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, May 27, 2011

"Such goings on! Pass me my smelling salts!"


Further adventures with the utilities here.

We had an enormous storm, very unusual at this time of year. Huge winds battered trees in full leaf and the result was that a large number of them fell, and a greater number lost branches. The windswept roads were carpeted with fallen branches.

Here the wind roared in the trees, and flung them about, and the rain lashed down and it was only a matter of time before the inevitable happened and the power went out. A great search for candles and the emergency lamp, and there followed a miserable night of listening to the house being battered by the storm by candleight, and going to bed early.

In the morning it was still windy, with no power. I had to get out and check for damage - amazingly none. The dogs, who had reacted to the storm by curling up very tightly with tails wrapped round noses, had a look outside and rushed in to resume the position.

By afternoon the sound of chainsaws was echoing across the valley and I realised that the problem was being addressed. Shortly after, we had light and I could at last have a hot drink and hot food.

And then the water numpties returned. A new set. Their leader examined the previous attempt, and discovered what no-one had seen fit to tell them - that when Old Peter had been forciby "metered", he had been furious and sworn to find a way round it. There was a maze of illicit piping, all of it bypassing the meter. The previous "repair" had been an attempt to turn off one of those. This time they turned off the real main branch - and at once my pressure returned to normal, soaking me as I peered at the outside tap watching the trickle which suddenly became a torrent.

And so more or less back to normal. The police called, admired my vandal paint and barbed wire, and approved the fact that now I can hose the little buggers again. No, they didn`t offer any further help.

And Solitaire and Velvet and Ella are in season. Solitaire, little does she know it, is bound for another romantic assignation.

And of course Ella has again taken to her bed with "women`s troubles".

I suppose it should properly be called "Ella`s boudoir"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Down at the river, where the water is...not, alas, in our taps.


The water saga here continues. This is an area very close to a huge water treatment plant. The sort of area you would not expect to be plagued with mains leaks and loss of pressure....which we suffer every day.

We have been on less than half pressure for a month, ever since Scottish Water effected a "repair" at the derelict house next door. Water is gushing down the road. You would think the problem would be very evident.

Due possibly to my constant emails, but probably to the fury of my Rich Neighbour down the hill, who has a mansion with a pool, an outdoor hot tub, jacuzzis and a facility for swimming horses, all of which need full pressure, last week a load of numpties was decanted at the leak area, and proceeded to attempt to find it. My Good Neighbour phoned me the progress. Eventually they were reduced to using a water diviner - "They`re using bent coathangers now!" my neighbour gasped incredulously.

Today they came back with a digger and tools. Progress at last. The Customer Satisfaction Numpty was very encouraging......

And then the Supreme Numpty arrived. The Health and Safety man.

"Beware of buried cables!" he thundered.

All our phone and electricity cables are overhead and clearly visible.

They all packed up at once and left.

I can see I will not be using the hose in the foreseeable future.

Which is a pity, as I am beseiged by teenage gangs, who throw missiles and vandalise the place.

Things got so scary the other night that I was reduced to phoning 999 (like 911 in the US). And what happened?

Two hours later the police phoned back offering me an appointment to see a policeman the next day. That`s what constitutes an emergency service here nowadays.

Altogether, things are not too good here.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fidget gives an enthusiastic rendition of "Scots Wha Hae", "Flower of Scotland" and other patriotic ditties....mercifully there is no sound with this picture.....


I spent the overnight journey to the last show racing down the M6 in driving rain, listening to the election results come rolling in - yes, I am the kind of sad person who enjoys that sort of thing. And all the more so as it became evident that Scotland had almost to a man voted Nationalist, and that our Parliament in Holyrood would now be Nationalist run.

A great result.

Alas, Fidget did not echo it. The judge was distinctly underwhelmed by his performance.

Like Mr Salmond, he has an uphill battle ahead of him.

Let`s hope they both succeed.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Fidget - "Not another bath!"


Off again on the show trail, this year with Fidget. Despite being an inveterate mummy`s boy, he rather enjoys shows, which he sees as a matter of demonstrating his superiority to non-Papillons, of which altogether too many are allowed into dog shows. And he is overcoming his aversion to going round corners, although he would prefer to travel on my knee all the time.

So he is about to have one of his prolonged show baths this afternoon, involving soaking in 3 different horrendously expensive products (one imported from America) guaranteed to turn him out white enough to put snow to shame.

I know someone who is head colourist for a very prestigious firm of hair stylists, who has always had to deal with shampoo manufacturers. He also showed dogs, and knew all about dog shampoos. At that time a favourite to use on coated dogs was the human product "Wash and Go". He had a brainwave. He approached the manufacturers and suggested a new, lucrative market. They should sell it to the dog fancy, rename it "Wash and Win" - and quadruple the price. They would ( excuse the expression) clean up.

Alas, they were appalled. They talked about "degrading the product image". And so a great business opportunity was lost....no Alan Sugar there, then.

So this afternoon Fidget will be dunked, scrubbed and soaked in specialist products costing about as much per ounce as Chanel No 5.

And if I have time I`ll then wash my hair in whatever Tesco has been offering as a BOGOF this week.

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