Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


7 Comments

Good Friday

Spud the dog thinks it is a very good Friday as he is home from kennels, he’s been simply dizzy with delight. He is now exhausted and crashed out on the sofa, snoring loudly.

 

We came home from York yesterday evening, too late to collect Spud, but an easy journey home, for the eve of a bank holiday.

 

It has been glorious here today. After a cold and frosty start

lambs frost

But the sun and blue skies melted it all away. The spring flowers like the birds are just singing.

 

IMG_8771

I’m not sure next door’s cockerel is too chuffed at the return of Spud, I think he’d been making a move on our chickens in his absence. Spud pointed him off in the right direction, again

public footpath 

Have another flower or two, there are plenty to go round.

snakes head


5 Comments

The Further Adventures of Spud the Dog 16th April 2014

Here he is, sporting is spring hair cut. If you think he looks a little miffed,I don’t think it is the lack of his coat that is disturbing him, its more to do with the fact he’s just discovered he is going to the kennels. Poor Spud.

20140411_091006

Poor Spud. Our holiday arrangements are a little complicated this Easter,but more of that in a day or so.

I mentioned in my last Spud post that he’d been lame. It was most noticeable when he came down steps or stairs, he  moved in bunny hops rather clattering down in his usual style. The vet thought it a soft tissue injury and prescribed anti-inflammatory/pain relief and complete rest, you can imagine we had trouble communicating that concept to Spud…

Although not completely cured, he does seem a lot better.


13 Comments

The Further Adventures of Spud the Dog 6th April 2014

 

Have you missed Spud? Here he is, his leg is much better, but not quite right yet.

IMG_8558

 

He got a bit excited today, Jimmy the farmer turned up in his big red tractor, with blade harrow in tow, to do a bit of remedial work on the field, where the pipes for the ground source heat pump were laid*.

big red tractor

 

Jimmy  jumped out of the cab for a natter, leaving the engine running. Time passed we carried on, nattering , putting the world, and the meadow to rights. When somewhat startlingly, the big red tractors engine went ‘Vrooooom, vrooom as only the engines of big red (and possibly green) tractors can.

‘Ahhh’, said Jimmy, knowingly,without missing a beat, ‘the dog will be ready for off then’.

big red tractor dog

Just as well, that as bright as they are, border collies can’t quite mange the clutch and the handbrake as well as the accelerator. A working dog has no time for idle chat and needs to put his paw down firmly from time to time.

 

* I will eventually get around to telling the full story of our magical heating system


7 Comments

April 1st 2014

This advert was always going to capture Spud the dogs heart, dogs just want to have fun.

 

 

BMW announced a new system that puts the thrill back in to driving for April Fools Day 2014. It claimed that the Force Injection Booster works by “extracting kinetic energy from the car’s engine and converting it into positive g-forces”. The effect being that drivers can experience the thrill of high speed driving even at modest speeds of just 20mph.

Additional BMW ‘AirNet’ technology works to keep occupants hairdos in tiptop condition while all this is going on. In the press release Professor Mika Notbetrü, Head of BMW Innovation, described FIB technology as “Mind-blowingly unbelievable”

 

Read more: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/car-news/86388/best-april-fools-day-jokes-car-companies#ixzz2xeUUz7UG


8 Comments

The Further Adventures of Spud the Dog 26th Jan 2014

Every now and then Spud the dog, lets it be known he is in charge of his manor,  he does it in a subtle understated sort of way.

Our dear, kind neighbours (who lurk around this blog from time to time) also keep chickens, well they did, they are now, thanks Mr Fox down to a  solitary chicken and a cockerel.

HC

The cockerel is handsome and quite passive as cockerels go; but he is obviously missing having a full flock at his beck and call, so he and his lady pop over the lane to visit our girls.

Now Spud never, it seemed to us, pays a second glance to our chickens, he doesn’t chase or bother them what so ever. If they get in the way when he is chasing a ball he simply leaps straight over them. However Spud obviously does know what belongs and what doesn’t on his patch. Meeting the cockerel making advances on ‘his girls’ he politely but firmly showed him the gate. Here is Spud flushing him out from behind the oil tank. Spud flush

I love that classic Springer posture, paw in the air, ready to spring.

Spud also has a bit of a deal running on gravy bone  dog biscuits, that we keep in a pot on the kitchen work top out of Spuds reach. The cats however can and do reach them, fishing them out with their paws. They then take them down on to the floor to eat, they are allowed a third, then Spud, alerted by the distinctive sound of biscuit on pot, shows up and firmly takes the remaining two thirds for himself.  My biscuit thank you.

 

Here is Jammy, in a different pot a plant pot.

potted cat 

I long for the weather to stop raining and to get out and about with the camera. Sigh.


5 Comments

Happy Christmas

From all the Uphilldowndales, and especially Spud

 

Spud Christmas paper_

Who just loves a nice bit of wrapping paper. He’d also like my nomnom chocolate a present from Tom, but he’s not having it.

 

nomnom chocolate_

 

Wishing you peace, health* and happiness.

 

*judging by how many  search hits I’ve had this last week looking for ‘Mr Muscle sore throat’ I’m hoping those who have cleaned their ovens in preparation for Christmas dinner, are well enough to enjoy their turkey…


9 Comments

The Further Adventures of Spud the Dog, 21st December 2013

Why would you want an adventure on an afternoon like this?  Especially when there is a sofa to be had.

 

home sweet home

 

The picture is by Derbyshire artist, Clare Allen. Clare does wonderful landscapes (and cityscapes, check out her Manchester exhibition review). She also does a fine line in drawing particularly fine pubs, that are to be recommended 

 

*It is blowing a gale and lashing with rain.


9 Comments

The Further Adventures of Spud the Dog December 8th 2013

Just in case you are wondering, we are still here: buffeted and battered by high winds and a world full of ‘stuff’. We’ve been doing many things, but little blog writing.

 

Spud the dog has been supervising the delivery of photovoltaic panels for the barn roof.

He’d have been on this truck given half a chance.

spud and PV

Hats off to the truck driver who managed to get his tuck down and, more challengingly,  back up the lane, he  was patience and professionalism, personified.

spud and PV 2

 

It’s been  Dodger the kitten-cat who has been having the adventures. He jumped up, on to my desk and singed his fur on a lit candle! There was a flash of flame, a puff of smoke and an awful smell*…

He didn’t seem to realise what was happening, I had to scoop him up, he was stood astride it!

Please note singed fur…

Dodger

He’s also had a sore eye and chunk taken out of his ear, there seems to be a territorial battle going on in the neighbourhood: it’s not easy being a kitten-cat.

 

* Yes I know the joke;

Q. ‘How do you make a cat go woof?’

A. ‘ You set him on fire’.


3 Comments

The Further Adventures of Spud the Dog, October13th 2013

It goes without saying that Spud the dog has been missing Tom since he went to university. We were a bit worried he’d pile on some weight without Tom around to whack  tennis balls for him, for hours on end; but having the door open all day every day and a continuous stream of guys working in the field, yard  and house has meant he has had more  time outside and exercise than he might otherwise have done*.

 

Here is Spud in the car, watching and waiting for Tom to come down from his room in halls, no dog allowed in halls I’m afraid.

Spud student spotting_

 

He had a splendid time on the beach, swimming in the silvery sea

Spud sea_

 

And playing ball in the dunes, we took the winger dinger and a tennis ball, we still have a few  left from our bargain buy.

Tom and Spud_

 

*We are wondering just how many of the windfall apples Spud has managed to drop in the kilometre of trench that was dug  in the field, for the pipes to feed the ground source heat pump, we may have an orchard rather than a meadow next year. 


8 Comments

Wet Monday

We are adrift in a sea of mud. The captain has a chart and a compass, it will be OK*. It’s would be helpful if it stopped raining though.

 

Spud the dog loves mud.

Spud mud_

Jammy and Dodger the kitten cats are displaced, their usual home in the utility/porch is no more than a  muddy hole in the ground.

They’ve taken up squatters rights in Spuds bed, it’s  feline Yin and Yang

Feline Yin and Yang_

Occasionally they are willing to share (note Spud’s windfall apple)

IMG_7099

*I’ll save the full story of the ground source heat pump for later posts. 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 301 other followers