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Showing posts from October, 2013

Dogs in the Autumn-time. And the curious incident of the disappearing music.

Autumn and dogs - I have no idea what Four-legged-friend and Bertie Baggins think about the changing seasons. I suspect they think very little, their brains being mere slaves of their stomachs, but if they notice the cooler air, the permanently damp grass and the bare earth in recently ploughed fields, the following thoughts might momentarily elbow past dreams of dinner. Or snacks - 'C'mon, we know that camera is not the only thing you have in your hand.' Autumn is a time for dogs to fine tune their getaway skills - escape scenario: apples all over the ground; apple-gatherer, basket in hand; muzzle sneaked between apple-gatherer's legs and apples snatched in quantities that only just defy death by choking. act dead and extremely heavy when someone needs to access an oven. practice soft-lipped-thievery when helping to pick brambles. partake in sprint training in order to run away effectively when yelled at due to overzealous r

On appreciating art. Or not.

That Art comes in a myriad of shapes, forms and function is a commonly accepted fact. That what I consider art might be regarded by others as meaningless junk, ripe for trashing, is another. So how do we define art? What is it? And what is it for? From our early Cro-Magnon ancestors who first painted on the wall of a cave in Lascaux, to the designer of complex computer generated images, people have produced works that some have called art. Art has a cultural, historical, geographical and spiritual past. At its best it transcends all of these. It can pull us together. Or push us apart. What follows is about last Friday: a day when art wasn't got , then later - via some giant bubbles, a spire of glass and an evening of joyful music -  it suddenly was. In the Times that morning, was a picture of  a Picasso soon due at auction where it is expected to fetch $1million. I showed the picture to Littlest and asked her to guess how much it might be worth. "A lot," she rep

On going without breakfast and other stories

This is what happens when you find yourself not doing the school-run and think it a good idea to start the day with a brisk walk. And after fifteen minutes realise that a cup of tea was not a sufficient breakfast. We thought that bread was ours! Indignant dogs aside, I really should not have eaten their bread - pocket fluff of indeterminate origin does not taste good and the rest of the walk was spent with an even more loudly protesting come-on-!-you-can't-seriously-tell-me-that-was-all grumbling stomach. Plus the pulling out of bits of thread that had become wedged between my teeth. Before I go on to ' other stories' -  at the top of a field sheltered behind a hedge, we found a circle of twigs and dried grasses. The bed of a family of deer perhaps Or nest of a giant goose (lots of geese on the move today) Or a dragon cushion - sadly Littlest was at school: I'm sure she would have known - probably a fairy something-or-rather. Whatever it was, it

A farewell to summer

"What wilt thou do when the summer is shed?" AC Swinburne 'Itylus' 1864 In answer to Algernon Swinburne (what a wonderful name) ... remember it; savour it in the sweet bramble harvest and jars of apple chutney; and look forward to autumn - smoky bonfires, early sunsets, the demise of summer flies, and the promise of the crisp clear air of winter.  Today this blog is a rant free zone - mellow, reflective ... it might even aid sleep. It's heavy on the gardening side of ' Walking the Dog 's life. Light on Littlest - unmentioned apart from there. And experiments with a brief amble into literature - the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations to be precise: it has sat forlorn and forgotten for many a long month on a shelf next to my desk. I was feeling generous and thought I might give the pages an airing. Pretentious ... me!!! Nooo. Maybe a little bit. Anyhow, back to the blog in hand - Memories of a summer past in pictures My path before it became

Owning a dog - why would you?

Why do we choose to own dogs? Why do we welcome them into our once-upon-a-time-dog-hair-free homes? Why do we tolerate them when they eat Littlest's favourite socks (always just the one sock from each pair)? And why when the gnomic postman comes with his jumpy, bird-like, nervy twittering to the front door do we secretly wish that we weren't so understanding of his fear of dogs? And that they'd run out and bowl him over and lick him into liking them? Sadly, like a foundling bird handled lovingly but a bit roughly, I think he would die of fright before any 'liking' occurred. I can think of several reasons for owning a dog and none of them has anything to do with finding the whole postman-being-afraid-of-dogs thing fairly amusing. First, there's their eyes. Nothing looks at you with that total I-know-where-my-next-meal-is-coming-from devotion. It's easy to convince yourself that it's you they love and to seek evidence for this delusion