Monthly Archives: April 2015

A rock and roll child

Today’s Much Love Monday is brought to you by the Most Fabulous Marc Bolan and T. Rex with Metal Guru. 

This Top of the Pops performance is a mere two weeks after my birth. Noel Edmonds doesn’t look much different in his cheeky Sherwood Green. It’s funny watching this video in seeing just how much Marc Bolan influenced Noel Fielding – whether he acknowledges it or not. They’re both what I love about English guys: quirky, eccentric and a bit of a fruit-loop. Who wouldn’t love a cheeky English chap with his bad teeth, pallid complexion and odd-ball sense of humour?

I had a proper T. Rex morning yesterday when I was clearing out the garden. I’m still tackling brambles, but there are lots of clear patches and a HHUUUUUGGGE heap of garden waste. Nothing makes you feel more Sunday than a bit of gardening. I don’t care if I end up aching when I’ve got a bit of glittery T Rex love in my soul.

I don’t think I sat down at all last week. Everything’s in manic-grow mode. Plus, it’s the last two weeks before the holidays and I’ve got a lot of work as per. On Friday, we’re doing a stand at a ladies’ networking event in Magnac-sur-Touvre, so my usual Friday afternoon of dog photos will have to find another occasion. Plus, I have an association meeting in the morning. Why does everything always happen together?

Tobby has been getting on just fine – the metacam’s taking its toll on his digestive system, so we’ve eased off a bit. He’s finally got enough meat on him so that I can’t see each individual rib any longer, so he gets to level off the food as well. He’s a comical dog – never remembers that his body isn’t up to it any more and goes haring off down the garden, legs going every which way. I couldn’t decide yesterday whether the vet only gave me a small bottle of medicine for him because she doesn’t think he’ll last long enough to finish it, or whether she was being kind on the wallet. I’d like to say I’ve seen some improvement, but apart from being a little more in control of his legs than he was, the best I can say is that he’s not much worse. He has quite bad separation anxiety when I walk the others and we’re all out – I’ve been walking Tilly or Amigo in alternance with Heston – he seems much less distressed when he’s got a friend. If I thought he had longer to go, it would be an issue, but I don’t think that I’ll make much headway before his body finally gives up on him. Honestly, it’s quite heart-breaking because he’s still so young in his ways. He has no concept of the fact he’d be much better to plod a bit and take long naps. That’s probably why Ralf lasted as long as he did. Boy, that dog could sleep.

Until that moment, though, it’s nothing but love and kisses for my gorgeous old dude.

It’s also been a year since Amigo arrived – my sweetest dog. He’s just a cuddly bucket of nibbly kisses. He’s the one dog who never shows me up, God love him. If Amigo were a person, he’d be Richard Briars. He’s all gentle and lovely and twinkly eyed.

Happy 1st Adoption Birthday Meeglou. Meegy also goes by the name of Meego Beego, Meegle and The Meegle Beagle. He’s not a beagle.



Funny how dogs get other names than the one they have. Ralf was often Ralferton. Tilly is more often than not Pippin these days. She’s my Tilly Pip. Heston is mostly Heston. Tobby is often Wobbly Bob or Tobster. He doesn’t know or care. Tobby’s definitely not a name he knows.

Seedlings, dogs, greenery and gardens… A new season of Game of Thrones and a girl is content. It’s that time of year when everything is new and fresh and green; the year is not yet tired and old. It’s still cool enough to work outside in, and warm enough to eat lunch outside too. A few stolen lunchtime moments reading a copy of Andrew Marr’s A History of Modern Britain instead of answering emails… definitely better for the spirit.

Enjoy your week: hopefully you’re not all of a springtime frenzy.

You disturb my natural emotions

Some of Manchester’s finest for you this Monday morning.  Buzzcocks with Ever Fallen In Love.

In fact, not even Manchester’s finest, but Leigh’s finest. Leigh might be within striking distance of Manchester, but it is a world away. None of the cosmopolitan charm of Manchester, it’s still a pit village and a mill village that is accidentally connected to bigger places. I knew kids in Westleigh that hadn’t been to Leigh, let alone Wigan, Bolton or – dare I say it – Manchester. I remember explaining to some Leigh kids that I lived in Bolton, some seven miles away. I might as well have said I came from the moon.

Got to love Pete Shelley, anyway, who can still belt it out when needed.

He’s not the only old dude I’m loving this Monday morning. I’d like to introduce you all to someone.

This is Tobby!


Tobby is a thirteen-year-old Malinois Belgian Shepherd and he found himself in the refuge 14 months ago. He has very severe arthritis – a real Wobbly Bob – and while I have a space and he needs a home, I couldn’t not. Though he gets care in the refuge, and food, he was getting so bad that you had to wonder how long he would have left. He arrived on Friday, was impeccably behaved with Heston and has taken to following Amigo everywhere. Amigo’s having none of it. Tobby’s already on a double dose of metacam, an arthritis medicine for dogs, but I think the rest is doing Tobby the world of good. He’s much less wobbly in the mornings now, even though that’s the longest time from his medication, but he’s progressively wobblier as the day goes on. He really is a magnificent dog and he hasn’t done any of the things I let Ralf get away with. No holes. No grabbing food from the side. No lying in the middle of the floor like a giant obstacle. He doesn’t like being on his own, which he’ll have to get used to, because I can’t take him for walks, and definitely not the kind of walks that Heston needs. I hoped he was okay on his own, but I suspect he’s been doing a lot of barking and is a bit distressed. I don’t even think he would be bothered if he were with the other dogs as company.


It’s not a case of a space for anyone, this home that Ralf has left. No. There are plenty of other dogs who would just fit right in. I don’t need four. This is a space for a dog who doesn’t have much time left and needs to profit from it whilst he can. Watch him go on to make a miracle recovery now! I wouldn’t care if he did. He’s very welcome. I just can’t believe such a magnificent dog, like so many of the others, has found himself at the refuge. If I lost one of my dogs, I’d not rest until I found them or until I’d exhausted all the possibilities of finding them. Despite everything, his coat is still in good condition, though he is very thin – he’s always been so thin you can see his ribs. I just wish I knew a little of his history – he’s such a gorgeous fellow that you can’t but wonder who loved him all his life.


I’m sure Ralf would be very happy to know he paved the way for another oldie.

Tobby is very much enjoying the garden as well – the sun has returned and there is work to be done. You have no idea just how big my garden rubbish pile is now. I’ve done nothing but pull up brambles and thistles, cut down suckers and pick nettles. Nettles are fine – they will make a hellishly stinky nettle tea for other things later in the year. Brambles are a pain. Other stuff is much easier. This week will see temperatures of 27°C and aren’t I glad about that? Soon I’ll be moaning that it’s too hot. Truth be told, I am loving being back in the garden again. Nothing is nicer. I actually managed to spend a sit-down half-hour yesterday outside with a book and my lunch. Walking the dogs afterwards in 22°C, endless blue skies through the yellow fields and it’s days like that when you wish time could stand still forever.

Anyway, have a lovely Monday. Busy day ahead for me. The week is my last really busy one until the holidays start in two weeks’ time. Next week is a little more relaxed and peaceful and then it’s the holidays! Not that I ever have much of a holiday as I have probably 75% of my clients still, but even so, it’s a bit of a break.

Hope your blue skies are as blue as mine.

Drug Store Lovin

Blue skies, bank holidays and a Much Love Tuesday with a little bit of Otis

I don’t think there’s anyone in the whole world who’s impervious to the sound of a trumpet and a bit of Otis.

I confess I got a little carried away yesterday. I spent the morning wrestling brambles in the garden, feeling like She-Ra and looking like Alan Titchmarsh. Luckily, I came away without visible injuries. The same won’t be true when it comes to the yucca bushes. Who even likes that prickly nightmare? I’ve got three as well. They look all nasty and bedraggled. If I don’t cut all the deadness off, they just look even worse. If it were an easy and painless thing, I’d chainsaw the lot of them. I get the feeling they’d fight back.

Afterwards, we had a bit of a romp in the sunshine and cold winds – it’s right what they say. April is definitely cold even though the skies are blue. The plum blossom has come and gone. The peaches are in blossom. The cherries look like they’re about to burst into blossom at any moment. This year, I need to plant a few more fruit trees – I’ve lost a good six or seven to storms in the last couple of years. I lost my big cherry last year and I’m still sad about it. Why can’t the storms take those ugly yuccas and whip them over towards the face of someone unpleasant? That’s how I know there’s no such thing as karma.


In the afternoon, I got to have a lot of Monday Love; I went to a craft market in Mansle that was hosted by a lady who adopted the most lovely Ufo back on my birthday (you don’t forget a thing like that) Ufo had been at the refuge for seven years. As his new owner said, she had no idea why he’d been there that long. He is still as greedy as ever, but he is totally in love with his new owner. I think my happiest moment was when he looked up at Martine for reassurance – he clearly dotes on her. She says he’s afraid of the dark and won’t go outside in the dark. He also has to get in bed for a cuddle before he goes to sleep. Twenty minutes is enough for him and then he’s happy. Sadly, being big, black, male and old are a poor combination and it means these dogs get overlooked time and time again.

Not only did I get to see the handsome Ufo but I had a right good rummage in people’s buttons. It did get a bit ‘League of Gentlemen’ with several of the stallholders eyeing Sarah and I suspiciously as if we were about to rob all of the precious things of the shop.





Then Sarah took me back to hers and let me rummage in her button box. Life doesn’t get better than that.

Except if there’s cake.

Anyway, today I’m off to see the lovely Roni and to plan a campaign of world domination. Roni is one of those people who make you feel all excited the moment that you meet her. She is a mighty force in pink Doc Martens. Afterwards, a bit of a run-around for appointments. Hopefully there will be adoptions today at the refuge as well, though I don’t know if I’ll get down to see the dogs going to their new homes.

Happy Tuesday to you.