A Self-Guided Stroll Around Shrewsbury’s Shuts

I woke up to the calm after Storm Doris (or Doris Day, as many people called it!). It wasn’t that bad as far inland and south as I am, but it was loud and wet. Puppy needed a lot of coaxing to go do her business!

I had no work in the queue, so I thought of doing another self-guided walk. But, of course, I woke up to a large, difficult job available to me if I wanted it. I’ve been having trouble getting work with this client during the week since I’ve been in Europe because of the time that work is assigned, but if there’s anything for the weekend, I tend to get it as I appear to be the only one who regularly works at that time. So the client assumed I’d want it and gave me both a bonus and an extension as an incentive. So of course I accepted it and thanks to the extension, I could still take today off. I’ve been sleeping really poorly the last few days and just had my first decent night, so I should be raring to go on the job tomorrow.

I did all the Puppy stuff and put her away for a nap around 9:30, then headed out. The morning was bright, but cold. I passed the perfect car for me along the way…

Coming into downtown, I was more than a little peckish since I’d had a super light breakfast. I decided to pop into Greggs for a coffee to warm my hands and a sausage roll as a second breakfast. Think of Greggs as being about as close to Tim Hortons or Dunkin’ Donuts as one can get in the UK. They have sandwiches, soups, baked goods, and reasonably priced coffee. I was disappointed that the combo would be more than it was in Manchester, according to the menu, but, no, it was still £2. It’s almost not worth getting a sausage roll if you get a coffee!

I munched my treat as I headed to the Music Hall/Shrewsbury Museum. Outside of it, I spotted an exhibit I either missed the other day or which is new. It’s a bunch of photographs from all over the world showing the many facets of humanity.

Some of my favourites included this one from a Soviet prison, in 1988…

…this hilarious scene from New York City…

…a sad-looking Canadian couple…

…a Tanzanian family…

…and Japanese folks enjoying the artificial beach in Ocean Dome, Miyazaki.

It was then time to start the tour. It covered most of downtown in a very logical, but twisty sort of manner and there’s no way to make a Google Map that would make sense of the tour. Here’s the very detailed map provided in the brochure. If you open it in another tab, it does so to full, legible size. I will number each of the stops so you can follow along if you want.

So today’s self-guided stroll was about Shrewsbury’s shuts. “‘The Shuts of Shrewsbury are a notable feature of the topography of the town.’ So wrote L.C. Lloyd in 1937. For those unfamiliar with the word, ‘shuts,’ they are called snickets, ginnels, chares, alleyways, entries, wynds, weinds, wiends, twitchells, opes, and twittons in other towns. In other words, they are narrow passages connecting one street to another. True shuts must be open to the public, used mainly on food, and should not be culs-de-sac. Other desirable qualifications are that they are ancient and between walls, with steps, archway(s), and a corner or two. … Many of the shuts have disappeared and most of the survivors have exchanged their picturesque (or scurrilous) ancient names for something more genteel.”

Let me tell you, the £1 price for this guide felt like a bargain! I was curious about the various passageways I’d seen through town, but had no idea if they were open to the public or not. I was off on a wonderful adventure!

My first stop was Gullet Passage (1). “‘Gullet’ means a water channel and, in fact, this shut follows the course of a former stream that was drained from a peat bog. This was filled in to make a new market place, which eventually became The Square.”

Phoenix Place/Passage (2) was unmarked. I was grateful that the brochure had pictures of all the entrances so it was easy to spot them. Whomever made these brochures should be commended.

“As this shut widens, note the remnants of doorways and fire-places in the brickwork. These are the remains of the 19 houses recorded here in the 1851 census, a warren of unhealthy dwellings in a crime-ridden area.”

“From this wide section the shut narrows again to dive under timber-framed buildings.”

The entrance on this side is well marked.

I passed the King’s Head Inn, which dates back to 1404.

Right after the inn is King’s Head Passage (3).

“As the shut leaves the inn, it curves round, as did all the shuts in this low part of town, and runs toward the river. In times of flood, water collects at its lowest point, where the town ditch was cut across it in medieval times.”

Looking back.

Emerging into blessed sunshine and blue sky.

I ended up on Smithfield Road and my attention was drawn to a plaque at the corner of Mardol, which has information about the Welsh Bridge.

The original bridge is gone, of course, but here stood one of Shrewsbury’s oldest bridges. It was built of stone, likely shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066. It was then known as St. George’s Bridge. “Legend has it that in 1485, Thomas Mytton closed the bridge to Henry Tudor (later Henry VII), who was on his way to fight Richard III at Bosworth. Mytton declared that Tudor could only enter Shrewsbury ‘over his lifeless body.’ Forced to compromise, Mytton lay down and Tudor entered the town by stepping over him.”

Floods rendered the bridge unsafe in 1672. Some repairs were carried, but in 1795, St. George’s Bridge was replaced by the current Welsh Bridge.

“St. George’s Bridge provided the Welsh with important access to the English wool market, a trade that made Shrewsbury very wealthy.”

The other side of the plaque has information about Mardol. “Like much of Shrewsbury, Mardol has a hidden history. Behind its brick façades are complete timber-framed medieval buildings, traces of Saxon stonework, and Shrewsbury’s ancient ditch and wall defences. In Saxon times (900AD), Mardol was home to tradesmen who gained access to the river via long curving gardens. … By the 15th century, Mardol was home to wealthy merchants living in fine, timber-framed houses. Many of these were extended and brick faced in later centuries. … By the 17th century, Mardol had become the town’s red light district, providing drinking and whoring for the river boatmen and their crews. Today, it’s a thriving commercial street in Shrewsbury’s historic centre.”

Carnarvon Lane (4) was my next stop. You can see the entrance in the picture above, the rounded arch nearest the car.

“Ludovick Carnarvon lived here in 1460.”

I passed a lot of these tiles on my walk, but could not find anything about them.

“Rowley’s Mansion, one of the earliest brick houses in Shrewsbury, built by a wealthy draper and brewer in 1616-1618.”

Darwin’s Gate sculpture.

After a few turns, I came to Drayton’s Passage (5).

These dog heads “represent the Talbot breed, used for hunting in the 18th century, and provide a reminder that this was once The Talbot, a bustling and competitive coach inn at that time.”

This brought me back to the Music Hall, but I was only getting started!

Next to the Music Hall was the Coffee House Passage (6).

There is an intricately carved beam overhead. Is that a pineapple?

I love how the doorframe compensates for the crooked building.

More tiles. I looked up and didn’t see much…

I emerged to this pretty sight:

The tour then took me across Old St. Chad’s Churchyard. “The church was founded by King Offa, and is mentioned in the Domesday Book.”

Once again, the pamphlet directed me to an informational plaque I would have otherwise missed.

“The Church where Shrewsbury began? Many believe that here, on one of the two hilltops in the loop of the RiverServern, stood Pengwern, the court of the Princes of Powys (7th century AD). We know that by the reign of Offa, King of Mercia (757-96), there was a monastic college on this site. In 1148, it was replaced by a much larger church, which extended from Belmont to College Hill. … The building in front of you is known as ‘Lady Chapel.’ It is the only standing remains of the church, after it collapsed sensationally in 1788. Four years later, new St. Chad’s church was built near the quarry.”

This plaque had a wonderful timeline of key moments in Shrewsbury history. Here are some highlights:

901: First written reference to Shrewsbury as ‘Scrobbesbyrig.’

1068: Shrewsbury Castled built by Norman invaders.

1148: Found of Old St. Chad’s Church.

1216: Henry III orders the construction of town walls.

1349: Black Death kills half of European population.

1403: Battle of Shrewsbury.

1645: Capture of Shrewsbury by the Parliamentarians.

1788: Collapse of Old St. Chad’s Church.

1809: Birth of Charles Darwin in Shrewsbury.

1918: Wildfred Owen dies in WWI.

Wilfred Owen? A poet best remembered, by me at least, for his poem “Dulce et Decorum est.” I actually used to know it by heart.

I then noticed this plaque by a tree and it made me tear up. “In memory of Nigel Johnson, who lost his life whilst carrying out his duties on behalf of the people of Shrewsbury. A tree for a tree man.”

I then had to turn onto Belmont Bank, a part of which I walked on the medieval tour. In 1610, it was Back Lane, a name that was in use until the 1950s.

Next up was Barracks Passage (7), which we’ve been to before.

This passage was called Elisha’s Shut in 1725. “The long range of timbered buildings on the right contains timbers felled in 1426.”

This projecting window might have been for a tallyman to log the carts in and out of the passage.

A very short distance away is Compasses Passage (8), named for the Compasses Inn that stood on the site in 1880. “An old tale tells of a bull on its way to market straying from Wyle Cop and getting stuck in this narrow shut.”

You emerge on Belmont Bank. You can see Barracks Passage up the hill (the arched doorway before the red door).

On the way to my next stop, I passed a violin maker. Vicki, have they got a violin for you! 🙂

This private shut on Wyle Cop is not a numbered item on the list. It’s just big enough for a packhorse to enter the yard.

“The Lion [was] a notable competitor of The Talbot for the coaching trade in the 18th century.” Just across from it up and up a bit around the bend was my next turn, Dogpole.

The name of this shop caught my eye as it sounds familiar.

Does Wysteria Lane mean anything to any of you?

The unnamed shut in front of Dogpole House (9) was my next stop.

It brought me back to St. Alkmund’s Square, where we’ve been a few times.

I liked that this stroll brought me back to places I’d been from a different direction, offering me a chance to see them with fresh eyes.

I went back down the Bear Steps (10) and then turned right to come right back up to the edge of St. Alkmund’s Square so I could turn onto Butcher Row.

“There were 15 butchers’ shops here in 1828, and Abbot’s House still retains some of its meat-hooks and ancient shop fronts.”

Pride Hill, the pedestrian street, is at the end of Butcher Row. I turned right and went just past the Darwin Shopping Centre to a shut called 70 steps (11). “This is the last remaining shut of the four that used to link Pride Hill to the meadows at the bottom of the slope, beyond the town wall. When the shopping centre was built, the shut was incorporated, providing a long, dark, and uninviting descent, which we do not recommend.”

I just peered in, as they instructed, and continued on Castle Street (Pride Hill becoming it in the direction of the train station) and found, thanks to their picture, Castle Court (12). “Here is an inviting cluster of houses and flats, those on the left converted from a chapel and those on the right once part of the old County Gaol and House of Correction.”

For this one, I had to turn back and go the way I came, to Castle Street, and continue along to School Gardens (unnumbered), “once part of Shrewsbury School,” which Charles Darwin attended. Yes, another scaffold. There are a lot of construction works going on in Shrewsbury. Must be all the old buildings keeping everyone employed.

This courtyard was part of the old goal and was “the quadrangle used by prisoners for exercise.”

I continued along to emerge at the Darwin statue in front of the library and archives.

I then circled back around up Castle Street (towards Pride Hill) and found St. Mary’s Shut (13). “This has the longest covered section of all the shuts in Shrewsbury and is very narrow and dark.”

The brochure told me not to miss the second part of it, across a carpark, but I was disappointed that there was scaffolding blocking it. Thankfully, I was able to access it from the other side.

This part of St. Mary’s Shut “is probably the narrowest in England with a minimum width of 56cm. Old maps show the shut closed in by buildings throughout its length.”

This brought me to St. Mary’s Place. I circled around the back side of St. Mary’s Church.

St. Mary’s Court is #14, but there wasn’t really anything to photograph.

Here I am emerging from it onto St. Mary’s Street, with Church Street directly opposite, which I took.

This brought me back to St. Alkmund’s, where I followed the path (15) to the La Lanterna restaurant, where I had a nice lunch the other day. Here’s its entrance.

I went down the stairs and turned right on Wyle Cop (Barracks Passage, etc. is to the left). Next up was another place we’ve been before, Golden Cross Passage (16). Let me tell you, I was seriously tempted by that affordable sushi, but I’d been out for a few hours and it was getting close to Puppy’s lunch time.

Emerging from Golden Cross, I turned right on Princess and then right again into Peacock Passage (17).

Of note in this shut is that you can see the spire of St. Alkmund’s Church. The effect was rather impressive.

At the end, you cross the High Street (difficult unless a cute delivery guy stops to let you cross) to get to Bank Passage (18).

It used to have more steps.

More tiles.

You emerge on Fish Street below St. Alkmund’s Church.

Looking back down Bank Passage.

Looking down Fish Street.

Do you know where you are? The Bear Steps are to the right after this building and Grope Lane (19) is to the left.

Bear Steps yet again.

And back to Grope Lane, which was the first stop on the medieval tour.

I emerged on High Street. Market Place and the Music Hall are to the left. I continued ahead to Pride Hill.

I passed a bookstore along the way. I need this book.

I turned right on Pride Hill and popped in at Tesco’s for a few things, including some mediocre sushi for lunch. I haven’t had proper sushi yet in England, so that’s something I definitely intend to do before I leave. The place I passed today is apparently really good and has very reasonably priced lunch specials.

I hope you enjoyed this tour of Shrewsbury’s shuts as much as I did! I have one more tour pamphlet left, but I may go buy more since I have almost two weeks left here. Let’s hope the weather holds up!

Shrewsbury Museum and Medieval Centre Self-Guided Walking Tour

I can’t believe I haven’t been out for almost a full week! Well, I have been going for daily walks with Puppy around the neighbourhood, but that’s been it. I had an unexpected burst of work that kept me very busy indeed! It wasn’t an unmanageable amount, but between that and Puppy and house duties, there wasn’t much time left except for an hour or two of Netflix in the evenings. I had the day off today, so I was able to head out to the Shrewsbury Museum, the only thing left on my to-do list for Shrewsbury proper.

Puppy and I had lunch, then I took her for a walk before settling her in her crate for her afternoon nap that meant that she’d barely know I was gone.

Spring is springing in my part of England. These are from the garden here.

I headed downtown by way of the route to the train station. Not sure if it’s a short cut, but it lets me do a loop. I like this row of cottages along a walk and bike path. They all have different coloured doors.

The museum is off High Street. It’s so strange to see here a bank I use in Mexico.

Market Square.

The Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery is in the old Music Hall.

Admission to the museum is £4.50 and well worth it! This museum is a trove of treasures! There is absolutely no way I can do justice to it as that would involve recounting 2,000 years worth of British history, for which I have an unfair advantage over most of you. So I’ll just share a few things that caught my eye.

You start in a very thorough exhibit about Roman Shrewsbury, starting in the Late Bronze Age and into the Iron Age to set some context. There was an exhibit inside a miniature “roundhouse” that explained how those people lived.

The ceiling:

Here’s what a roundhouse would have looked like.

The roof:

I learned in this exhibit that there are 70 hill forts in Shropshire, more than anywhere else in Britain, and that they had purposes beyond defence.

The Roman invasion was “a terrifying and shocking experience for the local people.” For some, life went on as before. Others took advantage of the situation and provided the soldiers with goods and services. New materials and technologies appeared. Think of what would happen in North America some four or five centuries later.

An interesting fact I learned is that the Romans introduced tombstones to Britain. Here are some Roman tombstones:

Here’s what a farming settlement might have looked like at the time. This was not a primitive society.

I saw some wonderful mosaics that reminded me of those I saw in Bulgaria.

One of the innovations the Romans brought was writing. “There is no evidence of the written word in Shropshire before the Romans arrived.” The soldiers who conquered the region would have been literate.

Wealthy Romans had all the comforts most of the developed world enjoys today, included glazed windows, painted walls, central heating, and running water. The underfloor heating was particularly ingenious. “Hot air from a furnace circulated under the floors and was sent up pipes built within the thickness of the wall and roof, something like a modern central heating radiator.”

Of course, the Roman period moved into the so-called Dark or Middle Ages. By 650 AD, the nearby Roman city of Wroxeter was abandoned. “What is certain is that bit by bit, the grand buildings of this once-fine city rotted and collapsed.” I hope to get a chance to visit the ruins of Wroxeter before leaving here.

Here is the most incredible artifact I saw today, a silver mirror that would have been held by a slave. It is “the finest Roman mirror found in Britain”!

The Shrewsbury Hoard:

I had fun playing with mosaic tiles.

Just a tiny bit of some of the Roman artifacts I saw. These are all jewellery or pieces used to tie togas and tunics.

I headed upstairs and found this signage rather confusing!

Into the medieval section.

I recognised this straight away, having spent quite some time poring over it when I was in university! It is the Great Domesday Book of 1086, a great survey undertaken by Willian the Conqueror after the Norman Conquest of 1066 to learn who owned what and its worth, all for taxation purposes. This segment is about Shrewsbury, whose townsfolk felt they were being overtaxed.

The medieval section has a timber frame ceiling.

Shrewsbury as it would have been in the 16th century.

This shows what the English Bridge would have looked like during the Middle Ages. It originally had two sections, with an island in the middle.

This was a fun game. There are magnets that you need to place in the correct spots to create a medieval town. I got to work!

Ta-dah.

It’s a real family!

Medieval tiles.

This did not go well.

I actually have real quill pens that I purchased when I went to Washington DC in 1997.

This screen by Shrewsbury Abbey played an episode of Cadfael.

There he is.

Medieval armour.

Next, I went into the exhibit about Tudor Shrewsbury, starting around the end of the 16th century. By this point the town’s economy was stagnant, the population was dropping, and buildings were in disrepair. The reformation of the church had left the abbey and friary buildings in ruins. But by the 1560s, there was a revival of the woollen cloth trade and the town began to prosper once more.

A bed owned by the Corbet family of the area.

The embroidery was exquisite and all done by volunteers according to traditional patterns.

Looking back to the medieval section. There were so many children running around that I wasn’t able to spend as much time as I would have liked. 🙁

Daniel Defoe, in his A Tour through the whole of the island of Great Britain, 1724-26, described Shrewsbury as “A town of mirth and gallantry.”

Then came a hodgepodge of exhibits where I learned a very surprising fact that I’m shocked I didn’t know: Shrewsbury is the birthplace of… Charles Darwin!

There was a very interesting bit about the natural history of the area and I got to hold a mammoth tooth!

I learned about the ceramics and porcelain trades here, made possible thanks to the good Shropshire clay.

Near the end of the regular exhibits, I saw a panel that said something I’d never been explicitly told, but knew implicitly, that “teenagers” are a very modern concept dating to the mid to late 20th century.

I also learned that the Victorians were mad about ferns and that led to some species becoming locally extinct!

“Trying to Find my Ancestors in a Cross Cultural Word,” is a portrait that “parodies passport photo-booth images and combines the artist’s own face and those of Victorian ethnic stereotypes.”

They combine to form this famous face. Amazing!

Finally, there was a special exhibit about British nursery rhymes.

I had never heard the “go to Spain” line of this classic nursery rhyme.

I love this!

There was another room upstairs, but I’m not sure what for. It did give me a great overview of the “miscellaneous room”and its ceiling:

And the exterior of the music hall.

There’s loads more to see at the Shrewsbury Museum, but that’s what I’ve got to share with y’all. Then, I was off to take a self-guided walking tour.

Back of Market Place (museum behind me).

The museum has a bunch of self-guided walking tour guides. I picked the top three that interested me the most. If I get through these, I’ll go back for more! They are really well done and detailed, so the £1 cost is very fair. I have maps at the bottom of the post to orient you once the walk recap is done.

The Medieval Centre brochure had this to say as an introduction: “Shrewsbury was an important town in medieval times. William the Conqueror put a strong baron, Roger de Montgomery, in charge of this lawless border region and the settlement was fortified as a strategic town to defend England against the Welsh. The Normans also reorganised the church and the importance of religion in daily life can be deduced from the remains of the Abbey, three friaries, and four parish churches in the town centre. Shrewsbury became an important market town and trade centre, attracting merchants who built substantial stone mansions in the 13th and 14th centuries and timber-framed buildings in the 15th century.”

The tour starts at the Music Hall, which incorporates Shrewsbury’s most intact 13th century stone house, Vaughan’s Mansion, owned by a leading fleece exporter.

From there, I walked back towards High Street, crossed it, and found myself in Grope Lane, which was referred to as long ago as 1324. It is one of the rare Grope Lanes that retained its name through the centuries. Its name came about for exactly the reason you think.

This is a good spot to see some of the old timber framing up close.

Grope Lane leads to Fish Street, from which you can climb the Bear Steps.

“The complex of buildings at the top form the core of medieval Shrewsbury. It was built and altered over many years and dendrochronology shows that the earliest timbers date from 1358.” So that answered a question, how they date the buildings.

This is the area where the medieval market would have been held.

I then headed to St. Mary’s Church, “the only great medieval church in Shrewsbury to have survived intact.” Its core dates to 1150.

I can relate (pun not intended) to this sign I passed on the way to my next stop.

What I’ve been calling the main pedestrian street is actually Pride Hill. In the Middle Ages it would have been lined with shops, just like today.

Next stop on my medieval Shrewsbury tour was the McDonald’s. Really.

Check out its basement! It would have been the cellar of a business on Pride Hill.

I circled back to the High Street, passed Grope Lane, and found myself at the Golden Cross Passage, which is typical of Shrewsbury’s shuts, or short cuts between two streets. The Golden Cross Pub has been dated to the late 15th century!

I emerged on the other side to take Milk Street and then turned on Wyle Cop to stop just after the Lion Hotel.

There, I could see two medieval timber-framed buildings, one of which was built in 1406.

The tour then took me through Barrack’s Passage.

These well-preserved buildings are 2 of the 32 surviving 15th century timber buildings in Shrewsbury.

From Barracks Passage, I descended Belmont Banks to get to the Town Wall.

Here’s a bit of the town wall.

There was no good vantage point, so it’s hard to show how high up the wall is. The wall was “terraced into the river bluff at the edge of the river flood plain. The whole wall was 3.2km long and was built between 1220 and 1250, on royal orders, following the successful attack on the town by Welsh forces. … The major part of the wall encircled the high ground and ran down to the river, where there were gatehouses on the two bridges. Much was destroyed in the 18th century and this is the best remaining section.”

I then retraced my steps and went down Beeches Lane to turn onto St. Julian’s Friars.

Instead of crossing this foot bridge, I went under it to the tow path.

These cottages are all that remain of the perimeter buildings of the Franciscan Friary founded in 1245.

I continued along the tow path to English Bridge.

Having been to Shrewsbury Abbey, the next stop, already, I didn’t go back since I’d been gone quite a while and needed to get home to Puppy. Instead, I continued to walk along the river.

These arches are part of the remains of a Dominican Friary.

It was then time to head back to the centre of town along St Mary’s Water Lane. It was a pretty steep climb.

The last stop of the tour is the castle. I’m undecided if I will go there because I’m not that interested in the military museum it houses.

“The castle was built within three or four years of the Norman Conquest [1066]. Its primary purpose was to dominate the town, to monitor and intimidate the population, and suppress rebellion. From here, the garrison could survey the whole town, including the approach through the neck of the meander, any movements on the river fords and hostile gatherings in the market place. Today, the inner bailey has stone curtain walls built in the 12th century on top of the original Norman ramparts. The crenulated parapets were originally medieval, though they have been repaired or replaced several times. The hall, with flanking circular towers, is mid-13th century.”

From this final stop, it was an easy one-mile walk home along the river.

Here’s a general overview of my afternoon:

And a more detailed map of some of the highlights of the walking tour.

Routine

One thing I know about puppy raising is the importance of a routine. So I’m making an effort to be lot more regimented while I’m here and it’s paying off with a puppy who is increasingly easy to mind, less stress even when I have a large workload (as I do this weekend), and being able to truly enjoy the experience. Puppy is very affectionate and always up for a cuddle, so I must be doing something right.

Work has been funny. I had a very slow week and I spent quite some time looking and applying for one-off contracts. And then, boom, all my clients apparently came back to life and I have a very full roster through at least Monday. With one of the clients, I’m only allowed to sign out two files at a time. They’ve been really slow since mid-December, so I take what I can get from them and signed out two very small ones that came up. Then, of course, they got a bunch of longer files in. You can’t abandon files just to take others (“cherry picking”) so I was stuck with what I had, disappointing as it was. But then, as we got closer to the end of the work day in California, there were still tons of files in the queue, so I emailed my contact to ask if I could have more work even though I had my quota. Next thing I knew, he’d assigned me as much as I wanted! I’ll have been with this client a year by the time I get settled in Mexico in May, so between that and consistently getting good reviews, I should be in a position to negotiate a bigger allotment.

With my out of the house time being so limited, I continue to like Tesco delivery, even if I have to pay for it now. I had shopping delivered only on Monday and it felt ridiculous to put together another shop today, but I was out of meat and veg. It made more sense to do another order than to take a couple of hours to run to the shops today. I definitely should have just done a bigger shop the first time around since I now have to pay for delivery, but I’m still not very good at gauging how much I should be buying to last me the time of my stay. It ends up being more advantageous to plan about 10 days out. I still have tons left from that first shop, though, but I seriously underestimated how fast some things, like the almond milk (which comes in smaller containers here) would last. Tesco delivery costs depend on the day and time. I would have had to wait till 10PM Tuesday to get a £2 delivery slot. Before then, the cheapest slot was £3.50 on Monday. I was able to get a slot tonight for £4, so I just went for that. The shopping will come between eight and nine, which fits into Puppy’s and my evening routine, but just barely.

Have I mentioned just how cute she is? You should see (and feel!) those floppy ears of hers. 🙂

I can’t believe I’ll be back in Canada this time next month (and hopefully over the jet lag). I really need to start working on the Montreal to Haven to Mexico thing that’s coming up… 🙂

Responsibility

I didn’t have any work today, but I chose not to go out to give puppy my full attention. The weather was beautiful and she accepted a long walk, though, so we got some fresh air, in addition to playing a bit in the garden.

This is an enormous responsibility I took on, essentially taking care of a baby during three weeks of her most formative months. It’s not a job I took on a whim and I’m treating it extremely seriously. I want to make sure I’m as consistent as I can be with her routine while using plenty of positive reinforcement in her continued training so that there are no setbacks when her parents get home.

She’s very intelligent and extremely affectionate, always up for a cuddle (guess where she is right now). I feel privileged to have a chance to play a small role in raising her.

Work has come in for the next couple of days, but I should have time to get out to the museum at some point while Puppy has her afternoon nap. I’m rather jealous of how much sleep she gets. 😀