Lovable Labradors August 11, 2016 13:50

Pheasant Plucker & Son's Baby brother at a pet show with Duke the Labrador

Baby bro with Duke the Labrador at a pet show. Literally nothing runs like a Deere.

We had a succession of adorable but stupid Labradors when we were little.

First up was Sam, who was already old when we came to know him. Poor old Sam was epileptic and from time to time would have fits out in the yard. He was always very embarrassed about them afterwards and would hang his head sheepishly for the rest of the day and lie listlessly in the shade. He probably felt awful, the poor old boy.

Next came Duke, star of a previous blog post and the most stupid of them all. If Duke was an actor in a film, he’d be an exasperating rogue that the leading lady, despite her better judgement, fell head over heels for in the end. You couldn’t help but love him, with his big brown eyes and endlessly wagging tail which somehow worked independently to his body. He lived in a kennel out in the yard and would chew anything he could get his teeth round: wellies, toys, sticks, school shoes, large rocks… he really didn’t mind. His food bucket was an old, large plastic tub that had once contained something to do with the horses and he would wander aimlessly around with it in his mouth, tail going non-stop, making funny whining noises with his dog biscuits spilling out behind him, like some kind of doggy Hansel and Gretel trail. We spent hours trying to train him to be the good gun dog he was supposed to be, hiding dummy pheasants around the garden for him to find and trying to make him recognise different whistle sounds but it never seemed to have much effect. He just snuffled around chewing stuff and trying to lick us. However, apparently out on the shooting field proper, he would rise to the occasion in front of the other, posher retreivers and didn't let himself down too badly most of the time.

Pheasant Plucker family with Duke and Sam the Labradors

A classic family portrait with Duke and Sam the Labradors. (That pink jumpsuit paired with blue jelly sandals and extra thick plaits is still a favourite go-to fashion choice.)

The last Lab we had was our golden girl Molly. She wasn’t anywhere near as crazy as Duke and didn’t feel the need to chew everything she saw, although she’d have a quick gnaw of your trainers if you left them in her way. Poor old Molly once had a problem with her legs and had to be taken to the vet, who said she needed an operation and would have to stay in for a few days. Pa Pheasant hated to see animals suffering and it upset him to see her in so much pain. However, the operation went well and the vet called a few days later to tell us she could be collected. Pa Pheasant duly set off to get her and bring her home. Molly was in a pretty sorry state – she’d had to have her front legs shaved as part of the operation and was obviously sore and tired. Pa Pheasant gently put her on the backseat of the car with a blanket and began the drive home.

Pa Pheasant in the yard with Duke and Sam

Halfway back to the farm was a village called Blyton where a dairy farmer had diversified into making delicious ice-cream and we often called in for a treat in the summer. Being from a family where food, particularly sweet things, was seen as a tonic for all ills, Pa Pheasant couldn’t resist it and called in, got out and came back with two vanilla cornets, one for himself and one for Molly. Although I wasn’t there to see it myself, I have an enduring image of Pa Pheasant, with Molly next to him in the front seat, enjoying an ice-cream together in the sun and slowly feeling better with the world.

Do you have any photos of you as a child with your pet you want to share with us? Email them to us and we'll send a bag of Pheasant Plucker goodies to any that we feature on the blog.

Summer Loving: guest post from Lincolnshire's very own @jamesmason_photography July 6, 2016 19:19

Ok... so we can't exactly say this summer has been notable for its long, lazy sunny days can we? But there have been some beautiful sunsets over the past couple of weeks and one Lincolnshire Photographer-Lumberjack-Gardener-Explorer has been setting our Instagram feed alight with his gorgeously golden snaps. 

James Mason (@jamesmason_photography) lives in North Lincolnshire and takes some beautiful countryside photos as he travels around. He's a proper dyed in the wool yellowbelly and we were thrilled when he agreed to let us showcase some of his pictures on our blog.

Here then, are our top 5 favourite James Mason sunsets of the past few weeks... (and a cheeky extra one squeezed in at the end which we couldn't resist!)

Sunset over North Kelsey, Lincolnshire. Copyright James Mason photography 2016

Golden, pink and blue after a storm (this one even made the TV!)


Summer sunset and cow parsley in Lincolnshire. Copyright James Mason photography 2016

Who can resist cow parsley? 


Summer sunset in Lincolnshire. Copyright James Mason photography 2016

Landscape over the Brocklesby estate


Summer sunset in Lincolnshire. Copyright James Mason photography 2016

This one was taken at Woodall Spa country park (we used to go on holiday there... don't remember it looking like that!)


Sunset over Lincolnshire. Copyright James Mason photography 2016

Hazy sunset looking up to the Wolds.

And finally... check out the chops on this guy. Cute. as. a. frickin. BUTTON.

Benji, you'd better look out because if we find you, we are taking you home. 

James Mason's labrador Benji. Copyright James Mason photography 2016

Thanks James for letting us show your photos in our blog. You capture Lincolnshire summer evenings perfectly!


See more of James's work on Instagram @jamesmason_photography

And if the weather isn't as beautiful as this outside, come indoors, light a Wildwood candle, close your eyes and pretend you're walking through Brocklesby woods. It's nearly as good as the real thing. 




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