Johnny Depp in in London today for the Royal Premiere of Alice in Wonderland, his new movie. Tim Burton will be there too, no doubt, and I have a lot of time for Tim, too. He gave me a beaming smile, once, you know!

And I won’t be there.


Why not? Well, with all my current health problems and worries, I really didn’t feel able to make the journey and weather the trench warfare all by myself, and I had no-one to go with for support, protection, and those all-important ‘I’ll keep your place by the barrier while you go to the loo’ occasions.

Just the thought of carrying a bag containing the necessary stuff (camera, water, lunch, phone, handwipes, gift for the man, should I be fortunate enough to get close enough, folding stool, wet weather gear etc etc) was daunting. I’m still waiting for an MRI, a gastroscopy and a second shoulder repair, and what with the fibromyalgia, and the fact that I’m not sleeping well and my back is killing me, well… I stayed home.

I will be going down to London with OH and a good friend to see the movie on IMAX, but for the first time in years, I won’t be at the premiere of a new Johnny Depp movie.

Sorry to whine, but … Fuck it. And not in a good way.


The picture up there is one I took at the premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.


See my furry companion up there?  Fast asleep in his comfortable bed as a thunderstorm rages on the other side of the wall just inches from his head.  How fabulous to have a fearless dog!   Unlike the Princess, Sid is completely unmoved by the rumbles and the flashes of lightning.   Poor Princess Renie couldn’t eat during a storm, but as you see, Sid sees no reason to go on a fast.


There he is, finishing a dog biscuit, and not under a desk or behind the couch, but right up against the front door!

He’s a fawn, by the way, a nice light golden colour with a white chest and white tips to his paws and tail.   Pirate Jack was a fawn too, officially a red fawn, though he too had the white detailing.


He wasn’t fearful of thunder, either.  What Pirate would be?  He was over twelve years old in this picture, so he’d almost lost his tuck* and his face had gone white, but on the whole he was still a fit and healthy dog.

One interesting thing about greyhounds is that despite their finely built frames, they eat more food than most other breeds of their weight.   This is because they have a very fast metabolism.   Even though they spend half their lives flat out and snoring …


And they sleep in some very funny positions, let me tell you -


They still seem to need quite a lot of fuel.  Here’s Sid with one of his many little filler snacks. This time the remnants of our dinner in a foil tray.


Of course, Sid does work for his living.  He attends Meet and Greets to allow the general public to fuss and fawn over him and feed him biscuits and so on, under the pretext of being an ambassador for the breed. The dogs who do this insist on a soft bed to fulfill their comfort requirements, and provision must be made for cold weather.  Finicky?  How could you suggest such a thing?

On one of his first forays into the Meet and Greet world, Sid shared a blanket with a fellow fawn.


That pink and blue rug is rather flattering to their colouring, don’t you think?  It was freezing that day, so they really did need it.

The Meet and Greets are primarily to let people know what fantastic pets these dogs make, of course, and it’s a chance for newly retired dogs to get to know a little bit about their new world.

Yes, it’s easy to forget what these dogs did for a living when you see them flopped around the house on their fluffy beds, isn’t it?  Hard to imagine them being fleet of foot?  Just to remind us, let’s take a look at a video of one of Sid’s races.

It’s the official track video, so you’ll have to click the link and go and watch it on Greyhound Data.  Don’t fret, this isn’t the race in which he fractured his leg.  This one was fun for him – go take a look. He’s racing out of trap two, and wearing the blue jacket. And boy, he was fast!

*Tuck – this is the ‘waist’ of a dog.  In a greyhound, it is supposed to be well defined, so that the underpart of the dog goes up in a sharp curve from the end of the ribcage toward the pelvis.  In older dogs, when the stomach muscles are losing their tone, the tuck becomes rather less of a tuck, and more of a ‘sag’, just the same as with us.

For other ABC Wednesday posts, click this link and visit Mrs Nesbitt’s ABC blog!

Posted on February 22, 2010 in Life, the Universe and Everything, Oddities by Jay40 Comments »


Last week’s Macro Monday puzzle was quite difficult, partly because some of you had never heard of charcoal dog biscuits, let alone seen one, so I tried to find you something more universal this week.

Now, I know these things are found all over the world. They might have a different appearance in different countries, but those which are accessible to the public usually look vaguely similar to this one, so hopefully you’ll all be in with a fighting chance!

Take a good look. This is something which is not found in a house, and in fact, very seldom indoors at all, apart from a few very specialised buildings. Usually they are found in the open air.  I saw this one yesterday while walking Sid.

This particular one is a modern version of something which has been around for a very long time.  According to one source,  it was invented in 1804, which surprised me because I would have thought it was older than that.

Anyway.  Off you go. Scratch those heads, jiggle those brain cells, and post your answer in the comments!  I’ll be back again as usual tomorrow with a link to the answer, and I will also add the answer in the comments at that time.

Have fun!

Well, here we are on Tuesday evening and I bet you’re all waiting impatiently for the solution, aren’t you?  Well, here it is! Congratulations to Mara, who was the first to guess correctly!  Also to Colleen, who holds the record for correct guesses. Well done, you too!

I should also congratulate Tina and Toby, who both seemed to know more or less what it was but couldn’t think what it was called.

Posted on February 19, 2010 in Johnny Depp, Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay22 Comments »


It snowed again yesterday. But though we had two or three inches it’s thawing already, so when I took Sid to the playing field this morning I wasn’t really expecting to find anything pretty, let alone a thing of beauty – but I did!

Take a good look at that picture up there. It’s just a park bench, right? And some local idiot has been walking on it. Well, good grief .. can’t they find anything better to do? I dunno. Youth of today. Thugs and vandals the lot of them.

Except … take another look. This time, look at it this way -

Before school this morning, a young man – judging by the size and type of the footprints – is struck with youthful exuberance. He delights in the clean, white appearance of the world and he’s suddenly a few years younger, just for a little while. On a whim, he jumps up onto the bench, bunnyhops along it and jumps down at the other end, just like Sam in Benny and Joon*.

It must have felt good, because a little further along, he decided to have fun with the bicycle ramps, too!


I think he was walking the family dog, because if you look closely at this second picture there’s a set of doggy footprints following along at the side, and I’m betting the dog had fun, too!

Now, isn’t it a thing of beauty that a young man (whether twelve, sixteen or nineteen, it doesn’t matter) should suddenly find his heart lifted so that he just has to express it in physical joy?

I think so. I think it’s sad that we lose that, as we ‘grow up’. So, go on – do something a little young for your years today. It’ll be fun!

And if you’d like to see more examples of the beauty that people have found in their lives this week, pop along to Claudia of Dipity Road.


*A Johnny Depp movie, needless to say