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Where have all the dog walkers come from?

My days are slowly finding a bit of gentle rhythm. Mornings tend to be exercise led, a bit of Joe Wicks at 9am followed by a couple of housework jobs and then an hour cricket practice with Lou. If the weather allows (and it has to be bad for it not to happen) we traipse off to the top of a hill where there is a flattish patch that serves as a dodgy wicket well off the beaten track. This constitutes our daily allowance of outdoorness. From our lofty position we can keep an eye on other people who might be out and about, which paths are busy or not and how to get back into the house without passing people. We’ve worked on the timing and the route of this trip carefully, up until now we’ve not met anyone in the same vicinity. Fingers crossed it stays that way. Our neighbours must wonder where we head off to everyday with bat and cricket ball in hand. The land around our home is not what you would call classic cricket ground.

What we have noticed from our vantage point is the number of dog walkers that have appeared. We tend to spend a lot of time outside, and as we live in quite a small village that is surrounded by countryside, you do get accustomed to seeing the same faces. We can’t decide whether these dogs are normally not walked, whether they have been borrowed as an escape prop because of the threat of being housebound or whether they’ve always been there but we’ve never had to engage in stealth rambling before and they’ve suddenly become more noticeable. It is amazing what the threat of losing something does to a person’s attitude to that thing or activity. We feel that we are not the only ones to have noticed the dog population growth. This morning we noticed signs up asking people to pick up the poop (it was a bit more sweary than that). It seems that the alleged new breed of pooch plodders are rubbling their fellow canine lovers and walkers up the wrong way!

In the afternoons I’ve been finishing off some bits and bats of half done pieces or ideas. One that I have been pondering over for a while is the use of embriodery hoops to stretch paper. I did the stretching months ago but hadn’t actually got around to the painting. That has been put to rights, it’s a bit of a tricky operation stretching the paper this way but I’m really pleased with the result. I’d like to find a way to seal the piece, (I have some ideas but need to wait for the shops to open), but I’m so happy with the concept in general that I’ve ordered a few more hoops to play with. I think it will be a while before they arrive but that’s absolutely fine, I’d rather wait than people be put in an unsafe position delivering them.


I also made a gluten free Bakewell tart, which tasted great but looked blinking awful as I just couldn’t get the middle to set and it suffered a major landslide. If there are any Bakewell experts out there please don’t hesitate to share your secrets!



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