Posted on July 7, 2013 in Hounds by Jay8 Comments »



Is he clever for lying right in front of the air conditioning unit? Or daft because he chose a patch of sunlight?

Posted on July 5, 2013 in Hounds, Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay13 Comments »


What did I find to make me happy this week?  Mostly dogs!

You see, young Sid has been improving, which is cause for celebration in itself.  He has improved enough that, while he is still on his pain-killers, I don’t have to use the electric massager every single time I walk him, and I can decide not to run all the way without him coming home crippled.

Yesterday, since he seemed well enough, I took him swimming again for the first time in months.  He was pleased to be there and really seemed to enjoy his session. He always lets Ross know when he’s had enough, and Ross lifts him out for his warm shower and a rest on the ‘landing pad’ until he has his land-legs back.  Today he got himself up after that rest without the slightest stagger, which was great!   For a while now, he’s needed steadying, and has fallen once or twice.


This time, he got himself into the car OK too – so I was very happy about that.

Jeffie, the cowardy custard, has been having some ball training.  He’s absolutely terrified whenever we are out and about and someone is throwing or kicking a football, and he turns into a bucking bronco as he tries to wiggle out of his collar and run.  Since we go to several places where people throw or kick footballs, we thought we’d better desensitise him, and OH went and bought him that bright yellow ball.  He cleverly chose yellow, because the colours that dogs see best are blue and yellow, and we have a blue carpet.


We merely let it sit quietly in the corner for a week, then began to pick it up and handle it when Jeffie was watching.  After a few days we let it roll, very gently, a foot or two across the floor, and then a little further, and a little further.  Over the next week or so, I sat and span it on the ground a few feet from his nose.  We rolled it gently, we tossed it a few inches from hand to hand.  When we saw him go to the bed right next to the ball and settle down with his nose actually touching it, we felt he was ready for the real training and OH took the ball and bounced it gently once or twice on the floor between them.  Jeffie watched, but did not turn a hair!

It may be quite another thing when we start throwing it upwards into the air, and again when we move it outside, but we’ll take it slowly and maybe it will work for him.  Hopefully there will come a day when we’ll have to rename ‘Terror Park’*, but of course, it’s going to be a tad more difficult to train him out of his fear of the flying fox!

Finally, I got a call from S at Brambleberry Greyhounds a day or two ago to ask my help.  It seems some bastards had tossed a young lurcher out of a car and driven off and Sharon had been asked to take him because they thought at first he was a full greyhound.   Of course, she said she’d have him, and when it was discovered that he was not, she felt responsible for him and needed me to help find somewhere for him to go.


Brambleberry is always full with dogs in training, up-coming pups and retirees, not to mention the ‘holiday’ dogs, but right now it is not only full the the gills but overflowing.   Being an active racing kennel and RGT branch, a stray lurcher could not be housed in the kennel block (even if there were space) and there were 11 or 12 dogs in the house … to make matters worse, a holiday dog who was supposed to go home, leaving a slot for the lurcher, is still there because his owners did not collect him on time.

Yesterday was fairly hectic with internet searches and phone calls and joining several new doggy groups in order to post his details and trawling through the ‘lost and found’ dog sites in case he’d been stolen before being dumped.  It was dispiriting, because every single lurcher rescue we contacted said that they were bursting at the seams too, but I am so, so happy to report that this pretty little guy has now been offered a home. In fact, he has had two offers, and both fairly local, which fulfills the legal requirement to keep him in the jurisdiction of the local council for 28 days.

Oh yeah, and I bought myself some new nail varnish!  Life is good!



* ‘Terror Park’ is what we call the local recreation ground. It got its name after we went in one day with the dogs and not only were there several groups of children with footballs, but someone was using the basketball court and two small girls were gleefully screaming at the top of their voices while using the flying fox.  Up to this point we had no idea that he’d be scared of all of those things, but it was simply Too Much for him, poor boy.  He didn’t like the balls flying about, and he most definitely couldn’t handle small ‘monkeys’ coming screaming out of the sky towards him accompanied by loud metallic whirring noises.

Posted on July 2, 2013 in Funny, The Home Front by Jay9 Comments »


Couldn’t help but chuckle at this slightly miffed post on our local Freegle group yesterday. I wished I could help her, but all my spare jars are holding beads and findings!

So, come on, own up – have you ever done anything like this to your Other Half?


I am often stunned by the way our wonderful and versatile language is used by journalists. Sometimes I shake my head at the execrable puns so beloved of local rags, and sometimes at the typos (for which the Grauniad used to be justly famed). The examples shown here are from our local evening paper – if you ever need to explain what a pun is, just use these as examples!


Actually, that one is quite good. Boat-maker ‘bouyant’, ‘choppy times’ – oh yes, really not bad!

This next one is .. um … OK, I guess.


Gas plant powering stuff. Yep, I can go with that! Puns are all about playing on two or more meanings of a single word, after all.



… seriously? ‘Get puppets to pull strings’ is feeble at best, but when you read on and find it’s nothing to do with puppets really (except by a long stretch, which would be elastic, tee hee), but all about the odd string* of news items that week.

In case you missed it, for the example of a fun typo in this post – which is really more a case of ‘totally wrong word’ – you’ll need to go back and read the caption under that top picture.

It’s from a story on the BBC news website. Now, the BBC used to be the arbiter of the correct use of language in this fair land, but I think they’ve lost it. Someone please tell them that you ride gondolas (or more properly, gondole) in Venice, not gondolieri. Gondoliers, or Gondolieri, are the guys who ferry you around in gondole! Would have been more amusing if the journalist had actually written ‘ride’ instead of ‘trip’ but you can’t have everything.

Finally, for your belly laugh of the day, take a gander at this clipping. I saved it many years ago from The Peterborough Herald and Post, a local paper which is now defunct**, and thought it was gone forever. But here it is! I found it among my Mum’s papers so maybe I sent it on to her for a giggle. Being a nurse all her working life, she’d have found it hilarious!

Anyway, to find the clipping today was fortuitous since it goes perfectly with the BBC gaffe, and so I offer it to you. Read it carefully. For those of you who don’t have a medical background, I will give the translation below. The person who wrote it clearly didn’t have one, and clearly didn’t have access to a dictionary either. He started off game, but lost heart and finished by chickening out of the last and most difficult.



The list of stolen items should have been: ophthalmoscope, otoscope, stethoscope, reflex hammer (hey – he got that one right!) and sphygmomanometer.

I suppose to call a sphygmomanometer a ‘blood pressure machine’ is not wrong, but if you were going to do that, why not just say ‘A thing for looking in eyes, a thing for looking down ears, and a device for listening to chest sounds’, too?

I could tell you what my English teacher would have said on the subject of lists, but I will spare you. You can thank me later … after you’ve finished muttering about ‘grammar police’!

* I really got the hang of this one, doncha think? Get it -’hang’, ‘puppets’, ‘string’? I kill myself, I really do. No … ? Oh, well. Please yourselves!

** I wonder why.