Saturday, March 16, 2013


Munson at the wheelAfter a stellar few days with Tony and Maureen in Saint Austell, it was time to turn northwards to the place where I was based for so many of my first forays into the English countryside. That’s a village just off the M6 near Wigan.

I haven’t been back here since Bondi’ last visit in 2007, and have been looking for an opportunity to introduce Munson ever since we got here in 2010.

Our day consisted of a weary trundle up the M5 and M6 motorways, broken only by a clothes-buying stop at Cribbs Causeway near Bristol. Buying jeans or trousers for my thunder-thighs in Australia is an unrewarding pastime so I pick-up whatever I can on my overseas jaunts. One imagines that either every male sportsman in Australia has narrow pins or have all their clothes tailored for them.

After Wolverhampton the Friday traffic on the M6 brought us to a crawl for most of that segment of the journey. The only positive aspect was that there was less chance of being hit by a speeding car lurching through the fog and rain; so many accidents on the M5 had caused other delays to that point.

St Austell to WiganThe motorway stops seem to be less dog-friendly than in past years – they used to at least offer some shelter and a place to park and water them while you went to the loo and grabbed a coffee, but those facilities have gone so dogs have to stay in the car. I guess the margin on £2 packets of crisps and £4 coffees is not enough for M&S and co to fund a few hooks and a water bowl in these austere times.

Five hundred kilometres and about seven road hours saw us arrive at Shirley’s place around 6.30am. It took about a further ten second for the two house cats (post Bondi arrivals) to exit the scene with great haste.

Shirley & Munson Shirley & Munson
Shirley’s daughter Susie came around to welcome us a bit later and we saw some neighbours who had fond memories of Bondi’s many visits.

I’ve been trying to wean Munson off fresh meat y bones over the last few days onto just his regular kibble but it’s been a bit of a war of wills.  Once he goes into quarantine he won’t even have that and so a two week transition was supposed to help him adjust. He’s no less energetic or strong after a three day fast – I expect it’s just a matter of time before he gives in. In the meantime he’s got Shirley and Susie to schmooze with, adding to his pan-European harem.

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