Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Ho Ho Ho!!!

Merry Christmas to you all - and thank you for your kind comments following my previous post, and for all your support over the past few months.

Regardless of your opinions on the rights and wrongs of foxhunting, I think the pictures above sum up an English country Christmas quite well. The turnout at the Boxing day meet in Tarporley earlier today was phenomenal, and spirits were high despite raging hangovers, stray tinsel and reindeer horns.

The past few days have been hectic. Tilly has fully embraced the festive spirit and has coped really well with the inevitable change in routines and chaos that this time of year brings. I went to my brother and his partners house for Christmas dinner with the rest of the family. Tilly came too, and despite my concerns was impeccably well behaved. She was delighted with the gift that our hosts had left under the tree for her, and slept peacefully whilst we ate dinner. Her only misdemeanour was the theft of a piece of stollen from the coffee table, and I really have to take responsibility for this as I'd seen her eyeing it up earlier in the day, and failed to move it....

Christmas dinner was wonderful, but I had to leave a little earlier than I might have liked to undertake 'chicken duties'. A few days ago I agreed to keep an eye on a neighbours farm whilst they were away over Christmas, and this involved protecting the chickens from the local fox population, as well as ensuring that the cattle didn't escape and run riot in local gardens. All was well when I arrived to shut them in last night - it was rather festive to stumble through the fields by torchlight, and to find the chickens safely in their sheds clucking contentedly as I approached.

Letting them out again this morning was less festive, as I was suffering from a dreadful hangover after some rather late and excessive Christmas drinks with my neighbours last night.

I hope you've all had a happy Christmas.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Happy Christmas Bunty


I wandered down to Princes bridge earlier today to put up a wreath that I bought a few weeks ago and to have a chat to the little stinker. I wouldn't like him to think that I'd forgotten him at Christmas. In reality, I can't think of anything else.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Country Life....

It's been an eventful week at Trotters' residence. She's been in fine fettle, whilst I've been battling with that high profile medical phenomenon - man-flu. Of course, I'm suffering far more than most....

Now, I'll be the first to highlight the benefits of living in a rural area, but it's not always all it's cracked up to be. Taking aside the sub-zero cottage, poorly maintained roads and limited services, there's also the wildlife to deal with.

I was sitting in the kitchen yesterday morning, bemoaning my poor health and tucking into a medicinal bacon sandwich, when a strange sight caught my eye. My car had been enveloped by an enormous throng of rather feisty looking sheep. As I stood up, I witnessed the spectacle of hundreds of sheep streaming down the drive towards the road. They were very purposeful, and clearly intent on making it to the pub for opening time. As I continued to watch, they got to the end of the drive and promptly turned left - complete with a game auld ewe hobbling along ten minutes after them on three legs, as there always is.

Many frantic phone calls later, I was to be found with four of my close neighbours and the scarlet-faced farmer, standing in the road trying to convince a hundred over-excited sheep that they would really like to retrace their steps and bugger off back into the field they came from. With some rather impressive handling of a quad bike, much swearing, and a lot of arm waving, we succeeded. It was a healthy way to spend a Sunday morning.

I also have livestock problems in the house. And no, I don't mean Tilly. Since my neighbours have acquired two cats, the mice have all decamped to my house. They're quite considerate and only frequent the airing cupboard and loft as far as I can tell, but I can't say they're welcome. For the past few weeks I've been reducing the population with mousetraps and I've been quite pleased with the results. However, mere minutes before 'sheep-gate' yesterday I'd checked the traps with great anticipation. What do I find? A shrew..... Since when did shrews come into houses? Is this unique? Will I find an antelope tomorrow? Bloody hell....

Monday, 10 December 2007

It's hard......

......to get a clear action shot of Tilly with a rubbish camera, and an unskilled operative......

Nope, try again.....

and again......

and again......

ZOOM, you fool, ZOOM!!

Bugger it, you're too late - I'm having a break.....


Sunday, 9 December 2007

Festive Trotter

Hmmm, Tilly has yet to get the idea that you open ONE window a day..........

Meanwhile, she tries to look veeerrrry innocent.

Prince had, of course, mastered the terriers art of always looking innocent......


On another festive note, I urge you to have a look at this post. Perhaps I just have a twisted sense of humour, but I found such random inclusions as a nun with a parrot, a pirate snowman, and a cache of weapons quite funny.......

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Dishevelled.....


I'm feeling somewhat jaded today, having spent last night at that most dreaded occasion - the office Christmas 'do'. Quite why, as a city-based company, our Christmas events are always held in the over-hyped West-end, I do not know. Doing battle with the crowds of tourists, pick-pockets and general detritus of the capital city never seems the greatest idea to me, when there are far better parts of London to go out in. Anyway, the evening consisted of a meal in Chinatown, followed by several Soho bars, and then ending up at the Camouflage Club. All in all, it was tolerable - I conformed by getting reasonably drunk, jigging about on the dancefloor, and pretending I was interested in my colleagues inane ramblings.

Whilst all this was going on, Tilly was in the capable hands of her grandparents. Her leg seems fine now, and she's back to her usual level of exercise, so they've had the unenviable task of walking her in Britains revoltingly wet climate. I'm going to collect her shortly, but by all accounts she's been fine - if slightly mischievous. I'm told that she's been in a certain amount of trouble, firstly for pinching a chicken bone from the kitchen (although no-one can quite work out how she reached it), and secondly for chewing one of the burglar alarm sensors. Thankfully, I have no doubt that by now she will have 'the aulds' comfortably wrapped around her paw once again......

Monday, 3 December 2007

Tagged by the Waggle.....

Patience and the whippet waggle have tagged me to give five random facts about myself, so here we go....

Rules:Link to the tagger and post these rules on your blog. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1) I'm so sad that I cook, and vacuum pack, individual portions of carrots and meat for Tillys meals, and used to do the same for Prince.

2) In a similar vein (and partially in answer to one of Fionas previous comments), I must be one of very few single men in their early thirties that prefers a well cut tweed jacket to the latest 'cool' design....

3) I come from a family full of solicitors, yet never considered following the family tradition and considering law as a career. Much to my parents horror, I left school to muck-out horses. I did ultimately return to university a couple of years later, and ride horses purely for recreation now!

4) I have bizarre musical tastes - ranging from Motley Crue to Jamiroquai, and taking in hard house, Mozart and jazz along the way....

5) I'm obsessed with the colour and consistency of dog poop. Of course, all dog owners are though.....

I'm going to tag The Lurchers, and Joker, Herbie, Yogi and Googles parents to do the same....

Sunday, 2 December 2007

A Model Hostess....

Tilly thoroughly enjoyed entertaining her visitors last night, and was the perfect hostess. She would have made Prince very proud - she's picked up where he left off in terms of making people feel welcome and ensuring they have a smile on their face throughout the evening.

Of course, excitement levels were at +10, and any hope of limiting mobility for the sake of her leg was ditched early on. Thankfully, her leg seems to be getting much better - we're up to two short walks a day now, with her being free to run around like a lunatic on one of them. Thus far she doesn't seem to be suffering any ill-effects. She's still a little frustrated, as this clearly isn't enough exercise for her needs, but hopefully we'll be back to normal in a few days and doing a couple of hours a day.


All in all it was a very pleasant evening. As far as I'm aware, I didn't poison anyone with my food. Nobody came to blows. Tilly didn't steal anything from the table, or wee in the dining room. It was necessary to have a medicinal cognac after they'd all left though......

I'm exhausted today, and Tilly's sulking with me at the moment as I'm having a break from playing ball. I would consider having another game, but if the goddamn-freaking-piece-of-sh*t tennis ball goes under the sofa once more, and requires retrieval, I'll be forced to kill myself.

I've escaped to the computer for some respite. For a little while I've been meaning to link to a couple of blogs I've been enjoying of late. The first, Bona Vacantia, is centred around Joker the lurcher and his family. There's some brilliant photography (what is it that makes lurcher owners so good with a camera?) and they seem a lovely family. The second is about a Westie called Google, hence the blog name - My Life with Google. In typical terrier form, tales of misdemeanor come thick and fast!