Friday 27 November 2009


With Dad having blagged a "poets" he's finally home in the dry daylight, and we are all treated to a walk down at Conyer Creek. We love this logo on the gated community at North Quay, which is cut out of sheet metal and painted white.
Conyer is, as ever, alive with bunnies and there is much fun to be had hunting in amongst the bushes, but it also seems to be THE PLACE to take your dogs at that time of day, presumably squeezed in between the end of work and it getting dark.
Quite sociable it all was. Have a good weekend
PS - we seem to have swept straight through the third birthday of this blog, which was the 18th November. Doesn't time fly when you're having fun.

Sunday 22 November 2009

Going Backwards

At the risk of going backwards on this blog, having finished the building works, I attache, courtesy of the Angel B, this striking pic of the house with a big hole in it, prior to the Panini Boys installing the new French Windows.
It seems a while back now - all the work finished and our visit from the Silverwoods come and gone. Dad dropped them back to Gatwick this afternoon. They had a great time and did a lot of the stuff they had on their lists including this morning a good old play around the "toys" in the Rec and a drive in the 2CV out to see the old Mmle car. We also fitted in a couple of trips to Diamond's place, where little J-M (9) has now fallen in love with most of Diamond's wardrobe and doll collection. Look out Diamond - count the dolls before we leave!
But now it's nice to have the house back - no builders, no guests, just us lot chilling out and watching a bit of Antiques Roadshow
Look after yourselves

Saturday 21 November 2009

Them Jonasses again

Well - you'll be pleased to know the girls thoroughly enjoyed their Jonas concert, coming back very tired at 02:00 but saying words like "brilliant" and "cool". Mum reported that it was very loud and at one stage asked if you could die from the screams of tens of thousands of pre-teen girls, plus reporting that she was pleased she'd taken her ear plugs but was sad she'd forgotten to take a book to read, and some Bach to play through the earphones. Mrs S was more "up for it" and has J-M balanced on one chair seat while Em-J was boogie-ing on the next chair.

Dad was meanwhile, chilling out back here with us to Terry Wogan and the "Children in Need" thing and "Autumn Watch". With all this stoppin' out, nobody was up very early for breakfast, so we got a walk through the soggy grass of the Cemetery, and were very dirty by the time we joined spanking-white westies Jasper and AN Other in the Rec.

Today's main entertainment for the humans was a trip down to see the Pud-Lady in Hastings, but with the car already full of people, there was no room for us. We got to sleep all day in the house. Panini-boss John called round to collect his money, so he's happy too.

Now Em-J and J-M have been practising their frog catching skills down at the pond, with torches and rain coats against the rain. Mad, the lot of them. Indoors we have a coal fire going in the Panini Room, so when they come back in at least they can get warm and dry.

Have a great weekend


Friday 20 November 2009

Jonas Brothers

These are the guys about whom was all the fuss, the Jonas Brothers. Mum has invited Mrs Silverwood, and the 2 girls Em-J and J-M over to join us for the weekend so that tonight they can all head for the Wembley Arena. None of us have the first idea what they sound like, although the Angel B claims to have caught them by mistake on the TV. Mrs Silverwood says they are actually capable of "rocking out" - it's not all too sickly sweet, cute and poppy despite its Miley C and Hannah Montana links.

Enough on that because we really are speaking from total ignorance here (no change there then!). It's been fun to have them around despite some appalling weather. They had made a big list, Mum-style, of all they wanted to do in the short time they were here, with the intention of ticking them off (revisit our town Rec's excellent swings-and-slides park, visit Diamond, climb the James Grieves Tree in the back garden, watch X-Factor (what? - our TV doesn't even receive chav-TV girls!)).

Because of the rain we've not got through the list very well yet, although we did visit Diamond and the Sparrowhawk came through and let them see a fresh kill, which wasn't on the list, but would have been had they known it was available. Now they've gone off to see their concert, and it's all gone a bit quiet in the "Panini Room". We got our walk, and we've been fed, so now we're all chilling out. Mr Silverwood is believed to be chilling equally with the 2 infant charges (Toddler-M and Baby R) with whom he's been left while Mrs S abandons him for the weekend in Ireland.

Can you cope, Mr S? Dad says it's really tough you guys not being able to go see the Jonasses but I don't think I quite believe him.

Have a great weekend

Deefski Jonas (we love the fact that the Jonasses come with a small 8 year old brother who's not yet allowed to tour with them, and he's called Bonus Jonas!)

Wednesday 18 November 2009

Bye bye Paninis

With a final flurry of electrics work (lights, central heating thermostat) and then clearing up, the Panini boys finish and depart by about 11:30, off, we are told, to re-supply electrics to an address in Margate which was disconnected when the tenant got busted for owning and running a cannabis factory in there!

Brilliant blokes, and very easy to be a around, these guys have done an excellent job for us and Mum and Dad are delighted. They'd recommend these guys to anyone in the Kent area as builders (seriously, so Dad says if you want to know who they really are, leave a comment).

Dad's been around today - using up some holidays and running errands, plus the boys were in and out a bit quick, so the Panini supply was a bit limited. Dad's had some fun spoofing up one of their flyers with extra dog and bakery graphics, and extra "services" added to their list - General building work, roofs, tiling etc, no job too small, local bakery businesses well supported, no dogs knowingly starved etc.

So there y'go. Now there's just the awesome task of putting the place back together ready for the arrival of the Silverwoods.

Look after yourselves. I was going to say "have a great weekend" but it's not that yet for most of you, is it! Shame!


Tuesday 17 November 2009

All is revealed

The Panini boys are hard at it again today and by the time Dad returns from work (at a sensible hour this time) we have a posh new wooden "reveal" around the inside of the French doors and a much tidier garden. The boys are cruising in towards the end of the job now - I'm thinking maybe tomorrow will see them all done.

Just in time then for the imminent arrival of some of the Silverwoods, who are over so that the girls (Em-J and J-M) can be taken to a concert at the Wembley Arena, of the Jonas Brothers. This is a treat from (our) Mum, and Mrs Silverwood is coming along for the ride (or perhaps she's a secret fan?). The men are notable by their absence, strategically swerving these delights and unaccountably volunteering to stay home and look after the infants (M and Baby-R in the case of Mr Silverwood, we three doggies in the case of Dad).

We're quite alright being left on our own, Dad, if you really really want to go see the Jonas Brothers.....

Megan, meanwhile has suddenly perked up as if the discomfort of the operation-scar on her foot has suddenly eased. She enjoys a walk to the Rec, round the outside and back, positively scampering at some stages, and not needing a carry back along the tarmac path, by Dad. She is, says Mum, also no longer given to TOGG-ish "Do I come here Often?" looks (how rude!).

Fun ahead, but we'll miss the Panini Boys

Monday 16 November 2009

French Doors

With Mum and Dad out at work all day, the Panini boys are back and with the weather improved since Friday, they get stuck into extracting the old "back door" (Dining room exterior door) and replacing it with double French doors and the 300mm side panels.
This seems to generate huge amounts of stacked rubbish in the back garden, but luckily not the predicted gentle dusting of brick dust over everything (Mum would just about have cracked up at that point!)
Unfortunately, Dad gets held up at work, so Mum is home first, but after the Paninis have left town and not left the key for the new doors in any obvious position. This leaves Mum with the prospect of calming all dogs down and explaining why they can't go out the "old way", but have to be carried one by one out of the front door and round the side passage to the back garden, and one by one back round again when they've done their business.
It's all too much for me, so I hop around squeaking and jumping up at the locked new door, making Mum shout at me, and Meggie decides to be sick in the hall and the kitchen. Then the front door sticks leaving Mum locked out for 10 minutes. It's not the usual, shall we say, smooth running, cool, calm and collected arrival, of a home coming. Mum goes from content to frazzled all in about 10 minutes, and texts Dad to say she's moving into the Home for the Bewildered out the back.
By the time Dad gets home, of course, she's in, has now found the keys and some semblance of normality is restored.
We think that Mum will be soooooo relieved when the Panini boys have finished and gone and we can all tidy up........ We'll miss them though.

Sunday 15 November 2009

Macra na Feirme

Looking, by her own admission, for all the world like a member of "Mna Macra na Feirme", the unofficial Ladies associated with the Irish "Young Farmers" (Macra na Feirme is official, it's just the ladies of a certain age and style who tag along - Irish Country gals, basically), Mum togs up to take Diamond to Mass. Diamond is actually a "prod", of course, but the RC Rev who came (to Mum's plea) and supported her when she was in the depths of Intensive Care hell a couple of months back, was so nice and kind, Diamond is keen to pay back the compliment now she's "out"

Diamond is currently in remission and living at home, needing the hospital only for blood tests etc, pending a possible further chunk of treatment at Kings Hospital in the big smoke. She's even been round here to admire the work of the Panini Boys, and taken tea with us, and she has been invited by the Pud Lady to come down with us to Hastings on Christmas Day. This may not quite work, as she may be in Kings, but the thought was there, and she's delighted to have the invitation.
We get some good walking today, making our way down to the quayside where, it being a Sunday, the barge SB Cambria is open, and Dad's barge-chums Mark and Cathy are "on station". Kess is there, of course, doing what she does best - being strange. Long haired JR Kess, we know of course, has a thing about stones.
Having selected a suitable stone she will then obsess on it, moving it about by mouth and, where ever it sits, ripping to shreds any grass tussocks near to it and tearing at the ground till quite a sophisticated trench has been dug near the stone. She did this on our terrace once, totally confusing me so that I just sat on Dad's lap barking at her antics, and the nice round pebble has been preserved by Dad for next time she visits.
Returning home we come across new kid on the block, short haired JR, "Clifford". I try to entice him to play by flirting outrageously and running about, but he only has eyes for Haggis (much to Haggis's displeasure) and he's fixated on sniffing bits of the "H" that "H" would rather not have sniffed.
Keep on keepin' on

Friday 13 November 2009

Bo and Coco

Heavy rain and strong winds prevent the Panini Boys from installing our French windows (they are worried about the dust from their stone-cutter blowing everywhere and the rain getting into the sensitive parts of their electrical tools) so they are reduced to working indoors on what is now surely going to be known as "The Panini Room" , doing detailed stuff - edging around the hall floors, picture rails, the glass pane above the internal door.

Out on the Rec we meet, now almost full grown, white and black Staffie, Bo (or possibly Beau) whom we last met as a tiny floppy pup almost a year ago. We also meet new kid on the block, equally floppy but nothing like tiny pup Coco, a Dogue de Bretagne. Named after Coco Chanel, this lady is all silly and submissive, and still all pink and "new" aroiund the mouth and eyes, but already the size of a full grown boxer. Short haired and chocolate brown - she's gonna be huge!

Have a good weekend

Thursday 12 November 2009

I gave it up for music and....

The Panini boys continue to make good progress on the re-build. Most of the floor is now down and much of the new skirting is in place. The new French Doors arrived today and were unpacked and inspected. The Panini boys continue to feed us well (we have no complaints) although we did have to express concern when Dad-Panini suggested we might like some vegetable soup in our bowls for lunch. 100%-canine Haggis, in particular was so distressed he had to go and have a lie down.

Meanwhile, Mum and Dad are exploring some unheard of music avenues. One of Dad's allotmenters, and "Dad" to shaggy-bearded Finzi, the black lurcher, turns out to be a proper professional muso, who has performed on stage with Martin Carthy (him of Steel-eye Span etc, electric folky stuff) and Billy Bragg (presumably not together!), writes his own stuff and has released several CD's. He's about to go on tour with his latest one (including at the Gulbenkian (Canterbury) this month.

He gave Dad a copy and he's been playing it round and round in the car; he's 100% impressed and is looking on the guy with new found respect. There are songs about Kent, Spitfires and all sorts including, rather marvellously, a song inspired by Dad's own twisted asparagus as came up this Spring.

In addition Andy, Dad's co-owner of the 2CV project car Mademoiselle, is an ace electric-bass player and has lately been appearing in band headed up by his ex, "Zinta and the Zoots". Mum and Dad went off to see them in the "Smack" pub in Whitstable last night. Again (they said) some good stuff, enhanced by the rather mad-cap on stage antics. Andy at one stage whipped out his "rocket bass" (oo-er) - a bass guitar enclosed in a big silver space-rocket shaped body - big fins on the "tail end" and a pointy nose-cone over the machine-head, like something out of Fireball XL5

My future in the system
was thought about and planned,
but I gave it up for music
and a free electric band.....

Deefski (breaks away for searing guitar solo)

Tuesday 10 November 2009

Ceilings and floors

Praise the Lord! The Panini-Boys are back, and this time Mum has furnished them with their own supply of crumpets in the fridge, butter and honey and Jamaican Ginger Cake. Dad's at work this week, so doesn't actually see them, so he's not in a position to scold them when they feed us with tear-offs, but he suspects we must be getting spoiled rotten, as none of us really want boring old dog food for supper, when he gets in.

You can see from the pics that the start of the laminated floor up the hall is in place, and that the inner walls have been chopped out to accomodate the French windows. The Paninis can't do the outer walls yet, as we are still waiting for the double glazed units themselves to arrive, but they needed to do the inners so they could proceed with the floors.

What you can't see from these pics (or at least only indirectly) is that the ceilings have been painted a lovely dense 3 coats of white. You'll know this when I also tell you Dad is using bounced flash off the ceiling, and you look at the difference in lighting between the new-plaster ones a few days ago.

Hey, Progress!

Welcome back Paninis


Friday 6 November 2009

Panini Count Zero

Ha! This Rob might know a bit about plastering (see what a great job he's done from the pics) but he knows zip about how to spoil (sorry, I mean "treat") doggies. He accepted some coffees from Dad and a few chocolate digestives, but didn't go over to the bakers once - no cheese rolls, no bacon slices, no baguettes, and definitely no panini.
The Panini boys appeared first thing to bring him here and show him the job, and then came back briefly at about 1pm when he was gone but on neither visit were there any victuals to be had. All we got, just before we passed out from malnutrition, was a bit of cold roast lamb from Dad's lunchtime wrap.
And to add insult to injury, on returning from our Rec walk (in which admittedly I did have a roll in the muddy grass) Dad decided I was way too scuzzy to remain unbathed, so I alone have been shampoo'd. He tells me that never has a small dog needed so much shampoo to raise a lather, and that the water coming off me was some kind of record breaking black. Guinness was mentioned, though this might be a slight exageration.
Ah well, weekend is here, builders are gone and Dad has washed the kitchen floor about 5 times by now. We are all expecting a million more fireworks tonight, but to be honest we're a bit bored with them at this stage.
Have a great weekend
The fragrant, white and fluffy.....

Thursday 5 November 2009

Tomorrow we get plastered

Remember remember, tonight's the night we're allowed lots of legal shouting in the back garden. How dare people invade OUR airspace with those nasty flashy, screamy, banging fireworks. Haggis has LOTS to say on the subject, most of it at full volume from the top of the steps. Megan shrugs (seen one firework, seen 'em all). Me, I'm not so sure, so I'm usually out there supporting Haggis but from a position closer to the house than he is, just in case a girl has to make a run for it.

Last night we dined in style, as you can see, red wine amongst the Panini-Boys' equipment, with Dad dodging between tools to conjure up a roast lamb, roasties, carrots and chard, followed by Christmas pud (but don't let on to the Pud-Lady we took this long to get around to it!) and ice cream.

Today, the Paninis have been gyprocking about the place and making good the grooves left by the absent wall, putting up the new ceiling and generally titivating because tomorrow we are getting plastered. No, Haggis, this isn't Calva and no, Megan, we are not talking red wine, Mum and Dad are under strict instructions to have the kitchen entirely clear of all kitchen-y stuff because "Rob" is going to perform a transformational miracle.

The Paninis are off to another job for the day, so we don't know how we'll do tomorrow for cheese rolls, cheddar puffs, cheese-and-bacon savouries and , of course panini. Today we were offered tomato and basil soup, coffee and a "roll up". I think the Paninis might have been taking the Mick at that stage, don't you.


Wednesday 4 November 2009

Diagonal Door and Panini

Oh what a perfect day (I'm glad I spent it with you). Not only have we have the builders round again which means plenty of torn off bits of cheese sandwich, bacon roll and cheese/ham panini (Old John has not yet learned to avoid our imploring looks, even though Dad scolds him). The guys have put up the door which sits neatly diagonally across the end of the hall (we have not yet been officially told that it's main purpose is to keep us at the back of the house when the humans are out), so we think Mum will be delighted.
It's a gorgeous honey oak, just waiting for some nice oil to be rubbed into it. There will be a glazed panel above it, and it has 2 windows, so will allow plenty of light through in either direction. They have also started on the ceiling work.
We also got taken out, all three of us, in the 2CV to go collect the old project car, Mademoiselle, to take her for a nice blast through all the country lanes across to Lew's workshop, where we are all allowed out for a good sniff around, There are old farm buildings and greenhouses so plenty of chicken-y and ratty smells to chase, as well as beer-drinking, tea-drinking Jack Russell "Rosie" to talk to.
We do, though create a minor drama when we stray too near some pigs in a field. Lew runs to rescue us in alarm. Dad is quite knowledgeable around farming but has no experience of pigs, and wasn't aware that pigs will quite happily surround and kill a dog, tearing it to peices if they get a chance. Could've told me!
Dad does not think it was such a perfect day though, just because he gets chauffeured around all the builders merchants in Canterbury shelling out for french windows here, a door there, wood there and laminated flooring there..... He's gone for a lie down.
Deefer (pah! Pigs! I wasn't scared!)

Tuesday 3 November 2009

Canterbury Steel

Day 2 of the house-wrecking project. A lot less masonry flying about today and (Mum will be delighted to hear) a lot less dust. The guys tidy up the broken off edge of the ceiling where the RSJ is to go, then bash out a hole in the walls at either end. The beam gets hefted into position while we're out for a walk, so we didn't see that bit, and "wound up" with two more Acrows. Next comes blocking up above the steel, packing out the gap from RSJ to the bottom of the upstairs wall with slate, blocks and cement. All good stuff.
We get a nice walk round the boat yard and the town. Dad is curious as to where Sailing Barge Greta has got to. Working the touristy charter business all Summer out of Whitstable harbour, she was due to come "home" to our quayside last Sunday but-one, and hasn't appeared. Hope she (and skipper Steve) are OK.

Monday 2 November 2009

Trick or Treat?

Trick or treat? This is what happens if you don't give them the correct sweeties. They come back next day and knock your house down! I jest, of course. This is day 1 of Mum and Dad's
"re-modelling" project, to whit, knocking down the wall between Kitchen and Diner. So we have had Bob the Builder and his mate (actually, John and Dan) to "play with" all day. Can't think why we were all shut away out of the firing line when the boys set to with the kango's and hammers and the shards of masonry were a-flying.
End of Dad 1, and we have no wall left and the ceiling held up by Acrow props. We have a 3.7m RSJ (Yes, Mum did manage to call it a JCB this morning) coming. We shall have new floors, new ceilings and lots of making good in the walls dept. A new radiator, too, and some re-sited sockets. Dad has the week off, so he's been able to keep up and email some pics to Mum, but I bet she'll still be impressed when she first steps into her new "Kitchen Diner".
Meanwhile, up at the allotments, it's that time of year when some plots come free because people decide not to re-new. This year we have 6 part plots to let, and 35 souls on the waiting list, so Dad is busy arranging meetings up at the site to show people the options. We love this because we get to come too and get a good run around the site - this time with beardy black lurcher, Finzi.
You were only meant to blow the bl***y doors off!

Sunday 1 November 2009

Undiscovered Kong

Ah the joys of it! Mum and Dad are clearing the dining room and the kitchen preparatory to Bob the Builder coming in Monday to demolish the wall between the two. In the process they move a big dresser and, lo and behold!, under it is an old Kong toy. What's more it's full of treats!
Now these may be fairly ancient treats (rumour has it that the kong was bought for me as a pup but that I either lost interest or it rolled under the dresser and got forgotten, but these treats improve with maturity and age, so I immediately claimed the toy as my own and set about extracting the goodies (and growling at anyone who came near.)
Haggis, on the other hand HATES all these furniture moves with a passion, strongly suspecting that they may result in humans disappearing with their belongings in a suit case and us being abandoned to the tender mercies of Dog Sitters. Now the only dog sitters we've ever had are Ken and Jackie one side, and the Angel B and Uncle Jim the other, all of whom are wonderful, but that doesn't stop Haggis slinking around with his tail and ears down, and a hang-dog expression like his little world is falling apart.
Meg's cool as long as no-one turns off the food supply....