A kind of a throw back Thursday type of post. When I first blogged on Loving Life in Wellies, country lessons were something of a great interest to me – it was an alien way of living. I have’t done this type of post for a little whilst as my city life has become a distant memory and I don’t see things quite as unusual as I used to before. It’s become a way of living.
Still there have been moments lately which have lead me to today’s post. If you’re planning a trip to the more remote parts of Wales read on….
1. Always assume walking / hiking boots
Just the other day I visited my neighbour. To reach her house – it’s a hike up a hill, over a cattle grid, down into a valley, following a winding road which meets an over flowing stream and she lives nestled in the Welsh valley. This is my first walk to hers and we usually catch up in the middle of the country lanes whilst I’m taking Baby Bel for her morning walk and she’s escorting her children to school.
From a distance, it looks a simple walk. In reality, it’s full of pot holes, slippery sheep poo, steeper than they look hills and puddles. And here are my sad unsuspecting feet in a pair of ‘not in the slightest suitable shoes.’ No ankle support, grips, waterproofing, not even made out material that protects my toes from stone stubs!
In the countryside, a quick simple walk is never really that. There’s always some force waiting to catch you out so always assume walking / hiking boots even just popping down to the shop (6 miles round trip for me).
2. Always bring your dog’s lead
Personally I think the obsession with having a dog on a lead at all times is ridiculous but there are some occasions when it’s wise to do so. Baby Bel has been trained off lead, like her mum, she’s a model dog. Put her on a lead and she turns into something off ‘The Hills Have Eyes!’ I’ve learnt, no matter how well behaved Bell is, mostly to carry a lead especially when she goes on a new walk.
- Sheep – if your dog is caught chasing seep (especially during Lambing season) it’s the farmer’s right to take matters in to their own hands. I would be fine with this concept if it was for the sheep and baby’s well -being but actually it’s not, a dead sheep, means a bad week at market.
- Traffic – country lanes are not as busy but they don’t seem to have speed limits. Combine that with off- roading bikes, horse riders, tractors and holiday makers. Baby Bel has got amazing at sitting whilst things go past but if you’ve a skitty dog, attach lead for their own safety.
3. Carry a torch or something reflective
I know this from hiking but I got caught out a few days ago after taking Bel on her 2nd walk of the day. It’s amazing how quick in the winter months, it goes dark. Even though I’m not that far from my house, I should have taken a torch! I’ve now got a head torch (well it’s Rik’s but he doesn’t know I use it) and I’m in the process of finding a reflective jacket for the pup.
4. Gifting your garden product can be compulsory
It’s quite common to be given eggs, herbs, or vegetables as gifts from neighbours. For my birthday, my neighbour baked me some of her mum’s Oaties (which were divine btw)! The other neighbour cut me some curly kale and a crop of courgettes and it goes on. As I’ve only just dabbled in growing my own, I decided to make home made jam from the plum’s in the garden – 5lbs later, I was down to 1 jar for myself! I also passed on the surplus of apples we just can’t eat.
It may sound slightly different from the usual bottle of red but I love to see old traditions kept alive!
5. Always assume no signal
It’s Wales need I say more? I always tell someone where I’m going and what time they can roughly expect me back. So it means whether you’re on your own or with a group always check in with someone, arrange a meeting point should you get lost and do various head counts of your group.
The no signal thing is not a complaint – it’s a luxury actually….
What does your lifestyle teach you?