Hello, and welcome to my third blog! Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun? Or at least, it does when you have a very busy family life like we do!
As anyone who knows me will tell you, away from Archie and my family, my other two great passions are my motorbike and Tang Soo Do. I spent the recent bank holiday weekend on the Isle of Man with a small group of friends, and our motorbikes. However since I couldn’t take furface along with me I won’t spend too much time talking about it. The Isle of Man is a beautiful island with stunning scenery, amazing roads, and very friendly people. It reminds me a lot of the Lake District actually. I hope to take Archie and the family over there one day to do some exploring on two legs instead of two wheels!
A couple of weekends ago, we held our annual Tang Soo Do sponsored walk – and Archie was invited! The location was our local landmark, Roseberry topping, which I wrote about in a previous entry. Archie and my family are well used to climbing Roseberry Topping, but this time we were climbing it in our white suits!
As we gathered in the car park for our pre-walk warm up exercises, Archie didn’t seem too impressed – he just wanted to go! Warm ups complete, and we were off, with Archie straining at the lead as usual. Then we come to the point where we can finally let him off his lead, and he shoots off exploring new smells, and investigating everything along the way! As is usual on a walk of this type, we had many different abilities and fitness levels, so our group of white suits were spread over most of the climb on the way up, and Archie continuously ran from the front to the back, and back again. Maybe he thought we were two legged sheep that needed rounding up? His little face always makes me laugh when he stops and looks back at us, as if wondering why we’re taking so long! Then we reached the top, and stopped for a lunchbreak. Well, we did, Archie did his usual heart stopping act of repeatedly running to the edge of the vertical drop!
Once we were all rested and refreshed, we had the usual group photo, then slowly made our way down the slopes. The group will be making a donation to a local charity Zoe’s Place ( http://www.zoes-place.org.uk/middlesbrough/ ) once all the sponsorship money has been collected.
Another of Archie’s favourite haunts is Redcar Beach. When Archie first came to live with us, it was one of the first places we took him, and a year or so later, it was the first place I took my new SLR camera, to test it on Archie Hasselhoff running in and out of the surf!
For those of you that don’t know it, Redcar is a stretch of sand that runs for about 20 miles along the North East coast. Locally, Redcar is known as the home of the lemontop ice cream, and their famous (some would say controversial!) vertical pier. The beach and parts of the front were recently used as a film set for the film Atonement, and rumour has it that Larry Grayson invented his “shut that door” catchphrase in the theatre on the beach front there.
For Archie and me, Redcar is simply a lovely long stretch of sand for us both to play on! He absolutely adores it there! When we are getting close to the beach, he starts crying in the back of the car, and by the time I let him out he can hardly sit still! I actually use Redcar beach as a training run for the many runs I do a year. It gives me a chance to go for a long run on difficult soft sand, and Archie gets a really long run off the lead.
One time we were there, we bumped into a lone seal pup. It was looking out to sea, presumably waiting for mum to come back, and wasn’t phased by us at all. Archie bravely danced around it, coughed at it from about 6 feet away, and kept looking at me as if I was going to tell him what it was! Don’t worry though, I wouldn’t have let Archie get any closer, and the seal genuinely didn’t look bothered in the slightest! We took some photos and ran on. On our return run, we saw Sammy the Seal swimming in the shallow surf, and left him alone. I sent my photos to Hannah Bayman who presents the weather on BBC Look North, and my photos made it onto her background! So for 5 minutes, Archie was a TV star!
I decided to take Archie for a walk along Redcar beach just the other night. What a mistake that was! It was 8 degrees C when we parked the car, but with horizontal rain being blown in by a gale force wind straight off the sea, the temperature felt way colder! All together now … “oh I do like to be beside the seaside, oh I do like to be beside the sea …. !!” Got to love that British Summer weather! Time to wrap up in our best Regatta clothing! As you can see from my photos, my son Will decided to test his waterproof Regatta boots, and I’m happy to tell you that they passed the test! Which is more than can be said for his jeans! Haha! My Regatta jacket also beat the North East weather test, keeping me bone dry.
Archie or course, couldn’t care less about all that, and will happily swim all day in icy cold water, and roll around in the sand. He also doesn’t care about hovering out the Land rover later on either …. !!
Back at home, Mum has decided to keep chickens in the back garden. Now, as any spaniel owner will tell you, gun dogs and game birds are not particularly best friends, so only time will tell how they get on! The chickens are actually penned in, so he can’t get at them, and slowly they are becoming less bothered by him, so maybe they will be buddies one day!
So that’s it for now. Next month we’re planning on visiting some other local areas that were used in some VERY famous movies and TV series!
See you in our next blog ..
Archie & Tony