Our walking antics are being severely tested at the moment with the range of restrictions across the United Kingdom, so this week I decided to chronicle the walk I do everyday with my badly behaved dog, Eddie.
Happily in Mid England we are being allowed limited freedom again, perfectly ok to meet 5 mates and get wankered in the park, but your Mum can‘t come to your house for dinner- although you can go swimming with her. I‘m sure there is logic here - but Im struggling to find it....
Ever Patient Husband appeared with a cup of tea for me to drink whilst in bed. Don't get excited ladies, this happens about twice a week and the rest of the time, I bring him tea. He doesn't get brownie points for that one.
I've been trying for 3 years to teach Dude to make a cup of tea for me - its not going well....he just can't seem to manage the kettle with his paws, no matter how many times I show him the process.
However, he is collecting brownie points for his culinary exploits at the moment. Having mastered the art of a hearty soup (he's made three in fourteen years) he has now moved onto a substantial meal.
Those of you who are lucky enough to be able to go to a pub and have an alcoholic drink will know what I mean by a substantial meal - it basically has to include chips, rice or pasta (so I've been reliably informed by friends who are allowed into pubs at the moment!).
EPH declared at the beginning of the week that he was going to ‘make a chilli' on Saturday night.
”That's nice.” I replied.
”We'll have salsa, guacamole and cheesy nachos too.“ He mused excitedly.
”Lovely.” I replied whilst wondering whether these new skills were being developed in the hope that I would be writing about them in this blog and he'd get brownie points from our reader as well as me. Am I just cynical?
Yes but that doesn't make you wrong...Readers, is anyone handing out brownie points to EPH for the fourth meal in 13 years?
Back to the tea in bed.....
EPH opened the blinds to reveal a white roof top and a white hill. It had snowed! The first snow of the year is very exciting and I felt a warm sense of Christmasy feelings with good will to all people, even the ones I think are total knobs.
Most of them then......if of course you are anything like me (which you are Bec)
Eddie likes snow. He does not like rain, at all and sulks at me throughout the entire walk when its raining, but he loves frolicking in the snow in the same way he enjoyed endless weeks of running riot in the sandy bunkers of the posh golf course up the road during lockdown.
Dude utterly refuses to go for a walk in the rain...I have no idea if he likes snow or not as it hasn't snowed where I live since I got him...this is because I live in a sensible place, not practically at the North Pole
Thermals on, merino wool socks on and bobble hat placed at a jaunty angle, Eddie and I were ready for the great outdoors. From my house, it's all up hill so we take it quite slowly, which gives me ample opportunity to stare into the living rooms of the homes along the way. I note that the Christmas trees are proliferating at a vast rate of knots, there were some very tasteful sparkly lights festooning a house, but thankfully there was a lack of waving Santa's and reindeer's on front lawns. It is Edinburgh after all.
This isn't just Edinburgh, This is Morningside.....( imagine that in the Marks and Spencer advert tone of voice)
I normally limit Christmas decorations to a tasteful wreath on the front door and a Christmas tree not allowed until second week in December....However after the year to top all years I have two Christmas trees, which have been up since mid November , a light up village, a poinsettia (obligatory) One of those wooden arched candle things, Russian Dollies with a Christmas theme. a Christmas gonk (it was a present) and to top it off outside lights shaped like icicles...in my defense these aren't mine, Next door very politely asked if they could continue them along the front of my house and it seemed unnecessarily Grinch like to refuse..although I was slightly nonplussed when they started flashing in a multi-coloured manner.
As I was romanticising about snow, it's pure whiteness and the shades of grey across the landscape blending seamlessly into the vast, grey skies, I remembered that snow was also quite slippery and found myself going arse over tit as I attempted to climb the first grassy hill.
I'm editing this week, And I have just laughed out loud and scared the dog!
Eddie looked at me with pity as I brushed myself off, checked to see if anyone had seen me and then kept going.
Should have made a snow angel whilst you were down there!
Beautiful snowy scene with naughty but very very funny small dog.
Like the sunshine, the snow brings out the best in people, particularly on the first flurry and so close to Christmas and after such a shit year. The fellow dog walkers were all jolly cheery, smiling as we trampled our way through the crisp white blanket of cold.
My favourite part of the walk up Braid Hill is the top. There's a trig point and a map showing you all the hills around Edinburgh. You get a fantastic view of the Firth of the Forth, Edinburgh Castle, Arthur's Seat and right across to Fife. Because I do this walk everyday, I do sometimes take it for granted, but on this occasion I stood for a few moments looking out across the city I call my home.
A view with some snow...
Eddie looked up at me with impatient pity, confused as to why there was a pause in his frolicking so my wistful moment ceased and we continued.
Best not to do wistful for too long...it can cause a surge in wist levels, which is bad for us Peri menopausal women - you will end up sobbing at the telly uttering gems like
'Its so beautiful - look how happy they are'
swiftly followed by
'Why am I not that wonderously happy? arrrgghh sob snivel'
The thing about going up a hill, is that you have to come down it at some point and having already made a complete idiot of myself on the way up, I was determined not to make the same mistake on my way down.
Very gingerly, I descended the mud slide that was now the path. I dodged some nice ladies out for a walk and commented helpfully that the lady with the walking poles was going to be alright, whereas her friend who had clearly spurned walking poles might come a cropper.
Thankfully, the descent was uneventful and I made my way home with my dignity in tact.
I very rarely manage to do anything with my dignity intact...maybe its the lack of walking poles?
Middle Child as regular readers of this blog will know, has had a difficult year. It began with an eviction, drop out from University and a return to the parental home with his tail between his legs. I was not impressed and relations between us were strained for sometime.
He managed to get a job which turned out to be some kind of brain washing cult who were disguised as those people who get you to sign up for direct debits for charities outside supermarkets. Having escaped their clutches, he then got a part time job with a convenience store which saw him through the worst of lockdown and kept us all sane.
Happily, he now has a full time job which he's enjoying and has paid off everyone he needs to pay off and is saving up so he can move out and stop eating all our food. Relations between us are now excellent and harmony has been restored.
He's acutely aware that he is now an adult. This has come into full force with me transferring his mobile phone contract over to him and him having to argue with Vodafone which I believe is a right of passage for us all. He's also nearly twenty.
He's still a baby, my youngest is 23 and SPB still comes for a cuddle if something bad happens and has a tantrum if he thinks his sister got a better advent calendar than he did.
As soon as I saw the snow, I knew Middle Child would be beyond excited as it had fallen so close to his birthday. Ever since he was a wee skinny lad he has hoped, prayed and wished for snow on his birthday, which is at the end of the first week in December. He's a Sagittarius so everything is a party to him, which is why he got evicted I think.
Its another rite of passage....
Anyway, now he's working full time, when Eddie and I return from our walks, it has become my custom to make us both a coffee (not Eddie, but Middle Child). I believe this has been a key part of our renewed closeness. Bribery works with offspring almost every time.
He was indeed very excited that it had snowed, so much so that when I looked out of the window into the back garden, I couldn't help but notice he'd drawn a picture of a knob on the outdoor glass topped table and had fashioned a penis on top of the snowman's head that Youngest Daughter had made earlier that morning before school.
I‘m pretty sure she is going to be delighted by the way her older sibling has assisted....
Picture edited, so you can't see the penis my son drew in the snow as it wouldn't upload! You're just getting the slippers.
Knob or rocket ship? - answers on a postcard please. (note: Bec is seen here rocking her Bet Lynch slippers - For those of you left confused by this classic British Cultural reference try googling Coronation Street)
My literary career hasn't started yet and already I am plumbing the depths of commenting on a picture of a snowman with a knob on his head.....
It's good to know that my Middle Child isn't all grown up just yet.
As for the chilli. It was indeed delicious, but because EPH had made it, it was the most delicious chilli in the entire universe much better than any of the three thousand chillis I had made throughout our fourteen years together. Obviously.
But did you get Nachos, guacamole etc etc ? This feels like half a job?
Perhaps add EPH chilli to the regular menu - because its so delicious...once a week perhaps.....?
This tour starts with visit of Plovdiv. The tour also explores the town Perushtitsa. The next stop will be the winery Villa Yustina.