The Light of the Night

I think you all need a bit of Freddie to get your motors running this Monday morning, so here’s Queen with Now I’m Here. 

There’s a Queen song for your every mood. It’s why I love them. 42 years old, this song, and it still does the business. I was watching a documentary about his last year or so last week and that man was just the consummate showman. I wish all popstars were both such amazing performers and also so very private. I do wonder how Freddie would handle Instagram and Twitter. Best not to think about it.

Well, I’ve still got a river and a lake, so too wet to be getting really busy in the garden, but the plums near to the house are planning to burst into blossom at any moment. I’m taking the time to tidy up the woodshed. That’s not a euphemism. I found a 5 Franc piece in there the other day from 1982. I might keep it. You never feel certain with Europe any more. Besides, you can’t exchange them any more, so it’s neither use nor ornament.

I’m also running out of interesting things around the garden to photograph. The skies are yucky and it’s been wet more than it’s not. The only thing in bloom are a few spartan hyacinths and a random load of daffodils in places I didn’t plant them.

Since I can now get outside and since there is little to do when the grass is under water, I’ve been running through Heston’s heelwork stuff. We were a little rusty when I first re-started and he was so absolutely giddy I could barely get a ‘sit’ out of him. I run through his basic positions and then we have some transitions and trick stuff in there. Last year, he wasn’t a fan of anything involving my legs, but this year he’s loving it. We finished last year with a routine to Bohemian Rhapsody, funnily enough.

This year, Stand and Deliver seemed to really float his boat, and I’m putting some more jumps in. I figured I might try some hoop stuff too. Heston’s alright at jumps but he’s too big and heavy to really enjoy them. I forget sometimes that he’s much bigger than your average collie or even your average flat-coated retriever, being 63cm at the garrot. That’s bigger by a good 6cm than your tallest collie, and heavier by 9kg, bless him.

I got in a bit of a pointless argument last week with a man on the internet. I don’t know why I say it was “a bit” pointless, since it was completely pointless. He was trying to say that you could only get a good “gundog” (he meant field trials dog in actual fact, since I’m damn sure his dog never heard a gun being fired) without getting a puppy. He was obviously very proud of his “pointer” and its paperwork. Heston might not have any paperwork but when the man posted a video of his dog “working” I nearly cried laughing. Not only was the dog’s paperwork hiding something of a fib, since his dog was a pointing griffon if I ever saw one, but Heston’s track, point, flush and retrieve skills made me very proud. I’d long since given up arguing by that point since the man was incapable of understanding that people who work in rescue are not all (if at all!) bleeding hearts who actually know nothing about dogs, trials or breeding. Sometimes I do just give up arguing. The man was an arse.

Still, paperwork and lineage he might not have, but my dog is amazing to work with. And my muttley Amigo would beat that random internet man’s dog too. In fact, Tilly would. That dog can find a pheasant like no other. There’s show dogs with paperwork and then there’s dogs-what-does without. I know which ones I love. All of them!

Other than various doggage and Youtube Photoshop tutorials, last week was thin on the entertainment scales. That’s probably why I felt it so very necessary to correct people on the internet. In fact, it reminds me of a Saturday lesson. My student was trying very hard to explain why the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valois are such dastardly villains: they were libertines, he said, rebelling against the social conventions of the time. “They were bored,” I said. “They were bored and they were rich and they had too much time on their hands.” Sounds a bit like Donald Trump. That either the characters in Les Liaisons Dangereuses or Donald Trump ascribe to some philosophical movement of any form is purely accidental if you ask me.

Well, here’s a sample of my photo-a-day project from February. It got kind of green and yellow there.

367 368

Bits of blue… more please!

Let’s hope that March picks up a bit of warmth too.

Hope your Monday has blue skies and warmer winds.

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