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Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Scotland Trip and Roxy part 1

This month I finally found a van that met with my requirements perfectly. It was another Renault Trafic, 5 years younger than mine, bigger engine, better towing capabilities, and already had 4 cages. ................ It was however the other end of the country from us! Between Edinburgh & Glasgow, so I had no way of going to see it, try it out and I didnt know the seller but trusting other peoples opinions, and a whole heap of photos of the van, we decided to take the chance. Exciting stuff really. Bought tickets for me & Rog on a sleeper train from Taunton to Paddington, followed by a normal train from Kings Cross to Edinburgh, then a little train that reminded me of a Morris Minor, to West Calder to meet the new van.
Thanks to Mark & Karen Laker at this stage, as I had no idea how to sort the train tickets, and also thanks for Mark warning us the word "sleeper" is a very loose term. I think I managed about 15 minutes and Rog probably 5! Fast, bouncy, rattly and the word "reclining" is also a dubious term for the seats. "Tilt very slightly" would be a better description to be honest, but hey ho, we were on an adventure!

Paddington station, the Underground and Kings Cross were so clean. I was impressed with how smart and huge they were! Paying 30p just to go for a quick wee I thought was a bit extreme, but the toilets were so spotless and the Dyson Blade hand drier fascinated me!! Well worth 30p!

5 hours in a hard seat with some extremely rude, irritating American students sat just across from us, made the journey from Kings Cross to Edinburgh a tough one, but the coffee was good, and watching the sun rise and watching the changing scenery as we travelled through so many counties made it bearable. One interesting observation was how the whole country is waterlogged. Miles and miles of boggy fields, and half ploughed land everywhere we looked. Its been a tough time for farmers all over.

Meeting Peter & Tricia his wife, and all their lovely dogs was fun, and after a coffee there and a few papers signed, we left West Calder around 2pm and headed back downwards towards our great mates house in Rastrick Huddersfield for our overnight stop. The van drove really well, and was so tidy I was relieved, and looked forward to seeing our friends for some real food and a bed!

6.30 we walked in to the warmest welcome at Sharon, Chris & Samanthas and although dead on our feet from lack of sleep, we needed to unwind before we slept, and unwind we did. Gorgeous food, a few glasses of something pleasant and so many giggles!!! It was a wonderful evening, and after a hot shower we hit the sack around 10.30 and I dont even remember my head hitting the pillow!

We were up early and left Huddersfield at 6.40am Sunday morning for the drive home. It was another beautiful day and we saw the sun come up over the moors as we journeyed. Costa and Krispy Kremes at 7am, MacDonalds breakfast halfway home, and arrived back at ours at 12.30 with our lovely new Van. :-)
Loved spending quality time with Rog, and seeing the Mitchells and just seeing a bit more of our lovely country for a change. It was a great weekend...........................
Part two will follow....

Monday, 11 February 2013

Not good at this now!

Blimey I am rubbish! May as well not have bothered saying I was going to make the effort to write this regularly as I have just got back here and its 5 weeks since the last one! Useless!
However, we have been a tad busy, and so much has happened I am not sure where to start but will try.

We have had a lot of snow, and rain, lots of floods and not much training really started with the dogs yet. We have all been very busy with the agility business, and the orders are flooding in! We would so love to able to concentrate more of our time building agility equipment and developing new ideas, but we just dont have the financial backing to do that. Rog has to put the Electrical Engineering first as it still pays our bills and just about keeps us afloat, and my job helping to run a haulage company pays the rent so for now we just have to work 25 hours a day.
I finally re did our Web Site and although still a few bits to add, I am a lot happier with it now and the counter is clicking up well! 
To the dogs..............
Young Will has settled in beautifully and has become such a cheeky, and happy member of our gang. Every dog is a joy, and its fascinating to me just how different they are, each having special little quirks or behaviours that make them unique, and I love them all. Will is no exception. He is very loyal to Fern, and within a few days of being here, took to trotting around by her  side, wanting to be with her and looking for interaction. He learns new things daily and with ease. Extremely intelligent and such a drive to work, yet also laid back and easy to live with. Compare him a lot to George, who was also instantly attached to me from a pup, and is very definitely my dog and mine alone, yet it took me months to get George to come back at me, bouncing and demanding I play with a tug or ball, whereas Will is doing it already at 12 weeks old! Will and George are both working lines, and it shows in the natural herding and chasing they have both shown so Fern has to work more with Will alone (a point I keep nagging her to listen to, but she is stubborn! and I am just a nagging Mum) I walked George alone for months to start with until we had a real bond, not just a loving one, which was there from day one, but a working relationship, an understanding of each other and that takes time and patience. Obviously George is a blue Merle so is much more mental than Will but they really are very similar.

Have started running now, on a program thanks to an app on the iPhone. Bought a decent Canix belt and double bungee lead and have Lily & George as my running partners. 2 reasons for this team. 
1. They are similar size, build and get on very well, with identical stride patterns.
2. Lily needs as much work as possible to keep fit, and George has more energy than the rest put together!
I did try Twiggy & George one day last week, as they are best buddies, but Twiggy was hilarious!!! She just gallops and bounces at the end of the line, so excited and mad keen. Poor George couldnt keep his stride and I was nearly bent in half the wrong way trying to hold her back!!! Not maybe the ideal running dog, but she is perfect in every other way Princess Twiggy, so can let her off that one. :-) Olli is a great running partner but only off lead. He will stay near you, is so close and trustworthy off lead, but on the bungee he darts across infront of you, hears a possible something in the hedge, runs backwards, and nearly had me A over T so many times I am afraid he cant do the roadwork :-)

All the dogs are happy & chilled and enjoyed the winter break but are now back on training. Had a couple of workshops with the youngsters and they are full on raring to go! I am looking forward to this season more than ever, as my babies are growing up and now we can really see what they have up their sleeves. 
The excitement starts with Rog & I travelling by train to Scotland this weekend to collect our new van!! Rex has been a brilliant van for us for 3 years but he needs a new home, so is off to Cornwall next week to be loved and to look after some new dogs :-) We will be taking care of our new "lass" and hope she will look after us and our gang for the next few years. First show is in 2 weeks and I cant wait!! 

Now to set my alarm to remind me to Blog again in a week!!! :-)