Play dates, puzzles and poetry (and a pink thing)

How are you making use of extra time you have got at the moment because of Lockdown 2.0?

This is the question that Jan and I mulled over when we went for a walk recently.

Play dates

We walk together (Jan and I) with Max and Brindley, our dogs, two or three times a week. Made possible because of our lockdown circumstances – requiring us to be at home and avoiding travel.

We call these walks a ‘play date’ as that is pretty much what Max and Brindley do! It’s lovely to see them having fun, and Jan and I are happy to chaperone and escort them and chat as we make our way around different walks nearby.

Max is now three and a half years old. And when I asked Jan what kind of breed he was, Jan answered “well he is a very exclusive breed … called ‘scruffy mongrel’. He is definitely NOT a Heinz 57 (I have never understood why Heinz 57 is a good expression?) I think the best description I have ever heard about Max is the vets description who called him ‘an Irish Wolf hound with shorn off legs!’”

Jan describes Max:  “he can be quite obstinate, he has very expressive eyes. He takes everything in and sometimes I think he struggles to process it all…”

At one point during our walk Max started running at full speed up and down the path for no reason! Brindley joined in.

Max then surpassed himself further by taking a cooling dip in a ditch. I presume the running around had made him hot!


I asked Jan if there was anything new he had started doing as a result of lockdown 2.0? “well”, he replied “in the last four weeks we have been concentrating on jigsaw puzzles. We have loved them!”

“We find it keeps us really close. Finding pieces and working together on sections of the puzzle. It has been really good for our relationship! We are on the last pieces of a puzzle at the moment – its a nature puzzle. It’s 1000 pieces. We do the puzzle in the morning for an hour or so over coffee and then probably we’ll do another bit in the afternoon before we start cooking our evening meal.”

Penny and the jigsaw (Photograph copyright Jan)

Penny agreed when I spoke with her later by phone…

“we have never done puzzles before in our lives but we love it!”

We walked a bit further. The dogs playing and running around. This prompted Jan to tell me that Penny had written a poem about a dog walk… I was fascinated to discover that Penny is an accomplished poet and has been writing poetry for many years.


Penny sent me two of her poems – about two things that I can honestly say have been a ‘lockdown pleasure’ for me – kite flying and dog walking.

Thank you, Penny, for your very kind permission for me to publish them here!

Penny’s poems are presented here with recent photos from lockdown walks with Jan and kite flying with Dad:

Jan, Max and Brindley
Flying a kite

A pink thing

It has to get a mention here as its something that Mum and I made up to brighten up one dreary Lockdown afternoon (… and where else could I put it?!) … and why did we do it? Because we had the time!

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