The conjunction of extreme hot weather and Andy Murray's hoped for triumph brought about only five hounds for our annual walk from this delightful Dorset village. Guy came with his three and we welcomed new members the Lewis family from Chudleigh + their three daughters and a boyfriend and Lily their newish Basset still created a memorable and eventful day.
In view of the hot weather we agreed to shorten the walk from its usual six to a less demanding 4½ miles. And I thought it was about time I gave my Stag a good run - if only to allow my Matilda a better view of the road ahead. This turned out to be a mixed blessing - more anon.
The first field was a tangled mesh of oil seed rape that we thought best to skirt round the edge to a welcome stream that has housed crayfish in the past. From here we entered the woods and a gentle slope led us up and around to Minterne Parva. There was then a hot toil up to the ridge where lunch was taken beside a welcoming shaded hedge.
From here it was a simple stroll till we came to a new and conveniently placed water trough - full to the brim and looking awfully tempting. Caroline Lewis wondered if their Lily could swim - so to prove it she was fairly unceremoniously dumped in to exhibit a well turned dog paddle. My Matilda was then heaved in - but needless to say she protested and soaked me. Then one of the Lewis daughters started a water fight . . . .
To get my own back I convinced the gullible that the path led down the steepest part of the hill - some rolled, some fell - to enjoy the usual cream tea.
Back at the car park I unaccountably failed to start my Stag. The crew gallantly pushed it around the car park till mechanic Guy diagnosed a lack of fuel. Before I could stop him, he'd pulled the fuel line off the filter and sucked - with the brave but perhaps predictable result of a mouthful of 4 star. (I have to report great self-control stopped us learning any new army words). Giving up I found I could not get a phone signal anywhere near but Guy could. Borrowing his phone I managed to arrange a call out and was promised a van within the hour.
Waving my friends goodbye they drove off to catch up with Mr Murray leaving me in the sun to ponder and await. Ten minutes later the Dawn of Memory came to life when I remembered that I have a top secret well hidden fuel cut off switch that I rarely use - well you don't need it in Somerset - but that I had thought sensible to use a few hours before. Well turning it back on of course led to instant firing up - encouraging me to shoot out of the Cerne valley to obtain a phone signal and cancel the call-out van
Guy will receive a large can of mouth wash to carry with him whenever I appear with The Stag . . .
(Most of the photos here from Guy).
Guy's Maude looking hot (above) and Alice even hotter (below)