See how big and strong I’ve grown

What better way to start the week with a little Manchester love? Here’s The Mock Turtles with Can You Dig It? They’re no Stone Roses, but still.

This is Martin Coogan, brother to Steve Coogan. Manchester does have some talent (present company excluded of course) Steve Coogan does make me laugh. He plays such a great selection of people with no self-awareness whatsoever. The Courtney Love/Steve Coogan story has to be the most unlikely coupling of celebrities ever, except for Gareth Gates and Katie Price.

Anyhow… it’s been the last week of the summer holidays here and I’ve been as busy as usual. Most of my little students are already back to lessons with me and last week was no exception. I’ve still got Sunday 13th September as my End Goal – once I get past the Les Dames de FER foire, I’ve got a bit less on the old agenda.

The new refuge website is almost ready. There has been some toil behind the scenes, let me tell you. Nobody usually ever stops to thank Sophie, the president of the refuge, but I will. A full-time job as a full-time volunteer. André, who designed the site, has also done a lot of the data transfer which saved me a job. I’d volunteered in a mad moment, thinking my summer would be quieter than it was. Luckily all I had to do was sort through the photos and try and make sure everybody had a photo and that they had a pretty one. It’s not so easy since some dogs are in foster care and have photos that are years old, but apart from that, it seems to have worked.

a vos marques
pretsAs for the other things, I’ve uploaded my book called Finding Shelter to Kindle. It can take up to 72 hours to be published, but then it is available to all. I’ll share the links here when it’s uploaded. If you can read this, you can read the book, should you so wish. I guess you might be interested if you’ve stuck with me so far. Honestly, I can’t believe I finished it but I’m also kind of excited to start the next book. To finish with the advent calendar that I did last year, without saying who was adopted, seems as good a cliffhanger as any. Between you, me and the doorpost, Tulipe is now reserved which leaves Gentil.

adopted august

There will always be Drack, who died before he could find his forever home, and so the calendar will never be completed with ‘adopted’ signs, but let’s keep our fingers crossed for Tulipe. She deserves a home. Anyway, given the way the public responded to the appeal for Bob, I could write a book about that experience! That gives me a good title for the next book: Viral Dogs. Dogs In Cyberspace. That’s only funny if you remember Pigs In Space. How bad is it that the Muppets are my greatest cultural influence?

By the way, eight of those dogs went to English-speaking homes and at least six went to homes in Northern Europe, so it was well worth doing the posts in English, German and French. I’ve already got my plans for Christmas 2015, although truth be told, the dogs we have left who have been here longer than a year are the ones who are going to be hard to home. Mind you, I thought that about this crazy lot, like Ufo with seven years at the refuge, and Usty, Tino and Edge with a whopping fifteen years between them. I will be very pleased if all my Christmas dogs find homes again for this time next year. I’ve also been charged with the calendar for 2016 for the refuge, which I’ve also got some great plans for.

I’m really hoping that the book raises some money to help me buy more camera equipment for the refuge. If nothing else, it’s not just a shameless demand for money. I did put some work in to it! I’ve got my eye on some professional backgrounds and various props, as well as a good tripod and some lighting equipment. I’ll settle for being able to buy a subscription to Picmonkey for 2016 (that’s about fifteen copies) though in reality it would probably have been more sensible to take on a hundred hours of content mill writing and put the measly earnings from that in a pot instead. If it looks grim, that’s what I’ll be doing this November instead of churning out the second in the series.

I spent a lot of the week smelling of cake as well, and not in a good way. It’s been disgustingly hot here and being stuck in a hot kitchen on Wednesday making cakes for the Charroux Literary Festival kind of took the proverbial biscuit. Worst thing about it was making seven cakes I really, really wanted to test.

Today is a planning meeting for the foire – the end is nearly in sight. When you organise something, it’s always fraught with ‘Will people come?’ so cross your fingers that we have good weather. Then I’m back to lessons.

Not a week for turning heels and watching television then. When will it be winter again? I could do with a break!

Enjoy the Mock Turtles and a bit of Manchester loveliness. Have a good one!


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