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, February 28, 2009

Inside the gingerbread Parliament -
foyer view.....

...and the main chamber


Had a great day out with my cousin and his partner, courtesy of another cousin`s boy (the pro golfer) at the Scottish Parliament.

A guided tour, courtesy of his MSP, who has just been promoted to Ministerial status, a seat at First Minister`s questions - and a good day for it too, with Sir Fred the Total Failure`s huge pension under heated discussion. (the definitive comment on the said pension was heard on a phone-in on Five Live when someone, probably of my years, said that in the old days Fred would just have been told that there was a bottle of malt whisky and a pistol waiting on the desk in the library...)

And then we had a lovely lunch with the MSP, and coffee with yet another. My cousin, a rabid Tory, wisely chose to keep a low profile among all those Nationalists and LibDems. There was a good feeling of people about who were really trying to make Scotland work....OMG, I`m getting idealistic in my old age ! Let`s just say a feeling of enthusiasm and leave it there.

The otther draw of the Parliament is the enormously expensive building itself, a gingerbread-house nightmare, already weathering badly - does concrete ever weather well? Inside is a bit of a warren, and I shudder to think how people would escape from a fire, but looks slightly better than the exterior, and has some satisfying vistas. In an ancient city where buildings are commonly hundreds of years old and look little the worse for it this turkey is scheduled to last for - just seventy years. Wonder if anyone has worked out the cost per year?

Probably more even than Sir Fred`s pension......

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Leo - his hero is probably William Tell.
(Daisy has never been seen yet with an apple on her head, though).


It`s been a trying time for young Merlin.

A kind friend has volunteered to "do him out" for me several times before Crufts, and so he has been making visits to the east coast - visits that end in hot soapy water and lots of conditioner. Not happy visits, then. Not exactly a Grand Day Out. I have a lovely doggy chat with friends - he has suds, and a strange woman with an endless supply of shampoo being very intrusive with his private bits.

Last time, he was allowed to visit his dad.

It didn`t go too well.

Merlin`s father is Leo, a beautiful fellow with a very impressive show record. All of which means nothing to him. For, like Florian The Climbing Dog, Leo has a hobby that verges on obsession. He is in fact in training for the Olympics. His particular discipline is Long Distance Target Pee.The essence of this is accuracy at a distance. Leo practises constantly.

I first became aware of this at our Club show, where Leo and his half-sister Daisy were in a crate close to Marcus. Leo didn`t like the way the other boy was looking at His Girl (the taboos imposed by close relationship are entirely lost on dogs, and the fact that Daisy is also Marcus` half sister was not inhibiting that swaggering little Casanova at all ).

Leo glared. He stood up to his full height. He moved sideways on. A glazed look came over his eyes as he calcuated vector and elevation, and then a jet shot out directly at Marcus. It reached a considerable distance but didn`t quite make the target, who was totally unimpressed. Undeterred, Leo continued to refine his aim, until his owner moved him away to spare the floor and any hapless passers-by further soaking. In all my years in dogs I had never seen anything quite like it.

And this was the father Merlin was being introduced to.

He came out of his little yellow travelling box, and Leo came rushing down the garden., up on his toes, neck stretched, eyes blazing. A strange dog on his territory!

Merlin was shocked - an angry senior dog! In panic he turned and roared at another dog he had spotted out of the corner of his eye, to try and restore his position. As Daisy subsided in a flurry of white petticoats, indicating that she could quite fancy a bit of rough, his confusion was complete - he had attempted to intimidate a girl! The shame of it!

Leo took all this in - strange male, insult to his girl. But he didn`t want a fight. Neither dog is in any way a fighter. He looked around and spotted the intruder`s bright yellow travelling box. That old familiar unfocused look came over his eyes as he calculated vector, elevation and ,since he was outdoors, windage - and then he hit the box spot on.

It was the last straw. Merlin was totally demoralised and had to be picked up and taken away.

Leo was triumphant. And quietly pleased to have had an unexpected spot of target practice.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Boris, Calypso and friends - socialising like mad.


The saga of Boris` ear continues. One up and one down is not a recipe for success, and he has had several lectures on this topic. He listens very seriously.

Meanwhile training goes on. Here they are, Boris and Calypso, playing- sorry, being socialised - with their friends Carter and Aria. Carter is the one wearing the psychedelic shorts. Calypso was very intrigued by these. Would they come off? Would he like assistance in taking them off.....?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

70 years young - with his sister and nephew

The deerhound cake


Recovering from last night`s party - a surprise one for my cousin`s 70th. It had been in preparation for weeks, with enormous efforts to keep it from him almost causing a total breakdown of communication at home. A buffet was secretly prepared in the Bowling Club next door, a cake was secretly baked, and all guests warned to let nothing slip,

This worked so well, that by 8pm, with all the guests assembled, everyone was trying to think of a way to get him to the party. He had settled in for the night. Eventually he was told that his son-in law, a very temperate soul, had been plied with booze in the Club to the extent that he was now "blootered" and someone had to get in there and drag him out. Why he was convinced by this totally implausible tale I do not know, but in he came, loaded for bear, to be greeted by loud cheers and congratulations.

The guests were a strange mix. That is, strange to each other.

The relatives had arrived in large cars and designer clothes, and were gazing in amazement at the dog folk. The latter had also made some effort - one or two were dressed up in party clothes, most had worn what they would if they were reasonably sure of winning the CC at Houndshow, and quite a few had looked out a clean fleece. They also outnumbered the relatives, and the latter. sure that they had at last made landfall on the planet Zog, retreated to the bar.

I was in the happy position of being about the only person there, apart from the birthday boy, who knew everyone. I could chat to one lot about childhod memories, and to the next about the impossibilities of the KC revision of the Frenchie standard. I had a good evening, and so had the birthday boy, who thoroughly enjoyed it all.

And there was a cake. A deerhound cake, with a picture of Grouse, a dog we had both owned, winning his 3rd CC. Any dog person could see that he was bending down to adjust the dog`s hind foot position....the relatives could only speculate wildly as to why he was so interested in the animal`s rear end , and why the dog was so much more more prominent than he was in the picture....indeed why there should be a dog on a cake at all.

All in all, great fun. The vast and excellent buffet was not all consumed - and I expect you know exactly where the leftovers went.

Monday, February 02, 2009


Shelby gives his verdict on the snow.....

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?