Sunday, 26 August 2007
Memory Lane (7)
Prince loved living at the current house. As well as having rabbits in the garden, he had horses on the other side of the road, and every Winter he had his very own sheep in the paddock next to the house. Due to his previous exploits, he never had much interaction with the sheep, whereas I unfortunately did. The farmer used to leave them in the same paddock long after they had eaten every available bit of grass. This led to them regularly sticking their heads through the wire to eat the grass outside the paddock. Sheep being sheep, and generally quite keen on the concept of death, they invariably got their heads stuck and would have happily remained stuck until the grim reaper brought down his sickle. I disappointed them terribly by doing a twice daily round of the field - wrestling them out of the wire fence and setting them free. Prince used to go crazy when I came in smelling of sheep - he used to think I'd been terribly unfaithful.
It was during our time at this house that we started going away together frequently. It had been less frequent previously, because sharing a hotel room with Prince had been like bunking up with a budgie with a megaphone. He used to cry all night at the door, and be up and down off the bed every two minutes. However, as he got a little older he settled a lot, and we spent many happy holidays together.
We went to the Coniston Hotel in Skipton very often. It's owned by a lovely family, and has an enormous amount of land, and a lake, ideal for walking dogs. Our last visit was at Easter, and we carried on to another hotel in North Yorkshire which was one of those that advertises as dog friendly, but in reality is anything but. Prince wasn't allowed out of the confines of the room, whereas at the Coniston Hotel he was a regular in the bar and lounges. We had a good time in Yorkshire though, and buzzed around Fountains Abbey, an arboretum I can't remember the name of, and numerous farm and country tracks.
Over the years we visited many other places together - various parts of the lake district, Burghley Horse Trials, Badminton Horse Trials, lots of local equestrian events (he'd become very horse friendly by this point!) and our last holiday together, on the Wales / Shropshire border. Our Shropshire holiday was probably the most special of all, not only because it was our last, but because it was one of our true 'boys own adventures'. More of that next time though....