Visiting my Mother (‘schsss’ I’m breaking the Law)

By rights I should be banged-up in Prison by now! My crime visiting my Mum’s house yesterday and contravening ‘The Emergency Corona Act 2020’, no seriously if you apply the letter of the law I’m now officially classified an Offender……. Holy blank just image the asshole horrors I could be subjected to sharing a prison cell with another guy, I’ve seen the movie Shawshank Redemption.

Okay, yes I’m joking for effect (err I think I am) however under new emergency legislation I’m only permitted to leave my home for a visit to the local supermarket, a short period of exercise (no one has a clue what this means), deliver food or medicine to a dependent, however the regulations stopping us from visiting friends or relatives is causing a great deal of confusion, and what constitutes ‘short exercise’ anyway? Taking a cycle ride into the countryside is exercise. To their credit many Police Forces are applying these new Laws with common sense also restraint, however many other Police Forces are dishing out Fines like they’re going out of fashion!

Btw I’m not criticizing our wonderful first responders they’re most likely as confused as the rest of us.

Now I’m old enough and wise enough to understand rushed through legislation, flabby Law’ is also open to misinterpretation and could well end in tears, after all we’ve been here before, remember The Dangerous Dog Act? That well meaning knee jerk reaction to those horrific canine attacks in the mid 90’s, sadly this swiftly drafted well meaning’ legislation was a disaster, I’m sorry but stories of veterinarians euthanising people’s beloved pets just because a dog growled were indefensible.

Time will tell if being fined £600+costs+a victim surcharge by overzealous stormtroopers sorry Policemen/women, all for the crime of standing waiting on a rail station platform without a good reason is justice well served, ‘Rushed Law is Bad Law’ isn’t that how the saying goes?

Ok this Law is only weeks old, hopefully guidelines will be clarified and published soon, if not perfectly law abiding citizens may well refuse to pay fines, contest unjust cases in Courts of Law and chaos will ensue, BUT yes I understand we are living through the worst public health pandemic for 100 years………… I get it! 😦

Anyways, not to worry my mother enjoyed a half hours natter and friendly company, we observed social distancing, I washed my hands, sat in her conservatory for the entire visit and she disinfected the chair after I’d gone home…………

And finally photos taken by me sitting in mum’s conservatory,

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I visited my Mother yesterday. I contravened new legislation. I BROKE THE LAW!

 

©A. Shepherdson 2020

Saturday Dog minding!

Discussing our Brexit farce both upsets and depresses me, I will vote this Thursday however I’ll leave the ‘why  I must’ discussion for another day, so replacing my planned political posting I have a happy ‘doggy’ tale instead!

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Saturday the 18th May 2019 had been pencilled into my diary for quite some time, err perhaps I should be more honest and admit my mother INSTRUCTED me before Christmas I WAS to be helping her dog mind this last weekend, no arguments no discussions no excuses, a friend of hers had to attend an important family function, and mum agreed to look after their 7 month old Border collie all day Saturday through to Sunday morning because mum is a nice helpful person like that 😀 .

We as a family have owned black and white Border collies ever since I can remember, I’ve even shared their photos somewhere on this WordPress HOWEVER both mum and I had absentmindedly forgotten how much hard work looking after a puppy actually is. In fact mum phoned me this evening to say she was exhausted, also a little annoyed because a piece of paper sitting on the telephone table had been shredded, along with an email address she hasn’t a copy of!

Border collies are wonderful dogs, extremely intelligent, quick learners with a heightened sense of play, they’ll chase and retrieve a ball all day long, adore working to command with the only downside they demand a great deal of attention and mental stimulation, and if an owner hasn’t the time also patience to train and exercise collies, they can often become destructive with behavioural problems…………. they’re fun, lovely natured working animals, with energy to burn and most definitely not lap dogs.

The offshoot is our borrowed collie hardly paused to take breath ALL day, she shredded nearly every toy, dug a few plants up in the garden, did her best to try and entice my mother’s collie into playing games of ‘chase me’ around the living room carpet, and by Saturday evening and several outdoor walks (mum counted she walked 15,000 steps) all four of us were exhausted.

Yes I’d forgotten how demanding a breed they are, and even contemplated once or twice buying a puppy, that was never going to happen but our borrowed collie was a timely reminder these are working dogs, and if you want a collie pet then you must have the time to exercise and train. Watching them round up stock animals, agility and walking to command in the show ring is all good fun and very seductive, but they’re hard work and remember sleeping is for wimps! Lol 😀 .

Having said all that I wouldn’t own another breed, we all have our favourites and a Border collie is mine.

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My mum, me behind the Smart phone camera, and our borrowed 7 month border collie for the day, Holly’s out of the frame and we’re sat in a local Pub garden. The landlady even brought a bowl of water over!
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‘Dog tired after today’s fun and games, and now it’s time for a little ‘nap’ on the sofa’.

A. Shepherdson 2019

Easter ‘Bluebells’ and our Pet Dog

Readers to this WordPress may be aware the walk from the housing estate I live upon, through to our Town centre is by means of a tree lined Lane which later divides a grassy Common. A lovely walk in all weathers, fun when there’s snow on the ground, glorious in springtime or sunny summers days, and I even love the driving icy rain on cold Winter mornings as I walk to work! 

Below you’ll see photos of wildBluebells’ growing alongside the Lane’s pathway, they looked beautiful bathed in this evening’s dimming low sun, so I ‘snapped’ a selection of photos below adding three of our family pet dog taken Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

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‘Bluebells’ growing in the wild

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Walking in the Windrush Valley, pt2

Several days ago I posted photos of myself and Holly the ‘cross collie’ (our family’s pet dog), both out walking together in the Windrush Valley, the title is ‘see if you can spot the collie dog ‘ and if you click the link you’ll see my photos and incidentally a post I’m very pleased with. 

Now that you’ve hopefully returned, I also filmed a brief mp4 of the two of us and uploaded onto my (rarely viewed) YouTube Channel which I’ll share below. Oh and apologies if you thought I sounded worse for drink…………… I’m not! I narrate like this when I’m concentrating 🙂 .

A. Shepherdson 2018

See if you can spot the Collie dog

My mum’s dog loves her photo being taken! 

Way back in June 2018, incidentally this year turned out to be one of the longest driest and warmest on record, I took one of my many walks deep into the Windrush Valley situated in the edge of the Cotswolds.

And you’ll have guessed, for those readers following my WordPress, I was accompanied by walking friend Holly the cross collie and not forgetting my trusty cheap Fuji little camera. Incidentally it cost £8 off eBay!

It takes stunning photos when the sun’s out and absolutely awful ones when the sun disappears?

Well cutting a short story even shorter! I’d always intended to share with the readers but being truthful a blog idea ALWAYS popped up from nowhere? Anyways the other evening I came across a picture folder and it suddenly dawned on me Holly actually got herself into nearly every photograph!

Like I said she loves the camera 😀

Anyways (it amuses me ‘anyways’ is a favourite word of mine) rather than just looking at MY photos of the Oxfordshire countryside, why not play a game and try and spot Holly just as if you were trying to spot the ball,

🤔and whatever happened to spot the ball competitions? Did the internet kill the game off? Discuss! No! 

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Holly my mum’s Colle cross dog
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Wild Poppy

Above wild red poppies growing amongst the fields of crops, and I could imagine soldiers fighting in the trenches on the Western Front, if they’d turned and gazed across French cornfields they’d see blood red poppies .

Must have been quite a sight the vivid red int erspersing golden yellow in summertime, not forgetting WW1 was another human made tragedy.

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I’m not quite sure what type of cash crop is being grown in our local fields now? When I was a child I remember golden corn, as for now I guess this could be……… who knows what’s planted, any farmers out there. And notice in the foreground wildflowers growing alongside the path we’re  walking on.

Above is a montage of photos of this unknown plant and the path I’m on, keep in mind I am walking a circular route.

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Fields of long grass, no crops here

Below we’ve no walked into an animal grazing field interspersed with daisy’s.

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If I were to lay these 4 photos out they’d be a sequenced panorama view.

Below and we’re back on the trail through natural tree canopy branches.

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Above one of several ponds that lie along our walk, are you playing my game of spot the collie?

Below left and you can just make out Minster Lovel ruins, it’s behind Holly in the distance. I swear she must have walked into the shot as soon as I took my camera out.

Below a church built from golden Cotswold stone looking resplendent under the sun, I cannot be bothered to Google the name lol (I’m half an hour into this post already and I’m freezing and in need of a hot shower), except to say it’s very old and lies on the outskirts of Minster Lovell village. (We’re in Oxfordshire btw).

Notice the small pink flowers and green moss growing on the Cotswold stone wall in the foreground.

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Cotswold stone is very unique to the area!

On reflection I should have enlarged the three photos above, you can btw, because bottom right shows Minster Lovell Ruins with said church behind the trouble is I managed to get the gatepost into shot as well.

Bottom left is me standing inside the ruins looking up towards the sky. That leaves photo three which tells you all about the ruins. I guess you could Wikipedia?

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All these photographs are a reminder Britain still has beautiful countryside if you look hard enough.

Below isn’t a natural water spring, these pools form where small streams meet the pathway used by farm tractors.

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Pathway pools of Oxfordshire water

(Below) Me gazing down toward Crawley village.

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A closer shot of the bridge leading out of Crawley village

Below a photograph very important to the history of this area, VERY IMPORATANT, yes it’s a sheep……… well keeping the tale short sheep were raised on the green fields encircling my Town, consequently 8 or so Mills weaved the wool into blankets later shipped around the world…………. the reason a railway was built and a reason why this part of Oxfordshire became very prosperous.

Have you ever heard of Witney blankets?

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A Cotswold sheep, there used to be fields full of them!!

Below I’m walking beneath the overhanging canopy of trees, and no it’s not a natural scene, the avenue was planted many years ago, is very long, and follows a busy road which takes me back toward my mother’s home.

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A tree lined Avenue and quite spectacular

I hope you enjoyed looking at the views taken along the Windrush Valley one June summer’s afternoon.

A. Shepherdson 2018

(Feel free to download copy any picture (or all 48) if you wish, 😊you have my blessing and please do, thank you.)