Cancel the thing that I said I’d do

And she’s back in the room.

On a Monday as well! Here’s the Kings with a bit of southern rock and roll for you

Apologies for the severe lack of bloggage these last weeks. My Mondays have been a bit out of whack for several weeks. It’s been a long time since I had an actual weekend as such, even if I do work Saturdays. Weekends have been stolen by various events. The middle of October was the refuge Portes Ouvertes and I spent the weekend before frantically emailing drafts of the calendar left, right and centre so that there were some ready for the day. Luckily, the printer is very accommodating and had pushed us up the print queue so that we had some for the open days. Still, it went out with a couple of errors in it which I’d not spotted. Happily, it was nothing egregious. The first run was quite a small one, which meant we had a bit of time to make corrections before the second run. Next year, I think I’ll be trying to get it done before August is out!

The Portes Ouvertes weren’t the only thing that weekend… it was the Hope booksale as well, so I took Effel up to meet and greet in the hopes of finding him a home. The beauceron is not a breed most English people know, so I spent all weekend saying “no, he’s not a rottweiler… no, he’s not a doberman… yes, he is a big guy… no, there’s nothing wrong with his feet… no, he’s not a cross-breed…”

Sadly, he had no takers.

The refuge Portes Ouvertes fared a little better in terms of interest. One of my kittens was adopted and there were plenty of French visitors who are more familiar with the beauceron breed, including one woman who was obsessed by him, couldn’t take her eyes off him. She said she already had a beauceron female at home but that the dog was badly behaved.

“You’re not having the Feff,” I thought to myself, and spent much of the afternoon hiding from her.

It wasn’t made any better by a weird woman who spent most of the afternoon peering into the eyes of lots of the cats and kittens – I mean like an optician might – looking for “the right one”… you just get a distinct feeling that quite a lot of people keep jars of formaldehyde at home.

Last weekend, I was back in the UK for a meeting on the Monday. At one point, I didn’t think we were going to make it. Not only had the airport only got one team of passport customs officers working instead of two, which meant long check-in delays, but then there was a problem with the plane’s emergency lights. Happily, the emergency engineer was jetted in from Stansted, fixed the plane and we were on our way. The meeting was surprisingly unchaotic. Bit of a brief stopover in the UK, but nice to see my nana and my mum. Plus, I had a happy early birthday present in the form of some new walking boots, which have barely left my feet since.

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This week was supposed to be a bit of a holiday (the schools are on holiday) but there was a lot of stuff to catch up on. Because I’d done an induction at the refuge the first Friday in the month, and then the Hope booksale, I’d got a list of 30 dogs to photograph. Sadly, there are few volunteers during the holidays, and it makes it a lot harder to get photos.

Tobby had a vet visit as well this week as his pains have been getting worse. The vet did another x-ray and it was easy to see that his lumbosacral stenosis is getting worse, hence the other problems beside his inability to get up or lie down. The problem is that he has been on metacam so long that it’s barely effective any more and she wanted to take him off it unless he has an attack. He’s now on hugely expensive supplements instead. Another vet I know recommended something you can buy for the pain, so I’m trying get my hands on that as well. Tobby is well and truly not ready to give it up though.

Saturday and Sunday I spent at an adoption drive with my two remaining kitties. They certainly attracted a lot of attention and got plenty of fussing, though they are still without a home. I can’t remember two such gentle, loving and affectionate cats. Still, we’re over-run. Lovely though to have so many people interested in our animals at the weekend. We weren’t over-run, but there were certainly a lot of people who stopped to chat and find out about our animals.

This week, mostly trying to catch up on everything else before exam marking starts next weekend. This is the last series of this exam, which has only been in place for a few short years. Next year’s is a return to fiction on my paper, since Mr Gove thought that non-fiction was obviously not worth study in English Language unless it was “literary”. We’ve also got a return to narrative and descriptive writing, which is a colossal shame. I can’t help think of all those students in the summer who wrote about the need for a relevant syllabus that would prepare them for the real world. Mr Gove obviously thought that the real world involved the rather limited number of people preparing to be Charles Dickens. Don’t even get me started on the imbalance of marks and preponderance of marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar.  Not that I am anti-spelling, punctuation and grammar as you well know, more that I am for good content and well-expressed ideas, which are now worth considerably less, comparatively. I definitely am not feeling the Monday Love for Mr Gove. In fact, I feel rather violent towards him. If I didn’t like public school, smarmy, smug-faced twats before, I definitely don’t now. Cameron and his Eton brigade deserve a nice public burning if you ask me.

Couple that with the dismantling of the Jungle in Calais, the tiny, tiny proportion of refugees accepted into the UK, the despicable way in which displaced children are treated and the hundreds of people sleeping homeless in Manchester, it does make me very sad. Not much love this Monday any way you cut and slice it.

Let’s hope the Kings can make us all feel a little kinder to others. Heaven knows we could all do with a bit of kindness.

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