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.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Instant winter...half an hour`s snow. Posted by Picasa
The hill on which I was rescued Posted by Picasa


So there I was yesterday, innocently walking up the road to civilisation and buses when the blizzard hit.

Couldn`t see my hand in front of my face. Instant Christmas card.

And it was the same in many parts of the country. Of course it was forecast. Of course no precaution were taken. The result was as usual hundreds of motorists stranded (by two inches of snow), having to be rescued from lines of stationary cars on motorways, and the local councils berated for doing nothing. It always happens.

I reckon it`s money. The councils calculate the shame of a few days` abuse over their incompetence against the cost of actually being prepared and decide to take their lumps and hope it`s forgotten soon.

Snow can be difficult for me. If my road carries any more than a few inches of snow I`m cut off from any motorised access and have to do a lot of walking.

A couple of years ago we had a period of snow and I had, as usual, chest problems. A car wouldn`t make it down the road. I looked at the snow and decided that if I was going to see a doctor I had better start now, before I needed to hitch the Papillons to a sled. So I set off in the blizzard.

But I really wasn`t well, and realised I wouldn`t make it. I asked my neighbour for help, but his car wouldn`t start. I plodded on a bit up the hill, then my energy gave out altogether. I sat down at the side of the road, waiting to feel well enough to get back home.

Along came some kids. "Are you no well, missis?"

I told them I was trying to get to a doctor.

"We`ll fix it!"

A vehicle lumbered up the road. I heard them stop it, shouting "Thon woman`s near deid! You have to get her to a doctor!" A bemused driver helped me up into the cab and in no time I was at the Health Centre. It was the alarmed look from the medical staff that made me look more closely at my saviour....

I had arrived at their door in a huge sewage tanker, dripping human you know what from a couple of loose connections at the back all over their no doubt disinfected doorstep. I was lucky not to get a yellow biohazard sticker slapped on me instead of the antibiotics I needed.

Snow is best on Christmas cards. With robins. I like robins.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Bleak November. Hard frost. Short days, long nights. And a lot more winter to come...

Well, actually it`s only getting down to minus 3, and this morning I escaped from the canine maternity ward long enough to take myself off to the local market, to buy cheap peanuts for the birds.

The local market is a delightfully seedy affair, on a windswept site that used to be Victorian commercial stabling......yes, it`s beautifully photogenic, but if I brought out a camera of any sort I`d be instantly marked as a Trading Standards Officer, and my life expectancy would decrease appreciably.

So you`ll have to take my word for it that it`s full of Del Boys with hookey gear, young lads with enormous misplaced optimism as to what will sell at all, sad Asians flogging ladies` clothing designed to appeal to octogenarians (and truly enormous knickers, 3 for five quid), and the usual veg and meat stalls. It`s very basic, and tails off at the back into a sorry car boot section filled with old vacuum cleaners and the ornaments that were instantly loathed wedding presents forty years ago.

Already there was a leaven of Christmas cards and ornaments. I saw one enormously fat man talking to a solemn little boy:

"Naw, nae Santa this year. He`s been caught once too often on thae speed cameras down on Castlehill Road. Mrs Santa`s gaun to try it for him on the bus this year...."

I collected the peanuts from the pet stall, where the stallholder juggles when business is slow,
and also a pair of warm furry slippers for four quid, a price possibly due to the fact that they had an enormous stock of them, all size seven.

Honest, I`ll try to smuggle a camera in next time.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Life has its ups and downs..... Posted by Picasa
...but I can take anything it throws at me. Posted by Picasa


It`s that time of year again, when the days are bright and the nights are frosty and Christmas looms - the local festive lights were switched on on the 14th, for heaven`s sake! . And am I tackling the seasonal shop? Am I ahead on the present front?

No, I`m stuck in with Tamara. The whole winter puppy thing. Maximum time away from home 3 hours (and I need 20 minutes of that to get as far as the bus stop.)

Tamara isn`t helping. The whole exciting puppy experience has made her a bit loose, culminating in the grand event last night, when she was sick and had diarrhoea all over the puppy. Alarums and excursions! Frantic mother and puppy washing - and after all that the baby looked very shivery and I didn`t give a lot for her chances. Tamara, overcome by it all, just sat and stared at her one and only as if she`d never seen her before. Meanwhile the heated pad packed in, sending me hunting for fuses and screwdrivers....a truly awful night.

But in the morning there they were, right as rain. Fat warm puppy, hungry mother. In much better shape than I was. Tamara devoured a boiled egg and at least a pint of kaogel and my fingers and toes are crossed. Could that be the end of the problems?

Well, at least until Kallista and RedSonja get going next month........

Thursday, November 10, 2005


So Blair lost the vote and now says that it`s all the fault of the MPs who are "out ot touch". Really again I despair of a man who can`t or won`t read any history that isn`t American. 90 days equals internment and we all (except Tony) know what that led to in Ireland - further social divisions and the creation of martyr-heroes. If the problem is that the police are good at arrests but slow on evidence they should learn to get the finger out - it`s important to get these buggers to trial, not bang them up and throw away the key.

Well, as he rides ever so slowly off into the sunset, there are always his rivals. I listened to the Tory leadership contenders on Five Live this morning, and I still can`t tell them apart. But either Pinky or Perky announced that his platform was to borrow recklessly to fund tax cuts for the rich and to close down at once all regional assemblies.

Are the MSPs at Holyrood shaking in their shoes this morning?

I don`t think so.....

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I`m Tamara, and somehow I seem to have a daughter.... Posted by Picasa
She`s very determined.... Posted by Picasa
...and always gets what she wants. Posted by Picasa
She does need a lot of washing! Posted by Picasa
Sometimes she gets caught in my tail... Posted by Picasa
...and then she needs still more washing... Posted by Picasa
....but I love her very much! Posted by Picasa
I`m the litle girl all the fuss is about - one day old. Posted by Picasa


It`s that time of year again. However, no-one had told Tamara, so it came as a bit of a shock to her when she went into labour at 7am yesterday, and at 11.30, with two penetrating screams, gave birth to an adorable daughter.

She is now quite delighted, and a happy devoted mother. Marcus, the lucky dad, is not around at the moment - he is no doubt at this moment handing out cigars at his handler`s home.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Allegra races past the competition....... Posted by Picasa
.......and wins Posted by Picasa
Allegra begins by paying attention..... Posted by Picasa
....but sees something more exciting..... Posted by Picasa
...and takes off Posted by Picasa


i`ve been recovering from three shows in one weekend, which have left me shattered, and my bad knee aching.

Two of them also featured Allegra, which adds to any strain considerably.

That`s not quite fair - at the first show, a major Championship one, she was tired from the overnight journey and just a little bit overawed. She showed off with sparkle. and won her class. Challenged by older puppies for Best Bitch Puppy and Best Puppy in Breed, she took off like a racehorse while the others trotted sedately and I tried desperately to keep up - this seemed to impress the judge and amazingly she was suddenly Best PapillonPuppy.

That`s probably why I was unprepared for her performance at the second show. It was a local one. She hadn`t travelled far. She wasn`t tired. And she had new-found confidence. To my astonishment I found I had a bunch of firecrackers on the end of the lead. She bounced. She jumped. She made it clear that there was much more fun to be had right over there in the Pug ring. She paid me as little attention as possible.

Clearly she will need, as the saying goes " a lot more work."

By the time we reached the Irish show I was too tired to enjoy it.

But I will long remember the journey back. It was Halloween, and the whole of Ireland was celebrating. We came back jup the M1 from Dublin along a corridor of bonfires and constant firework displays - an amazing sight. Belfast was also alive with fireworks. A few short years ago the loud explosions would have meant something quite different and infinitely more menacing.

It shows just how far we have come.

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