What a glorious start to our summer in the UK. Sunny days and balmy nights.
With a prediction by some to be the hottest summer since 2006, which so happened to be the first time we came over here as a couple! June also signified the start of another housesit in a new area of England for us.
The area I am referring to is in West Sussex, by the Chichester Harbour, it was named as an area “Of Outstanding Natural Beauty”, in 1964.
We were here to care for two very lovable dogs called Bear and Theo. Who lived not far from an old church and an even older pub called “Old House at Home”.
On a few occasions, we have sampled their beers, and on one sunny afternoon, we met up with April a Blogger from aprilmunday.wordpress.com, whose company we enjoyed. It’s always fun to meet up with folk I correspond with via the blogging hemisphere. We were very spoilt with fresh eggs from April’s chicken coop!. They were delicious!!
Now let’s chat about the characters we were fortunate enough to look after for a few weeks in June. As usual, there are quirky parts to each and every dog we look after, these two are no exception.
Bear and Theo
Bear the elder of the two is a gentle elderly Chocolate Labrador, who very much suits his name. With not such great health and in his twilight years, exercise is in the form of a short slow sniff and wander down the public footpath. He’s to be admired for his energy to do this each and every day, as his arthritis makes it hard for him on most days. Something slightly different in that Bear is a weekly boarder as his family work long hours so he gets to spend time with his “human grandparents“. Some would say he is a fortunate dog indeed as he not only has two homes he has two families in which to enjoy.
Theo is a black labrador and quite a few years younger. He is also the full-time resident pet, which means we get to have some individual times with him over the weekend. At this point, I must say that both are very laid back dogs, though Theo has to be the most amicable dog of the two.
Nothing seems to “rattle his cage” so to speak.
This alone makes Theo a pleasure to take on a walk. Though what does motivate this gentle soul on a daily basis more than affection, walks and attention from us mere humans?
Food and plenty of it. If we are unable to read that soulful look, Theo has mastered, here’s his other tactic of letting us know he’s hungry, even in between meals.
Where did we walk and explore?
There are approximately 64 miles of footpaths around this area, as you can imagine we didn’t do each and every one though we managed to put more than just a few miles under our belts while out walking Theo and Bear.
It is not too often we are housesitting next to a harbour, so our time was concentrated on enjoying this unique area.
One walk which was repeated on a regular basis and one that we all thoroughly enjoyed, was wandering around the Harbour, taking in Cobnor Point and the Marshes on one end. When the tide was in, we went right instead of left. There was always something new happening on the waters or a view to re-appreciate.
Hidham, Cobnor Point and the Cobnor Marshes (The walk going l)
A circular, flat walk taking in all the beauty of the remote stretch of West Sussex coastline.
Heading to the Chidmere Pond via grass paths we passed a few fields planted in grains to the eastern shore of Chidham Penisula.
We then wandered along the shore path and were able to see the pretty waterside village of Bosham. Which we visited as a few buildings have been classed of historical interest, such as the Holy Trinty Church which is mentioned in the Doomsday book.
Passing next was the vast mudflats of Cobnor, and Nutbourne Marshes on the South and west of the peninsula are a sanctuary during many months of the year.
What was fascinating to find was the line of ancient oaks, contorted and blasted by salt winds and waves, clinging to the bank.
Around the Neighbourhood and Beyond
If no harbour view was wanted first thing in the morning, we headed around another loop. This one had us walking down quiet country lanes and through fields. Best of all we passed very quaint homes called “Poor Cottage”, bound to have a story attached to its history, which I loved to admire while Theo takes time out for a sniff or two.
Then on the odd occasion, a car was required to explore further around the other peninsulas and a city by the name of Chichester. This is where we enjoyed wiling away a few hours exploring with a visit to the grand Cathedral, though we thought it was grander outside than in.
From a city to a beach, a very different sort of beach than the ones we were used to back in New Zealand. We had the fun of scrambling down a bank made out of loose largish stones. It must get very stormy here in the colder months! The sea we were paddling in was The Solent which then headed out to the English Channel.
As we were leaving the beach carpark, we had to pass up the temptation of the beach cafe’s sign, “We love to eat by the Seaside”. There was back at home base our four-legged friends who would be requiring their dinner. It was an enjoyable walk, having the luxury of a coolish sea breeze to cool us down. Yes, the UK was in the grips of a mini heatwave. As one cheery person commented on our delightful weather, “When the rains do come, it will be twofold!”.
During the non-walking moments, we have enjoyed the extensive cottage gardens, with more than a few hours on my part spent gardening. The Squire kept me hydrated with cold drinks or a good coffee, a man after my own heart!!
All in all, it has been a pleasure to have Theo and Bear show us around a small part of the Chichester Harbour, which does live up to its name of being “An Outstanding Place of Natural Beauty”.