Tuesday, 1 November 2016

October round up

I'm not really sure where October went, but my overall feeling is that it was a really nice month. It felt hectic at the time but looking back at my diary I'm not sure what I was busy doing!!

The next level of puppy school has felt like a challenge. Barney is one of the youngest there, so it seems a bit harsh expecting him to behave as well as some dogs who are four times as old as him. He loves other dogs and people, so preventing him from being distracted has always been a big challenge. Not wanting to tempt fate, but we may be turning a corner, he behaved pretty well at puppy school at the weekend and we went for a walk at Coate Water yesterday, and apart from almost tripping over a runner who snuck up on us, he behaved pretty perfectly. Now we just need to master the sit and stay command, which is our real nemesis. 
What do you mean I won't sit and stay?!
We've done lots of mundane bits and pieces outside; having a yew tree removed, taking out a laurel bush, and getting wood delivered for the winter. We've also both been for flu jabs and used Andrew's latest hospital appointment as an excuse for a wander around a garden centre we've not visited before. 

Work is much calmer, it's nice to reach the end of the busy season. Our latest recruitment effort was successful and we've had one new member of staff join us. Always nice to get people in before the madness hits, gives them a chance to prepare for it!

We met up with a friend for a walk around Westonbirt Arboretum a couple of weekends ago. It's always a nice place to walk around, but more so at this time of year. It's so busy that they've had to close the car parks at times over the last couple of weekends, but we were lucky. The weather wasn't the best, but the trees were stunning nonetheless and Barney enjoyed a chance to sniff around in the leaves. 
The following day Barney and I headed over to Bristol for the RSPCA Big Walkies event. It's fair to say that I was having one of those days. I was running late, then got lost on the way, left my phone in the car (which I then stressed about, it didn't help that I'd dropped it in a lake the weekend before...) and the signage wasn't clear, so I ended up not doing the walk I'd planned. That said, Barney enjoyed the walk and it was good to get out and do something. He wasn't too impressed with his bandanna though.
Can we go now??
The following weekend my parents and brother visited us. Barney was very excited and spent most of the time getting underfoot or getting told off for jumping up. I'm just grateful that he's motivated by food, give him something to chew on and he'll generally settle down and give us all a break! It doesn't sound like it, but it was actually a less stressful day than I'd anticipated!

Andrew had a family meal the following day, I stayed at home with Barney so we went for a walk to enjoy the sun at Lydiard Park. It was a beautiful day, but Barney wasn't in the mood to sit patiently whilst I took photos so he features in very few of them. I'm hoping he'll warm to being a photographic subject as he gets older!!
We were so lucky with the weather
Now onto my progress against my plans for the year...

Read sixteen books
With the arrival of Autumn, I had a real craving for spending some time in front of the fire reading. I'd had The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler on my Kindle for ages and finally read it. I really enjoyed it as I love a bit of Scandanavian crime fiction. As soon as I finished it I ordered another book by the same author, hopefully that won't hang around unread for as long! 
Find one hundred geocaches
We're still at 534 finds, 46 for the year to date. Whoops.

Meet up with an old friend
The friend we visited Westonbirt with was someone I met through work about ten years ago. I think I'm getting to the age where I think I haven't known some people long until I start to count back the years!

Blog once a month
I had an amazing lava shell massage which I blogged about here and also wrote about one of our frequent dog walking locations, Mouldon Hill, which you can read here

Watch a new film once a month
We finished the Divergent series by watching Allegiant. As a series of films I really enjoyed them, perfect for when you want something which you can settle down and watch without worrying about the plot too much. 
 Take six day trips
No progress on this one, I think this may need to wait until next year, but you never know!

My diary for November is looking fairly free, puppy school allowing, I'm looking forward to seeing what it brings me. Secretly I'm hoping for comfort food and a few naps in front of the fire with a puppy on my lap...

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