I have just returned from a perfect walk at Abbotstone with my partner. After a most enjoyable bowel movement, I played sticks with my partner, followed by some top-quality rounds of Dog's Bottom, and topped the whole with some wily-beastie chasing. It would have been perfection complete, were it not for the resurgence of my patchy and incredibly irritating skin infection, which is very sore indeed. The threat of a bath is hanging over my head for tomorrow but I am privately relieved, as the medicated shampoo usually does the trick. Just before my departure for Wales, a patch of the eczema-type infection erupted on the right-paw side of Little Jasper. It had a surprising and not-altogether-unwelcome effect, heh heh... The ladies were most impressed with my newly-swollen member. It was somewhat embarrassing on the beach at Poppit Sands, however. Ah well. I can think of worse body parts to turn up pink and swollen...
The first two friends I made in Wales on the beach at Poppit were both Border Collies. They approached me with some caution at the water's edge and we did the customary sniff-overs. I decided to take the plunge.
"I am Jasper." I said.
"Bryn." said one chap, "and that's Dewi. English, are you?" He had a very broad, strange but not-unpleasant accent. I nodded. "Suppose you've come over here to have a good old laugh at us sheep-shaggers, have you?" Eh? I shook my head in confusion. The dog Bryn continued, looking a little annoyed. "It's not all sheep-violating and close-harmony singing round here, you know." I honestly did not, nor continue to, have any idea what he was on about. His friend Dewi backed him up, and I was acutely aware of their growing hostility.
"Yes, everyone who comes here thinks we're all in the sheep-fields at night. It's bl**dy pathetic." I helpfully pointed out that I wasn't allowed to chase sheep. It's the one thing that I am EXPRESSLY forbidden to do on Dartmoor (my favourite place) and my partner has made it clear that, at the merest hint of sheep-pursuit, I'll be back on the lead with a spanked bottom before I can say 'mint sauce'. I gave up even looking at the sheep years ago. Bryn and Dewi looked at each other with raised eyebrows. They obviously believed me, but seemed surprised that I wasn't mocking them about this 'sheep-shagging' activity, though goodness only knows what it may be.
"Good lad." said Bryn. "Better come and have a kick about with us then." So I had an extremely entertaining game of beach football with them and their ball while my partner chatted to their partner (elderly and female, unfortunately for my partner).
My two new chums turned out to be extremely affable. I told them of my aims (now reduced to two after the about-turn concerning Ewan). They nodded sagely, but advised caution.
"You want to stay away from those bl**dy seals boyo." warned Bryn.
"Aye." agreed Dewi, "They'll rip your bl**dy c*ck off soon as they catch you."
"Good area for boat trips though." continued Bryn, seeing my alarm. "Wouldn't advise one just now though. Bit choppy at present."
"Not warm enough for the dolphins, probably." put in Dewi. At that point their partner decided it was time they went back home and we parted comany with mutual cordiality and respect.
So that was two of my three holiday hopes scuppered (although it was a very good game of football). What of my third?
Next time: dealing with seals, llama spittle, and being headbutted by a goat - twice!