Saturday, 20 November 2010

Life can be such a bitch.

Yours truly woke up a bit later than normal this morning. I was soon feeling much better after enjoying a good scratch. Accompanied by a good stretch, just to relieve a bit of muscle ache. Scratching and stretching is something we all do, even if we don't like to admit it. I was now ready to face whatever another day at Wits-End might bring. Looking out of the window, I could see that it was a typical late autumnal morning. Dreary, grey and damp so there is no change there then. However, the weather could never dampen my enthusiasm for day, "carpe diem" I say.

Carpe diem is usually translated from the Latin as 'seize the day'. However, the more pedantic of scholars may very well seize you by the throat if you suggest that translation. 'Carpe' translates literally as 'pluck', so a more accurate rendition is, pluck the day.
"Pluck the day" now where have I heard that before!

I did not fancy breakfast, to be honest I tend to eat only once a day, with the odd titbit in between. I must admit to being something of a faddy eater, well that's what everyone else says about me. All this talk of the food I eat is enough to give you a complex. Why does everyone take so much interest in what I do or don't eat. Its just that I can only eat when I feel hungry and I'm not one for eating just for the sake of it. I know what I like, so my diet tends to be a bit repetitive. But each to their own and as those sheep burning froggies would say - c'est la vie.

I heard the milkman call, the clink-clink of the bottles followed by the clunk of the gate! I don't know why he doesn't get a trumpet and make an even bigger noise. Otherwise, the house is extra quiet this morning, it being the weekend and all that. Everyone else, like me is enjoying the simple pleasure that a bit of a lay-in can give. An hour later and the first stirrings of life occur. Family members start to shuffle bleary eyed from their bedrooms to the bathroom and back. I heard the faint click on the central heating system as it kicked in. I knew the radiators would soon be warm and cosy. I headed downstairs to the living room to check on the stove. It was still lit but ready for a few more logs to be added.  Jasper, the venerable and smelly old cat was in his usual position laid on the back of the settee curled up into a ball. I don't know what it is, but I can't get enough of watching the flames and feeling all nice and warm at the same time. Staring into the flames is a simple and very relaxing way to spend an evening.

When I went back to the kitchen, the family were all up and around and feeding their faces as they prepared to face the day. As for me, I was ready for my morning constitutional which includes a nice long walk. At the weekends I tend to go a bit further afield than the usual quick walk round the local recreation ground. So, being the weekend today was not going to be an exception. When everyone was ready I put on my new waterproof coat and we eventually set off down the road. Soon joining up with and going onto the Trans-Pennine Trail. Once on the trail we had a steady walk down towards the Old Moor Nature Reserve. We met up with a couple of owners and their dogs along the trail. Where everyone dogs and owners alike would pause for a quick greeting. Soon we were following the trail along side of the Bulling Dyke until we reached the point where the dyke joins into the River Dearne. There was plenty of wildlife around, I could clearly hear the calls of Coots and Widgeon on Bolton Ings, Old Moor lakes and River Dearne long before we arrived there.

I made my way down through a gap in the undergrowth to the waters edge, where I disturbed a Grey Heron who had been fishing for his breakfast. I watched him as he slowly flapped his way up river and disappeared round the corner. The heron did a few squawks to show his disapproval as he went.  It's at this point along the trail where we now join the old disused railway line. Its starting to get much lighter now and the Gulls and Geese are returning to the Old Moor reserve after a night spent foraging in the fields. Now we are heading towards Cat Hill and I can hear the steady drone of the traffic on the Dearne Valley Parkway. Why do people rush around so much, rushing off to their work or rushing to do their weekly shopping.

I noticed that the wind had stripped all but the most tenuous of the autumnal leaves from the branches. It feels good to shuffle your feet through the piled up leaves. Continuing to follow the course of the River Dearne,  passing under the parkway we make our way towards Wombwell Ings. I always enjoy seeing all the different birds on the Ing. Plus there is always a selection of gypsy horses in the field to observe. The River Dearne at this point seems to have a good depth of water. Maybe one day in the future we might be able to come this way on the narrowboat. The Dearne and Dove Canal ran in the past for almost ten miles from Swinton on the River Don through to Barnsley.  Passing through nineteen locks along the way. We continued to follow the course of the Dearne as we went round the lake. Walking along on top of the flood bank until we reached the end of the Ings. Its at this point where we leave the river and head off towards Broomhill village.

There is a small nature reserve at Broomhill Flash including a birdhide. But we choose to view it from the road. There are plenty of ducks and geese to be seen on the lake. A few boring old sheep in the fields. But there is also the amazing aroma of Pig. I love the smell and sounds of the Pig. Depending on your sense of smell and what you might find to be an interesting smell. The piggery is a pretty powerful place. I find it to be an attractive smell but others find it to be a bit too "agricultural" for their delicate proboscis. The sows and their piglets snorting in the troughs looking for any bits of food that might have been overlooked. Then there is the squeal of the little piglets which I could watch for hours. Seems a shame that we will be enjoying them for breakfast, in the not to distant future. I know that I am a faddy eater - but where sausages and bacon are concerned. I can always find my appetite renewed.

We are almost home again now, just a short distance more. We have to cross a couple of busy roads and we will be back at Wits-End once more. My feet are a bit muddy but most of that will clean off as we walk through the last of the grass. Its been an enjoyable time and I can't think of a better way to start the day. Well to be factually correct I can. That's when we get the boat out and go and potter along the canal for a few weeks at a time. But my morning constitutional is an acceptable replacement for the time being. Now that my feet are clean I'm ready to go and check out on the stove, to see if someone has thrown on a few more logs. Just so that I can enjoy staring into the flames once more. So that I can re-live the sight, sound and smell of all the places we visited this morning.

Some people complain about their life, moaning that their life is a bitch Well in my case, that is very true. But you will hear no complaints from me on that score.

Love from Poppy the pooch.

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