Location: Cornwall, United Kingdom

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Near-death experience

I’m so upset. Me, G & S just went for a new walk by a place called Bissoe. It’s a cycle track now, on the path of what used to be a mineral tramway from the old mining days in Cornwall. There was an arsenic refinery, for example, which surprised me. It was really interesting, and we were enjoying the lovely scenery, when I decided to jump into this narrow ditch of water.

Except it was five feet deep and fast flowing. S had just come over to investigate, as he could see I was considering jumping in, and when he heard the deep splash, realised it was not good. I was flatlining.

He couldn’t see me, as the channel was only about a foot wide, and there was a foot or two of muddy bank above the water, which overhung it and made it almost invisible. S guessed how far the current had swept me, and could hear me coughing and snorting. I was so scared. It was so dark I couldn’t tell which way was up. The current had undermined the narrow banks, so it was like one of those flumes in waterparks. My head was right under, and I was drowning.

S had run ahead and jumped in, but still holding on to the grassy banks, because he couldn’t feel the bottom, and was up to his chest in fast-flowing water. G then jumped in behind me; by this time I’d bumped against his legs like a fish in a net, so although I was still underwater, I was no longer being swept along. He reached under my head and held it up, and G hauled my bottom up out of the water. Between them they heaved me above their heads on to the bank. I lay there semi-conscious, gasping like a fish.

They then had a problem: S managed to haul himself out, but the overhanging banks were too high for G, and he couldn’t pull her out. She was up to her chest in the water. He managed to guide her upstream a few yards where there was a shallower bank, and she climbed out. By this time I’d revived, and was prancing about the bank, trying to get to my G.

When we were all out, we looked at the damage. They were soaked to the skin, and covered in mud and grass. I was bright orange all over from the coloured mud, and a bit subdued. S had lost his sunglasses, and G her expensive glasses.

We all tramped back along the trail to the car. Of course there were people about now that we didn’t need them, and we had to explain our appearance. I was very subdued. G wanted to call the vet, but they decided that I was ok really.

They came back and had a bath, and G has now gone to the supermarket to buy food and a bottle of wine. I think I need something stronger: a St Bernard, perhaps.

I really thought my time had come; I couldn’t see anything, and couldn’t get a purchase on the bank, which was muddy and curved over me. The current was strong, too, and if S hadn’t guessed rightly where I’d been swept too, that would have been it for me. A watery grave for the surfhound. They should have a sign up; it’s way too dangerous.

Now for other news. S had an email from baby Jack saying he was sending his mum Nx off to buy me a pressie prior to his visit last weekend while S was in Ipswich looking after his mum who’s not well and 90 now. Well they came and went, and no sign of a present. He’s all mouth and nappy, that one.

If I’d have drowned today he’d have been really sorry.

Nx got bored on Monday because S was still away mum-sitting, and G had to work, so she left on Tuesday morning. She seems to have sold her house now, which is good news if you are into that sort of thing. Personally I’m quite happy with a field.

S went to next door’s RAFA coffee morning while G went to get her hair done this morning. He met a guy who’d flown Lightnings, which sounds difficult and a bit implausible. G & S contributed the last of their pistachio and white choc biscuits, which were appreciated. They’re having tuna tonight, but I’m not keen on anything to do with water at the moment. In fact when I saw S in the bath just now, I ran for help.

They’re off to visit the boys on Thursday; they’re having their ceremony. G wants to wear a hat, but it’s not that kind of thing, so she’s been persuaded otherwise. I of course go into prison, but will be there in spirit. They’d have been proud of my heroic owners this evening; they saved my life. Now I’m so hungry.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Heatwave blues

It’s been a while since my last posting because I’ve been incarcerated while S and G went on holiday. They were in Crete while I languished behind bars. In the sweltering heat. The screws had to hose us dogs down to try to keep us cool. The basset hound kept up that unearthly Baskerville howl all week. He needs help.

They say they liked Crete a lot, and enjoyed the cottage they stayed in. It was very hot, but not as hot as England, though Cornwall was cooler than most places up country. I’ve been on a course of antiobiotics for my infection problem, and it seems to have helped my weeing problem. The vet says the growth on my bladder is not good though, and the tests indicate it could be a tumour. The tests aren’t conclusive, and I feel all right in myself, so I think I’ll be ok for a while yet. I don’t want any nasty invasive treatment, and will rely on nature.

Had my hair cut by the groomer while I was inside. Feel much better as a consequence, less hot. Look much prettier, too.

Bridget who lives next door gave me some cat biscuits tonight to welcome me home. The only good thing about cats is that I get to eat their food, smarmy little vermin.

No squirrels evident for quite a while; maybe they’ve all got this squirrel virus that’s killing the red squirrels – though apparently the grey ones are immune to it. Typical: the chavs survive, the toffs cop it.

Not much more to add today, I’m afraid: being banged up for so long there’s not much to say of any interest. S says the Cretans are liars, but do you believe a Cretan who tells you that? I say who cares? He goes on holiday and comes back even stupider. G just told him to check for a baby Jack blog, so he’ll have to leave off typing this now. Jack was laughing on the phone just now, it seems. Sinister, I call it. What’s he got to laugh about? Doesn’t he care about Hizbullah?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Off to prison

I’m off to prison today, so am not feeling too great. Didn’t even want my walk this morning. Had to make S n G feel bad about leaving me. They’re off on holiday to some place called Crete. Sounds like an insect.

I’m going to have a haircut on Saturday, which will be good, because it’s been very hot and sticky lately, and my shaggy fur makes me uncomfortable.

Vet told us that I’m not well this week. Have a lump on my bladder. I wondered why I had to keep weeing. Now they’re dead worried about me. I am too, I suppose. All part of life’s rich tapestry. There’s only one journey, as I was saying to them yesterday when we went to Trelissick for my walk. Went all existential on them.

I’m not too worried about kennels this time; S had to take some Rescue remedy though.

He was very excited about the World Cup final yesterday. He was quite upset when Zidane was sent off, and thinks that Italian guy said something really nasty to him. If he did, he got what was coming to him in my view, though I’d have probably bitten him.

They’re off to Weston tonight to stay with G’s mum Mary as they have to get an early flight from Bristol next morning. They might get to see the famous Jack. I was in big trouble for some of the things I said about him. G thought I was rude, but I was only saying what I perceived; he does look Rooneyesque.

Cute pictures of him came by email, but he does have some unpleasant eating habits. His blog is quite good. Sounds like his new car is ok. Not too keen to hear he’s been consorting with cats. Vermin. Good only for gloves.

Must go now; prison beckons. Time to put on my most doleful look. Hope the vet has good news.

Monday, July 03, 2006

New settings

Been having trouble getting comments posted to my blogs. Just got S to change my settings, so this is a test to see if comments are enabled now.

Jack's rival blog and the real reason for the World Cup debacle

So, a young pretender has emerged: baby Jack has produced his first blog. Not bad for a first effort, either, though I suspect he had some help from him mum Nx, whereas mine is at least all my own work. To paraphrase Capote’s summary of Kerouac’s prose: that’s not writing, it’s typing; I compose this, S just types it up. He lacks the imagination to do more.

Besides, Jack looks like a cross between a sober Charles Kennedy and a slightly less psychotic Wayne Rooney. He’s not even house-trained!

That’s a sore subject with me right now: had a wee sample taken ignominiously this morning, which S left at the vet’s on his way to work. The vet rang later in the day to say that I seem to have a problem, and I have to go for X rays on Weds. I’ve had this problem for a while now, and it’s most undignified. S and G are worried for me, but I think the antibiotics they say they’ll give me will clear it up. I go into prison at the end of the week so S and G can go to Crete for a week. Typical. No-one thinks of the dog.

S has been dead grumpy since Sat. when England went out of the World Cup. Every time it comes round he seems to think they’ll have learnt to take penalties, pass the ball to one of their own players and not to the opposition, sometimes beat an opponent by using skill, athleticism and ingenuity, etc. Then we produce our usual performance of inept underachievement. I think it’s because there aren’t enough English players in our top clubs, but S rebukes me for this and says it’s recidivist or racist or something. Nonetheless we still can’t string two passes together. France has Zidane, Brazil had Ronaldinho (S thinks he was smuggled out before the competition and replaced by a cyborg) and who do we have? Peter Crouch. He is to football what praying mantises are to philosophy.

Is that the plural of mantis? Mantes?

He’s been poring over the papers since our exit, alternating in his vituperation between the manager, the opportunist Swede-the-greed, with his huge salary and small invention; Rooney, with his Croxteth ethics, Beckham, with his fading genius, and the Tories, who he usually blames when anything goes tits-up. I feel it’s something to do with the pre-match microphone that broke when Becks was trying to read his anti-racism tract. It clearly freaked him out that the feedback could be heard in Antartica. The English players’ wags were less attractive than the other teams’ players’, too, and this surely undermined their confidence and self-esteem. In today’s Times there’s a picture of the Wimbledon players’ consorts: pure class. I rest my case. It’s nothing to do with tactics, and the relative merits of holding midfielders or the Lampard-Gerrard axis; it’s all down to looks. Look at me: the best-looking dog in the peninsula, if not the south-west of England. Everyone coming out of Sainsbury’s when S and I are outside waiting for G to finish reading Good Housekeeping in there on a Saturday says it: what a handsome dog! A winner. No self-doubt. I could even score a penalty if I put my mind to it – better than that pouting pretty-boy Madeira cake cheat who tried to get Rooney sectioned during the quarter-final. No wonder van Nistlerooy (is that how it’s spelt?) can’t abide him. Could be though that he’s better looking than Ruud the Mr Ed lookalike – which returns me to my earlier thesis.

Apart from the football it’s been hot and muggy here, so I sleep mostly. Bark at next door’s cat with the six toes… freak. Think of things to dream about. This might be my last blog until I’m released from kennels, so think of me in solitary, staring through the bars at the light. Pining.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Spring-heeled Jack

Sorry I haven’t posted for a while: it’s not my fault, it’s my scribe, S. He claims he’s been busy, with an Ofsted inspection at work, exams to prepare his students for, etc. Pretty feeble I know, but he can be very recalcitrant.

So he’s on holiday this week (apart from tomorrow), and has finally relented.

Since my last message I’ve not done much, but we did find a new walk yesterday. It’s near a hamlet called Kea, named after one of those Irish monk saints who drifted over the sea to Kernow on a granite boulder. It must have been like a flotilla back then, a sort of Celtic boat-people, only the reverse of today’s refugees fleeing autocratic regimes: this lot were after new ascetic ground and fresh flocks to convert. You’d have thought they’d have floated across on something more seaworthy.

The walk is in a millennium wood, about one square mile of open land planted with thousands of young trees. There was a dead blackbird near the entrance, which I took to be a good omen, and had a good roll on it.

Went back there today. G and S had to lift me over a stile at the end of the path, which I found most undignified. Then they had an argument about the best way to the churchyard. Turned out they were both wrong, which I found edifying.

They’re off to Suffolk for S’s niece’s wedding at the end of the week, so that means back into kennels for me. As usual they got it all wrong, and assumed it’s on Saturday, when in fact it’s on Friday, so they’ll have to stay fairly sober with R and R in London on the Thursday night and catch an earlier train from Liverpool St. They shouldn’t really be allowed out unaccompanied.

S painted the garden furniture with woodstain today, first time he’s done anything remotely helpful since they moved here, and about as interesting as a game of croquet with John Prescott. Can’t believe he sold out his working class origins by letting himself be photographed without a vest on.

G and S did some gardening yesterday, which means throwing over into next door’s garden all the weeds they’ve pulled up. G planted a whole lot of bedding plants in pots on the patio; she doesn’t know what they’re called, but I call them slug salad.

World Cup starts next week, and S is getting excited; G meanwhile is resigned to several weeks of tedium. S thinks she should show more enthusiasm for his interests, but she thinks he should get a life.

I’m with G.

Jack is cutting a tooth, apparently. Has taken to shuffling across the floor on his back. Like that’s difficult. Nobody shows much interest when I shuffle across the carpet on my bottom to eradicate an itch, so I don’t see why I should bust a gasket over this.

Must go now: S wants to see Springwatch. Don’t know why he can’t just look out of the window.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Jack's first visit to the grandparents: mixed success

Last day of February; when I was a pup my mum told me that if March enters like a kitten it leaves like puma – I think that was what she used to say. I don’t think it’s what they call a Leap Year, which is a pretty odd thing to call a year. A slow year, or a fast year, if you’re having a bad or good time perhaps; but under what circumstances would you look back, before New Year’s Eve, and think, ‘Yep, had a good leap this year’.

Just back from a week’s cottage holiday in Dorset. It was great. Near a place called Lulworth Cove, with loads of army camps nearby, so we felt quite insecure. The Jurassic Coast was a big disappointment: saw some fossilised dinosaur pawprints in the museum at Lulworth, otherwise not a thing.

Got lost in the heather walk at Studland; S disappointed he saw no avocets. Don’t know what’s so special about the legal profession.

I got quite tired – can’t manage these epic journeys like I used. It was nice to curl up in front of the wood-burning stove in the evening, and there was a toasty aga in the kitchen. G no longer hates these, after her unfortunate experiences with the Rayburn in the last house. Three hours to make pasta is a bit excessive.

Nx, Gz and baby Jack came shortly before. Everyone seemed very excited, but as I’ve said before, I can’t see the novelty. Keep getting these photos of him. Whatever. G took some splendid ones of me; does anyone ask to have a copy? Oh, no. If S wasn’t so hopeless he could post some on here. I might look into this. He did look quite sweet when he wasn't howling. I suppose. With his little sleep suits. Did taste good, too.

R and R came to stay for the first w/e in the cottage. They all ate and drank loads, and there was multiple snoring all night. I must admit I made my decorous contribution. They always make a fuss of me, which I take to be a sign of discrimination, good taste and general good-eggness.

S had a bad throat from Wednesday. Said it was tonsillitis. I think it was a sore throat. Even went to the doctor, scared he was getting the quinsy he had last year again. Was most disappointed when she gave him a prescription for antibiotics. I think he was expecting ER at least. He says his bugs are bigger than average. Pathetic.

G is off to Bristol for two days tomorrow, so it’ll be short walks and long stares at the football for us. Having just finished a biography of the rivetingly interesting Jane Austen, he’s been inspired by the literary pilgrimage in Dorset to read Gittings on Hardy. He sounds a cheerful soul: couldn’t bear to be touched. What a fool – it’s my second greatest pleasure in life. The first? Food.

At least I don’t demand lavender massages like Jack. Who’s he named after: Jack Horner, who sat in the corner (which is pretty much all he seems to do, so far)? Jack in 24, battling against the clock to get another bottle in before the colic sets in? I don’t see it. Must be Jack Spratt. Can’t eat fat or lean yet: what use is that?

But we must be magnanimous. Jealousy is most unbecoming. I’m not jealous. Just cos he’s getting all the attention I used to doesn’t mean I’m jealous. I’m bigger than that. I’m in touch with my unthrusting side. Pushing yourself forward is not an attractive trait; neither is staring cutely at swinging cuddly toys hanging from your cot. Anyone can do that; it takes no special skill, yet everyone seems to go into ecstasies when he does it. I could follow the track of a bobbing pink elephant if I had one to follow, which I don’t. But I’m not bitter.

He can’t even talk.

Or walk.

Did I mention I was sick on the moors on Monday? I even do that with more panache.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Horror cats and hyacinths

I have received another response to my blog, this time, can you believe it, from a cat. I am horrified. I have devoted my life to the destruction, intimidation and some other word ending in tion of cats. I hate them. They serve no logical purpose. Why should a rat, a mouse a cat have life? They are vermin. They inhabit the sewers of normal life. They are despicable. If there were cartoons of them, I would have no problem.

I don’t understand Maisie’s rather cryptic comments in her response. Does she have a drug problem? She and her sharp-toothed friend do not seem to correspond to normal civilised conventions; she is a non-cat. I do not recognise her. She and her acolytes are the spawn of Sheba. May they suffer from blocked flaps, and an armed insurrection of the rodent tribe.

Meanwhile, if I can return to proper blogging duties…

Mary went home, and seems to be doing ok. S’s mum has broken her wrist; I think tripped in the night by an errant feline. G has gone to some place called Barnstaple. Sounds more like a record label.

R and his chums had better watch out: there is such a thing as a Brontefada. Maisie is not beyond the scope of the retroodle network: we have been watching her. Video evidence may well soon be released.

S & G are about to be visited by the new grandchild. If he cries, he’s toast.

They may not share my views on that, but as G. Galloway would say, hey, do I care?

S made me watch Fahrenheit 9/11 the last two nights. Made me think. Felines of mass destruction: watch out. We are on to you. With your little velvet paws. Your little teeth. Your flaps. You are the liminal ones.

The squirrels have eaten the hyacinths.

The horse blocks the path in the mornings. S has to move him, but fears the hoofs. Hooves? Roof, rooves? Style guide, I need you. I’m a dog, not a prescriptivist. I don’t care, I just read James Meek’s People’s Act of Love, and I favour the Mohican. Read it and weep.

Lost the thread there. Tired. Need sleep.