Chorleywood Common

“Where shall we go for a walk today, Dex?” asks my mum. “And, no, we cannot go on a round the world trip to see all your friends, before you ask”.

“Wow, a walk with mum and dad, this hasn’t happened for a while” I thought. “If I can’t go and see all my pals, then I will make do with a stroll up to the tube station and walk around Chorleywood Common”. That was it then. It was decided. We were off on a family stroll along one of my favourite routes.

Shackled to my dad, we set off. Through the woods, up the hill, past the church, along the road with the posh houses, past the farm and then into the next set of woods.

I was trying to go as quickly as possible, however I was being slowed considerably by being attached to my dad. Does he not realise that the squirrels are all getting away? This is fun, but isn’t quite going as well as I planned. Anyway we crossed the road, strolled quickly through the next wooded area and then into Westwood Park. I stopped briefly for some water as apparently, my tongue was “hanging out of my head”. Then it’s off to the tube station. Thankfully its a Sunday so the trains aren’t full. We only have to go one stop but I am anxious to get on with the next leg of the trip, as I know there will be other furs there to woof with, and hopefully squirrels to arooo.

Ugh good grief. This commuting is so boring

Arriving at Chorleywood we get off the tube train. Hurry up you two, there are creatures to chase, and hedges and shrubs to sniff. Turning right out of the station, we wander quickly along the road and there it is, in all its glory.

I like Chorleywood Common. It’s open, green, has plenty of paths, great views and is about a 2 mile circuit. Mum and dad wanted to stick to the path which snaked away into the distance. However this isn’t very Beagle-like behaviour so I decided we would go off piste. There are 3 pubs close to the Common so if we needed to take shelter we could have done. Sadly the weather was set fair and it was before opening time so any plan I had to go to the pub was well and truly scuppered. On with the walk then. Some bright spark had the idea of carving woodland creatures into some of the tree trunks that had fallen over in previous years on the common. The trunks themselves have been made into handy benches and the additional sculptures of birds, squirrels, caterpillars and other woodland creatures made them look more fun.

These guys look a bit wooden!

We pressed on and saw plenty of other dogs, all of whom I greeted in the customary Beagle fashion of loudly arooing or completely ignoring them whilst I was on a scent. Mum made friends with a 5 month old puppy whilst I was trying to catch the attention of another Beagle who was halfway across the common. No sooner had we passed the cricket pitch and the golf clubhouse than I saw the other beagle wasn’t going the same way as me.

Then it occurred to me that we were returning to the tube station again. This could only mean one thing. The adventure was over. I was going home. Ok, that’s two things.

Onto the tube train for the two stops back to my home town.

We strolled back to the house and I whizzed out into the garden to check that there were no tree based invaders digging holes in my lawn. Once I had ensured that the coast was clear, I flopped satisfied onto one of my six beds. Within seconds I was twitching, snoring and dreaming. I wouldn’t know though, as I was asleep. What an adventure I had. And I was kind enough to take both my parents along to enjoy it as well.

It was as much as I could do to persuade them to take me to the pub in the afternoon. We took our time on the walk to the pub, however I wasn’t going to complain. Shenanigans were complete.

Misty morning, gentle stroll

Continuing with my recent theme of showing you around some of my favourite walks, I decided it would be a stroll through the fields this morning. Mayhall Farm here I come, I thought when I awoke and clambered sleepily from one of my 6 beds, this morning. The only decision to be made was, who should I drag around on the other end of my lead? That decision was made for me when mum went out for a quick walk to get some air into her lungs. Ok, dad its you and me.

Into the first field, past the dead deer carcass and through the gap into the woods. I like this path as there are so many trees and thus squirrels aplenty for me to scent and arooo. The woods this morning had more than a slight element of mystery about them. Shrouded in mist and fog they had an eerie quality. The air was still and this allowed the scent of the squirrels and deer to stay in one place and make my nose very excited. The mist hung like a blanket over the trees. It was nice, I liked it.

Through the wood and into the meadow, through the gate and left around the next field. We circumnavigated another field and found ourselves at the main entrance of what I know as the “mile field” so called as it is almost a mile around the edge. Its actually 0.97 miles but as a dog I am not pedantic enough to worry. Twice around the mile field and we realised it was raining quite hard on one side of the field yet was almost dry on the other. I looked at dad, he looked at me, and we both had the same air of resignation that we were wet and there was nothing we could do about it. Hey ho, on we march.

We took a more direct route back toward home, however dad then made the error of offering me a choice. Straight on, or turn right going up and over the hillock to increase the walk by another 0.25 mile. No prizes for guessing. There were extra woods and squirrels over there, so what did he expect.

Only when we got back to the first field did we meet any other furs or people this morning. It wasn’t far today, only about 5 miles. However it is a fun route as I get to scent so many different creatures. I am very lucky as the local farmers allow access to the paths around the fields. Usually there are quite a few fur friends who I bump into as we are allowed to enjoy the area. I think the weather must have dampened their spirits.

The best part was seeing dad looking like he’d been dunked in a bath fully clothed. And he got a leaky wellie. Me, laugh? Would I?

Dad’s tour of London

As a result of me meeting auntie Carolina and showing her around, it was decided that I would send my hudad back to London on Wednesday. I couldn’t go into many of the buildings that we walked past the previous day on account of me being a furry hound. So we hatched plans to try and show auntie Carolina & auntie Karen around some places. So, I instructed Dad to go into London again.

They all met at Tower Hill tube station and firstly went through St Olave’s Church, Hart Street. St Olave is the patron saint of Norway I believe.

Graveyard of St Olave’s Hart Street

Thence up to the Monument for a really good view of London. The Monument was built to commemorate the Great Fire of London of 1666. It is said that if you were to lay the Monument down upon its side, the fire ball would touch the spot where the fire started in Pudding Lane.

Next was Leadenhall Market which is one of the oldest markets in the City of London originally selling meat, poultry & game. Now it is home to a number of boutique shops and restaurants. The architecture of the Market itself isn’t really altered so maintains much of the older charm.

Leadenhall Market

Then they went to the Royal Exchange. The building was founded in the 16th century by Sir Thomas Gresham. It has twice been destroyed by fire and the current building was designed in the 1840’s. In its various guises it has held the Lloyd’s Insurance Market for around 150 years.

Royal Exchange

Next on the tour was St Pauls. I showed auntie C the outside of the building the previous day. The present St Pauls was started in about 1670 and finished in 1708 apparently. It was officially declared open by Parliament on 25 December 1711.

When they went inside they were all in awe. Well, they were in St Pauls but you know what I mean. It was apparently the most lovely place with fabulous painted ceilings, statues and wonderful architecture. They seemed to spend ages inside marvelling at the sight.

The views over London were pretty good. Dad managed to climb all the way to the Golden Cross to take these pictures.

Once they had finished exploring St Paul’s it was off to Blackfriars tube station and then out of Westminster Station for a tour of Westminster Abbey. Everyone said they were impressed with the architecture of the beautiful building. There were also quite a few famous people including princes, kings, queens and poets interred and commemorated within the Abbey.

They finished their day with a stroll through Victoria Tower Gardens, for the best views of the Houses of Parliament.

They departed with sore feet and happy faces. Everyone said they had a nice time.

I hope so. Auntie C had travelled a long way to see London. I think she enjoyed it.

On the viewing gallery of St Pauls

Aventuras de Londres

Tuesday morning dawned and I was quickly on my paws around the fields with my hudad. In and out of the hedgerows, through the woods, around the edges of the ploughed fields and then a quick circuit of the big field. Just over 4 miles and home for second breakfast. Suddenly my harness is being waved in my direction and we are going for another walk. I will not complain as I get to sniff around in the park, woods, lanes or fields again.Once harnessed, I saw there was a very colourful bandana attached to my collar and it had my name on it. This time I was with both my human pawrents so this gave me suspicious ears. Along the road until we arrived at the train station. I remembered I had been here previously. The overground train arrived and we jumped on board. I like adventures and this was going to be a mystery tour for me.

Are we nearly there yet?

Arriving in London some 40 minutes later I tasted the same type of stale air that I had tasted some 5 months ago. My ears were still suspicious as we walked briskly through Regents Park. Sadly there were no squirrels. We descended onto the Underground and took the train to Aldgate. Up the steps and into the maelstrom that is the edge of the City of London. I had not been here before, this was a new adventure for me. We seemed to be late as I was hurried down various streets only to arrive at a view of the Tower of London. When I stopped gazing in wonder at the Tower I felt a different pair of hands giving my ears a really good tickle. There was my auntie from Argentina. What was auntie Carolina doing in London? Why was I getting ear scroffles from an auntie who was supposed to be 11,514 kilometres away. I no longer had suspicious ears, they were now happy. Very happy. She does great ear tickles to be honest.

We set off on a great adventure. I took the lead of course. We went over Tower Bridge and then along past Hays Galleria.

Honoured to have my ears tickled

We walked under London Bridge and past Golden Hinde and then to Shakespeare’s Globe. Now we decided to go over to the north side of the river so we crossed the wobbly Bridge, with St Pauls Cathedral looming in the near distance.

I’ve been here before

Through Paternoster Square and we strolled down to Blackfriars tube station. We got off the tube at St James’s Park for a stroll about.

Am I allowed to water these flowers?

Everyone sat down on a park bench to eat some food whilst I was quiet and reserved as usual.

Are you sure the sandwich hasn’t got my name on it?

Fortunately there are quite a few squirrels in the park so I managed to introduce myself to some of them just after humum had finished her sandwich. After a while we allowed auntie Carolina to go about the rest of her day and she took a London Tour Bus around the city for a few hours.

I left with sad ears as I had a wonderful day with a lovely person in a great city. I slept all the way home on the tube train. Well most of the way.

What a great day I have had.

I will never, ever forget this day. I was honoured to show auntie Carolina around a small part of London.

Catch me if you can

Recently there was a dog that was lost quite close to my house and I managed to drag my human dad around the local countryside to see if we could help find the lost dog. Fortunately the dog returned after some days exploring and has been reunited with his owners. Dad & I had some nice walks, whilst hopefully trying to help find a fellow dog in distress. However it got me thinking of one of my earliest escapades when I arrived here. This was a fun April day in 2014.

One day soon after I arrived, it was lovely and sunny. The humans decided that we would try to do some different things and I was promised a walk in the park with my dad. This was great. When we got to the park there were so many people, numerous other dogs, and trees as far as my eyes could see. I didn’t know which way to look first. I was really excited to see and smell everything I could. I wanted to go and run about and play with the other dogs. Sadly dad decided that I was to stay on the lead and harness. This was extremely boring and I kept on pulling to try and find a way of doing my own dexplorations. Someone stopped dad to ask about me and I thought it would be fun to wrap the lead around his legs. I was really bored. When dad had finished speaking to the person he tried to untangle me from his legs and pulled on the lead. At this point I decided to back out of the loose harness. I could not believe that I was free. Dad looked at me and looked really scared but I just ran away as fast as I could towards the woods.

There were too many smells and sights that I needed to see. They were much more interesting than being restrained with a harness and lead. Dad initially chased after me but I was far too quick for him. After a short while he realised that chasing me was a game and that I would always win if it came to running around. Then he cheated. I heard him asking other people if they had seen me, and if not, could they look out for me. I still couldn’t believe I was free to roam around and explore places that I could only dream about. I kept on seeing dad so I knew people were looking for me. I managed to duck in and out of the woods to keep them all on their toes. Then I got the fright of my life when I saw mum advancing across the park towards me. This wasn’t fair as I knew that now they meant business and I would be surprised if I was recaptured before too long.I knew I had limited time to explore so off I went. The undergrowth held many smells and intrigue for me. I managed to chase a couple of Muntjack Deer which unfortunately gave away my location. I could feel the net closing around me. However there was still fun to be had. My senses were full, there were so many rabbits, squirrels, deer and birds in the woods. I was so focused on chasing them that I completely missed seeing the barbed wire fence until I had run through it. I yelped as it really hurt me. Unfortunately this gave away my position once more. It was only then that I realised I had blood on my face, ear and foot. Fortunately the blood on my face and foot was from my ear, due to my excellent ability to flap my ears. The blood was also dripping from my ear onto my paw. Whoops.

The adventure ended when I was nosing about in a copse and a very nice lady managed to grab my collar when I wasn’t concentrating. I paid her back by dripping blood all over her coat cuff. Whoops again. Mum and dad looked really relieved to see me again and I went straight back onto the collar and lead. However there were still squirrels to pester and I tried to bolt again. Dad wasn’t very happy when I started baying, pulling wildly and trying to chase the squirrel. By the time we got home I had managed to shake blood over both my parents and we looked like extras from a zombie film. However my escapade didn’t end there sadly. Mum and dad decided that I needed to go to the vet which didn’t sound very good. They were worried that I might have an infection from the barbed wire cut and said something about tetanus. Apparently if I had this tetanus, I may not be very well. When the vet lady checked me over, she found the cuts and said I should be ok, but for safety I would need an injection. Now, I’m not very good with  needles so I squealed and wriggled far too much for them to stab me with the needle. The vet lady decided that it would be easier for me to have painkiller pills. I have no ill effects, thankfully. In fact I think I may have got some extra food in my bowl the next day, just to make sure I was ok.

I was away for three hours whilst numerous people were searching for me. Apparently mum and dad were really upset and worried about where I was and that I wasn’t safe whilst I was cavorting around the countryside. I was having a great time whilst off lead but I realise now that I probably did scare them by running away. I do not want to think of how much worry the owners of the recently lost & found dog felt. He was gone for 9 days. His owners must have been unable to sleep at night.

Stay safe everyone.

From here to there. And back again.

Another bright and sunny, but chilly, morning dawned over Chesham and it was time for a walk. Having explored Pednor recently I thought it would be good to go for a brisk stroll around White Hill toward Ley Hill & Botley. It’s only a short walk from my house to the edge of the first field, albeit including a wake up call of a steep climb over a railway bridge then through some woods. The view is worth it though.

Chesham is down there – in the valley

The winter brassica’s are still in the ground so plenty of nitrogen is being replenished for the crops to come. Through the little gate, turn left, turn right and then through 2 more gates and I really am on top of the world. Well, I am on top of White Hill in Chesham, but you understand the sentiment.

White Hill toward Botley

Always keeping to the edge of the path (mainly because there are squirrels and rabbits in the taller grass and hedges) the view towards Ley Hill & Botley stretches away into the distance.

Down the path to Bottom Lane

A sharp left, down the hill and we join one on of the old byways which criss cross the area. Left along this old track between the fields and then right, through the gate and climbing to the top of the hill. I think this is my favourite field as the views are fairly panoramic. When the early morning sun is in the right place and the mist and dew are just lifting it gives the fields and surrounding woods a certain aura.

Across the fields to Chesham Bois

As we circumnavigate the field I can see back into Chesham Bois and along the valley toward Latimer.

Enjoying myself?

We took a small detour this morning and came out of the field to walk down hill via another byway. It always reminds me of Sleepy Hollow.

Sniffing out headless horsemen

Down to the lower part of the valley and back onto the aptly named Bottom Lane, thence through the first gate and swiftly uphill to Hill Farm. Suddenly I find myself looking back toward my house, across Waterside and the woods at Chesham Bois.

Hill Farm

It’s not far now as I need only to cross the road, wade through the river enjoying a drink of lovely cold chiltern water and then back onto the Moor. It may only be four and a half miles but the views are great and the scents are great. I am a lucky lad.

From here to there, and back again. I need to top up my vitamin D with some sun puddling.

And relax!!!

Snow Day Shenanigans

Wake up, wake up. It’s snowed and I want to explore. Come on, hurry up, get out of bed. Arooo, arooo, arooo.

Straight away to the fields and dexploration is on the cards. Dragging a human around always slows me down however, I am not allowed off lead outside of my garden. It is a problem that I must bear furever it seems.

Hurry up! No time for pictures

The snow is up near my knees and sometimes deeper so the belly plate on my harness scoops up the top layer. I am cold, then soaked as the snow is melting against my fur but it doesn’t matter as I am outside and getting so many scents in my nose. I don’t actually care one jot.

Charge!!!

Up this field, turn right, down the steep bank, along the treeline and sense a deer or three in the woods. Sadly my human braking system decides we are not going into the woods just yet and we detour around the next field and into the biggest field on the walk. The wind is somewhat bracing and the snow is swirling around us. The scents seem to be sitting on top of the snow and my nose is like a beagle snowplough. What’s wrong with having a small pile of snow on the end of your nose?

Look, that’s where all the critters live.

Out of the field at somewhat of a gallop and towards the woods, all glistening with their white snowy coating. I know there are deer and squirrels in there but will I chose the woods or the meadow of wonderful aromas. Turn left, into the meadow and see a pal ahead. Arooo arooo arooo. I think I will stay in the meadow and leave the woods for another day. Unfortunately the untouched snow is deep and the harness belly plate is scooping up rather a large quantity of snow now. Lets just say its a tad damp on my undercarriage. Through the meadow, turn left down through the woods. Deer!! Deer!! Arooo arooo. Ugh good grief I am shackled and cannot get it. Appearing out of the woods I am panting heavily but smiling from ear to ear.

By the time I get home my other human wants to know “where the devil have you been” as well as “How have you got the harness so wet?”.

Sssshh dad, our little secret.

And relax!