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, January 30, 2010

Riot does cute on her favourite fur. I am reminded of the Mae West film where her jewels and furs elicit the reaction "My goodness!" - to which she replies "Goodness had nothing to do with it."

"My feet are frozen! Especially this one! Make the white stuff go away!"
Riot in the snow


I`m delighted to be able to say that the snow has gone! No more trekking in through the drifts with bags of dogfood on a show trolley! Refuse collections and post back to normal! During the blockade, I had to deal with a burst pipe (help from a neighbour) and the delight of blocked main drainage , when every drop of water poured away from the kitchen sink or the wash hand basin obligingly surfaced in the bath. Gallons of noxious chemicals went down that one.

The dogs are not affected. They have been more harrassed by Riot.

Riot began life as Flair, but it was immediately evident that it was quite the wrong choice.

Riot is now 12 weeks, and immensly cute. Unfortunately she is also immensely demanding. Her preferred method of asking an adult to play - and she requires constant play - is to stand directly in front of her victim and bark incessantly in its face. My lot find that her cuteness wears off really quickly....

.Her mother suffers greatly from this and usually hides, often as high as she can get. As a result of this, Riot has learned to climb like a monkey, and when I am siting quietly, will suddenly appear on my shoulder, screeching her demands in my ear. Alas, I fear that long after the cuteness wears off, the bark will still be with us.....

The cold spell did not trouble her. I had dug out my fun fur coat, and she became obsessed by it. The first time I wore it she was enchanted. She snuggled into it and looked earnestly up at me. "It took you long enough to grow this!" She then refused to be parted from it, and spent the cold days curled up in it, (usually when I was doing exactly the same. )

Solitaire? - well, she has a lot to occupy her now. More about that later.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Come on !"

Merlin is Allegra`s bodyguard in the woods

"On to the Pole!"

My friend encouraging Merlin and his three ladies

How it has looked all this year


Thank you all for your enquiries. No, it wasn`t easy here. I am still cut off by road, and during the bad spell a kind friend had to help by hauling dogfood through the snow on a trolley. I had a lot of coal - but it froze and had to be chopped - a jolly job, warming you as much as the coal would.

Main drainage froze, so no water would run away. Fortunately I still had a mains water supply. However, a pipe joint has sprung, so I still have water running from a pipe in the porch....how furtunate that in the years when I was plagued by vermin from the farm below, a considerate rat chewed a big hole in the floor which now lets the water run away - for there will be no plumber until the road clears.

The postman made it this morning for the first time, and took about an hour to get out again, even in reverse on 4 wheel drive, so goodness knows when I will see him again. A huge bundle of junk mail was the result. Which I can`t throw away of course, since there is no refuse collection.

I am getting a bit old for these adventures, and it has not been a good experience. However, to cheer me up, a kind friend took me and some of the dogs for a long country walk through the woods.

I took Merlin and Allegra, who really need the exercise, and the two adolescent girls, Velvet and Ella. We went up to the farm, out into the field and let the puppies down.

Velvet was delighted. Snow! Other puppies! Off she raced with the other two.

Ella gave up. Possibly she thought she was being dumped. She subsided into the snow and quivered. She would not move. I had the embarrassment of carrying her throughout the walk - except when chicken titbits appeared, when she suddenly remembered what her legs were for. Velvet was totally puzzled at her friend`s non-participation. I had been defending the Chin attitude to exercise and outdoor sport (including agility) to all and sundry, and told Ella in no uncertain terms how she had let her race down. She favoured me with a penetrating Chin stare. When would the chicken reappear.....?

Then we took out Merlin and Allegra. I hadn`t been sure how unadventurous Merlin would take to this. But when he saw there would be three adult bitches, he saw his duty clear, and spent a happy time running in circles, guarding them against absolutely nothing, (and earning their total contempt, as male dogs usually do.)

And so we headed off for a couple of hours in beautiful snowy scenery. It was a welcome respite.

But no, I was not at the first major show of the year. Travel conditions were much the same as greeted Captain Scott, and in any case I, like many, am choosing my judges carefully this year.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Snowed in

My only way out - no vehicles (unless you are Santa doing a very late run indeed...... If you are, the deer live in to the right.)

The glass road

"I think it might be snowing again, mum...."


The new frozen year trails on.

Permanent snow cover, permanently snowed in road. The postman gave up after the second time he got stuck and hasn`t been seen since. There is no hope of a refuse collection, and I am plannning a great rubbish burning tomorrow, somewhere in the drifts. When I have done that, I will have a jolly hour chopping frozen coal.

My access up the very steep hill at my road end is on a road belonging to the Water Treatment Plant, and usually they keep it clear. But on the 30th they went on to Basic Maintenance, and gave up on it. Alas, maintenance requires maintainers, and 3 were sent down to the riverside in 3 little vans....and they couldn`t get back up again. My good neighbour got out his tractor and even that wouldn`t shift them on a 45 degree slope like glass. I think the vans are still there.

Meanwhile, that`s my only way out, on foot of course. I have been out three times in the holiday season, and each time the return has been more and more like the Winter Olympics. Not sure whether the one in the blizzard in the dark or the one on sheet ice in the dark was the worst - then there was the one when I startled the deer who live in the wood halfway along my little road and they all rushed out at me in the drifts......

No, only main roads are cleared here. I just have to sit this out until the weather lifts.

The dogs love it.

I will never understand dogs.

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