Too hot!

Oh my word, what a scorcher!

All the sudden, the summer had arrived in London and it took us by surprise. Bella the Hairy and I hit the park as soon as the sun was out because a good weather was never guaranteed when it came to the British weather. However, the past few days were a little too warm for Bella.

Shall I throw a ball for you?

Despite drinking water throughout the walk, she appeared a bit worse for wear.

Ok, let’s have a break in the shade…

The forecast was 26°C max – later, it turned out to be  29°C! – but I felt it was hotter than that. I wished if I came in shorts not in skinny jeans!

After the break, we pressed on…

 

It is probably about time Bella should have her summer haircut. I shall ask her groomer to make her more streamlined…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Staying at home

I woke up with a very stiff neck this morning and had no idea what I had done to it during my sleep!

The snow which fell upon us all yesterday had disappeared completely and now Shoreditch looks as grubby as any rainy day. As you can imagine, I did not take Bella to the park because the ground would be too greasy with the melting snow.

While I am half-crippled with a sore neck, Bella the Action Woman is full of energy and needs some outlet to spend it urgently.

‘I need something to destroy!’

 

She was trying so hard but alas, the toys appeared to be beyond her reach.
Carry on, Bella and leave me in peace so I can nurse my damn neck…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Bella & snow

It is snowing in London!

And my girl Bella had experienced the snow for the first time this morning…

I am jogging my memory but I can’t recall if we had any snowfall in the city during last winter. Even if we had, it probably wasn’t very much. Not as much as to turn the pavements to white.

Bella seemed to be not very sure-footed…

 

But soon, she found these white flakes falling around her fascinating. ‘Where do they come from? What are they?’ She looked up quizzically as she chased after them.

Let’s warm ourselves up at the Pret…

Hubbie had an almond croissant and I had my recent favourite, a praline cookie, and latte…

I shall take Bella to Regent’s Park if we still have a decent amount of the snow left on the ground tomorrow morning…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Bella & Mulberry Harbour @ Arromanches

On the beach at Arromanches-les-Bains, Normandy, there were gigantic remnants of WWII.

A huge chunk belonged to the once harbour could be reached on foot during the tide was out…

During last September, Hubbie, Bella and I visited Normandy with our friends.

Our two days’ itinerary included a visit to the Normandy American Cemetery & Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer and Arromanches which was famous for the Mulberry Harbour B, aka “Port Winston”.

For anyone who is not familiar with Operation Mulberry, I advise you to watch this documentary…


It explains about this phenomenal military project from the conception to the execution.

We parked the car in a car park, facing Gold Beach, one of the five areas of Normandy coast which was assigned to the British Army to take on D-Day…

– a map by Daily Mail
Today, Arromanches was a quiet seaside town with a museum, souvenirs shops and cozy family-run hotels and B&Bs.

Reminders of the history, serenely resting on the beach…

Can you make out where these parts belong to?

An aerial view over the Mulberry Harbour in action…

– an image by the Imperial War Museum.
The photograph shows the enormity of the project.

My girl Bella enjoyed an unhindered run on the beach…

‘Yipee!’

And inspected the harbour…

She had never been to the seaside in her life, therefore, those limpets must have smelt very weird for her. She was absolutely obsessed with them.

And played with a newly found four-legged friend…

 

She was running around like a maniac!

If there were such a thing like a Yorkie brigade, she would most definitely volunteer.

I am a commando!!

As we walked towards one of the towering concrete blocks on the beach, she followed us and we came to a pool of the leftover sea water around the foot of the structure. She seemed to be very intrigued by the water and stared at it for a while. Then next moment, she dived into it! It was not particularly a warm day and the water must have been pretty cold. In the water, she looked rather sheepish and I had to drag her out by her harness.

How did she react after the plunge? She became totally jubilant and euphoric! While I hollered ‘Noooo, Beeeeelllaaaa!!’, she rolled on her back, rubbing her wet coat into the sand. On our way back, we came across another puddle and she stopped in front of it. And before I could stop her, she dived into it again. There was a group of French tourists and they were laughing their heads off, ‘Oh la la!’

Bella the Brave is definitely in favour of amphibious landing, I sighed and picked her up in my arms. By then, she was completely soaked and dripping with the smelly stale sea water and she resembled a rat, not a Yorkie…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Recent development

I apologise for my blog being updated rather sporadically recently. Nothing bad has happened to me or my family and we are all doing really great.

The reason behind why I’m spending much less time with my MacBook right now is because I’m concentrating on my girl Bella’s training. Over the summer, Hubbie and I were discussing how wonderful it would be if she could go off-lead completely in the park. If she will not be granted freedom because of the lack of effort on our part, it will be totally unfair on her, we agreed.

From the beginning of the August, Bella and I have been frequenting parks, mainly Regents Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, with a pouch stuffed with her favourite, cooked chicken. During the first two weeks of the training, I attached a 10m long lead on her and practiced recalling.

I was delighted to find that Bella really loved her new found freedom on the long lead but also a new routine of being rewarded with a tasty treat every time she returned to my side.

‘It’s an win-win situation for me!’

At the beginning, we stuck to a quiet part of the park, away from people and other dogs…

The area was so tranquil and peaceful, it could almost fool me into thinking that we were in the countryside if I chose to ignore the roofs of the slow moving traffic on Bayswater Road as they were almost obscured by the vegetation.

Then during the last bank holiday weekend,  I became confident enough to bite the bullet. While Hubbie looked on, I unhooked Bella from a lead…

She didn’t run away from us! Thank god.

We brought her favourite ball and played with her. For the first time, we chased after the ball without worrying about being tangled up with her lead and trampling on her…

She is a very skilled defender, I must say.

Her expression tells everything, doesn’t it?

I’m happy!’

Now, we head to the parks almost everyday as long as it is not raining. I am just addicted to see her being so happy, running and rolling on the grass and running back to me with a huge grin on her furry face. We have also updated our training using a small frisbee so she can practice fetching…

She impresses me with the way she anticipates where the disc will land. And 9 out of 10 times, she brings the frisbee back to me.

Another thing I have noticed is a change in her attitude towards me. I used to be very frustrated when she behaved like she was more into other people and objects. She got distracted easily and sometimes, she even ignored me. ‘Why does she behave like that? Doesn’t she know that I love her?’ I used to complain to Hubbie.

After a month of intense training in the park did change her (and me). She has become much more responsive, affectionate and less disruptive. And I definitely feel a bond of trust has been forged between us and it is strengthening every time we work together.

Isn’t freedom wonderful?

I am so proud of us, my furry buddy!

By the way, we saw a helicopter landing on a field nearby this morning when we were playing in Regents Park…​

 

The helicopter was in khaki green, therefore, it must have been a military one? I was hoping it would land near us but it didn’t happen. I guessed it was because there were too many football goal posts in the area…

P.S. I shall resume writing about my mum & daughter road trip soon as my memories of it are becoming less and less vivid! Oh no!!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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