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.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

"Maybe I ate too much......?"


"There`s a famous seaside place called Blackpool
That`s famous for fresh air and fun
And Velvet and I, and Allegra
Went there with young Ella, our Chin" *

But there the resemblance ends - there was no lion (Ella would have died of fright while Velvet tried to kill it), and no-one was eaten.

There was, however, lots of eating. Somehow there always is at dog shows - inhibitions go and appetites rage. And in case you think that`s just me - you would have to see Ella.

Ella has life down to a fine art. It is based on comfort and food. She is second to none in finding both. If I abandoned her in a shopping mall, within the hour she would be snuggling on someone`s sofa, being fed cake and ice cream.

She likes shows because the only way I can keep her keen and sparkling in the ring is to feed her constantly. If helps if I start the chicken coming before we actually go in. It`s a bit like getting one of the luxury liners of yesteryear, like the Queen Mary, out of harbour - before you have enough steam to get underway you have to spend a lot of time stoking the boilers.

This time we used about a whole bird to come second to the big Face in the breed, and then somehow Ella managed to consume quite a lot of ice cream, it being a very hot day, and ice cream being no more than her due. I carried a very sticky Chin back to our seats, alternating between having the girly vapours every time she saw another big dog, and trying to lick the sweet residue off her own face .

A slightly cleaner Ella was later taken to visit a friend`s caravan. She settled down beside me on a comfortable sofa, and I saw her noticing a plate of cakes. This was a good place to be, clearly.

The owner`s Papillons were nonplussed. The puppy kept creeping round me to sneak another look at the stranger. What had happened to her face? How had her nose ended up between her eyes? Had it hurt much? You could see her resolving to be very careful around swinging doors and traffic in future.

One of the two resident males came in, having realised that there was a new girl in town. He rushed up to Ella, who raised her little sticky flat face to his - he recoiled in horror and left, no doubt to tell his friend "Don`t much fancy yours.."

And when we eventually had to leave, Ella didn`t move. Couldn`t I see how comfortable she was, and how close to that plate of cakes? What was all this nonsense about going?

I removed my little madam, and we started on the long road home.

And a gentle aroma of vanilla spread from a sleepy little girl, full of ice cream and soft sofa dreams.

* You don`t recognise these lines? The Holloway monologues were part of my childhood, and I could still probably recite "Albert and the Lion" from memory.

If you couldn`t, go here -http//www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3jXMsfLxhI

Friday, June 18, 2010

"Japanese ladies do NOT eat bird`s leavings - unless they might be scrambled egg and toast....?"


I was sitting out with the dogs in the sun, marvelling at the number of buzzards there are.

A few years ago, seeing a buzzard was an event. I remember having a plasterer working here, and we both ran out when we heard the unmistakeable mewing call.

"A buzzard!" I said.

"No, a pair." he corrected.

We watched in silence. After a few moments he commented thoughtfully, "I expect the massacred wagon train is just ahint they plum trees......"

Well, now they are everywhere. The sky is darkened with them. I`m amazed they don`t count as a hazard on the glide path to the local airport.

And as I mused on the buzzards overhead, suddenly something went "Splat!" just beside me.

A rat. A very flat, dead rat. If it hadn`t started out dead.....well, as they say, the fall never kills you, but the landing is usually very dodgy.

Shelby, who narrowly escaped being hit by this offering, jumped with his eyes bulging. Food from heaven! The Paps converged on it meaningfully. Fastidious Ella looked disgusted. I got there just in time, and consigned the buzzard`s leavings to the bin, looking up nervously in case it was just part of a serious food consignment from on high.

Yet again my pack were disgusted with their leader. Admittedly it was a bit small to share out, but I could at least have let them fight over it.

I scowled up at the benevolent buzzard.

Totally thankless, that`s me.

Monday, June 07, 2010


Before the Bath show, we stayed just outside a little village called Castle Coombe, which simply cries out to be photographed......

So I did just that.

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