They treated me fantastically well, and laid on a tour guide and a professional photographer! I decided not to mention that I was actually a retired ambassador, just in case they toned down the VIP treatment. We had a wonderful time learning all about stuff like energy, and recycling and plants and buildings. And Sam! They had the most enormous crane! I wanted a photo for you but it was just too big to fit in.
Here’s a few snaps:
Me and my photographer
No! This is not my empties pile…they make buildings out of all kinds of things here at CAT!
Here I am pondering the fate of the planet, on the photovoltaic panels
I was talked into having a ‘look’ inside the wind tunnel. And of course some joker had to turn it on and blah, blah, blah…you get the picture. Personally, I’m not sure they weren’t all laughing at me, but being a fit and healthy young hound I had no problems resisting this powerful force of nature!
It was a great visit and I couldn’t wait to get to the next fun place on our tour. Abby was being a bit coy by now and after quite a drive…
…we got to Aberystwyth University. Turns out Abby was doing a talk to some students about a different charity – the Oldies Club. Now I am more than happy to help other great charities, but boy these were a hard crowd! But after a few winning smiles from me, and some corker jokes, they all relaxed and I think Abby was very glad I was there to break the ice.
As a reward for my helping out, Abby said she was taking me to a Very Special Place. When we arrived at this big warehouse called ‘Bookers’ I really didn’t think much of it and thought I’d have preferred a tool along the seafront, but we had to stay. Abby, it seemed, had come shopping.
Me and some boring drink called ‘Water’
But then…boy oh boy! You could have knocked me down with a feather. I have never, ever, seen that much alcohol! Retirement rocks! Can you spot me?
Sigh…such happy days.
Shopping for pub supplies is hard work!
Thursday 7 May
Today I have woken up in a thoughtful mood. My visit to CAT yesterday seems to have left a lasting impression on me. I learnt that there is this thing called a ‘Carbon Footprint’ and even dogs with paws can have one, especially jet setting hounds like myself.
A Carbon Footprint can be good or bad, and mine is almost certainly dodgy, what with all the international travel I do. I was up half the night thinking what I could do about this. It’s tricky as we have to travel to do Dogstar work. But I think I have come up with a nice little plan. This morning I had a quiet word with Abby and she agreed to make a small purchase on my behalf.
Here I am buying two plants that will help soak up all that nasty carbon that planes put in the air when I fly around.
Today I am a sober(ish) hound, doing my bit for the planet.
Friday 8 May
I’m beginning to suspect that this is not, after all, retirement. I have been all around pub the last few days talking to people about Dogstar and the place is buzzing with talk of the work we do. My day trip (my one and only day trip!) was nice, but suspiciously full of Dogstar talk. Hmm. I hope I haven’t made a horrible mistake.
Still, I’ve been having fun with the gang. Today I listened to cool jazz with Betty and Ray:
I did some very important bar work for Kev, the man in charge – broaching new casks of ale!
And I then sampled said ale and, possibly, got a bit carried away with some high jinx with my new friend Redrock…
Saturday 9 May
Okay, so I am now 85% sure this is not retirement. Or if it is, Sam! Get me outta here! Running a pub turns out to be long hours and hard work. Despite helping out loads behind the bar with the beer, they’ve also had me polishing glasses:
and clearing dirty plates! Yuck!
But then Abby said I could have some down time, so it was off to the piano for some tunes:
I snaffled some bar snacks:
Hung out with some of the darts team guys:
And generally just did my best to fit in!
Sunday 10 May
Today was an important day! At the close of the pub, we drew the all important Dogstar Foundation Grand Raffle! I‘ve been working hard all week to sell the tickets and am very pleased with how it went. The raffle was drawn by a member of the darts team, mysteriously called ‘Puggy’, but a very nice chap despite the name.
Here’s me and Puggy after drawing the winning tickets:
First prize was a meal at the pub, won by a young buck named Mikey. Second prize of a bottle of wine went to my old pal Redrock. We raised £24 for Dogstar and I was really pleased. Thanks to the pub customers!
Monday 11 May
My last day at Tafarn Dwynant! I am at peace now with the idea that this is not my retirement but merely yet another interesting pause in my jaunt around the world. But I didn’t feel like I had really seen much of the countryside round here, so while Abby was off in Birmingham for the day, me and Kev took the hairy mutts off up a nearby mountain to be manly.
We had a great yomp up and down the hills. Here I am having a well earned rest. What a view!
All in all it has been a wonderful visit, despite them actually working me rather hard and that silly little misunderstanding about retirement. I’ve had some brilliant experiences, though I don’t think I will forget that very near miss with the darts any time soon!
So, the time has come for me to move on. I feel I will return to this hilly place. I hope so. Goodbye Wales!
This is Sirius, Dogstar Ambassador, signing off.