Mottisfont in the rain
Peter and I went to Mottisfont today. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont/*
In the sheeting rain. The sheeting rain. Hey, gardens in the rain: the traditional English experience.**
Between Peter’s bridge playing and my bells and singing*** and, you know, earning a living, there aren’t a lot of free(ish) days in any given week. And we’d planned today, including booking the dog minder to give hellhounds their afternoon hurtle.† Peter said, to the drumming of the rain on the roof, what do you want to do? I said, I’ve booked the dog minder, I’m going somewhere. Fine, said Peter, I’ll come with you.
So we went to Mottisfont. It’s after midsummer: the roses won’t keep.
There are advantages to famous public gardens in the rain: you will probably have them to yourselves. There were half a dozen other stalwarts/crazy people there, but Mottisfont in high summer is usually frelling jammed. I shot off more photos in less time than I probably ever have there, and was feeling quite smug till (a) MY CAMERA’S BATTERY DIED†† and (b) I got home and discovered that despite compulsive lens-wiping better than half my photos have large grey raindrop blobs on them. ARRRRRRRGH.†††
* * *
* And we, or at any rate I, have to go back for the E H Shepherd show.
** I should perhaps officially declare that while I like to complain, I don’t actually mind all that much, barring the immediate sulky-hellhound situation, and that not being able to get into the garden at all due either to imminent drowning or the likelihood of being smothered by very happy, very lush foliage does eventually^ make me CRANKY, as does sinking more than ankle deep on any/all local footpaths. Waiting for me to flounder back out of the latest morass also tends to deepen and enrich wet hellhound sulkiness. This is not a self-aggravating cycle likely to make any of us better human/canine beings.^^
But I will take cold and wet to hot and dry ANY DAY. ANY YEAR. ANY CENTURY.
^ ‘eventually’ being one of those mutable concepts
^^ There is possibly nothing more FUN in this world than getting tangled up with some wet aggressive off lead brute whose so-called owner is slogging on with his/her head sunk between his/her shoulders and his/her hood pulled well down against the grievous misconduct of the weather and the screams of the assaulted.+
+ Pam Adams
Perhaps that’s what you need on your hurtles is a bully-bodyguard to protect the hellhounds and you from idiot owners with off-lead dogs.
::Sighs:: Only if I can hire Southdowner as wrangler.
LOL I understand that the hellhounds were worried. I would be too, even though I know that bully terriers are not dangerous.
Well . . . Alex/Southdowner may want to put me right about this but (a) ALL dogs have the potential to be either sweethearts or dangerous and (b) bull terriers were originally bred to be fighting dogs and it’s unwise to forget this. Bullies were actually on my short list when I was between dogs this last time. They do tend to be people dogs, and I like the twinkle in their eyes, and I told myself that I could cope with one. Alex has 1,000,000# bullies and they all get along fine, so it can be done, but Alex is also a professional dog behaviourist and, as she says herself, socialises the bzrgm out of her critters.
# There are photos
*** Nadia is about to go on maternity leave. As you might say, waaaaaaaaaah.
† In this weather it’s easy to tell she’s been. There are streaming harnesses hooked over the rail in front of the Aga, dripping raincoats hanging over the hellhound gate by the front door, and muddy towels on the floor.
†† My camera’s battery died because I took it into the camera shop on my way to Nadia yesterday, to buy a new lens cap, since I have managed to lose mine.^ Not only did they not have a lens cap that would fit, but the Nice Man behind the counter took about twenty minutes to decide he couldn’t figure out how to de-set some of the weirdnesses that this camera has constructed for my benefit. Siiigh. My beautiful no-longer-new camera has not been the greatest success of my life: it has TOO MANY BUTTONS and trying to deal with the thing and (for example) hellhound leads is a disaster, and as I’m frantically juggling all the buttons go squeeeeeeee and reset themselves in fabulous new patterns . . . unknown even to Nice Men behind the counters of dedicated camera shops. Anyway. There had apparently been severe battery drain as the settings all ran around hiding behind things so the Nice Man couldn’t find them.
^ It’s in the garden. Somewhere. Sigh.
†††As I was leaving the garden, Peter having sloshed on ahead for a cup of tea at the café, I met a bloke coming in, carrying a lot of photography equipment and looking gloomy. The rain had got harder over the course of our visit, and was at this point running down the peak of your hood, caroming off your nose and thundering off your shoulders. Gardens in the rain, I said, at least there’s no one else around. Hmmmmm, he said.
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