Because there was SNOW! In CORNWALL! On CHRISTMAS DAY! Woohoo!
Snow started falling as we were tucking into our Christmas lunch (with Polo's parents). Well, this was too good to waste. We left our pudding for later and took off for Dartmoor. Around 3 inches of snow had already settled when we got there, and a great snowstorm was swirling up out of the West, so we didn't stay long. Molly had a quick run across the side of the Tor (wearing her waxed jacket and her new Christmas hound tassels) while we had a snowball fight. Then it was time for pud.
(I admit it: Mollydog now has 5 different collars, 2 coats, and two sets of tassels. And a special greyhound-shaped set of hooks to hang them on. And 3 cuddly toys (one with squeaks). Polo feels this is excessive. I point out that *no one item* cost more than 15 quid, that there are SOO many cool greyhound accessories, and compare that to the cost of shoes! Oh, actually the waxed jacket was about £30, but the tassels were only a fiver each, so it kind of balances.)
We did snowy Dartmoor again on Boxing Day on our way up to North Devon, then on to the beach with Ronnie and Smudge (mum's collie/jackrussel Xs) (plus their owner, obviously...) to practise with the ball chuckers they got for Christmas. Ball chuckers are really cool: you can fling a tennis ball an incredibly long way and it makes you feel like a superhero. Alas, Mollydog doesn't do balls, so Smudge and Ronnie were left to show off their paces. On the drive home I tried the argument that we need a second dog so we can have one that does balls, but I don't think it went down too well.)
Yesterday, through the woods along the Tamar and past the remnants of the Clitters Mine. I suspect that may get touristy over the next few years, but at the moment it's like walking through the remnants of North Gondor: utterly deserted with great walls of stonework peeking through the moss. The mine closed in 1909 and is now covered in beech and sweet chestnut trees, at this time of year all grey and moss-draped, except when the sun peeks through when it all sparkles. The steeply sloping ground is covered in dead leaves that are exactly the colour of Mollydog.
Excitement is added by the occasional scary sign saying 'Arsenic contamination: keep dogs under close control'. As the wood is busy with squirrels, smells strongly of foxes and there are deer too, I suspect this of being an arse-covering exercise by the Duchy of Cornwall, but we were careful just in case.