A Winter walk

It has been raining all day here, and the wind has been strong too. But Ollie still has to have his walk, so it was business as usual, at 2pm today. The sky had been the colour of a battleship since I woke up, and there was about as much light as you would get through the frosted glass of a bathroom window. I could hear the rain pattering off of the flat roofs, with the heaver drops, like the bass drum heard over the snares. This last December day seemed determined to remind us all that it was still Winter in Norfolk.

Luckily, a lot of the misery of dog-walking in the wet has been greatly reduced, by the arrival of Christmas gifts, courtesy of my thoughtful wife. As well as the previously mentioned American wellington boots, I was delighted to receive some Berghaus gloves, windproof, and water-resistant. Damp trousers are also banished, with the addition of North Face over-trousers, almost guaranteed to keep wet and wind away from from my legs. These bad boys unzip and un-pop all the way from the thigh, so it is easy to get boots on and off from underneath them. I even got a nice basic Timex watch, one that I can see easily, and with the benefit of a luminous face, for darker walks. This means I no longer have to worry about damaging the more expensive watch that I usually wear. I topped off the ensemble with my cheap but efficient waterproof cap, and we headed off into the torrential rain, that always gets worse around 2pm.

Ollie had been to the Vet again earlier, and we received bad news about his tail injury. It is still not healing. Despite keeping him quiet, and away from his dog playmates, any shaking, or running through long grass, is enough to re-open the wound. He has ten more days, to see if it heals properly, or we have to agree to amputation of the last inch or so of his tail. Despite these problems, and the weather, he was keen to get out, and run around as usual. After ten minutes striding, I realised that only my face was wet, so all the preparation with the new clothes had paid dividends, as far as keeping dry goes. The rain kept coming, and the areas next to the river, and through the woodland, were like quagmires. Mud was inches deep, and in some places, I needed my trusty wooden wading pole, to assist with balance.

We did not see many other walkers; no doubt put off by the bad weather, or having to journey to family and friends for the New Year celebrations. Those that were around sensibly kept their heads down, and I avoided the other dogs anyway, lest Ollie’s tail get caught in play. I noticed some large areas of bracken had been flattened, trampled into rough circle shapes. A sure sign that large deer had slept there overnight, confirmed by Ollie’s interest in sniffing those areas intently. The river was chocolate brown, and moving fast, swollen by recent rains, but thankfully not bursting its banks. Ollie searched for his friends; but finding none, he contented himself with squirrel-chasing, and constant sniffing. It was nice to be able to keep him off the lead for a while, as he hates having it on, and it has been necessary, since the tail incident. He was interested in some colourful Jays, but they ignored him, and there were no rabbits to be seen either.

Under the trees, the drumming of the larger raindrops grew tiring on my head, so I walked out into the playing fields instead. There were no children in the play park, and no boys playing football in the compound. By 3pm, Ollie and I were the only things visible on Beetley Meadows, and it was getting noticeably darker. I decided to head for home, as I had also noticed blood at the end of Ollie’s tail, a sure sign that he had caught it again. I was pleased to find myself completely dry, despite all the outerwear being soaked, and muddy. I towelled off the dog, and prepared him one of his favourite meals; fresh-cooked chicken livers, and mixed vegetables.

Tomorrow is the first day of another year in the world of dog-walking. Only 365 more walks to do, before 2015.

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17 thoughts on “A Winter walk

    1. It is an unfortunate necessity, when you have a dog. It is trying to make sure that you don’t cross the line between getting out and about, and it just becoming a chore…Regards from Norfolk, Pete.

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  1. Well, Happy New Year to you Julie & Ollie and I really hope the boy’s tail heals or at least gets finally mended very soon.
    So, it’s still raining in Norfolk eh? Here in London it hasn’t rained for . . mmm, let’s think . . about two months I guess, anyway Pete, it’s only a bit of water mate!
    LOL Ro xx

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    1. Aha! I have seen the news reporters outside Westminster, so I know you speak with forked tongue! It is only water, and never troubled me unduly over the years. That was until I moved here, and started to notice it!
      Happy New Year old friend, and hope all is well. Pete and Julie. X

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  2. I do miss walking the dogs and although I have managed to kidnap a few of my friends best friends to satisfy my pangs, I look forward to getting back to my own schedule with Jackie and Zara; as is Gosia!
    I hope Ollies tale recovers, I’d be almost tempted to take the dressing off and let nature take it’s course, his own saliva has great healing qualities and as a rule dogs heal remarkably quick; unaware of insurance policies as they are:)
    Happy New Year!

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    1. The dressing is off Eddy. It fell off last week, and the Vet said to leave it to dry out. Unfortunately, he cannot reach his tail,(see gravatar picture) as it curls like a pig’s tail. Also, we can still see a small amount of bone that is not being covered by the skin growing back, so it seems like further surgery will be the outcome next week.
      Cheers mate, Pete.

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  3. So much for Norfolk being the driest county! Even though we are practically in Wales (known for the rain) we don’t seem to have had half the bad weather that the south and the east have experienced lately. Although wet both this morning and yesterday morning, both afternoons have been clear and sunny with blue skies! You’d have enjoyed walking Ollie here. I do hope his tail and your finances improve. You should try and market your blog to the Norfolk magazines, it reads just like a column in one πŸ™‚
    Jude xx

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    1. Aha! The driest county. More like the ‘big lie’! I think I would try to sell my blog, as long as I didn’t have deadlines. I have never responded well to those. Just back from the neighbours’ place. Lovely Chinese meal and good chats. X

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      1. Oh dear, we have quite some problems with missing rain nearly every year in the Cley next the Sea, Blakeney, Wiveton, Salthouse area. Strawberries like some other crops need watering, my lawn is dried out usually by the middle of July.
        The difference in climate between your place and mine seems to be drastic. Today we had a little rain when I woke up but soon the sun came out and no rain anymore.
        I hope you are fine, warm and dry. We had no idea about such a rough weather just around the corner.
        Well, “Rain on my face” is not a brilliant novel because of a missing editing, but Quentin (he died a couple of years ago and Quentin is a pseudonym) was a professional writer and if one abstracts from the the style it is quite realistic about our lifestyle in those days. I wondering if you will guess who I am.
        All the best, survive the flood
        Klausbernd
        Greetings from Dina and our lovely Bookfayries too πŸ™‚

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        1. I thought it might be a pseudonym, as it was so unusual. I will look out for it to buy, and hopefully read it during 2014. I will try to discover your part in it, KB! Regards to you all in Cley, Pete and Ollie. x

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  4. He may have a sore tail, but lucky boy getting chicken livers! Hope it heals, so difficult when the skin keeps breaking. I envy your outdoor garb.I have good stuff, Paramo and wear a Lowe Alpine mountain cap, but my waterproof trousers have been tested this month, been soaked through a few times. And horizontal hail really stings! Here’s to drier dog walking in 2014 πŸ™‚

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    1. Paramo and Lowe! I am jealous Tracey! Your need is greater than mine though. I expect a bad day here is like summertime, where you live. Hope it is going well for your celebrations, we have called it a night. (Getting on a bit…) x

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  5. Sounded wonderful – I’m glad that everything kept you dry. I hope Ollie’s tail does improve in the next 10 days.
    Hopefully you will continue your walks each day next year and have plenty more tales to tell us about you both.
    A Happy New Year to you all.

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