Yes, yes, I know our Beloved Leaders would like us to forget all about being English and St George’s Day, but I was born English, I grew up English, and I still feel English, OK? In fact, I take every opportunity to fill in official forms with ‘English’ as my nationality, if it’s an option. I’m bloody-minded like that.

So, happy St George’s Day. Even though he was not himself English, we adopted him, and now he’s ours.

I no longer have a St George window flag for my car (they get torn by the wind, don’t you know?) and it isn’t looking like rain today, so the little doggies won’t be wearing their St George raincoats, but here’s a picture of the Princess Renie and Captain Jack Sparrow in them from a previous year.


And that chair up there? I spotted that at the Motorhome Show one year. Shows a startling lack of respect, don’t you think? Rubbish stuffed in the drink holder and some kind of plastic bag attached to it … It’s symptomatic, you know, of how the government scheme to abolish England is working all too well.

So keep waving the flag, if you want to stay English! EnglandFlagEmotie

Posted on April 21, 2014 in Hounds, Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay4 Comments »


A walk in Cuckoo’s Hollow is always interesting for one reason or another. It has a lot of plants, insects, birds, etc, and it has a lot of dog walkers and school children walking through at various times of the day. It used to be a seasonally flooded meadow at one time, surrounded by dykes, but the Development Corporation tidied it up in the 1970s.

They dug a lake, planted trees, laid footpaths and built little footbridges. Now it’s a lovely walk with the dogs at any time of the year, a restful shortcut between houses, schools and shops, and well, just a rather nice, irregular shaped – and quite large – green space on the edge of the city.


Swans regularly breed here, as do other water birds and birds which like belts of trees. In those trees are some unusual species, not native to Britain, like the one at the top, which I’m pretty sure is a Norway Maple. Such pretty green flowers!

Here’s a blackbird, who serenaded us for a while.


Unfortunately, there are often dog owners who believe that their dog should have the right to annoy others, like the large hairy animal who kept running between our two, annoying Sid and scaring the pants off Jeffie. The owner watched with a complacent smile until I stopped and gazed at him. Actually, he didn’t even call his dog then, not till Sid had got fed up with the loose dog barking at him challengingly and told him what he thought of his rudeness with a single, loud, deep-voice growly bark. Then, miraculously, the owner was able to get control and call the dog away. Funny, that, isn’t it? Seems to me as if he could have done that at any time he liked, but simply didn’t bother.


What is it about some people that they think others like their boisterous, wet dog rampaging up to them and harrassing their elderly, well-behaved, ON leash dogs?

Ah well. I was happy with my own dogs’ manners anyway. They were very patient, and Jeffie in particular has come a long way since we got him. At that time he’d have been trying to get a mouthful of his tormentor in sheer self-defence. Now he tends to let us defend him.

The dog in the picture, by the way, is not the one who was annoying us today. This photo comes from Morguefile.

Posted on April 14, 2014 in Hounds, Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay1 Comment »


This is detail from a bracelet which I made to help to raise funds for my local Retired Greyhound Trust kennel, Brambleberry Greyhounds RGT.  It’s not made with precious metals or priceless jade beads, it’s just a piece of costume jewellery, but I was quite pleased with it.

At the weekend, I added it to an auction. The auction opened Monday at 8am and already the bids have reached £16 – it may not go much higher, but the auction does run for two weeks, so who knows?

I’m telling you this, not to blow my own trumpet, but as a part of my ‘happiness’ project, and also (shamelessly) to promote the auction.  You see, there is a group on Facebook called ‘Dogs Guardian Angels’ which exists solely to host auctions for dog charities.  Running an auction can be extremely hard work, and if you don’t have experience and have to find hosting, it can eat into your profits.  Dogs Guardian Angels ask nothing, with the money going directly into the PayPal account of the chosen charity.  And this time around the auction is for Brambleberry.

The only problem is that you need to join the Facebook group to take part, and publicity is also hard work!  I hate going round nagging all my friends with reminders and continual ‘please go and take a look’ posts, so I’m kind of spreading it about.  This is the only post I’ll make on the subject (unless I do one later to let you all know how much we made), so don’t worry – I’m not turning the blog into series of begging letters.

But if you do have any interest in greyhounds (or dogs in general) it might be worth a look.  We have many items which aren’t dog related at all, like DVDs and toiletries and children’s bath puppets etc, but we also have some interesting dog stuff, like a consultation with an animal communicator, and a huge collection of greyhound-related PDF knitting patterns.   And the usual fancy dog wear and Brambleberry tee shirts etc.

Of course, much of this will only be any good to those living in the UK, on account of the postage costs, but some things are really quite light and easy to post, and some don’t need posting at all!  Can’t hurt to take a peek, can it?  More items are still being added, even though the auction has already started – I have some neat little painted wood greyhound brooches to add myself, when I get a chance to photograph them.

You’ll find the auction here.

Oh – and if anyone wants to donate anything, of course, I’d be delighted!  It’s not too late – it runs for two weeks, remember!


I’m backdating this one because I want it to count towards the 100 days of happiness thing, and I didn’t get it up yesterday.  I’m cheating, but at least I’m owning up to it!  Does that help?

Posted on April 13, 2014 in Hounds by Jay9 Comments »


Today was Brambleberry Greyhounds first greyhound ‘play date’ of the year.

The kennel where Sid goes for his hydrotherapy sessions is kind enough to loan us the use of one of their fields in exchange for a donation to the Retired Greyhound Trust – we only charge £1 per dog, so it’s affordable for everyone – and with a few simple rules in place, the dogs are introduced to each other and if everyone gets along, let off leash for free running and play.


It’s always fun to see greyhounds meet each other.  Even the least sociable will perk up when they meet others of their own kind.  The dogs in the pictures are muzzled, but only because dogs running together in a group can get excited and nip as they run, and greyhounds have such thin skin that injuries can result.  The exception is Amy, a lovely old soul of fourteen years, who pottered around on her shaky old legs and did no running at all. The others were all pretty respectful of her and for the most part left her alone, although Sid took a shine to her, and she apparently liked him, too.


Pretty little Poppy kept throwing herself to the ground and rolling around in delight.  I didn’t manage to get a good picture of her wriggling, which is sad, because it was most amusing.


After the first flush of freedom wore off, everybody settled down and they all just trotted around exploring the field, the agility equipment and each other, and making friends with the humans.  And of course, trying to get the silly plastic things off their faces by goosing everyone.  Poor OH is at exactly the wrong height .. from his point of view.  The hounds seemed to think he was exactly the right height to use as a scraping tool, and seemed oblivious to his yelps.  Perhaps they thought he was enjoying the game.

They did it to everyone though.  No favourites!


And Sid proved that he’s feeling much better, now, thank you.  He ran so fast today that my heart was in my mouth.  He did step awkwardly at one point and yelp, but he carried straight on and doesn’t appear to have done himself any lasting harm.  He had so much fun, bless him.

Here he is proving that you can’t catch him, no matter if he is missing a leg.