With only a week to go, puppy fever has infected staff at The Fatdog Broadcasting Corporation. While J and The Bleating Sheep “ooh!” and “ah!” over doggie toys and blankies I am busying myself with the fortifications. At present I am torn between making the garden secure – such that the pup cannot escape, or, making the garden impregnable – such that the puppy can’t get in!
Anything vaguely chewable is being put into storage and any munchable corners of furniture, walls etc. noted.
We were most fortunate in that a neighbour has provided us with a large cage in which to house little Mabel. Hopefully the 25mm dia. bars and mains connected electric mesh should provide us with adequate protection from the Devil’s Spawn’s canines and molars.
While others check into vet services, puppy training classes and puppy feeding products I have been compiling a list of the practitioners of various faiths capable of performing exorcisms. One good thing about having wooden floors throughout the ground floor is that pentangles are easy to draw on the floor. Armed with my Dorling Kindersley guide to Demonology I am becoming well versed in how to give us at least 30 seconds in which to make our escape from the minute its eyes turn red. While J worries that the puppy may have difficulty with the wooden floors and require more rugs scattered throughout – I have concerns that removing smouldering paw prints may also prove to be difficult.
But enough of puppies for the minute.
Early in the week I took myself off around Gillies Hill, just outside Stirling for a bit of plastic tub hunting. Gillies Hill is thought to be the site of Robert Bruce’s camp at the Battle of Bannockburn and has the classic steep west scarp face associated with the west end of the igneous sill (flat layer of volcanic magma that never reached the surface as a volcano but spread out between layers of bedrock spreading horizontally) running below the Forth Valley.
Anyway I mentioned this steep west scarp face only because I managed to find a near-vertical ascent route a mountain goat would have been proud to use. It was a potential “snakes and ladders” path where one wrong footstep on the slick earth of the trail would see a speedy loss of height…and limbs. Fortunately the precipitous rocky slope was covered in woodland with hundreds of small trees clinging on for dear life to nothing much at all. Their branches provided hand and foot holds and a potential crash barrier should it become essential. Given that Gillies Hill is covered by a myriad of crisscrossing paths it seemed somewhat unlucky that I should choose the most bloody awkward one on which to begin my day…but the view from the top was worth it!
A good part of the morning was spent along top edge of that scarp slope, eyes glued to the compass “needle” while ploughing from geocache to geocache along overgrown trails through jaggy bramble, gorse and hawthorn. As I hacked my way across Gillies Hill I reckoned climbing hills was a damned sight easier than this!