The geriatric dogs are sitting by the door.They have seen the writing on the Wall, although being dogs they can’t read them but a glance at the packed bags + they are on red alert. Their eyes pass on their desperate message
‘Don’t go without us. We love you’
Of course they are coming after all how could we leave Flora, half dog, half Womble deaf as a post + Sammy almost a Labrador now blind as a bat with arthritic hips at home?
It does mean the journey will be hell of course as both dogs suffer from horrific halitosis + even from their remote location at the back of the car behind the rear seats we will be reminded of this revolting reality constantly until we arrive at our destination. Revolted + freezing due to the windows having to be right down whilst driving into the Highlands to save us from asphyxiation as the rotten chopped horrors wheeze +pant. God the very thought yuk! I may hitch.
Did you ever hitch?
My cousin + I were warned never to hitch so naturally we ignored that when we spent our train fares on tacky necklaces in Aberdeen + hitched to Edinburgh aged 17. It was Ford Capris that picked us up + the eejit driver drove so quickly I threw up on his handbrake so we were dropped at a layby on the A-92. A salutary lesson for everyone. For us don’t hitch + for the geezer driving a now stinking Capris don’t pick up hitchhikers.
No I will travel with the hounds it’s not worth the risk am just off to B+Q for a Mask. See you in the Highlands.
As a dog lover, dog walker, dog rescuer, dog fanatic and without my make up – dog. I was eager to support my pal Tracy when she set up her own business Pet treks in the hills of Aberdeenshire. A fellow hound fan she and I have enjoyed many dog related adventures over the years.
My first official dog was Stumpy – thus called cos he had a long back, short legs and was probably one of the ugliest dogs I have ever seen. I rescued him from Battersea dogs home because being so hideous we felt there was no way anyone else would have him. Bless. When I arrived back in the north with him, Tracy had just got Rocky a guinea pig sized Jack Russell. The dogs became firm friends and we trolled around together for years.
In the picture were also Tracys Mums Great Danes – Havoc & Hogan. Pal Kerrys dalmation, my mums wire haired dashound Scooter and another Dalmation called Pongo that used to sing along to loud rock. As dogs came and went, people left and came back, Rocky hung on in there. In fact he was about 18 when he finally died. 18! As Tracy says when they say a dogs is for life – she didn’t realise it was her life.
Anyway in recent years she has got herself a spinoni called Lola and a Sporting Lucas Terrier called Plum. She is great walking, talking dog loving girl who is now the proud owner of Pet Treks. She takes them big, small, hairy, bald, dogs, cats, horses, rabbit whatever and walks them, exercises them,feeds them cuddles them, talks to them whatever the clients want. I want to move back to Aberdeenshire and be her incapable assistant. Since she started she’s lost weight, looks about 25 and has a smile on her face as wide as …well her face…which is a lot less wide than it was by the way.
So though I don’t do merciless plugs – this does feel like one – but hey that’s what friends are for.
The strange and exclusive winter affliction that is known as leg popcorn bobbles is hitting hard in these parts.
Waterproof dogs gamble, smile and wag as the wee hairy ones drag their cold pink tums through the snow and collect hard balls of snow round their fat wee legs and stop dead in their tracks. It seems the second they spot them they are convinced they have a near fatal disease so just shiver with rigid legs
until some generous benefactor picks them up and carries them back to a carpet where they nibble frantically at these strange new white growths on their legs. Can I suggest a very tepid bath gets rid of them instantly. The problem is the dog will ignore you for a few hours but hey ho that’s leg bobbles for you. As you can see, their faces were a picture not just their legs and the contrast between being a lush, black, waterproof dog with not a care in the world versus the hairy ones is never more obvious. Maisie, a labradoodle pup had just seen snow for the first time – I suspect she will be filling out her emigration papers. Flora is my stalwart old mongrel but clenched and livid nonetheless as you can see.
Dogs or cats? You really have to ask? Why DOGS of course ! Bring them on. I love them Whatever the size, shape, whether curly, sleek, pretty, hideous, waggy, confident or shy bundle them up and bring them over.
This week my pal Jackie got a cocker spaniel puppy Toby– just look at him! He is adorable. The second I put my handbag on the floor he got into it! But as you can see he was soon exhausted with trying to open my purse – need I remind you I am from Aberdeen. It hasn’t been opened without a hammer and chisel since 1986.
Another pal then got 2 English setter pups Hector and Hugo. The little bendy brothers are floppy and delightful. Hugo it turns out is the over zealous one so is now titled Hugo Boss – he’s the one with the black ear.
Pal Yvonne her Jack Russell just had 3 pups – small and perfectly formed. How are your canine hormones doing? Raging? Mine too.
Controlling myself as best I could not to stuff one or all of them into my bag and just run away off I was stumbling through Inverleith Park the other day when a grin appeared on my face watching a low slung black beauty meandering along towards me.
What is he? I asked the equally pleased looking owner.
Half Labrador – half basset.
No – the bitch had 8 pups and they were all completely different.
I kicked myself for not having my camera on me for the 1st time in years.
But after a few calls it seems crossbreeds are no longer mongrels but have developed breed names. The funniest ones I have heard thus far are….
A Sprollie – A Spaniel crossed with a collie interestingly known as a Spanolly in Aberdeen. So already regional differences here.
A Swetty – A Scottie crossed with a Westie
A Labradoodle – the now famous Labrador/Poodle
A Sprocker – cocker/spring spaniel cross
Sprussell – Spaniel/Jack Russell
A Jack a poo –Jack Russell /poodle
A Golden doodle do -golden retriever/poodle
A Daniff – Great Dane/Bull Mastiff
Basschund – Basset/Daschound
Bogel – half beagle/ half boxer – for any nostril digging boys in your life.
Chestie – Chihuahua/Westie – perhaps the perfect dog for Jordan.
Chug – chihuahua/pug – A CHUG! If I told you what that meant in the north east you’d laugh like a drain.
Flandoodle – poodle/bouvier des flandres – for the phantom flan flinger or in his absence Nigella?
Giant schnoodle – poodle/giant schnauzer – over to Daniel Craig and your imagination.
Gollie golden retriver/collie – for someone who exclaims f*** alot! Golly!
A Poo-shi – poodle/shiba inu one for any of my pals though spellt slightly differently – pushy.
A Bugg – Boston Terrier /Pug – too many suggestions but maybe for the editor of The New Of The World
A Poxer – pugg/boxer – a well you’d have to get the names from the STD clinic for this one.
Rat-a-pap -a rat terrier/papillon – Maybe for the local vermin killer rat up your drainpipe – call rat-a-pap.
Snorkie – Yorkie & Schnauzer – one of the banana splits. No that wasn’t snorkie but snork but they were great weren’t they?
Beakle – Beagle/Cocker – A muppet?
The Bassador – Basset/Labrador – Put his bed near the door and it could be The Bassadors reception and you could serve Ferrer Rocher.
Jack Russell crossed with a Shizhu – A Jack Shit. Yeh Ok made that one up too but what a brilliant name for a dog. Set the scene. Interested dog lover approaches you and points at the hairy wee ball on the end of the lead. What’s that ? She enquires gently. Jack shit.
It must be done.
Now I can’t get The Banana Splits out of my head – take it away. Over to snork.
There is a time of year in this God forsaken country when all I can think about is food.
365 days a year.
Before I open my eyes in the morning I think….mmmmn what can I have?
It’s why I get up – to slug coffee down my throat and toy with the possibilities.
1. Cereal – Get Thee Behind Me Satan.
2. Toast – dull. Plus I have gone off it since I found out some of the bread we buy in the supermarkets will last for about 3 years if just left there on the kitchen unit, thanks to the surfeit of E numbers and preservatives that lurk within. No, the only reason I would eat it now is to test my theory that we will glow in the dark if suddenly plunged into darkness again ( I refer to a recent power cut during which we nearly died cannoning round the house crashing into each other, tripping over dogs and trying to find a candle and then a match to illumintate our coal black surroundings – obviously we survived) So anyway, as Spring has sprung and the clocks have changed, I ignored the bread, and moved on to the cooked options.
3. Poached eggs on toast. Oh yeh the damn bread again. Poached eggs without toast? Not an option. Although even if I do say so myself I am a bit of a dab hand on the poached egg front having attended Nick Nairns cookery school with my 78 year old mother.
She is a great cook but the elusive perfect poached egg had escaped her repertoire for all of those decades. So we learnt together but all of that knowledge and wonder is frankly redundant if not perched on a lightly toasted, wholemeal, vaguley homemade bread with good quality butter. Slurp. Same goes with scrambled, boiled and don’t like fried, so no eggs then.
4. Sausages & bacon only as part of the whole and the whole is the above and that’s not happening
5. Fresh fruit- yes Ok a few sunken satsumas, a wrinkly looking apple and a very brown banana.I had replenished the fruit bowl less than 24 hours ago but my son, Teenwolf is aka the Fruit Bat. He scoffs it in such alarming quantities I have considered getting a pipe and firing it directly into his stomach like a Perigord Goose. He says he’ll phone Childline. Fair enough.
So weak with hunger and desperate I lunged into the cupboard.
A yes the big carboard box of porridge oats. Nice. Well nice if you cook it slowly in full fat milk before liberally sprinkling with brown sugar, nuts, some chopped fruit and cream – the equivalent in calories of another bleedin’ Easter Egg.
I’ll just have the Egg.
The big chocolate Egg.
The one that I had set aside to replace the one I ate yesterday, which made me feel sick. But God it was so worth it. 1 …2…3…….
Visiting my pal Tracy whole lives in the wilds of Deeside in Aberdeenshire is aye a joy. We walk, talk, eat, drink and rumble around with the dogs. We both love them. Tracy has a half water spaniel/half Spinone called Lola who is a large amazingly chilled dog and looks virtually dislocated when she lies spreadeagled on the floor of the house of an evening. However when out lolloping in the hills the mere whiff of a deer and she is off like a shot, loping up hills and out of sight completely ignoring the commanding tones (which can shatter saftey glass if the truth be told ) of Tracy. From a distance Tracy is often mistaken for Julie Andrews,
without the dodgy sacking dress or the attentions of Christopher Plummer, rushing over mountains just screeching LOLA! After realising the lovely Lola was ignoring her completely and squawking was a fruitless mission we took root and sang La la la la Lola – the Kinks , leaning against a tree waiting for the wanderer to return. But no more. She now just hears her name whispered and she gallops back down the hill instantly to find Tracy and here you can see why……
They are expensive but then the emotional trauma of losing your beloved dog if it eats a sheep, snarls at someone or is just plain grumpy to your mother-in-law is priceless really isn’t it ?
Living with Teenwolf – a joy for a mother to behold. I’ve written about him so many times I felt it was time to share a peek at the reality. Put it this way Kevin the teenager is no longer a comedy it is a documentary of our life. Proof is in this pudding.
Then of course I have to fess up I am not a perfect mother. I know, I know it’s a shocking admission call the police, but it’s true.
But I do get it together to feed the beasts – and no I’m not talking about Dave and Teenwolf but the hounds of the baskervilles, our two that’s Sam our nice but dim labrador and Flora half dog half womble who are joined on this occasion by my Mothers big hairy nelly dog called well…eh..Nelly actually. By the way I am not housewife of the year but the reason there is newspaper on the floor is because we finally had to defrost the freezer as it was frozen shut it’s not usually quite so Wayne and Waynetta Slob – honest.
Of course the combination of teenagers, animals and a typical Scottish bloke husband does mean that occasionally under duress I am forced to drink wine the consequences of which become more dire as time goes on. Gone are the days of leaping forth in a fragrant fashion to face the day after a a wild night and a few hours sleep. No sadly the morning after the day before now means many hours of shuffling around regretting the 3rd glass and wondering how on earth to start feeling human again. After the usual suspects a banana, a berocca, a yoghurt , a vat of water, a pint of coffee, some paracetamol and a full cooked haven’t worked there is nothing left for it but to go for a lie down which is exactly what I was doing when Dave snuck up with the camera and caught me at as you can see here.
Typical he can work my new video camera but he can’t set the video when I want the latest episode of how To Look Good Naked. So from The Sunday Mail, a flat one dimensional page to a confessional box as this is turning into. Technology is a strange thing.
From day-to-day on this here blog I have been spouting lots of stuff – its great being able to be so proactive from being restricted to just a Sunday I have been running amock – is that how you spell amock? So if my pal Fiona finding the best buy in an antique shop near Callander , a nitwit trying to flog utility kilts and sex education for the deranged 1950’s housewife are of interest either scroll on down this page – it goes on for ages – or click on ‘Day to Day’ tab at the top of this page and have a look. Alternatively….come back any day you have a moment. Coming up over the next few days I will introduce Matthew, a B&B proprietor from Kilmelfort who may well steal Keith Floyds crown as he produces a delicious chocolate pud with the help of a quantity of wine oh and me, his very able (to drink) assistant in fact here’s a photo to whet yer whistle…
Get yer pen and paper ready for next time though as the pud he creates will hit all the right spots as well as possibly giving you one or two – but hey it’s worth it!
Don’t forget to subscribe to this on the right hand side by filling inyour e mail address yup – it’s a free bottle fo champagne every week at stake – you’d be mad to miss it. Til next time! Have fun! Alison x
Today is officially declared a non drinking day as the strain my zips and buttons are under is frankly cruelty to flab. There is a party this afternoon but I ask for a soft drink. A derisory snort is made as I am handed a luke warm glass of water. To hell with that. Geeza drink! Am soon giving it ‘Chestnuts roasting round an open fire’ at the top of my lungs whilst harassing the piano player to play Last Christmas by Wham. When he does the whole party stops and gathers round giving it laldy which is when Dynamite bursts into the room wearing a red puffy ski jacket to re-enact the video. Excellent.
Up at the crack to get my abandoned car. Arrive at 8.30am to find a ticket, the wardens were on yesterday – can’t believe it. There goes my Christmas money on a parking fine. Not pleased. Some heading into the sales today not me. The combination of empty purse, parking ticket and hangover assures the dogs get a decent walk. Half way through ice station zebra aka the park Flora, half womble half haggis stops dead in her tracks. Her feet are like icicles, she has balls of snow round her fat wee legs and can go no further. Taking pity I hoist her like a sack of tatties over my shoulder and stomp home.
Going off dogs. By means of thanking me for carrying her from the icy hell of the park yesterday Half womble half haggis savages my christmas present from Dave, a wart hog. You can see in this picture before it’s early demise it had the evil eye which all the dogs have been growling at since I opened it. Now my little warthog is in a bin liner off to meet its maker. Flora is in the bad books and spends the day staring at me pathetically with an apologetic look in her eye. Spend the evening with Dave making a monster casserole for tomorrows shenanigans.
Oh God here we go again.Fiona having a party and everyone is taking something.We head off carrying the giant casserole between us trying to walk smoothly.. I told you to put clingfilm on it I screech as my party coat is splooshed with gravy. I did he said taking off the lid revealing a huge ball of plastic in the middle of the stew. Very appetising. Despite it’s drainage problems it is wolfed down as people scramble for a hot lining before trudging up to Princes Street to see Madness. What a fabulous night! All walk back to Fiona in Madness style and carry on.
Home at 5am. Awake at 8am what’s that about? Age? Drink? Can’ sleep so get up, glug a resolve and wrap up to take Flora the evil warthog eater and her friend out for a stumble round the park. Exchange Happy New Years with a few people. Spot one guy obviously just home,steaming and trying in vain to fit the key into his front door. Ask if I can help and open the door for him. You’ve saved my life he slurs at me dramatically you’ve saved my life. Hardly I say modestly it was nothing. No he says honestly you have I’m absolutely dying for a s***e .Happy New Year.
Off to Murrayfield to watch Edinburgh V Glasgow. Round to pals Charles who live round the corner and always get descended on. As time goes on the boys head off wrapped up against the elements, soon after that the men follow on. The women? Well after a quick look outside we decide on one for the road and then as we snuggle up in front of the roaring fire gossiping wildly someone says what we were all thinking. Shall we just stay here? Deal done we turn on the telly ignore the match and have a lovely time for Monday the hell of new year new regime and reality kicks in big time. Yeuch.
Gutted. We find out the house we booked on Jura for our holiday is double booked. The Agent called and told us the owner had taken a booking and hadn’t told them. We are destitute with 6 kids and 5 adults and nowhere to go. We have all got our ferry tickets, Gordon has bought his inflatable and Dave has hired a canoe. I even went so far as to by Tesco wetsuits off the internet Still on the bright side if I don’t have to wedge my body then at least being harpooned might become less likely. The Agent is unrepentant we are unamused. Tell Louis to watch a few back epsiodes of Bear Grylls to see if we can learn how to fashion huts out of the Scottish landscape. Spending hours on line looking for alternatives to no avail so far. Boo hoo.
Dropping Flora half Dog Half Womble for a haircut, she is like a stinky bog brush thanks to guddling under trees and a deep love of rolling in anything revolting. Christine, her personal stylist tells me another customer had come in earlier today with a teeny pup she had just found. She had been walking past the bin at Iceland in Gorgie Road when she heard a whimpering sound. After a quick invesitgation she found this wee scrap of a thing in a plastic bag in the bin. Scooping it up it is now firmly ensconced in her jacket and being a total softie she is going to keep it. How can people be so callous? I just don’t understand what sort of mentality. Take it to a dog home, hand it to a vets surgery, give it to me! but don’t throw animals out with the rubbish.
Flora is too good for us now sweet smelling and silken once again she has left her bog brush days behind. Thank goodness. As I drove to collect her silkenship yesterday I passed an Aldi. We have waited for a long time to get one in Eidnburgh I am in like a whippet and agog at the bargains. Their moisturiser got a great review and is £1.89 a tub, in the basket. I see a highlighter pen like Touch Eclat but rather than nigh on £30 it’s £3.99 and as far as I can make it just as good. 5 nectarines for 89p I am reallly over excited they are about 99p each in some shops. Rush home in a state of excitement slather face cream all over myself and gorge on fruit. Aldi – at this rate I will be a youngie!
On the Fred Macaulay Radio program today talking about new statistics say Scots men think spending as little as possible on a first date is completely acceptable. Aye if you never want to see the woman again. If they start by fiddling around with discount vouchers on day one it’s not exactly a major turn on. I can barely recall the whole carry on having been wedded for so long. I talk to Dynamite about it and she tells me her most memeroable first date was ong long ago in chinesse restaurant on Lothian road. They stuffed their faces then when they’d finished her date jumped up and hissed ‘right come one let’s leg it’ and did a runner. Charming. Dyna being an honest and mortified wee soul hung back and paid for it. If only I could rememebr his name she said I would happy for you to name and shame him 20 years on I’m still getting over it.
Still scouring for a holiday house. Sit still for so long have thighs like Ben Nevis, that’s each one by the way not as the sum of two fat halves. Depressing and yet the great thing about a staycation is you do’t have to reveal the blobs in public. Whoopee. It’s just Dave I feel sorry for really. What happened to the sylph like individual he married? Well not exactly sylph like but certainly not a scrunched up paper bag of a woman. Got Frownies off the internet that’s these sticking plasters your put on your face when you go to bed to stop you frowning. Nice . Pink foam ear plugs for the snoring, plasters for the wrinkling, next thing it will be full body stocking to hold in the parts that no-one would like to reach and a stray dog to keep the feet warm. Did Gina Lollibrigida have to do this?
Pal down for The Tweenies. They are playing tomorrow night in Edinburgh. We are off to see Simple Minds at The Castle. What a decision Simple Minds or The Tweenies – that’s one good thing about not having a small daughter I say as I wave her off to join the legion of tweenie fans and get myself ready for Simple Minds. It’s Jim Kerrs 50th birthday – I was at his 30th birthday in Madrid when they were on tour with Lou Reed whilst doing a documentary on the bands 10th anniversary. Blimey. 20 years ago! I would tell you all about it but I would have to kill you. So off to relive my youth, near youth with no doubt unimproved appalling behaviour to accompany the evening. I will report back if I can remember anything this time…..