I have a huge case of the post-holiday blues – oh, to be beside the seaside. So I’ve spent a bit of time trawling through the hundreds of photos I took while we were in Cornwall last week and have picked out some of my favourites. Even though it rained, a few times, we had a lovely time. As it was out of season, we could take Poppy on all the beaches, which was ace and we took full advantage of that, whatever the weather.
We also enjoyed a few cream teas, pasties, local chips and the odd cider. It was bliss!
I’m in the middle of redecorating my study. It’s been going on since August. (Don’t ask!) Along with replacing the Ikea curtains that I shortened and weren’t the same length (!), I also need a new desk and a new light. We were still using the ‘temporary’ paper lampshade, also from Ikea, which is huge (yep, we thought we were being ‘edgy’ by getting a larger paper lampshade) and I hit it every time I take the ironing board out of the airing cupboard. Plus, I want something that will give lots of light, as my office is also my craft room so I need to be able to see clearly. I love the idea of having vintage or vintage style and these are my favourite.
1. Vintage Green Metal Shade – NOTHS // 2. Vintage Style Factory Pendant Light – NOTHS // 3. Kilner Glass Lamp – Folksy // 4. Penelope Ceiling Light – John Lewis // 5. Mason Jar Pendant Light – Etsy // 6. Dyke & Dean Enamel Shade – Heals // 7. Welsh Fisherman’s Lamp – Howkapow
My absolute favourite is the Welsh Fisherman’s Lamp from Howkapow. Plus as I’ve painted the walls a light grey, I’m looking to add a few splashes of colour in other places. I just can’t decide which one to get! If you’ve got any suggestions, please let me know!
For me, there’s nothing better than being by the sea. Last week we spent the week in Cornwall, exploring the Lizard. As it’s out of season, we were able to take Poppy on all the beaches, which she loved! We had such a wicked time, despite the weather – the sun only came out a few times. Not that we were deterred by that at all.
On our way home on Saturday, we stopped off at Poldhu for a walk and some breakfast. We knew the tide would be out and even the sun came out! We had a great walk around, explored rock pools and enjoyed a delicious breakfast and hot chocolate at the brilliant Poldhu Beach Cafe. Their egg bap is awesome and the perfect post-walk meal. Really wish I was back there right now!
During a recent visit home to Pembrokeshire, I needed to get on a beach and breath in the sea air. Growing up near the coast means that you miss that salty air when you’re away from it too long. We headed to Freshwater East for a change and it was a great success. We managed to get there during low tide, which meant we had quite a lot of beach to play around on as well as some rock pools for Poppy to play in.
Freshwater East is dog friendly all year round and they even had a bank of free dog poo bags, so don’t forget to pick it up and bin it! It’s really popular with families during the nice weather as it’s such a lovely beach so be aware that it can get really busy. During those times, we’d put Poppy on her lead, but when we went, it was pretty quiet so Poppy was allowed to be off the lead for most of her walk, which meant she could leap about in the rock pools. She had so much fun running about the rocks on the beach and leapt over a few, which was ace. She did this again on the other side of the beach, but didn’t realise there was a massive pool of water behind the rock and got completely soaked! She shook it off though and was a real trooper! Fresh East is a lovely beach and we’ll definitely be going back there over Christmas.
The Walk: There are a number of walks you can do around Freshwater East, as well as just walking along the beach. It’s definitely worth being aware when the tide will be out so that you can get as much beach in as you can.
Car Park: There is a car park at Freshwater East, which is free from 1st November to 31st March. It costs £1 for one hour, £3 for 3 hours and £5 for over three hours.
Refreshments: I can remember going to the shop at Fresh East as a child, but it wasn’t open when we went and I can’t remember if it’s still there, so pack a thermos and some homemade flapjack, just in case.
Toilets: There are toilets at the entrance to the beach.
A little while ago, after watching a channel 4 documentary on dogs and their secret lives, we recorded Poppy while we went out and found that she very unsettled when left on her own. She got extremely stressed and worked up and showed behaviour such as toileting indoors (once even on our bed!), pacing, panting and howling. While we are very lucky to have extremely understanding and dog loving neighbours, we knew we couldn’t go on letting Poppy be so unhappy while she was on her own. And it’s not like she’s on her own a lot or for long periods of time, but we want a happy, stress free dog. We got in touch with local dog trainers, K9 Playtime Academy Dog Training School and we haven’t looked back.
Our aim is to have a dog who isn’t really bothered if we’re there or not, so that if she needs to be left on her own for a couple of hours, she can. While we’re not quite there, we’re really close. Poppy is an excellent dog for training. She is hugely motivated by food, she’s a very quick learner and she enjoys training – she wags her tail throughout every training session! We’ve trained her to lie down on her mat, with her face on her paws and are working on getting her to lie on her side. We started by just getting her to sit on her mat and have progressed from there. We’re also working on getting her to stay on her mat while we move away. So far, we can get to the front door and have the front door open and she’ll stay on her mat. The next step is for us to go out the front door, close it and get her to stay on her mat. To make sure she doesn’t move, we’ve bought a camera that we can watch her on through our iPhone to see how she’s behaving.
The first time Poppy lay on her mat with her head on her paws, both the trainer and I very nearly cried! During training, you can see Poppy thinking really hard to work out what we want so when she does work it, it’s pretty awesome! We use a clicker throughout training and it works really well. Training sessions always leave us exhausted, but we’ve learnt so, so much and I can’t wait for the day we have a real breakthrough with Poppy and can leave her on her own without her getting stressed. We now know that if we want Poppy to behave in a certain way, we have to shape it, start small and be patient. Quite often, I’ll rush things or think we’ve pushed her too far, when we haven’t at all and I’m just being impatient. One thing is certain, and that’s Poppy will get there. It just takes a little time.
One thing our trainer recommended to us was a relaxation protocol, Champion of My Heart and it works by changing your dogs reactions to things that make them stressed, be it noise, separation anxiety or fear. It works really well and I can’t recommend it enough. Have you tried anything that’s worked particularly well for shaping your dogs behaviour? I think reward based training is always a winner – and why not? It works for me, so why wouldn’t it work for Poppy?!
I am deep into redecoration mode right now. Despite the fact that we’ve had to put on hold on decorating my study, thanks to illness, I’m still thinking and planning everything in my head and keeping an eye on Pinterest and Twitter for inspiration. I’ve followed Designer Maker shop on Twitter for a while, but had a good look at their website and oh my word, I want it all!
I love the blue in this Clifton Lampshade by Sophie Richardson. It’s lovely and bright, which would be perfect in my study as I’ve got light paint for the walls and want to add pops of colour in different areas. I can’t wait to finish my study – all my stuff is all over the place right now! When it’s finished, I can stop spending my money on paint and buy some of the gorgeous things over on the Designer Maker Shop!