Tag Archives: golden retriever

Mmmmm…bacon


Funny thing about bacon. No matter how much I cook and serve to other people, when I step outside and smell it from someone else’s kitchen I always think, ‘Mmmmm…bacon.’

At the moment we are enjoying the calm before the storm. From next week the bookings really step up and it starts to get busy in hotel land. To while away my time  in this quietish period and to prevent boredom (ha! Fat chance of being bored with a to do list as long as my arm) I have been having a go at making some jewellery using the sea glass and shells I pick up on the beach and a few pictures. What do you think?

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Then we decided duet the bank holiday that we’d pop over to Brixham on the ferry to have a look at the pirate festival. Well, you can’t turn up in a car can you.  Any self respecting pirate would hop on a boat, so we did.

It was a cold and blustery day but Boofuls cheered it up by dressing as Woodstock pirate and I went as Adam Ant pirate.  A couple of tots of rum once we landed warmed us up nicely and we soon got into the spirit of it all. There is a video of  Lashes and I having a sword fight with a couple of  buccaneers, I’ll post that when I retrieve it from Boofuls’ phone.

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Taking a drive round Torbay the other day we were a little bit surprised to see this at the traffic lights.  A ship at the lights isn’t something you see every day, is it?

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Dougie the doggie was so excited, he thought it was a huge fish to play with. haha. Once he realised it wasn’t he looked a little bit glum. Not for long though. A quick dive into the water soon sorted him out.

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Joke of the day


Why can’t you hear a pterodactyl have a wee?
Because the p is silent!!
Hooohoohoo, heeheeheee. Made me laugh for ages, that one!
That was one of Munki’s jokes. Not bad for a seven year old, eh?

Dougie the doggie and I managed to while away almost three hours on the beach today. When I realised it was starting to dark I hurried home thinking that Boofuls would think I’d been carried off by the circus or something.

How did I manage to spend almost three hours on a beach in the middle of winter?

Easy.

The tide was out so Douggie and I paddled all the way round the coast, clambering over rocks, marvelling at hermit crabs scuttling around with their homes on their backs, searching for sea glass and pebbles shaped like penguins. We found a baby starfish! It only had two arms, the others were little nubbly bits just starting to grow. It didn’t look so much like a star fish as a propellor. I put it under a piece of seaweed for safe keeping hoping that it wouldn’t get trampled to death by one of the many galloping hounds on the beach today. Dougie of course tried his best to get to it so I distracted him by throwing stones into the water for him to chase. I have to throw stones because if I throw a ball he won’t bring it back. As a retriever he’s pretty rubbish. I should probably explain to him again that he’s a golden RETRIEVER the clue’s in the name, really.

The sun shone onto the ripples in the sand making the beach glint and shine. I spent far too much time moving around trying to find which way the light gave the best effect. Some of the other beach walkers must have though I was doing some weird yoga exercise in my wellies and waterproofs and I crouched low and moved left and right, bobbing and weaving while I stared at the ground. The buildings high up on the hill were reflected in the puddles on the sand. Again, I moved this way and that trying to get the best image. I would have taken a photo but my phone died a watery death a couple of weeks ago and I don’t want to lug a big, professional camera around with me…

Wait…what…did I say my phone died a watery death a few weeks ago? Why, yes, dear reader, I did.

But…didn’t your phone die a watery death just a few months ago? Why, yes again, dear reader. My, what a good memory you have.

This time it was somewhat more dignified than last time when it fell out of my back pocket and into the loo. This time it fell out of my coat pocket and into the sea. Nonetheless, the ed result was the same. Instant death.

Still, let’s not dwell on that. Let’s return to our afternoon on the beach.

The sun cast warm, long shadows, the clouds turned pink and the sea lapped gently on the shore shining blue, pink or green depending on how the light hit it. I stood fascinated by it all while Doggie found himself a nice little spaniel to flirt with. people strolled up and down. As I so often am, I was stuck by how many people wear black. It look like a funeral director’s day out. The dark clothes looked at odds with the beautiful, dancing, ever changing light that the elements had treated us too but it seemed like I was the only person to notice.

Eventually the sun dropped down behind the hill and the gorgeous light changed to a soft, violet grey. At that point I shivered and realised I must have been out for hours.

So there you are. That’s how easy it is to spend a whole,afternoon on a beach. A bit of imagination, the company of a dog and some lovely weather. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon.

The Curious Waves


While I was taking the dog for his evening walk tonight I was lured to the sea front by the sound of crashing waves.  IT’s like a magnet, crashing waves, I can’t help but go and take a look as I’ m fascinated by the sea.  Since being a small child I’ve wanted to live by the sea – and now I do. Ok, it took fifty years to achieve my goal but we’re here now. Better late than never.

Anyway, back to the plot. As I walked down towards the prom I could see that every now and then a wave would pop it’s head up over the wall as if trying to see what was on the other side.  Not that there was a lot to see, a few stray tourists, a couple who, like me, clearly enjoyed watching the waves, a couple of cars and that was about it.

Still the sea kept jumping up trying to look over the wall.

I was quietly giggling to myself at the absurdity of it all when a huge waved jumped straight over the wall and soaked a couple who had been quietly minding their own business. Ok. I admit it. I laughed.

It didn’t stop me playing chicken with the waves five minutes later, unlike the other people though, I only got my feet wet. That happens so regularly these days that I’m in great danger of developing trench foot. It’s worth it though, it’s also worth the fifty year wait to get here. As I walk along the prom in the morning before starting work I just can’t believe how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place. It just goes to show, it’s never to late to live your dreams.

Here are a few photos, taken on different days. Enjoy.

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I know he’s here somewhere


Mr Douggie the Doggie managed to break the penultimate rule a while ago and was allowed to start sleeping in our bedroom with us. The ultimate rule is ‘no dogs on the bed’ which he tries to break on a regular basis but gets met with a sharp ‘GET OFF!!’ Every other rule in the book went by the board a long time ago. “I’ll never let him on the furniture”,  for instance. Now he just jumps up and gets settled wherever and whenever he feels like it, usually using me as a pillow. Ok, I admit it, I like the doggie snuggles while I’m watching a bit of evening telly.

To be fair, we only relaxed the bedroom rule so he could alert us if he was going to have a seizure but I have to be honest, I hate him being in the bedroom.

As if Boofuls doesn’t make enough noise in his sleep now I also have to contend with the pooch snoring, dreaming, smacking his lips, flopping around all over the floor rather than sleeping on his own lovely chocolate coloured bed, stretching, twitching  and scratching, waking me up for a cuddle in the middle of the night ( you’d think he’s know that that was going to be a non starter) and generally having me awake half the night wondering if he’s ok.

A side effect of being woken up seventy five times a night is that I need to visit the bathroom more than I used to. There must be a direct link between my eyeballs and my bladder.  As soon as I open my eyes my bladder says  hello.

Going to the bathroom during the night never used to be an issue. Get up, walk to bathroom, pee, walk back, get back into bed. Easy. However, now we’ve changed the bedroom carpet it’s not so easy. I climb out of my lovely warm bed and then stand there for a minute trying to decipher where in the room Douggie is. Spotting a cream coloured dog on a cream coloured carpet in a room that’s blacker than a black thing because there’s no such thing as street lighting where we live, is no mean feat.

Once I’ve successfully located him, by peering like Mr Magoo into the dark, I usually find him stretched out to his full length at some impossible angle and nowhere near his bed, I have to try and get past him without standing on him. Again, easy. You think?

In the good old days before I developed plantar fasciitis it was ok. Now my poor feet tingle and throb and just don’t want to move. My first four or five steps look remarkably like those of your average 100 year old, wobbly, painful and uncertain. One move from Douggie as I’m gingerly stepping over him will see me go ear over elbow in a most ungainly fashion.

Amazingly, by the time I’ve reached the bathroom door I’m able to walk normally again so the walk back to bed is nowhere near as treacherous. I climb back into my lovely warm bed and snuggle down trying to get back to sleep before the next disturbance which usually happens as the first rays of light are just starting to break through and Douggie decides it’s time to get up.  He sticks his cold, snotty wet nose on my face and bashes his tail against the radiator like a gong.

My first words of every day used to be “Good morning, darling.” Now it’s “Feck off, dog! It’s fecking 6 o’clock!”. It’s no way to start the day. Of course then I’m wide awake so I lie there fuming for a while telling my eyeballs not to tell my bladder I need a wee and then I end up getting up.

With the amount of sleep deprivation I have at the moment it’s amazing I’m not walking round every day tearing the heads of people and breathing fire. These seizures have got a lot to answer for. Tell me again why I wanted a dog.

I did a good deed


Last week I was forced to go out for a walk with my bezzie. She was  thinking was that she’d cheer me up with her chatter. It didn’t quite work like that but we walked a long way.

Halfway through our walk we stopped at a country cafe for a *ahem* comfort stop. I popped in to use the facilities first leaving bezzie holding Douggie the doggie.

When I got back I noticed her talking to a woman. Nothing unusual in that. If bezzie was stood at a bus stop she’d be talking to people. If there was no one there she’d talk to the bus stop.

I’d already noticed this woman as we approached the cafe.  She seemed to be awfully smiley.  I assumed, correctly as it turned out, she was a fan of golden retrievers. Little did I know.

“This lady just asked me if this is THE douggie from the rescue site?”

“Yes he is.”

The woman’s face lit up. “Really? The famous Douggie? My whole family are fans of his. Every time you post some new photos of him we all come and have a look. We love hearing about his exploits. We loved his two tone dog photos.”

Well, fancy that. Douggie has a fan club.

It turned out that the woman had lost her own golden retriever some time ago and in order to get a ‘goldie fix’ she lurked on the message boards of the golden retriever rescue site.

We chatted for a while as bezzie popped of to the facilities. It was obvious that she missed her goldie greatly.

“Would you not consider getting a rescue goldie?” I asked her.

Although she would have loved to, she didn’t think it fair on her other, fairly elderly dog. I suggested to her that when the time was right she could maybe consider an older dog that wouldn’t be as difficult to integrate into the family. I know at the rescue it is the golden oldies that they really struggle to rehome.

Well, blow me down, she popped up on the message boards last night. After our conversation last week she must have immediately contacted the rescue centre and she’s adopted a fifteen  year old goldie so he can live out the days he has left in a comfortable and loving home.

Isn’t that just bloody fantastic news? I’m so pleased we had our serendipitous meeting.

How nice to have good news.

 

 

Beaten


Feel free to move on right along without reading this post dedicated to self pity and misery. To be honest, it’s not really for your benefit so I’m not even going to try and make it upbeat, grammatically correct or well written. It’s just a self indulgent misery fest.

Really it’s more of an aide memoir so I can look back in a year or two and laugh and laugh at the tough times* she said drily*

That’s it. I’m down. After finding it harder and harder to get up after every punch I’ve had thrown at me recently, the universe has finally beaten me. I am now that woman walking along the street with eyes downcast, shoulders slumped, looking like she’s had the spirit beaten out of her.  You know you’ve had enough when you think you’re washing your hair and suddenly realise you’ve been standing in the shower holding your head and crying for the last five minutes.

Regular readers know that Boofuls and I have become professional funeral goers this year. The death roll is now well into double figures and it saddens me that there have been so many deaths this year that I can’t even instantly recall who they all are.

It started with a friend of over forty years, then it was Boofuls’ brother, followed by my cousin, a few friends and acquaintances, our lovely dance teacher of over fifteen years  and the most recent, my brother.  In another few days/weeks Boofuls’ best man at our wedding will lose his wife.

Our gorgeous daughter has had her own issues this year and all we can do is stand by and watch. It has broken my heart.

Seven years, oh yeah, S.E.V.E.N years after this lovely  house we live in went on the market – almost on the day the housing market crashed, it is still not sold.  Drop the price? Oh yeah, we never thought of that. We’ve dropped the price by £165,000, is that enough for you? Now we find ourselves in a position where …..never mind. Suffice to say I have never felt more like we are living on a knife edge.

I truly don’t know why it isn’t selling. It’s in a gorgeous position, it’s well maintained, it’s got land, barns and stables and planning permission for conversion.  Even now when I come home I look at it and think ‘what a lovely place we live in.’

Turning down a buyer for the business after trying so hard to find one wasn’t feasible but who would have thought all this time later we’d still be here and not in Devon?  Retirement was great when I thought it was only for a couple of months. If we don’t sell the house  soon I’ll have to get a job working on a checkout in Netto.

Then to cap it all, Boofuls, me and Douggie set off to Wales for a heel work competition this weekend. We checked into a lovely hotel yesterday, met some friends who were competing as well and had a great time, we were really starting to relax and unwind and I realised I was actually having fun for the first time in, well, ages.

Until….Douggie woke us up to four o’clock this morning to let us know he was going to have  a seizure. He paced the floor, whined, barked, let out an almighty howl and eventually jumped onto the bed. The trouble with having a five stone dog is that if he decided that’s where he’s going to have his seizure, that’s where he’ll have it and there ain’t nothing to be done about it.  So, he had his seizure on the hotel  bed, weeing all over it as he did it.

Then, just as he began to come round from his seizure he went straight into another seizure and then another. I really thought he had gone into status epilepticus and we were going to lose him. It was terrifying.  When he eventually came round he was hyperventilating and very distressed. He needed to be cooled down and calmed down. FAST.

The other hotel guests must have thought there was a major domestic going on as they heard all the scuffling going on in our room.  Douggie also managed to knock everything off the bedside table,  when he fell off the bed, what a commotion.

We spent the next hour and a half walking a whining, barking, distressed dog round a hotel car park in the early hours of the morning  in the pouring rain while Boofuls tried to get hold of a vet.

Curtains twitched, lights went on and voices were heard. Great. We’ve woken the whole hotel.

When the staff arrived for duty around 6.30 a.m. I explained and apologised profusely to the hotel management about the whole sorry incident, obviously paying for the extra night we decided not to stay for and ensuring that they checked the room  before we left so we could pay for anything Douggie may have damaged. Luckily, I’d had the presence of mind to strip the bed after he weed on it so the mattress was ok, that would have been pricey.

Needless to say we didn’t compete. Shame, his rehearsal the day before was brilliant. Damn me for saying to Boofuls, “I hope this isn’t a  case of good dress rehearsal, bad performance”, or as it turned out, no performance.

Instead we have come home.  Douggie has been restless and difficult.  Boofuls and I are both punch drunk, physically and mentally at the end of our tether.

If you believe in karma then Boofuls and I  must have been some proper bad bastards in a previous life. I know life isn’t a bed of roses but come on, this is way beyond a joke now.