01/01/10 Waggy New Year

Waggy New Year to all my four legged and two legged friends!

I had a lovely New Year’s Day – me and Whitevanwoman went for a long walk on the snowy fells I started to get excited when I saw Whitevanwoman get her walking boots and rucksack out of the white van. And then after she’d rummaged around in the cupboard under the stairs for a while and emerged triumphantly with her walking poles and crampons, I knew that a serious walk was on the cards. I scampered round the house in excitement whilst she spent ages packing all sorts of stuff in her rucksack – sleeping bag, snow goggles, map, compass, a massive chunk of Christmas cake and a flask of coffee – until she finally put her jacket on and off we went

We went along our usual path down to the river and along the lane to Roundthwaite but then instead of carrying along the lane, we turned off up the track up the hill to the common. I could hardly believe my luck! This was turning out to be a very good walk, almost an adventure

We stopped by the little wood which you can see from our kennel and Whitevanwoman took some photos of Balamory – our kennel is the white one in between the yellow one (where neighbours Emma and Alan live) and the blue one. You can even see the white van in the photos…

Balamory from Roundthwaite Common View of Rigg the pig with Balamory in the background

Balamory Our kennel and the white van

Then we headed on up onto the common and suddenly a herd of about 20 fell ponies came to investigate us. I think they thought my tennisball was an apple, and that maybe Whitevanwoman had some hay in her rucksack for them. I’ve met ponies before (like Velvet, the Ladthwaite pony – see my blog posts about being at Ladthwaite) but I’ve never met more than one of them at a time, so I was a little concerned to be surrounded by so many.

Whitevanwoman didn’t seem to be bothered in the slightest – I remember her telling me stories about the naughty little Welsh Mountain pony called Revel who used to live with her when she was a girl – and she gave them all a pat. Personally, I just wanted to get on with our walk; I wasn’t exactly scared but having so many of them surrounding me, and sniffing at my bum and ears was making me distinctly uncomfortable and I was a little bit worried that they might try to eat me.

fell ponies fell ponies

fell ponies 3 I'm not scared, honest

Help! It's trying to eat me! Help! It’s trying to eat me!

After about 10 minutes, Whitevanwoman said good-bye to the ponies and we set off up the track which you could hardly see because it was buried in snow. Whitevanwoman had put her crampons on by now as she was finding it a bit slippery – that’s the problem when you only have 2 legs; having 4 legs makes it much easier to keep your balance.

Here’s a photo of where we were going – up the track which bears round to the right across Roundthwaite Common and then up onto the ridge at the right hand side, and along the ridge from right to left to Jeffrey’s Mount and then down to the road. This is the ridge and Jeffrey’s Mount is the big hill which you can see from our kennel.

Our walk took us along the ridge from the right hand side to the Jeffrey's Mount (not in the picture) on the left hand side The track continues up hill and then bears round to the right before bearing left again up to the ridge. Our walk took us along the top of the ridge from the right hand side to Jeffrey’s Mount on the left, which you can’t see in this photo.

Because the snow was so deep in places, Whitevanwoman was walking much slower than usual, but the deep snow didn’t stop me from galloping round. Once we got on top of the ridge, the wind was very strong and it was bitterly cold so we only stopped very briefly to take some photos but because it was so cold and the wind was so strong, Whitevanwoman couldn’t keep her camera still so they are a bit blurred.  

Looking south from Jeffrey's Mount with M6 and River Lune in backgroun Looking south from Jeffrey’s Mount with M6 and River Lune in background


Looking north from Jeffrey's Mount, with the lights of Tebay and the M6 and Orton Scar in the background Looking north from Jeffrey’s Mount, with the lights of Tebay and the M6 and Orton Scar in the background

It was lovely to be up high and looking down on the world, and we had a spectacular view. By the time we had walked along the top of the ridge to Jeffrey’s Mount, it was beginning to get dark and it was almost completely dark by the time we got back to the road at the bottom.

It looked really pretty with the snow and the houses lit up with Christmas lights…


but we didn’t stop for long as we were both pretty tired by now and just wanted to get home to our kennel for some dinner and a rest. When we got home, we were both really really hungry so we both wolfed down our respective dinners and I put myself to bed and slept soundly, dreaming of tennisballs and snowdrifts

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