Posted on July 19, 2008 in The Home Front by Jay25 Comments »

DogsOnLeadsWe had the dogs all ready to go out this morning, collars and leads on, poop bags (us being responsible dog owners) and treats in pockets. I was waiting at the front door, while OH set the alarm.

Suddenly he turned to me and said ‘Does this shirt look alright?’

I looked. ‘It’s fine’, I said, unconvincingly.

OH looked unconvinced. ‘Is it?’

‘Yes, it’s fine. Just … uninspiring’.

He looked a little wounded. ‘I rather liked the colour … ‘

I considered. ‘Mmm.’ I said. ‘Well, you are, what, fifty-seven now?’

OH: ‘Um. Ye-e-es .. ?’

‘It’s beige‘, I explained, patiently.

There was a pause. It was a pause pregnant with nameless emotion.

And then he spoke.

‘Go!’ he said. ‘I’ll give you fifty yards’ headstart’.

I went.




You know, I had this all written and ready to go, when I popped over to Yellow Swordfish, and would you believe it? He’s posted his version of the story! Cheek!! Anyway, I’m still gonna post this, on account of there’s a slight difference in perception. I mean, I was only being kind! And he failed to admit to that last bit. And, really, if he didn’t want the truth, why did he ask?

Tee hee.

ArteYPicoAwardToday I was awarded the Arte y Pico award by Ruth Hull Chatlien. I was also given this one a few weeks ago by Drowsey Monkey and since she was very low key about it all and didn’t insist that the recipients went ahead and passed it along – and I was away on holiday at the time – I thanked her warmly and that was that.

I very much appreciate when people take the trouble to send me things like this, I’m touched, and honoured, and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy all day, and there are plenty of blogs out there who deserve these things from me, so it’s time I did something about that. I’ve been lazy, and that’s the truth of it, so now I’m being a good girl, joining in, and putting it all right.

And while I’m on the subject of awards, laziness and putting things right, I also received the Johnny Depp Award from Sandy, of I Beati – again, while I was away. This was my first ever award and I had no idea what I was supposed to do with it, except I thought perhaps it was intended to be embedded somewhere and I haven’t a clue how to do that, so once again, I went all warm and fuzzy, thanked Sandy most sincerely, and parked that delicious picture on my desktop, where it still remains, so that I can ponder how it is that a man can look that good in a ripped tee shirt whenever I see it.

To these wonderful people, I’d like to say a huge thank you. I really do feel honoured, and will now pass them along to some very fine fellow bloggers.

JohnnyDeppAwardThe Johnny Depp Award goes to my friend and fellow drooler Jenny, of I’m Having A Thought Here. Jenny, please accept this award for the blog with the most Johnny Depp references and quotes that I’ve ever seen, and for being a great Deppsister.



The Arte y Pico award is for creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language.

The first to get this one is Mr Nighttime, and you’ll see by the post which I’ve linked to that he does indeed provide services to Blogdom. He’s also sharp and funny and at times, thought provoking. Mr N, I don’t know if you’re into awards or not, but you deserve this one!

Then there is JD of I Do Things who selflessly does all manner of things, like .. um … sneeze … so we don’t have to. She’s a scream, and I strongly recommend that you visit if you haven’t already done so.

Babs from Beetle Blog is next. Babs, I salute you. You write the funniest product reviews and the most wonderful diatribes I’ve ever read, and I love your reminiscences too!

Don’t Bug Me – an excellent and very funny blogger whose repertoire is broad. You never know what you’ll find there, but it’s always worth reading! I particularly like her posts about small creatures (oh, alright, insects, bugs etc), and she’s not above making a decent social comment either.

One of the very first blogs I added to my news feed was English Mum in Ireland, and she is my last recipient. She encourages new bloggers, promotes the cause of ex-racing greyhound adoption (she is owned by the delightful Bertie) and writes in a pithy and often very funny way about a wide variety of subjects. She has also led me to some great blogs which I now read regularly.

So now for the rules.

If you choose to accept this award, this is what you should do:

1) Pick five (5) blogs that you consider deserve the award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language.

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.

4) Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of the Arte y Pico blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

Posted on July 16, 2008 in Conversations, The Home Front by Jay21 Comments »

MeFlamesLast night I was feeling rather strange, and so I told Other Half.

‘I’m feeling a bit strange’, I said.

OH asked me in what way I felt strange.

‘I feel so hot!’ I said.

He reached over to put an arm reassuringly around my shoulders and jumped back.

‘Wow, you ARE hot!’ he said, not at all reassuringly. ‘You’re hot to the touch!!’ And he looked at me, awed.

I was not reassurred.

‘I feel as if I’m about to spontaneously combust!’ I moaned.

OH looked at me.

I looked at him.

‘Shame I won’t be able to burst into flames and leave just my shoes behind,’ I offered.

‘Why is that?’ he enquired.

‘I’m not wearing any!’

‘You’d better go and put some on at once!’ he said sternly.

I thought for a while.

‘But isn’t it supposed to rain herrings first?’

He thought for a while.

‘I don’t believe that was forecast,’ he said, ‘so it looks like you’ll have to wait’.

Call me picky, but I’d hoped for a little more sympathy … and today I find this, on his blog!

You just wait, Mr Yellow Swordfish! Come the winter when your hands turn white and the Headsokz come out of hiding, I’ll remember this.


Posted on July 15, 2008 in Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay17 Comments »

SongOfSisyphusOne weekend, quite recently, OH and I took our dogs to a local country park called Ferry Meadows. It’s a wonderful place on the edge of the city where all kinds of activities take place from watersports to kite-flying. People walk their dogs there, of course, but they must be under control because it’s also a nature reserve. For this reason, it’s a good spot for us on a weekend when the local Rude Dogs* are out. See, many people around here don’t exercise their dogs at all during the week, but come the weekend they think ‘Hey, it’s a nice day, what shall we do? Oh, I know, let’s take Rover for a nice walk!’ which is a great idea, but sadly Rover is often under-trained and under-socialised and so damn bored with being cooped up all week that when he gets let off the lead in that great, grass field, he goes absolutely NUTSO. Taking the dogs some place where pretty much all the dogs are on-lead except the well-behaved ones seems like a good idea under those circumstances, because trying to explain why your dog is growling at someone’s overgrown adolescent Rude Dog who is trying to mount them and dribble in their ear at the same time, is often akin to trying to roll a ten-ton weight uphill only to find there’s nowhere to park it when you get there.

Anyway. As we strolled along peacefully in the sunshine, we passed a wooden sculpture which goes by the name of The Song Of Sisyphus, and though I have seen it a thousand times before, and I knew the story of Sisyphus from my Classical Studies at school, I was struck by the fact that it really was rather odd and maybe I could use it for a blog post one day, so I took a picture and then promptly forgot about it.

Today, I took my Princess to one of her PAT dog appointments and 50% of her ‘clients’ were kind of shut down. This place provides day care services to over-seventies with mental health problems, which often means Alzheimer’s Disease. The Princess is usually able to help these men and women open up and relate to her, if only for a short time, but today she found it difficult. The staff were brilliant with their charges, working hard to evaluate whether the lack of responsiveness was merely their mental health issues making themselves felt, or whether they were genuinely unwell, but I could see it was an uphill battle with very little reward. I take my hat off to these ladies, especially to the very young girl who was so damn gentle and patience with the elderly man in her care today, and took the time to look into his eyes properly, and try to hear what, if anything, he was saying at his usual level of -1 decibel. And they roll their stones uphill every day of the week.

So when we were done, I popped her back in the car and drove home. On the way, I was suddenly aware of flashing lights on the other carriageway, and stationary traffic, and there it was – a multi-vehicle accident, a bad one. There was a container truck parked at the side, with people sitting on the bank holding their heads. There was a commercial van slewed into the central reservation with it’s side smashed in. A muddle of other cars .. and then I saw him. A middle aged man spread over the tarmac surrounded by paramedics and traffic cones, and he wasn’t moving. Clearly he wasn’t dead, because they were working on him with fierce attention, and that’s all I saw because I didn’t slow down and rubberneck. The last thing the emergency services need is another accident caused by idiots trying to get a good view of the carnage.

But it stayed with me and made me think. I sent out prayers that the guy on the road would be OK, and I began thinking about the enormity of the task of the ambulance crews and the police whose job it was to keep the scene safe and get the traffic flowing again as soon as humanly possible, and the fire service, too, who are often called to such incidents and have to fight their way through gridlocked traffic to get to the victims needing to be cut free from the wreckage of their vehicles.

It seems to me that this, too, is like the labours of Sisyphus, who, as I Beati reminded me this morning, was sentenced to spend his time in Hades rolling a damn great rock up to the to of a mountain, only to have it roll right back down again. The task of the emergency services, bless their souls, one and all, is a tough, painful and unrelenting one.

So what I want to know is this: if you’ll pardon the pun, why in hell would Sisyphus be singing?



* When you hit this link, you’ll need to scroll down a little for the article. It’s called “He just wants to say ‘hi’”.