Tag Archives: january 2012

That was *yaaaaaaawwwn* fun!

No really, it was.

The only trouble with Mrs Woofy being a genius dog is that as we progress up the classes in obedience and agility we also progress up the time slots.

The Thursday night obedience class doesn’t start till 9pm, dangerously close to my bedtime and it’s only a half hour class, hardly worth the half hour drive each way to attend.  I do wonder why I persist in going, especially in winter when it’s dark and miserable out and we daren’t set foot in the park for a pre class walk, mostly because of the dogging of a totally different kind.

I normally  cadge a lift there and back with my friend and neighbour, Mrs Yappy’s mum so at least I don’t have to drive. I do have to listen to Mrs Yappy and her little, although stonkingly huge, little brother Mr Yelp, yapping and yelping all the way there and back in their custom made cages. Posh sods, Mrs Woofy has to make do with sitting curled up on my feet in the front of the car.

Mr Yelp is a Belgian Shepherd, he featured in the Christmas card I did –  at Christmas funnily enough.

Mrs Yappy & Mr Yelp

The class itself was fun. As it was such a foul night, cold, with a bitter ear nipping wind, not many people had turned up so there was only four of us  which gives more scope for fun and games. Last night’s game was retrieve the toy, not as Mrs Woofy thought, retrieve the dog treats that the puppy class before us had spread all over the room.  If I could only disconnect her olfactory receptors during classes she’d be absolutely perfect. She can smell a sausage at twenty paces and that has the effect of disconnecting her brain. Tricky when You’re trying to do some amazing and complicated obedience work and all the dog’s thinking is ‘FOOOOOD. I smell foooood!!’

The ride home from the class always involves a post mortem of the evening’s events. “I enjoyed that ret….ret…yaaaaaaawwwwwwwn..retrieve exercise.”

“Yeah, it was a  chaaa…..yaaaaaaaaawwwn..challenge, wasn’t it.”  (Oh my God, it’s making me yawn just writing this!)

At one point we both tried to speak at the same time and yawned instead, dissolving into laughter with all thoughts of what we were about to say forgotten but it was probably something to do with dogs, dog hair, dog poo, dog training,  dog food or dog competitions.

Did I mention I don’t actually like dogs? How the hell did I find myself mixed up in all this when I don’t even own a dog?!

 We’ve noticed at the dog club that every few weeks another strange looking dog will turn up and I’ll ask, “What’s that then?, usually to be given some cutsie name for a hybrid model of dog.

I had a look on the internet and discovered that there is a whole industry built around designer dogs.

These days it’s possible to buy yourself  a Puggle, (pug and beagle)  Shocker, (a Shina Ibu-Cocker Spaniel cross), Pekeapoo (Pekinese and Poodle), Shepadoodle (German Shephard and Poodle), Basschund (Basset and Daschund), Bullmation (Bulldog and Dalmation), Labradinger (Labrador and Springer Spaniel), Porkie (Poodle and Yorkshire Terrier), Weirdie (Bearded Collie and Westie), and Jackadoodle (Jack Russell and Toy Poodle).

Bullmation?  Jackadoodle?  What’s going on? in my day mixed breed dogs  had a generic term – mongrels. Another way of describing them was, ‘mistakes’ or ‘the mother got out when she was in season’.


As is my habit I regularly trawl the Freshly Pressed section of WordPress gnashing my teeth with envy at the bloggers who acheive instant fame as a result of being included there Most of whom certainly deserve it, some of whom just make me go,’Huh?’

Envy is so unattractive,  it’s a good job I suit green.

Every now and then I see a Freshly Pressed blog that really pushes all my buttons and  The idiocy of the English Language is the latest one. Go and have a look, it’s hilarious.

Barking mad

Taking Mrs Woofy for a walk in the rain and the wind yesterday, we arrived at a grim and miserable looking playing field, the rain was sweeping across the ground and it was deserted apart form a couple of other hard core dog walkers, like me dressed from head to foot in waterproof clothing and the obligatory  large furry hat with ear flaps that makes me look extraordinarily like Deputy Dawg. Strangely enough, everyone else looks ok in theirs, it’s just me who looks like a dweeb.

Taking my place in the dog walking circuit, I  trudged round for forty minutes while the dog sniffed, ran, investigated and made a couple of new friends. Before we headed back we  did a little bit of obedience training in readiness for our first class of the year on Thursday.  Even though the rain lashed into my eyes and the wind stuck his cold fingers on my neck, trying to to find a way in past my many layers it was worth it because  the dog performed perfectly. Responding to my every command quickly and smoothly. Genius dog. It was worth braving the weather for. How I wished we were in a competition at that moment, she’d have won it, hands (paws) down!

When I got home I was recounting the story to Big N about how brilliant the dog had been,  particularly  at her recall command. “I don’t need to shout, we do it by signals. I lift both arms in the air like so” , I said as I lifted both arms up, “Then I drop one arm  like so and move it to the side so she knows to come to heel and not in front of me. Brilliant, eh?”

Big N looked at me thoughtfully. “Right. So what you’re saying is that when you’re in a public place and the dog is miles away you basically stand alone in the middle of a field and do the YMCA dance? Bet that attracts attention.”

Mmm, never though about that. Maybe a voice command  might be better after all. Thanks, Big N.

All this praise and rapture about how fantastic the dog is in direct contrast to Monday night at agility training where she was a royal pain in the arse. Dashing  away mid circuit  to snack on the delicious and nutritious goodness that is the pile of horse poo in the corner of the training ring. Many and varied were my futile attempts to get her to come back, calling her name and following her round as she skipped just out of reach every time I got near enough to grab her were just two of my dog retrieval techniques. GGrrrfeckingggggrrrr!!

Dagnabbit dog! Why can’t you disobey me in private and obey me in public?

Twice on Monday she was thrown out of the ring for running round like something demented, drooling and smiling her stupid big doggy smile  instead of completing the set tasks.

Once she was finally caught, I silently clipped up back and led out of the ring she realised she was in serious trouble and gave me the old sad eye. ‘I’m sorry,’ her big brown eyes said, imploring me to give her a cuddle. ‘I won’t do it again.’ And I fell for it! What a fool!

Back into the ring we went and we repeated the whole palarver again. I could have brained her but instead I clipped her back up and led her away silently. This time she knew I was really not amused at her shenanigans. Head bowed, tail between her legs and eyes begging me to forgive her, we did the long walk of shame back to the waiting area. The frustration must have been coming off me in waves and Mrs Woofy well and truly picked up on my mood. She didn’t even try to coerce Miss Yappy to play with her, she just came and sat as close to me as she could get, looking up at me with those liquid brown eyes. Those eyes act on me like Kryptonite does on Superman. As soon as I see them looking at me, I lose all my power and start to melt.

“Right, one more go then.”

As if to atone for her previous behaviour, and to prove that she really knew all along what to do, she completed the course perfectly and in record time. When she finished she came running up to me, tail wagging, leaping all over me in delight, “See, told you I could do it,” she seemed to be saying.

The dog knew she’d done good and  claimed her reward, a nice big cuddle and a delicious scooby snack.

I bet I could get her to jump through hoops of fire if they just made dog treats out of horse poo.

Leave it airt!

You may not know this but my Boofuls is a southerner, or as northern folks say, ‘poncey southerner’.  He hasn’t lived in the south for many years though and has largely lost his southern accent. The odd ‘northernism’started to creep in a long time ago, although he’d never admit it, Many’s the time I’ve caught him saying  things like: “I’m going for a bath.”  at which point I gleefully reply ” Bath”? Did you say just say bath?”

“No. No. I said barth.” he  always replies in his best received pronunciation. I half expect him to say ‘Ding Dong’ at the end of a sentence and give me a saucy wink while he twirls his handlebar moustache, he sounds so much like Terry Thomas. Thankfully he doesn’t look like him though.

Source: Internet
Source: Internet

Southern accents, to a born and bred northerner, are generally to be treated with suspicion, in fact anyone with a southern accent is considered to be one of four  things in the north:

1. Poncey

2. Posh

3. Cockney or if male, ‘a cockney bastard’

4. A villain or royalty, there are no levels in between

Boofuls isn’t any of those things, in fact he doesn’t even come from London never mind from within hearing distance of  Bow Bells.

Of  course for most folk ‘oop narth’ anywhere south of Birmingham is considered to be London and anyone from London is cockney.

Of course, Boofuls, as we’ve established doesn’t come from London at all, he comes from Buckinghamshire originally – which admittedly is a bit posh.

The only time Boofuls really slips back into his Buckinghamshire accent is when he’s actually in Buckingham or on the phone, which just makes Lashes and me laugh hysterically when he’s spouting such gems as, “Leave it airt.”  (Yes, well posh, that I can hear you saying). It’s a totally meaningless but overused phrase but I suppose no worse than the local teenagers’ favourite words which are ‘innit’ and ‘like’ both of which are used  be used in totally inappropriate contexts which would have had my old English teacher, Mr Hook, spinning like a top in his grave. I’m not sure I would even have dared to say ‘innit’ in his presence.  Come to think of it, I didn’t really ever dare say anything in his presence. I can only imagine his reaction if he’s heard the following  exchange between two young girls in a shop recently.

“I is totally pissed off  wiv me mum and dad, innit, like”

To be honest I wasn’t sure if I should have put a question mark at the end of that sentence because when I heard it there was an upward inflection at the end that implied she was asking a question. Poor confused girl.

My curiosity as to what her mum and dad had done to piss her  off so monumentally that she felt the need to broadcast it at full volume  to her friend in a town centre store rather took second place to my curiosity about how a young girl girl born and raised in Lancashire managed to pick up a New York gangsta rap accent. Innit.

But anyway, back to the plot:

Munki has realised that Grandad, or Gangand, as she likes to call him, doesn’t sound like the rest of us. It turns out that Munki is turning into quite the mimic. She’s got her mockney accept off to a tee. Here’s her impersonation of Boofuls.

Don’t worry, I’m well aware that other peoples’ kids aren’t the least bit interesting so it’s only eight seconds long.

Just in case you need a translation it’s “leave it airt, leave it airt. Come and ride the hel’er skel’er.”

Bye! Bye! See you next year!

Cowardice made me stay indoors today rather than get my new year get fit campaign off to a flying start by going for a walk on the moor with Mrs Woofy.

My reasoning being that out in the open it was so windy (and still is) that we’d be blown of our feet. Poor Munki was pushed up the drive by the wind earlier, her little feet were going ten to the dozen and struggling to keep pace with the cold and fierce westerly that’s been battering us all day.  Lashes had to run after her to rescue her before she got blown over. Anyway, back to excuses for not going walking. Down in the woods we’d likely get hit by flying trees or branches. Hhmm. What to do instead?

Take down the Christmas decorations. I’m always sad when I have to take them down but since only mad people leave them up all year I always think it’s best to get them down before we get fully into the swing of being back at work. With the ipod on shuffle and playing a delightful medley ranging from Michael Buble to Reel Big Fish, Whitesnake and Benny Hill, among others, I got down to the task of de-decking.


Of course I have some pride. I only have Benny Hill songs on there to entertain the clingons when they’re here. I don’t choose to listen to him – except today when it was playing “Ernie, the Fastest Milkman in the West’, while I was standing on a chair with both arms full of christmas lights and unable to hit the ‘next’ arrow’ so even that wasn’t really choosing to listen to him.

Moving on:

Carefully wrapping up my old favourites, each with it’s own special memories and my new favourite decorations with their new  memories of the fun of buying them and putting them on the tree. Tsk. Talking of memories, I forgot to put the Christmas turtle on the tree. Oh how I was mocked when I bought that turtle on our family holiday last year. That turtle holds a whole host of memories and it hasn’t even made it as far as the tree yet.

I decided to grab my camera and shoot a few frames of my li’l Christmas pals.  I’ve also included one of Batty from when she was my Ice Princess, one of my favourite photos EVER!

So Goodbye, Christmas elephants (christmas elephants?!)

Goodbye, singing snowchild withe the spooky black eyes.

Goodbye, strawbeardy Father Christmas, have a good rest before starting on this year’s work

Goodbye Fairy with the ginger curly hair who looks just like Lashes (she’ll kill me for that haha)

Goodbye, jolly stick men and all my other favourite Christmas toys and decorations, see you all next December!

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Wilder than a wild thing

Woken up at some point during the night to the sound of the milk bottles making a two hundred yard dash up the track, clanking and clattering noisily as they went, pushed along by the  6o mph stiff breeze that’s assailing us at the moment, it crossed my mind that having a house at the top of a really steep hill on the moors isn’t always as idyllic as people think.

It’s all a bit Wuthering Heights  this morning, grim, cold, windswept and gloomy, with the added bonus of draughty and leaking windows and doors. Romantic location my ars……er……..eye.  Our address today is:  Grim Manor, Grim Street, Grimsville.

As for the view. Sod the view. There is no view anyway today as it’s so draughty I’ve got all the curtains shut on the windy side of the house to try and preserve some heat. So much for the super duper double glazing.

Never mind, running around un-decking the the halls of their boughs of holly  today should keep me warm. I’m just plucking up the courage to go outside and down to the stables to retrieve all the storage boxes for the decorations. I might get blown away. . Glad I don’t have any weddings booked this week.  That could be hard work in this weather.

According to the Met Office, Wales is going to be attacked today by a giant orange penis.


                                                                                                                                                                                                     Source: www.metoffice.gov.uk


Mind you, we’re getting off lightly. Some parts of the country have 95 MPH winds. Including the  part of Scotland where my heavily pregnant friend lives, the red bit on the map. Hope she manages not to go into labour for the next few days or that could all get very interesting for her.