Wednesday, September 26, 2007


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


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.

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


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


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…