Thursday 30 October 2014

Canine Friends

We had a house full over the weekend and until Tuesday afternoon. The visitors included Rafi. He and Jade get on well most of the time, even cuddling up on the settee.

It 's really only at mealtimes that Jade has to be top dog and chases him away if he comes too close while I'm filling their food bowls. Once she has her nose in her bowl, I can feed Rafi in another room with the door closed between them. Afterwards everything goes back to normal. They've even been known to share the same dog bed, and Jade is happy for him to play with her toys as well.

The house is very quiet since they all left. Yesterday was a murky sort of day. Jade and I met another dog and his walker on Rockley beach in the afternoon. She said she found the mist on the harbour very beautiful but spooky, and I had to agree. It was perfect Halloween weather, just a couple of days early.

Friday 24 October 2014

Moon River

At my singing group today we sang this lovely piece. There are a number of versions of it on youtube. I think I like this one best.

Monday 20 October 2014

Another Torquay Interlude

Jade and I have had a very pleasant stay for a few nights with my sister and brother-in-law in Torquay. I haven't had to look at a computer or do any cooking or housework, but spent time walking  by a different seashore, and cuddling up with Jade on the settee while chatting or watching TV or films.

The picture shows the headland called Corbyn's Head and the beach that Jade and I trekked down to yesterday morning. The tide was not in as far as is shown here, so we were able to walk in front of these wooden structures which are the bases for the beach huts that have been removed for the winter months.

We've had a really lovely break and now I'm home again with batteries recharged and ready to get back to work.

The photo is from Wikimedia Commons by Derek Harper.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Back to Work After a Long Career Break

This very brief video came to me by email, and I just had to share it. Of course, you have to be old enough to know about life before computers to appreciate the joke. I just cracked up.

Monday 13 October 2014

Catching up with Friends and a Star Dieter

Yesterday I went out to lunch with my son and his girlfriend, and we drove to a pub run by friends near where we used to live. It was good to catch up with the landlord and his wife although, of course, they were too busy to have more than a few minutes with us. But our ex-next door neighbours also came along for a drink and a chat for the first time without George being with us.  Although we felt a little sad, we had some good laughs as well, remembering our old times together.

Jade wasn’t left out as she got petted, and I had taken along a dish for her to have some leftovers and a drink after we’d eaten. I was quite proud because a woman at the next table said she had never seen a King Charles look so slim before. They are renowned for wanting to eat and eat. 

If you are a regular reader, you may remember that when Jade went for her annual check-up in March, she was pronounced over weight and I had to reduce her food intake. The way I managed it was to halve her daily amount of Science Diet nuts, exchanging it for boiled rice and a little cooked chicken at breakfast time, and giving her perhaps a little less in the evening.  I also had to cut down the calories she was getting from treats during the day. It’s worked really well; we’ve seen a steady weight loss every month since, and the vet says she is their star dieter.

She now looks very svelte and has lots more energy for running around when we go out. Not today though as it has been heavy rain and we’ve just made a couple of quick trips to the park at the end of our road, with both of us snuggled into raincoats.

Friday 10 October 2014

Mature Studenthood

I've not been known to choose the easy route. I'd rather go over the mountain than around it. When I was offered a place to start in year 2 of an English degree course at Kingston Polytechnic in walking distance from my home (after completing a 2 year certificate in Higher Education when I was in my thirties), I passed it up for the 3 year Media Studies course for which I had to commute to the West End of London. This in spite of the fact that by then I was a single parent with two school age children and an unhelpful ex-husband.

Now it seems that my daughter could be a chip off the old block. She is making tentative plans to spend 4 years gaining her own degree leading to a complete change of career. She has mooted this before but there were too many barriers and it came to nothing. But it is her dream and I really hope that she can make it work this time.

I also have a selfish motive as she would have to move near me so that I can supply child and dog care when needed. So lots more change could be on the horizon. It certainly beats me trying to banish thoughts of my recent widowhood all the time.

Wednesday 8 October 2014

A Good Dog Book

I bought this book at the Pound Puppy Rescue fundraising bazaar on Saturday and it went to the top of my to be read pile immediately. Tomorrow I will pass it on to my dog minder who asked if it was making me cry. At the time I was not even half way through and I said, "No." But that was premature. It did have some parts that made this softie well up a bit.

The author, Jon Katz, relates the trials and tribulations of introducing a wild, two-year-old border collie  to his placid household and a very long suffering but luckily understanding neighbourhood. At times it seems that they will never properly bond, and you will have to read it to find out how it comes about.

I have no hesitation in recommending this book to anyone who loves dogs. My only gripe about it is that the sweet picture on the cover can't be of Devon when Jon first got him, because he was then two years old.

When I checked  Amazon, I found it still available along with a number of other doggie books by this author. Apparently this one was a catalyst for him writing in the genre (if you can call it that). I'll probably start buying them for my Kindle when my to be read list is depleted.

Monday 6 October 2014

A Morning's Work and Afternoon in the Great Outdoors

This pic of the beach at Canford Cliffs is
by Chris Downer

In the mornings, my computer draws me, calls me. All the while I feel it and have to resist until the time is right. I’ll have gone through my exercise routine, been out with Jade, fed her and myself, groomed her, and I really  want to get into my office, check my emails and Facebook, do some blog hopping, see what’s happening at Constant Content and whether I have made any sales there. If I succumb to the pull, the kitchen will remain a mess, the lounge untidied, the bed unmade, my teeth unbrushed (unlike Jade’s) and my face bare of make-up.

This happens more times than I care to admit, but not this morning. Although Jade woke me just after six, it was almost 10.30 before I found myself sitting in front of my monitor with all those irritating tasks completed. I’m still feeling quite pleased with myself having completed the article I was scheduled to write, and taken Jade for a lovely wild walk on the beach below Canford Cliffs. You can always find a free parking space there on days like today.

The beach was almost as empty of people as it is in the photo above, although we did see a few other people out with their dogs. We were all taking advantage of the fact that this part of the beach is open to dogs between October and April each year.

The sand was much smoother than it appears in the photo and the waves were bigger and wilder with white tops after this morning's wind and rain. Jade had a great time chasing the stones I picked up and threw for her, and then digging them into the pristine sand and gouging great holes so she could get them into her mouth again. It's a good way to get her running around to get some exercise instead of just trotting at my heels.

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