When I came to live on this island two and half years ago, we had a dog. It was fun exploring, but sadly she was old and our adventures were limited.
When she died, we were never getting another one. Eight months late, we thad Tilly, also a Yorkshire terrier. This time a puppy as Jodie was a rescue dog, coming to us when when she was eight.
Tilly is now just over a year old and we venture out to explore every day again. We couldn’t let Jodie off the lead. So it’s a pleasure to see Tilly running in the big open spaces, be it fields, parks or beaches.
What we never foresaw is how we would end up with a second dog. Meggy came to us via a charity, having been rescued from a puppy farm. She was about four, had no name and the most traumatised dog I have ever seen.
When I was a child, Mum and Dad had a King Charles spaniel and sadly she died young. I never imagined I’d have the same type one day. Meggy is wonderful, and great off the lead. She follows me everywhere and gets on well with Tilly, despite Tilly hanging off her ears sometimes!
To watch both dogs running together is a joy I never expected. Did you dogs can smile? Their tongues loll at one side, and their teeth are on show. There is no mistaking the look of pleasure.. You can see it in this photo of Meggy and I’ve seen the same look on Tilly.
One of the many places we can taken them is Penrhos Coastal Park and Nature Reserve. It sits between the village of Valley and the town of Holyhead. It’s a natural habitat for the red squirrel. As a child, I saw many in our parks but as the years went on the grey squirrel appeared and the red, disappeared.
I have seen three since I arrived on the island. One ran across the road in front of my car. Then two recently at Penrhos.
There are many paths to follow, some more dense with trees. On the perimeter there are beaches, and even a hill with a seat on the top that gives great views over the sea.
Some years ago I had a replacement knee and for the first time I could walk unaided. I made it to the top of the hill and was very proud of myself. Sitting down, I was admiring the views when an old lady with a walking stick passed sprightly by. It took the wind out of my sails, and I didn’t feel so clever after all!
One thing I enjoy is how the dogs walk along side me as we venture down the different paths. Tilly is still learning and as other dogs approach, I’m able to keep her back from going to great them. She wants to jump up their legs as if they are all her friends. I don’t want her to do that as not all people are dog lovers. She learns fast and I’m proud that she is such a good girl. Meggy is naturally shy and stays by my side.
Many years ago Penrhos used to be an estate with a big house. The house has long gone but many of the out buildings and dry stoned walls still remain. A lot are in disrepair, which only adds to the charm. The stones and slate used is mined on the island and have been used for building for hundreds of years.
Some buildings have been restored, a roof put on, and a seat inside. A nice place to be amongst the trees to sit and contemplate whilst admiring the different typles foliage, and enjoying the fresh scented air.
I recently came across this bench and it caught my eye because it had four colourful flowers at each of the legs.
Many of the paths are sign posted and wheelchair friendly, although I’ve never seen a wheelchair there, it also means its fine for prams, and there are plenty of those.
Recently I’ve found a new interest – painted rocks. Facebook has a group called Anglesey Rocks, I’ve mentioned it previously on this blog.
Anyone can paint the rocks and hide them for others to find. Kids and adults love it. The simple making and hiding is a lot of fun. Once the rocks are discovered a picture is posted on the Facebook group. It’s quite thrilling seeing mine posted there and re-hidden for others to find. They don’t just stay on the island. One of mine ended up in Copenhagen. You can see the full article here.
I went twice to Penrhos recently and didn’t find any. It made me smile because people were walking around with cameras, and looking up at trees trying to spot a red squirrel. Then, there was me, a grandmother, on a bigger quest searching for painted rocks! On my next visit I found two and was so excited. My husband muttered something about – ‘Little things…..’
Once more, I count my blessings. I love my new island life. From living in the big city of Manchester, I always knew I was a country girl at heart. I loved my holidays here and walking through Penrhos with its natural beautify settles my soul. When I would return to real life to the built up city streets, part of me was always left behind. I yearned to be back, to smell the fresh, clean air and feel the sea breeze on my face again.
Now we, hubby, and I, are retired we get do this every day, whenever want. What could be better?