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 24, 2013


A quiet time here, punctuated by two fairly local championship shows - great for once not to have to load a car and head out into the night with a cargo of dogs who start off squeaky clean, but may well be the worse for wear by the time they are unloaded.

Cupcake in particular hates travel.   He begins to dribble before he even gets into the car.   With travel sick pills he will not actually be sick, but has been known to make....offerings...from the other end.  There is no pill for that.   (Although the old saying about swallowing corks of varying size till you hit on one that fits comes to mind...)  He longs for a method of transport that does not involve four wheels and going round corners.
Belle at one year old

Angel loves it.   She sleeps all the way, on her back with her legs in the air like an upended beetle, in her little travel box.

This time the shows were back to back - two consecutive days.  Angel was delighted.   She would love a show every day.  Cupcake shuddered - two car journeys!

Two very contrasting shows.  We did reasonably at the first - but the judging was so slow that all sense of continuity was lost and the cafe did a roaring trade.  The Event Manager stood by with a watch, reminding us when the hall let would run out.   Fortunately Belle and Cupcake are very reliable and do not get bored, and anything that slows Angel up is a good thing.

Home very late from that one and off early again to the next.
Cupcake - just a year old  now

This , in contrast was efficiently quick in judging - but results were strange.  Cupcake was thrown out, but I didn`t feel so bad when I saw other top quality dogs go the same way.   At last I got an explanation.  "She only puts up dogs that stand like statues and keep looking at her."   Well, Cupcake didn`t like her.   He is too much of a gentleman to protest, but when she tried to attract him to look at her, he simply and eloquently turned his head away, and kept it turned.   Angel?   Stand still?  Look at the judge?   Amazing she was placed at all.

I headed off to the Afghan and Pharaoh rings, where my friends and relatives were having great success.

I find two days running pretty exhausting nowadays, and will be glad not to do it too often.

Angel, on the other hand, was very disappointed to wake on Monday and find that we really weren`t going again!

Saturday, May 11, 2013


The local council has gone tree mad.  Suddenly the fields above my house are infested with little men in high-viz jackets, planting  row upon row of saplings in little protective sleeves.

Needless to say, the dogs highly approve of this.   And so, I think, will the local vandals.  I don`t give much for the trees` chances, even behind deer fencing.  The council will get a grant for them provided they are cared for - well, knowing council workers, I still don`t have much hope for them.

Meanwhile it all makes work for the working man to do, and reminds me of the joke that sums up  my experience of council workmen :

One morning a man was looking out of his window, and saw a strange thing.   The road had a broad grass verge, and two council workmen were working on it. One would dig a large squarish hole, then move on a few yards and dig another.   Meanwhile the second man followed behind and filled in the holes.

Our man was consumed by curiosity.   He went out and asked "What are you doing?   One digs a hole, the other fills it in - it makes no sense!"

"Aye well," said the council workman, "I can see it would look a bit confusing.  You`re just not getting the full picture.   You see, the guy who plants the trees called in sick."

Monday, May 06, 2013

THE SILENCE OF THE PAPILLONS (No, not really - you should have heard them!) 

Bank holiday weekends are usually non-events for me - no public transport so I stay at home - but this time I was going to visit relatives across the river, so was busy getting ready.   I had already confined the younger dogs, who were very sulky about it, when there was an outburst from the Granny Farm, the elderly girls who were still out.

I went to investigate.   They were screaming abuse at a man walking along the garden fence.

Not a sight often seen at my gate...

Now I get a few of those.   They usually shout that they will go where they like and they have a "right to roam", and I face up to them and reply that that`s OK because I have a right to call the police and that`s what I`m doing right now.

This one didn`t respond to that.   He just kept on trying to get to the house.

And then the helicopter arrived.   A police one, hovering about in a search pattern.  The noise made any further conversation impossible.

Well, Bank Holiday Sunday, and the whole area as dead as the far side of the moon.   I reckoned that they must be looking for him.

I had another look at him, now trying to climb over the gate at the back.   If they were looking for him he must be an escaped criminal, or worse, a fugitive from the nearby Secure State Hospital, where the insane axe murderers go.

Well, he didn`t have an axe.   Or any weapon.   He shambled along, and looked harmless....but then so did Hannibal Lecter.   I saw a way out and waved to the helicopter, and pointed to him....

And the helicopter landed at my gate!   No, that doesn`t often happen.    Out came the crew, in helmets and kevlar vests, and all was made clear.   He had indeed escaped from hospital and was officially described as "very demented but quite harmless"  They had been searching for 6 hours.

Meanwhile two cars full of police and a van with more of them had pulled up at the gate.   They were more impressed with the helicopter than anything else going on.  "I`ve never seen one up close " confided one constable.

I had to make a statement, and was thanked for "helping a police operation".

They put him in the van and off they went.

I calmed down the old ladies, and in particular Fenella, who was still demanding that Something Should Be  Done, and phoned my relatives, who came and collected me.

On the way out we passed my Good Neighbours, who were understandably at their door looking out.  I explained.

"Yes, we could see something big was going on....

But we knew you`d be all right!"

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