Oh boy, we should have stayed away from the park today, I felt truly miserable in Regent’s Park yesterday lunchtime. It was raining, cold and windy. Apart from keen lunchtime runners, there was hardly anyone in the park.

Even normally an outdoorsy sort of girl Bella was not too crazy about being in this rather dismal surrounding…

Oh no, I am not going in there!

We did play with a Chuckit but every time the ball landed on the ground which was saturated with the precipitation of the recent weeks, she refused to retrieve it.

I sighed and waded into the puddles so I could pick up the ball which used to be neon orange but now resembled a giant dark chocolate truffle.

Hey Bay-Bay, why can’t you stop pining?

She appeared to be distracted by the wind and as a result, she was much less responsive to my recall command. What if she catches a whiff of a squirrel and decides to give a chase?, the thought concerned me because she could go beyond the fencing surrounding St John’s Lodge.

I found myself screaming at her, ‘stop!!’ as she broke into a trot, making a beeline to the nearby hedge. I sprinted as fast as my Timberland boots clad feet could carry me. Thankfully, she froze on the spot, sensing the seriousness in a tone of my voice. I did not like shouting at her but the thought of losing her really panicked me.

Sorry Bella, but I will have to keep you away from the park until the ground becomes firm and dry. Or I will have to buy a pair of football boots with studs so I can run after you even if the ground is greasy…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Contingency plan

There was an incident in the park the other day which made me realise that I needed a contingency plan in case of losing Bella’s ball.

It was mid-afternoon and Bella and I just enter Regent’s Park through the gate near Chester Road. We saw a large Labradoodle and its owner playing with a tennis ball in the distance – a familiar sight, so I didn’t think much of it and let Bella off from the leash. As usual, Bella begged me to throw a ball for her and I obliged to her request.

However, the Labradoodle galloped towards us as soon as our ball landed and snatched it from the ground. Bella was only very happy to see another dog and started to dance around it like a butterfly around a luscious bloom. I sent a pleading look to the owner of the “ball-snatcher” and she came over to sort out the situation.

It didn’t work, unfortunately. The harder we tried, the more the dog resisted. While we tempted him with treats and his own ball, this naughty Labradoodle kept us at his paw length, gnawing on Bella’s ball like a chewing gum. I could see the neon orange ball gradually losing its shape through his teeth and saliva. Alas. ‘Never mind our ball. But you make sure that he won’t swallow it.’ I told the embarrassed girl and we walked away.

Then, we moved on to the rugby pitch and looked for a ball we lost a few days ago. Again, exactly like it happened in Hampstead Heath last Sunday, the ball disappeared like magic under the mud and the fallen leaves in the sports field. I combed the ground with the ball launcher and kicked up leaves but failed to find it.

Oh Bay-bay, what can we do?

Out of desperation, I throw the launcher for her…

She went for it but looked a bit confused. Where is my ball?’

Never mind that, Bella. So we continued to play with the launcher…


At first, Bella was happy to carry the stick because it was new. She was showing off her new trophy and trotting around with it.

But then, she realised that the launcher didn’t fly very far and it didn’t bounce either…


“No! I am not playing with this crap! Where is my BALL?’

Sorry, Bay-Bay, I shall bring a spare ball or a frisbee as our contingency plan next time…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Bella & mud bath

Bella had a good run at Regent’s Park this afternoon. Unlike yesterday, it was very mild today and we had loads of fun, meeting other dogs and chasing a ball and each other in the park.

It was because of the recent bad weather, the sports field, where we always visited, was heavily saturated with the water and the ground was like a wet sponge.

The field may look green from the distance…


However, it was more brown than green when I approached it. The weather was too cold to dry the ground thoroughly and also the field was in constant use as football pitches which didn’t help the matter either.

We arrived at the Hub CafĂ© but found it was closed until the 2nd January…

Oh well, I’ll have to have a cup of tea at home then, I shrugged my shoulders and we headed towards the Broad Walk, throwing a ball and greeting four-legged friends as we encountered them.

Oh Bay-Bay, you are so DIRTY!

With the exception of her furry chest area which was under the harness, the rest of her body was covered with mud and the bits and pieces from the fallen leaves. Oh dear.

Bella and I, playing tag…


We teased each other, pretending to run away or to run after one another. Eventually, we had enough of running around and left the park for home.

While we were walking along the pavement next to the hedge of the Avenue Gardens, we met Bella’s nemesis, Mr.Squirrel.

Upon sensing Bella’s presence, Mr.Squirrel quickly but calmly took refuge up amongst the tree branches…

Can you see him?

Don’t be so smug, Mister!

Sorry Bella, but Mr.Squirrel is out of your reach and out of your life.

Now, we must hurry because we have a more pressing matter at hand. If you will like it or not, you are going to have a proper hose down as soon as I have a cup of tea at home. I am sorry but you are intolerably dirty.

p.s. Bella was washed, blow-dried and combed after I shared tea and panettone with Hubbie. Now, she is very tired and having a well-deserved kip next to me on the sofa…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Boxing Day stroll

Let’s have a quick sweep before David arrives! I urged Hubbie to pick up a Pledge fluffy duster while I collected scattered Bella’s toys from the floor and threw them into the toy basket.

We were doing a bit of housekeeping because David was coming to stay with us for two days before driving back to Yorkshire.

He arrived around lunchtime and we had a light lunch consisted of quiche and salad. After lunch, we decided to have a little stroll in Regent’s Park.

Bella was soooo happy to be in the park…


She rolled on the muddy grass like crazy. Oh well, it was inevitable since she was kept away from her beloved playground for a long time.

While David and Hubbie engaging in a serious talk, Bella and I played with a ball…

Hey! What are you waiting for? Throw the bl**dy thing!

David was amazed by the way she chased and retrieved the ball…

As always, she did with such a gusto and joy. Bella the Action Girl!

Then, we headed to Smokehouse for tea and cake…

We sat outside and sipped cappuccino and munched on muffins. The wind was a little chilly but it was nice to stretch our legs…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Chopper in the park

This afternoon, Bella and I were paying our daily visit to Regents Park and encountered a rather unique sight.

Bella knew something was up…


What is it, Bella?

Then, I realised that an air ambulance was circling above us. Wow, it is flying very low, I thought.

Then, it started to descend…


The helicopter set itself down on the sports field at Cumberland Gate.

While the rotor was still spinning, a crew came out and stood in front of the craft…


I wondered why an air ambulance landed here? Any emergency??

Once the engine was turned off and the rotor had stopped the rotation, a group of the emergency services, who were waiting on the ground, assembled around the helicopter…

All the bystanders, including me, had no idea what was going on. We all found a bit strange that those around the chopper seemed to be not at all in a hurry.

Maybe they are doing some training?

Since London’s threat level regarding terror attacks was still critical, maybe the emergency services, including the air ambulance, were having a coordinated rehearsal.

I wanted to hang around and keep on watching because I didn’t come across a scene like this very often. However, Bella had other idea. ‘Let’s go and chase squirrels!’, she insisted. Oh well, it is maybe too cold to stand around in the windswept park. So we left the park and the chopper behind…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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