This is Getting Silly Now!

Driving my elderly victorianesque father back from visiting my mother in hospital yesterday, concentrating on retrieving the vague memories of the town’s one way system, when this pops up on my playlist in all its wondrous glory!

 

The prImage result for dog biscuitsomise of biscuits is more interesting than the cat in the garden; unfortunately the actual biscuits are sadly lacking, and the cat is back on the prospective menu.

 

 

After nearly eight months being nicotine free, the next BIG issue is due to be conquered; my first Slimming World group yesterday went well. But how do I explain that being dragged by two fit and feisty malamutes for an hour plus every day is a complete full body workout; they only give you a little box on the exercise form – I can’t describe the full horror in that small a space lol

Note to Self: Do not go into the village shop with a pocket of full poo bags – they don’t love your dogs like you do!

 

 

With shameless reference to the amazing PJ Harvey: ‘Big beast, big beast swimming in the water, you’re much cleaner now, thank god!’

 

 

So, hands up who sounds like a porn star when playing with their dog – ‘Oh yeah, baby, is that what you want? Come and get it. Good boy, yes, yes, so good’? No? Just me then

 

I think we need a Beaufort Wind Scale for malamute walking:
0 = too still to do anything, no air, need water and sofa
1 = twitchy scent of buns – where are they?
2 = buns smell closer
3 = stuff moving a bit – must pounce
4 = stuff moving more – must investigate moving things
5 = bouncy and fun – weeeeee
6 = ears might fall off when walking into wind, a bit wobbly when on three legs to pee
7 = extending lead vibrates – don’t like that; tail fails as a rudder
8 = can’t poo for fear of getting blown over
9 = can’t bounce for fear of going airborne
10 = sofa is mine, you may have the floor and fuss me

 

I’m not sure that the vet has quite understood what the post op concept of ‘just a quiet lead walk’ means with a malamute – crabbing sideways, going airborne, trying to eat any image2other malamute in the vicinity when they are trying to pee, resulting in a slapsie fight. I’m now downing Pagan’s painkillers and she’s on my gin – Hamish is in hiding.image1

 

Think- is it a unicorn or a fox day? While the kettle heats and the water’s bubbles rise to the surface and burst, I consider – fox day. Into the foxy illustrated china mug, sparkling as the rising sun bursts through the windows, I click the tiny white tablet (I can’t quite quit the need for artificial sweetness in my life), the sharp clink as it settles against the hard china. Next, with one hand reaching for the rustic style mason jar, hard metal around its rim, and the other locating a fresh teaspoon from the drawer, I unclip the jar’s lid, smelling the rich deep earth aroma of the coffee powder. It’s the colour of autumn mulched leaves, loamy and fertile (what can I say, the words just flow, even if nothing Image result for coffeeelse does lol), stickily coating the sides of the jar. Dipping the spoon into its welcoming warmth (Jeez, got to stop this – it’s so wrong), I draw it back out, laden with powder that glows dark gold as the light catches it. Into the mug, burying the tiny white pilule, I next reach for my secret, my shame, my hidden pleasure (Oh FFS this is getting ridiculous). It’s Coffeemate – just frigging Coffeemate.  My name is Katharine, and I put Coffeemate in my coffee. Three spoons of the granulated, cream coloured delight. The spoon dipping into the pot produces a slightly crunchy sound, as if boots were striding through deep, crisp snow. Into the mug they go.Image result for pouring coffee Now, the water; steam rises toward the ceiling as I pour it onto the trio of ingredients. They are silent as they mix and blend, first turning the water pale cream as the Coffeemate dissolves, then swirling golds and russet browns circle as the coffee joins the dance.  I slip the spoon into the hot depths, stirring and exciting the silky liquid, cushioned chinks as the metal taps the warming china. The ritual of coffee can be as simple or as detailed as you wish; sometimes the small things are more enlivening and important than the large ones. Don’t miss the magic of life!

 

I would like to think that this morning I wandered happily through shining paths, lined Bircheswith white spirit like birches and strewn with sapphire bluebells and topaz gold primroses; the whispering brook, full of silver darting fish on an iron oxide bed meanders alongside. A small bespectacled owl watches silently from a birch branch, and Image result for silver bircheshis queen, in her golden crown, sits on another. The small orange and black striped fox trots along the other bank before disappearing into the brush, sending a flurry of chattering butterflies and iridescent bluebirds into the purple sky. However, instead, I got soaked, dragged, splashed with mud from the demons dancing everywhere, and I’m still blooming ill! Bleuch. Coffee, cake and Lemsip time – the holy trinity of hopeful recovery

 

About two weeks ago, I tore/broke/hurt/damaged/snapped/tickled my lateral collateral ligament, and it’s still hurty – when will it stop being a pain in the arse/knee? Last night was the first night I’ve managed to sleep through without it being too painful. I bought a knee brace thing, but that was complete agony, so it’s me and the ibuprofen lol And don’t say I should rest it – I have malamutes who really don’t get the words steady and whoa!

 

Complicated Canine Theory Time! Okay, so dogs can see in colour – admittedly this is muted, and of a much more limited spectrum than humans. Now, I propose the theory that dogs can also be red/green colourblind (admittedly, based on a very limited study, involving Related imageone very clever and one dumbarse malamute). I bought toys for my pair – red and blue Kong Squeeezes. Each had their own one, Pagan the red, and Hamish the blue. Both were happy with them for weeks until the balls had become too chewed (and non squeaky) to use. So new ball time – a red and a green one. This time, they couldn’t/wouldn’t differentiate between them and have had two scraps in the course of one week over these different colour balls. Is this because they cannot tell whose is whose? Or just because they are being shitheads? (Is ‘shitheads’ a valid scientific term?). I need to order another red and blue set in order to test my theory. Anyone care to add any empirical evidence to my research? Or pass me a gin?

How to tell a Malamute from a Husky
By Doug L

Shelters often cannot tell the difference between a Husky and a
Malamute. The general public is worse. Malamutes are generally larger
but it may be a big Husky, a small Malamute, or a mix of the two. If
you see a Northern breed dog or have adopted one from a shelter, this
simple quiz can help differentiate between these two very distinct
breeds.

Note the position of the ears:
A. The ears are almost vertical to hear mice under the snow.
B. The ears point out like radar dishes to hear grocery bags.

The eye color is:
A. Blue. Or brown. Or both. Or yellow and blue in one eye. Sometimes I
swear they switch places.
B. Brown, definitely. Maybe blue. What are you, a show judge or something?

The proper term for the dog is:
A. Siberian Husky
B. Alaskan Malamute
C. My snooky wuggums

Is that a squirrel?
A. Squirrel? Come on guys, let’s get it!
B. Smmh mmbl?*gulp* What squirrel?

Have you been digging?
A. Yes, I am terraforming your planet.
B. Yes, at the bottom of the steps is a pit deep enough you can’t see out of it.

You introduce a new dog food and:
A. Bleh. I’ll hold out for chicken. For days.
B.*Whoosh* More, please? And that chicken defrosting in the fridge? Gone.

Intelligence test: cover kibble with a cloth and let the dog figure it out.
A. Grab the cloth. Give it a kill shake. Vacuum up the kibble.
B. Whine. Sniff. Whine. Ah, the heck with this. Pounce on the cloth
with both paws. Tear a hole through it. Vacuum up the kibble.

How does the dog wake you up?
A. Jumps on the bed and sits on your head.
B. Jumps on the bed and sits on your gut, crushing the air out of you.

When people see the dog they say:
A. Ooh, is that a wolf?
B. Ooh, is that a wolf?

The pack starts yodeling at 3 am and sounds like
A. A-ooo. Yii-ooo!
B. Rooo Wooo!

The dog is built:
A. Like an eco-friendly pickup truck, very light on gas. Goes
anywhere and can haul quite a bit.
B. Like a Unimog truck and sucks up fuel like one. Goes anywhere,
hauls huge loads, and drags you through the brush.

When the dog sheds:
A. You brush and vacuum for days and still have hairy tumbleweeds
bigger than rabbits.
B. See A.

You left her alone in the car for only a minute and she:
A. Shredded the passenger seat, half the dash, and chewed off the gear
shift knob.
A. Ate the passenger seat and threw it up on the driver seat.

When you feed the dogs, you
A. Put the bowls in one room and they scramble for their own bowl.
B. Put the bowls in separate rooms and close the doors.

The dog flosses his teeth by:
A. Shredding furniture.
B. Shredding house siding.

When your dog meets other dogs, she thinks:
A. They might be new playmates. I wonder if they like chicken?
B. They might steal my dinner. I wonder what they taste like?

Is the dog is trustworthy around human infants?
A. Totally. They howl together.
B. Absolutely. They sleep snuggled up to each other.

Northern dogs are escape artists. On several occasions the dog:
A. Dug under the fence, jumped over the fence, or pried open a hole
just large enough to slip through.
B. Chewed through a fence post until he could push down the gate.

Of course your dog counter-surfs.
A. She jumps onto the counter and walks the length, sampling everything.
B. She puts her front paws on the counter, licks all the garbage from
the sink, and carries a 10 lb sack of potatoes back to her crate.

Every dog should go to obedience class. Your dog, however:
A. Ignored you through the whole thing, made you look like a fool by
aceing the exam, and promptly went back to ignoring you.
B. Gave the “hairy eyeball” to every Rottweiler and Doberman in the
class but was nervous around the Chihuahuas.

You turn vegan and decide your dog should join you. You toss
vegetables to the dog. He reacts:
A. Snap! Spit! That is*not* food.
B. Snap! What the hell did I just eat?

When a friend comes over, the dog reacts:
A. Hi there! Just one pat, thank you. You are dismissed.
A. Hi there! Got any food? Ooh, I love to slobber faces. Got any food?

Siberians and Malamutes are not the best at recall. The dog runs off and:
A. Two hours later you get a call from the local police. When you
arrive, the dog is smiling from the back of the cruiser and the top of
their white car is covered with muddy paw prints.
B. Two hours later she scares the hell out of you by sneaking up from
behind and barking.

The proper number of Huskies or Malamutes is:
A. 2
B. 3 or 4
C. Every Christmas you send a bottle of bourbon to the local animal
control officer.

Answer key:

If you answered A to most questions, you probably have a Siberian
Husky. You have been distracted for 10 minutes. Check to see your dog
has not escaped with the car.

If you answered B to most questions, you probably have an Alaskan
Malamute and your dinner was stolen while reading this quiz.

If you answered C to the last question, you are owned by Siberians or
Malamutes. This is normal. You do not need professional help,
regardless what your relatives say!

 

9 Stages of Hamish

  1. Hears small mouse burrowing under snow in Alaska, or fridge door opening in Antarctica (but can’t hear me telling him not to get excited!)imageHamish1
  2. Short, choppy gait, ears pointy, increased panting (and that’s just me)
  3. Locate direction of tempting sound
  4. Pagan catches on!
  5. Looks at Pagan, Pagan looks at me, I brace everything
  6. Looks at Pagan, looks for source of sound, looks at Pagan, looks for source of sound and repeat, until brain catches up
  7. Who cares about the sound when it’s……….
  8. Frenzied slapsie fight time! If only they held daffodils between their teeth and  imageHamish2castanets in each paw, we could make a fortune!
  9. Really, no, he’s not my dog. No, I don’t know where he came from. Well, yes, he does appear to be on a lead, and yes I seem to be holding the other end. Ummm…… I honestly don’t know how that happened.

 

 

imageHamish 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicotine-Free Ramblings

IMG_0074 (3).jpg

The soon-to-be-harvested golden seed heads of the waving flax rustled and twittered; Pagan, like a fat, furry bouncing bomb, sent bird shaped splashes of burnt umber, soft slate grey, dark iridescent blue flashing into the air. Above, the jacks watched, twitching, in pairs along the telegraph wires; a comedic translation of the neat, sharp swallows waiting to desert the harshness of a UK winter. Can I write without the aid of nicotine? Possibly?

Sometimes the whole world feels as though it’s against you; the rabbits thumb their noses, the jackdaws mock from the treetops, and buzzards smIMG_0064irk from on high. Poor Hamish just had to duck as the windswept willow twigs – soft and malleable, just tapped him on his head; jumping sideways, he ran to hide behind me just in case! Life is tough for a 10 stone Alaskan Malamute!

Not that I have an interest in poo or anything, but there is a dog who walks in the fields before I get there that has really weird poo; it’s bright green, and I mean bright, and full of what looks like wheat seeds, or corn. Anyway, I’ve been puzzling over this for a couple of weeks, as you do, and this morning I finally met the mystery walker. He has 7 or 8 cockers, sprockers, sprickers, or crickers (sorry, Hatty, I didn’t ask for DNA proof, cos we all know it’s not proof an…………they were sodding spaniels – okay? lol), a retriever, and a rather miffed GSD in a basket muzzle. Impeccably well trained to the whistle, they milled around his proper working mans wellies (unlike my cheap Dunlops – I have wellie envy; in what world is that right?). We exchanged a few words – his involved pheasants and guns, mine involved giggling and trying not to trip over Hamish. We parted, his dogs running off ahead of him, mine almost pulling me over, causing me to squeal in a ‘I’m a feeble girl, who’s scared of spiders and country stuff’ kinda way. However, at no point did I ask about the mysterious green poo – bollocks, it’s bugging me now, and will continue to. Can I google it? Best not, I feel……….

I have tried and failed to quit smoking for years – over and over again, the guilt of lighting up, the inhale, the false promise of relaxation, the empty wallet.Yesterday I was on 40 a day, and now I’m not!!! None at all – cold turkey, wham bam thank you ma’am – Related imagedone! I am free at last and will not smoke again – there’s no point! My GP’s receptionist mentioned a phone app that she and her friends had had great success with – yeah right, a phone app?!! But I was desperate, so lighting up another cig, I downloaded it. It sat on my phone for a week or two, but yesterday I opened it, with great trepidation, and listened, agreed with what the guy was saying, and smoked my last cig!
I am tempted to light up – I won’t lie, but won’t do it, there’s nothing to gain by doing so.
If you, like me, were desperate to quit, give it a go – honestly you have nothing to lose.

This is what I used (Believe it or not): https://www.juicemaster.com/stop-smoking-in-2-hours-app/

 

This whole quitting smoking lark is so much easier than you think; I struggled, cut down, limited myself, smoked low tar, vaped, etc, for years, and it was always a form of torture, coupled with self loathing guilt every time I gave in and lit up. But this time – 5 days Related imagedown the line, and I can honestly say, understanding how the ‘nicotine trap’ works, is the key to giving up; understanding the relationship between you and smoking throws up questions and answers that make so much sense. I won’t say quitting was pleasurable, but it wasn’t the torturous enduring longing that it has been before. I even stood next to a smoker yesterday, and yes, I enjoyed the smell of the smoke, but did not have the urge to smoke at all!

 

One thing that gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling is watching Hamish’s tail go into a slow but joyous wag – his whole body grins in childish glee. This morning he just didn’t stop wagging – he cantered along the tracks, finding sniffs to sniff, before bounding onwards, sharking through the damp grass, staining his fluffy cheeks vibrant green, and smiling the whole way round. He’s such a sweetheart! Still nicotine free too!!!

 

So, after the heavy and persistent rain last night, followed by more this morning, keeping my footing on the mud slides that pretended to be tracks, was challenging, to say the least; not helped by rabbits that were either as thick as shit, or more cunning than a box of cunning weasels studying for a degree in extra cunning. Related imageThey sat in plain sight, causing the dogs to go absolutely bonkers, and us unable to continue at any pace other than a hanging-on-for-grim-death slow walk; finally, they would shoot off sideways into the undergrowth, before the next one would take position. The other trick that was, apparently, ‘great fun’ this morning, was to wait, hiding under the canopy of crops, before being flushed out by Pagan, running straight into Hamish, who would panic, and then be flattened by an excitedly manic Pagan. Me, all the while, trying to stay vaguely in control – Yup, right! Coffee and drying off time 😉 Still no ciggies BTW and no cripplingly hindering urges to light up, either xxx

 

Gertie the Pink – that little firecracker of ball-chasing energy, just lay there and watched the beasts approach, then they lay down next to her – all three dogs too hot to care. Grunting Owner tried to gain some interest by bouncing his ball (Hey ho) in front of each dog in turn – all three ignored him! The futility of life lol. However, still no cigs!!!!!

 

Now, I could say that whilst walking this morning I was planning world domination, the plot of my best selling novel, pondering obscure and ultimately pointless philosophical conundrums or watching the minutiae of the world around me; however I was actually trying to work out how soon I could get away with turning around and heading for home, who had stolen the air, and how alarmingly big Hamish’s balls looked from behind now he’s in full coat drop. Ho hum

 

Whilst the fog burned off after the night, and the sun was still rising, I walked, and the beasts bounced, around the fields and copses. In the never ending hunt for a bunny breakfast, their foraging led them off the tracks and into the fields of silvery blue flax; with heads down, only sleek, shiny backs and waving tail plumes were visible above the crops (unlike our blessed leader, this isn’t the worst thing they have done lol). Pagan, stoical and surefooted as ever, trotted ahead, every now and then looking up to check I was still attached to my lead and hadn’t broken free, while from behind her would come a rustle, a huff and an embarrassed snort as Hamish fell down another rabbit hole.

 

Walking back, the beasts trotting contentedly along next to me, it struck me just how much flora and fauna they carry home on their coats; before shaking it all off, they must have a whole ecosystem in miniature.
Just today Pagan is covered in silvery blue flax flowers, gathered as she bounded joyfully through the fields; somehow, though, on Butch Grrl, they change from beautiful garlands to warrior camouflage, enabling successful bunny stalking. Hamish’s delicate petal coating gives, not the impression of a modern man wearing an ‘in touch with my feminine side’ floral shirt, but of a sparkling Mardi Gras queen complete with waving plume tail! Ho hum……:/ However amongst the flowers, there are also tiny green and black fly, perfectly created spiders, a beetle or three, a small elk, a couple of tawny coloured moths, a meandering cete of badgers, grass seeds, most of an oak tree, a small patch of clover, more grass seeds, and a weasel. Coffee time, I feel

Yesterday, after our walk, I was concerned to see a bloody paw print as I was removing collars and leads. I couldn’t tell who it belonged to as they milled around waiting to be towel dried (Hamish loves doing his Yoda impression – go, on admit it, we’ve all done it!), so it was paw inspection time. Eight paws later and no sign of anything – no splits, slits, cuts, nothing. It obviously wasn’t that bad then, thought I. This morning I was alarmed to see another blood red paw print – again paw check time, again nothing. Whilst they had breakfast, I stepped outside for a cig, and there it was – a little pile of red brick dust, which, when mixed with water, turned to bloody red! Haven’t a clue where it came from. Is Pagan living up to her name and practicing a Voodoo protective spell? Or is she trying to purify and cleanse Hamish of his impure, and quite frankly, randy thoughts? Who knows, but whilst the mystery of the Bloody Paw is solved, my mind is now onto where the brick dust came from. Badgers – got to be the badgers

 

 

 

Is Vaping the New Black?

I have smoked on and off for many years, through the time of cool smoking – when we imagine we looked so sophisticated, rebellious smoking – when the bad kids did it on street corners, adult smoking – picking my moments during a meal with friends to nip outside for a quickie (oh, if only) and feeling relieved to discover a dining companion also smoked, and finally shame smoking.

This is that time of guilt when we know full well how bad nicotine is for us, and yet we still light up; we chew gum, use breath freshener and dry shampoo (thank the lords for dry shampoo) to hide our shameful secret. We are horrified when we calculate our monthly ‘up in smoke’ spending, but yet still nip to the corner shop for a pack of twenty on the way to work. Because – well, for me anyway, we enjoy it. We enjoy that hit, that comfort found in embracing a familiar action. It’s relaxing, like coming home on a wet and windy day, closing the door behind you and leaning against a warm radiator – and if anyone mentions breast feeding and oral satisfaction in relation to smoking, may Nick-o-Tine strike you down in flames!

But for many of us, myself include, that pleasure fades, and the guilt gets stronger, building until The Day arrives – the day to Stop Smoking! I chose vaping as my method of quitting (this time) – still with the hit of nicotine, but without the other chemicals, nasty stale smoke aroma, and much cheaper (a major deciding factor).

Thus began the RESEARCH – I never do anything without copious research, Google really is my best friend! I spoke to people, consulted websites, and reviews, and finally came up with two I liked the sound, and more importantly, the look of – I bought both; an Innokin Endura T18, and an Aspire K1.

Both are stylishly sleek and gorgeous – stainless steel and glass affairs, slim and relatively lightweight, the batteries and coils (see, I know my vape tech talk) last long enough for me, and they are easy to top up with liquid (which, BTW, is poisonous to our furry friends).

Using the vape pen in company is a weird experience – you feel smug, and strangely cool! ‘Yes, look at me! I have given up the evil cigs, and now receive my drugs in a sophisticated, and elegant way, unlike you who still smokes the filthy white sticks; I am socially acceptable – you are scum’! It’s a weird feeling – openly inhaling drugs from a shiny little pen.

I look round, and find myself staring at other vape pens – mine looks smarter than yours, oh yours is shinier, I was even eying up a gorgeous brass, copper and polished wood steampunk vape the other day. The guy told me how he had searched high and low for the individual pieces that made up his drug delivering work of art. Apparently, it was frequently admired, and he had plans to create an even more flamboyant and enviable smoking pen.

Vapes are rapidly becoming The Accessory to have; people who have never smoked cigarettes are wielding them, wanting to share in the more stylish end of the vape market , hardened vapers share their experiences and preferences, and we all stare at each others, judging our own nicotine delivery system against others. Small cottage business are being started to supply the growing demand for unique, one-off vapes, with prices to match, and shops sell the liquids on brightly coloured little stands set next to their tills.

Are vapes becoming the new black? Yes, I feel they are, however, if they help me give up smoking, I don’t really care!

Opinions should be engraved onto a polished wood and copper vape pen and sent to me, or just comment here, please………………

 

The Quandary of the Smoker

I hate myself for smoking – I hate the control, the guilt, the money spent (when I’m broke anyway), the smell, the flakes of spilled ash, the dependence, the planning – mustn’t run out, when do I need to get more? The fact I bought myself an expensive vape kit last time I planned to give up, promising myself that it was money well spent.

But I do love smoking – I love that first drag, the thinking ‘oh, I’ll just finish this and then have a cig’, the sitting down with a fresh, strong coffee, a good book, and a new packet of 20.

This is the eternal quandary or the smoker – think of the money/health/time saved vs the modern day greed that we all suffer from in some shape or form. The fact that, within reason, we can have whatever we want, whenever we want it. Most addictions can be fed – be it nicotine, shopping, cake, or even alcohol and hard drugs can be accessed relatively easily.

Or am I just blaming my addiction on the easiness of society’s  accessibility? Probably!

The Walking Dead

Well, this morning all seems calm here; we had a good walk, with Hamish happily extracting himself from a lead tangle without any issues. I can’t wear a headtorch because of where the wounds are which is a bit tricky, but they do seem to be healing. They feel hot and sore, but not infected,thanks to the antibiotics. However the bruising on my face – I think caused by huge paws, is coming out and I do look like an extra from The Walking Dead.

Antibiotics mixed with antidepressants seems to be a goooood mix – they get on just fine, thank you very much; a lovely little buzzy cocktail of feelgood chemicals. Now, with caffeine added, I’m well sorted for the day! So much so, that I have decided, today is the day to quit smoking – yup, really! Not entirely sure I am in my right mind!

Hamish has been completely normal (and was all day yesterday too) and had wuffles, and hugs, and zoomies, and chase, and football, and singing, and stuff, and more zoomies, and some more wuffles and singing. All perfectly normal, nothing to see here 😉