Bad luck, chaps, it appears that I’m going to write a blog post every time I go for a walk with Nora, the puppy.
My preference would always be to walk to the local park, Ravenscourt Park in Hammersmith, when we’re in London, rather than drive somewhere. The trouble is that, at the moment, Nora isn’t very good at walking on the lead. Everything is so new to her that she has to look at every discarded cigarette end, bit of dog poo, and sniff every smell going. This means zig-zagging back and forth across the pavement so that I end up going round and round in circles trying to disentangle myself from her lead. It’s very slow. She also greets everyone we meet and is often a little offended – or perhaps I am – when people don’t find her utterly charming and want to say hello back. But for every person who recoils from her, there’s another who says how lovely she is and stops to chat about her.
So, I’ve taken to driving to places where the parking is free and we don’t have to walk very far to where Nora can run about. She’s only allowed about 15 minutes’ exercise at the moment (to prevent the development of arthritis in later in life, although this is just a theory), so it’s nice if she can spend that time actually in a park rather than on the way there.
Today, we had a lovely time. The sun shone again, although it was chilly, and I rediscovered Gunnersbury Park in Ealing, which I haven’t been to since my children were small and I was equally in need of somewhere that would divert them.
I’d really forgotten how lovely it is there. The position of the house on the hill and its breadth reminds me very much of Kenwood House in Highgate although I haven’t been able to find out if they are in any way related yet. We met lovely people while we walked: a chap with a dalmatian puppy and a woman walking an old, grizzled labrador, who asked Nora to sit and then gave her a treat.
By the way, I refuse to capitalise the names of dog breeds that are named after places. They aren’t proper nouns in that sense – you wouldn’t capitalise spaniel, would you? Or perhaps you would?