Feeling Woolly

The Chronicles of a Dropped Stitch

Menu Close

Category: The Lumpford Files

Further misdemeanours of a Private Detective

* warning * this post contains poor attempt at sketching!

As Autumn invariably draws closer to an end and days become shorter, our friend Jim Lumpford has been continuing to make the most of each and every daylight hour.  Age insidiously creeps up behind him in shadow.  He suddenly takes a furtive glance over his shoulder, and realises Old Father Time is but a few paces back so notches up a gear, leaving his pursuer trailing.

We are out together.  Jim trundling along in his own inimitable style.  Not sleek.  Not slender.  More shuffling, with a slight hint of skin roll as one paw passes another.  But then…..gadzooks!  A surprise burst of speed when the scent of water taints the air.

Until this point our time out has been leisurely, uneventful if you will.  We have enjoyed quiet calm, inhaled fresh misty air as our descent leads us towards a favourite haunt.  Of course Jim Lumpford, that spirited alter ego, does not view himself as canine.  He is Shackleton’s explorer and Indiana Jones’s adventurer all rolled into one.  A wild swimming expert and of course tough guy Private Detective.

So I sense the need to pick up my own pace, as I view Jim’s rear disappearing round a familiar cluster of trees, which I know leads into Brown Lagoon’s clearing.  However, it is not Brown Lagoon I dread him entering.  In fact, despite it’s colour, here lies a decievingly fresh water pool which serves as the perfect place to end a walk, where Jim can wash off the muddy evidence of his woodland tramp.  No, it is the innocent looking stream that snakes through to the other side which gives me that sinking feeling.  Literally!  Here there is a reminder of the industrial past which surrounds this place, as the stream is then channeled down a man-made chute, taking the water towards…..ahh….THE BOG FROM HELL!

I know he’s there.  He definitely headed in its general direction.  You see the memory of fine dining on fresh, spring wild garlic leaves is strong with him.  It is after all, his most favourite of all forages.  “No!” I cry out, “it’s the wrong time of year, your search is in vain my friend”.  Does he listen?  No he does not.

I call him.  I call again.  And again.  No sign.  So I make my way down the slippery bank side glancing over at the chute of doom beside me.  It glares back, as if to say, “If you think it’s slippy where you are, try putting a foot on here”.  It’s algae ridden slope mocking anyone who believes this may be an escape route.

It doesn’t take me long to see a familiar face at the the bottom.  “Jim” I say, “you’re ok!”.  He smiles back up at me, wagging his whole derrière furiously.  Reaching out to grab his collar urging him to jump out, it quickly dawns upon me that he is unable.  The collar slips off in my hand and Jim continues to giggle at my futile attempts to free him.

A dog stuck in a bog

Oh chute!

So, deep breath taken, I step down into the quagmire and stand beside him,  knee deep in squelch.  I gather my arms around this 39kg hunk (up from 34 last year oops!!), squat low, engaging whatever puny core I may have and even squeak out a “Roar”, as I attempt to pick up this guy and shove him to safety.  Nope.  Absolutely no movement whatsoever achieved.  “No lift!” I hear from the imaginary judging panel watching from the sides.  “Seems middle age spread has caught up with us both” sniggers Jim!

Therefore, avoiding further embarrassment, we wade our way downstream and manage to get a foothold on the bank further along.  Pushing through bramble and thicket, eventually we stumble back out onto the path.  At this point, Jim belies his 63 year old self, and sprints in circles in ecstatic joy, at the escapades that have just taken place.

Lead reattached, we regain our composure once more and head for home, hearts fluttering.  Just another dog day afternoon you may say.  A wry smile crosses Jim’s chocolate chops.  “Take that Old Father Time” he thinks to himself, who by now is nowhere to be seen.

Friend or Foe?

Friend or Foe?

There’s a lady who visits, she spends some time here,

You may notice, she’s missing a piece of her ear.

All part of her history, it’s chequered for sure,

But I’ll fill in the gaps, come….. lean in, for more.

When getting to know someone, there’s a long way to go

Discovering if this Missus, is Friend or Foe.

She goes by the name of Mrs Meow,

So sorry that’s as much as we know for now.

Supreme athleticism, so light of foot,

Hiding in shadow with fur black as soot.

But still I could not tell you so,

If this one is a Friend or Foe.

Motion and defenceless, heroes past and present watch on,

As the tormenter of souls teases with aplomb.

A remorseless huntress, fly away sparrow,

This kitty’s not on the straight and narrow.

Oh no I am but filled with woe,

Is this feline Friend or Foe?


An independent strong willed puss,

However, so very selective from whom she takes fuss.

So come to think of it Mrs Meow seems quite loyal

To her family.  Yes, we all feel quite royal.

So actually Foe? No!  Our Lady doth transcend,

Into being one awfully good Friend.

~ by Lucy Gray (yes that’s me!)







Jim Lumpford Returns

It has been a while.  There’s been a noticeable absence of a certain fellow.  Where has he been?  I am talking of course about our very own master of disguise Jim Lumpford.  That debonair chap who just happens to possess some similarities with a chocolate Labrador.  Well I can tell you he’s been mighty busy…..

I’ve been busy folks

During the warm weather we’ve been having over the last month, I feel that Jim has been drawn to certain places in the outdoors, which tend to ease the burden of that thick brown coat of his.  Between you and me he also has a penchant for eating wild vegetation, and if you look carefully here, he’s busy trying to pretend he is Farmer Giles so as not to get caught eating the produce!

Where is he?

Oh there he be!

Farmer Giles Lumpford

To seek out water in any of its forms.  He is like a man possessed and there is a gathering of speed in those shuffling legs, as the smell of H2O wafts through the air.  Oh and when he finds it there is a sigh of bliss…

Aah this is nice

Then a wallow


Then unbelievably signs that wallowing isn’t enough…..”I’m drifting, drifting” he thinks, until he drifts into a momentary snooze.

So good I just have to close my eyes for a bit

He does of course eventually crawl out of the clay sodden, mud pool he has so loved, proceeding head to tail shake.

The inevitable

As if that weren’t suffice to quench his thirst for the wet stuff, he continues onward through wooded dell, to happen upon a lagoon of not blue, but more brown.  Here he emerges as yet another creature…..yes….

The Creature of the Brown Lagoon

…..and in time the creature shows itself

Oh boy I feel good

Of course home eventually beckons and he resurfaces back on our doorstep to tell us of his tales, adventures, his life of incognito.  He then drifts again toward sleep, whilst still keeping an eye out for his nemesis….

I’m watching you missus

Before falling fast asleep!

Sorry I’ve gone

Until next time y’all!

The Power of the Dog

A post I hadn’t been planning to write, but the events of the week have compelled me to put into words my own feelings about a subject that is close to mine and I know many others’ hearts.   You may have guessed from the title, I am talking here about our relationships with our dogs.  Our loyal companion animals who connect with human beings.   Unspoken connections, of such intensity, devotion and loyalty, that when it comes to the time when one has to let them go, we are left behind, bereft in our grief.  This week, very good friends of ours lost their beloved dog.  And for our family and so many alike, we are able to understand the deep emotional impact this will have had on them.  That is the power of the dog you see.

I think in times like these, I find I am drawn to literature to help process the emotional storm that spins around within.  Sometimes we cannot put our feelings into words.  Just a swallow.  A gulp.  As we try to hold back the flow of tears again.  Tears that will be shed, at the most unexpected of times.  I’m fine, I’m fine, oh no…..I am not.  And so I was once again drawn to a poem that I had found, after the death of our own dog several years back.  It should come as no surprise then that it was penned by the great literary genius Rudyard Kipling.  For me when there are no words, this poem, truly expresses man’s connections with this most special of animals.  If you are familiar with this piece, I know you will already have your handkerchiefs poised.  If this is a first time viewing, then go get one!

And so I hand it over to Rudyard Kipling himself, ‘The Power of the Dog’  (please click on the link to view the poem)

Rolo and Rory enjoying life!




Introducing The Lumpford Files – A Labrador Tale

And now breaking for a brief interlude from the world of wool, I’d like to introduce you to ‘The Lumpford Files’.  My aim here is to include in my blog a series of short yarns concerning the exploits of our lovable pet Labrador Rolo, fondly known as ‘The Lump’.  This is a little piece, which may appear from time to time to inject a bit of fun.  After all we can’t take ourselves too seriously now can we!  Hopefully, before the sound of snores start wafting through the WiFi (which may have already occurred but as yet haven’t reached my ears).  Let’s be honest here, even the most woolly headed of us, who truly adore everything yarny, felted, weaved, knitted or crocheted, need to untwine ourselves once in a while.  Too much of a good thing, as the old saying goes!

Our very own impersonator


Oh no but, please not another Labrador tale you may say, which depicts the endeavors of one such of the chocolate variety.  Especially not one that masquerades as famous folk.  Groan, yes it is!  I believe I mentioned ‘madness’ in my first post.  As the title may suggest,  ‘The Lumpford Files’ is a nod to that marvellous 70’s TV detective Jim Rockford of The Rockford Files  (see what I did there!) For full effect I urge you to click on the link, the theme tune always brings a smile to my face.  I’m sure it will bring back fond memories for many of you!  Here he is our very own Jim Lumpford, who I’m sure you’ll agree bears a striking resemblance to James Garner’s tough guy character.  Chiselled good looks, bone structure and that hint of ex con turned good.

The Lumpford Files

Jim Lumpford

So our lump of a friend here not only provides us with that true, loyal companionship we so often hear about in the breed.  No sir, he can often be off on adventures pretending to be somebody else.  Our very own impersonator if you will.  Although officially named Rolo, that will likely change depending on the circumstances in which he finds himself.  For instance below we can see him at full pelt, not to be mistaken for the powerhouse Linford Christie.  The style is certainly not as graceful as the great man himself, but it has to be said he’s putting his all in!

The Lumpford Files

Lumpford Christie

Being from a nation of animal lovers, it is by now probably obvious that I join ranks with them.  This dog is a constant companion in our family, a big, cuddly bear of a lump-a-dor whom we all love dearly.

So keep your eyes peeled for this master of disguise, who knows who he’ll present himself as next……and on that note it’s back to some knitting!