If there’s one thing I love it’s my nap after the beach. I run miles and miles so I’m pretty tired when I get back. After the post-beach biscuits (this can be the first food I get when my mum forgets my breakfast in a hurry to take me out) and coffee time, which sometimes brings an extra treat, I like to snuggle down in my sheepskin-lined bed and have a well earned snooze.
Today my mum made drop scones then slathered them with butter and strawberry jam which she made yesterday. I got only a tiny bite which will hardly see me through till dinnertime. I start telling her I’m hungry about 4pm but she says that’s too early and makes me wait until after five, often nearer six. It’s so cruel, especially when I really appreciate her cooking (not that she cooks for my dinner – I get kibble and some tinned stuff).
But I can always dream – pizza, jam, snore, ham, snore, cheese……
If there’s one thing I love it’s foraging. For me that’s sniffing out all the lovely aromas in the roots of trees, making my own marks and helping my mum pick blackberries. We can’t do it often because they are only ripe in the early autumn. But there are lots of bushes along the waggonway which is one of my favourite walks cos it’s got lots of trees and interesting smells.
Mum says poo bags come in very handy in blackberry season as they’re dual purpose – not that she collects poo and brambles in the same bag! – so if you have a bundle in your pocket you can use one or two for collecting fruit. She’s bagged pounds of berries this way.
While she’s picking I have a good explore and will occasionally drop my ball at her feet, just so she remembers I’m there, ah hem, supervising as it were.
When we get home she washes them to get the dust and spiders out then makes delicious things. I’m not keen on jam but I will force down a bit of pie, crumble or cake if there’s any on the go.
My mum’s blackberry custard tart – multo delicioso!!
120gr plain flour or gluten free flour*
1 tablespoonful demerara sugar
100gr butter, in small chunks
approx 6 tablespoonsful of cold water
Whiz dry ingredients and butter in food processor then add enough water to make a soft, pliable dough. Press, thickly, into a 20cm flan dish.
300gr fresh blackberries (enough to fill pastry in a double layer)
3 eggs beaten with
1 tablespoonful of caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100ml of single cream
Fill your pastry case with the blackberries before pouring over custard. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 160c until set. Serve warm with creme fraiche.
* The polenta pastry stops juicy fruit from making the bottom soggy.
This tart keeps well in the fridge – if there’s any left!
If there’s anything I love more than being at a cafe, it’s going on a picnic. I get crisps when we go to the pub and snippets of bacon at the cafe but there can be all sorts of treats on a picnic – crisps, pate, sausages, pasties, dips, cheese, lots of stuff I really like. Mum laid on a gorgeous spread
Last time we went to Seaton Sluice, just up the coast from where we live. We had a drink outside at the pub (well, mum and friend did) then tucked into the goodies. I romped around in the sun but made sure I didn’t go too far in case I missed any titbits. Mmm, it was delicious.
I get a dish of water as well because by this stage I’m hot and done in from bounding around after the ball on the playing fields which aren’t like the beach where I can pop into the water to cool off. Hope we go again tomorrow!
Sun, sea and sand – utter bliss this morning on the beach as the sun sizzled. I had the most delicious swim, diving into the waves time and time again.
I don’t really mind what the weather is like but we get to stay out longer when it’s fine cos my mum doesn’t like rain, wind or snow (and she calls me a wuss!). It’s also school holiday time so there were lots of visitors and loads of new dogs saying hello and sniffing around. One or two of them tried to get my ball and I’m such a gentleman that I don’t like to offend them by trying to get it back. I get into trouble for that – not standing up for myself. But possession is nine tenths of the paw – sorry, law – isn’t it?
No! We now have another cat, making me outnumbered two to one. This one is called Cleo. She’s half the size of Marley but twice as loud, miaowing all the time. My mum talks back to her but it’s utter nonsense as far as I can make out.
Me and Marley have learnt to live together – I don’t sniff him and he doesn’t hiss at me – and now I have to start all over again with this one who, to be frank, seems a bit of a madam, chip off the Sherry mould. All I want is a peaceful life – is that too much for a dog to ask?
Look what they did – tied me up behind the fence while they had a picnic in the sun! It was like being in jail – I could smell cheese and ham and cake and crisps and tomatoes; hang on, I don’t like tomatoes but you know what I mean. Trapped on the other side of the mesh and nowhere near to any tasty morsels dropping off the table for me to snaffle. Luckily one of the sprogs heard my plaintive whines and came to the rescue with some scraps.