Merry Christmas from Hanoi and highlights from the Isle of Man

Merry Christmas a day late! We are now back in Hanoi with baby Wilfred, while Tala has stayed behind with my parents. I will try to do a few more posts on Hanoi before we leave in March, but sadly they will not feature the hound. This post is rather a hodgepodge of some of my favourite photos of Tala, Wilfred, family, and the Isle of Man which I took over the last two months while my parents kindly put me up/put up with me (and the hound)! I had wanted to do more posts about the Isle of Man but parenthood is proving to be busy work.

The first four photos below were taken with the wonderful Rolleiflex from 1941 which is still going strong! More about the camera in a past post here.

Wilfred is acclimatizing well in Hanoi now that he is over jetleg! conicalhat

Back to the Isle of Man….

Tala has settled in extremely well despite not being accustomed to such cold weather. She’s been loving the freedom of galloping on beaches, frolicking through rockpools, and scrambling up rocky cliff faces.

Although we usually walked around Langness and along Castletown Beach (photos here) and sometimes South Barrule (photos here), we headed one day to Dhoon Glen in the Northeast. One of my favourite walks goes down steep steps through the dark and mossy glen before opening up to a stunning, secluded slate beach. Pictures from our picnic below.

Another sunny, but extremely windy day, we took Wilfred and the hound on a walk around the headland near Cregneash village. After a few kilometers along the cliffs the hound was struggling to stand upright with the intense wind so we headed inland to Cregneash, once a traditional Manx crofting village, now an open air museum. Tala had her first encounter with Manx Loaghtan sheep, a peculiar four-horned breed native to the Isle of Man. They were very curious about Tala and surprisingly friendly for sheep.

One of the other unusual things to do on the Isle of Man is to take the Victorian era steam train, which runs 15 miles in the South of the Island from Port Erin to Douglas. Dogs are allowed in the trains as long as they keep off the seats so we brought Tala along with my brother and his family for a ride from Castletown to Douglas.

Although Tala still behaves rather nervously around unfamiliar dogs, she has otherwise become very confident when out on walks and surprisingly disciplined as long as a treat is involved! Posing for photographs seems to be her speciality (Photos here), but once she completely surprised me by running over to a stranger, who was shaking a can of treats to try to get her wayward labrador to come back, and promptly sat politely by her side. Needless to say, she did exactly the right thing as the young lab soon came over copying Tala’s behaviour. Below are photos from our walks around Langness and on to Castletown beach, a popular place for kite surfers as well as dog walkers.

It was a great few months getting used to having baby Wilfred, spending time with my parents and brother’s family, as well as letting the hound get to know Wilfred. I look forward to having Tala back with us when we return to the UK in March, but for now back to Hanoi for a few houndless posts in the new year!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone!

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