I will always reply to comments and always re-reply to re-replies.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


It is 8 months since we lost our last dog, Sabre and just recently I have felt the time was right for another animal to come into our lives - in spite of Kipling's view on the subject.

I have never been one for puppies, preferring to rescue an unwanted or stray dog in need of a good home. Not having much luck with the national German Shepherd Rescue Society my wife and I, on the spur of the moment, decided to visit a rescue kennel some 20 miles away.

My daughter, with similar affinities, has always said that "when the right dog needs you, he will find you" .
And there he was - sitting in cage 5, bright eyed, tail wagging, tongue lolling, waiting for us to come along and take him home. Rex, 3 years old, taken into kennels a week ago because of a broken marriage.

The obviously heartbroken previous owner (never identified to the new one) had left a note with him giving some details of likes and dislikes. The last sentence read "once he gets to trust you, you are his friend for life. I know".

He is settling well, obviously had some training and eager to please (too eager sometimes!) . However, we are off to the vet's in an hour for a checkover and jabs, so I might not be flavour of the month for a while after.

Friday, November 13, 2009


They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.

Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate.
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few)
You will hear the beat of a horse's feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods….
But there is no road through the woods

(A gentle autumn afternoon's potter on my bicycle led me down a country lane. The hedgerows closed in either side. The lane became a farm track. The track ended at a derelict, overgrown five-bar gate. I pushed through and found myself on a forgotten, ancient road that led down through the woods, emerging onto the levels of Romney Marsh. Kipling's words slid into my meditative mind as my tyres rode over the soft leaf litter, the crack of the occasional broken twig almost an intruder on my musings.)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Our National Time of Remembrance comes round again. Poppy wreaths will be placed against memorials and bugles will sound the "Last Post" (or "Taps" in the USA)

Acting Sgt Michael Lockett, who was killed in Helmand on Monday 21st September 2009, was the first holder of the Military Cross to die in battle since the Second World War. In remembering him I remember all those who are fighting and dying now in Afghanistan and all those who have gone before. He exemplifies all that is best in a soldier and can stand for all of them.

Can I ask you to go to this article. It is quite a long one, but please do "Locky" the honour of reading it all. It made me feel proud, humble and not a little angry at the politicians who send these fine young men to die in often senseless wars.