Granny and dog, Llanberis

Granny and dog, Llanberis

Death, as someone once wisely observed, is Nature’s way of getting you to slow down. Some of us, luckily, have no intention of stopping until we actually get to that point, and I was rather pleased to discover I have company during a recent outing to Llanberis.

Llanberis is famous for many things, including being at the foot of Snowdon and home to the Snowdon Mountain Railway, the Electric Mountain and the Slate Museum, the latter charting the history of the local slate works. The cafe by the mountain railway terminus sells a mean Cornish pastie as well, but that is by the bye…

We go there often – the lure of the Cornish pastie is hard to resist! In addition Parc Padarn, beside the Slate Museum, is a great place to walk the dogs. They lollop around, splashing in the many lakes that were carved out of the slate in the days when the area was full of slate workings, and generally having a whale of a time.

I, being a granny, am getting to the age where my aches and pains do not help this process (the walking, not the pastie eating. I am still pretty good at eating pasties). Occasionally, while marvelling at the wonders of nature and the energy of the dogs, I find myself wondering if the whole experience would be better if I were, say, 30 years younger.

The answer to this wondering came at the end of a walk, when I was taking a well-earned rest near the craft shops. One of the shops is home to a couple of collies and, clever dogs that they are, they had found their own amusement. One in particular was having a wonderful time – it had a ball, which it would place temptingly in front of passers-by, dodging around in a hopeful way. If it had had a big sign with ‘please kick this ball for me’, it couldn’t have been any plainer.

I was surprised, though perhaps I shouldn’t be, by the number of people who obliged, giving the ball a quick shove to the dog’s evident delight. Most moved on quickly, as people tend to do, but then the dog had the good luck to meet the lady pictured above. She may not look like the most likely footballer to you, or even me, but to the dog, she was perfect.

Indeed, she really was – she began to play ball with the dog with gusto, and before long the pair were having a jolly good kickabout worthy of Pele himself. The dog had all the energy of its youth, but the granny clearly had turbo-boosters on her perseverance, because she kept at it. When I left, with a big smile on my face, she was still having fun with the collie.

I realised then – life isn’t about aches and pains, or feeling you must reach point B faster than the person next to you. Life is what you make of it – and in particular, it’s about how much enjoyment you are prepared to gift to others, and yourself. For this insight, I salute a great old lady, one granny to another. Next week, I’m going back to see if I can arrange a rematch.