21 August 2013


My neighbour handed me this monster over the fence yesterday, attached to a dead weed. I put it in the border after photographing it and it had disappeared half an hour later. I think it's an Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar; I'm sure some of you will be able to tell me one way or the other. What a fabulous creature.

I haven't taken the camera out walking for days now - too busy concentrating on sheep training with Jack. If I stop to take a picture, he could be off and up to mischief. Having said that, he really is an excellent pupil, particularly for a terrier. So these few shots are insects in the garden.....

These next three are pollinating our raspberries - thank you very much..... 

I had both dogs at the vet's yesterday to look at Snippet's infected cheeks and register Jack. Nearly £100 later, I have antibiotics, wormers and flea/tick stuff, plus the consultation for both of them. I had to ask for a carrier bag to carry it all. Here are few pics of them from this week so far. Jack is growing VERY fast.

Snippet in his viewing hole through the hedge to next door's dogs:

We leave for Essex very early on Saturday morning, returning late on Wednesday night. A whistle stop tour through Essex, taking in a wedding in Tilbury and a trip to Walton on the Naze, up to the Cambridgeshire Fens and then back down into East London to see the friends we visited last year who live near the Olympic park. The dogs are being looked after by a friend who will move in for four days and Trigger will be observed by friends who live next to his field. I will be providing them with a big bag of carrots in the absence of his usual feed. I can't really ask them to stand guard, fighting off the madams like I do. So - a break in transmission for a week at least. It will be strange photographing flat land but I'm looking forward to the challenge. Am struggling with what to wear to this wedding. No Bridesmaid's dress provided this time! I bought something about four months ago, which now looks very funereal quite frankly. I'll be trying to blend into the background anyway. Until next time, have a great week and here are my two boys. Oh - I forgot to mention, it's Snippet's birthday today! He's four. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SNIPPET. 

17 August 2013


I am well known for wearing the wrong clothes, and yesterday was a classic example. Up on the moor, there was a thick mist and I assumed, given the recent heavy rain, that the showground would be a sea of mud and that I should don my wellies and some serious waterproof layering. As you can see from the picture below, taken as we left the show, it was seriously hot. My three layers plus coat and winter socks to stop thin-sock-welly-slippage, were a grave error. Within thirty seconds of leaving the car, the coat was off and round my waist. None of the other layers could be removed without public offense or carrying them, along with the camera and its needless waterproof coat and my bag which I have to carry with my blood tester, insulin and sugary things. Just once, I'd love to go out carrying nothing, but I know that's not possible. I seem to be descending into a moaning session so I'll stop right there and leave you to imagine the amount of sweat and grumpiness that accompanied our schlep around the show.

Hot day and dry ground - NO wellies required

Vintage tractors and a dog's bum

Vintage cars. Trying to stop OB touching them was a challenge

Fabulous little steam engine

Exhibitors sitting with their cars and engines

There were a LOT of people there. For a small town, it's quite a big show

The craft tent

Competitive eggs

Winning novelty flower arrangement 

Champion decorated biscuits

More flower arranging


Someone's onions are significantly more impressive than the rest!

Courgettes and marrows

Serious scrutiny


Seriously flagging

Some kind of pony class - without a schedule, it's impossible to tell what class is going on. They looked cobby to me

Donkey rides

More ponies

Judging ponies

The Ferris Wheel; OB went on this twice and, as you can see, it wasn't cheap

Grey Faced Dartmoors

Nor sure what this one was but its horns are so impressive

First class cow

For the £7.50 it costs to get in, I always feel slightly let down. Is that a terrible thing to say? It seems the same every year and with not a great deal for OB to do. I say this particularly because today we went to Throwleigh (and Gidleigh) Fete, which is a tiny affair in aid of the Throwleigh village hall. We live in Gidleigh Parish but only just, and the road to our house goes nowhere near Gidleigh. However, as the crow flies or, in years gone by, the horse trots, we are closer to Gidleigh village than Chagford. We had a much better time there and spent considerably less money! The highlight of the Chagford show for me, was meeting the paramedic who was in the Devon Air Ambulance that rescued me when I broke my neck and back almost exactly two years ago. I was able to thank him personally for saving my life which was fantastic. 

I took this picture of Jack and Snippet yesterday which is a bit scary. Amazingly, Jack has not a mark on him, despite the constant play fighting. Snippet's cheeks however, are scabby and going nasty; I spent a delightful quarter of an hour this afternoon cutting his matted fur and dousing him with TCP. Trip to the vet's on Tuesday for both of them. 

Until next time, here they both are, both slightly out of focus I notice having blown them up. Sorry - I'm slacking! have a great Sunday.