Saga of a woman old enough to know better who lets her life be governed by the ridiculous hobby of breeding and showing dogs, musing on life, the twenty first century, Cameron and his mini-me, and the occasional sheep.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

A beautiful Scottish butterfly Posted by Hello

Friday, November 26, 2004

.....and cuter Posted by Hello

Cute...... Posted by Hello


It`s cute puppy time again. Dido`s pair are now 6 weeks, toddling about and engaging in loud, ferocious puppy battles before sudenly falling asleep. A lovely age. The working titles are Birdy and Diamond, and I hope their futures are bright

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Yes, really a Greeting Tit...... Posted by Hello

Friday, November 19, 2004


Yesterday I wrapped up warm and slogged the twenty minutes uphill to the nearest bus stop and headed for Glasgow to continue the Christmas Shopping. So far it has been strung out over three weeks and is all Under Control.......aye, right.

I like the city at Christmas (which of course is already well under way.) I like the lights and crowds and bustle. What I don`t like is the impossiblilty of finding presents for difficult people - such as the cousin whom I delighted on Christmas morning two years ago with "Diseases of the Racing Pigeon". How do I top thst?

Having dealt with the children`s book problem, and tried on some festive outfits - those changing room mirrors should be outlawed - I wandered into a shop specialising in toys and other items designed to make us more eco-friendly. I stopped before a singularly unconvincing plastic model of a bluetit. When you waved a hand at it it warbled a few feeble cheeps.

A large woman was staring at it, and the assistant came over. She demonstrated it.

"But what`s it for?"

"It`s just a wee thing that chirps whenever you go near it. See, the box tells you."

She fetched the box. It bore the title - I kid you not - "A GREETING TIT."

The large woman shook her head.

"Naw, hen. I`ve been maried to wan of them for fifteen years."

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Whizz Posted by Hello


Still recovering from a toydog show in the far north. This is one in which I function (in fits and starts and with great laziness) as a commitee member, which is why it began well before dawn, wifh me and a number of women, all old enough to know better, shoving, heaving and shoehorning dogs in crates and all the paraphenalia required for the show into an ancient minibus never designed for the purpose.

By chilly starlight we built up a swaying edifice of Papillons, Poms, and cooking utensils and sundries in the back. Somewhere in there, there was even a pot of soup......

It`s a beautiful run up to the east coast. Somewhere on the way a little dog, less than enchanted by the prospect, made his unhappiness known, and a familiar smell percolated through the vehicle. Instantly the fouled air was blue with denials.

"I only feed top quality dry food - mine never produce a smell like that."

"It`s not mine - I can see him."

"It`s probably just a fart......."

The affected dog, deep in the stack, kept his secret. I can however reveal that he really wasn`t mine. And it wasn`t just a fart.....

And nobody complained about the soup........in fact there were compliments on the depth of flavour.

I suppose it went well with some of the home baking. One lady always donates what she calls her "skitter cake" - "three cups of bran and four of fruit and somethings gotta move." She claimed to have fed it to one unpopular judge and rendered him housebound for three days. (This was strongly applauded.) .

The show went well. It always does, and is a great favourite. I had all three puppies, so two had to be handed out to strangers and were overawed. Florian did his best, but Marcus decided it was a time for looking cute and climbing up someone`s leg. As a result of this he is now having a training holiday at the home of a good friend.

Prudence was quite taken by this chance to show off and swaggered excessively, actually winning a pupy class.

The Young Lad was Best Dog.

Whizz condescended to attend, but was not lucky. His absolute disdain for the show, the judge and the human race in general was, I felt, best expressed in a picture.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


Spent an unprofitable morning setting up a digital box in the bedroom and then fiddling with it for reception. You can waste hours on that type of thing, and I have concluded that the little ex-security monitor which I picked up for a song in the the eighties and use as a bedroom TV is perhaps a tad over the hill and will have to be replaced.

I do collect old radios......but I seem to accumulate old TVs There`s a subtle difference, which has a lot to do with inertia and disposal difficulties. The radios increase in value - for the interested out there, the pride of fhe collection is a 1936 Philco Peoples (original valves, black ebonite, working order, now earthed ). The TVs increase in dust.

I used to be able to fiddle with them like the radios. In the seventies, despairing of boredom in a stagnant job, I enrolled for night classes in TV repair. It was highly entertaining, a real sanity saver.

There we would stand, knees trembling, circuit diagrams and soldering irons at the ready. And at the other side of the room, lined up on benches, hummed, banged and shuddered the Hulks - ancient sets all scavenged from the skips at the back of TV rental shops, some of them smoking gently, all stripped down for service.......

Collectively they would have been snapped up by Gilliam or Carpenter for set dressing.

You prayed not to get a smoker. Please, something quiet and non-agressive just needing degaussing, or a few resistors replacing........

Several of us tended to approach them at arms length. Seeing this, the cheery chap taking the class decided to offer some reassurance.

"It`s true that you do meet quite a few sets that are electrically unsafe. Well, there`s no need to worry. If you feel there`s a problem, just keep your left hand in your pocket and work with your right. See, your heart`s on the left side, so if the set decides to earth to ground through you, the juice`ll go down your right side and miss your heart entirely!"

As often, words failed me. I have often wondered since just how long he survived, and by which other mad tenets. Probably phlogiston and the continued existence of Elvis were happily accepted as gospel. A man for whom Old Sparky, the electric chair, would have held no fear.

I don`t fiddle with TV sets any more. Alas, like so many things, they moved on and I didn`t..

Saturday, November 06, 2004


Fireworks alert last night - all dogs in a vast state of excitement, not sure what to do, but quite keen to start trouble, so they were put away quickly before they could decide that the best release of tension would be a fight.

Actually, I quite enjoy fireworks. The nearest to me are about half a mile away, in the towns up on the rim of the valley on either side of the river, and at the height of the frenzy the effect is of a ring of fire (or, if you close your eyes, the siege of Stalingrad). I stand outside and watch the free show, marvelling at the amount of money going up in smoke....

Yet again someone had got hold of some marine distress flares and the sky was turned lurid red. I have to report, however, that the lifeboat did not come up the Clyde to Hamilton to rescue them..............

Smoke was a problem - it soon began to pool in the valley and the cottage was smothered in a vast fog of cordite fumes, or whatever they put in them these days. I gave up and went in to watch indoors, and console Wild Thing, the old Crested lady, the only one really upset by the explosions.

Apologies for the huge spaces that crop up in this blog. They are not philosophical statements about the voids in my life - just something that Blogger does when you post. If I ever get on top of hmtl, I`ll get on top of this problem, perhaps.

I`ve written nothing about the American election? That`s right. They voted for it, they got it. God help them as they wander into a dark neocon winter....

As to Blair, he should simply follow my example.

Retire as soon as possible.

Thursday, November 04, 2004


At a dog show, dogs are exhibited in their classes in rings. But beside the rings are rows of benches, where dogs are supposed to be kept when not in the ring. Especially at the winter indoor shows, this is where the gossip, business and above all the backbiting goes on.

While discreetly snooping around looking for possible beautiful husbands for Tomato, I came across an altercation about willy warmers.

Now, dogs don`t require that part of the anatomy heated - well maybe dachshunds in Alaska. The problem is more one of what a memorable ad of the past referred to as "understains". . Remember, ours is a predominantly white breed.

The average male dog doesn`t care about understains. Urine to a dog is so much more than a waste product. It`s his CV, his Resume, his beuatifully crafted biography. He wants to spread it everywhere, as often as possible, where other males will sniff it and tremble at his awesome superiority. What does he care if his tummy is a striking shade of daffodil?

The show breeder cares passionately. You wouldn`t believe the range of shampoos and chemicals used at enormous expense to whiten the affected areas. And this was evidently a device to stop the problem. However, I, and obvioulsy the person asking about it, just couldn`t see how a band of cloth containing a pantyliner velcroed about the dog`s middle would really be the answer.........apart form the "fluid retention" problem, any of my males would have it off and ripped to shreds in minutes as an affront to masculinity.

Evidently the enquirer felt the same. She asked about the construction of this indispensable canine fashinon accessory.

"Don`t dare copy it! I`ve patented it! It`s entirely mine - I got it from the Internet!"

The enquirer stared at the simple strip of cloth. "But how is it gong to work."

The inventor drew her a haughty look.

"That`s a secret!"

Wizardry and high magic are evidently not dead in the world of dogs.

But as a duty to the world, if I come across the source code for this indispensable item, I will not hesitate to make it freely available......

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