Posted on January 4, 2013 in Oddities by Jay4 Comments »



To be fair, it isn’t entirely my fault. The site is a bit ‘busy’ with information and words and pictures and links, and though I read it as thoroughly as I could (given the current jelly-like state of my brain), I missed the information that the topic for the week would be posted on Friday each week, giving you a week to create an illustration for it. I discovered that little gem in a Q & A which I found several days afterwards.

So. I’m a bit too late to do anything for this week. In fact, it looks rather as if my ‘Illustration Friday’ posts will be made over the weekend .. or even on the Monday or the Tuesday following, thus rendering the name ‘Illustration Friday’ a tad redundant.

Well. I’m nothing if not slightly eccentric, so it won’t bother me too much. How about you?

Perhaps I’ll call it ‘Illustration Friday on Sunday’ or ‘Not Illustration Friday’ and file it under the ‘Oddities’ category!

Posted on January 4, 2013 in Hounds, The Home Front by Jay8 Comments »


So this is Friday: the end of the first week of the 30/30 dog walking challenge for January, hosted by ‘You did WHAT with your Weiner?‘.

The idea is that we make an effort to walk our dogs every single day throughout January, for a minimum of thirty minutes. I figured that would be fairly easy, since we do in fact already walk our dogs every day, usually twice. However, I had reckoned without Sid, or the fact that the last lingering festivities of Christmas and the New Year are still going on around here.

As it was me cooking the New Year dinner for the family, OH took the dogs out that day. Well, I say ‘took the dogs out’, but in fact it was only Jeffie, because Sid can’t walk far yet. He’s still getting over whatever it was that took him off his legs just after Christmas. So that left me to escort Sid to the garden and back a couple of times (hardly thirty minutes’ worth) and later take Jeffie for his shorter evening walk.

So I stretched the walk out a bit more and made it thirty minutes, but it was difficult, because OH had brought Sid out, thinking to take him back after fifty yards or so and he refused point-blank to go back, standing immobile, staring after me for so long that OH’s feet began to ache.

I just knew he would do that. So I worried all the time I was out that one or both of them would have keeled over or frozen to the spot and I’d have to call for professional help to scrape them both off the pavement and get them home! But it was OK. Jeffie and I did it, and Sid and OH got home without too many problems because eventually, Sid did give in.

Next day I took them out separately, and got the job done.

Today we did the same thing, and once Sid had had his short amble out front, I took Jeffie out over the fields and back through the village which is a nice walk when it’s not slimy with mud and standing water. But he loved it, and I’m sure my shins will recover in time!

I think this challenge is going to be a tad more difficult that I imagined. Wish us luck!

Posted on January 3, 2013 in Funny by Jay14 Comments »


This sign tickled my funny bone when I was on holiday in the US a few years ago. As you see, the shop wasn’t open so I couldn’t go in and find out what they meant by ‘Free smells’ and my imagination ran riot.

The secret of happiness, if you ask me, is to find it in small things. It’s no good waiting for the big lottery win, or for the man of your dreams to sweep you off your feet. Lottery wins don’t make people happy long term, and the man of your dreams might turn out to be a beer swilling, wife-beating slob once you get him home. Or if it’s a woman you’re waiting for, she might turn out to be a beer-swilling, husband-beating slob.

Instead, just look, every day, for things that make you smile or warm your heart because these are the things that add up to a general feeling of happiness and well-being. To get you started, each Thursday I’m going to post something to make you smile, even if only a little bit.

Want to join in? Great! I’m sure you can do better than this one!

1 Look out for those little things that bring a little sunshine into your heart, and produce anything from a tiny smile to a flat out belly laugh.

2 Take a photo.

3 Post it on your blog, telling us a little bit about it.

4 Link it to The Depp Effect.

Simple! And you’ll be helping to make the world a happier place.

I’m going to go ahead and start a Simply Linked list for you all to sign up to. If enough people want to join in, I’ll even make you a little badge to use!

Posted on January 1, 2013 in Johnny Depp, Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay8 Comments »


Here we are with the first post of 2013!

A lot of people would say that a year with the number ’13′ in it might prove to be unlucky, but ever since my 13th birthday, which proved to be a lucky day in several ways, I haven’t subscribed to the ‘unlucky thirteen’ thing, preferring to look upon said number as ‘lucky for some’, meaning ‘lucky for me’.

So I have hopes that this year will be a good one. I feel more hopeful about 2013 than I did about 2012, even though OH is due to go down to Papworth for tests to check out his heart function which apparently might not be too good, and has been officially diagnosed as ‘pre-diabetic’, while both of us are becoming more creaky with age-related maladies. There’s also Sid, who will be nine in February as is beginning to have problems with his single rear leg, and Jeffie who will be eleven – eleven!! – in May.

But hopefully Sid will recover, and Jeffie shows no sign of slowing down, and there are good things on the horizon. We have plans to return to Italy in the spring, we might possibly be looking into moving house to a nicer area, and we are expecting to become grandparents for the first time.

Gosh, the sun is even shining today, and the wind has dropped!

Resolutions? We-ell. Sure, I make one or two, but I’m aware that they will eventually go by the board and I’m not to worried about that. But I am determined to get off my backside a bit more this year and just get on and DO stuff, whether it’s crafting and jewellery making, fundraising for Brambleberry, sorting out the garbage I’ve amassed over the years, collating my family history or visiting relatives. Or, indeed, all of the above plus a bit more.

I’m minded to take part in what looks like a great art challenge: illustration Friday. I’ll get a weekly prompt, and I’ll have to illustrate it. Looking at past offerings, I’m going to be a bit of a cinderella on this one, but it should be fun!


I also plan to take part in the 30/30 challenge which is for dog walkers and aims to get us walking our pooches for at least 30 minutes each day, every day, during January. Should be easy for me, really, because we walk at least once, usually twice a day anyway, but I shall join in, and update you on Friday each week.

Now. A confession.

Johnny Depp has faded a little into the background.


I think it’s a classic case of ‘the idol with the feet of clay’. He’s still a remarkably attractive and sexy man, of course, who just keeps getting better with age (as we knew he would) and he’s a startlingly good actor – that goes without saying – but since the split with Vanessa I’ve been hearing some ugly rumours and you know what they say: it takes two to tango. There is seldom a split in a long term relationship where the fault is 100% on one side. So Johnny has my admiration for many things, including his ‘fuck it’ attitude to life and what people think of him*, and I acknowledge his many and varied sterling qualities and his undeniable sex-appeal, but I am a little disappointed to discover that he really isn’t perfect. I know. Shocking, isn’t it?

I think I shall just go and wash my mouth out with soap, before I sit down and watch The Rum Diary. It’s one of three Depp movies I got for Christmas this year – and I shall enjoy them. Every single one.

* Easy to say when you’re Johnny Depp, of course!