About This Blog

This blog was originally started as a thread on the forum pages of an animal rescue site. Now it's here!

The articles you find in here are purely for entertainment (yours and mine) and (with one or two exceptions) are all tongue-in-cheek chronicles of the World (my bit, anyway) as I see it.
No disrespect is intended towards anyone unless I make a mistake and make it too obvious.

I hope you enjoy my offerings. Feedback and comments of any kind are welcome.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The Less Written, the More Said

I began this blog as a means of keeping a record of daily events.

But it never actually worked out that way.

I ended up writing almost anything that came to mind ... mostly memories, observations and stories about dogs.

I used to write every day, or at least every other day, until one day words were spoken...

You and that damned laptop!

Only a few words, but very much like a dagger in the heart.

In the beginning my writing took place in the mornings, usually between 6 and 9 am until my work pattern changed and I began to write after everyone had gone to bed, usually after 11 pm.

Sometime thereafter my work routine changed yet again and I found that time for writing was reduced (usually) to between the hours of 4 and 6 pm.

Then came those words!

To be fair, I did always get so wrapped up in writing that I nearly always over-ran the time I allocated myself and, as the household's one and only cook, the rest of the family were often left close to starvation. Being so wrapped up in writing, I was oblivious to the rumbling of empty stomachs.

Those words ... let me remind you of them - You and that damned laptop! ... had a meaning far greater than just the sum, as it were, of the words.

They said subliminally "You and that blog of yours are a pain in the backside and we never speak any more because you are always writing or reading. It's taking up all your spare time and I'm getting sick of it and I want to spend more time in your company rather than with a zombie-fied typist"

Of course, subliminal as those words were, I imagined them liberally punctuated with some very colourful expletives.

Anyway, once again I must cut a long story short ... in an effort (might I say a supreme effort) to reintegrate myself into the family, I have reduced my literary output to once or twice a week.

I think 'She who must be obeyed' bought it!

I'm definitely back in favour with regards to certain aspects of married life!!!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Celeb's on a Bus

Over the past week or so I have taken several buses to various places.

I have experienced foul-mouthed tirades, suffered smells that not even a dog could create and found things that one should never find on a means of public transport (to-wit, one used condom).

My fascination with bus travel began after I read some articles on Peggy's blog.

I discovered that people watching on a bus can produce an almost unlimited supply of blog material which I now endeavour to utilise at every available opportunity.

So let us start from the beginning.  Try and keep up, because I don't have long. You ready?

Let's go!

Firstly, there was the tirade I spoke of.

It occurred only moments after Andy Griffith (Matlock) boarded the bus.

Now, when I say 'Andy Griffith boarded the bus', you do realise that I mean a look-alike, don't you?

I do not see dead people!

Anyway, he got on and the first thing he did was to open a window, before taking a seat next to Roy Orbison (ditto the look-alike bit).  It was a cold day and the rush of cold air through the bus caused a bit of a stir.

It took a little over a minute before the recumbent figure in pink jerked awake, stomped down the bus and slammed the window shut.

The figure in pink was female.  Her lower lip was pierced and ringed. Her hair dark and matted and seemed to be partially dread-locked.

She mumbled.

"Mmnff bukkin mmmmnff window! Bastard!"

Andy, being Andy, got up and opened it again.

From the lady (and I use the term loosely) in pink came "Ya fuggin ar'so! Fink ya fuggin own da fuggin bus, ya twad! Jeez! Mmnnfff nmmmft pffft, unt!"

The mumbling, interspersed with a liberal sprinkling of colourful language, continued until the next stop, whereupon the driver got out of his seat and approached the lady (still very,very loose) in pink.

He warned her that he wouldn't tolerate her abusing the other passengers and she should behave herself,at which point Andy Griffith piped up "Kick the {insert word sound like Duck}ing {insert word sounds like Hunt} off the (Duck word again) bus!"

I should point out at this point that Roy Orbison sat quietly and took no part in the exchange.

To cut a long story short, Andy and the lady (loose, remember) in pink were ejected and we proceeded on our journey.

Sadly no other celebrity look-alike's boarded the bus, but I do believe we drove past the Fish & Chip shop where Elvis works!

As for the smells and mislaid item's ... let's just say they were memorable for all the wrong reasons!

R.I.P.And and Roy!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Dog-walk Chronicles (Part two)

Biggles Flies Again or Hotrod's Pleasure ... Take Your Pick!

Today I was privileged to meet a little brown and white Jack Russell terrier called Biggles.

Biggles is a two year old cutie belonging to an elderly couple that I met whilst out and about in the town of Cowbridge.

He was named after James Bigglesworth (a pilot and adventurer, who was the title character and main hero of the Biggles series of youth-oriented adventure books written by W. E. Johns) because of the brown markings that covered his head and eyes and resembled old fashioned flying goggles and helmet.

As I watched Biggles interacting with two other dogs, I noticed that he was very, very keen to 'mount' them ... the dirty boy!

As I approached, the old man said "Watch it! He'll have your leg."

He was right too!  I had barely reached them when Biggles made break for it and tried to hump my leg!  After shrugging off his amorous advances, he turned his attention to a shopping bag, my client’s leg then his owner’s legs and finally, as the excitement grew too much for him, to thin air.

Passers by were in fits of laughter as poor old Biggles dry-humped himself to satisfaction.

His very embarrassed owners hastily explained that they were taking him to the vet as they were at a loss as to why he always did such a thing, especially as he had long ago lost his 'baubles'.

"My son thinks it's funny when he does it" said the old man.  "He's doesn't call him Biggles anymore".

"What does he call him now then?" I asked.

"Hotrod!", came the reply.

Poor Hotrod had to be carried back to their car!  

He was exhausted! 

Bless him ... the randy little sod!

Walking the Dogs in the Rain

All dogs need exercise and a dedicated and responsible owner will  always ensure that their pet gets it, every day, rain or shine.

I love my pups and I take them out every day, whatever Mother Nature throws at us.

Recently though, dog walking has been very much an 'under water' event, requiring waterproofs and wellingtons.

Of course I'm no stranger to adverse weather and my dogs ... well, to be blunt ... they couldn't give a hoot!  They just love being out.

But yesterday ... oh dear, oh dear ... I made a amateurish mistake.

I had the right outfit ...

Waterproof hat ... check
Waterproof jacket ... check
Waterproof trousers ... check
Wellingtons ... check

... but I tucked my waterproof trousers into my wellingtons ... where rainwater collected in the folds at the point they entered my boots!!!

Half way around the park the folds, having collected a significant amount of water, moved allowing rainwater to gush into my boots.

I squelched my way around the park with cold, wet feet and, for some reason it never occurred to me to pull my trousers out of my boots, so the rain kept on running down my legs.

At the end of the walk I had enough water in my wellingtons to make at least two cups of tea.

Anyone fancy a cuppa?

Cold Weather and the Light Speed Snot

Tissues are essential when you go out in the freezing cold to walk the dogs.

I mean, I have a moustache and, believe it or not, there is nothing worse than a 'tasche' full of snot.

Oh yes, you can sniff your way around the park, each sniff requiring more effort than the last and seemingly drawing less and less back into the snot sanctuary, otherwise known as your nose.

The trouble with sniffing ... I mean, the danger of sniffing ... well, it's micro-fractures to the inside of you skull, isn't it!

If you are a sniffer, then you will have experience of at least one, if not more, of those high velocity, quick release, double density snots.

You know the ones!

They are the ones that with every sniff move inside the nostril but only just enough to cause a modicum of irritation, not enough to release them from their anchorage.

Then, when you have given up all hope of ridding yourself of the unwelcome nasal guest, the 'quick release' is activated as you try to sniff your top lip free of dribble.

There is an audible 'THWUCK' as it releases, followed a fraction of a second later by a very quiet 'TOK' as the snot, travelling by this time at the very high speed, seems to make contact with the inside of the base of you skull. The micro-fracture!

OK!  So the irritation is gone, but you are then faced with that awful feeling as you realise that the snot has nowhere to go but down.

There is a gulp, a grimace and, perhaps, then a few seconds of nausea, as you try to come to terms with the latest addition to your diet.

They say "Shit happens" but, my friends, so does the 'bullet' snot!

Any sniffer will tell you  ... it
is worth checking your pockets for tissues before you go out in the cold!

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Dog-walk Chronicles (Part one)

Kamikaze attack in Hailey Park

It was warm.

It was Sunny.

There was no breeze to speak of and all seemed well with the world.
I was walking the dogs around the park as usual ... throwing a ball for Sym, encouraging Clover to keep up and calling to Sox in order to stop her running back home.

It was an absolutely perfect day and for an hour or more we enjoyed the sunshine and quiet (very few people out that day) of the park.

It was as we were about to cross the rugby field, by the changing rooms, when the incident happened.

I had just thrown the ball for Sym and he'd charged after it in his usual, bullish manner; Sox was halfway across the field looking at me just in case I changed direction; Clover was at my heels.

As I waited for Sym to bring his ball back and exchange it for a piece of cheese when I noticed what appeared to be swarm of light coloured flies coming towards me. The little buggers were flying fast and before I knew it, the swine started pinging off my glasses and face. It all happened in just a few seconds ... then they were gone. But not ALL of them had made it past me ... my glasses were covered in dead flies, as was my face!
I counted at least five dead flies squished on the lenses of my spec's and when I got back to the car and looked in the mirror there were at least another six or more flattened on my forehead and cheeks.

I've had many a dead fly on the windscreen of my car after a fast drive, but I've never suffered such an 'attack' whilst standing still.

It was disgusting! All those bugs using my face as a means of killing themselves!

It reminded me of that old joke;-

What's the last thing to go through a fly's mind when it hits the windscreen?

It's arse!


My boy and his ball

I am beginning to realise that my boy Sym has a closer relationship with his ball than he does with me.

If his ball goes into the long grass or bushes on a walk he will spend ages looking for it, but if I hide from him he tends to wait until Clover and Sox locate me first before he comes for a look.

The good thing about him searching for his ball (and nearly always finding it) is that it saves me money on tennis balls! On the negative side, when it's raining, he won't leave until he has found it or is dragged away.

I have noticed though that when another dog is near, he will forget his ball all together and leave it somewhere out of sight in order to go and sniff around the other dog. Then, when 'sniffs' have been exchanged, get back into a "throw the ball for me" position totally forgetting that the ball is still where he dumped it.... and he nearly always dumps it in long grass.

This morning’s early walk was no different. When we met a group of four women and their pooches, he dropped his ball and went to exchange pleasantries.

Sniffing over, I called him back to where he'd last had his ball and told him to find it. He sniffed and snorted through the grass for about five minutes, unearthing not one, not two, but three tennis balls before turning to me in triumph with a fourth (his own) ball stuck in his mouth.

Now that deserved a bit of cheese and he knew it!

I know lots of people have dogs that are clever and do all sorts of tricks but I think my boy Sym, although he doesn't do all the doggy-dancing or party trick stuff, is pretty smart too.


The Last Laugh; It's a Dog's Life

In the vain hope that the weather will brighten up, I have just hung out
the laundry. Sym, our Border Collie, went into "guard" mode as I struggled to get the king-size duvet covers and the rest of the laundry onto the line.

I really did feel safe in our back garden.
My boy Sym
Sym has a growl and a bark which make him seem larger and more aggressive than he actually is and has scared the be-jeezus out of any amount of postmen and those annoying people that keep putting
fliers through our letter box.

He really is a big soppy wuss though and loves attention from any quarter ... except tall men wearing black, for some reason. They send him into "don't touch me or I'll kill you" mode, although I hasten to add that he has never actually killed, or even bitten, anyone.

I think this aversion to tall people dressed in black dates back to an incident in the woods around Cardiff when he was about one year old. Someone, who was obviously not dog friendly, gave him a kick and he has never forgotten about it.

Anyway, I didn't log-in this morning to prattle on about my laundry or my dog ... well, not just one dog anyway.
'Her Ladyship' Sox

The story I would like to tell you all occurred two days ago when I was walking Sym, Sox (Border Collie X) and Clover (Lab X) in Hailey Park.

As you can probably imagine, this involved much ball throwing and the dispensing of cheddar cheese treats.

We were on our first lap of the park heading, as we always do, towards the old railway bridge that crosses the river Taff.

And there is a hole at the side of the path. As far as I can recollect, this hole ... not deep, but well hidden by long grass ... has been there for at least 5 years. It was probably the work of a dog, rabbit or badger, but it was never completed ... that is to say, no rabbit or badger ever lived in it and no dog buried a bone in it.

As I mentioned, it was over grown and hard to see, but we knew it was there ...somewhere.

As we strolled along the path towards the bridge, Sox took up 'point' and lead the way as she always does. Sym hid himself at the tree line and waited for his ball to be thrown and Clover (bless her) stayed at her 'daddies' heels and kept him company.

I lobbed yet another ball into the skies and Sym took off, intending to intercept it further along its trajectory, thus causing startled Sox to spring sideways and off the path into the long grass.

As I looked, Sox's head and front legs disappeared downwards and her hind legs and tail went straight up into the air.

She had found 'the hole'!

For two or three panicked seconds, she flailed about until she could get some purchase and pull herself out. As she did so, she looked left and then right in an "I hope nobody saw that" sort of way, then looked back directly at me.

I was laughing!

Sox did not look very pleased and walked off in disgust.

Later, on our second lap of the park, we were walking as a fairly tight little group across the area known to some as 'the conservation area', but known to me as 'the place where very few people pick up their dog's doo-doo', when Sox had her revenge.

For some inexplicable reason, someone had taken a grass sod out of the path. It wasn't as if it was good quality grass suitable for a lawn or anything, but it was gone and it left a hole!

Sym was once again restless and eager to be off chasing his ball, so I sent it hurtling along the path in our direction of march. Sox strayed a few yards ahead of me and Clover was ... well, was where she always is ... at my heels.

As I walked, I bent down to give Clover a pat and some encouragement (she has had a difficult past prior to living with us), when suddenly my left foot hit a spot that should have been solid ground, but turned out to be air.

I had walked into the hole left by the grass-sod thief!

Now, to be fair, my reactions were pretty damned good and,

although I stumbled, I never hit the ground!

I did a "Sox" and checked that there was no one around to see me looking stupid.

There was no on in sight ... just Sox!

She was staring straight at me with her wide, Jack-Nicholson's-Joker-like grin and her tail wagging.
I could tell she was thinking "That'll teach you to laugh at me, you ba$t&rd!".

She then went on her way along the path in such a jaunty, bouncy manner that it would have been very hard for anyone watching to believe that she is, in fact, and very old lady.

As we completed our walk, Sym went to chase the squirrels, Clover decided to follow her 'bro', but both Sox and I continued across the fields checking the ground before us very, very carefully indeed.


Doggy Report and the Hailey Park Thick Ear

Those of you that have had the pleasure of meeting Clover when she first came to us would remember a timid and very scared little lady that was afraid of her own shadow. Now she is a confident (to a degree) dog that actually looks forward to outings in the park.

She has come on in leaps and bounds (literally) over the last year and a bit and is now confident enough to go towards people for a little fuss and attention. She no longer has her extraordinary fear of cars and vans and no longer attempts to run into every drive way in order to hide or get into someone else's house. She will run after Sym, or Sox, and has been known to go on her own little explorations into the wilderness. She always keeps her daddy in sight, though, and comes straight back when she hears a whistle.

I am very proud of her achievements.

Sox, on the other hand, is her usual cantankerous old self. She always keeps an eye on us when we go out, but likes to be a little way ahead at all times and, although she knows our route well, always manages to look surprised and somewhat annoyed when we change direction and she has to run to catch up.

Sym, of whom I am the daddy in name only, runs around the trees looking for squirrels to aggravate. After his initial 'scare the buggers to death' charge, which never seems to result in a squirrel snack, he positions himself some distance from me and strikes the typical collie '"I'm waiting" pose. This is my cue to throw his tennis ball as far as possible for him to chase after. This routine, minus the squirrel part, is repeated again and again on out circumnavigations of the park and is only interrupted by the discovery of a puddle, new smell or poo-time (yes! I pick 'em up!).

Today's walk was no different and we were about to set off on our third circuit when I decided to do something I normally wouldn't do ... throw his ball over the bushes to let him search for it (which he would successfully do).

On this occasion I threw the ball and he took off after it. As I stepped off to follow him, something heavy struck my shoulder then bounced up and dinged me in the left ear! I nearly sh....had an accident!

At the same time my ear was being dinged, a voice from behind the bushes said "Oi! Watch what you're doing"!

Still hearing the ringing of many bells in my poor old ear, I set off to investigate, taking with me the object that struck me: a solid rubber, multi-coloured ball.

On the other side of the bushes, I found not only Sym (ball in mouth), but also an elderly couple with a golden retriever.

"Was that your ball?" demanded the man.

"Yes" I replied. "Didn't hit you, did I"?

"No, but was damned close." came the vexed reply.

I showed the man the hard rubber ball and asked "Is this one yours?"

"Yes. Thanks" he said, now slightly sheepishly.

My ear was still smarting as I said "I wasn't so lucky and I copped it right in the lug-hole, mate. Ta very much"!

We parted at that point.

The rest of our walk was, thankfully, painless and uneventful.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Peculiar History or Saved By The Bop or The Japanese Invasion of Ireland in 1942

History is quite often depicted by authors and historians as a horizontal line with the occasional sticky-uppy or droppy-downy line and a date which indicate important events.

Unless of course it's a vertical line, in which case there will be sticky-out-lefty or sicky-out-righty lines with dates.

In the case of Brian - an acquaintance (not through choice) who now and again, when least expected, turns up and attempts to 'explain' things - the 'line', with all it's stick-uppy (and downy) or sticky-out-righty (or sticky-out-lefty), has been well and truly scrunched up into a ball and left for the cat to play with.

I must stress that Brian is NOT a client!

He is the friend of a friend's cousin's next-door neighbours friend ... or something like that ... and is, contrary to popular belief, highly intelligent but, sadly, easily confused.

I bumped into him on Tuesday!

"'ere!" he shouted when he saw me. "You was the Army, weren't ya?"

I sighed! It was not going to be easy extracting myself from a conversation with Brian.

"Yes", I answered."But not all on my own."

"Yah! You got your arse kicked, didn't ya? Them Russians kicked your butt!"

It was going to be one of those conversations. I winced.


"The Crimea ... " he continued. "When you nicked those Russian cannons to make them Victoria Cross's. They kicked your butt!"

My protestations, in which I denied all responsibility for any theft of cannon's at any point of my military career, fell on deaf ears.

"You British ..."

"You are British too, Brian"

"Na, mate. I ain't your kind o' British cos I never killed no Irishman to steal his potatoes. And then after you killed 'em, you made 'em join the British Army and fight your wars against the Chinese."

Confusing, isn't it?

"And all them Chinese and Japanese and ... and ... 'ere! I reckon I know why there are so many Japanese in Ireland!"

Sudden and unexplainable changes of conversational direction were commonplace with Brian.

"Why?" I asked, knowing full well I should be making my excuses and going home. What can I say? I'm curious!

"It was on the History channel!" he said. "They was looking to invade England in 1942  and they landed on the wrong island!"

I was not surprised.

"Anyway, why did you kill all the Irish then?"

At this point my phone began to belt out Cyndi Lauper's She Bop.

I was saved!

I took the call.

"Sorry Brian. Have to dash.  Emergency at work. See you again soon."

It was all I could do not to sprint away from him.

Saved by the Bop!

Behind me I could hear Brian begin another verbal assault on an innocent passer-by.

"'ere! Phil! Phil! Wassat what them Vietnamese did in Burma when the French ..."