Archie has been staying with me for the past few days and yesterday because it was Sunday and as a good deal of other dog owners do, I decided to get him up and take him for a walk. This proved easier said than done, given that he had kicked me out of my own bed when he jumped up on it at 7am. He does this as he likes me to get up and sandwich him between the outsides of the duvet so he’s completely wrapped up like a sausage roll (more like a hot dog!) and that can only be done if he has the bed to himself.
This is the view you generally get of him when he is in such a position:
Just his nose will appear for cool air….
But after nearly 5 more hours of waiting for him, I went into my bedroom and was presented with this:
It’s like living with an adolescent. I thought dog years were times 7? This should make him 70 by now!
So eventually I managed to get him to rise and prepared him for our little stroll. This is one that takes us down a footpath toward a village called Letcombe where you follow a brook of the same name for a good part of the way. Plenty to see and lots of smells for Archie…
Off he went, firing ahead looking for things to smell.
This part of the brook is quite deep and actually runs through a mill (although now converted to flats) where it actually ran the mill stones back in the day. You follow it for quite a good while should you wish to but we headed into something called Betjeman Park (so named for Sir John Betjeman the old Poet Laureate) so we could keep his lordship little legs away from chasing the ducks!
The park was opened at the Millennium as a way of preserving the memory of the momentous occasion, but now is simply a hang out for teens who sit on the grass and get piles (not sure if thats true but its what my old Dad always told me. The piles bit, not the teenagers…)
Dogs aren’t really allowed in the park but because Archie is kind of a celebrity in the town (everyone knows Archie!) he tends to walk his own path 😉 So with a few less smells in here we were soon heading back out to join the brook, but before we did we came across this piece of prose by the man himself. The Last Laugh.
So we were back on the path and soon reached the bridge where many a young romantic interlude have taken place, myself included 🙂 Although nowadays, I only use the bridge for crossing the ford when I’m walking the dog… 😦
This bridge leads us up along another lane up towards my secondary school. I did mean to take some photo’s of it before it is completely consumed by modernisation as I would barely recognise it today, mind you that can be the fact that it was many years ago that I attended. Still Archie didn’t appear too bothered as he walked past it with his nose firmly planted on the ground looking for something good to smell. This later then leads to another lane and on toward a proper footpath that links the town of Wantage to the village of Letcombe, hence Letcombe footpath and Letcombe brook. I did actually put the Map my walk results up on my Facebook page so anyone who chooses can see the actual path I took but it ended like this…
Only in this area would you get a sign having to tell you that the footpath wasn’t suitable for horses! Although it does widen out a little halfway along as Archie put on a bit of a spurt.
This soon broke into a field a little further down the footpath and we decided to follow the way through my old school playing fields as there were many, many sticks for Archie to pick up. Most of them were the right size but he wanted this one…
He really has no idea he is only just over a foot tall!
So today I had another trip down memory lane walking past my secondary school, through my old playing fields and then past the old red house that we used to have to run past when the gym teachers were fed up or busy so they put us on cross country and told us we had to run two laps of “red house”. It was called this simply because of the red house on the corner that you ran past. Absolutely crazy but that’s what you get from old schools with long histories I suppose and King Alfred’s School was certainly an old school.
Eventually we found our way back home and suitably refreshed with a nice Sunday stroll and after 5.4 Km’s, both collapsed into our respective armchairs. I am sure we will do it all again next week but I think we may find somewhere new to walk so you guys don’t have to look at the same scenery once again… 😉
Stay out of the fridge.