This past weekend I had my mum and sister come to stay for the weekend. It was the last Keble girly weekend...for a while. Amongst other things we shopped in Meadowhall until we literally dropped, we ate out at Wagamamas, we munched on Ben and Jerrys, we walked Macintosh and we watched 'Saving Mr Banks'. It was a fantastic weekend and I think we all felt like it was just what we needed in the middle of the chaos going on with the changes to our family's life. 

At the end of the weekend Mum really wanted to take a photo of the three of us. Having no Andrew around to play the role of photographer and Mac having a lack of opposable thumbs, we opted to place the camera on the side and use the timer. This was a sensible suggestion and provided some hilarious moments. It took a while to really get some good shots and had us pulling lots of silly faces. Fortunately for you Mum I won't put them on here! 

Macintosh never likes to be left out of something, especially if it looks like fun so he decided to climb on board! Literally...

It seemed to take him ages to climb up onto the sofa with us and resulted in a lot of pain for us and a lot of frustration from Mac. Poor old Mum may have been kissed by Mac accidentally too! Yuck! We didn't manage to capture any of those though, think we were too busy laughing! 

Oh Macintosh you are a fruitcake! 

Photographic credit goes to my wonderful sister Becca! 


Surprise surprise Macintosh is back to his old tricks! His wonderful streak is over and we are back to the chaos and craziness. It was just in time for my grandparents visit so they were able to witness the insanity. It involved licking out coffee cups on the floor, pulling fluff out of his bed, dragging towels around the garden, stealing gardening gloves and attempting to sniff Granny's face. That last one in itself is truly naughty as anyone who knows my Granny knows her dislike for dogs and she does cope well with Mac but that was a step too far! 

There were two hilarious moments though which unfortunately I didn't manage to get any photos of due to the nature of the incidents. The first involved the netting covering over a newly seeded patch of grass. Grampy had painstakingly worked over the patch of mud the mini had been sitting on in the garden and had laid down grass seed before covering it with a netting to stop birds, cats and in theory Macitosh getting to the seed. It had rained a bit so the patch of mud was getting muddy and obviously was very inviting to a beagle. So whilst we were all having dinner Mac decided to crawl underneath the netting and get himself stuck! Now when I say stuck I mean paws all in different holes with his snout and collar trapping him too. He would have been there for a while had Granny not spotted him out of the window scrabbling around and looking pathetic. I dutifully ran out to rescue him and obviously he was rather relieved to be free. (Didn't stop him putting his must paws all over me though!)

The second event involved the hail that fell early on Saturday evening. Macintosh and I had waited for a gap on the rain before talking our evening walk. When we finally got out we met lots of other dogs who had clearly had the same idea! We had a lovely walk but it slowly the sky became dark and it started to rain. As it began to rain harder and harder so Mac as I began to walk faster and faster. Soon we were runnig at full pelt as fear big hail stones fell out of the sky. We were almost home, I mean literally 6 foot from the garden gate as the first clap of thunder struck. Now Macintosh is scared of thunder. He hates it. His tail goes down, his eyes widen and he panics. In this case he heard he thunder and in blind panic pelted it towards the house but forgot that the garden gate was shut. This resulted in him hitting the gate at full pelt and crumpling into a heap! Now I know that sounds cruel laughing at an animals misfortunes but it was funny. Especially when he picked himself up and glared indignantly at the gate as if to say, why didn't you open you stupid thing! If I had been filming it we could have won the money from you've been framed without a doubt!! As it is I will just have to keep hilarious memory to myself. Oh wait you all know now... Oops! 

Now no post would be complete without a picture but as I have no relevant one you will just have to settle for a picture showing how hard it is to write these posts. He literally does everything he can to stop me, including laying on the laptop!! 




So now the weather is picking up and the wind is slowly reducing, I needed to head outside and try to get my fitness back on track and get a little sun on my skin. With all the water around here, kayaking seemed the obvious choice, especially when we could hire them so cheap nearby. So last Monday and Friday we took to the water.

Monday was perfect with a very slight breeze, we covered a fair distance in 2 hours and dusted of my kayak skills. I hired an open top sea kayak, so the picky ones amongst you would call it a canoe but I wont get into that fight. Friday was sunny but the wind was quite high leading to it being a lil rough. Stupidly we went with the wind on the outward trip leading to a very slow choppy paddle back. It was hard work but I needed the exercise and it was good fun so didn't really notice the aching in the shoulders. Not until the next day anyway...

Hopefully we are planning to take to the water again on Wednesday if the weather's good.



Hold your horses everyone but here comes another happy Macintosh blog post...

On Sunday the weather was wonderful so I decided to take Mac on a rather long walk along the canal from Burton Waters through to Lincoln, near the Odeon cinema. It was about an hours walk each way and with the sun shining and a few happy dogs to meet along the way it was a lovely walk. 

Macintosh behaved so well on the walk. He was friendly to all the dogs and children that wanted to say hello. He moved out of the way and sat down when I pulled him out of the path of cyclists. He even took care to avoid people who clearly looked scared of dogs. He didn't attempt to go into the canal. Best of all he didn't eat or roll in any wildlife poo! 

Overall the walk was a total success! Here are a few (poor iPhone) snaps of the trip.



Lately I've been falling in love with bold patterns on flooring with plainer surroundings. I like the big window frame mirror in here too. I think I could fall asleep in here pretty easy.

Lately I've been dreaming about California and the places we will go. The beaches, the National Parks, the coffee shops. It'll be lovely! Only 2 months to go now...

I've been quite taken by mustard coloured things too and these sandals are adorable. The old pattern modernised with the pop of colour looks intriguing. Will be sandal shopping soon too. 

Lately I'm in love with these bookends too. I mean a a bookend. Amazing! 

And to finish off the whole thing we need a bear picture, in particular a polar bear! He's so casual about the whole affair. Its amazing! 


The previous week some of the guys had an opportunity to do the state boat safety course so we could hire boats out. This saturday a group of us hired a boat to got for a little spin around Chocowatchee Bay, especially as the weather was perfect for it. 

The Bay has some quite shallow sandbanks around the side so was perfect for anchoring up and going for a dip. The water was very cold but crystal clear so managed to avoid the jelly fish! We had a small fly past from some vintage warplanes who were heading east along the coast.

I had a short go at the wheel, and thoroughly enjoyed it as you can see from my silly smile!
Thankfully you don't see the rather funky shorts I am wearing. lol. I love the feeling at the end of the day of a glowing face from the wind and sun after being on an adventurous day. We finished the day with a home-cooked pasta meal laughing at the photos and videos we had taken.

Here are a few snaps.



We've had a miracle occur this week. Yes amazingly Macintosh has been good.... all week! Now notice I don't say perfect. That would just be ridiculous and I'm under no illusions about his behaviour. But he has been good so I thought I'd tell you about one good thing he's done so as to attempt to convince you (and myself) that having a dog is in fact a good idea! 

As the weather was warm yesterday Mac and I went for quite a long walk around the camp. Recently its been quiet and you can have a good walk without running into too many other people or dogs. But we bumped into lots of children out playing yesterday as it was so lovely. Now typically children are fascinated by dogs and are always pointing them out. Its no exception with Macintosh. As we walked around lots of children; from small toddlers to older children pointed him out. There were lots of "Look Mum, a dog!" or "Awww he's so cute" or "Doggy! Doggy!" or even an " 'og! 'og!"

So of course I stopped so that they could see him as I don't mind them adoring my beautiful beagle and it was amazing to notice how good Macintosh was with them. He allowed them to pat him and stroke him. He didn't seem to mind if they accidentally poked him or if they pulled his fur. He didn't mind being crowded round and patted vigorously. He simply stood there and took it all. I would even go as far as to say he enjoyed being the centre of attention!

It was such a comfort to be reminded that he is good at something, especially when he often seems like the worst dog on the planet! It was such a relief to know he was good with children too as when his cousin baby Snuggs makes an appearance he'll be lovely and gentle with them. Of course I will under no circumstances leave them alone together in a room though, I'm not that naive! But to know we can visit them with Mac will be great!

Well there we go, a good bit of praise for Mr Macintosh. Miracles do happen! And I'll leave you with a picture of Mr Cute himself. 



This week amongst sorting out the never ending pile of admin stuff, me and couple of the guys tried out a short walk that I'd been recomended by friends at church. It was a wooden walkway following along Turkey Creek just outside Valparaiso Town. It was short but a perfect place for a slow amble and next time I think I need to take a book because there was plenty of spots just to sit and read, may even jump in if the weather stays warm!

My other job this week was to research cars that we could buy when we get to California. The problem is Hannah and I seem to differ on what we see as practical! When my first suggestion was a 1950s MG TD for sale in LA that was brought over by a US Serviceman just after WW2, she definitely m realised I wasn't on the same page when it came to car

Well, we shall see, but I think need a car propped up in the garden else I might feel homesick. I promise I won't acumulate too many tools ('too many' will be my call Iwould like to add)



This week Macintosh was brilliant. He was behaving himself and getting on really well with the new bed training regime. I was mentally rehearsing writing such a lovely post with some cute pictures and just generally extolling his virtues. And then it happened....


See this is Macintosh's face after the event. He's in his bed and he's avoiding looking at the camera. That tells you that what he did was not very great, in fact it was really really bad.

You see on Sunday I cooked a lovely Tennessee BBQ chicken breast with wedges and salad. It was delicious or the quarter of it I ate was. Half way through I was disturbed by a knock on the door. I pushed my chair under the table and went to answer the door. Mac followed me through and got in the way so I shut him back in the lounge to sort out the person at the door. When I'd finished dealing with them I came back into the kitchen and I discovered Macintosh up on the chair eating my dinner off my plate!!!!!

Now I wish I got a photo of it but obviously my loud shouting meant he jumped right down. He looked really guilty and promptly hid under the table. Here are some pictures I snapped of my leftover dinner and the chicken he dropped on the floor. 



Needless to say Mac spent some time in his bed thinking about what he had done. However I am fairly sure that he would do it again in a blink!! Oh Macintosh, you are a pickle!!