Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Abereiddy to Porthgain,

I decided on Sunday morning that if we aren't at a show on a weekend we should explore somewhere new, so full of enthusiasm I picked up a book of walks in Pembrokeshire, (which I have had for a couple of years and not used) and the map and set off for Abereiddy, an old slate mining village halfway between Strumble Head and St. Davids. The quarry was at its busiest between 1850 and1904. Because the harbour would only allow ships of 20 to 30 tons to be loaded from the slipway a tramway was built to nearby Porthgain along which trains of 2 or 3 wagons were hauled by 2 horses to the slate yard near Barry Island farm for storage before being shipped out. After quarrying had been discontinued the walls leading from the old engine house around to the dressing sheds were blasted away resulting in a small harbour, known as the Blue Lagoon, pictured below.

It was a beautiful day and I decided to do the walk along the cliff path to Porthgain, making a detour around Barry Island farm and returning along the cliff path. As the path is quite close to the edge Finn wore his tracking lead and harness so he could have a bit of freedom but I didn't have to worry too much.

The first thing you see on entering Porthgain are the ruins left behind from the slate and brick industry which had fallen into decline by the early 1900s. Business finally closed in 1931. I had a picnic lunch overlooking the harbour, which Finn told me in no uncertain terms that he wanted to go swimming in as it was VERY HOT. We made our way up some very narrow, steep steps back onto the cliff path.

The whole walk took about 2 hours, when we got back to the car park we both had an ice cream from the van there and then spent another couple of hours on the beach. Finn loves swimming and he had me throwing stones so he could swim out to the splash!
We were joined by a spaniel who thought Finns stones were more interesting than his and a little girl who wasn't any taller than Finn. Finn was absolutely fascinated with her, I normally make him sit when talking to children in case he knocks them over, but he was so gentle and they devised a game where he was digging and she was putting stones in the hole for him to take out! He got a bit fed up when her brother and sister came over and wouldn't leave him alone so we decided it was time to go home.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Finn now has a seesaw to add to his collection of agility equipment. We managed to get the base from the old see saw from dog club and begged a scaffold plank from a friend, the problem was fixing it so it wouldn't jump off the base as he runs up it. It had to be detachable as my garden isn't big enough to use it in. I solved the problem by screwing 2 blocks of wood underneath the plank to fit over the base and then attaching a swivel to lock it in place, Finn loves it. I've just got to paint it now.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008


We had another show last weekend at Eastham Country Park at Bromborough on the Wirral peninsular. I had spent the whole week before worrying about how much fuel I would need and whether I could actually afford to go. As it turned out I needn't have worried as it wasn't as far as Worcester. There was a gale blowing when we arrived, but I managed to snuggle the tent between the hedge and the car and later another club member parked their caravan alongside as well so we were quite snug. There are lovely walks through the woods alongside the Mersey and we were actually camped at the edge of the cricket pitch so at free moments on both Saturday and Sunday we could watch the cricket. The wind continued all through Saturday with the occasional shower in the morning, but Sunday was much better. On Saturday evening we had my birthday celebrations in the aforementioned caravan, many thanks to Sue Shaw who despite feeling quite poorly entertained us with liberal supplies of homemade wine, ( I prefer the quince to the strawberry Sue).

Finn had 3 runs on both days and I actually managed to find someone who could use the camera so we have some action shots. We got the big E as usual, but we are improving. The judge in one class came up to me after our run and said 'What a cracking dog!' Which meant a lot to us. unfortunately it was all a bit much and Finns mind was completely blown on Sunday! We had 1 good run in which we were eliminated because I pushed him out too far on the corner so he missed the next jump and just had to go in the tunnel instead. It usually is the handlers fault when things go pear shaped although the in next 2 runs Finn had lost all concentration and I felt really dis heartened, but the poor little man was really tired and is only just getting back to normal now.

Afterlunch and a last walk in the woods we made a leisurely journey home, stopping for dinner at a picnic site near Corris where we were going to have another walk, but met 3 bikers 1 of whom had just had rather a nasty spill and was a bit shaken up but thankfully otherwise unhurt. We shared a flask of tea and chatted until he felt able to continue on his way and then went our seperate ways and we arrived home about 9.30, totally exhausted.

Thursday, 3 July 2008


Finn is looking for new members for his Black Paw gang. Applicants must love getting wet and muddy and swear to do their utmost to keep both house and car in such a condition that all members feel at home without the need for baths and grooming before entry!