Monday, 27 July 2015

Exploring hidden Plymouth

Last weekend I set off to Plymouth with the hounds to go and explore somewhere new.

Hooe Lake from the breakwater
Mother and I have been saying for ages we'd like to explore more of Plymouth as it is a great city with lots of interesting places that we just wouldn't visit on a regular basis.

I saw someone post some lovely pictures online from their dog walk and it looked so lovely I had to find out where it was.
After a little bit of investigation, I found out it was Radford Park and Hooe Lake in Plymstock. We have driven past it many times but never knew it was there.

The park has its own website with lots of interesting historical information on it and that can be found here.

The park and lake was lovely - not hugely busy and a very pleasant, easy walk around the lake.
We walked through some light tree cover then came to a breakwater type thing with Radford Castle on it. The Castle was obviously used for defending the lake back in the day and one side of this breakwater was freshwater and the other side was tidal.
Radford Castle

The Breakwater and Radford Castle

The tidal side of the lake had several old skeletons of huge boats that were probably some type of barge.
Once we crossed the breakwater, we walked back through some lovely woodland. The paths are well used and I could have turned down a different route to take me into Turnchapel (another wonderful place to visit).

Hooe Lake - tidal side

Lovely woodland at Radford Park

Halfway along the side, we came across some old ruins of small houses and some sort of defences. There was a grinding wheel, a fireplace dated 1640 and a small boathouse to unload boats straight into the house.
It was fascinating and I never knew it existed!!


Fireplace dated 1640

Grinding wheel

Turret defences


I have been back since and showed Mother our lovely walk and she was equally impressed.
There is a nice stream for the dogs to paddle in (Dixie went through a boggy bit and ended up black up to her armpits!)
There is also a beach sort of bit at the end of the freshwater lake where people feed the ducks and it's also perfect for furry dogs to have a cool down.

Dibbling in the stream


Furry dog paddling with the ducks

Hooe Lake and Radford Castle in the background

I'm so glad I discovered this walk and I'm excited for the next place to go and explore!


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Westcountry Wars! Devon vs. Cornwall

There is a long standing rivalry between Devon and Cornwall which can get very heated sometimes!
Cornish and Devon Flags

The main argument probably has to be the 'Cream or Jam first on a scone' debate! 

If you're in Devon, the correct way is cream first then jam. The cream sticks nicely to the scone and allows the jam to stick on top. 
You wouldn't put jam on your toast first and then butter it would you? 

The Cornish (ahem, wrong) way to do it is jam first then cream which we all know to be daft because the cream slides off the jam! 
Some say you can get more cream on it this way but I doubt it.

Do you know how to tell if a pasty has been made in Devon or Cornwall?

In Devon, the seal is usually across the top of the pasty and in Cornwall, the seal is traditionally around the side. 
Devon Pasty
They say that this was for the tin miners to hold with their grubby hands while eating the rest and then they'd chuck the crust away.
Cornish Pasty
A really traditional cornish pasty has a sweet section at one end such as apple sauce so you have your main meat and veg bit of the pasty then a little sweet section for afters!

Tourists have different names in the two counties. In Devon, you'll hear the phrase "grockles" and in Cornwall, they're known as "emmetts".

I would say these are the main differences that crop up fairly regularly but the Devon/Cornwall rivalry is usually amicable but I have seen some heated exchanges in my time down here over which is the best county (Devon.... Obvs!!) 

Another little factoid for you - the Devon flag was only created in 2003 after an internet poll. More info here.

Are there any funny little rivalries where you live? Tell me!


Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Misty Mornings in the Mad House

I recently had my friend's 3 dogs and 2 horses staying with us while they were at Glastonbury.
We already have 2 horses and 2 dogs so it was absolutely mental as you can imagine!

The herd of space cadets - Zak is behind Dave
Only 2 horses need exercising luckily so I have been getting up early to ride Fern before work then riding A's horse Zak after work.
They all arrived on Tuesday evening and in my excitement/wisdom, I had entered Zak for a local one day event (dressage, show jumping and cross country) at the weekend so I had 3 days to learn to ride and jump him - I'd never sat on him before!
We came 4th on a very misty foggy day so I was really pleased!

Zakie and I make it across the finish line!
We also had Zak's companion Dave, staying as well who is a small black pony who looks very cute but is a little monkey. He was kicking the crap out of poor BH but it was quite amusing to watch because BH is easily twice his size and being bullied by a small hairy creature.

Dave - cute hairy little bully!
All the horses got on really well and every morning when I went over, all 4 would be laying down flat out. Because the grass is so long at the moment, you could barely see them and the misty mornings didn't help!

Spot the BH - you can just see his face just left of the centre

BH and Zak awake

3rd horse awake! Fernie

All 4 snoozing neddies
Now they've gone home, my horses have been calling for them and A said they have been calling for mine. 
They'll be very welcome to come and stay again!

The 5 dogs all get along really well but it was chaos trying to organise them all for a walk!

The pack on an early beach walk