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


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!"


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


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


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...