Mary accompanied me on the bus today.
We went to collect the car.
Mary loves the bus and No longer gets bus sick.
You may recall that the first time she went, she barfed into the leg pocket of my combat trousers
Animal helper Pat caught the bus too. She is suffering from macular degeneration so cannot now recognise people until they speak, but she remains cheerful and positive and uncomplaining .
She's a brave adorable lady.
Later in the day I bumped into policewoman Jo, who was out with her two greyhounds. They had matching blue leather coats on with fur lined trim. I told her that they looked like Joan and Jackie Collins.
The Prof's had a hard and busy day and is dozing in the arm chair.
I prepared Thai dumplings for supper
According to my fitbit, I took over 20,000 steps yesterday.
Today I will be stir crazy as I am waiting for our new dining table to be delivered. As I wait I shall be shampooing the living room carpet.
It's a case of the real world muffling excitement today me thinks.
To cap it all , it's raining buckets.
Today the world seems very claustrophobic and small.
In a few weeks, it will feel a whole lot bigger.
New York in early November
I hope the trees in Central Park will be still in leaf
I'm waiting for a chap to arrive who will measure up the new kitchen window.
It's on the lane side of the cottage and used to be the top bit of the original kitchen door.
The workman has been here before. He is the cheerful one who is frightened of dogs.
Originally I wanted to incorporate this simple bit of glass art into the window itself.
We bought it from a small art shop in Broadstairs and I thought it rather sweet.
It looks lovely with the sun shining through it
Postscript: The window guy turned up after lunch. I met him at the kitchen door with Mary in my arms.
He looked round me at William and George who were wagging their tails at him
" Have you still got the big one?" he asked nervously " She's upstairs in bed!" I told him " come in"
The window guy got out his tape measure and moments later was kneeling on the kitchen work top sizing up window with a practised eye. "You want the window to open inwards don't you? " he asked rather loudly and from upstairs there was a massive thud of bulldog feet on floorboards.
Winnie had heard him.
The workman looked at me suddenly " Brace Yourself" I told him.
I noticed that he was very slow to get down from the worktop and moments later Winnie thundered into the kitchen puffing like a steam train .
On seeing the workman she launched herself against the worktop with her paws on the drawers and demanded a kiss. " she's a big bastard!" He laughed patting Winnie on the head.
But he didn't get off the worktop until I pulled her away to the other side of the kitchen!
The 6 am dog walk is no fun.
It's purely a necessity.
Old dogs have small bladders and they need their wees even when it is still dark outside.
Having said this, so do I nowadays.
After abulutions, and as the Prof is tucking into his eggy breakfast we all troop silently through the cottage back to bed.
George now finds the stairs a bit of a chore, so has his own fur lined cushion in the kitchen, but the others with Albert in tow arrange themselves around me on the duvet for a lie in.
There is always a brief " bunfight" where the animals vie for the best position next to me and Winnie invariably chances her hand and carefully lowers her undercarriage onto my fingers in the vain hope for a brief belly rub.
I don't indulge her. The sensation of a slimy mass of bald nipples literally turns my stomach!
A fact that wouldn't surprise any of you I suppose.
Winnie's nipples can often be a talking point when we are out and about, as they almost drag on a floor as she walks. Her belly resembles a plastic carrier bag that's filled with porridge so it is clear to all that she has given birth to at least two litters of puppies.
Bulldog puppies are often removed from their mothers at birth to be hand reared.
Bulldog mothers can be clumsy it is thought, and at up to two thousand pounds a puppy, breeders often don't take the chance of an accidental smothering.
This is such a shame as I think Winnie would have made a super mother.
Her nipples are her battle scars.
Scars of a mother who never knew the joy of her own puppies.
This blog entry is mainly targeted at village readers, but I guess it could have a resonance to everyone as it is about collective responsibility and a sense of community.
For many years many of the green areas of Trelawnyd have been tended to by the village conservation group and by individuals off their own bat.
The village green in front of the pensioner bungalows has been a picture , what with it's flowering shrubs and lavender borders and the flower bed next to the Church has looked rather pretty for many years, but the volunteer problems we have seen so much in Samaritans and other such charities recently has also visited the village volunteer groups too and so some of the green areas of Trelawnyd are now looking a little tired.
I am mindful of not stepping on any toes here, as I know that there is a villager who is thinking of re-booting the Conservation group again, but I have had an idea that it would be useful to call a few volunteers together say one Sunday morning to prune and to weed and to tidy up the beds and shrubs just for one hour only! I'll bring cream cakes!
Drop me a message if you are interested!
The " true" story of the 81 year old monarch's "friendship" with her Indian man servant/teacher Abdul Karin is perhaps less well known than her attachment to the brash John Brown but under director Steven Frears' guiding hand the film is a gently comic romp into the absurdities of the Victorian British Royal family and their horror at having a matriarch who is suddenly dependent on a Muslim of lowly birth.
Frears hints that Victoria ( Judi Dench) had a roving eye for the magnificent Karin (Ali Fazal) but he bottles it slightly bigging up the sweetness and the intellectual nature of their friendship rather than to acknowledge the possible fact that the handsome clerk come Guru was in fact an opportunistic manipulator who landed on his feet before a lonely, silly old Queen sick of an arse licking court.
Personally I thought that the real story story lay more with the more pessimistic version of the truth rather than the sanitized take and the whole thing left me with rather a sour taste in my mouth, which was disappointing.
Dench is wonderful as Victoria and I must say that the whole film builds to a classic Judi moment , when the old Queen faces off her son Berti ( Eddie Izzard) with a bravura speech that she is indeed not insane in befriending a native! ... , so much so that I can see another Oscar nomination on the cards.
Fazal is cute as a button in his, slightly more difficult role but the cuteness does fade when one questions that the friendship was one less wholesome than originally portrayed.
Mary is fucked off- she's still waiting for her walk
I am all tech-ed out!
I now have my Fitbit in situ. ( I've walked seven steps)
My mobile phone is up and running.
And I now have all of eleven contacts in my inbox and actually managed to send an emoji to my nephew without blowing a gasket
Yesterday's shenanigans reinforced my need to have a phone. The Prof was pulling what little hair he still has after suffering my silence for 7 hours! So I now accept that it's foolish of me to have kept away from my own smart phone for so long....
Jonney Graybags is now up to date
And that's a first in 55 years!