Monday, December 31, 2007

happy lurching new year



here is a picture of my new lady friend, dear readers. she loves the sun. this may be because she spent most of her life, before she came to us, living in a dark shed. i have to admit, when she first moved in, i had my nose put out of joint a bit. after all, i have been used to being top dog for years. but i quickly realised that all she wanted was a place to live where she got some grub and some daylight and where no-one hit her.

the day herself brought my lady friend home she said that what our family needed just now was a creature who made us realise just what a lot we had. the peeps have been feeling a little sorry for themselves lately. but they never had to watch their friends being killed by being hit on the head with a shovel. they never have to fight for crusts of bread. they sleep in a comfy bed and they see daylight every day.

i have to admit to feeling a little chastened. i was a bit grumpy about having to share my peeps and my boy. but they have made a real effort to remind me i am still king dog. every time my boy feels the need to pat the little lady he pats me first. and if i'm not big enough to share all this love with a little lady who has had, not to put too fine a point on it, a shitty time, i don't have the right to call myself a lurcher.

so, dear readers, i say have a happy new year. don't forget what you have. and spread kindness wherever you can, the world is a little short of it.

Monday, December 24, 2007

phoebe!

hello readers! i know many of you will be desperate to know the full story of my new lady friend. herself has been trying to write a post for several days but she cannot get the picture thingy to work so you will have to wander over to flickr to see pictures of her.

as regular readers will know, the peeps have been looking for a hairy lady for me for some time. herself was indulging in her favourite occupation of laptopping when she saw a post on a lurcher forum about a lady lurcher who was desperate for a new home. so she got on the phone to the number given. it turned out the lady in question was in north devon which is some distance from us. the peeps had a hurried discussion as to how to go about collecting her. there was a certain degree of urgency about this following a rather unfortunate incident involving two cats.

the arrangements were complicated somewhat by the fact that my boy was off school with a hacking cough. he did not jump at the chance to travel down to devon and back in one day. he wanted to spend the day coughing over his computer keyboard. he was given the option of going to school and coughing there or or coming in the car with us. and there was the small matter of young rokit. herself felt that the new lady meeting rokit should be postponed for a little while and i have to say i did not relish being confined in the back of the car having my ears chewed for several hours.

herself is nothing if not a woman of action. she got on the phone to mr and mrs rokit and it was agreed that mr rokit would take young rokit to work with him. he is building a wooden floor for some people and the idea was that rokit would help. herself then had the brainwave of offering mr rokit my boy's expert puppy-sitting services. this was jumped at by all concerned. my boy looked forward to a day on someone else's sofa with a telly to watch that might actually have a fully-functional volume control rather than the choice between shouting and whispering that is offered by the peeps' ancient steam-powered telly.

so herself and i headed off very early the following day with a flask of tomato soup and a cheese sandwich. the plan was that himself would drop my boy off with mr rokit in auntie bernie's fiat (auntie bernie has purchased sparky the audi, which has allowed the peeps to pay off most of the credit cards) and herself would take himself's car. we had just got to southampton when the phone rang. it was himself.

"it won't start!" he wailed. usually this sort of phone call would be filled with some choice language but herself had taken the precaution of extracting a promise that he would not ring her up and swear at her so he was forced to keep it clean. herself suggested he ring the breakdown people. himself is allergic to phones so herself ended up on the phone trying to explain to the breakdown people that she was actually on the other side of
southampton in a car that was clearly working but that they needed to go and rescue himself and the dead fiat on the drive at home.

we had just entered
dorset when the phone went again. it was himself.

"its broken down on the roundabout!" the roundabout in question is about 2 miles from the house. herself suggested that he ring the breakdown people again. this idea did not meet with much enthusiasm. himself said the fiat was as much use as a chocolate teapot. at this point we went down a hill and the signal on the phone went. herself realised that it would appear as though she had hung up on himself, which would do nothing for his temper, and that he would not ring the breakdown people even in circumstances such as these. the picture of my boy sitting coughing on a roundabout was not a good one.

we tried several telephone boxes, none of which worked. then we pulled into
macdonalds in search of a phone. the staff kindly allowed herself to use the one in their office. it went to himself's voicemail so herself left a grovelling message and we went on our way. it later transpired that himself and my boy had got the bus home, a story fit for a blog post all of its own, with my boy carrying various imitation firearms and wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses and himself looking bearded and murderous, amidst some rather funny old ladies. i will ask my boy to write about this another time as this is already a rather extensive missive.

eventually we got to
devon and found the kind man who had taken care of phoebe. the minute we had got out of the car phoebe jumped in and had to be coaxed out. she obviously knew she was coming with us. we had a little run around in a field and herself had a cuppa with the kind man before we headed home. i rather let the side down in my initial encounter with my new lady friend. in my defence i can only say that she had the aroma of a cowshed and it was not immediately apparent to me that she was a lady. things are settling down now but i am having to be on my best behaviour.

phoebe has had a life that would turn most of us into vicious and miserable monsters. she was kept in a shed for years and did not even have a name. the evil people that owned her killed their other two dogs with a shovel. she is pitifully thin and her coat was really matted. herself is slowly sorting the hairdressing issues out and the canine supermodel is eating like a horse. even at her most pitiful when she first arrived, she wagged her tail and licked the peeps.

i have to say now my lady friend smells a bit sweeter she is growing on me...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

christmas quiz

i have been tagged again, dear readers. this time it is a christmas quiz, sent to us by maddy.

as usual it was impossible to get herself to join in unless i did it first. so here are my answers:

1) Wrapping paper or gift bags?

i find the paper easier to remove without being discovered

2) Real tree or artificial?

real - much nicer to cock one's leg on

3) When do you put up your tree?

i leave it to the peeps - they seem to get it sorted eventually

4) When do you take the tree down?

it depends how long i can refrain from crashing into it while doing a circuit of the house

5) Do you like eggnog?

i'm sure i would

6) Favorite gift received as a child?

a red collar

7) Do you have a Nativity scene?

no

8) The hardest person to buy for?

i leave all that present stuff to the peeps

9) The easiest person to buy for?

see 8

10) The worst Christmas gift you ever received?

the reindeer horns

11) Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?

e-mail this year - rokit and i did the honours

12) Favorite Christmas movie?

101 dalmations or lassie

13) When do you start shopping for Christmas?

i try and get started on the thieving of morsels in january so as to build up my strength

14) Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

yes

15) Favorite things to eat at Christmas?

venison

16) Clear lights or colored on the tree?

so long as i can see the trunk to take aim i have no preference

17) Favorite Christmas song?

how much is that doggy in the window

18) Travel at Christmas or stay home?

stay home

19) Can you name all Santa's reindeer?

boney, bit fatty, tasty, scrummy, old and tough...

20) Angel on the tree top or a star?

no idea - the old eyesight isn't what it was

21) Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?

whenever the peeps aren't looking

22) Most annoying thing about this time of year?

extra vigilance in the kitchen on the part of the peeps

23) What is the "corniest" family tradition you do or miss doing?

that whole silly paper hat thing. they don't work if your ears are on the top of your head

24) Ugliest Christmas decorations ever invented?

those balls that when you grab them turn out to be glass

25) Which looks the best...theme trees or homey trees?

anything with a decent trunk

26) What does Christmas mean to you?

lots of fuss from my boy

. . .

and here are hers (much less interesting i feel):

1) Wrapping paper or gift bags?

cheap brown paper with celtic signs that i stamp on in gold ink (i wait until after they are wrapped before doing the stamping so as not to stamp bits the recipient won't see - i'm lazy like that)

2) Real tree or artificial?

always real but this year instead of a tree a huge branch cut off our eucalyptus tree and decorated. my son wailed "why can't we be more normal?" when he saw it so next year we have agreed on an artificial tree.

3) When do you put up your tree?

my son's birthday is 14 december so we generally put the tree/branch up the day after.

4) When do you take the tree down?

just after new year's day.

5) Do you like eggnog?

not altogether sure what it is!

6) Favorite gift received as a child?

a dolls house made by my mum and dad - a rare occasion of co-operation between them!

7) Do you have a Nativity scene?

no

8) The hardest person to buy for?

my husband

9) The easiest person to buy for?

my son

10) The worst Christmas gift you ever received?

not sure...

11) Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?

e-mail this year

12) Favorite Christmas movie?

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs.

13) When do you start shopping for Christmas?

very late in the day usually. this year we are making all the presents and in theory i have had the time to start early but have still left it too late!

14) Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

yes

15) Favorite things to eat at Christmas?

curry

16) Clear lights or colored on the tree?

i like white but my son likes coloured, so we have coloured on our branch

17) Favorite Christmas song?

the one by wizard

18) Travel at Christmas or stay home?

this year at home but we have in the past rented a cottage with friends sometimes

19) Can you name all Santa's reindeer?

er, no. joker ate them all...

20) Angel on the tree top or a star?

neither - a very old and battered father christmas that has been in my husband's family for years

21) Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?

morning

22) Most annoying thing about this time of year?

my husband moaning about christmas all the time

23) What is the "corniest" family tradition you do or miss doing?

family traditions in my family were more of the type that involved letters from lawyers ...

24) Ugliest Christmas decorations ever invented?

tricky one - quite a lot of them are ugly. i have to agree that the inflatable ones are pretty terrible

25) Which looks the best...theme trees or homey trees?

not sure what either of these is - our trees/branches tend to be shambolic and home-made with a sort of christmassy theme - does that count?

26) What does Christmas mean to you?

generally: about how a homeless family found shelter and kindness and how a baby being born reminded everyone what really mattered. our own christmas: being warm and cosy and sharing what we have with friends and family.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

the festive season



dear readers, here is my very own e-card! herself made it on the internet. you will see that my young friend rokit had to have a false beard for the photo shoot as his own beard, while promising, is really not yet up to full strength.

himself is not very festive, it has to be said. in fact he is decidedly grouchy. part of this is his general attitude to all the kerfuffle that goes on at this time of year. from what i gather, the whole christmas thing is to remember a homeless family with no money. somewhere along the line this has been transformed into a massive shopathon. the peeps have been fairly good at avoiding the worst excesses of consumerism. herself has in the past done her christmas shopping on the internet. as regular readers will know she can shop without getting out of bed, with the aid of her laptop.

however, this year the peeps have a limited budget. this is something of a euphemism (a euphemism is a type of saying, dear readers). the peeps have no money. christmas shopping is a no no. they are making home-made presents for everyone. this plan seemed a good idea a few weeks ago. it fitted in with the ecologically sound, low-carbon-footprint, knit-your-own-cleaning-products way of life. but as christmas approaches it seems much less attractive. the place is awash with bags of fabric. himself is making fudge, but unfortunately keeping an eagle eye on the ingredients, so i am unable to tell you whether it will be edible.

herself has been trying to keep things cheerful for my boy's sake. he is a great lover of christmas. his birthday is just before christmas (he was supposed to make an appearance in january but like herself, my boy does not do waiting). herself managed to purchase an electric guitar on e-bay for his birthday. he is spending his time doing a passable impression of a rockstar.

on the morning of my boy's birthday herself was making a cake. the usual plan is to make a cake in the shape of his current obsession. however, an AK47 is not a shape that is easily translated into cake, especially when herself is the chef. so she decided on a square cake.

just as she put it in the oven the post arrived. it has to be said, this particular batch of post was a bit of a downer even by current standards. the first letter was from the human resources department where herself works. it said that, as she has now been off sick for 6 months, her pay will go down to half pay as from 22 december. herself had been aware that this would happen, but true to form she had miscalculated the date and had thought she had until january.

the second letter was from her boss at work. it said that her job is at risk of redundancy. this is nothing to do with her being off sick. the whole of her team is at risk of redundancy. there is in fact no money to pay them after april. the letter finished in a masterpiece of corporate-speak: "i appreciate the timing and content of this letter are not ideal in terms of your health..."

the third letter was from the building society. these are the people who lent the peeps the money to buy our house. on the face of it this letter promised to be more cheerful. it said that interest rates had gone down and therefore the mortgage rate would also be going down. however it concluded that as the peeps were on a fixed rate mortgage this would not affect them. this raised a bit of a chuckle. its nice to see herself can see the funny side of things.

we have guests for the festivities. lupin the lurcher and his peeps are coming. i have been told in no uncertain terms that i am to wind in my teeth and behave or i will find myself in the doghouse. maybe i can come to an arrangement with him on the question of pilfering food. i think that is one area where we see eye to eye...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

tagged!

dear readers, it seems that i have been tagged by graham, prince and tilly too. i didn't feel a thing either. what i have to do, i think, is to answer some questions about myself. i also have to post the rules on my blog:

Rules:Link to the tagger and post these rules on your blog. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

herself refused to have anything to do with this unless i did it first. so here are my five things:

1. like an old sea dog, i sleep in a hammock.

2. i like nothing more than cuddling up by the fire with my boy, who i adore.

3. on more than one occasion, my liking for venison has got me into serious trouble.

4. i may be about to become betrothed to a slender lady called lara. i can't wait to meet her.

5. i prefer to drink out of the pond than out of my bowl. this is because i like to frighten the fish.

and these are herself's five things:

1. in 1988 herself travelled round the world on her own. as she crossed the international dateline she lost a whole day of her life. the only way to get this day back would be to travel the whole way round the world in the other direction.

2. herself once went to a wedding wearing a trouser suit she had made out of bright green curtains. everyone thought it was some fancy designer label.

3. when herself was 14, she went to a party at a nudist club with her friend. they spent the whole night fully-dressed because it was so cold.

4. herself used to drive a plastic car called a reliant scimitar. it was like a reliant robin only with 4 wheels and a much bigger engine.

5. herself bites her nails - it is much cheaper than smoking, but more painful.

now i have to tag 5 people. not only that but i have to link to them, which may be beyond my technical ability. so instead, anyone who reads this is invited, nay ordered, to tell the world 5 things about themselves. over to you readers, i'm exhausted!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

puppy control

readers, you will see that i have developed a new method of keeping young rokit under control. he seems to quite like to sleep like this so we are both happy.

Friday, December 07, 2007

clamming up


out of focus? yes i know. but what are you to do when you have a moving subject?

i should explain. a couple of days ago herself and i went for a walk on the beach with young rokit. as he has now been persuaded that re-cycling has a limit (if i explain you would really rather i hadn't, believe me), she has now got the chance to examine the shore for things to take home. as well as a large lobster pot that both rokit and i had tried to persuade her was best left alone, she also picked up some shells. these were for the bathroom. i am not sure why people think bathrooms=shells. as far as i know the sea does not smell of lavender, nor is it hot.

anyway, herself brought home the above shell. it was not until later that she noticed that it was not just a one sided shell but in fact had another side to it. don't we all? she placed it somewhere cool to observe it.

after a couple of days in her pocket i suspect the poor thing would have given the reith lecture to get back home. funnily enough the shell opened. it didn't say much but clams are notorious for being tight-lipped, so this was to be expected. then it closed again, when my boy patted it gently on its shell.

so it was decided that it had to be replaced on the shore. himself left early for work, in spite of the rain being horizontal, with the clam in a little plate. he found just the right spot and placed it carefully where it might be comfortable.

when he arrived at work, his colleagues expressed surprise at the level of dishevelment, even for a member of our family, and how he had got so wet. he had to explain that not only does our family go in for lurcher rescue but, in spite of herself's partiality to spaghetti vongole, we also go in for a bit of clam rescue too...

Saturday, December 01, 2007

a double!


esme, originally uploaded by mystics_adventures.

dear readers, it seems i have a double! here is a picture of her. she is called esme. even her eyes are the same way round as mine! she is a little less grey than me but i gather she is much younger, so that is only to be expected.

enjoying a bit of dog-time

my boy shares my views about the fairer sex. we often have chats about how to keep the little ladies happy. herself, who is of a rather independent mind, cannot understand how she produced such an unreconstructed creature.

today he came up with a gem. he was talking to herself about the best way to control anger.

"i think the best way to calm someone down is to throw them into a very cold pool," he announced.

"what an interesting idea," mused herself, "so next time you are angry i should throw you in the pond?"

"oh, no," said my boy, "it only works on women."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

love is in the air...


dear readers, i am in love! the object of my affections is the lovely lady shown above. she is a little nervy, having had not too great a time in the past, but i am sure with the odd little cuddle from me and my boy she would soon settle down ( i should add, for the benefit of my more smutty-minded readers, that this would be a purely platonic relationship on account of me no longer having the old wedding tackle).

herself has taken to browsing the internet looking at pictures of homeless lurchers. this all started because the puppy-sitting has been such a success. young rokit and i get on like a house on fire. herself has always thought two dogs would be nice but my sometimes grouchy temperament has put her off finding me a wife. however the fun and games with rokit have put a spring back into my step which is quite obvious to anyone. yesterday the peeps were sitting watching rokit and i sprawled out in front of the fire when herself broached the wife question.

"the old fella has really taken to having someone to share the fire with." she said.

"yes" agreed himself.

"i think he would like a wife," she went on.

"er, no," said himself, it has to be said rather half-heartedly. behind this lies a tale.

i used to have a wife called maisie. she was an aberration in herself's dog ownership. herself has had dogs since she left home at 18. they have usually been crosses of collie with something. they have all been rescued from grim lives. maisie's predecessor was a border collie called lad. he had been ill-treated, having been a farm dog on a farm where his owner had moved on without taking the dogs. when the dogs were found, tied up in a barn, all but lad had to be destroyed.

lad was terrified and starved. when herself took him home he would not come near her. so she got a good book and sat in the garden. this went on for several days. as lad had been tied up he was in the habit of running in small circles and it was not long before he had worn his own track. eventually he came up to herself for a sniff. she pretended not to notice. after a couple more days he licked her hand. this was the beginning of a friendship that lasted 12 years. my boy's first word was 'lad'.

when lad got old he got poorly. herself tried all sorts of treatment suggested by the vet but it was obviously not helping. he had a sad, resigned look in his eyes. herself decided the least she could do for him was not to let him suffer, after all the years of devotion he had given her.

when the peeps got home from the vets they could not bear to be in the house. it was clear they had to find another dog pretty soon. but herself could not stand the thought of another collie, so soon after lad. so they decided on an airedale terrier. this was how maisie came into their lives. in their defence it has to be said that they were grief-stricken. no-one of sound mind would take on an airedale.

maisie the airedale was so mad they had to put her in kennels when they went to stay the night anywhere as she was in the habit of smashing up people's houses. however this proved fortunate for me. on one occasion they were picking up the old girl from the kennels when herself saw a sign - "male lurcher needs home". she asked the kennel lady if she could have a peek. it was love at first sight. my boy and himself were retrieved from the car to have a gander at me. they too agreed they were the family for me. i was introduced to maisie the airedale. arrangements were made for a homecheck visit, although this was something of a formality, given that the kennels people knew that anyone who could cope with mad maisie could cope with any dog on the planet.

after a little bit of posturing maisie and i reached an accommodation. i would be in charge and she would get any feminist nonsense out of her pretty little head. this worked well, at least from my point of view.

i have been single for many years now and a bit of female company would be nice. young rokit would have to mind his language in front of a member of the fairer sex but i think we could rub along fine. it is just a matter of persuading the lurcher rescue people that we are nice...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

watch this!

this is a film that mrs crazymumma pointed herself to. it is a speech by a very funny and very wise man. he knows that people like my boy, and indeed all my peeps, have one or two things up their sleeves. that's a saying, dear readers. it means they are not quite a daft as you might think. this little film has cheered herself up quite a lot. thank you, mrs crazymumma!

Friday, November 23, 2007

keyboard skills



my boy is in a bit of bother at school. he is on report. this is because he is in a bit of a state about stuff. he cannot stop chattering in the class and as most of his chatter is what is known as 'inappropriate', being largely derived from a smutty american cartoon called family guy, it doesn't make for a peaceful life.

his lovely teacher has made him a little place of his own on the school intranet. it is to do stuff that might let off a bit of steam and that might help him feel a bit better about himself. so herself sat down with him last night with the new laptop so they could look at his place on the intranet. she is a little possessive about the new laptop and doesn't really like people using it. my boy was clicking away, saying he would like a map of the school so he could plan terrorist attacks. he was getting a bit stuck with where to click. herself tried to help.

"how about we try 'control click' to see if we can get this window to open?" she said, while wresting the laptop back into her bit of the table.

"how about we try 'control freak?' retorted my boy, on the nail as usual.

today my boy was ill so he didn't go to school. he had to come to collect little rokit with us. in order to cut the wingeing about feeling rough down, herself said he could bring the video camera. my boy filmed us all running around on the beach. later he edited it into a home movie. my boy is a dab hand with the camera. he showed the peeps.

"i hate films of me!" wailed herself. "i look so fat and my voice is silly!"

"you look like elton john!" said my boy. herself looked even more glum. i think he meant it as a compliment. like when he said she looked like a wrestler in her sleeveless vest...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

football

a quick aside; it seems the football didn't go very well this evening. unless you were croatian, in which case it went very well indeed. himself takes this sort of thing seriously. he is decidedly glum. i don't think herself helped matters by saying: "its their partners i feel sorry for, think how grumpy they will be when they get home this evening!"

yoga



mrs flutter has been writing about yoga today. i am a yoga fan. every morning herself rolls out of bed, rolls out a rubber mat and rolls around on it. well, she doesn't exactly roll on the mat but i got on a bit of a roll with the roll thing...

the very least i can do is to join in. after all, they must have named the 'downward dog' thing after a dog. in the picture above i am not really doing yoga - i am playing football. the proper downward dog pose has my head much lower down. but you get the idea.

it is a necessary part of my morning routine to do my dog yoga. herself gets a little tetchy that i want to share her mat when there is a whole house where i could do it. but as mrs flutter points out, when yoga comes in, personal space goes out of the window. (i am not sure space can go out of a window but never mind, i'm sure you get my drift.)

herself has got much better at yoga since she lost a little weight. she is quite a wobbly sort of character and a lot of the wobbliness is concentrated round the front in the form of a fine belly. while a fine belly is useful for packing in a lot of spaghetti, it does get in the way when doing yoga. it is a testament to herself's extreme bendiness that even with the belly she could put her palms flat on the floor by her feet with her legs straight. now the belly is a little thinner she can almost tie herself in a knot.

most people do yoga in a calm, controlled sort of way. i have seen videos of them. herself decided this sort of yoga took too long. luckily she discovered a type of yoga designed for maniacs. it is called ashtanga. even a lurcher cannot keep up with it. no sooner have i slid down into 'downward dog' than the man on the dvd has told us we should be doing 'upward dog', or bouncing like frogs into the plank position. its no wonder my fur is going grey...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

without a paddle


hello dear readers! i hope you have all had a lovely weekend. myself and the peeps have been lolling around all day building up our strength for the week ahead. this evening we had visitors. our neighbours came round. they are lovely people and it seems at least one of them is a reader of my musings. so:

hello dom!

now back to the main subject of the evening. as regular readers may know, the peeps bake their own bread in a funny little machine. it mangles up the ingredients and bakes them in a little bucket. this is always assuming someone remembered to put the bucket in
of course. anyway, this evening my boy was again delegated to make the bread. he dutifully followed the recipe and set the timer and kicked off the bread. a few hours later the beeping noise told them it was ready. but the bread machine lied! what awaited the peeps was not bread. nor was it cake. it was a pile of dust! my boy had spent the whole evening trying to demonstrate to the neighbours that the peeps did not feed him and he had to eat dust so this was quite fitting.

my boy rushed in. himself asked him which ingredient he had forgotten, but all were accounted for. then all became clear. it was a mechanical problem. herself had put the bucket into the dishwasher. while it was there it had disgorged its paddle. the paddle is an essential part of the kit. it is what stirs the dough. so without the paddle there was no stirring. as himself so eloquently put it, the bread was "bollocks". to make matters worse my boy stuck his finger into the middle to feel the non-bread and, of course, burnt his finger. this meant he could spin out bedtime for some time, while he held it under the cold tap.

all is now calm. now all we have to get our heads round is tomorrow, and being rokited...




Saturday, November 17, 2007

changing spots


well readers, herself has manufactured a new bag for her laptop. it came with a rather pristine white girly bag. herself could not be described as girly in any shape or form. her grandmother always referred to her as a tomboy. that is until herself was proudly showing her grandmother her new 350cc motorbike some years ago. grandmother, somewhat predictably, said, "you always were a tomboy!"

"ah no," herself retorted swiftly, "its called being a feminist now!"

so the girly bag was a bit of a puzzle. when she posted a picture of it on the net several people admired it. so herself decided to make a more suitable bag and give the girly bag away. last night she got out her sewing machine. (a quick aside, dear readers. my boy saw a sewing shop the other day and asked if it was where lawyers worked. you have to say it how it looks to see why this is funny...)

in no time this new bag was produced. i have to say i breathed a sigh of relief. it meant the end of being dresssed up as a leopard...

Friday, November 16, 2007

well hench


here you can see me and young rokit on our way to the beach. the puppy-sitting is going well. herself is rather firm with the little chap and has taken to squirting him with a plant sprayer when he chews my ears, which seems to do the trick. now she just has to say 'leave' and he runs in the other direction before she has to reach for it. i would not put it past her to try it on my boy when be is being recalcitrant.

yesterday i had the honour of meeting rokit's boy. he came out to give my old ears a stroke when we picked up the young fella. he is a bit older than my boy and is something of a skate-boarding wizard. a skateboard is a piece of wood with wheels on which enables you to whizz along. its not quite a hostess trolley - a little bit nearer the ground and decidedly more useful.

herself has some skateboarding shoes. when she bought them she did not know they were skateboarding shoes. she bought them because they are wide and she has wide feet. when she wore them to work, one of her youth worker colleagues told her they were 'hard-core skater's shoes'. herself had a brief moment of feeling a bit cool and hip. when she got home she showed my boy the shoes.

"they look like santa's-little-helper shoes!" he said. it has to be said this is not a bad description of them. they are rather cute. herself's cool-and-hip-o-meter plummeted.

rokit's boy seems to have a cool turn of phrase, no doubt helped by the skateboarding. it seems that he told mrs rokit about meeting me. he described me as "well hench." i think this is probably a compliment. i do hope so...

Monday, November 12, 2007

a guest post from rokit



hello! joker has kindly allowed me to do a post on his blog. it seems there is a trend for people doing guest posts on each other's blogs so joker has said he can see no reason why dogs can't do it too. i hope you will excuse any mistakes - i am having to rely on joker's mum to do the typing.

just to introduce myself. i am a lurcher. joker's dad works with my mum which is how i came to meet joker and his peeps. i used to go to work with my dad. he has a wonderful job. there are endless bits of wood to chew. however, things went a bit haywire and he can't always take me to work any more. so on those days i am looked after by joker. he is quite a good sort, a bit lazy sometimes. i suppose he is a bit older than me.

joker's mum is ok, i suppose. the only trouble is she bosses me around. she has a rolled up newspaper called a rokit-swatter which makes a horrible noise if she whacks the ground with it. i have learnt to tune out the noise of this now by quietly humming grover washington tracks to myself. so she has found another means of torture. it is a plant sprayer. just when i have got a firm hold of joker's ear a jet of ice cold water will catch me, ruining my concentration.

joker and i play a great game called 'bet you can't get me on the floor'. he got this idea from his dad and his boy. joker's boy is very tall and very skinny. i think he must be a lurcher too. he has reached the age where he has to keep fighting with his dad all the time. joker's dad is a quiet sort. but my is he strong! when joker's boy says to him "bet you can't get me on the floor!" he is almost immediately pinned on the floor by a big hand. i think joker has been picking up tips. he has a particularly clever move which involves him whipping me up in the air, onto my back and then, before i can do anything, he clamps his jaws round my throat. here is a picture of this when i am in mid-air.



just wait until i grow some proper teeth...

a small visitor



we have had a young visitor of the human variety this weekend. he brought his mum with him. this was just as well. this picture of him is an old one - he has now grown more hair and talks and does all sorts of clever tricks.

he really is a very sweet little character and a most gratifying visitor for an old dog. he was particularly struck with my tail. me wagging it sent him off into fits of giggles. the thing about tails is that, while the theory is that we dogs control them with muscles, they have a life of their own. and the more the little chap giggled, the more excited my tail got. i don't think my tail has had so much fun in years.

he was also very taken with my tongue. "look mummy, this dog has a very long tongue!" he exclaimed, in the car on the way back from a walk. i suppose i do have a long tongue. it is more noticeable when i am hot and panting. i take it for granted but i suppose to a human it would be something of a problem having a tongue that hung right down your front.

when our visitors left the little chap was sad. he gave the peeps hugs and tears rolled down his face. even my boy, who affects a rather nonchalant teenager air these days, was touched. it seems we will be going to visit the little chap soon. my tail is really looking forward to it.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

ash



here you can see my boy and i enjoying a peaceful cuddle by the fire. i love lying by the fire, especially since i got the arthritic hips. there is something about the heat of a fire that soaks right into an old dog's bones.

the one downside of the fire is the maintenance. every morning herself gets up and waggles a little lever at the front, making an unholy racket. this is known as 'riddling' and shakes all the ash down to the little tray at the bottom. then she pulls out the little tray with a metal handle on account of it being a bit hot, carries it (rather dangerously i feel, given it is full of hot ash) across the room and out to the front, where she deposits the ash in a metal bucket to cool down. it has to cool down before it goes on the compost otherwise the earthworms that live there would have a sort of pompeii experience which would not be good for morale.

anyway, the whole procedure inevitably causes a bit of a mess on the hearth. this morning the peeps were sitting around waiting for my boy's taxi, discussing troutage and what was to be done about it. himself had the decidedly unhelpful idea that my boy should say "get over yourself, woman!" to the trout. herself pointed out that this might result in the taxi being withdrawn and that when she went back to work the job of getting my boy to school would fall on himself so he should keep such clever ideas to himself. himself turned his attention to the ash.

"you need to clean that up." he observed. entirely reasonably in my view. after all it was herself's mess. there was, however, something in his tone of the lord and master giving instructions to the little woman that rankled.

"uh, oh!" said my boy, no doubt remembering the teabag incident.

herself roared with laughter. "you should hear yourself!" she said, "sitting there on the sofa giving instructions on the running of the house while you are out at work!"

"well, you are just sitting around all day!" retorted himself. funnily enough, sitting around is not something i have seen much evidence of.

"like you do during the school holidays, when i have to go out to work!"

"that's different, i'm on holiday then." said himself.

"well i'm off sick! i'm supopsed to be resting!" herself then delivered her parting shot, "i am so blogging this!"

"you mustn't! my colleagues will see it!"

well, readers, if he hasn't worked out by now that telling her to do something makes her do the exact opposite...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

daily bread


my boy was delegated to make the bread yesterday. the peeps have a fabulous machine which chomps away at the ingredients and produces wonderful fresh bread every day, at a considerably lower cost than buying it, which is of course very good for the economy drive. my boy is a good breadmaker. yesterday he was carefully tipping the yeast, then the flour, into the machine.

"oh crap!" he said. himself went pale. "you'd better come here." he called to herself. "now!"

herself wandered into the kitchen. "what is it?" himself pointed a shaking finger at the bucket that the bread is cooked in. it was on the draining board. "so?" said herself, "what about it?"

it appeared that my boy had merrily been tipping the ingredients into the bit where the electric element is, in spite of the bucket still being on the draining board.

"is that all?" said herself, "i've done that twice myself!" as oscar wilde might have said, twice seems careless. herself dispatched my boy to fetch the hoover and a magazine. a funnel was fashioned out of the magazine, down which the flour was tipped into the bucket. herself then hoovered out the rest to prevent the smoke alarm getting an outing.

himself watched amazed, before fetching the camera...

mornings (again)

anyone who has been reading my ramblings for any length of time will know that mornings have to be handled carefully in this house. the peeps have got it down to a fine art. the problem arises from the fact that beefburger people don't like change. going from lying horizontally in a cosy warm bed to being vertical in a chilly kitchen counts as change. i think there is more than a little of the beefburger in me. my hour of rising is in inverse proportion to the temperature.

when my boy was young it was very tough. by the time he had been prised out of bed both my boy and herself would be in tears. it did not make for a good start to the day. so she started using a two stage process. he would crawl down out of his loft bed and crawl into the peeps bed to have a cuppa before making the final transition to the bathroom. this meant he could have a few minutes at a 45 degree angle before verticality hit him.

lately the routine has changed again. my boy's taxi now comes earlier. dave, the lovely taxi driver has been joined by a lady who is an escort. this sounded a little odd to me. from what i have seen on telly such ladies operate mainly at night. my boy was quick to explain.

"she's a miserable old trout!" he said, "she has to come in the car to stop the other kids jumping out when its going along. she suffers from an excess of troutage!"

it seems the escort is in the habit of making dave drive off if the young folk don't appear within 2 minutes of the taxi pulling up. this has added to the anxiety levels in the morning. herself has assured my boy that the trout-lady has picked the wrong woman to have a fight with and that is she dared to leave without my boy herself would be at the school waiting for her to arrive and that a piece of her mind would be administered.

anyway, because of this my boy has to get up quickly. unfortunately this has coincided with the onset of teenagehood, a side effect of which seems to be lethargy. i understand mrs deb has had the same problems with her youngster. anyway, herself had to find a method of extracting him from his pit. the fact that my boy has a loft bed does not help. it is too high to climb up and pull him out. a trip to the emergency department would not help. cajoling has worked in the past but stronger measures were needed. as herself is still croaky from the bad throat she could not nag for very long. she went into the kitchen and came back with a large white radish.




she proceeded to whack my boy's form under the duvet with it. this got him out very well and also in a good humour. (herself has some interesting ideas about training children. she has never been one for slapping. she cured my boy of a rather unattractive habit of making extremely sexist remarks in one fell swoop by putting a cold, wet teabag down his neck, having warned him first on account of him needing to be prepared for things beforehand).

this morning my boy laughed at her and pointed out that now the radish had been half eaten she could not use it as a weapon.



herself was not to be deterred. she used the other end of the radish to tickle him which worked a treat. and for good measure, to get him out of the shower, she played him a tune on the recorder...

Monday, November 05, 2007

and another thing...



i promised you a picture of the new laptop with its girly bag - well here it is!

puppy boot camp


and here i am again, dear readers! today was the first day of puppysitting and young rokit has been living up to his name. we dropped him off after school with mrs rokit and the rokettes but he kept trying to jump back into the car for more fun and games. we are looking forward to seeing him again tomorrow!

from the sublime to the ridiculous


well dear readers, after a creative drought it appears we are now in for a flood. herself has finally discovered what nablopomo means. she has noticed this odd word on various people's blogs and seen reference to them joining it. herself is a great joiner of things but she could not find out what it was she was trying to join. luckily a fellow blogger, mrs lawyer mama, has explained. it seems that nablopomo is not a new type of dog biscuit. it is short for national blog posting month. some bright spark thought it would be a good idea to make everyone who has a blog write something on it every single day for the whole of november. as in everything else in our lives, we are of course late. we did not sign up until the 4th of november. i suppose if herself had any sense at all she would just put an older date on things so it looked like we had been on the ball. but she is a woman of principle. so it seems we must write twice as much for a while to catch up.

in this picture you can see me being chatted up by a lady. the lady is called star. she lives with her sister port and captain cath, on a boat. regular readers may recall that the peeps had an outing on this same boat not long ago.

captain cath had come down in her lovely red van to see the fireworks. they do a rather over the top firework display in a place down the road. as she was coming down she came over for lunch. she also very kindly delivered herself's new laptop, upon which this missive is being created. herself purchased it from ebay. it is rather lovely and has a very girly bag to keep it in. i will ask herself to take a photograph of the girly bag so my readers can admire it. anyway, mrs-prof-now-known-as-her-maamship was staying when the laptop was purchased. as the seller lived very near her house, mrs-prof-now-known-as-her-maamship agreed to drop off the cash and pick up the laptop. she then gave it to captain cath to deliver.

herself is over the moon with the laptop. she is stroking it and cooing over it. it is called ibook and is small and perfectly formed. herself has justified this extravagance, in the middle of a very vigorous economy drive, by saying she needs a laptop. now most people would have a job persuading the world that a laptop is a necessity. after all, people managed without them for centuries. but herself is nothing if not geeky. she is also an insomniac. so when she can't sleep she has to geek. as big mac, the computer, is in the bedroom, this almost always wakes himself up. but thanks to the laptop herself can curl up by the fire and geek to her hearts content without waking the rest of the house. and i don't have to get out of bed to dictate my missives. so domestic harmony is restored.

Friday, November 02, 2007

voiceless


hello dear readers! yet again i must apologise for herself's absence from the keyboard. i am at her mercy when it comes to typing. i have investigated voice-recognition software in an effort to try to get round the problem of the paws, but alas, among all the multitude of languages there are, they do not produce a lurcher version. herself has no excuse - she is still off work so she has hours to play around with. even allowing for the inordinate amount of time it seems to take her to do things these days (i believe it is one of the laws of nature that activities will expand to fill the time available) you would think she could spare the odd moment to help me keep up with my public.

i suppose, if i were being charitable, that i might explain that she has been in the wars. first she had a stiff neck and shoulder, which made the keyboard an instrument of torture. as this was getting better she decided to hang out some washing and ping whatever muscle it was again, thus making for another week of winging. then just as that was getting better she came down with what is known round these parts as 'one of her throats'. i am not sure why she would come down with anyone else's throat.

the throat was almost certainly caused by washing her car in sub-zero temperatures. the economy drive has moved into a new phase. from january herself will be on half pay. as she is signed off sick until at least january it is inevitable that the family finances will get a bit tight. so she is selling her car. not only will this save money on diesel and other running costs but the sum it fetches will pay off the credit cards, thus allowing the peeps to continue to eat in the new year.

so sparky the audi was in for a wash and brush up. herself, in true adhd style, made an early start. so early that sparky still wore a coat of ice. the process of washing, waxing and hoovering took hours. herself finally fell gasping into the house and into a hot bath. dear readers, especially those of a beefburger persuasion, this is a saying. she did not actually fall into the bath but climbed in. just so that's clear.

the very next day the throat started to prickle. then got sore. then very sore. then croaky. at this point my boy and himself have a tendency to rejoice. they know of old that once she gets croaky the next stage is blissful silence. no nagging.

herself is back in full voice now, although with a deeper tone than usual. this is just as well. young rokit is due to start coming to be puppy-sat from next week. rokit is a friend of mine who has more energy than sense. he is a charming little chap, and shows the beginnings of a fine beard. last time he came, herself taught him the word 'leave'. this was to stop him chewing my ears. i don't really mind them being chewed but i suppose at my age cosmetic surgery might be best left to the professionals. anyway, when rokit was delivered back to mrs rokit, he was proud to show off his new skill of leaving my ears alone. mrs rokit was impressed.

"i usually discuss things with him a bit, and try and reason with him, but this blunt no-nonsense approach really works!" she said. mrs rokit works at the same place as himself, looking after a rather lively and interesting little girl. the blunt approach would certainly not work in that department.

anyway, hopefully now normal service will be resumed and i can tell you all about my adventures with rokit...

Monday, October 01, 2007

a guardian angel


well, dear readers, today was an adventure to top all our others. i should have known that things were not going to be straightforward when i heard herself on the phone a while ago arranging this outing. but little did i know...

in our living-room is a contraption. for a long time i thought it was a tv. it has a screen just like a tv and little knobs underneath which i thought were for changing the channels. it did seem a bit odd that they all had the same programme on - some sort of inferno drama. but it became clear that the contraption had an entirely different purpose. it is a woodburning stove. which of course requires wood, in the form of logs. for a couple of years these have been purchased at great expense from a man up the road. however, what with the economy drive, herself decided to go to a place that was much cheaper, even though you have to collect them.

we set off, towing the trailer, in the general direction of the wood. after a fair bit of meandering around the countryside we met the lady whose logs we were buying at the pre-arranged place. she set off in her landrover down a lane, which became a track, which became a bog, until we pulled up in the wood. i was allowed to get out of the car as long as i wore my muzzle (as regular readers will be aware there have been one or two unfortunate incidents involving deer in the past). the log lady had a rather stout dog called charlie (who is pictured above). while friendly, charlie was a little too forward, so perhaps it was just as well i had the muzzle on or i might have been a victim of my hormones and given him a nip. i fear this would have been a mistake. charlie looks like a bloke who can handle himself. (indeed he has a special handle on his harness for heaving him into the truck).

anyway, herself loaded up the trailer with the logs and off we went. the log lady went ahead of us to open the gate. about half way along the track back to the road herself pulled up. it seems the dastardly trailer had again got a flat tyre. herself tried to ring the log lady to let her know we were no longer in convoy but there was no signal on her phone. luckily the log lady realised we were in bother and she and charlie came back. after an unsuccessful effort to jack the trailer up with a car jack, the log lady came up with a plan. she had a delivery to make nearby so she would lift the trailer, logs and all, onto the truck with the delivery and would then take us to a tyre place.



so back to the wood we went. herself and the log lady filled up a very large bag on the truck with logs. after a break for a cuppa and what looked like a rather delicious flapjack (no, dear readers, herself rather selfishly chose not to share it with me) we set off again. the delivery was dropped off and then we went to the tyre place, which luckily has seen this sort of thing before. the trailer was lifted off the truck (which luckily had its own crane for this purpose). here you can see the log lady operating the crane.



a very helpful young man sorted out the tyre and for good measure put a tube in both tyres to avoid this sort of tomfoolery again. when herself later recounted this to himself he reminded her of their honeymoon.

after profuse expressions of gratitude from herself the log lady headed off to chop up more logs and we headed home. herself had planned to hop into a hot bath but first she needs to move the logs into the new log store under the steps. before she can do that she needs to pump up the tyre on the wheelbarrow...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

labelled




herself is working on a website. she has a dream that she will set up a business as a de-clutterer if she can ever give up being a lawyer. part of the idea for the empire is de-cluttering people's computers. this is not so much getting rid of the computers but more making them easier to find your way around.

yesterday she designed a home page. it was a classic. she needed a picture of the inside of a computer for the banner at the top of the page. of course none was to be found. however, not to be put off she remembered that she had a bunch of dead computers for her 'make-jewellery-out-of-dead-computers' project. so she decided to dismember one of them and photograph it. she brought it into the kitchen and put it on the table.

at this point she felt the need for a cuppa before embarking on the surgery. when getting the milk out of the fridge she noticed that we have too many mushrooms. this is a direct result of the economy drive which involves buying too many very cheap things rather than the correct amount of much more expensive things. so she hooked out a bunch of mushrooms and decided to make mushroom soup.

when the soup was simmering nicely herself turned her attention to the computer. on taking the back off she discovered it was full of dust. so she fetched the hoover and the air sprayer thingy, which is used to puff air into the back of computers so you get a faceful of dust. this must be some sort of cosmetic treatment.

once the poor machine was in bits she started taking pictures. it proved too dark indoors so out she went out onto the deck with two cameras, her tripod and various bits of computer, leaving some other bits strewn around the kitchen. you get the picture? at this precise moment himself rather unhelpfully returned from work and went rather pale. then it started to rain. not to be put off herself took this rather good shot of this well-labelled computer. they were from a school so have to be labelled in case a child who has spent the whole of its life in a museum doesn't know what they are.

on a cheerier note, i have become a puppy-sitter! rokit, who my readers may have seen on flickr, is a 4 month old lurch. his (human) dad has had to makes some changes to his work arrangements which means that poor rokit can no longer go to work with him.

as i was at home anyway i said i would teach the young chap some manners. not sure if thievery was quite what his peeps had in mind...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

diagnosis


here is a picture of my boy holding a rather small morsel of bird. frankly, from a dog's point of view, this bird would be too small to bother getting out of bed for - no meat on it at all. my boy loves birds. he is the best chicken-catcher in the world. and as you can see he is a very gentle person, especially when dealing with little creatures.

not all beefburger people are as lucky as my boy. herself was listening to a programme on the radio the other day about a beefburger man whose life had gone very badly downhill because he had been wrongly diagnosed and given medication which sent him off the rails. he ended up in broadmoor, which is a decidedly uncheery place.

herself has a tendency to get rather annoyed at stories of autistic people being wrongly diagnosed. she and her friends who have autistic children can all spot an autistic person at 100 yards. they cannot see how it is possible to miss the fact that someone is autistic.

herself's
autistic radar was demonstrated at the end of the boating holiday. we were just tying up the boat and getting all the kit off when another boat came into view round a bend in the canal.

"oh look," said herself, "some autistic people!" this boat was quite some distance away. the people were like tiny toy people. as the boat drew nearer we could see it was driven by a young man of about 18 with a frown and his hair tied back. at the rear was an older man with a very neat side parting. a boy of about my boy's age came bounding up to us as soon as they reached landfall.

"hello, my name is harry, i design video games, i've sold some already, is this your dog, did you know that dogs think we are snarling when we smile?" this last remark was accompanied by a demonstration of a fearsome snarl. this young man had not heard of personal space. herself backed off to get him in focus and nearly fell into the canal. my boy looked on in dismay. herself went on to explain that our household is also very geeky, whereupon the young chap said "will you adopt me, i hate my dad and my brother! can i come home with you? i haven't got any friends, no-one understands me!" my boy looked decidedly worried. he had not planned on bringing a brother home from his holiday. it was becoming clear that herself's autistic radar was yet again bang on.

my blog was discussed and herself said she would give the youngster her e-mail address so he could write to my boy. she got out her cards with the e-mail address on them. these are a variety of pictures and herself lets people choose which one they want. a card was duly chosen. herself explained that my boy is a beefburger person, thinking that this might elicit a response from the newcomer that he too was of the beefburger persuasion. it became clear that either he did not know he was or he was keeping it under his hat (that's a saying, readers - he was not wearing any headgear).

the peeps got in the car having said their goodbyes. my boy exploded. "mummy, how could you? 'this is owen, he's got special needs. pick a card, any card. come on owen, do the dance!' you might as well invent a game show for the tv called pimp your family!"

i thought this was a little harsh. herself doesn't usually mention my boy's odder habits unless there is some reason to. she explained that she had thought it might make the visitor feel a bit more relaxed about being so autistic. this placated my boy to some degree, but the replay of this little vignette is still forming a large part of his repertoire...

Monday, September 17, 2007

friends for tea



here you can see me with a couple of chums. they came over for a little stroll and sunday tea. they had to bring their peeps with them. this is because neither of them can drive. on the left is sam, an old chap of great dignity and patience. in the middle is alfie, a stripling youth with far more energy than sense. he is a fine example of what happens when you tune up your car engine and forget to do anything to improve the brakes. he careers around with little thought of momentum or intertia. their dad is sgt goose, who my readers will remember is a mate of herself's from work. he brought mrs goose, who is a lovely lady with great understanding of an old lurcher's failings, and the goslings.

we met them and their peeps up on the downs. this was herself's idea. i have been known in the heat of the moment to be a little tetchy with visitors. long-standing readers will remember the incident with the idiotically-named lupin. and there was a moment with a rather short chap with a beard that didn't go as well as it might have done. she thought if we met on neutral ground things might be easier. i don't know why she should think the downs are neutral ground. i have weed there every day for the last 8 years. its my manor.

anyway, things went swimmingly on our walk. i was even allowed a little romp off the lead in spite of the dodgy hips. after a couple of loop-the-loops it was decided i would be sore later but at least i got to put young alfie through his paces. then home for tea and cake. at least for the peeps. as all the peeps present had lived with light-pawed dogs for years no-one left the cake unattended for a second. my boy took the young visitors off to show them how to gun down perfectly nice people in cold blood (luckily on his computer) while the grown-ups had a chat.

all went well until herself made the mistake of patting young alfie. now i will put up with a lot but my peeps patting another dog, particularly one as daft as alfie, just takes the biscuit. in spite of my best intentions i found myself with my jaws clamped onto his throat and rather a cafuffle going on. i was unceremoniously extracted and sent to bed in disgrace. when the visitors had gone herself had a quiet word.

"i thought it was the boy i had to warn to behave and not talk about things like cottaging and dogging and general smuttiness! if i had thought you would let the side down so spectacularly i would have given you a lecture too! you should know better at your age!"

all i could do was peer at her out of my blue eye in a wistful manner. i know she can't be cross with me for long...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

soliciting

the peeps were having an interesting conversation the other night. my boy was holding forth.

"i think prostitutes are awful!" he cried, presumably after seeing something on telly.

"oh lovey," said herself, "you must stop coming out with these huge generalisations!" the peeps went on to explain that they had known more than the average number of prostitutes. herself used to work in a pub frequented by such ladies and got to know them pretty well. she formed the view that, rather than being ladies of loose morals, they were in fact quite a lot more moral than the rest of the customers. herself thought this was because their line of work had made them examine their morals more than some jobs might.

himself went on to explain that when they were first together, he and herself lived in a basement flat in the centre of town. this was herself's flat that she had bought when she moved down from london. not long after she moved in, herself discovered that she was the only lady living in the row of basement flats who did not, as it were, work from home. all the other ladies were in the sex business. herself perfected a fine line when opening the door to hopeful men. she used to say "i'm not that sort of solicitor!" before closing it firmly in their face. my american readers will be familiar with signs saying 'no solicitors' which caused herself much puzzlement when she first went to the usa.

the next door neighbour was a lovely lady called sue. she had very very long legs, a very very short skirt and unusually blond hair. she was a strict vegan. she often said "i'll do rubber but i will NOT do leather!" if herself had cause to pop round to sue's with a parcel the postman had left the door would be answered by sue in a yellow tutu or a very short school uniform. sue had 7 dogs, a motley crew who she had rescued. i bet those chaps could tell you a thing or two about the unusual habits of mankind! the thought of the poor punters performing in front of 7 sets of canine eyes makes me chuckle.

anyway, my boy mellowed a bit in his damnation of sex workers after hearing about the nice neighbour. conversation turned to the economy drive and whether my boy could set up a business fixing computers.

"you could make some money out of that!" said herself.

"what, prostitution?" asked my boy, still in a parallel conversation.

"no," said herself, "your teeth are way too crooked!" then having realised this might not sound too good at school, where my peeps brand of humour is not altogether understood, she added the usual rider. the last thing they want in the message book is a note from the teacher saying she has reported them to social services...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

hip-hip-hooray!


hello dear readers. i am a little flaky this evening. it all started when herself and i got home from running a few days ago. she has decided that she has got way too fat and unfit so every morning she has been out running. i enjoy a bit of a run myself so i have been accompanying her. this particular day my back leg hurt like billy-oh. i tried to keep this under wraps as i knew it would mean a trip to the evil vet but herself spotted me limping and off we went. the vet needed to take a picture by x-ray as he thought i had knackered my crucial ligament which would have been a bit of a nuisance so today i was booked in. i have to be knocked out to be x-rayed as i am a bit of a baby when the chips are down. i have also been given a manicure. talk about hitting a chap when he is down!

the good news is that the pain is arthritis in my hips rather than the crucial ligament. the bad news is that this is a sign of old age and will get worse. i have some huge pills to swallow. himself always wraps pills in stuff called bit-of-cheese so it isn't too bad.

the getting fit thing has led to some interesting outings. herself has been going to see a hypnotherapist. this is to help her feel less wretched and to tackle some of her less healthy habits. as she was going to see auntie bernie after the hypnotherapist i was taken along. i made myself comfy on the fluffy rug in the back of her car and gazed out of the window. a large fluffy cat gazed back. if it had been a person it would have been pulling a face at me. in fact it probably was, under all the fur. well, a chap has to keep up appearances and since i couldn't chase it i was reduced to barking. the cat just sat there, washing its behind. i barked some more. it carried on washing. i was beginning to think i had lost my touch when herself appeared.

"honestly joker, how is a person supposed to be hypnotised with all this racket going on?" she said. she took me out of the car, up some stairs and into the room where the hypnotherapist was sitting. my boy has told me all about hypnotism. it appears that you have a watch swung in front of your face and you go into a daze and then the hypnotist sends messages into your soul. this worried me. what if the hypnotherapist made me like cats? it was probably her cat i had barked at, after all. my street cred would be down the pan if it became known i had a friend who was a cat.

i decided to avoid her eyes. this strategy proved tricky. herself sat down in the chair and closed her eyes while the hypnotherapist counted down from ten. i wandered nonchalantly around the room. i felt my head getting heavy and my tail drooping but i resisted. i figured that if i kept moving i could avoid the lady stealing my soul. eventually it was over. the hypnotherapist took hold of my head and looked into my eyes.

"joker, sit" she said. i had no choice. you cannot resist a hypnotherapist. but as soon as she took her eye off me i hid behind her chair. luckily things were winding up. herself explained that normally i am quite a laid back sort of chap and that the pacing around was quite out of character. the hypnotherapist told herself about another dog, who, when faced with the possibility of subliminal messages about the benefits of cats, turns in circles and tries to dig holes in the floor. i am not the least bit surprised...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

ship ahoy!


hello dear readers! I have been on my hols! we have had a wonderful time messing about in boats. for the first part of the week we stayed with mrs prof. while there we had a day out on a narrowboat with a friend of mrs prof. not only does this friend have a most wonderful boat but she also has two very charming lady dogs. they have interesting names – port and star – which I think are nautical terms for left and right. after a little feminist posturing when i arrived, which I managed to counter with a rakish smile, we got on like a house on fire. I even managed to inveigle their owner into supplying me with a pigs ear, which I chomped contentedly while lazing in the lady dogs’ bed. I may not have the old wedding tackle any more but I still know how to charm my way into a lady’s bed.

then this weekend we went to a place called mon-and-brec. it is a canal. my boy has been looking forward to this for some time. the peeps booked a weekend on a boat to try and cheer him up after his best friend moved abroad. the prof and mrs prof joined us. they are soon to change their names. mrs prof has been appointed a judge and in accordance with her elevated station she will now be known as her maamship. the prof will be known as his maamship although I suspect I will fall back into old ways if I am not careful.

on the way up the canal we came across some locks. these are sort of boxes where a lot of flapping around and use of nautical terms like ‘windlass’ occurs. a rather odd-looking dog came out to meet us. he was grey with yellow eyes. “he’s a weimaraner” explained herself. “I think you will find it is pronounced marina” said my boy in the aloof tone of an ancient sea-dog.

on Sunday morning the peeps decided to leave showering until after a flight of locks (a sound idea as herself got splashed with mucky water). those of us who were lucky enough to be on dry land were walking along to the towpath to ready the lock for the boat. rounding a bend we came across a film crew. a grinning man who looked as though he had been ironed walked towards us on the towpath. “oh gawd, “ said mrs prof-soon-to-be-her-maamship, “I haven’t got me slap on!” herself had been up since 5.30am and looked like a wild animal. it would have taken more than a good slap to make her presentable.

in an effort to distract attention I tried a couple of tackles of the ironed man, hoping to plunge him into the canal. he was obviously a wily old film star and neatly side-stepped me with a toothy grin. the film crew waited until the peeps were playing with the lock and then filmed the great man’s entrance again. so my debut in the movies may have to be postponed…

Sunday, August 19, 2007

oops!

waiting for dinner...

i am rather in disgrace. it all started yesterday when himself went to the football. herself and my boy took me to the downs for a walk. no sooner had we got out of the car and started our walk than i spied a large black dog coming towards me. this triggered a reaction. some time ago a large black dog made a large red hole in my chest which required a number of stitches. this has made me rather nervous of large black dogs.

anyway, the old hackles went up, the lip turned back and i found myself rushing at the poor fellow, who on closer inspection turned out to be a gentle sort. although (or perhaps because) i have the muzzle on people find me running towards their dogs rather alarming. herself made an ill-judged grab for my collar but instead made contact with something sharp - either the buckle on my muzzle or perhaps the edge of it. given my velocity this was unwise. the black dog and his owner passed on and herself was left looking at her finger. her hand was rapidly filling with blood. my boy was told to search her pockets for a tissue in order to avoid the clothes copping it.

just at this moment a couple walked past and gave them a funny look. i suppose a teenage boy going through the pockets of a middle-aged woman with a handful of blood must look odd. as no tissue could be found they went back to the car. mrs captain gave herself a first aid kit when she left for warmer climes and luckily this was in the car. a rapid patch-up was done and they headed home for proper repairs.

luckily, herself has recently bought quite a bit of first aid stuff. this is because she is incredibly accident prone just now and not a day has gone by without carnage. so she got out a dressing thing and some surgical tape and taped up the finger while my boy did what all sensible folk do in a crisis and put the kettle on for a pot of tea.

unfortunately for herself, she did not read the instructions for the dressings. they are called non-stick dressings so she assumed they would not stick. however, when it got wet in the shower this morning and had to be changed, it became apparent that it was well and truly stuck. as the cut is quite large removing the dressing was painful. in fact very much so, to the point where herself looked like she was going to keel over and had to lie down to avoid fainting. himself doesn't like it when she is hurt so spent quite some time tickling my tummy. i believe this is known as displacement activity. while this was very pleasant it seemed a bit tactless.

my boy persuaded himself, who is a qualified first aider, to help. he read the instructions on the dressings. it seems that only one side is non-stick. i suppose the other side has to stick to the surgical tape. after a fair bit more wailing the finger was once again bandaged up. herself has taken to her bed with the laptop and is trying to persuade my boy to supply her with cups of tea. himself is watching the tv. all that is on the screen is writing. this is because he is watching the radio on the tv so there are no pictures. don't ask.

i am keeping a low profile...