Sunday 1 April 2018.
I realise now I am part of a onedogtwohuman family, I need to take a more actively involved/less observing role. There are three reasons for this: I fully admit I have taken advantage of our almost-five-years ‘travelfest’ – treating it as a super-long holiday. It’s time to knuckle down and do a little work on this trip. I also miss cleaning and grooming Rosie, so need to keep busy. The third reason being Leigh took the train to Worcester on Thursday, to visit her 99-year-old Auntie Ve, who is in hospital after having a stroke. On the aforementioned train she travelled with a cute little boy called Teddy. Teddy is a dog. I worry that, being used to living in a two-dog pack, Leigh may end up getting a super-cute new dog; I could end up being ‘no. 2’ if I don’t play my cards right. Now I may be barking up the wrong tree here but…
Watching Leigh work the 27 locks through, and beyond, Birmingham on Friday, I noticed she looked rather worn out at the end of the day.
I took it upon myself to ask Leigh to give me a little lock-labouring tuition. I began my lock-labouring career yesterday (Saturday). Just a couple of locks in Tom handed Leigh a mug of coffee and a couple of chocolate digestives, so I decided to grab a bonio. I cheekily tried to steal Leigh’s coffee (after all, I am a girl who likes to dunk) but she was having none of it. Yelp!
Out of the 11 locks yesterday I helped Leigh with at least 5 and I quite enjoyed myself. There are so many trees to read, rabbit and water-rat holes to sniff and plenty of duck-poo to try to roll in. Leigh draws the line at that and shouts, ‘No!’, which I, of course, obey. Otherwise it results in punishment by shower – not my favourite activity at all.
Last evening we had our first visitors of the trip. Ian and Helena joined my humans for an excellent Indian meal in ‘The Ivory Tusk’ restaurant in Fazely – recommended by a friend of Leigh (the lovely Julia Davis). They then came back to Very Pinook for coffee. The fire was stoked up and I think they found it rather too warm – Tom and I so enjoy the heat…Leigh is not so keen.
This morning we set off for Fradley Junction. Leigh and I were pretty ecstatic as although the journey took around 5 hours there were zero locks. Yelp!
All in all, we have enjoyed a pleasant start to this trip, albeit the weather feels like it is still February. I am quite looking forward to tomorrow as we are visiting Tom’s cousin and her family and I have a new friend to make…a soft, middle-aged springer spaniel. Let’s hope he and I get along…I can’t imagine we won’t, as I’m much more dog-friendly now I don’t have to protect Rosie.
Woofs, Martha xx