Wednesday 27 June 2018

Hot Summer Days in England

When we were in the snow in the Pyrenees, I remarked to Jason that we weren't really going to get much of a summer on account of us then going to the Alps in Spring, then back to the UK for June then out to monsoon season in Nepal for work.  Oh how wrong I was! Firstly we descended from the Pyrenees into the hot 'spring' of Spain (equivalent to a hot summer in the UK), then we went to the French Alps for more of the same and now we have just had the hottest month in living memory of dry sunny weather in the UK.  Let's face it though, a week of decent weather in Spring and then another sometime in the summer is what we normally get!

Leelu was fine when we were travelling, there were still snow patches about on our walks and he would gleefully jump into them and eat the snow and catch snowballs, no matter how dirty the snow as it melted!  He would also find shade under the truck and, to be honest, inside the camper truck was fairly cool on account of all the heavy weight insulation that it is made from (an ex-prison transport vehicle!).

Back in our corner of England, the sun has been streaming down and dog walks have had to be pushed to first thing in the morning and late on in the evening to save a lot of overheating from us both.  I periodically remove the tennis ball from him so that he can cool down through panting too.  We are lucky in that there is a lot of woodland around us to provide shady walks but we still have to be careful that the tarmac getting to the woods is not too warm - although it is starting to do a fine job of melting on some bits of road!

Leelu sits in various pieces of shade in my parent's garden but his favourite spot is in a tiny corner under the edge of a bush that grows next to the house - the shade of the bush and the coolness of stones combined are what makes it nice.

And so out we go for another, slightly cooler, late evening walk, past the heavily scented air laden with honeysuckle, roses and that wonderful smell of a warm forest.  The air is cooler but occasionally we walk through a much warmer patch of air that is still being heated by the sun.  The paths are all turning dusty, even the ones with a permanent mud patch in, they are all over grown as the rose bay willow herb and ferns grow taller than me and the soft new growth of the gorse brushes my arm as I push through.  And then the bright orange disc of sun slides towards the horizon turning the sky golden and then red to bring a welcome cool relief to us all.

For more of our adventures see

Wednesday 14 March 2018

A Spring Walk in a Medway Country Park

It's lovely when you find a surprisingly nice dog walk. Obviously not everywhere has the mountains we love but we are currently on our way to the mountains. Big ones. The Pyrenees. In our campertruck.

We had a yummy dinner with Rachel, then a quick stop at the supermarket on the way to the Dover ferry to catch a cheap, middle of the night ferry. We didn't get passed the supermarket as unforseen alternator problems meant we were stuck where we had parked. A kind store manager, a bit of googling, a few hours sleep (at least we were travellng in our home) & then enough early morning sunshine on our solar panels enabled us to start our campertruck and get to a local truck repair centre.

So here we are, Leelu and I, in Leybourne Lakes country park, around the corner from the truck repair centre, enjoying a lovely spring morning: The buds are coming out on the trees, there are muddy paths as well as managed paths, the anglers have medway accents and are cheery. There are coots, grebes and swans on the lakes and bullfinches, blue tits and long tailed tits singing in the trees and people you pass that say hello.

One of the nicest meetings was with a lady with a golden labrador. He was terrified, in the same way that Leelu is terrified when he meets another dog, not all barky but quiet and also clamped to the floor. It took a while for us to be able to move but I managed to move Leelu off the path enough that the other dog could skittle past. It was so odd to see from the other perspective but so nice to meet someone with the same type of loving , yet scardy dog.

Monday 12 March 2018

Off Adventuring with Leelu

We have a website where we have been blogging about our dreams and how we are trying to acheive them and the hurdles we have had to cross to get there.  In summary, we have given up our jobs and are fitting in lots of different adventures in the great outdoors.  Our motorhome truck is now ready, as are we.  Leelu has a new collar (black this time to hopefully stop strangers assuming he is female!) and a new tag which has all of our contact details on including the line 'travelling in our motorhome' just in case he is found and they wonder how he got to France and Spain by himself!

He has a Pet Passport, he has his mozzie collar, he has some food, bed, toys...

Today I brought him back a superb present - we went to the recycling centre as we have been having more big sort outs and getting rid of as much stuff as we can.  We assume it was the local tennis club had skipped a load of tennis balls, presumably they have now lost their bounce from a tennis point of view but not according to our collie who treated them all like babies and took each one gently and put to one side - he was very happy. I think we have enough to keep us going for a while but not sure there is enough room for ALL of your toys on the truck Leelu!!

We are off to the Pyrenees tomorrow - walking, hiking and climbing.  Do follow us on our blog or Facebook and Instagram @daysawayadventures or Twitter @daysawayadv

Thursday 27 July 2017

Taking the train

It's Leelu's first ever trip on a train!

We have had a lovely time boating from Chester around varous parts of the country but this weekend we are heading back to my folks, picking up our hiking gear and then heading to North Wales to the climbing club hut in Llanberis for a weekend of walking up mountains and having a go at SUP (stand up paddleboarding) whilst celebrating our friend Ellen's birthday.

So here we are on a train heading up north.  Getting to London Euston station was fine and we got there in plenty of time to give Leelu a wander around the small park outside the station. Waiting inside before the platform was called was a little harder for him as the many legs and wheeled suitcases may have hidden OTHER DOG'S. .. I'm sure you now know how terrified he is by other dogs on account of his previous life before he came to live with us.  Fortunately we didn't have to wait long and now we are on the train.

We booked a table seat in the hope of more space for him so of course he sat with his paws out in the aisle for a bit which meant much fuss from any passers-by!  He has now retreated further under the table for more fuss and is happily laid out on top of all our feet with his favourite tennis ball.

I think it's going to be fine and of course there are big fields to run around to look forward too.

Thursday 6 July 2017

The most exciting thing happened yesterday...

... no really it did!!  We were boating through the outskirts of Milton Keynes and had stopped to do a supermarket shop and a load of laundry at the wonderful Bubbles Laundromat which was straight out of the 1950's.3  Whilst the washing was on, Leelu and I went to find the shade of a tree as it was another very hot day.  I posted an update on our  Days Away Adventures Facebook page and someone who I have never met but do know (because of Leelu) contact me - she lives in Milton Keynes!
under a shady tree near the launderette

It was through Karen that we got to know about Leelu (although then he was called Umlilo - see our first blog post about our second hand dog!).  Karen used to work for the people who owned him and it was her post that was shared by her friend Maria and subsequently our friend Paul and then suddenly, we had our very own, slightly neurotic collie dog!!
Our first picture of our new dog in 2015

Karen and her husband Steve came over to the boat.  We had moored up by Campbell Park which is an amazing big green area of space which includes a cricket ground, a peace pagoda and a Japanese Buddhist temple.
Karen & Steve getting a conducted tour around our boat

It was so lovely to learn a little bit more about our dogs past and his days as a farm dog and to fill in some of the missing pieces of the jigsaw.  They were so pleased to see what a happy and healthy dog he now is and how he loves tennis balls and being the only dog in our family.
Steve, Karen, Viv & Leelu

What an absolutely lovely meeting / reunion.  Thank you so much for coming over.


Friday 5 May 2017

On Being a Film Star

It's been an exciting week this week for all of us: On Monday we left our permanent mooring just outside Chester. For Leelu, our collie dog, this meant leaving the large fields that he loves to run around chasing a ball or frisbee. 

He is happy on the canal boat now, lying down at the back near to where we steer, often looking out at the ducks and water going past.  Although there was a moment where he over enthusiastically jumped back on to the back of the boat after we had moored and slid...not far but enough for him to panic at the water getting closer.  He didn't go in though - phew!

We then travelled to North Wales where he learnt to be a crag dog.  We went to Castle Inn Quarry, near to Colwyn, which is a beautiful area with all different climbing grades available.  He would lie at the bottom of the crag in the shade we built out of our rucksacks and have a snooze whilst we did a climb, then we would have a little walk and he would chase the tennis ball, then we would do another climb in the sun. It was fabulous and there were lots of butterflies, collared doves and a sparrowhawk to watch.  A really peaceful spot in the sun.

We found a beach to cook up and eat our dinner at whilst watching the sun set over the sea then went for a lovely walk along the beach just as it was getting dark.

Thursday was the big day! We had volunteered to be filmed by Mountain Training for a promo film they are making to promote hill and mountain skills training. We had camped overnight in the van (the small one!) at Abergwngregyn and met the other 4 volunteers plus Nic and Rob who where doing the filming.  Leelu was so good and so patient but most impressively, although slightly puzzled by the filming drone that hovered around in front of him, didnt bark or anything like that, he just stayed put.  He also did an impressive jump easily clearing the stile we were going over. And then did it again so it could be viewed a second time from a different angle. So proud!

On a different scene, Jason, Leelu and I were sat in front of Aber falls being filmed and Leelu let go of the tennis ball...he still hasn't got the hang of this gravity thing...the ball disappeared over the edge but we couldnt move to get it as we were being filmed. He kept looking at where it had gone over the edge then back at us then at where it should have been...! Fortunately it had got caught up in the grass and not rolled all the way to the bottom so we managed to retrieve it fairly easily.

We finished up and went to Newborough Warren beach on Anglesey for a lovely long walk, paddle (not Leelu!!) and tennis ball throwing and chasing before going to stay with the lovely Sarah & Dave where Leelu got inordinate amounts of fuss and treats and we had a lovely chilled evening with a beer in hand watching the sun set over the skerries.  Thanks guys!

Photos below:
• Learning to be a crag dog
• Keeping in the shade at the crag
• Watching the filming drone
• Taking time out from filming
• Watching the sunset at the beach from the comfort  of his bed
• Running in a big field during filming
• On the beach at Newborough Warren

Friday 21 April 2017

Lost & Found

Some of you may know that husband Jason, Leelu and myself are about to embark on our adventures.  If you would like to know more about what we are up to then here is the link to our new website As a result we are currently doing some work on our narrowboat that has been outstanding for a few months and also to get her ready for a summer of travelling around the UK canal network.

Last week we decided to replace the floor at the back of the boat.  This means removing everything including our bed, wardrobe, the girl's beds... so we are staying with my parents at the moment, even deeper in the Cheshire countryside.  This means some more varied walks for Leelu, although to be honest, he knows all of the local walks anyway as my Dad often takes him out when we have been at work.  He does pause at every stile that we pass just to see which way we will be going next!

Honestly, this photo was not a set up, he knows that there are lots of good smells through here!

One of our walks takes us through woods.  Recently they have been doing a lot of 'managing' & thinning and so there is now that lovely pine smell and hundreds and hundreds of logs stacked up ready for moving.  The bonus about this is that one of the tennis balls that we lost a couple of months ago at this very point and searched and searched for in the gorse but couldn't find, literally popped out of the gorse when the logs have been tennis balls get lost so easy in woodland undergrowth!

We've seen lots of beautiful signs of spring with nature doing her best looking green and everywhere replenishing

Yesterday morning we also found this:
It looks like a buzzards wing I think, there wasn't any other 'bits of bird' lying around!

For the next blog, in 2 weeks time, we will have started our advenutres...before that though, here's what the new floor looks like, now to paint the walls - where's the paintbrush?!