Thursday, July 15, 2010

So, it’s been a week…

public bar First night in hotel

Munson spent another night in the car. This morning I found him snoozing in front of the wheel. He really hasn’t got this whole left-hand-drive thing yet, and tries to reclaim his former passenger seat whenever he can.

I slept in past 8 for the first time since we arrived a week ago, and used the morning to upload the last few blog posts in one go. Waving off Ross and Meep, we drove south through Abergavenny to Newport, where Bondi and I had spent a hot July week in 2005. The high street was busy with more of the strange folk I remember from my previous visit, talking to themselves or indeterminate passersby with their own brand of Twrettic charm. Many people asked to smooth my dog because he was so lush and bootyful. I don’t know how I missed hearing “smooth” on my many previous visits to Wales.

We popped in to Crosskeys for a short while for tea with my friend Andy, which I spent de-crapping and updating his laptop.

Looking at where we’d spend the night, I opted for Exmoor on the north coast of Devon. I remember driving through there one beautiful autumnal day on the way from Cornwall back to London. I typed “pet friendly Minehead” into a search engine, checked the accommodation listings on the first site I clicked on and called The Ship Inn on Porlock Hill.

The Ship Inn, Porlock Hill Porlock welcomes you

It took us two hours to get there, even though we were only twenty-odd miles across the Bristol Channel, and I’m pretty sure I got satnavved into an overly-complicated but pretty route through the villages and hedgerows of Exmoor. The Ship Inn had a busy public bar, where we were both welcomed and immediately despatched to a reserved table by the dormant fireplace. I polished off a bacon-wrapped pheasant, washing it down with a pint of scrumpy, and followed that with some toffee pudding and clotted cream. Munson sat at my feet through dinner, sometimes sitting up to face me, one ear rotating back to catch some conversation from the next table. Not one person commented on his size, just friendly nods from around the room. It wasn’t till we were shown our room that I realised that this would be Munson’s first hotel stay. Breakfast served after 9am. Perfect.

I took Munson for a walk after dinner, and was accosted by a man on our return to the pub, who asked if he was a “northern Inuit”. This struck me as another of the made-up Spitz breeds that seem to find favour in the UK. I can’t remember how many such Inuit/Eskimo cocktails I heard described on my last visit. This particular one is supposed to be a cross between a German Shepherd and a wolf, although I guess different to the Czech wolf-dog (two of which I met in Sydney). While I have great reservations as to whether any wolves are really being cross-bred with domestic dogs in the UK, it’s still one further step into stupidity beyond owning a Spitz merely as a status symbol.

PS: A shout-out to Munson’s playmate Wilma, back in Sydney: happy first birthday!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so smiling at the 'smoothing' -

    I wonder how many smiles to the mile (sorry, kilometre doesn't rhyme as well) Munson brings en route?