Chills & Whizz-Bangs

It’s been a long time since our last hill walk. We’ve both been heavily into our training for some time and that’s made us pounce on just about every excuse to avoid missing a gym day: it was too hot for the dogs; the school holidays were on so our favorite locations would be mobbed; the cost of fuel was getting crazy. And then of course summer was over and we were back to frequent and unpredictable downpours, high winds and so on. Eventually we both felt the need for a break from training, and unusually the weather was perfect if chilly, so we set off for Conic Hill.

Conic Hill is a pretty easy walk (in fact I’ve even run up it, after a fashion) but it provides lovely panoramic views of Loch Lomond and its surrounding peaks. It is however quite a popular hangout for sheep so things tend to get noisy, but hey, nothing’s perfect.


Susan’s wrapped up like a Mummy but still feels the cold!


View from Conic Hill [IMG_4545]


The “Paw of Uncertainty” is raised as Biggles scours the landscape for signs of sheep

There was indeed a bit of aarrffing both on the way up and on the way down, but Biggles – who is the chief noisemaker when sheep are around – was surprisingly quiet and patient whenever we stopped for a few shots with the camera.

View From Conic Hill #2 [IMG_4563]


Er, like I said, Biggles was *mostly* quiet and patient while I was taking photographs! Aaaarrfff!!

We got back down to Balmaha a little before true sunset, but after the sun had already disappeared behind some hills. I was keen to hang around a bit to see if the sky was going to color-up a bit more, so there was more waiting. Fortunately for me, the little wooden deck we chose to wait on had been built with Beagles in mind; it was in a nice stimulating, sniffy location and the fence around it not only allowed plenty of clearance for heads and ears, but also made a convenient prop for front paws.



Balmaha Marina [IMG_4591]

The very next evening was Bonfire Night. When we lived in Glasgow, you could count on fireworks going off for weeks before and after the 5Th November, but here in Ayrshire the whizz-bangs tend to be confined to just the one night, which is much easier on the dogs. That’s not to say it still can’t be stressful for those of us with big floppy ears, of course. This time around both Beanie & Biggles got the jitters and became very clingy; they started following me around everywhere I went, and I mean everywhere. I couldn’t even go to the loo without my furry entourage. At the height of the booms Beanie actually got onto my lap and allowed me to kiss and cuddle her in a really soppy, street-cred destroying way. I wondered if this softer, less mercenary side of Beanie might hang around for a day or too, but no. The next morning I tried to get cuddly with her and she immediately wriggled free and tried to hump my leg. I in turn rejected her advances, so she stuck her head in my left pocket, snaffled a poo bag and sprinted off with it down the corridor!

5 Replies to “Chills & Whizz-Bangs”

  1. Sue in Texas

    Beautiful dogs and beautiful scenery. I may never get to your part of the world but at least I have seen some of it.
    Thanks to you!

  2. Susan in Delaware

    Amazing photos as always, Paul!! And love the stories. Fortunately with whizz-bangs around here, Josie never really cared and now cares even less since she’s losing her hearing, and Lady seemed nonplussed when we went through our first fireworks holiday for Independence Day in the US for July 4. You’re lucky Beanie & Biggles only bug you in the loo when they’re anxious, that’s an everyday occurrence here!

  3. Julie, JB & Cassie's Mum

    Paul, the last photograph (the one with the boats) is absolutely stunning!! Our two were OK with the whizz bangs this year and we even got the out for a bedtime wee! We normally have to get up in the early hours of November 6 when they’ve been too frightened to go out before bed.

  4. Paul Post author

    Thanks Sue & Julie – I was pleased with that last shot too.

    Susan: They sometimes do follow us into the bathroom on other occasions, but its usually to nab a discarded sock or get a shot at Susan’s hot chocolate mug!

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