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.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007



Rio, whose little heart just wasn`t strong enough. She is desperately missed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


It`s downhill all the way to Tesco.....


I notice with delight that the nearest town to me has been noiminated for the Carbuncle award, commonly known as the Plook on the Plinth, for the ugliest Scottish urban eyesore.

It`s a sad little place, a remnant of mining days, mostly consisting of a main street lined with derelict shops, on which motorists seldom slow down. Business consists of Woolies, Superdrug, 11 cafes, 8 hairdressers, 3 chemists (all Lloyds), Bobby`s Washing Machine Repair, several pubs and a little shop run by an old gentleman whose chief business is tying flies.........all the rest is charity shops.

Its slide into decay has been fast tracked by Tesco.

Tesco decided to elevate their rather scruffy minimal foothold on the town, a small metro store in an old building which floods in heavy rain, to an enormous superstore offering answers to Life The Universe and Everything.

Alas, the site they chose was, like the whole town, Liable to Subsidence. Houses frequently start on a slow irreversible descent into the void, leading to emergency evacuations, and other householders wake one morning and look out to discover their garden has become a huge black hole overnight. The town is completely undermined, a warren of workings both legitimate and pirate.

Per haps Coal Piracy is not a familiar concept? Imagine Blackbeard, give him a lamp and exchange his sword for a pick and shovel and his parrot for a canary, make him...well, quite a lot dirtier, (if possible) and you`re halfway there. Coal Pirates would get together a map and some second hand and improvised equipment and start digging. If it all worked out they would hit a productive seam in a legitimate mine, get in there, empty out the coal and leg it, hopefully without a pitched battle underground. You should have heard my grandfather, a Coalmaster, on the topic.

I suppose there was a certain grubby romance to it.....Coal Pirates of North Lanarkshire! Piracy on the High Seams! Johnny Depp in a miner`s helmet....

Help, someone get me back to the script !

Anyway Tesco was forced to resite, well off the beaten track. And being Tesco and slightly more powerful than the government, they determined to bring the beaten track to Tesco. They would reshape the town.

They do this by throwing money at the problem. They approach the council. If it is an honest one they offer to build new expensive new facilities as reparation for the mess they are about to make.

Fortunately in this case they did not have to deal with that kind of council A few large bungs would do the trick. And so the Main Street is being shut off, forcing all traffic to detour round a maze of narrow side roads - past the new Tesco. End of business in the Main Street, and access to the centre from the hinterland. It looks as if the plan is to reduce the town ultimately to a cluster of mud huts nestling against the great Tesco building, like a barbarian settlement outside a Roman fort.......

Well, I`m sure you didn`t want to hear about the last show I was at, with the judge who always gives to the same people and the other one who remembers his debts, did you ?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

"Don`t bother us.........."
Solitaire and Allegra

....we`re sleepy"
Rio and Merlin


Heading for the end of the showing season, I feel like taking it easy. I`m getting that sleepy, winter feeling...

The last championship show was very well attended. Too well. My heart sank as I looked at the size of the classes. Marcus, Allegra and Truly were going to have to do a lot of standing about.

As judging got underway it became apparent that we were being treated to yet another variation on the theme - The Judge Who Favours Her Own Breeding. As young bitches sired by her dog won, I looked at Allegra. Should I try a variant of maxim 25 of the Art of Coarse Showing - "identify your dog"? Should I put Allegra on the table and say loudly "Stand still, Allegra for the nice lady who owns your father!"?

Alas, it wouldn`t be true. And I could just hear the yelp of joy from Marcus - "You mean she isn`t my daughter? Whoopee!" The last thing he needs is encouragement along those lines.....

Never mind, Marcus. Maybe Santa will bring you something nice and willing on four legs...

It`s almost that time already.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


I spent a boring hour having my breathing tested and proving yet again that I am useless at blowing into machines. I was told that I have asthma, which I knew, and COPD, which I didn`t.

But I wasn`t short of advice on the latter. The horse people I know are very familiar with the term COPD. So I have been advised that I should be out to grass as much as possible, if stabled demand a dust-free loosebox, and above all only eat fresh hay.

Despite feeling really well, I have decided not to enter myself for the Derby.

Shelby says he wouldn`t bet even one Bonio on me.

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