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Sunday, December 20, 2015


I am not hoping for a similar Christmas present to the one I received last year (a stroke), but did treat myself to a little something:

Roxy is a medium size little bitch, cross breed, about 6 years old, in residence at the local  RSPCA kennels. She had been taken into care because her female owner had to seek sanctuary in a refuge centre where pets are not allowed. My wife and I spent some time with her and became good friends. The inspector came to look at her new home yesterday, pronounced it "ideal" and we pick her up on the 28th December. (It did not seem fair to take in a new dog until after Christmas day when we shall have about 8 people in the house).

She is a bit different from my previous, large/male GSDs, but I no longer have the physical/mental strength to control such dogs, who need strong owners otherwise they can "take over" and become pack leader.

I have had dogs in my life for over 50 years, but did wonder, when my last one was put down, whether I should get another, particularly after the stroke. But the wound of loss never quite heals over. Even after 18 months I still expect a dog to welcome me home as I open the front door.

 I was looking at dogs at rescue centres on the internet. Many appealed but  Roxy had something that said "take me please" so take her I shall. It may have had something to do with her colouring, reminding me of my last black and tan GSDs. It may have been the expression on her face. But my dog-friendly daughter (HHnB) has always maintained that " when the right dog needs you, it will find you".

May I wish you all  a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and healthy 2016.

Monday, December 07, 2015

HHnB or Daughter-in-Oz

Since a number of you seem to remember with affection "HHnB", sadly no longer blogging,
and RR comments about the second "H" (i.e. "Him" of Her, Him and Bryn) I shall risk her approbation and show the latest image I have of them. It was taken at his company's annual dinner, a light hearted event as the photo implies, and typical of relaxed Australia.

Saturday, December 05, 2015


I tend to change my blog-head image in line with the seasons. I like to reflect aspects of this "Little Corner of the Earth". Hence you will now find a snowy landscape looking towards the scarp which defines the limit of Romney Marsh.

I know, I know….the weather is at present pretty clement for December but in my book the winter months are December, January & February and that means snow. I quite enjoy snow, more so now I am retired and can choose when to enjoy it and when to leave it alone.

 I am 76 (very nearly 77) and I can only remember two white Christmases; that clich├ęd description of an event often described but seldom happening.

To be out in the snow by purpose is to become an adventurer, a lone individual. Motorcycling can be difficult in snow although I can remember, when young, some joyous occasions when it was done by choice. 

and others, when commuting to army camp, when my frozen, set knees would not let me get off the bike and sheets of ice fell from me!

But cycling, provided the roads are not iced can be most pleasant. Floating through an unpeopled, silent landscape. It’s good when you leave off, too. To sit somewhere, unhitch the flask of brandy-slugged coffee and perhaps the odd mince pie or two, gradually feeling warmth returning to frozen extremities as the liquid does its job.

My daughter, of old blog signature HHnB (now sadly no “B” as Bryn the Australian Blue Heeler succumbed to old age last year) and her husband are returning to the UK from Australia to spend a month with us over Christmas. She is so hoping for some snow. An English girl, she remembers snow with affection – even rain and mud will be a pleasure!

She copes (just about, with air con) in the Perth W.A. climate but always longs for British weather and this will be the first time in some 15 years that they have returned in winter. So we hope for a little of the white stuff to “please a lady”
When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp’d and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl
Tu-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.