Wednesday 27 January 2010

...on the other hand...

On the other hand, the reason Haggis might be full of beans all of a sudden, might be that he has survived another Burns Night without getting eaten. We actually got some (haggis) to taste this year - Mum and Dad's eyes bigger than their bellies. It was delicious and we wolfed it down.

Ah well, H, you can relax for another year.

Young Diamond was round last night having just brough Rags to the vets which has opened next to the Home for the Bewildered just at the back of us. This is the first time we've seen him since about June 2009, when Diamond started on this medical journey and had to be careful around getting scratched due to the risk of infections. He's spent most of that time on his "holidays" lodging with a couple of chums of Diamond's out on the London Road.

He doesn't change, the old Devil, although he's mellowed a bit and now leaves off trying to mount Haggis as soon as the H objects (rather than keepin' on keepin' on). However, it seems, although he now does very little to annoy me, I persist in grumbling and growling from a handy human lap as soon as he walks too close. Old habits die hard, but the humans are saying it might be me issued with the ASBO next, and Rags's be rescinded.


Tuesday 26 January 2010

Clipped and Shampoo'd

Clipped at the weekend and now shampoo'd we are allegedly sparkly white, sweet, fragrant, silky and cute. We are certainly full of beans and Haggis in particular, rescued from his thick shaggy and presumably over-heating coat has taken on a new lease of life in willingness to play rough and tumble with me.

Mother of Ben (black collie cross, frequent Rec-walker, him of the peepy-toed black-with-white-toes feet) is not so sure and chides Dad for clipping us "in this weather". Amusingly mother of Luca (brown lurcher) jokingly gives out to Bens' Mum that she's only cold because she stands around in one place on the Rec chatting instead of walking! We are, in fact, now only as short-haired as both Ben and Luca always are.

Luca is great fun. His Mum comes equipped with a long-arm ball-throwing "spoon" and hardish-foam balls in two bright colours. He is happy to chase one while I chase the other, and we have a great game together. We move to up behind the bowls pavilion where Luca's Mum plays "tennis" which involves lobbing the balls against the walls of the pavilion and Luca trying to catch the rebounds. Dad wonders that the bowling fraternity don't get upset by the smack of balls against their nice new walls, but the lady says "Oh, you can only do it when there's no-one in there!". That's alright then!

Meanwhile, Diamond is about to go back into hospital for the next burst of medical treatment. Good luck Diamond - we are rooting for you. We know this is not going to be an easy one.


Monday 25 January 2010

Cambria Update

Hi. Thought it was about time you guys had a Cambria update. We last met the barge really, just before Christmas, but obviously the shipwrights have been working away while we've been AWOL and there's some great progress.
As usual, I'm never sure what order trhese pics will appear in, in the final blog but we have ...
1) a good view up into the space just for'd of the transom (red painted flat stern with ladder hanging up on it). You can see that the area is now completely beamed out (curved, white painted timbers running across full width (ie the "beam") of the decks) and is getting its first layer of planking.
2) I confess ignorance of the name of this new curved plank on the top of the starboard bow, running out along the top of the (white painted, upper sides, ("wales") from the (vertical white "stem" (front-most timber) to where the first deck-beam comes in. I will check and get back to you.
3) Finally a nice shot rear-wards (aft) from the main mast deck looking down into the long hold hatchways. When she's finished, this will be basically a hi-tech classroom area, the barge being among other things, a floating educational facility showing the history of trade around the coast and Thames.
So, there you go. Sorry no posts recently. There's been precious little happening of late, and we got bored of telling you about walks in the Rec etc.

Sunday 17 January 2010

Listen Again

Brilliant! Mum and Dad were just done eating supper, and listening to the Paul O'Grady Show on BBC Radio 2, when all our ears pricked up at the mention of a dog called "Megan" on his very sweet, touching "deceased pets" slot.

It was, of course, our own old chum, the Megster. Mum had cut and pasted a chunk of this very blog into an email to Paul just before Christmas, and he's now read it out. It was nicely wrapped around with Paul's own comments about people who say "It's only a dog!" (Dad knows a few of them).

These days, of course, all BBC2 output is available on line as "listen again" (via I-Player). Go to the BBC Radio 2 website and follow the links to Paul O'Grady on Listen Again. It was read out about 18:20 today, Sunday 17th Jan, which is an hour and 20 minutes into the Show. As it was read out we were half expecting a few calls, but we're not sure round here how many people listen to R2 at this time of night.

Brought a few tears to us lot here, though.


All safely home

Mum is safely returned to us and we have heard all the tales and stories of what sounded like a traumatic week around Portmarnock, but no detail here I'm afraid. All those who need to know are in the picture already. Suffice to say Mum's had a chance to catch up with the Silverwoods (Toddler-M now very tall and cheeky, and wondering where is (Dad's) boat? "Baby"-R is now turning into Toddler-R as she's mastered the basic walking skills, and now just needs to hone the finer balancing abilities....whooops-a-daisy!

Mum has spent time with some long-lost cousins (Hi Cathy) and a niece whom she first knew as a bump (Hi Danielle), plus Mum and Dad's own Best Man Billy (How do you spell that?), and his son Keith. She's linked up with Steak Lady and Mum's Dad and they've been to Howth to visit George the Seal (pics in an earlier posting, but you might have to search back a year or so) and had plenty of gossip with the "Late Lady" and the "Artist".

But now she's back and the standard of cookery has returned to its normal heights. Tonight (get us!) our normal stuff is supplemented by some rib cage and pelvis bits from Guinea Fowl. The fridge is stocked with goodies, and we no longer get breakfast at 04:30. A girl can relax a bit in the morning - get up and see Dad off, but then climb back onto the duvet (never "under") for the next 3 hours till Mum's alarm goes off.

The snow's all gone now and we're all wet from melt water. Today we head for Conyer again where there are hard paths, so that we don't get all muddy. Mind you, I am a bit sparse undernieth at present due to Dad having to cut a fair amount of "feather" away when trimming off the many frozen balls of snow hanging off my undercart after a walk like Christmas Tree baubles. Amusingly, these were chucked out on the terrace and when the snow melted there was a little pile of sad whispy tufts of Deefer-fir left.

Meanwhile, thoughts with Diamond, who is back into Hospital this week for yet another medical procedure. We're rooting for you Diamond. This is a bit of a serious one we gather, so courage, Sister!

Yo! Deefski

Sunday 10 January 2010

Bit of a Thaw

Our part of Kent has a bit of a thaw. We wake up to the drip drip of meltwater everywhere, and great blobby lumps of wet snow falling from trees and bushes. The dodgy bit of guttering above the side-gate of the house dumps a continuous stream of water down the back of the neck of any human or dog foolish enough to tarry while unbolting the gate. Dad had developed a strange contortion whereby he can stand out of range of the stream, double-jointing his right arm into bolt-pulling position while holding 2 dog leads clear of the cold water.

The 6 inch white blanket slides off the bonnet of Clara Bow unbidden, and inspires Dad to fire up the old girl and take her for a dry-out blat. At 60 mph he pats the canvas roof upwards with the palm of his hand, unleashing the roof's 6 inches of snow onto any following traffic. She now sits on the drive with her exhaust pinging as it cools back down, and steam curling gently off her bonnet from the warmth of the engine, but at least you can see she's been driven - snow free top, and tyre marks where she's come and gone.

No word yet from Mum who's attending to a family emergency in Ireland - we hope all's well with the Silverwoods and the Steak Lady and co (plus the rest of the family, who don't generally get covered by this blog, being non-dog folk whom I have never met). Pud Lady reports that Hastings is having similar weather to here but being a hilly town, is getting far less well served by gritters and ploughs.

Up where they live, on the hill by the "Pilot Field" (Hastings Town footie ground) no busses are running, there are still abandoned cars everywhere and only 4x4's are getting about. Just as well Dad's brother T-Fer has just invested in a big silver "Warrior".

Keep safe, dry and warm (and that includes young Mr "M" Silverwood who has urges to rush outside without a coat on and make snow angels)


Saturday 9 January 2010

Deep and Crisp and Even

More serious snow comes to our bit of Kent overnight - maybe 5-6 inches with drifting to a foot or more. It carries on most of the day and Dad says that "Kaddy says" there's more to come. (Kaddy is BBC South East's curvy "weather-bird" (her own words), Kathryn Lee-Preston, who seems to have all the blokes round here suddenly believing everything they hear about weather. No idea why......
Couple of nice pics here anyway, Clara Bow, our 2CV on the front drive, me with a fine set of 4 snow-boots on again. Dad is talking of trimming my long whiskery "feathers" on my feet to stop this happening. Something about bringing gallons of water into the house every time we've been out of a walk, and then I sit and "melt" everywhere.
Mum has to race off to Ireland for a family emergency. The weather precludes driving to airports, so Dad clears a car and drops Mum to the railway station. She keeps us posted as she progresses through that London towards Heathrow. Unfortunately she's forgotten her passport, so Dad has to brave the blizzards anyway, and race to Heathrow with it. It's actually only snowy in Kent, he reports - with Clackett's Lane onwards (west) being normal clear Motorway driving.
Same on the way home - clear to Clacketts. then some scary bits of one lane open. Detling Hill is a blizzard and there are big drifts blowing off the Showground. A group of 5 tractors with snow-ploughs is keeping the top clear, and gritting lorries make regular passes. The whole run takes just 4 hours, which wouldn't be bad for a normal week-day. It being Saturday helps.
Mum's most recent text says she now has a ticket, a passport, a plane but no fuel. Dublin airport had been shut but must now be open. That's one advantage of having your destination airport just 55 mins away - they don't let you take off if the airport's shut at the other end, so at least you can sit in a warm airport this end and wait. Mum has taken OU course-books so she can be learnéd while she waits.
Keep warm and dry
Deefski (belly full of cold roast beef and warmed by the coal fire)

Thursday 7 January 2010

Decent Snow at Last!

At last some decent snow for us. More important, Dad home at a decent time for us to go out and enjoy it in the Rec in daylight.
In no particular order, these are.

Me running towards camera in my snow-boots.
My snow booted forefeet

My foot prints across the frozen pond.

Myself (left) and Haggis investigating the heinous murder of a snow-man
Hope it's good where you are

Wednesday 6 January 2010

My Daddy Loves.......

When First-Dad was out Christmas shopping in Marks and Spencer, he came across tins of shortbread with cartoon westies on the front and, naturally, bought a load. To cut a long story short, one came to current-Dad, and was much enjoyed over Christmas, although the humans kept it to themselves, and we dogs didn't get any.

Back at work, Dad was thanking First-Dad and commenting on how nice was the shortbread, when F-D asked if we dogs had had any. Finding that we hadn't F-D said that dogs LURVE shortbread, and that he'd given some to his (my Real-Mum (Mollie), Real-Dad (Hector) and bro' (Archie). Complicated innit?

The shortbread was in the tin in those discs which are pre-marked into 6 segments. F-D had put the tin down, broken off a segment and was further breaking down that triangle into dog-sized bits as a treat. There you go, Mollie....... there you go Archie......... Hector! Hector? Where are you, Hector? (silence)....... F-D, suspicions aroused, goes hunting for Hector and finds that he's nicked the next whole round out of the tin, run off to hide and is frantically trying to cram the whole thing into his mouth before he is busted!

Mum was unkind enough to look at me and say "Now we know where she gets it from......"

The nerve, I tell you

Sunday 3 January 2010

Thoroughly disreputable

Would anyone like to guess the name of this thoroughly disreputable looking westie cavorting in the snow trying to make a snow angel. Minus 5 points if you went straight to my name, me being the usual suspect if anything sordid or dirt-collecting is going on.

Nooooo! Plus 10 points if you straight away recognised the usually staid and gentlemanly Captain H 'Aggis. Normally, maybe, but in snow it's all a bit different. Seems to set off the mud-wallowing lunatic in him and he is first man there if there are snow-angels to be made. No matter that here the snow was so thin and new he is making a mud-and-gravel angel instead.
Thought you'd also like these atmospheric pics of snugged down barges on the Standard Quay in Faversham. Top is the bow end of the SB Cambria, with all her viewing platforms and the Christmas Tree rigged up to her poly-tunnel.
The other pic is of SB Raybel nearest to the camera, and SB Greta alngside her as the snow falls. Nothing like as much snow as the poor aul' North is currently experiencing, but snow, none the less.
We all retreated indoors for the humans to have hot chocolates and us dogs to have a coal fire. Happy New Year