Sunday, 6 April 2014

Sunday 6 April 2014

A wet day today, though reasonable enough yesterday to enable Gisèle and my partner to do some gardening.  This far, they have onions, sweet peppers, courgettes and tomatoes on the go, with carrots awaiting planting.  My partner is most encouraged by the progress of the tomatoes in particular - she has never grown them from seed before and they seem to be thriving.  Indeed, until a couple of years ago, she had no luck whatsoever with growing vegetables in the garden; someone used to eat the seedlings or wait until the fruits and vegetables appeared and then plucked and ate them himself, hehe...  Fortunately, neither Gisèle nor Betty have the same passion for fresh fruits and vegetables as I enjoyed.

Betty's return to the house is imminent and Gizzy has been busy getting things ready for her friend's visit.  In order to stop her fretting herself into a state, I suggested that she might like to write a little more about her last holiday on Dartmoor.  After all, she had only managed two instalments thus far and I knew that she had more pictures that she wanted to share with you.  I did, however, point out that it couldn't really be titled Gisèle's Holiday Diary any more - it was almost six months ago now.  So little Giz agreed to rename it Gisèle's Holiday Memories.

Without further ado, then:-


GISÈLE'S HOLIDAY MEMORIES - PART 4



Oh dear, hihihi! I have been very bad and forgot to write about my holiday for ages. Naughty me. But I have been very busy, yes indeed. But I still have nice dreams about my holiday and the fun I had. Here is a link to the last writing I did about it:- here it is.

The next day when I woke up it was raining a bit - only a bit though, so I didn't worry too much. My friend Marnie had gone out somewhere, but some fresh new-laid eggs had been left by our door and I was allowed to have one boiled for my breakfast. It was the nicest egg I had ever tasted; so fresh and delicious, not at all like ones you might buy in a shop. Everything is nicer when it comes from home and is fresh (I think that is why Mistress is growing vegetables in our garden this year, but we haven't got any room to plant and grow any chickens).

After breakfast, we headed out for the South of the moor, to a nice walk which Mistress said Jasper had used to enjoy. We drove to Shipley Bridge car park and walked alongside the river towards the open moor.

Jazz used to love playing in the river exactly here.  But I am too little and frightened of water -
although I did paddle in the pools at the edge.

After we had turned the corner and crossed the bridge, the road became rougher until it was just a footpath track. We headed up the slopes towards the mighty Avon Dam. Mistress had been there before with Jasper and his predecessor, pretty Tess, but I had never been. Up we climbed, stopping to chat with some walkers coming the other way (that is one of the things I like about walking on Dartmoor, you meet such lovely people along the way). Parting company with these new friends, we soon came into view of the impressive Avon Dam and reservoir...

  the blue arrow below indicates where we were when the next picture was taken...
The vast edifice of the Avon Dam looms into view
As we passed the Dam and walked alongside the reservoir, the rain began to fall more steadily. Undaunted, we persisted towards our destination where, sheltering ourselves as best we could, Mistress and I ate our packed lunches. But not for long...

Giz wet. Giz cold.  Giz going home.  With or without Mistress.

I was very cold indeed - and it took us a good couple of hours at least to walk all the way back to the car.

Later in the evening, back at our holiday cottage, once I had been dried, warmed and fed, I heard Marnie's claws clicking on the path to our front door. After obtaining the necessary permissions I bounded out to play ball with her in the dogs' playing field. After twenty minutes or so, my attention drifted to the steeply-wooded hills on either side of the farm buildings and fields. The woods were teeming with owls, as we clearly heard at night, but it began to occur to me that there might also be squirrels lurking within. I suggested a little foray into the woods to Marnie, but she didn't seem too keen.
"Well, you CAN walk in the woods - " she barked, "But it isn't safe, unless you are very careful about where you are going. There are loads of old mine shafts in the hills and they are dangerous. If you fell down one you would die for sure. That's what those signs say there." She indicated the big notices at the entrances to both sides of the woodlands, but the words on them were too long for me to read. "You have to stay right on the path all the time, because mine shafts are everywhere."
"Why don't you do something about them?" I puzzled.
"Well, they don't belong to me, or my people." replied Marnie, "Even though they haven't been used for ages longer than 100 years ago, they still belong to the old extraction company."
"Eh? But you just said they WERE yours!" I couldn't understand my new friend at all.

"What? No I didn't!" yipped Marnie, "I said they were mines."
"Yes, exactly! So they ARE yours!"
"No!! They're not mine!"
"You DID too say that they were yours!"
"No - they are mines."
"Yes! YOUR mines!"
"No, no! They ARE mines - but they are not mine!"
"Eh?!"
"They are not MY mines. But they ARE mines."
"So if they are not your mines, whose mines are they?"
"I told you! The mine company!"
"Yes!! YOUR company! They are yours! So fix them!"
"But it's not MY mine company."

I began to think that Marnie might be a little bit mad. I knew I was right, and so left it there and we went back to playing ball.

'The mines aren't mine' indeed. Hiihihihihihiiiiii...!



Betty is coming to visit tomorrow. Yayyy!

Bye-bye love from Gisèle. x

 First and third photographs on this page © http://www.richkni.co.uk/dartmoor/index.html
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