Free competition, open to all

Friends, collies, gamesters,

Well, it’s going to take a bit of time for me to write up all my adventures in the Munros last weekend and, as you know, it’s never plain sailing (or walking) with B.

In the meantime, I thought I’d whet your appetite, by using a couple of my photos to launch a new competition.

I haven’t run a competition for a long time. I got so down in the mouth last year. B had to go down south a lot and our old girl, my mentor – Maisie – went down the tubes, before having to get the vet out that one last time; and then … to put a tin lid on it, David had that v. v. v big fall, coming home from hospital with lots of horrible equipment that scared me silly. It wasn’t great.

In fact, I didn’t even announce the winner of my competition last May, when I gave you a clue to help you work out the old girl’s great age in hours. I feel bad about that. But, better late than never. Tink, my little friend from Devon, will be getting something nice and juicy to reward her. She has astonishing abilities in arithmetic for a feline. I will give her prize to her people, when they come to visit my people, in August. I only had two entries so I think I’ll steer clear of anything mathematical in the future.

This time, then, here is your picture starter for 10. My competition is open to anyone and I will post the prize anywhere in the world, free of charge. The winner will be the first person to get my correct answer. The result will be posted on 7th August.

Me and B came upon these curious burrows as we were struggling over big tracts of pathless, boggy and peaty terrain, while doing some Munros last Saturday. My question is, what sort of creature lives here? Just add your answers to the comments below this post

I needed a big sleep after all that hard work, so B tucked me up in my cushion in the back of Tanka, our Renault Kangoo.

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And so to bed

 

I can’t wait to see what you come up with 🙂

Love Ben untitled 1

 

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At last, I’m off

Friends, collies, dogs with Kangoo owners,

My person has been away Munroing without me three times already this year, and I’ve been getting more and more fed up about it. This was meant to be our big, big project.

I know, I know, there’s a bit of a thing about me chasing bikes on those long rides into the Cairngorms, and the temptation of nipping moving ankles which, for some reason, doesn’t seem to go down too well.

Then… additionally, I’m not allowed on ridges and scrambles in case someone suddenly comes my way that I might be frightened by and the same – rather unfortunate – outcome!!

Apparently, I’m not quiet the easy Munro buddy I might have been 😦

But, my people still think I’m rather special and there are lots of hills we go up together so …. HUGE excitement ………….

WERE OFF.

Must get some beauty sleep first

16
And so to bed!

Love Ben untitled 1

2019 Munros, here we come :)

Friends, collies, deserted dogs,

Oh my goodness me, what a turn up for the books. As if landing ourselves with a much more reliable and younger Munromobile wasn’t enough, we seem to have gone way up market with, in fact, a Des Res, for our big charity challenge. Read all about it!

It’s all very salubrious compared to my old van (about which – by the way – I won’t hear a bad word). Though I have to admit to being a bit worried about this Des person, I just don’t know where we are going to fit him in.

We seem to have gone high rise with mark 2 and my bunk bed sits on top of a small truck containing all our precious maps, routes and assorted Munrobilia. B’s head is close to mine, with all my food and treats and balls stored under her. I do hope she doesn’t squash them.

Oh joy of joys, what times we are going to have. We spent all Easter weekend kitting it out and personalising it and now we are just raring to go.

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I have a very sad addendum to add here. It seems, that after last years aborted efforts, we have a lot of catching up to do and B has to go Munroing whenever she can. Sometimes, that might not include me 🙂 In fact, she did the first weekend on her own, taking the opportunity of working in Glasgow on a Friday, nearly 100 miles north of home, to head further north and do a bit of Munro bagging. She did the same, for the same reason, at the beginning of May and left me behind for a whole week. Mind you I might have been a bit of a liability. B was using her bike to cut down walking through the v. v. v long Glens to the start of the ascents. What, with my strong chase instinct, I might not have been able to have resist a chase and a nip when other cyclists past us. I’m told that lots of them did pass her too (hee, hee).

I’m going to post links to the place where B writes about all her solo Munroing on my blog and here are a few photos to wet your whistle. She’s very slow writing them all up though.

I can’t wait to go bagging again myself, and write up all about my adventures. Watch this space …

Better get some sleep first

SF 9
And so to bed

Love Ben 0

 

 

 

 

 

Ben’s new Munromobile #A Tanka

Thank you so much for coming to visit a dog poet. My poems for Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge are a take on life from a canine perspective. We poets – and to date I seem to be the only dog poet –  write one of the structured poems permitted and have to integrate, as synonyms, the two words given as a prompt.

This week the word are spring and sing; I am doing a Tanka.

You can find out about it all, and have a go yourself, by clicking below:

Colleen’s poetry challenge

 

Photo of Ben's van no available in this format.

Last week I had to relinquish my van, which had been our friend, transport and accommodation, as we climbed the first 50 mountains on our quest to conquer the 282 Munros in Scotland; they are the mountains over 3000 feet. While I had grown to love the character of my van it seems that’s it’s unreliability was a bit of a liability. I had very mixed feelings about this transformation and wrote about then in this blog:

Ben’s new Munromobile

You can read all about our v. v. v big challenge here. Ben’s adventure

However, look at what I’ve got now and, of course, I had to write a poem about it.

 

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Bought near Pentland hills –
My rising star, shinning bright –
Tanka-Kangoo beams.
Like the promise of sunset
Or a boyant, joyous song.

Love Ben, the dog poet xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dog poet marks the New Year

Friends, collies, poets all…

My best, waggiest, tail for a happy, peaceful and healthy New Year.

Where does time go? Another year older, another year wis???? Here is my first poem of  2019, a simple Haiku, a bit like myself!

For the first poem of each month we poets choose our own words of inspiration. Mine are resolution and effort. I’m keeping with the tradition of using the words synonymously. Details of our poetry challenge are here: colleenchesebro.com

My poem is about my ambition to climb all the Munros in Scotland (the mountains over 3,000 feet), before I am 10 and my person is 70!! You can read all about my venture here…  Ben’s blog

mist and sun fighting it out in Glen CoeMuch energy spent

Pledges old and new
Forging ahead, onward call
Mountains still to climb

By Ben, the dog poet

Ben’s own contribution to Ani’s Advent Calendar 2018 :)

Friends, collies and festive dogs,

My mate Ani, ‘the small dog’, has v. v. v kindly used one of the days of her advent calendar to post my Christmas poem. Thank you very much Ani.

Ani’s advent calendar is a rich eclectic mixture of stories, poems and fables about the festive season. There are posts about Christmas in the war, a children’s Christmas and even saving abandoned Christmas trees and giving them new life. I know all about that being abandoned once. There are lots of fascinating links to other information too. Did you know mistletoe has a history linked with the Druids. I can’t say for sure if they did some of that kissing stuff under it or not. Anyway, check out my poem here. Then you can navigate to all the older days on the calendar and watch out for the ones to come.

via Ani’s Advent Calendar 2018! Search and rescue, Munros and Ben

Ani’s person has a lot to say too. She is a writer, poet and photographer and fills her blog with so many interesting articles.  She also publishes loads of work by other bi peds you really need to check her out https://scvincent.com/

Happy reading

Love Ben 🐾

 

Third 2018 Munro Day (7th July), Ben Mhanach (No. 52)

Friends, collies, cattle grid pups,

The phone calls that had been exchanged, between the spot 400 metres from my parking place (just off the road at Bridge of Orchy, where we had a faint signal), and our caravan in Ullswater, were sorrowful and full of pathos. The old girl was giving out, her back legs no longer working at all, or reviving just a little. Caring duties had become wearing duties and our absence had added an additional strain to the small domestic unit. After last nights call me and B had a long chin wag, reaching a decision to go home a day early, after our walk the next day.

Thus it was, thinking of the old girl, that we set off to Beinn Mhanach with our hearts in our boots making for v. v. v heavy feet, causing the inspirational celebratory of yesterday to metamorphose into Mrs Plod. It was a long, long walk in of nearly two hours duration, through the beautiful Auch Gleann, with not many metres of ascent along the way. Thankfully, on a day forecast to be v. v. v hot, an early start had given us a head start and shade thrown down by the hills kept us cool.

As we came to the hydro works, and our route took off north up the steep-sided, pathless flank of ‘The Mountain of the Monks’, the sun in splendour announced itself in blazing shades of gold, at just the wrong time. Thus, the usual huffing and puffing serenade was today punctuated with much panting and pausing, which even I was joining in. The quick steep hop up for speedy Gonzales, who had written one of our guide books, was given quite a different description in which the words: shattered, sprawling and, bitten off more than I can chew, decorated the page. However, and with good grace, Mr Sun put his hat back on and this little gesture gave us a bit of respite. We fought our way up hill by way of meandering Zig Zaggs that eventually got us to an easier gradient, just below the top.

The uphill flog

On our way up the focus had largely been taken up with the lack of progress made by B’s plodding feet. Then, at the summit, all was transformed. A 360o vista displayed the Southern Highlands in a panorama that spoke straight to the soul. This contrast refreshed mind and spirit so that, thoughts of ditching the whole project were miraculously vanished from the radar, no more than 45 minutes after being planted there. Drama and Queen are a two words that passed through my mind at this time, for some reason.

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Soaking up the views, and the inevitably bit with the camera, delayed our departure but, finally, the long drive home penetrated our thoughts and we turned to face the slog down the big hill and long walk back to my van.

If zig, zagging was a means of easing the gradient on the way up, all it served to achieve on the way down was dizziness and total confusion. One minute we were heading west in the direction of the fence we had crossed on our way up and the next we were going a long way east in exactly the opposite direction from where my van was parked. I became more than a bit disturbed by this loss of direction, thinking that perhaps my person’s brain had been pickled by the sun and the effort, or perhaps the bottles that make her very happy, which populate my van. Then, thankfully, just in the nick of time, some fellow hikers sitting by the fence called over, in a hail fellow well met sort of greeting. Happily, B waved and trooped over, back on a westward trajectory. More of that incomprehensible Munro dialect that I had witnessed yesterday took place over the next ten minutes or so but, I was so pleased with these humans I remembered my manners and even got praise and treats from them, for my good behaviour, much to the disgust of the canine in their pack.

The long walk back again

This diversion seemed to have cleared B’s brain because, after this, we set off straight down hill and were soon back on the track, starting the long walk back to my van. With the object of today’s adventure achieved and the 52nd Munro firmly in the bag, we began to visualise the lovely surprise that David would get when he saw me; I would brighten up his day.

Not too far from the end of our walk, while crossing a cattle grid, we encountered the strangest thing. A chubby little lamb had fallen through the grid and couldn’t work out an escape route, a thing that was beyond our combined grey matter too, even though I’m a big-brained Border Collie. We set our hopes on finding someone at home – a farmer type – in the cottages that were now in sight. Before then though we were able to flag down a passing vehicle and a shepherd was at the wheel. Twenty minutes later the truck passed again and a big thumbs up signalled success. We were so happy that we had rescued little Larry from his frightening ordeal.

I had meant, during the journey home, to keep a wary eye on B ensuring she didn’t go in for any of that dozing thing she often does when in the car with David. However, with the best will in the world, I did a bit of that dozing thing myself. Well, to be absolutely truthful, it was more of an out for the count, REM sleep, sort of dozing. I only came too when I was woken because it was everyone’s bedtime and I was in my garden at home. I’m sure I must have had some open eye time, to get a bit of dinner down me but, imagine this, I don’t remember; I was robbed.

Now there are no more Munros for Ben, until the old girl is the pot of gold where rainbow bridge ends 😦

The long sleep. My garden's never been this brown before.
And so to bed.

Love Ben xx untitled 1