Rainbow dog poop

Some might say my spontaneity is one of my biggest flaws. I never think things through and have rushed into absolutely everything in my life. However the majority of my decisions usually work out pretty well.

For example on a night out in London Liverpool Street I decided to wander off from my group of friends to have a drink in a pub I liked. As I walked in alone with not a care in the world a ridiculously handsome man invited me to have a drink with him. The Irish accent got me immediately. He told me he was going to marry me and I believed him. I rang my cousin and told her I’d found the man I would marry. She sighed exasperated. One year on from that exact day we ran away to Gretna Green and married! And so here we are!20160621_174414

Six weeks into country life adventure came one of my husband and I’s latest impulsive decisions. It was my husband who convinced me it was a great idea. “Everyone in the country owned dogs” I started to develop romanticised images of me strolling through green fields with my trusty companion, teaching him tricks and taking him on family holidays where we would all jump waves on the beach. I agreed and my husband brought home a beautiful puppy who he said was a cross between a Pug and a Jack Russell. I have never claimed to know a lot about dogs, having always been a cat person, but there was definitely some kind of mix up with the dogs parentage.  I loved him all the same, no matter the genes and we called him Bert.

The first night he slept in our bed and then after some research I bought a crate. The crate still sits in my shed immaculate after never ever been used. So therefore the sleepless nights began, not with any of my children, but with this furry new family member.

Puppy pad training was hard work but we achieved it relatively quickly. Teething however was horrendous. Bert chewed his way through my whole home like a baby lion. I have picked up the most colourful poops laced with Shopkins and Lego pieces.

Remains of my sofa…

Bert is the most hyperactive dog you will ever meet. He never tires no matter how long or far he is walked. I have sat and watched countless YouTube videos on dog training and how to mentally tire him. Again no joy so now we have just come to accept that we have a slightly bonkers dog.

Although our plan was not thought out and raising a puppy has been eye opening to say the least, I would never be without our dog now. The romantisiced images never really paid off. We took him on holiday once, he ate a lot of sand and shells and pooed all over the beach. Bert never strolls, but pulls from side to side, manically! However he does “sit”and “high five”on command!

Bert is a gentle soul and has always been so loving and cautious around the children and our cat. He has definitely taught our children the responsibilities that come with a pet and they all help care for him.

If anybody has any idea who the biological parents of our dog are let me know your thoughts. Our theory is King Charles Spaniel x Springer x Jack Russell. Am interested to know what you think! Thank for reading!

5 things I have learnt about the countryside so far…

1. Farmers work really hard!

The first thing I noticed when driving around my new location was how many tractors there were. Fields and tractors as far as the eye could see. Tractors at all times of day and so my obsessive questioning began. My husband is an Irishman from a beautiful little fishing village in Ireland. The village is surrounded by fields and farms, therefore my husband became my fountain of all knowledge, much to his dismay. “What crop is that?” “Why do they roll hay like that?” “Who buys the hay?” “Do turnips grown on top or under ground?” My list of questions was endless so much so that he refused to answer in the end, thank goodness for Alexa!

Of course I knew where vegetables came from, I’d even grown the odd runner bean with my granddad. However what amazed me and still does is the amount of work that goes into farming. Farmers I applaud you!

2. Dressing accordingly to the weather

Fleeces, hiking boots, jerkins…all items of clothing I have never worn. Never have I shopped in Mountain Warehouse or North Face. However as I stand at the school gate in a flimsy biker jacket, with the soles of my £9.99 New Look pumps falling apart from the rural terrains, I look around at the other mothers snug and warm in their colourful duck – down insulated coats and a doubt on my attire creeps into my mind. This winter Mountain Warehouse I’m coming for ya!

3. Snails

Londoners are notorious for their fast pace, so the general pace of life in the countryside came as a great shock. I couldn’t understand why, in the local shop, every customer would have a lengthy conversation about the weather with the cashier, when there was clearly a queue of 5 people waiting. At first I would restlessly fold and unfold my arms, step from foot to foot and at times throw my items down and walk out in a huff. 2 years on I quite enjoy the friendliness and as someone who loves a chat, embrace the opportunity to hold everyone else up in the queue! I cant ever remember why I was in such a rush anyway!

4. Good morning

I used to notice this when I went down to Cornwall on our family holidays. Everybody says “Good Morning.” In London people rarely greet strangers and if someone does say “hello” or “good morning” your automatic thought would be “Who’s that? Bit weird aint they?”

At the beginning the words used to sound awkward coming out of me. Nevertheless I persevered and now greet everyone in my village with a confident “Good morning!” even the local cats.

5. All Creatures Great and Small

Obviously I have seen farm yard animals at the various city farms in East London and have taken my children to them. However a herd of cows standing directly in front of me on a walkway still takes some getting used to. The first time I came into this close a proximity, I was pushing my baby along the river. There was no body else around and as I came around the corner with the pram there they were. I froze and did not dare to move. The sheer size and width of that first cows head was enough to make me break into a cold sweat. Thankfully an elderly gentleman, walking his small dog, must have recognised my panic and gently guided me around the herd.

Other creatures I have became more aware of are hedgehogs, badgers, different types of birds and moles. Moles! Somehow I was under the illusion that moles were somehow like less glamorous unicorn mythical type creatures or just extremely uncommon. I remember them on the TV show, Animals of Farthing Wood, back in the 90s but hadn’t really thought of them again until my new friend was complaining of moles ruining her lawn! I am learning more and more each day!

#molevandalism

Lastly the creature I have came into with closest contact, in abundance….FLIES. Millions of them. Bold, fearless, little creatures who think nothing of casually landing on my face for a rest. Flies everywhere I look, some even having seedy little fly orgies of 3/4 on my windowsill. They are relentless, to the point when I first moved in, I was convinced something must have been left dying in the loft.

So there are my top 5 things I have learnt so far and many more observations have been noted along the way such as:

  • Power cuts and signal loss is frequent.
  • People love a Facebook rant on village sites about; dog poo, suspicious vehicles (most I reckon just slightly lost) and litter.
  • Shops close early.
  • Buses run once an hour and never on time, you have to use cash and oyster cards are not accepted.
  • The smell of a chicken farm on a hot day is rancid.

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear other comments and opinions on country/city life differences and your experiences!