Tag: poppy

#BEDN ~ Bonfire Night

For me, one thing I always remember about Bonfire Night is having to wear woolly gloves. I don’t think it was about it being really cold in November, but more to protect my hands from the sparklers as I wrote my name. I was thinking about this the other day when I was walking Poppy and it was really cold and needed to pick up after her. I was wearing my mittens, which are gorgeous, but they don’t really work when needing to poopy scoop. So I need a pair of those filp mittens (not going to even attempt to knit myself, as it’ll take me until next winter to knit one!) to help keep my paws warm but also stay on top of my dog walking duties.

mittens fairisle fleece lined mittens stripy stitch Loveheart

1. Winter Fairlsle Mittens, Fat Face £18 // 2. Fair Isle Gloves, Boden £29 // 3. Fleece Lined Overflap Mittens, Fat Face £18 // 4. Stripy Stitch Gloves, Boden £19 // 5. Loveheart Flop Mitt, White Stuff £17.50 {All images via their respective sources}

I really like the fair isle gloves but am leaning towards the stripy stitch pair. I’m only thinking about gloves as I have quite the winter hat collection and have lots of different scarves so don’t need to be buying any more. But gloves that will keep me cosy & not get in the way of my dog owner duties are high on my list of essentials right now!

Dog Walks in Oxfordshire – Port Meadow, Oxford

Anyone who knows Oxford will know about Port Meadow. It’s a pretty unique place, where cows & horses graze year round and when its flooded during winter, if it’s cold enough, you can skate on it. It’s a great place for dog walking, especially if you can get there when it’s dry enough that there isn’t any water in it.

Port MeadowWe parked in the car park on Walton Well Road. As far as parking in Oxford goes, it’s pretty reasonable. Just £2.10 for 5 hours. There is parking in Wolvercote on Godstow Road, which is free (according to the Oxford City Council website) but we wanted to head into Jericho after our walk.

Cows on Port MeadowCows & horses graze all over Port Meadow so we kept Poppy on her lead while we were walking by them. When we were far away from them and anyone else, we did let her off a little bit. It’s something that we’re working on with her. But whenever we were near the cows, we made sure that we had Poppy on the shortest lead possible. She’s still not sure about cows and at one point we had cows on both sides. Not sure who was most terrified – Poppy, the cows or us! Apart from a few nervous barks from Poppy, we escaped unscathed!

Dreaming SpiresOne of the things I love about Port Meadow is that you can completely forget that you’re in a city (apart from the sound of the cars driving along the A34!) Plus it’s big enough that you can have a real trek around it, maybe even walk from the car in Jericho to Wolvercote & back again (though that’s pretty adventurous!) Plus there are lots of walks you can access from Port Meadow so you’re spoilt for choice. Most of the walks also bring you close to very lovely pubs & restaurants so you’re sure somewhere lovely to put your feet up & enjoy some sustenance.

Port Meadow, Oxford

While there is a path at the start of the walk from Port Meadow South, it doesn’t last for long. Good walking shoes are advised as the ground is a little uneven and, unsurprisingly, there are a lot of cow pats all over the place (much to Poppy’s delight, though she quickly discovered that she prefers a fresh cow pat!)

Having lived in Jericho for a few years, going for a walk around Port Meadow is almost like going home for me. I loved living in Oxford so jump at any chance to pop back. Plus walking around Port Meadow gave Poppy a chance to get more used to livestock! It’s a great walk, not too difficult, and there are lots of options to extend your walk, should you choose to do so. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon!

The Walk: Weather permitting, you can walk around the whole of Port Meadow. However, it is a flood plain so sometimes it’s not possible to walk all the way around it. There are lots of other walks accessible via Port Meadow, including walking along the Thames into Oxford.
Cost: Free
Car Park: Free parking in Wolvercote on Godstow Road and very reasonable parking charges (for Oxford!) at Walton Well Road in Jericho. 
Refreshments: There are lots of great cafes, pubs and restaurants nearby, whether you’ve parked in Wolvercote or Jericho. How many are dog friendly, I’m not sure yet. However I do know that The Gardeners Arms in Jericho serves great veggie food & is dog friendly.
Toilets: As far as I know, there aren’t any public toilets near by, though if you know of any please let me know!

Poppydog’s New Coat

When we adopted Poppy from the Blue Cross, they recommended we get her a coat. She’s pretty small so needs a little something extra to protect her from the rain. We got soaked in a downpour in Oxford on the weekend – Poppy looked like a drowned rat & then got cold, poor little pooch. So we ordered the Element Dog Jacket from EzyDog. It’s showerproof & windproof, as well as having a fleece lining to help keep her warm. It’s easy to get on, though with Poppy’s giant ears it’s a slightly tricky to get off! It has a zip on the top, so we can attach her lead to her harness. She’s very comfortable in it – not that it encouraged her to go out in the rain this morning. Point blank refused to leave the house!

Dog coat

One of the reasons we wanted to get her a coat was because her harness gets soaked when the ground is wet. The water flicks up on to her chest because she’s so low to the ground. I was really hoping the coat would stop this, and I think it will, but this morning, we walked after a massive downpour so even her jacket was soaked underneath. The only thing I’m not 100% happy with is the straps used to do up the coat. They dangle down quite a bit & get quite wet. I’m hoping that a little fiddling around with them will solve this. I was worried Poppy would find it awkward but she didn’t seem to mind it at all!

Poppy on holiday in Cornwall

During the last week of September, Poppy, my OH & I went on our first holiday together to Cadgwith Cove in Cornwall. Cadgwith is an adorable little fishing village on the Lizard & has become somewhere I want to go back to again and again. One of the reasons is because it was really dog friendly, which made Poppy very happy!

Cornish coast

As soon as we arrived at our holiday rental, Little Sandcastle, Poppy made herself at home.

Little Sandcastle

The bed was the same height as the window, which meant perfect viewing for Poppy! She barked at the seagulls, other dogs & passers by. Pretty normal really! But as it’s best to access Cadgwith on foot, it was pretty quiet. This made a nice change for all of us, as at home, we get quite a bit of traffic on our street & Poppy has quite a job of letting us know that there are people about!

One of the best things about the holiday for Poppy was spending time with us, especially morning cuddles, which she enjoyed immensely (as did I!). We wore her out quite a bit with the amount of walking we did, but she loved it.

morning cuddles

On our first full day, we headed out of Cadgwith along the coast path towards the Devil’s Frying Pan. It was slightly steeper than we’re used to in Oxfordshire & gave us all a workout, Poppy included!

sleepy

We walked much further than we intended to & all of us were covered in mud when we returned. Poppy really enjoyed walking along the coastal path, and wasn’t phased by kissing gates or anything! She did get frustrated by our slow & cautious pace, but she took it all in her stride. That being said, Poppy does love a good beach walk, even if she’s not a fan of the sea! There’s still lots to smell and space to run around on – it can be quite tiring!

Over tired

For a brief moment, she was the most southerly dog as we walked along the Lizard Point. She was really patient, posing for photos, which she hates! She hates being still & has started to let us know when she gets fed up by barking her frustrated bark at us! She did get lots & lots of love from locals & tourists alike, however, and we had to explain her weird breeding a lot.

Southerly Dog

One of the major downsides of going during September was that a lot of the beaches still had dog restrictions in place. This was really frustrating as most beaches were empty (The weather wasn’t really suitable!) and sadly, most of the ‘dog friendly’ beaches aren’t as nice as the others. But that didn’t stop us and because the holiday season was drawing to a close, it meant that most of the time, even the dog friendly beaches were quiet. Therefore, we let Poppy off the lead on one or two of the beaches. Needless to say she loved it! She didn’t venture far. We noticed that after she ran for a bit, she would stop & turn to see where we were.

As we couldn’t leave Poppy in the cottage on her own, she came with us everywhere & became really well trained in waiting while we ate our dinner or cream tea. As Poppy doesn’t play with toys, we have to keep her entertained with food. Pizzles are the best for this, as they last longer than most other chews. I was so impressed with the number of dog friendly cafes and restaurants in Cornwall and so many places welcomed her with treats and water.

pub pooch

Walking around the area was really lovely, as there were no squirrels for her to chase or get stressed about. She just explored new places, found new scents and came across new things, like sheep & cows. She wasn’t particularly keen on either, though while she just barked at the sheep, she seemed slightly more perplexed by the cows. After a while it dawned on us, that as we were walking through a field of cows, she was sniffing where they’d walked so could smell their hooves. Poppy chews on cow hooves all the time at home so think this must have had something to do with it!

Rock pool dogPoppy got a little bit braver in the sea at Cadgwith, exploring some of the rock pools. Because Cadgwith is a fishing village, there were loads, and I mean loads, of crab claws all over the cove! Poppy was really interested in these so we had to keep an eye, especially after her suspected allergic reaction to a tuna baguette!

Cadgwith Cove was a fantastic place for our first family holiday. Everything was so easy & relaxed. We will definitely be going back there, which Poppy will be pleased to know, I’m sure!