically pre-disposed to go in every muddy puddle in a 500ft vicinity (I know it's genetics as his mum, Pilot, is EXACTLY the same!!). I knew we were off home after the walk so it's less of a lengthy cleaning process as we had a hot/cold shower tap installed outside specifically to wash the dog. It has made our lives thousands of times easier over the winter! I just wish the van had the ability to pump warm water out the shower attachment as for some reason Bentley fusses over cold water. He will happily swim in the sea in the middle of winter but you spray him with cold water and he turns into a total fusspot.
Anyway, immediately he's filthy but absolutely loving it and so were we. It was like a total breath of fresh air being out in the country when we'd been so busy over Christmas seeing our friends/family and also working for most of it. We met some amazing looking sheep too which I'm told are Herdwick sheep. They were awesome. Sadly we saw a sign saying a dog had attacked one recently and had a rather grim picture but we had Bentley on a lead and was keeping him at a good distance as to not worry the sheep. The sheep had such unusual markings and brilliant expressions on their faces. I love the random spots they had on their knees. Shaun was laughing as one sheep just kept head butting another one.
We walked for about an hour through all sorts of mud and rain and wind but we loved it. So nice to blow away the cobwebs and Bentley did eventually turn white again (after a lengthy wash at home). We then spent the rest of the day chilling out in front of the TV watching films and eating all our Christmas chocolate. Pure bliss...what a way to start a year.
Happy New Year everyone!!
Lizzy, Shaun & Bentley xxx