Category Archives: 2013

2013 in pictures

Winklepop needed cheering up.

I’m afraid I wasn’t a lot of use to her with my miserable arsed posts from the latst couple of days. I’m putting it down to my post Torquay and annual New Year depression. I’m over it now.

I’ve been having a look through this years photographs and put together a selection of my favourite ones.  They aren’t in any particular order but they start  from January last year when Boofuls and I made the trip to the Finnish/ Swedish border in search of the northern lights and end with this Christmas. Some of the photos you might have seen before, some I know you haven’t.

More discerning readers will, I’ve no doubt, look at some and dismiss it as rubbish. I agree. Artistic or technical merit wasn’t my criteria for inclusion So what did make a photo qualify for the edit? It might just have been because it made me laugh, evoked an emotion, captured a record of an event or because I just plain liked it. No rhyme or reason to it. Here they are, I hope you like at least some of them.

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…nothing was stirring, not even a mouse.

Well, that’s not strictly true.

My phone was stirring. Someone who doesn’t even have kids sent me a text message while it was still dark to wish us a Merry Christmas. Dagnabbit woman, it’s still dark!!

Two minutes after that I heard a kerfuffle downstairs and ran down thinking the dog was having a fit but he wasn’t. He was just throwing up.

Ho ho hoooooo Merry Christmas, I thought as I cleaned up the vomit. Might as well get up now and have some quiet time before the spud peeling begins.

So here I am having a nice brew, dog nodding quietly next to me wondering why I’m up so early when it isn’t even a work day.

It feels like Christmas. Even sitting here on my own.

I love this part of the day, the anticipation, the pressies all piled under the tree, the table set ready for our guests later. Once the day starts properly it’ll fly past, I’m savouring the quiet moments because the busy ones will fly by without me even noticing them.

Anyway, that’s enough musing.


Merry Christmas to all my friends and family. Merry Christmas to you bloggy readers, thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings. A special Merry Christmas to Vanessa who  feels like a friend now. I love your comments and occasional arse kickings 😀

Whatever your Christmas brings (or brought, depending on where you are and what time it is) I hope it is/was everything you hoped for. As for me and Boofuls, we’ll be going to bezzie mates to conclude the breakfast saga. Next we’ll be off to The Rev and Gembolina’s for pressies with the clingons. I hope The Rev  has sherry in.  I love a sherry at Christmas. It makes me feel like Miss Marple and I can’t help but say in a cut glass voice “More sherry, vicar?” as I hold out my glass for a refill.

After the Rev’s it’ll be back home with Big N, Lashes and Len for Christmas dinner. Munki will arrive at some point after the Queen’s speech from TTF’s full of sugar and bouncing off the walls. We have a plan for that – no it doesn’t involve sherry. Naughty!

Once they’ve all gone home it’ll be the sofa, Doctor Who and  Call the Midwife accompanied by a nice glass of something bubbly (probably water at that stage haha). A few snuggles with the hubby and the pooch should round the day off nicely.

That sounds like a perfect Christmas day to me.

What’s your idea of a perfect Christmas day?




Well I just don’t know

“What’s up that we haven’t got an invitation to bezzie mates for croissants and champagne this Christmas morning?”

” Well, I just don’t know. She hasn’t even mentioned Christmas Day. It’ll be weird not going there  for our Christmas morning breakfast, we’ve done it every year since she moved to Littletown many years ago.”

“Ask her.”

“No. I don’t want to basically invite ourselves. If she wanted us to go she’d have invited us. She must have other plans. She hasn’t mentioned anything though.”

That was the conversation between Boofuls and me earlier this week.

Yesterday Lashes requested that she come and spend a few hours with us today as Len was working, Munki was with TTF and she didn’t want to spend Christmas Eve on her own. Not unreasonable.

Up popped one of my little thought balloons.

“I know! I’ll invite bezzie mate and hubby for drinkies. If we aren’t going to see her Christmas Day we’ll see her today instead.”

So, I invited bezzie mate and hubby. Lashes came to visit as planned, Big N dropped by, The Rev, Gembolina and the kids stopped by, one of the neighbours popped in and we had a lovely time chatting and laughing uproariously while the wind howled and the snow made a dismal attempt for a few minutes at giving us a nice, festive backdrop to the festivities.

Eventually I asked the question the whole family was willing me to ask:

“So, Bezzie. What are you doing this year that you haven’t invited us for breakfast?”

She looked at me silent and shocked for a minute.

“What!?!  What d’you mean? You’d better be coming for breakfast. I’ve bought loads in and I’ve already set the table.” ( I would have used the English term, ‘laid the table’ but I didn’t want any Americans choking on their advocaat, or egg nog as you call it).  What made you think you weren’t coming?”

“You didn’t invite us.”

“OHHHHH SHIIIIIT!!!!  OHHHHHHH MY GOD!!!!!! ‘ Course you’re invited!!! You don’t need inviting! It wouldn’t be Christmas without you  all coming for breakfast. OHHHHH MY GOD! That would have been awful!!


I love my bezzie.

Ho Ho Oh!

Hello? Complaints Department?  You haven’t posted a blog for 11 days. That’s EL-E-VEN whole days.

Get to it!

Crap. Eleven days? Well. In my defence……. *begins a long list of excuses and whining*

It would appear I’ve gone form a moderately successful wedding photographer to a stonkingly good baby photographer. I’ve got orders spewing  out of every orifice at the moment. Working till stupid o’clock every night just to try and keep up with it all.

While we’re on the subject of spewing ( I know! I can hear you saying it, “Just leave that one right there, Lesley. Just put the subject down and step away from it”).

Sorry. Can’t.

Munki started it all off. Grey faced and wan she shook, shat and projectile vomited while they tried to put up the Christmas tree. It kind of takes the fun out of it ( the trimming up, not the vomiting) . Singing along to Deck the halls with boughs of *bluerggghghghghgh*.  The poor little  mite wished on a star that she could never be sick again.

Then she passed the bug on to Lashes. Not to say she was illl or anything but she lost ten pounds in a week. Oh well, they do say every cloud has a silver lining and there it is!

Lashes then passed the bug on to Boofuls.  The less said the better, I feel.

I went into full on germ phobia mode. Nary a door handle was touched without me disinfecting it first. Kisses were  blown from across the room and cuddles were straight out of the window. I haven’t got time to be bloody ill!

I was dispatched to the chemist’s for remedies. It reminded me of my friend, who, when we were on holiday and I was ill, walked into the chemist and said loudly as she pointed to me ” WHAT HAVE YOU GOT FOR MY FRIEND?SHE’S GOT THE SHITS?” The shame!!!

I chose to take a lower key approach although my mission was the same. I slipped quietly into the chemist’s and enquired discreetly as to suitable remedies for Lashes’ predicament so as not to attract the attention of the  family of four waiting who were waiting there for a taxi.

Yes, really. I thought it was a bit odd but then I had to remind myself that this is Dingleville and anything goes. They obviously thought as I pulled up outside in my car that I was the taxi and glowered angrily at me when they realised I wasn’t. Intimidating, much.

I was asking the pharmacist  advice on the best way to stop, er, emissions when a woman walked in, barged past everyone, threw a Christmas card onto the counter from a distance and snarled ‘Merry Christmas’ in a voice that suggested she’d rather be saying, ‘fall down and die, bitch’. Then she turned on her heel and stropped out.

The pharmacist and I looked at each other shocked  until I said, “and a merry Christmas to you too.” At which point we started to giggle.  When the pharmacist told me that the woman who delivered the card had done  so on behalf of the local church I  giggled some more at the irony of it all, then I laughed till I cried. Tears streamed down my face. The family of four waiting for the taxi looked at me warily, obviously thinking I was an escaped lunatic. I left the chemist’s still laughing, clutching my various potions for delivery to Lashes. It kept me going all day, that did.

Last weekend I had a full list of appointments booked at the studio. The trouble was I was feeling a bit like Old Mother Hubbard but just couldn’t find the time to go shopping and I was getting mightily fed up of living on sandwiches.  Boofuls offered to do the weekly shop. Reluctantly I agreed to let him do it. It’s not that I don’t trust him but we can’t just live on bread, ham, wine and chocolate. I’d give it  fair go though. Anyway, he hopped off to Sainsbury’s while I talked doting Mums through their sprogs photos. 

Bless him, he tried, he really did. I could tell by the contents of the shopping bags that he’d tried to shop like I do. I could almost see him thinking, ‘she always buys fruit……and vegetables so we’ll have some of them’. ‘Some’ in this instance meaning enough to keep a whole zooful of animals in fruit and veg for an entire month. Dear Lord, there’ll be no shortage of vitamins in this house for a while! The rest of the shopping basket was  bread, wine, ham and chocolate.

Here I am holding my two huge melons. Lovely melons, eh? Teeheheee.


Munki and I were in the woods today taking Douggie for a walk. There’s a tree in the woods that locals have decorated with baubles. I put one on this morning in memory of my dear old Mum, she loved Christmas. Munki wanted to put one on as well so we went this afternoon.  She wanted me to lift her up so she could put it on one of the highest branches but we negotiated and we settled for one of the child height branches instead. Here’s my bauble. Green because Mum always told me that heaven was green.

green christmas bauble

And here is Munki next to her bauble. Pink because Mum loved pink.

pink bauble

And the tree in it’s entirety with it’s ‘stripe’ of baubles.

christmas tree and dog

Right. That’s enough gossip for now. Tonight’s appointment has cancelled which means that Boofuls, Douggie and me get to spent (almost ) a whole evening together. I just have a few small jobs to do first…..

It’s a dog’s life

Boofuls is away tonight. Well you know what they say, while the cats away the mice will play.

Or in my case they’ll spend all night at the computer working. With a list as long as my arm of things I needed/wanted to get done tonight I don’t seem to have got much off the list even though I’ve been busy all night. 

When did life get so very busy? Roll on Christmas for a rest for a few days.

So. Let’s catch up on the gossip, we haven’t spoken for days.

Well, Last Tuesday, me and Douggie took our Kennel Club good citizen test – and passed!! yay!  Clever Douggie! Here we are getting our certificate. Those trainers are brilliant. Funny, friendly and very switched on. I’m going to miss them but our work at that club is done.

Copyright: Dog news source: internet
Copyright: Dog news source: internet


Instead we are concentrating on our dancing.

Did I tell you I spent most of last weekend dog training? The HTM club had drafted in a trainer to do a weekend workshop of which I could attend Friday and Sunday. It was brilliant!!

Even more brilliant after having been told on Thursday that my dog was rubbish and would never achieve anything so I should get another dog.

WOT? *shocked face*

Trade in my Douggie?  Steady on there Mrs, that’s a bit harsh!

There were tears on the way home that night. I’m not interested in another dog, I just want to dance with my Douggie.

It was with a heavy heart that we trapped up for the super duper workshop training on Friday. I sat there feeling like I didn’t have the right to be there and a complete fraud. Keeping a very low profile I watched, listened and learned. I learned that some of these dogs are actually BITING their handlers in the ring. Some are completely out of control and some, like Douggie are so laid back they are almost horizontal. The more I heard, the more I thought; Douggie’s not so bad after all.

The trainer tackled issue after issue with a variety of  dogs and I took it all in. On Sunday we had a chance to put it all practice and get feedback from him as well. Both Douggie and I loved it.

Over the next few days I put his advice ( the trainer’s, not Douggie’s)  into action. We trained in the railway stain, the town centre ( you don’t half feel a fool), the car park,  in the woods, you name it, we trained there. Thirty seconds to a minute of high intensity ‘play’.  Douggie loves it.

Thursday night came round again and we turned up at the dog club.

“Come on then, show us what you’ve got,” they said, really not expecting much except to see me flapping around and trying to entice Douggie to join in, as usual.

Well, we showed ’em what we had.

We wowed them. Mouths dropped open and chins hit the floor. Heheeeeeeeeee!!

I believe I heard the words “Hundreds percent better.”

That’ll do for me, dog.   I was so proud of him. The new training regimen has worked wonders.

Now I’ve got three days to get a dance routine together for the Christmas party and rather than dreading it, I’m actually looking forward to it.

Wish us luck.




cold tits and warm tits

Winter’s here!

Well, I say winter’s here but it’s been a balmy 9 degrees for the last few days. That is all set to change later in the week though when the wind from Siberia is set to swoosh its way down at a rapid rate of knots bringing its pal, snow with it.

That’ll turn a few warm tits into cold tits.


I’m not being rude. Let me explain, dear reader.

Many years ago when Boofuls and I were trainee microlight pilots our instructor was the late, great Tony Wells, otherwise known as Uncle Dumper.

The name came about when Boofuls gained his pilot’s licence, I was still circuit bashing,  and we would want to go off flying together, which of course we couldn’t do in a microlight with a baby in tow so we’d say to Tony, “Can we dump her her on you for an hour?” Tony would always respond with mock anger. “Dump her on me? Oh yes, I’m just Uncle Dumper, me.”  The truth was that he adored Lashes and enjoyed being in her company. 

She spent so much time in his company as a small child that she developed his dry sense of humour. None of the other kids at nursery ever knew what she was on about. She still has that odd humour to this day. It’s Dumper’s legacy. Until she was about ten years old she thought he was really called Uncle Dumper because that’s what we all called him.

Anyway, I digress.

Uncle Dumper used to talk about the weather forecast in terms of cold tits and warm tits.

I always thought, being the man he was, that he was being sexist in order to annoy me. Something that he always found highly amusing. He always knew exactly how to push my buttons and I always reacted, never realising till it was too late that he was making fun of me. Dammit, Dumper, you did it again!

Well. Imagine my surprise this week when I discovered that it’s actually true!

Here is a quote from flightlogistics .com

The weather chart indication of a warm front is xxx generally remembered as ‘warm tits’ whilst the indication of a cold front is xxx generally remembered as ‘cold tits’. You may never look at a weather chart in the same way again! Occlusions termed as Warm or Cold, they have similar weather as warm or cold fronts but take less time to pass.”

Well, bugger me, he wasn’t making it up!


Kitchen Talk

This week I had three brilliant quotes for you. The only trouble is I forgot one of them before I wrote it down. Silly senile old bugger that I am.

All three quotes made me laugh out loud and the last one lifted me right out of my post holiday, ‘God, this place is a dump’ grumps.

The first one was after I arrived back from a long and lovely walk with Douggie the doggie while we were still on holiday. Leaving just as it was getting light we’d walked along the coastal path, checked out a few little coves and made our way down to the harbour for a coffee while we sat and watched the town shake itself out of it’s slumber and get ready for the start of a new day. The sunrise had been magnificent. Purple, pink, orange and finally, blue. Dougggie and me watched transfixed as the sky changed colour. Ok, I watched transfixed, Douggie just sniffed around a bit and did lots of little pees, looking at me occasionally as I tried to find enough superlatives to describe the glorious morning.  It was stunning ( the sunrise, not the peeing) and I felt privileged to have witnessed it along with my doggie and a few noisy seagulls.

It was in fact this very sunrise. Shame the camera on my phone doesn’t do it justice but I’m sure you get the idea.

Watching the sunrise near Daddyhole Plain, Torquay
Watching the sunrise near Daddyhole Plain, Torquay

As  we got back from our walk the rest of the family was just about getting themselves up and about. Len and me stood in the kitchen chatting and I told him all about our lovely walk. “I envy you that,” he said, “It must be lovely.

“Well, come with me tomorrow then, you’re more than welcome.”

Here comes the quote, brace yourself;

“Oooh no. I couldn’t arsed with that, that’s far too early to be getting up.”

Hahaaaa, you don’t envy me that much then, eh? Silly sausage!


A few days after we got home, Lshes and Munki wet having a conversation in the kitchen. Which is of course where all the best conversations take place. It went a bit like this:

Munki: I want you to have a baby.
Lashes: I’m not having a baby.
Munki: Are you sure? It looks like there’s one in your tummy.
Lashes: Babe, I promise you there is no baby in my tummy.
Munkiie: are you just getting fat then?
Heheeeeee. I wouldn’t have dared! Munki of course, being four years old, doesn’t feel the need to edit her thoughts. Poor Lashes.

Finally, still in the kitchen:

Douggie is such a sweet dog. I put his breakfast down on the floor and as normal he sat and waited till I gave him permission to eat. The cat who was skulking around at the time felt she needed no such permission. ‘I’ll have a bit o’ that’, she thought despite having a bowlful of her own food right there.  She  got her head straight into Douggie’s food bowl and started chaffing away. Douggie just sat and watched in horrified amazement, occasionally looking up at me as if to say, “Help! The cat’s eating my breakfast and I’m not allowed to move.”

His face was a picture. I stood laughing helplessly until I felt so sorry for Doggie I moved the cat in front of her own food bowl where she carried on chaffing like there had been no interruption to service. Senility and blindness has certainly done a lot for her bravery levels. At one time she wouldn’t even have shared a room with the dog never mind stole his food from right under his nose.

Zut Alors!

Still in holiday mood, I thought I’d post a few more photos of the second part of our holiday. The mayhem and madness that was the family holiday.

The dogs made me laugh. Their approach to a day at the beach was so very different.

Douggie was in the sea like shit off a shovel, as soon as he caught a whiff of the sea his eyes would light up and he’d wiggly walk as fast as I’d allow him to, whining all the way in his eagerness to go for a dip. He’d bound in and out of the waves, running up and down with a big stupid grin on his face like a big gallumphing idiot, enticing me to throw stones in for him to retrieve. Well, he is a retriever, I suppose.

A run in the sea


Little Ted, on the other hand, couldn’t bear it. He’d back away from the waves with a flick of his little French head, exclaiming to all who’d listen, “Zut alors, I must not get my leetle French paws wet.  And my ‘air! My beautiful ‘air. I will not be able to do a sing wiz eet. Eet will go all frizzay. Oh! Frizzay/ frise.  Zat must be zee answer! Ah must ‘ave zis nem because my ancesteeeers went in ze sea and got zair ‘air wet. Silly French ancesteeeers. We are so ‘andsome wiz our pouffy ‘air. Only common dogs like ‘im *nods head towards Douggie who is having to much of a good time to notice*  get wet. Look at ‘Im, ze silly fool. Tek me to a warm and dry place immediately!”




For my Far Fetched Friend





















After posting a few photos from our rent jollies I got a lovely message from Vanessa who writes the brilliant Farfetched Friends blog. Go and check it out, you’ll enjoy it. Anyway, Vanessa feels a bit of an affinity to Spain even though she hasn’t been there so these next few images of Cartagena and surrounding area are just for her to immerse herself in and pretend she’s actually there.  Enjoy.