Category: Poppy

Abingdon Floods ~ 2014

For the first time in a long time, it seems like the end of the winter rains might be in sight. As I’ve previously mentioned here, we technically live in a flood risk area. While we’re told our street has never flooded, it’s difficult not to worry when people on the news say that no one has ever seen their area flood before, yet there they are, with flood waters invading their home. Abingdon didn’t fare too badly throughout February, as most of the water headed to the natural floodplains. Sandbags were available, though we picked up ours back in January (I say ‘we’, I mean my OH did. I can’t actually pick one up!) Fortunately, despite a few hairy moments, it seems that most people in Abingdon were okay, though traffic was ‘interesting’ to say the least! Here are a few snaps of the recent floods.

Abingdon Bridge

The writing on the bridge is a great way of knowing how much the river levels change. I took this on a Saturday morning, just over a week ago. By the evening, it had risen quite a bit, but then dropped by the Sunday morning.

Flooded Thames

Normally, you can walk down to the end of this slip and Poppy likes to sniff all the debris that accumulates there. Not when it’s like this, however. She likes to give it a wide berth.

Flooded Ock walk

River Ock

This is one of our favourite Abingdon walks, especially in the summer and I wrote about it last year. This is how it was just over a week ago. Poppy and I got caught in a pretty nasty hail storm while I was taking these. Neither of us were amused! However, below is what it looked like on Sunday.

Ock Walk

Unbelievable right?! Just in one week, the water level dropped loads, though we’ve seen how much more water would be needed for us to really start worrying about flooding.

Flooded Abingdon

Another one of our favourite walks is along the upper part of the Ock. This area flooded so much that it closed Tesco as the car park was submerged, which triggered apocalyptic shopping at Waitrose! Lol. Fortunately, just over a week later, it was looking much better.

Abingdon Fields

Poppy in the flood

Even Poppy fancied exploring the floods a little bit more closely! (We stayed well away from the edge, following all the safety advice!)

Fallen Tree

In the storm over the weekend, we lost a tile. I know. Bad times. However, Albert Park lost this giant tree, as well as a smaller tree and lots and lots of branches, covered in squirrel scent, which Poppy had to stop and sniff. The tree has left a hole in the hedge and the massive hole in the ground from the roots has been filled in. It was pretty scary and Poppy was pretty spooked by the wind. I hope you’re all safe and dry and didn’t suffer much damage in recent storms.

The Poppy Diaries – Lazing Around

I don’t know about where you are, but it’s raining again here in Abingdon today. Yawn. Poppy is well and truely fed up of getting wet, wearing her coat and needing to be dried off everytime she goes outside. Not only that, but she refuses to go outside when it’s raining. Yep, she barks at us when we open the door to try and get her to go outside to the loo! So we’ve shortened out walks and at times, when the rain has been really heavy, gone down to just one walk a day, not that Poppy minds much. She’s happy to walk as much or as little as we do. Plus, with both me and my OH being poorly, we’ve not been up to much. So I thought I’d share some of my favourite recent picturs of Poppy, some of which really make me smile! (These were all taken on my iPhone, so apologies for the quality. Poppy does not like having her picture taken so you have to be really quick.)

Dog yawn

When it’s nearly time for Poppy to have her tea, she very rarely settles until she gets it. If you’re sitting on the sofa, she will walk all over, and over the back of the sofa, until she gets her tea. She’s a demanding little diva!

Sleepy Poppy

She’s exactly the same in the morning too. I normally get up, do some back & knee exercises and a few yoga and pilates exercises. Almost the whole time I’m doing them, Poppy is in my face, climbing over me, sitting on my yoga mat, until I’m done and can go and feed her. Once she’s been fed, she’s ready to go back to bed. Looks like butter wouldn’t melt doesn’t she?

proud Poppy

I love this picture of her as you can see almost all the different breeds in one go: Her Spaniel head and a few Spaniel curls in her lower back fur, her basset front paws and ears; and her long Daschund body and tail.

Poppydog

This picture makes me laugh. If you deign to disturb Poppy while she’s sleeping, you better be prepared to rub her belly. Or you get this scathing look!

Awkward Poppy

Again, apologies for the quality of this one, but I had to take it quickly. Every now and then, Poppy does something brand new that surprises us and makes us smile. Like getting up on our footstool and sitting there quite nicely, which she did the other night. Then, she fell off as her back legs weren’t on it properly. Bless. Made us chuckle though! She is quality entertainment. What’s the funniest thing your pet has ever done?

Dog Walks in Oxfordshire – Blenheim Palace

I don’t know about where you live, but last Sunday, Oxfordshire was bathed in sun. What a gorgeous treat, after so much rain. We took the opportunity to head out with Poppy. So many of our favourite haunts are/have been under water so they’re either inaccessible or incredibly muddy. Therefore, we decided to head to the beautiful Blenheim Palace. Despite living close to it, we don’t go very often and I’m not sure why, because it’s a great place for walking.

From the bridge

We were quite late in getting there on Sunday so we had to park quite a distance from the Palace, which is where we were starting our walk from. We parked on grass, which was quite muddy due to the recent downpours we’ve enjoyed, but didn’t have any problem getting out! Blenheim Palace is incredibly popular and there were plenty of dogs, families and runners out enjoying the sun.

Duke of Marlborough

We headed straight over the bridge away from the Palace and veered left that meant we could do a circular walk around the palace grounds (though we didn’t know this at the time!) The benefit of this is that it meant we could stick to the tarmac and avoid the mud, though Poppy wanted to walk on the grass, as that was where all the best smells were!

sunny woods

Unfortunately for Poppy, we only saw one squirrel, but there were plenty of pheasants, which Poppy couldn’t really see, but boy could she smell them! There were also a few pheasant carcasses lying around, but we were pretty quick at enticing Poppy away from them. Blenheim Palace is also home to grazing sheep, so dogs need to be kept on leads at all times and be aware that the sheep are fenced in with electric fencing. The sheep are well used to visitors and dogs and I’m pleased to report that Poppy behaved very well among them!

in the sun

Dogs are allowed all throughout the parklands around the Palace, but they aren’t allowed in the Formal Gardens, Courtyards or Pleasure Gardens. Our walk was a bit of a mission, but that’s because we didn’t pick up a map and plan it. We did plan to have tea and cake from the Pantry, but the queue was huge and Poppy was getting cold so we abandoned that idea. The Pantry is well worth a visit though, as the cakes are lush! If you’d prefer, you can always take a picnic to enjoy.

The back of Blenheim

We wanted to upgrade our park and gardens ticket so we could get an Annual Pass. However, the queue on Sunday was massive and can’t seem to be able to do this online. We’ll end up getting an Annual Pass next time we go though, as it’s a great place for dog walking, with so many different routes available. Can’t wait to go back!

The Walk: One of the best things about Blenheim Palace is the vastness of the grounds. There are so many different routes to take that you could go a different way every time you visit, making it great value for money. They also provide you with a handy map so you can figure out where you’re going!
Cost: As we went out of season, we only paid £4 each, however, it is a bit more when everything is open. Here’s a link to the prices in full.
Car Park: As Blenheim Palace is used to hosting major events, there’s plenty of free car parking available. If you arrive late on a busy day, you might be quite far from the main building, but that just means you can eat more cake in the Pantry!
Refreshments: Depending what type of refreshments you’re after, there’s something to suit everyone. We usually just get something from the Oxfordshire Pantry and head outside with Poppy.
Toilets: There are toilets inside the East Courtyard Shop, which is well worth a visit in itself.

Poppy’s First Christmas (with us!)

How was your Christmas? It seems like it was ages ago doesn’t it? Ours was very lovely and very relaxed. We spent most of it at home and had my Mum up to stay. My OH’s Mum & Stepdad cooked Christmas for us all, which was lovely, and Poppy was bathed in attention by everyone! We’re very lucky in that Poppy is pretty easy going when we’re around. She loves having people over as it’s another person who’ll rub her belly so it’s fair to say that Poppy had a pretty good Christmas too.

Sleeping dog

We were careful not to overfeed her with treats, but as we wanted her to be entertained during Christmas dinner, we bought a massive pizzle from our local pet shop. It was huge! We cut it in half, and even then it was almost as long as Poppy. But it worked and it kept her busy during lunch, which is what we wanted. Given the opportunity, Poppy will eat all day, every day, so we had to make sure she didn’t make herself sick so we took the pizzle away from her before she finished it so that she didn’t over do it. She was exhausted from the pizzle, the general attention and running around while the food was cooking. She was so tired that she slept in on Boxing Day and continued to sleep a lot during the day. Result!

Beautiful dog eyes

Walking her over the festive period was quite tricky. Not only were we all in lazy mode, but the weather wasn’t particularly nice. While we’ve all got raincoats, including Poppy, none of us wanted to go out in the rain. After a particularly unpleasant drenching recently, I’ve bought some new waterproof trousers to go over my jeans when I’m walking her. Typically, I’ve not needed them since I bought them, but judging by the forecast, I’m probably going to get to wear them a lot over the next few days. Hands up if you miss summer!

waterproof trousers

We didn’t seem to take many pictures of Poppy over the Christmas period, which she was probably grateful for. The one thing we wanted to do was take a picture of her in a Christmas outfit, but we left it too late and couldn’t find one. So we’ve got to be more organised next year because she would look awesome in a little Santa outfit!

How was your Christmas? Did your pets get any presents from Father Christmas?