I'm a little late in writing a weekend blog post but better late than never! Did you all have a nice weekend? We had glorious sunshine on Saturday morning, though it was chilly, followed by rain and then more sunshine on Sunday so we can't really complain. I'm very glad that we made the most of the sunshine on Saturday morning as the heavens really did open that afternoon.
We enjoyed a trip out Saturday morning to the All About Dogs Show at Newbury showground. We attended last year and found it good fun and it was nice to see lots of people there again this year. There's a flower and garden show on at the same time which you get free entry into when attending the dog show and so it was nice to buy some bargain plants too. Barry enjoyed meeting lots of dogs of all shapes and sizes; he was quite nervous, as always, around other dogs but that's exactly why we go to these types of events where he'll hopefully meet lots of friendly dogs. He was amazed at watching the K9 Aqua event where the dogs launch themselves into the water after a tennis ball. I think he'd have been good at this as he loves tennis balls and loves water but he wasn't going to let me out of his sight and there's no way I was going for a swim! We did however take part in the hurdles which Barry really enjoyed. I waited at the other end and he flew over the straw bales to get back to his mummy as quickly as possible! He went so quick he almost somersaulted over the last! He was so tired by the time we got home that he almost seemed glad when we told him we were popping out without him!
Happy worn out dog
Jack and I popped into Newbury on Saturday afternoon; we bought some dinner from the butchers and bought me my very first pair of walking boots! I live in my wellies at home when out walking and they're so comfy and versatile that I don't feel like I need better walking shoes, however we're off to Wales this weekend and I feel like walking boots will be a good purchase as I'll live in them from now on! I tried on numerous pairs, some felt so heavy on my size 4 feet! I eventually found a pair I really liked; they're very comfy and quite lightweight and I've worn them on a few dog walks now and they're great for supporting my weak ankles (how do you build muscle up on your ankles?!). I'm sure I'll rack up plenty of miles in them anyway; my Fitbit informed me this morning that since last Autumn when Jack bought my Fitbit for me as a Birthday present, I've walked the length of Italy - 736 miles to be precise! Although that obviously includes miles you do around the house when doing housework and we all know just how much ground you cover darting from kitchen, to living room etc.
My first pair of walking boots!
We had a nice quiet Saturday evening finally catching up on the Night Manager (BBC 1 TV drama series). It was very good, Tom Hiddleston is a great actor and I can see why they've now put him in the running as a potential 007 of the future, though I still wish Daniel Craig would continue as he's a great Bond. We had an indoor barbeque on Saturday for dinner; we bought marinated ribs and chicken wings from the butchers, all reduced as they don't open Sunday and wanted rid of them. Very tasty and I can't wait for outdoor barbeques.
I also spent Saturday evening baking a fruit loaf for my Nan and Step Grandad as we were visiting them on Sunday for a roast dinner and catch up. Syd has a sweet tooth so I knew he'd be over the moon if I turned up with a cake for him. I also bought Nan a beautiful bunch of flowers.
Fruit Loaf for Syd
And Flowers for Nan
We had a lovely roast dinner at Nan's on Sunday; she did far too much food as per usual but Nan is famous for that! My brother and his girlfriend joined us too which made Nan's day, she loves to see her grandchildren and it was lovely to catch up. Both Nan and Syd were also very pleased to have Barry there too for lots of cuddles, sadly they had their Boxer, Daisy, put to sleep a few weeks ago, so they feel very lost having had dogs in the house continually for over two decades. Daisy lived to a very good age for a Boxer though and was totally spoilt, so I keep reminding Nan that she lived the most wonderful pampered life with them. Barry was a very good boy anyway and did stay still briefly to be cuddled to death by both Nan and Syd (they treat him as if he is a great grandchild!).
My Nan was fascinated by my brother's selfie stick - I always laugh when I see people with them but it was the best way to get us all in this photo.
Nan cooked roast beef and pork chops, "because you can't have just one meat", along with a field's worth of broccoli, cabbage, parsnips, carrots, brussel sprouts, roast potatoes AND new potatoes! Nan also did one of her famous Yorkshire puddings, which we all passed around as if it were a hat and tore off a piece (it's tradition in our family!). This huge dinner was then followed up with strawberries and ice cream. It was lovely chatting away with Nan and Syd anyway and I felt guilty when we had to head home again, but it's a two hour journey each way to Bedfordshire so we wanted to be able to get home and make lunches etc. for work on Monday. Nan as usual sent me home with half the contents of her freezer; a whole chicken, a gigantic gammon joint, steak for Jack and bacon. She tried to send me home with a 4kg pork joint too but there was no way that beast would fit in my freezer sadly! So instead she replaced said pork joint with a dozen fresh eggs from their hens and some chews for Barry.
Beautiful fresh eggs from Nan's hens, laid that day
So it was a lovely weekend of dog shows, a little bit of gardening and family time. Lovely! I'm counting down to the end of the month when my parents return from their latest trip out to France, I've really missed them this time and it's feeling like a really long time so I'm really looking forward to seeing them at the end of this month. I said 'really' a lot!
I'm also very excited for our trip to Wales this weekend! I surprised Jack for Valentines by booking us in at a lovely B&B Pub that's pet friendly too so we're going for a mini holiday. It's my first time to Wales too which is exciting as the scenery looks stunning. We're off to the Wye Valley; it's less than 2 hours' drive from home and looks like there are plenty of walks to explore, which Barry will love. We're staying in Penallt, not far from Monmouth and I've already planned our walks while we're there (just staying Saturday night but heading there early Saturday morning to get two full days there). I've planned for us to head towards Abergavenny on Sunday and we're going to do a walk on Blorenge mountain, so that's exciting. If anyone has been to the Wye Valley and can recommend walks, places to visit etc. then please do let me know. As I say, it's a totally new area to us so I'm only planning walks based on my internet research. I hope the weather is nice, regardless we will still have fun!
Have a good week all!