Early this hot Sunday morning the Alph set off with his bike in the back of the Honda,
and the Food Lady set off with us in the back of the Land Rover and we drove through all the crazy cyclists who have appeared on the roads all of a sardine because of the Argus Cycle Tour.
We met Sue and Honey, and Thea and Pauline at Newlands Forest and walked up the path which is so saturated with dog smell that my brain was scrambled and I had to cool off in the lovely mountain stream higher up.
Sue wasn't feeling so good this morning so we decided not to walk too far, and stopped for early tea in the pine plantation - Pauline, Honey, Sue, Thea and the leaping Pest - who decided today that he was a proper Scottie and tried to go home with at least three other families. He is learning.
Pauline doing some urban foraging in the forest,
while I chased (rather half-heartedly in this heat) some fairies that rustled around in the blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) bushes
and hid under the wilted flowers of some weedy St Johns Wort, (Hypericum perforatum) which, according to Wikipedia, is used to treat depression, and a multitude of other ills too from itchy skin to 'age-related long-term memory impairment in rats'. Lucky rats. The Food Lady want to find a cure for that for humans.
While they all tried to find out what bird* was making a hellova racket in the pines, I struck out - best paw forward -
and found another family with some interesting dogs to attach myself to.
But I had to be rescued by Thea from the attentions of a nosy boxer.
We wanted to find a path that we had done ages ago with Alice, when we discovered the dogwoods of Newlands Forest, and eventually Sue found it. But the dogwoods are covered in insect galls.
We walked though Rhodes's old Cork Oaks (Quercus suber)
and eventually came back to the car park past these yellow trucks and helicopters that are used to fight aliens and fires. Not sure if I have seen an alien - let alone a high altitude one! Snary.
And so it was home again to my new diet and new exercise regime as we all put our best feet forward.