Yes, yes, I know our Beloved Leaders would like us to forget all about being English and St George’s Day, but I was born English, I grew up English, and I still feel English, OK? In fact, I take every opportunity to fill in official forms with ‘English’ as my nationality, if it’s an option. I’m bloody-minded like that.

So, happy St George’s Day. Even though he was not himself English, we adopted him, and now he’s ours.

I no longer have a St George window flag for my car (they get torn by the wind, don’t you know?) and it isn’t looking like rain today, so the little doggies won’t be wearing their St George raincoats, but here’s a picture of the Princess Renie and Captain Jack Sparrow in them from a previous year.


And that chair up there? I spotted that at the Motorhome Show one year. Shows a startling lack of respect, don’t you think? Rubbish stuffed in the drink holder and some kind of plastic bag attached to it … It’s symptomatic, you know, of how the government scheme to abolish England is working all too well.

So keep waving the flag, if you want to stay English! EnglandFlagEmotie

Posted on April 21, 2014 in Hounds, Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay4 Comments »


A walk in Cuckoo’s Hollow is always interesting for one reason or another. It has a lot of plants, insects, birds, etc, and it has a lot of dog walkers and school children walking through at various times of the day. It used to be a seasonally flooded meadow at one time, surrounded by dykes, but the Development Corporation tidied it up in the 1970s.

They dug a lake, planted trees, laid footpaths and built little footbridges. Now it’s a lovely walk with the dogs at any time of the year, a restful shortcut between houses, schools and shops, and well, just a rather nice, irregular shaped – and quite large – green space on the edge of the city.


Swans regularly breed here, as do other water birds and birds which like belts of trees. In those trees are some unusual species, not native to Britain, like the one at the top, which I’m pretty sure is a Norway Maple. Such pretty green flowers!

Here’s a blackbird, who serenaded us for a while.


Unfortunately, there are often dog owners who believe that their dog should have the right to annoy others, like the large hairy animal who kept running between our two, annoying Sid and scaring the pants off Jeffie. The owner watched with a complacent smile until I stopped and gazed at him. Actually, he didn’t even call his dog then, not till Sid had got fed up with the loose dog barking at him challengingly and told him what he thought of his rudeness with a single, loud, deep-voice growly bark. Then, miraculously, the owner was able to get control and call the dog away. Funny, that, isn’t it? Seems to me as if he could have done that at any time he liked, but simply didn’t bother.


What is it about some people that they think others like their boisterous, wet dog rampaging up to them and harrassing their elderly, well-behaved, ON leash dogs?

Ah well. I was happy with my own dogs’ manners anyway. They were very patient, and Jeffie in particular has come a long way since we got him. At that time he’d have been trying to get a mouthful of his tormentor in sheer self-defence. Now he tends to let us defend him.

The dog in the picture, by the way, is not the one who was annoying us today. This photo comes from Morguefile.


Am I lucky, or what? This is a Montezuma chocolate easter egg. Montezuma make some of the very best chocolate in the whole world! Lovely, lovely, dark velvety-rich, not-too-sweet yumminess.

Here’s what it looked like a very short while later.


And guess what? It’s even smaller now.

Happy Easter!

Posted on April 17, 2014 in Funny, Life, the Universe and Everything, Oddities by Jay6 Comments »


Well, I seem to have gone one better!

This is a little linseed growing on one of our non-slip rugs.  How did that happen, you ask?  Is our house that damp?  Well, no.  It’s rather more interesting than that!

You see, when Sid had his corn surgery, we had to make him a little walkway over the patio stones once his bandage came off, because the ground was too hard for him to walk on comfortably.  It was an emergency, so I grabbed a number of non-slip rugs we had handy and laid those down, and it was a huge success. We really didn’t expect to be able to use them in the house ever again, but as Sid got better and we had time to look around, we found a slightly less soft but considerably tidier option: a series of outdoor runners made from what they laughingly describe as ‘outdoor grass’.


At about that time, I fell ill with this wretched virus. It’s been two weeks now and while I managed to brush the dirt from most of those rugs and wash them before I was incapacitated*, one got left draped over one of the garden chairs outside, and forgotten.

In the meantime, the little birds have been coming regularly for their seed and – being right messy little tykes – scattering it everywhere.  Some of the seed got into the fibres of the rug.

It rained.  It sunned.  And the  little seeds grew – just like a handful of cress on damp kitchen paper, and with about as much long-term future to look forward to.

Several of them sprouted, but I didn’t notice until I’d already brushed the heads off most of them when I went to get the last rug in this morning.  That one up there is the only one left.

And now that’s gone too, because the rug is in the washing machine!

Farewell little flax sprout. It was a damn good try, and it made me smile, so you have become today’s post for the 100 Days of Happiness.

* They washed beautifully, by the way, and look almost as good as new.