National Extraneous Apostrophe Day


In fact, I think it must be National Extraneous Apostrophe Year as I’ve see so many of them around.

The local sun bed shop has had a new sign made:  ‘SUN BED’S’

The local greasy spoon has a sign up saying the now sell Holland’s pie’s.

So in honour of the occasion I’m going to litter everything I write today with extraneous apostrophe’s.

I may tell you about the dog’s at the dog club last night, all rehearsing a formation dance routine for a demonstration on Sunday. Douggie the doggie and  I had to drop out after Douggie had a fit, a shaky one not a hissy one. That meant at training last night we were put with the beginner’s. Ok, there was only one beginner but  I couldn’t get an apostrophe in. Phew! It’s harder than I thought, this.

Since it’s harder than I thought I’m going to spell potato as potatoe and tomato as tomato.  (Damn, now I have to think of thing’s to say that include the words potato and tomato).  I think I’ll add  extraneous ‘e’s to any words I can get them in as well to make the job easier.

Anyway, you get the idea. Everywhere I go my eyeball’s are assaulted with ridiculous mistakes that even nine year old’s shouldn’t be making.  What  on earth has happened? How did we become a nation of semi literate idiot’s? Rant over.

Except:

Booful’s and I decided to drop into B & Q to pick up a few item’s to beautify the garden for our potential buyer’s, who aren’t exactly battering the door down I might say.  While we were there I had occasion to use their er.. facility’s ( aaaaargh, my eyeball’s!!!). You’d think in a shop stuffed full of bathrooms they’d be able to replace a broken toilet seat in their own loo’s rather than hold it together with tape. Eeeeeeww.

As you may have guessed, the Douggiemobile, aka my CRV is a bit of a tip. It’s ( heh :-D) become a bit of a shrine to Douggie with a back seat guard, a tailgate guard, spare lead’s, poo bag’s, treat’s, towel’s and toy’s.  IT was quite a balmy evening last night so while I was driving north for our HTM lesson last night  I had the window’s open to keep Douggie cool.  I nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw what looked like a bat flying around in the boot. OH MY GOD. WHAT’S THAT??  Note to self: It’s not a good idea to stare into the back of the car whilst driving at 70 mph on the M6, or indeed any motorway.

The bat then landed on the tailgate guard. At which point I could see it was in fact a black poo bag which had been caught up in the draught and taken flight.  Oh! Be still my beating heart!

 

 

Pooh bear


Douggie the doggie, like most family pets I suppose, has a basket full of toys. When I say a basket full of toys what I mean of course is an empty basket and the toys are strewn all over the house. He doesn’t really do tidy, Douggie.

No one told me that having a dog would involve my house looking like a creche but hairier and smellier. Oh, the stuff I’ve found out since he landed on our doorstep. Towels, for instance, no one mentioned the endless washing of towels, did they? Oh no. They kept that one under their hats.  And the hair, I was expecting hair but with the amount he’s dropping lately I’m surprised he isn’t totally bald, how can he lose that much hair and still have so much left? It’s  all over the floor, rolling round the dining room tiles like tumbleweed, it’s in my food and all over my clothes.  Twice daily vacuuming is barely keeping it to a tolerable level.

Oh yes, and then there’s the  slobber. there’s another secret you don’t find out about until the pooch has taken full possession of your heart and there’s no way out. Geez, it’s like having a giant, hairy, four legged baby who needs massive amounts of exercise and entertaining.

I’ve been teaching him how to tidy up but he hasn’t quite got it on command yet. It still involves half an hour of training and ten pounds of sausages to get him to put the toys away, it’s cheaper, quicker and easier to do it myself. We’ll keep working on it and I’ll amaze you with a video of it when he’s cracked it.

The trouble with a big dog like Douggie is that he does tend to eat his cuddly toys. Our floors are garnished with kapok, little piles of it sitting like snowballs among all the white hair. It looks a bit winter wonderland ish in our lounge sometimes.   As you can imagine he gets through a steady supply of toys and I’m regularly seen lurking in  the charity shops of the borough stocking up on new ones for him.  I always check that there the eyes and such are sewn and not screwed in or anything  before I buy them but children’s toys  are generally stronger than the ones made for dogs  and last him a lot longer and of course they are loads cheaper. Not that I’m as tight as a duck’s backside or anything.

One of his favourite toys of late has been his Pooh Bear. He loves Pooh Bear and regularly sits nibbling at Pooh’s ears before grabbing him by the throat and ragging him mercilessly. Poor Pooh.

I walked in the other day to find that Pooh Bear had been murdered and eaten. His innards were all over the floor and I think it’s fair to say that Pooh was no more. I was surprised how little of him there was left.

The following morning I discovered why. Out for Douggie’s morning ablutions I was a bit surprised that it was bright orange and fluffy. Oh no!  Pooh Bear has become poo bear.

Poor Pooh. Or do I mean poo?

 

 

The law of attraction


Do you believe in the law of attraction?

The idea that whatever it is you really focus on the universe will provide, good or bad.  It might be that you unconsciously change how you do things or your attitude to life generally. I don’t know how it works but my experience has been that it does. I’ve been lucky enough to have been surrounded by many positive, inspiring  and enlightened people in my life. Hard working people who don’t believe that anything is given to them on a plate and who are open to new ideas and ways of thinking. I have always found these people very easy to be around and over the years some of their positive energy must have rubbed off onto me. Ooh, I love a bit of positive thinking, me!

What am I on about? Well, dear reader, let me tell you.

There have been some strange things occurring at Boofuls Towers recently. Doors have been closing and other doors opening in a very timely fashion clearing the path for our big adventure, the details of which I’ll share with you soonish. Suffice for now just to say that there are some major life changes on their way for us.

Right out of the blue Boofuls and I have both taken phone calls from agents asking us if we want to sell our respective businesses, exactly at the time we have spoken extensively to each other about doing just that.

About a month ago, I was doing a lot of soul searching  about whether it was time to  retire from photography. As much as I  love doing what I do I felt it needed to go in order to make space for our new adventure.  Well, blow me down, just a few days after our discussion about it I got an email saying that my baby photography contract was being changed. For the worse. Decision made!  The universe provided me a get out clause. All I have to do now is see the clients I have now through to the end and then I won’t be a photographer any more. Gosh! That seems strange.

Boofuls and I are changing direction and going down a different path and it’s all starting to feel like it’s moving from a dream to a plan, a plan that’s rapidly gathering momentum.  Exciting and scary at the same time, like a roller coaster. Not that I’ve ever been on a proper roller coaster, I’m far too much of a wuss for that. The most exciting ride I’ve ever been on is the caterpillar ride at Camelot with the babies from nursery when Lashes was little.

Pop back tomorrow and I’ll tell you about yesterday’s very, very weird day.

 

 

 

 

 

That was the week that was……..


My birthday! Happy birthday to me!

I’m one of the few people who can truly say is British since my Mum was Welsh, my Dad was a Scot and I was born in England on St Patrick’s day which of course was on Monday of last week.

We do birthday’s in a big way in our family so of course, in true Boofuls Towers stye, the celebrations started early with a party last Staurday for close family and friends. Funnily enough, it’s never crossed my mind to have a St Patrick’s themed party.

Instead we had a pirate themed party to get us in the mood for May’s  pirate festival in Brixham.  Aaaaaaar.  The pirates’ provenance was a bit mixed with sea shanties from Cornwall, (miserable dirges they were, they lasted about two minutes before I put something more cheery on), Caribbean inspired food, cake, costumes and drinks along with a few eye patches, swords and hats and a lot of “Aaaaaarrrrrrr, ye scurvy dog” completed the theme.

One day we might put on a sophisticated soiree and surprise everyone. Nah, only kidding!

Sunday was a recovery day for most of the party goers. Me? I was annoyingly chipper having spent most of the previous evening on soft drinks. Boofuls and I went out to get some new curtains and rugs to give the house a bit of a lift for spring.

Monday. The big day! The day started with Boofuls bringing me a cup of coffee in bed and Douggie the doggie jumping on the bed and giving me a big sloppy kiss.  Two minutes later I was holding his head ( Douggie’s not Boofuls’) over the waste bin to catch his vomit and prevent it going all over my brand new cream coloured bedroom carpet. I don’t think the vomit was anything to do with the big sloppy kiss he gave me. I hope not, anyway.

Next up was lots of pressies and brekkie at at the new eating and drinking emporium in town with my bestie. Full English breakfast? Don’t mind if I do! WE were absolutely gobsmacked to see people drinking actual achohol at 10.00 a.m.  The venue was split into two definite parts. One part being the ladies who meet for coffee and men who meet for beer – and never the twain shall mix. We all stayed at our own end of the pub and looked across disdainfully at the other side.

Monday night, Boofuls went out to his club and I met some clients at work. Oh well, can’t have everything.

On Tuesday I went with Douggie the doggie to a choreography session at our club. We are doing an exhibition for a local-ish charity soon and the club has been asked to do something special, so we’re doing formation dancing for dogs. Cool!

Wednesday. Oh Wednesday.  What a grim start to the day. The light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be the taxman’s torch.  Sigh. A nice tax demand took the edge of my celebrations but not for long.

On Wednesday afternoon I went to see a medium. Whether you believe in it all or not, I do. Fervently. Difficult not to when if you have to put a title onto yourself that title would be ‘spiritualist’.

I’m not going to share anything that was said there – yet. I’m saving it for a big announcement to come soon (ooooooooh, exciting!!). All I will say is: Bloody hell, has she been stalking us and bugging our phones? This woman is gooood.

One of my birthday gifts from Boofuls was tickets to see Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace in Dance ’till Dawn in Manchester. Funny, entertaining, amazing dancing, obviously. It was fabulous. Go and see it immediately! What? I now you’re at the other side of the world. Don’t make excuses, go and see it. It’s worth it!

Thursday was a recovery day.  

Friday was the day I’ve been waiting for. Lashes and I went to a spa for the day. It was a Christmas pressie from Boofuls and I’ve been saving it.  What a fantastic day. I can cope with massages, facials, long, leisurely lunches and a bass or two of wine. What a fantastic day we had. Made even better by the fact that Boofuls dropped us off and picked us up o there was no driving involved. He and Len picked us up at the appointed time and then they took us to The Clog and Billycock for dinner.

What’s theClog and Billycock?

It’s a  restaurant, not too far away from here that is owned by the well known chef Nigel Haworth. I’ve been wanting to go for some time, so we did.

You must go there, immediately. You can do it when you come to see Dance ’till Dawn. With it’s deceptively simple menu and homely surroundings its a lovely place to spend and evening.  I thought it would be a bit pretentious, I expected to see beluga caviar served on a sturgeon’s fin nestling on a swan’s left ear but it was exactly the opposite. Lovely simple, tasty and wholesome food.  Good grief. I was so full I could hardly move.

You know the food is good when you are stuffed to the gunnels but when they ask if you want a dessert you say yes and eat every last bit of it. Last time I was that full was the ‘nine puddings’ incident in Hong Kong. I’ll tell you about that another day. Here are a couple of photos for you. One of my Lancashire hotpot and one of my dessert, a lovely, light lemon possett.

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They’re alright these birthdays. Weeks like this I can deal with. Happy birthday. It certainly was. Thanks to everyone who made it all happen.  Now then.  Where are my elasticated trousers?

 

The Kids are Alright


Lesley:

Interesting reading. It always amazes me how much people expect of their dogs when there are children around. Time to educate the parents?

Originally posted on The Science Dog:

childhuggingdog   Baby sitting on dog   baby with pit bull

child and dog 3  dogkid5  childwithdog

A SAMPLE OF “KIDS WITH DOGS” PHOTOS TAKEN FROM A 30-SECOND GOOGLE SEARCH

Disclaimer: If you are not horrified by these photographs (even worse….if you think they are cute), you are probably not going to like what follows.

A few statistics: According to the CDC, approximately 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Of these reported bites, a large victim demographic is children under the age of 10. Children are most likely to be bitten severely enough to require medical care or hospitalization. They are also most frequently bitten by their own dog or by a dog who they know, such as the dog belonging to a neighbor or relative. Bites to the face and neck are common in children, most likely because of their size and the types of behavior that they engage in with dogs.

Why is this surprising? Really now. If I can find…

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Daily prompt


Ok, this was actually a few days ago so I’m not sure it still counts as a daily prompt but hey ho. I stumbled across it when I was doing a bit of  blog surfing during a quiet few minutes.

The second I saw it a whole stream of ideas came tumbling forward. If only I’d had the time to sit and write about it all then.  With hindsight it’s probably as well I had a few days thinking time as I was feeling particularly bellicose that day about out little town and some of my suggestions may have shocked and/or offended you. Certainly my answer would have been short and to the point. So, here it is:

“What do you love most about the city / town / place that you live in? What do you like the least about it? If you were mayor, what would be the most important problem you’d tackle?”

A prompt like this could open a whole can of worms, couldn’t it?  It reminds me of when I was at college and he had to do a photographic essay about ‘our town’. I’m not saying the tutors lacked imagination or anything but that same project turned up several times during my time at college. There’s hardly a street in the town that I haven’t photographed as part of some, ‘My Town’ project or other. Anyway, back to the plot. I remember the tutor saying that it’s easy to find the negative things and portray a poor image, try to give  a balanced view of things, get to the heart and soul of the place. I’ll try and apply that premise to this, ‘My Town.’ project.

What do I love most about this little townette? Without doubt it’s spectacular scenery.  Boofuls and I  are lucky enough where we live to have views right across the valley. We can watch the weather  over the hills change on an hourly or even minute by minute basis as we are so high up.  The changing colours on the moors as the seasons roll by always fascinates me and Lashes has often mocked my exclamations of, “Just look at that beautiful light.” I suppose that’s a photographer thing.  From anywhere in this town it’s only a short walk to the moors where you can feel like you are on the top of the world. Ah yes, that’s definitely the best thing about this town – getting out of it.

What do I like the least? So many things to choose from.  Like so many places it has a huge divide between the haves and the have nots. It is one of the few places left where low cost rented accommodation is still available and that of course brings it’s own problems.  Let’s be polite and call them social problems.  Just last Saturday I picked up seven, count ‘em, s-e-v-en empty vodka bottles from the car park at work, they’d been casually flung over the wall, along with the  many beer cans, chip wrappers, an onion, peeled and wrapped in cling film (?) and various other bits of detritus.   With regard to the vodka bottles ( they are nothing to do with me – that’s just a rumour, honest!) I can only assume that someone likes a little drinkie on the way home from the pub so gets a half bottle of vodka to keep them company on the way home. They must just happen to finish it as they pass my place of work.  At least these bottles were still intact and not in a million pieces all over the car park as they so often are.

That brings nicely to my daily rant. Glass and dog poo. Everywhere.  Taking Douggie the doggie for a walk anywhere round the streets of this town is fraught with danger for his little paws. I’m sure there must be a town glass smasher because all the pavements, the base of the trees, the car parks and the playgrounds all have a layer of glass frosting.   How is it possible to have so much glass absolutely everywhere? Between that and the dog poo dodging we must look like we’re dancing up the street.  There are times I think I’m the only person who ever picks up after my dog.  I must say that I do feel rather stupid sometimes picking up Douggie’s poos when there are at least six others in the same area surrounding it like a little poo fairy ring.

Of course there are the good citizens who decide to decide to pick up the poo – and then leave it or fling it into the bushes. Seriously, what’s that about?  It’s probably better to leave it where it was, usually in the middle of the pavement where it will at least biodegrade as it’s being spread around the neighbourhood on the shoes of small children who fail to see it in time.

If I was mayor? Easy. Kick out the scrotes and clean the place up. That isn’t going to happen any time soon though. This town has been, and has the potential to be, a charming little town. All it needs is a little bit of love and a  whole lot of money spending on it. 

The Enormous Crap


I imagine after a title like that, (well done for progressing past the title if you’re still here),  you’re starting to read this with a certain amount of trepidation about what’s to follow.

Well, fear not, dear reader, it’s not as bad as you might be thinking.

As you know, Munki has been at ‘big’ school now for some months and has taken to it like a duck to water.  If ever a child needed to go to school it was that one . The structure , the discipline and  the mountain of knowledge just waiting to be uncovered have made this an exciting time for her. It turns out that the child is a bit of a mathematical genius and can’t wait to get home from school to log on to  ‘Mathletics’ on her computer and earn herself a few hundred more points. Long may that continue!

Somehow, the teachers took a long time to notice that she is also a very good reader, mostly down to the fact that Lashes has read to and with her almost every day since she was born.  Day after day Munki has been  coming home from school with books  that had a  single word on a page and complaining, “They’re BORING!”  They aren’t  even the beginning of a challenge to Munki who’s reading age is far above her years.

Lashes continued to quietly read to and with Munki on a daily basis, from books far in advance of the ones coming home from school and eventually they realised at school that they might actually be holding Munki back a bit and so now they give her books from the junior readers.  They have at least four words on a page. Still no kind of a challenge but a move in the right direction.

In their defence I imaging they are trying to establish that she is actually understanding  what she’s reading before giving her works of literary genius to have a go at.

One day last week, Munki came home with another book from school.  Lashes duly read it through with Munki, it was an engaging little story about an enormous crab. After the story was finished Lashes picked up the reading record book to sign and therefore prove that Munki had done her homework.  Imagine her surprise when she read what the teacher had written earlier in the day when she wrote the title of the book:

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Lashes, didn’t know if she should laugh, cry, complain or ignore it.  In the end she decided to laugh and then have a word with the teacher about it. Me, I laughed and laughed and laughed.

Yesterday I spent some time with Dangerous and Batty. We went for a lovely walk through the woods and had a fantastic time climbing over all the trees that had blown down in our recent storms. Of course Douggie the doggie came along as well. Why can’t I just have a nice little dog who doesn’t like to get dirty? I think it’s fair to say he enjoyed his walk. here are  the before, during and after photos.

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To be honest, if you’d  have taken a picture of me after that walk I’d have looked a bit like that last picture as well.

Word camp sheffield anyone going?

Thanks to all my friends


Lesley:

This is a reblog of a post from 2011. I stumbled across it today and it made me smile. I hope it makes you smile too.

Originally posted on Tripping over Pebbles in the Dark:

Dear Friends

Just before the end of the year I wanted to thank you for the e-mails you have forwarded over the year.

I must send a big thank you to whoever sent me the one about rat crap in the glue on envelopes, because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.

Also, I now have to wipe the top of every can I open for the same reason.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it all to a sick girl (Penny Brown) who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time. But that will change once I receive the  £15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft are sending me for participating in their special email programs. Or from the senior bank clerk in Nigeria who wants me to split seven million dollars with me for pretending to be a…

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The poo incident


The vet’s remedy of choice for Douggie the doggie of her two options, the one that didn’t work or the one that could destroy his kidneys, turned out to be the one that could destroy his kidneys.

She phoned me to give me the news that I could pick up his tablets the following day and commence treatment.

I felt sick.

It seems like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Surely there has to be a gentler way than this to control his epilepsy?

I consulted with my old friend, Google and did a bit of research. Then it hit me. Homoeopathy! Of course!

When Lashes was a baby she had shocking eczema and we found ourselves in a similar situation, use potentially harmful and invasive drugs or find a gentler way. After many months of trying out various herbal cures, lotions, potions and pills with limited success we found a homoeopath. Within a few days Lashes’ eczema was  cured.

Referring back to my old friend, Google, I found a homeopathic vet about an hour away from us. One quick phone call to them and an appointment was booked. One quick phone call to my own vet to ask them to fax Douggie’s medical records over to the new vet left me with my ears on fire. Fair to say the vet wasn’t impressed. Funny that. I remember our GP having exactly the same response when I told him Lashes was seeing a homoeopath. He told me a was a bad mother and I was dabbling in nothing more than witchcraft. Bless him.

The night before our appointment I gave Douggie a wash and brush up. Since he’d spent most of the previous week wet through he was smelling more than a bit like particularly pungent cheese. He made stinking bishop smell like a rose garden.

About an hour before we were due to set off to the new vet I took him for a walk up the track. Off he went to try and catch a rabbit as he does, he’s never caught one yet, probably because of his habit of thundering up the hill announcing his arrival about 200 yards before he gets there. All the rabbits are safely back in their burrows long before he arrives.  I carried on up our track happy in the knowledge that he’s catch me up before the corner. I got to the corner. No Douggie.

“DOUGGIIIIIIIE”

In the distance I saw four legs waving about in the air.  Oh no!!

I set off running back down the track thinking he was having another fit. Then I saw a big doggie head pop up with a big stupid grin on it’s face.  At exactly the same moment I real realised he had buried himself in our neighbours twenty foot high pile of horse poo and was having a good old roll round in it.

OHHHHHHNOOOOOO!!!!!

Instead of the pristine white he’d been five minutes earlier an orange Douggie ran up to meet me, so pleased with himself. Not an inch of him didn’t have horse poo on it. It was hanging off him in clumps, there was bits of straw stinking out of him at all angles giving him a peculiar porcupine shape, lets not even talk about the aroma.  They say horse poo is good to put on the garden. I could cheerfully have buried him in the garden  - and there was enough poo on him to fertilise it for a whole year.

Nothing for it but to give him another bath.

I filled the bath and then braced myself to stand in it in order to shower him down and get the shampoo deep into his fur. While I was paddling around in dilute horse poo with the straw and clumps  getting between my toes it’s fair to say I asked myself some serious questions as to why I actually wanted a dog. That was between the heaving of course. Keeping hold of my breakfast was proving tricky.

We arrived at the vets just about on time, with Douggie still  dripping wet through and a bit whiffy. He really needed more than the once over I’d given him. What he really needed was a whole bottle of shampoo and huge amounts of deodorant. The vet was very polite about it and pretended she couldn’t smell him. Oh, the shame!

Our consultation lasted an hour and a half, during which time she asked me gazillions of questions about Douggie, about me, about his background, everything about him in fact. Every now and then she’d “Hhhhhmmmmm” and consult her book.  Eventually she decided on a remedy for him. Actually, two. One constitutional remedy and one acute remedy.  The acute remedy is for when he’s in stressful situations. It’s belladonna! I walked into the health shop and asked for it and they looked at me if I was trying to kill someone. “Belladonna? What do you want that for?”

Obviously being homeopathic it’s massively diluted.  Mind you,  if Douggie pulls any more stints like what will go down in history as  ‘the poo incident’ I may well be looking for a stronger dose.

Be warned, pooch!

 

 

 

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