Or a Bug in Dog’s Clothing, Bone Dry Hills and ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’…
We wake to a breezy cloudless day but Millie isn’t at all enthusiastic about getting up and scuttles back under the duvet every time we try to extract her. She peers out at the world looking totally wrecked.
She is a bug in dog’s clothing.
Finally she deigns to get up and immediately goes visiting. She flirts so outrageously that I have to pick her up and carry her back while she blows dog kisses over my shoulder.
We walk along a dry stone walled lane to the Tissington Trail and then join a throng of walkers and cyclists. Some kind of powered four wheeler bike contraption speeds past and Millie gives chase, obviously desperate for a lift.
We walk on for a couple of miles and then head through fields to Darley Farm. We head through more fields to another farm and then pick up a small road that winds through Long Dale. We start to look for a spot for lunch but at the first tree Millie flops down and refuses to move.
A buzzard floats in the cloudless blue sky and swallows wheel above our heads. The breeze blows through the grass which shivers like an inland sea and hot sheep search for any kind of shade on the bone dry hills. We could be in the south of France.
We are very grateful for the breeze that stops the heat from becoming unbearable. As it is I have to carry Millie in the pouch as the road is too hot for her paws.
We walk through the Dale and a kestrel flies above us, his wings catching the sunlight. We climb an overgrown hill to a footpath that leads through fields. We can see Monty but our way is blocked by a veritable forest of nettles and thistles and eventually stung and scratched we have to beat a retreat. We slog on through hot hay fields until at last we can scramble over a breach in the wall and back into the lane.
We open every door and flap to catch the breeze and then sit in the shade.
Later we decide to go for an early evening walk but first I have to retrieve Millie from the tender embraces of the Labradors and the two teenage boys that are with them. I vow to keep her tied up from now on as she is embarrassingly unrestrained.
Her ‘Teen Spirit’ beginning to show.
We walk down to the beautiful pond at the cross roads. Swallows take turns in dipping for water. A duck and her eleven nearly full grown ducklings float by.
We walk up the hill and through the hamlet of Heathcote.
Millie refuses to leave a gateway where we see a large black and white farm dog. She lies flat out on the road, tongue lolling.
Darrell picks her up and carries her back,
“I’m going to be really strict with her” he says,
“In a couple of months, when she is an adult”…