…and let slip the dogs of walkies!
A new year.
Mini tourist season is over until the next big holiday.
*sigh of relief*
As I was picking up my groceries the other day, a rather fiercesome human barged past me and announced to his equally clueless family in an accent that was clearly anything but local: “Is this it? They’ve not got much here, have they?“ Well, bog off to Brighton if it’s shopping you’re after, mate!
How on earth did this man choose this as the perfect destination of his Christmas break? Stick a pin in the map?
(In case you’re wondering, I had a lovely Christmas, surrounded by family. We did everything from scratch and we planned everything meticulously a long while previously. It was our Christmas, we made it, nobody else had to).
And of course, with tourists comes that other delight. The tourists’ dog. You know the one that they’ve had since a puppy and in all that time they’ve not trained it to do anything more than sit, stay or possibly a cute “rollover “trick? You know the types. The dog that has never been trained to come back when it’s called…
The dog that, when it runs off and starts picking fights with other dogs, promptly ignores its owner screaming its name repeatedly. Because, yeah, you scream my name like that, I’m gonna come back to you, I don’t think. I’m outta here, you two-legged sucker!
Free to roam.
Free to… well, do other stuff.
How many times have I heard the owner of a free-range pooch exclaim “I don’t know what’s wrong with Mister Woofles this morning; we’ve been out for over an hour and he still hasn’t done his business yet!”
Oh yes, he has. Mister Woofles unloaded the minute you let him off the lead.
Mister Woofles has in fact left such a huge deposit that it has its own postcode. Whole generations of dung beetles have moved in and are celebrating with a ticker-tape parade. Their appeals to the dung beetle deity have been heard and answered. Mister Woofles’s contribution to the environment has ushered in a new Golden Age of dung beetle prosperity.
And then I saw this yesterday…
What sort of dog owner puts a sticker on the back of their 4×4 saying
“Beware of the dog. It bites. You have been warned“
and then lets them roam free – without muzzles – on a beach popular with dog walkers during doggy rush hour?!
If you’re going to do that, my dears, please make sure that the dogs are muzzled and please include yourself in that number.
So… you’re acknowledging liability for your animal being potentially dangerous, but if it bites me, it’s my fault?
But you can’t say anything, can you? Nothing freaks out the passive-aggressive more…
Which reminds me…
Don’t you just love passive aggressive people calling other supposedly passive aggressive people out for being passive aggressive by using passive aggressive means to complain about the passive aggressive behaviour?
As with that now practically traditional Social Media post of “if u got a problem with me tell me 2 my face“ There are two problems with this…
Number one: tell you to your face? Which one?
Number two: could you be a little bit more identity-specific please?
And there’s always some sucker (who is probably completely innocent of any charges) who rises to the bait, bites and replies, asking if they are the target of this barblessly barbed comment. To which the reply is invariably “if the shoe fits, wear it.”
Well, that’s all fine and dandy, except…
Those kind of statements aren’t shoes, are they?
They’re flipping flip–flops.
Designed to fit everybody. Guaranteed to make everyone uncomfortable.
Always remember, folks… Flip before you flop.
Well, hello there!
How was your summer? Did you know that uploading your holiday photos on your screensaver at work (if you’re allowed to) is a great way of dealing with those horrible down-in-the-dumps feelings you get when you have to go back to work?
And boom! Straight in there with some useful info. Ah, I’m glad to be back home. Since we last spoke, I’ve got myself a new office. Very light, very spacious.
Light? I hear you say… Light?
But you’re a vampire.
You don’t do light.
Bright light, I don’t do.
Glaring sunshine, I don’t do.
But I also don’t do trying to write in the pitch black. I’m not an earthworm. Have you ever tried typing in the dark? Admittedly it’d be doable on a tablet or smartphone…
So here I am, dealing with a digital mountain of work that has built up in my absence. Where I was staying is infamous for having no phone signal, and wifi that couldn’t be accessed, even with multiple sacrifices to the gods of technology. Not that we bothered. It was actually really nice to shut off from the world… You know what I mean.
And here I am. Home. The furbaby’s gaze is boring into the back of my head. She wants to play. Oh, yes, she has a sofa in here with me. We got a new sofa, you see, so this one got moved in here. She thinks it’s hers anyway, so it made sense.
And here comes autumn. The evenings are that little bit cooler, the sea that little bit wilder, the atmosphere that little bit easier. I’m looking forward to getting back to these chats with you.
People always joke that you can tell it’s Christmas because Easter eggs are in the shop. Well, we’ve just done with Easter (there are still loads of eggs in the shop, mind you) so, one could be forgiven for thinking that it must be summer now. Is it just me that gets confused by this, or do you humans have a problem with it too?
True, it rains all the time here, so it could very well be summer and nobody has told me. But the rain slamming down on the conservatory roof feels at odds wth the flip flops and picnic paraphernalia I saw half an hour ago in the shops.
The clocks have gone back. The body clock however is having slightly more difficulty adjusting. I’d hate to wake up late one morning and realise that I’d missed summer. It is, after all, the best day of the year. Yes, I know. I don’t like sunshine. It hates me back. But a summer’s day is delightful, if confusing in the wardrobe department.
Sunhat and wellies?
Scarf and sandals?
Waders and sunglasses?
Oh, the combinations are endless.
The furball continues to take me on long walks (she’s currently mapping the local area in her little doggy brain, and enjoys knitting places together in the oddest combinations). She also continues to try to drag me into the sea after her. And all the while, she still refuses to stick her nose out of the door if it’s raining. Consequently, she’s in the conservatory, surveying her kingdom from the warm, dry safety of her sofa. And while she’s out there doing her ‘Mistress-of-all-she-surveys’ routine, it’ll hopefully give me the opportunity to squeeze in some yoga without her
a) giving me an impromptu face wash
b) mistaking my ‘downward dog’ for me wanting to play with her (that often ends up with a rope toy swung into my face)
c) showing me up with how weirdly bendy she is
Our earlier walk was, surprise surprise, on the beach, which this past week has been increasingly populated by tourists with their free-range mutts. Next week, she’s got a shock in store. I’m starting running again. And she’s coming with me.
Ah! I know what the giveaway thing is. I’ve remembered why I keep thinking summer might be on its way.
Endless holiday adverts and people bashing on about being “beach body ready”
The beach is ten minutes down the road.
I have a body.
Oh! You mean the body has got to be perfect?
And by that, you mean so skinny that I could snap in half if caught in a high wind?
Well, that’s going to take a bit longer.
Because I refuse to be told what to look like.
Because even if I did, the vox populi (which thanks heavens, is not vox dei) would still find something to binch about.
Because I prefer to be strong than skinny.
And because, in order to fulfil this impossible and fake ideal, I’d probably have to give up chocolate.
And I’m no quitter.
…like snow business.
First of all, I hope everyone is keeping well and warm. I don’t have a problem with the cold weather. One of the advantages of my vampire metabolism. I don’t feel the cold the same way that you do.
I have to admit, the only problem I do have is that when I’m writing, my hands have a tendency to get a bit chilly, but that’s about it. I think they move so fast over the keyboard that the blood gets confused and doesn’t know where it’s supposed to be… Still, it’s a great excuse to have lots of hot drinks.
Here’s my current favourite: turmeric latte. Get your spices mixed… 3 parts turmeric, 2 parts cinnamon and 1 part each nutmeg & ginger. Throw in a pinch of finely ground black pepper (helps absorption). Keep it in a cute jar. Heat up a mug of milk, stir in 1/2 teaspoon and sweeten. All those lovely spices will warm you up and just taste downright naughty. Obviously, I use non-dairy milk (coconut works best with this), because, well, vampire metabolism… Can’t touch most animal-based stuff. Ironic really.
The furbaby is refusing to leave the house. While other people are posting photos and videos online of their doggies leaping around like joyful loons in the snow, mine has turned into a teenager.
She’s staring at me, sandwiched between two (yes, two!) duvets.
“You need to go outside.”
Flicker of interest.
Last night, just after midnight, she leapt up and decided she had to go out. Now. Right now. Now! Come on, hoomin!
You have got to be kidding me, pup.
So she darted out, neatly dodging the knee-high drift at the back door. She hared around, did what she needed to do, and threw herself back inside, in much the same style as a stunt man in an action movie.
And, pretty much like a stunt man, she decided to make use of available props…
Like the snow drift.
Cue internal explosion of snow. A wall of cold froth boomed its way into the conservatory (the same one she’d been sunning herself in only a couple of days previously).
Result? Snow on the floor. Snow on the walls, the windows, the ceiling (what the-?!), and one snow-coated vampire. Head to foot.
So while she thunders her way back upstairs (probably nicking my space in the bed), I’m stood there picking potential snowballs out of my ears, mouth, nose…
We’ve gone from action movie to comedy in ten seconds flat.
Stay warm. Stay safe. And if you can help anyone else to, please do.
Yeah, I know.
Worst Latin ever.
I did learn Latin as a child. Before you ask – no, I’m not a native speaker of that as well. How old do you think I am?! I know I said I was old right at the very beginning of all this, but I ain’t that old! And no, I don’t remember the dinosaurs either!
I do remember things like:
- humans landing on the moon
- if you missed you favourite television programme, tough – no video recorders, no cable, plus only having three television channels
- colour televisions being a luxury, not a basic life staple (as were cars)
- Non-decimal money, often referred to as L.S.D. No, nothing to do with lysergic acid, but back to good old Latin again… Librae, Soldi, Denarii. Don’t know if it was some kind of joke (and why would I have cared anyway?), but it was meant to be the Roman equivalent of pounds, shillings, pence
- BYO carrier bags
- encyclopaedias, not Wikipedia
- ‘Burger’ being something you muttered (quickly) under your breath when something went wrong
Oh. Massively off track as ever.
So, it’s been nearly six months in our new little safe haven.
People are lovely here, and no one has a clue what I am.
So far, so good.
Long may it remain like that! One of the good things about living here is that it’s not an area exactly known for its sunny weather, so that in itself is a blessing!
With the differential in house prices in the two areas being what it is, we have moved from a one bedroom flat (no kids or dogs allowed) to a simply huge four bedroom house with a massive garden that one can get lost in! And dogs!
Well, we already have the dog, as you no doubt remember from the previous post…
Like me, the house is something of a mongrel.
It had been in the same family (not mine) since Victorian times (when it was built) and each generation has added something to it particular to their lifetime. It’s a live-in Museum in its own right. You can walk around the house playing “spot the era”. There are things here from the 20s, 30s, and so on and so forth. The 70s were a particularly active time in this house’s DIY history… Heaven help us…
A lot has been added to it. And when I say a lot I mean a lot. It had a patio, that became a conservatory that became a workshop, that became a kitchen. Well, the kind of kitchen that Dr Frankenstein would wake up in the night having the shakes over. Every time we prepared a meal, the uppermost thought in our minds wasn’t “Now, what drink would go well with this?”
The uppermost thought was “Will I survive long enough to actually eat this?”
But it’s now a kitchen, a proper one!
A proper bathroom was added on. As was a utility room (that’s actually quite utile), which is about the only part of the house that doesn’t need something doing to it. Thankfully, It’s all cosmetic. But it’s a level of ‘cosmetic’ that would have Max Factor running for the hills.
But we love our conservatory. As does the dog. She can often be found in there, sat on the sofa, surveying her kingdom. When we want to get into the garden, sometimes we’re too lazy too unlock the back door, so we just go through the conservatory windows instead. I was born by Caesarean, so I have absolutely no problem with this.
There’s a lot to do.
So here I go, paintbrush in hand.
Wish me luck.