So there I am whistling to myself around the kitchen, rubbing Lucy clear of the usual detritus that she collects on a walk, kettle on and bacon in the pan (the fasting due to start 6pm tonight) when the blink of the answer phone catches my eye. One final rub at the elusive Lucy to remove the remaining flotsam and jetsam from her eyes and then press play with my elbow whilst juggling hot coffee and a bacon sarnie, cue removal of stuffing. One message only; tomorrows appointment cancelled, new date being the 3rd of December, have a nice day! Stuffing well and truly extracted leaving me with a certain sense of anticlimax to say the least. Just over 3 months of waiting, prodding and a little foreboding, not to mention arranging cover at work, getting extra provisions in as I wasn’t expecting to be going anywhere fast and then at the eleventh hour the rug is pulled, bloody marvelous. So I’ll just have to go through the build up again and hope that it won’t be another dry run, but I do promise you that I’ll not mention it again as I think I’ve said all I can in previous posts so when the postings become few and far between you’ll know why.
But going back to the storm I was really fortunate to get more than a glimpse of the largest fox that I have ever seen. I was not expected to see any wild life about in the ferocious conditions that I and Lucy were pushing through, well Lucy had the good sense to let me do the pushing whilst she stayed firmly behind me gaining as much shelter as she could when we were marching into the teeth of the gales (and we’re the smarter species?). Anyway, the noise my elephantine self was making as well as any scent was being firmly displaced be the storm when as we crested one of the last few hills before reaching the sanctuary of my little fun cruiser there, bold as brass, loping towards us was the biggest dog fox that I’ve ever clapped eyes on. We both stopped at the same time, and I don’t know who was more shocked me or the fox, whilst we stood, suspended in the moment, I noticed that he did not carry the normal reddish hue of our only native wild dog along his flanks but was a dark, bluish grey, something the I’ve not seen before although I have heard some shooting friends who travel the remoter areas talk about seeing welsh grey foxes, almost as if they are a separate breed. This is something that I’m going to have to research because this boy was big. As in all things the spell was swiftly lifted, Lucy upon peering around to examine the cause of the hold burst past and headed straight for him, she’s getting on but she’s still game. As they hurdled down the slope I thought she’s gaining, this should be interesting and I was not disappointed. Just as she was closing in on his brush the canny feller just seemed to leap in mid flight from all fours and changed direction by ninety degrees and disappeared into the bracken. Unfortunately for Lucy, downhill at that speed she has the turning circle of a fully laden oil tanker, game over. So after a bit of sheepish shuffling in the undergrowth we called it a day and headed home to that message. All in all a great day for both of us but with both of us being a little deflated at the end, but at least I’ve got the consolation of a couple of ciders to be getting on with, so until the next time, cheers.