Well, hello again.
This week’s KimTime adventure is a short tale and sadly lacking in steps, Fitbit-wise.
I’d planned the day earlier in the week. Somewhere dry, because I knew that it was likely to rain – if you trust the BBC weather forecast, that is! I already had the destination on my long list of places to go, and – as if by magic – it popped up on Facebook as somewhere liked by a friend and former work colleague. Ali and I had worked together in Bristol for a couple of years, and had been good friends. That was 15 years ago. I’d seen her only once since then – at least 10 years ago.
Although Facebook is great for keeping in touch, it can never replace a catch up, face-to-face. That was it! I messaged Ali, and we arranged to meet up in the Cow Barn on Friday at 2pm. The Cow Barn cafe in Tyntesfield House, that is.
I looked it up. Ooo, National Trust! The picture of the house is courtesy of the National Trust website.
Now, I’ve never really been a person to be wondering around historical houses or museums. I’ve done the occasional one at the behest of others – Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, and the ANZAC museum in Auckland, NZ, are the two that come to mind.
Still, I’m open to anything, so was prepared to take in the culture, as well as have a wander around the grounds, before meeting Ali for a coffee and a natter.
Meanwhile, the day before…
So, yesterday I took the dogs to the vet to have their booster jabs and a general wellness check.
They are both getting on a bit. Bailey is 11 and Harvey is coming up for 10. We’d spotted a couple of possible issues with upset tummies and a small lump on Harvey’s chest. Hopefully, it was just a fatty lump – labradors are prone to these, so I’m told.
They both sleep a lot more these days, but that didn’t stop them behaving like total nutters at the vets, especially in the waiting room! They went into puppy mode as soon as we got out of the car, dragging me down the path in a sniffing frenzy. Then, once we were in, we had to wait about 15 minutes whilst the vet dealt with an emergency.
Bailey delighted in the other animals – like he’d never seen a bunny before? Harv did his usual thing; planted his feet and would not budge, until a couple of beautiful fox red labradors arrived. He doesn’t bark often, but if there’s someone approaching the house, he’ll have a loud woofing fit, so you would think that makes him a really good guard dog. Nope. If a stranger actually enters the house, he either dissolves into I’m a good dog mode and approaches them for cuddles, or morphs into Scaredy-Dog and runs away!
Anyway, he found his voice and would NOT shut up! He barked some woofiness that I’d never heard before – different sorts of barks, as if he was talking to the dogs.The younger one hid behind his dad’s legs, but the older one looked like he was listening. In the meanwhile, while they were distracted, Bailey executed a sneaky bottom-sniffing manoeuvre. I was, at that moment, secretly proud of my boys – they are so good at working together!
Anyway, once the reds had left, the boys settled down a bit and the vet called us in.
To cut a long story short, Harv’s lump was fatty, according to the microscope, so it’s ok to leave it for now. Bailey has a sore leg – possibly arthritis, so has some painkillers, and may need some laser therapy. He also needs a lump removed.
The vet advised a change to bland food.The one recommended by the vet was very expensive, so there was much research to do to find some new food to soothe their tummies that also soothed our bank account!. Hence, this morning I spent hours comparing and then buying dog food, contacting the doggy insurance company and generally sorting things out. As a result, KimTime turned into DoggieTime, and it was 1.15pm by the time I reached Tyntesfield.
If you’ve read my blogs before, you will know that parking often gets my goat (particularly in Cheddar Gorge, encountering a real goat in the car park!). There was a long drive down a narrow track to get to the house. I’d never been to Tyntesfield before, and it felt like miles til I reached the relative civilisation of the car park. Considering it was chucking it down (the BBC was right) and it was a weekday afternoon in early Jan, there were a fair few cars in the car park. I drove around for a while and found myself a spot near to where I thought the entrance was. It really wasn’t that visible in the driving rain.
I found the machine and paid the £3 parking fee without a grumble (unusual for me) and wondered if I should get Bailey a membership to get myself some free parking…….
It was 1.30pm by the time I reached the entrance, which was on the other side of the cafe/shop.Entry fee for the house and gardens was £15. Now, I know I should have looked at the opening hours earlier in the week, but hey-ho, whaddya gonna do? I was surprised to see that the house closed at 3pm. It was a good 10-minute walk to the house, and I was meeting Ali at 2pm in the cafe – another good 10-minute walk back.
Oh dear; I had less than 2000 steps on the clock, and not enough time to do any more. So, in the interests of compromise, I satisfied myself with a trundle round the shops and a chat with a nice gentleman about membership – turns out it’s for humans too!
A visit to the loo explained why they called it the Cow Barn.
Ali arrived – it was so good to catch up, and hear all her news. We slurped coffee and talked non-stop for a couple of hours, then did another twirl around the shop – thank goodness the Cow Barn closed later than the house!
After getting stuck on the way home due to an incident in Clevedon, I arrived home just before 5pm and fed the dogs their new bland food. It seemed to go down well, although labradors will eat anything, given the chance!. I shortened the doggy-walking as it was still pouring with rain, so my steps turned out like this:
Maybe I’ll become a member of the National Trust, then I can go into anywhere owned by them, and with free parking too.
So there it is – this week’s KimTime. Hope you enjoyed it! Next week I think I need to do something a bit more energetic….
Don’t forget to leave me a message here if you have any comments, or suggestions for future activities.
See you next week