Monday 21 December 2015

Home for the holidays ...

We've made it back home to beautiful County Tyrone for the Christmas holidays. And we're so grateful to have arrived safely. We had an epic ferry crossing from Holyhead to Dublin in really rough seas, which made us feel relieved to disembark and stand on terra firma without the horizon moving around chaotically with the rise and fall of the waves.

This morning the sun shone, and we rounded up the dogs for a walk around White Ness. It's actually called the White Lough, but Emi always refers to it as White Ness in the hope that one day it'll have its very own resident monster - just like Lough Ness in Scotland. Hope springs eternal  when you're ten years old.

They've had severe flooding over here in the past few weeks. And all the days of heavy, unrelenting rain have swollen the lake beyond its normal borders. The path that we follow was full of long deep puddles with flotsam and jetsam washed from the lake into the hedgerows.

Emi was worried that the Wonder Dog would get messed up. The Wonder Dog is usually a bit precious about getting his paws dirty, so he was lifted and carried safely through the mire. Grandma's dog, on the other hand, has consumed way too many dog biscuits and it takes a couple of us to lift her into the jeep when it's time to go home. Luckily she doesn't mind having muddy paws ... .

Half-way around the lake an old, deserted homestead stands on the brow of the hill. It must have been a cheerful place to live in days gone-by, with its views out over the rolling green hills and down to the lake. There's a little barn to one side of the cottage, where they'd have kept a few sheep, a milk-cow and some chooks. These days it's looking a bit mossy and abandoned, but once upon a time, I'm sure that it was a happy home.   

How do you like our fungal yule log? It had been washed across the path by the flood waters and sat heavy and water-logged in our way. The fungus seemed to be rather happy with its sodden habitat.

 And, having kept his paws miraculously dry and clean the Wonder Dog was more than a little put out to find that he still had to ride economy in the back of the jeep with Grandma's dog. He's really not used to roughing it.

All the best for the holidays,

Bonny x

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