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Showing posts from May, 2011

What every woman wants?

Outside mindless un-gardening with dog today - hacking down things, wondering if it is still too dry to risk a bonfire and filling rabbit holes with sand - when this thought crossed my mind: what is it that men and women want in a dog?

The manly cliché is a friend who delivers slippers and newspaper when the master gets home - although in our house he would be lucky if a shredded heap of soggy newsprint got anywhere near his chewed slippers. Most men appear to want an OBEDIENT companion who is seen but never heard, never gets in the way and never  ever interferes with plans, but who is also a companion who massages his master's ego with much tail wagging in the forlorn hope that the master will feed him, take him out, play with him. Noooo! master's far too busy ... but dog will try again tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow.

To be fair, there are other men who absolutely adore their dogs. Usually, these dogs came into their lives before significant others (humans) came on the s…

Rapture - NOT the event that didn't happen last week. Musing on pleasure.

Dictionary definition of rapture (leaving aside the one relating to ascent into heaven) is "feeling of intense pleasure."

Thought about this while WTD up and down and up and down the garden today - productive clearing of  shrubs killed by winter frosts and over enthusiastic weeds etc. And came to this conclusion in list form: Rapture is ...

watching a newborn lamb take its first wobbly stepsthe first strawberry of the season (the one that the field mice didn't get)taking in the view from the peak of the mountain you have just climbed (particularly if the mountain is in Argyllshire and the heather is in bloom)holding your child for the first timesharing wine and good food with friends (see Recipe for a Happy Sunday, below)hearing the first performance of your son's composition for piano and choir (last night ... beautiful)crying throughout Les Mis (impossible to be unmoved by Bring Him Home)immersion in awesome, life affirming music: the opening section of Zadok the Pr…

It's raining! Ridiculous 'what if' musing - put a super injunction on the weather.

Whatever the weather, there is one absolute certainty - if you're British, you'll talk about it. At length. Several times a day. You'll discuss it on the phone - "Hi Dad, what's the weather like with you?". You'll greet people you hardly know in the street with a comment about the heat/rain/wind. You'll text about it. Even write about it in your blog.

It unifies us. You could argue that living on an island in the middle of the Northern Hemisphere, our ancestors were a little cut off from the rest of the world and perhaps had little else to talk about, when they weren't battling foreign invaders. But why do we still talk about it so much? In a time when we all know about, but can't discuss the lives of celebrities, perhaps it is all we have left - at least that is until someone puts a super injunction on the MET Office. Imagine that - no forecasts: there'd be a veritable explosion of weather related chatter! How would we know what to wear t…

Cornucopia of musings: thoughts on a blustery walk

Dog and I nearly blown away.

So windy that couldn't hear what I was thinking, or couldn't focus on one thought for long enough before it was whisked away. One or two held on tenaciously and are here written below ...


Note to self - take antihistamine tomorrow! Although can't understand how there is any pollen left outside! In this gale, it should all be heading straight for Northern Europe, or maybe it is hanging around to mix with the volcanic ash  heading our way, so creating a really toxic mix for our eyes and lungs over the next few days.Poor farmers. While the grass in our garden is rapidly turning brown, the fields around here are so cracked, you could lose a child's foot down the holes. The only consolation is seeing the nettles clearly struggling, and hanging limp - heard the other day that the Romans used nettles to 'cure' arthritis, tho' can't see that going down well with ancient relative - "Here Mum, I've brought you your nettle wrap…

Exams!! A mini rant, or perhaps more of a parental worry-fest.

Exams! - the only thing (apart from something ghastly happening to one of my children) I regularly get nightmares about: ones that wake me up in a cold sweat just at the point when the paper has been turned over, read from start to finish and I realise that I can't do any of it!

Best part of an exam - the moment when you are told to stop writing. Finished. Over. Complete. Followed rapidly by one of the very worst bits, when you leave the exam hall and everyone starts to gush about what they wrote and you start to subtract marks in your head for all the questions you got wrong. The only way to avoid this bit is to sprint from your seat and don't stop running until you are well and truly on your own. Then it might be necessary to embark on an expedition, or emigrate, at least until all the post exam chatter among your peers has died down. Alternatively, invest in ear plugs.

The next worst thing about exams - results day. You have just about convinced yourself and very probably y…

Story: FWISC Part 7

"Why are you wearing that, darling?"

"'Cos I am protecting you, Mummy."

"That's nice. But could you just move the sword? And the biscuit tin lid. And the ... garden fork! This shouldn't be in the kitchen! I need to put your supper in the oven."

"Is everyone having fish and chips?"

"Yes. Is that okay?"

"Even your friend?"

"No, I don't think she'll be here."

"But I thought you said she was staying 'til tomorrow."

"No, sadly not. I think she's had enough. Hey! Don't just drop all this stuff on the floor. Aren't you protecting me any more?"

"No! I don't need to. If she's going then she's obviously not going to kill you."

"Why do you think she wants to kill me?"

"Because, you know how really bad things happen in nightmares? Well, I heard her saying this weekend was a bloody nightmare and I'm sure it was definitely your blood …

Story: FWISC Part 6

Dog leaps across the ditch, imagining he's lighter and fleeter of foot than he really is, ricochets into opposite bank and slides with a stupid, surprised expression into the mud at the bottom.

Or was that his intention?

He splashes around in the water, drinks some, then climbs out and waits until he is at our height on the other side before shaking himself dry.

Snorts and suppressed giggles from me. Screams of shock and anguish from FWISC.

Story: FWISC Part 5

See FWISC 4 ...

All goes well. Initially. The ground is dry, and dog, now off the lead, forgets bullish behaviour and leaves us alone - most probably gone hunting for some unmentionables to eat (See Biggest Rant Ever).

Then, at the top the of field where the footpath veers off into a wood and where there really should be a bridge, we come to a ditch: a normal countryside ditch like thousands of others that criss cross our land fulfilling some ancient irrigation system and providing convenient boundaries between farms and places of shelter for tramps. In fact, just the sort of ditch that anyone with a passing knowledge of the countryside might picture and indeed anticipate encountering at the edge of a field.

But FWISC does not have a passing knowledge of anything rural and looks in horror at the steep sides and brackish steam trickling through the detritus of twigs, leaves and nettles in the base of the ditch.

Story: FWISC Part 4

FWISC, who manages to run business with several hundred employees; attend therapist; take weekend breaks in European cities; attend therapist; travel at six weekly intervals to Paris for a hair cut; attend therapist; keep up with gym membership; attend therapist; eat in every restaurant in London; attend therapist; experience every show in London (several twice); attend therapist; fly first class to New York each season for shopping, somehow manages a wardrobe failure for weekend in British countryside.

We WTD.

FWISC wears "these old things" - with heels (!!) on her feet and a rainbow coloured, heavily embroidered (beautiful, I have to admit) matador-like cloak. Unfortunately, but predictably, dog now behaves like a bull.

And (see FWISC 1) there is mud.

Definitely NOT a rant: Recipe for a happy Sunday

One of the best recipes ever this one:


First, exhaust dog with a long walk, then put him in his run with stuffed Kong and water = happy poochNext, toss together a group of friendsAdd liberal quantities of wineStuff new English Spring Lamb with garlic cloves, truss and place in BBQ (note: have cleverly invited friend who is one of the best meat chefs I know)Remove lamb from BBQ when fuel diesServe more winePlace lamb in roasting oven of Aga Top up glasses of wineMeanwhile, serve children crisps and lemonade. Wonder at how seven "children" aged from 5 to 19 can play so happily together. Bats, balls, assorted scooters and sunshine help. Pat self on back and return to kitchen/wine. Arrive just ahead of the rain and childrenServe more wineSit around extended kitchen table; chat, laugh, eat (heavenly lamb!) and enjoy the momentWhat could possibly be better?

Story: FWISC Part 3

"Mummy, why don't we have a loo like the ones in London?"

"What? We do! All loos are the same. Loos in London aren't any different."

"But they must be, Mummy. They don't have flushes like ours."

"Yes, they do."

"No, Mummy, they have special buttons on the floor for flushing."

"No, darling, I don't think they do."

"But they must have! And, Mummy, you need special, lovely shoes to make them work."

"Shoes! What do you mean?"

"Loo button shoes! Like your friend's!"

She points at FWISC's puddle splashed Louboutins drying by the Aga.

Story: FWISC Part 1

Friend with improbably successful career (FWISC) replies to thirty-seventh invitation and announces that she is coming to stay for the weekend.

Realise too late that I have neglected to mention that since last seeing her, we have acquired a dog. Decide not to send a text as don't want to put her off.

Also, in retrospect, didn't mention but assumed that she was aware that the countryside contains mud - it always has and always will.

Biggest rant ever (probably): About poo!

Dog - poo - bag - bin.

If your social conscience has been deleted by your y chromosome (sorry lads if you are 'nice' and the following doesn't apply to you, but it is my observation that the male of our species are usually guilty in this matter) then you probably don't see any link in those four simple words.

What is it with men and dog poo? Is it a macho thing to leave your dog's waste on the footpath so that my dog can snack on it (which he does with gusto)?

Perhaps its just laziness, like not replacing the loo seat. Or maybe men can't bear the idea of getting their fingers dirty (who changes more nappies - mum or dad?)

If you are male and of a certain age, then it is highly probable that you use one of the following arguments - no-one picked up dog excrement when you were a child, or its biodegradable.

Whatever your (flawed) reasoning might be doesn't get away from the fact that its disgusting chaps - PICK IT UP!