Big skies, sandy shores and stunning scenery, East Anglia takes some beating on the beauty front, but this month The Cotswolds came close. Cobbled cottages, trickling streams and miles of farmland, I felt as though I was on the set of the Christmas film ‘The Holiday’.
A few weeks ago, Fletcher, my husband and our friends, along with their dog Juno (the canine horse that makes a regular appearance in this column), had the ultimate winter weekend. Cosy pubs, mulled wine, cheese and plenty of long lovely walks. And I mean, long!!! I walk Fletcher for at least two to three miles every afternoon, but I have never walked 11 miles in one go, in my wellies and up and down muddy hills. Oh how I longed for the flatness of Cambridgeshire…my little legs just aren’t cut out for rambling. Fletcher’s on the other hand, well, he didn’t stop for almost five hours. Is it even possible to tire out a Spaniel? Just imagine how quickly you could get the Christmas shopping done with that kind of energy! Even Juno with her long legs had to have a pause now and then.
The walk was wonderful, and Juno (a staffy-cross) tried her best to figure out her breed. She tried pheasant chasing with Fletcher. Though it was more of a case of Fletcher finding the birds, sending them flying into the air, while she bounded confused through the corn. While kept on a lead, it was clear both of them wasn’t going to become a sheep dog anytime soon, those balls of fluff were far too scary!
Evenings were filled with good food in our cosy cottage while the dogs snoozed. Correction, while Juno snoozed. Fletcher run around playing, trying desperately to wake her up with his endless energy. If you’re visiting The Cotswolds, I’d highly recommend dinner at Wild & Thyme; a fabulous, homely restaurant in Chipping Norton and a day trip to Stow-on-the-Wold.
More walks followed, including a stunning sunset stroll. And then it happened. Something so humiliating, I can’t even bring myself to put the words in writing. Let’s just say I think you can now call Fletcher and Juno canine criminals…