Are you free to take a walk in the countryside with me?

Are you free to join me in one of our first New Year walks? 
It'll blow off the cobwebs and maybe if I'm lucky a few festive fat cells too!

Talking of which reminds me of a tweet I sent out yesterday...it was so funny I had to share it. 
(sorry to all of you who may not see my tweets...you don't know what you're missing by the way, as I don't always post the same things on my blog
The tweet was about my hubby's first day back at work after the holidays. He went to put on his work trousers...well the look of sheer horror on his face was priceless. 
The waistband didn't even come anywhere near where it needed to be to fasten. 
He took a huge in-breath and stretched up tall sucking in his cheeks making them indent 
(his face cheeks that is peeps...tut tut...what are you like? :$)
Anyway, as I dried my eyes from all the laughter tears, I found him an alternative pair which were slightly less painful. It's such a shame because he's not really anywhere near overweight, so it came as such a surprise or more accurately horror to him! 
(which I find amazing really...if he'd only analyzed just what a great holiday he'd indulged in...quite literally...he'd have realised that there'd be trouble ahead)  
So maybe they'll be lots of walking now and his bike might even get an airing too.

Off we go McMuffy...the great beyond lies ahead!

A lovely off lead walk through the woods and country lanes...what more could a dog want? 
We even found an old water mill which was a complete surprise. 
Don't you just love coming across something unexpected when you're out walking. 
I think it happens every time I walk...whether it's a bird, plant, the clouds formation or meeting someone...you just never know what you'll see until you step outside. 
These buildings are part of an old dairy farm and here's even the old cheese press.
I think this is magnificent. 

(obviously my blog name isn't engraved into it...wouldn't that be spooky)
Because of the amount of rain that we've been experiencing in the last week or so, this 'burn' was fast flowing. It had a fantastic gurgling and bubbling sound. 
(By the way just in case you've never heard of the term 'burn'. 
It is the Scottish Gaelic word used for smaller rivers and larger streams
I love this little gate and all the stones covered in moss. 
It's like they've got their winter togs on don't you think?
I'm not sure if the recent gales blew this tree down or whether it's been down for some time. But I'm sure it wasn't there last time I walked this way. 
It's sad to see it upended in such a way, but it shows just how shallow the root system is on these magnificent trees. 

(Here is my daughter and McMuffy investigating...I think this shows the scale of the tree perfectly
I wish that I'd thought to take another photo just shortly after this one was taken, but I was too distracted and laughting once again because Muffy went through a kind of assault course and didn't come out of it very well. 
There was a little plank of wood that someone had kindly laid across a particularly bad patch of mud, water and basically all things grotty but did Muffy use the plank to follow me? You know the answer already don't you? 
Yep she ignored the plank and walked alongside. 
Well walk possibly isn't the right word...more like waded through. 
Remember she's only a mini Shih Tzu so her undercarriage is very near to the ground...and in this instance we lost sight of it completely and of her legs and midriff. She emerged at the far end like the creature from the deep with black limbs and dripping debris everywhere. Twigs, dead leaves and moss attached throughout her coat. 
Like my hubby's face described above, she looked horrified and confused all at the same time as to what had happened! 

(Brr...that water was %$#%%@ chilly ^..^ I'm NOT amused!)

So looking like a drowned rat, we had to make a quick retreat for home and a warm bath.

But not before we were in open ground and I was amazed to find a field full of geese quietly contemplating the day until we arrived...then whoosh up they rose into the heavily-laden sky. 
I was disappointed I didn't manage to get a good photo before they became aware of us. 
We tried to be so quiet and still too. 
Perhaps Mufftypups shivering gave the game away? 

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Just before I sign off today I'd just like to wish everyone who is suffering due to the incredibly tough weather conditions we're experiencing...whether it's here in the UK with all of the floods or in the US with the freezing temperatures. 
Take care, stay safe and warm everyone.

May the New Year bring your visions into focus and your dreams into reality.