Why we walk the hills

By Dave and Rufus.

There is no sound other than the birds high up in the sky and the gentle breeze making its way through the grass. The early morning sun is shining with a yellow glow, the air is crisp and clear and the remains of last night’s frost crunches under foot. In puddles, ice has formed random and surreal patterns that few will see. It’s warm despite the early hour. The noise of traffic is not invited here.

From the top of Moel Feity, our venue for today, there is a panoramic view of mountains and countryside. in the distance to the north a line of clouds have formed, as if waiting to enter into our arena. But they’re not allowed to spoil the morning. To the west, Fan Brecheiniog looks grey with it’s thin coating of frost yet to be touched by the sun. A small cloud pops over the top and spills down towards Llyn y Fan Fawr like a slow motion waterfall. The twin table tops of Corn Du and Pen y Fan are silhouetted off to the east. Even at this early hour they are probably busy with those keen to be the highest people south of Snowdonia.

We have this hill to ourselves. We can go where ever we want. There are little paths and tracks that the sheep have worn over the years but the sheep are all gathered together further down the valley this morning. We choose to follow the paths or not as the whim takes us.

He’s going to start going on about how time has no meaning next. I know, and I apologise on behalf of my human. Allow him his indulgence.

There is no sign of the passage of time other than the distant clouds and the mist on Fan Brecheiniog. Even the sun is lazy this morning.

There. See. 

We come across the little memorial to the crew of Liberator 38753 and a little later, a small pile of aluminium, some melted, which has been gathered from the crash site. I stop to tidy them both up as I always do when we come here, and we spend a moment or two having a think before moving on.

We walk the hills because of all these things and the things we will see next time. Sometimes its for the challenge, sometimes it’s to get away from the crap and sometimes its to get to the top.

Before he gets too carried away with the artistic dribble, lets talk about the real reason we walk the hills. Dave has this need to prove himself and I have to tag along just to make sure he doesn’t overdo things. I don’t mind; he’s good to me so I return the favour. When I wasn’t well, he stayed with me so he’s a bit out of shape right now. In the past he’s done it to get fit to climb hills in other countries – without me! But I don’t care really because I enjoy walking the hills with Dave.

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The things humans do

By Rufus. Typed by Dave because I told him to.

I’m staying with Dave at the moment because my skills as an escape artist proved too great in my temporary home. To be fair, I never signed any agreements not to try and escape. Life with Dave isn’t too bad as I have him trained to a very high standard and I reluctantly admit that the service level and living standards are quite good in his house.

But he has some quirks. I may have mentioned before that he likes taking photos and I think it’s becoming a bit of an obsession with him, Every time I look, he has a camera in his hand. He has several cameras – why do you need more than one?  These days he tends to point them at very very small things in the garden. Yesterday I caught him trying to photograph a fly! As a reward, he turned the camera on me and started taking my portrait. I was trying to get my best side (right, if you must know) into shot but he kept moving. So I flopped down in the garden. Well, it was really warm out there and I hoped he’d get the message and leave me alone.

He’s off this week so we get to see a lot of each other. That’s fine, I like Dave. This morning I was looking forward to a nice lie-in (until about 5am) but there was thunder outside. I don’t like thunder. Don’t judge me, we all have our little phobias. Dave doesn’t like spiders. So It was nice to have Dave to cuddle up to until the thunder had stopped. And his bed is nice and comfy, so rather than disturb him when everything was quiet, I stayed there. It was so comfy that I over slept until 7am!

Later this morning, he was out digging holes in the garden. Now I’m not one to boast, but I am the king of holes. I can scratch a pit in the hardest of ground in minutes. But he didn’t want my help and instead proceeded to dig a deep hole and then plant a stick in it! Admittedly it was a big stick, but even so! Sticks are meant to be thrown, not buried. He spent ages putting big stones in the hole to prop up the stick, and then he filled the hole in and did a little dance on it!  He said something about birds and hung a very nice smelling fat ball on it.

I’ve got to stop now as I’ve asked Dave to finish off the bathroom. While I dislike taking showers, when I have to, I would rather do so in a completed bathroom rather than the half finished building site. There, that’s told him.

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Late start (by Rufus)

Dave was snoring during the night which was probably why I didn’t have a great night. It was warm, too and despite the windows being open, I found it difficult to get comfy. I expect my appointment with my hair stylist tomorrow will help with that. Anyway, I woke Dave at about 6.30 and then again at around 6.45 and 7am. He finally relented (after I’d climbed up to nudge him several times) at 7.30.

The garden was still there, and apart from several interesting scents (I’ve heard Dave mention a fox and there was a cat in the garden last night), all was present and correct. We breakfasted and then I decided to have a nap on the sofa. When I woke again, Dave was watching rubbish on the TV. He has a tendency to do that if I’m not careful and so I let him know that the garden needed patrolling again, and that we really ought to get out and have some exercise. (His tummy is comfy to lie on but not healthy for him).

He drove me out to the river and although it looked quite cloudy and miserable on the hills, I guessed we’d be heading for lower down today. Dave goes on about his knee but it seems okay to me. Nevertheless, he is taking it easy at the moment. We walked along the river for a while and I was very pleased to see that he has learnt to throw stones quite skilfully now.  He still has the habit of stopping to take photos but I can usually  tell when that is going to happen, and if he gets too carried away I let him know by standing in front of the camera.

We left the river and headed along an old sheep trail that climbed up the side of the hill. Not ideal, as we were moving away from the water, but I could see the river down below, so we were never going to be too far away. The sheep scattered. They don’t like me and quite frankly, I don’t like them as they get in the way and make silly noises. The path was narrow and slippery at points, especially when we were walking over rocks. There was some mud too, but I was careful to avoid that. I don’t like the idea of a shower when we get home.

Eventually, we got to the top of the hill and it was flat going. Dave sped up and once I’d spotted a small stream, so did I. I got there first (I usually do) and was waiting for him for ages. I stood by a waterfall, as I knew he’d get distracted by it and would forget to throw stones for me. But he was very good and remembered. In fact, he was so into throwing stones for me that he didn’t see his camera and tripod fall over, and I had to point it out to him with one of my best stares. He was very good and didn’t swear.

We alternated between stone throwing and picture taking, which is by far the best way to do it. I didn’t have to remind him too often; he is learning fast. We could have stayed there all day (if he’s brought food with him) but before long the clouds started to gather and it looked like we were going to get soaked. So we both decided the best move was to head back towards the car. As we left the stream, the clouds were coming down so where we had been was quickly hidden by mist. It reminded me of yesterday, when I’m sure Dave got lost again.

We stayed out of the mist by descending, fortunately right down to the main river, where Dave sat to rest his weary bones (so he calls them) while he threw stones for me to chase and catch. Then we made our way back to the car, where I let Dave drive while I dozed in the back. I must have done loads as he had to wake me up when we got to the house!

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