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Robin3The robin paid us a visit again today. Here he is perched on one of the empty rings of the dogs’ feeding stand. Does he look a little disappointed to you? I think he does. See, we used to feed the dogs outside because of the Pirate being practically toothless and the Princess being … um .. not perhaps as dainty an eater as a Princess ought to be. So when the dogs had finished eating and come back indoors the robin, and occasionally a blackbird, would fly down to see what they’d left, and dine on scraps of dog food – which isn’t actually that bad for them, as I understand it.

MouseSadly, since the mice have discovered that same buffet option, we’ve had to stop letting the dogs eat out there – or if we do, we clean up pretty quickly and pretty thoroughly when they’re done. It leaves nothing to attract the mice, but sadly nothing for the birds either.

Still, I did clean out and refill the bird feeder with seed mix today. They’ll have to make do with that.

And my little robin friend will have to refine his acrobatic skills.

Posted on May 24, 2008 in Hounds, The Home Front by Jay13 Comments »

PiratePrincessYou know how greyhounds are one of the fastest breeds of dog in the world? If not THE fastest?

It’s true – Top Gear did a test race between a greyhound and a car and the dog won! So they’re pretty fast, then, huh? Most will clock in the region of 35 mph, some reaching a high of 40mph in short bursts. Some will be slower. Some – it has to be said – a whole lot slower. And of course, these are the dogs that end up getting the sack from the track, and adopted into homes as pets, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that my dogs are never going to see that kind of speed again.

It doesn’t help that the Princess is one of the laziest dogs on the planet, and the Pirate is nearly thirteen years old, but you know what? When we take the dogs out into the fields and let them off the lead, it’s the Pirate who goes nuts in his rickety old-dog way. He’s the one who bounces through the long grass kicking up his heels to come running back panting and hoping for a treat from my pocket. The Princess, who is only nine, trots along so closely at my heels that if I turn suddenly, I’m likely to trip over her, whereupon she’ll blink mildly at me as if to say ‘I wish you monkeys would learn to look where you’re going, but don’t mind me … ‘

Anyway, like most dogs, they’ll get interested in things that squeal, or bark, or yap, or yodel. The Princess is our watchdog – a rare thing in a greyhound – and she’ll go tearing up the garden if a dog so much as whimpers out there after dark. She needs to tell it to stop, desist, and what’s more, shut the fuck up. In other words, she sounds very much as if she’s joining in, to the untrained (read ‘human’) ear.

So let me tell you what happened this evening. I was reading Greytalk. Browsing through the Cute and Funny forum, I came across a post that said ‘click here and turn your speakers up‘. Naturally I couldn’t resist. Keeping one eye on the hounds, sleeping the sleep of the terminally comatose about five feet from my chair, I did just that, and the manic barking of five or six dogs erupted into the room.

My two dogs, my perfectly evolved sleek and slender racing machines, slumbered on. Well, to be fair, the Pirate did open one eye a fraction and roll it in my direction, and his head did lift momentarily from the fluffy pillow on which it rested, but only for a second and then he was dead asleep again.

I think my dogs are broken!

And yes, I did say fluffy pillow. Wanna make something of it?

Posted on May 23, 2008 in Conversations, The Home Front by Jay8 Comments »

TorchDriving back from a shopping trip, we were discussing the wind-up torch I’d just bought at a discount store. Other Half was not convinced it was any good.

‘It won’t be very bright, you know’ he said disparagingly.

Me: It might be! You just have to wind the handle very very fast … and you have to do it for long enough! *Furiously winds handle, producing a distressing whine.*

OH: Well, it might be OK, but it won’t be powerful enough to light up much of the garden. I shouldn’t think you’ll be able to see the dogs..

Me: There. See? It’s quite bright … *More furious winding*

OH: You know what it needs, don’t you?’

Me: No, what?

OH: Someone needs to invent a little electrical device to wind the handle for you.

Sometimes I think I deserve a medal. I really do. A nice, bright, shiny medal for restraint under severe provocation.

Posted on May 23, 2008 in Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay9 Comments »

CabbageBrussellWhy is it so funny when you come across something that isn’t the size you think it ought to be?

No, I’m not talking about that – get your minds out of the gutter. Tut tut … can’t take you anywhere, can I? No, I’m talking about ordinary, everyday things. For instance, I bought a spring cabbage recently. It was a sweetheart cabbage and they’re usually pretty good, with a sweet, mild flavour and a nice tight cabbage heart, and usually, you can count on them to feed two people for two meals. But that’s my sweetheart, in the picture. Now, wouldn’t you think that spring is the time when cabbages are getting bigger, and brussels sprouts are getting smaller? Yeah, me too. But this time it seems to be working the other way round, and for some reason, when I was sorting out my vegetable drawer to put that cabbage away and found the sprout lurking in there, I was so struck by the size thing that I stood there convulsed with laughter and had to wipe tears.

It got me thinking. Why is it that a big dog trying to fit into a cat bed is so hilarious? What is it about those dinky little motorbikes that make you gasp and wheeze? Why does the sight of a large man trying to fix something tiny cause everyone in the room to make such peculiar faces as they try vainly to smother giggles? And when does ‘too big’ cease to be funny and become ridiculous?

I know, it’s juvenile, isn’t it? But I’m clearly not the only one who finds this sort of thing so amusing. Go and read the story of the Giant Remote and see if you don’t laugh.