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.

Friday, February 18, 2011

"And today`s subject for study is......."

"....I hope it`s not a recipe book he`s researching!"


There is always an ongoing rodent problem here. The problem is fieldmice - little tan and white people with huge black eyes, who see this isolated cottage in winter as the Promised Land, full of milk and honey.....well, at least dogfood and other dry goods. And when the weather gets chilly, somehow they find their way in.

Actually, not so much this winter, as the cold spell came on so suddenly and was so severe that I guess it caught most of them before they could put their emigration plans into effect.

So it was quite a surprise when the other evening one wandered out into the middle of the floor, and paused to think.

All the dogs were asleep, except Shelby.

Now Shelby is a Chin. He has never seen himself as a mighty hunter, as the Paps do. But he does pride himself on having a supremely enquiring mind. He decided to inspect the mouse.

He walked over, bent down, and put his great flat face next to its tiny one.

I have no idea what the mouse thought. It didn`t move. It was either paralysed with fear, or could make no sense at all of the huge black and white apparition looming over it like the full moon. It just sat there, a target for some serious heavy sniffing and eye-rolling, as Shelby assessed it.

I don`t know how long this mutual appreciation would have gone on - but then Truly woke up.

Truly has no pretensions to be a great seeker after knowledge. She is a Papillon and therefore she knows it all already. She spotted the mouse. She knows all about mice. Mice are crunchy. She shot across the floor like a rocket, and the mouse, at last in a situation it understood only too well, legged it under a bookcase. Followed much scraping and heavy sniffing, as the other Paps woke and joined her in trying to get under the bookcase.

Shelby stood back and watched. Clearly he was busy assimilating what he had learned. You could see the wheels going round .......

"File under `Fieldmouse`"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Fidget caught motionless for a moment - it took a very fast shutter speed.


I must be more careful in naming dogs. Fidget has really grown into his name. He is a total scatterbrain in the ring, spinning round at every new attraction, never still, and a total embarrassment. At home he is quiet, affectionate, given to jumping on my knee and solemnly touching noses, a strange ritual which seems to have deep meaning for him but simply leaves me cold (literally.) He is now over a year, and I have given him solemn lectures on the responsibilities of an adult male (which I think he simply sees as a duty to swagger, and pee a lot more when out).

Escaping from the demands of the dogs, (and especially the elderly pack, which I have recently come to describe as the Granny Farm) I have this year managed to see all the Oscars hopefuls. (Apart from the 2 animation categories, and I am working on that.)

The Black Swan - well, I think I wasn`t supposed to laugh, but it was hilariously OTT. It reminded me somehow of forties gothic noir, and I could see it in black and white, with a very young Vincent Price playing the Svengali director, the gratuitous sex just hinted at, and a lot more dancing. Anyway, The Red Shoes did this sort of thing better. I liked the part where Odile sprouted feathers, though.

As to The King`s Speech - my mum would have loved it. And so will most of America, for whom it has been carefully created. Nice - really nice, with royals and all. What more can you ask?

I was interested to see Wallis Simpson very unfavourably portrayed. I used to know the daughter of someone who worked for the Windsors, when they lived in France after the abdication. She said that he was an absolute darling, still very much in love, but that she was a hard, bitter woman - one who had gambled for everything and lost.

She could have taken lessons from Camilla, then.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

"Please, not again...couldn`t I just go into a convent or something?"


I`m sitting out a storm here - howling gale, trees down, and the field drain at the gate has overflowed and a muddy river is rolling past the front door. Amazingly for once the Papillons are not too eager to go out....

Nothing compared to what Queensland has just gone through. I followed the arrival of the cyclone in Townsville - the webcam had gone down when the power went, and a daring lad was upping video feed from his iPhone, standing out on a seventh floor balcony to film the cyclone`s landfall with horrific wind and rain and giving a commentary ("Well, the pool is really full, but the barbie`s gone..."). Great guy.

I should be eagerly anticipating a happy event, but a visit to the man with the scanner tells us that Allegra`s romantic interlude down south has not borne fruit. She is happy, but I am not. I have had a serious word with Solitaire and informed her that she is next in the line of fire. She rolled her eyes at me and backed off. Sex, you may remember, was one of the greatest disappointments of her life. Well, disappointments never come singly.......

I am reminded of the story of the girl who went to the fair and had her fortune read. The old gypsy woman looked at the cards, the crystal and her hand and then said;

"Well, hen, it`s like this. I can see nothing but trials, tribulations and disappointments - until you`re twenty-one."

"And after that?" cried the young girl eagerly.

"After that? " said the old wife........

"After that you`ll get used to it."

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