Archive for the 'the dog' Category

Nice places to walk the dog – No. 10

Seeing as Simy has abandoned the puppy for the weekend (she was crying little puppy tears, all dishevelled in a pile of her own excrement when i rescued her, the RSPCA have been informed) – i figured i’d give her a taste of the good life and bring her to a bog for a day.

I also managed to find her a new friend in the form of a rather mental, and unsurprisingly much more intelligent springer spaniel called Annie.


I remember being in Peatlands Park once as a kid, on some school trip or something. I remember it had a train.


I had forgotten how wonderful a place it was.

Apparently it “was specifically established to promote and facilitate peatland awareness and issues”. I was unaware that I needed to be made aware of the issue. Or indeed that peatland had any issues to start with.


This year they’re holding the 5th annual bog snorkling champonships there. Nuff said

The dogs had their own version today. Just without the snorkels. Never have i seen the dog more muddy. She loved every minute of it. Though I’m not sure she’s quite self-aware enough to love – she did seem to be mighty content all the same.


Nice places to walk the dog – No. 6-9

Given 2 days off work and 15 episodes of Lost, I had to make the most of it.  I couldn’t quite face a full 12 hours solid watching Lost, so I split it with walking the dog and driving the Antrim Coast Road. Luckily seemed to have got the nicest day of the year so far for it too.

Having already been in Belfast in the morning I couldn’t quite face the whole coast road from Carrickfergus and all that. Instead I cut the corner and headed over the hills to Cushendun and let the dog out for a quick piddle and a paddle.




From there round the usual, windy, Torr Head Rd, and finally to somewhere I’ve managed to never have a dander round before. At the tail end of the Torr Head Rd is a wee turn off up a single track road over a few cattle grids and past a lot of sheep, lies Murlough bay.

The road becomes a track and ends up at what looks like the nicest wee holiday home in the world. At least it did when I was there.

I had come prepared with flask of hot water and some coffee and perched myself on the rocks over looking the Irish sea and watched the sun go down the ridge behind. I didn’t see a soul (I’ll not start on whether the dog has one…) which kind of made the whole experience so good.



I finished up with an old favorite – white park bay. Mainly cause it reminds me of one of my favorites from New Zealand.

It was also gloriously empty.



After all this activity, I watched Lost till 2am while the dog slept. Such a day.

Nice places to walk the dog – No. 5

OK so it was pissing down, and it looks a bit grey. And it’s really just a walk along a cycle path round the artificial lakes that form the monstrosity of the great white elephant of a construction plan that is Craigavon.

But still, it has potential. And it was a Sunday afternoon so the walk was required.


About half way round the dog ran into some company. Two big chocolate brown labs who thought the skinny black lady dog (we call them bitches in the technical terminology…) was lots of fun and they went off frollicking through the mud. All three wanted to play “chase the tennis ball” which made everything a little more complicated.

Five minutes later they were still walking with us. As they were 15 minutes after that. It seemed to be the most fun they’d had in a long time and showed no sign of leaving. Wee liz was not amused at the behaviour, and kept trying to wave them away, with no success.

When we got to the car and opened the car, one of the terrible twosome was straight in to the boot and lying down like this had been his boot his whole life.

So if you’ve lost two quite pleasant chocolate labs then they were still in the car park in Craigavon Lakes when we left.


Nice places to walk the dog – No. 4

Tollymore is one of the childhood haunts. Second only to Castlewellan in the idyllic caravan filled weekends of my youth.


More than ever Me and Simy would go back to being in our single figures and riding bikes and feeding ducks.


After a feed of chicken and roast spuds we hit the road on the nicest day of the year. No doubt you were engaged in some sun-drenched activity yourself. When the sun shines in Northern Ireland I don’t want to be anywhere else. All the thoughts of emigrating slowly slip away. It happens about twice a year as you’ll see


Everyone else in Northern Ireland appeared to be here too, mainly in the car parks with their portable BBQs and small children and canines. There were rows of people carriers with their boots open and 5 Live blazing the football while the grannies in the cars next them frowned severely.


The dog noticed none of this. The dog notices nothing when the tennis ball is in view. It is hypnotic in effect Other dogs turn up and sniff her bits and she’s not the slightest bit distraced. It makes her appear well trained and disciplined.



Nice places to walk the dog – No. 3

I should have gone yesterday. Yesterday was lovely. Today was grey on the hills and a tad on the chilly side. Dog enjoyed it. I dare say I even enjoyed which was perhaps the most surprising thing.

Not that we walked too far. It was mainly sheltering behind the mourne wall and reading and drinking coffee. Yes I know I could do this in Starbucks in the warmth, but I prefer the view here.



Nice places to walk the dog – No. 2

For today at least, Northern Ireland was the nicest place in the world. (even if work may not have been…)

Cycling back from work I detoured as shown below and ended up sitting on a bench in the sun wanting it never to end.

simple things in life and all that.






Nice places to walk the dog – No. 1

[Part of an occasional series]

Brackagh Moss is a bog. Yes a bog. Us Irish like bogs. We were all born in one or something.

Anyhow. It feels like proper Ireland, the one before we chopped down all the trees and killed all the pagans.

Apart from the used condom at the entrance (dogs will find everything) it’s lovely. Though a tad damp underfoot. But you all knew that because it’s a bog…








July 2022