Without the need for words…

Weekly photo challenge – express yourself

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‘Allo..what you got there then? ¬†On no, not that bloomin’ camera again…’

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‘Ok, I’ll pose. ¬†Just the once, and you’ll have to remove the background, ‘cos I sure ain’t moving’

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‘That’s enough, I’m bored now’

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‘You’ve played with your toy,now it’s time to play with mine!’

Catching a moment

Taken as part of the Photo 101 challenge – today’s theme ‘An everyday moment with movement’

This is Suki catching her favourite toy.  Every single day, come rain or shine, I have to throw it umpteen times for her to chase and fetch.  She never, ever, tires of it, though I often do.  Nevertheless, it is always a pick me up to see her galloping and leaping for the sheer and simple joy of play.


Stormy Weather

There’s a big storm howling around outside at the moment. Torrential rain filling up the pond and flattening the flowers. ¬†Yes, it’s British summer again folks.

My mum has never liked storms. ¬†Always been terrified. ¬†Hiding in cupboards if necessary. I can’t remember if it’s the lightening or thunder that she’s particularly afraid of, I don’t think she’s sure, but at 91 she’s still a bit of a wuss over them. Don’t expect she’ll change now.

I’m privileged to live in house that is surrounded by open spaces and can see storms approaching from some distance. We are also fortunate to have a ‘double aspect’ bedroom, so can watch the dark clouds and flashes closing in, passing overhead, and then sailing off into the distance. ¬†I have many a happy memory of standing with my daughters, noses pressed against the windows, all of us mesmorized by the spectacle of a fierce¬†storm lighting up the sky and clearing the air. ¬†We’ve even danced outside,¬†feeling the fresh rain tingle on our skins, while the clouds smash together overhead a few times.

However, I’m not quite as brave as I used to be.

A couple of years ago, I was alone in the house when a really extreme storm hit. ¬†I have never seen rain like it. The road was a river and you could barely see outside for the rain on the windows. The thunder and lightning were incessant and the dog was a wreck – she’s as scared of ’em as my mum! ¬†I was doing my best to calm her down, whilst wondering if it really was the end of the world, when there was the biggest, loudest, reverberating crack of thunder I’ve ever heard. It was as overhead as it could possibly get and shook the house to it’s foundations. Instinctively I ducked, convinced the house would be a pile of rubble around me at any moment. ¬†It wasn’t.

Instead the alarm went off.

You may know that I am hideously neurotic when it comes to security. ¬†It comes from being burgled three times. ¬†Consequently our house is fitted with the finest alarm system money can buy. ¬†It wasn’t set because I was at home, instead, it was shrilling it’s displeasure at being hit by the lightning.

As if the dog wasn’t traumatised enough.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve been in a house while the alarm is going off, but I can tell you, it’s not pleasant. It’s painfully earsplitting. You just want it to stop. Trouble is, mine wouldn’t. ¬†It was stuck on. No amount of coaxing, putting in codes, hitting, or swearing would stop it. ¬†The thunder was still thundering, the dog was barking like a lunatic, and the alarm was shrieking it’s high pitched war-cry non-stop, while I had to dig out the phone number for the alarm company, ring them, and try to have a sensible conversation. ¬†The blokey at the other end of the phone, while being courteous, couldn’t quite grasp that the darn thing just wouldn’t turn off, and asked daft things like ‘have I entered the right code?’, I wouldn’t say I was rude, but….

Eventually, he said he’d send an engineer out. ¬†This was at about four o’clock in the afternoon. ¬†It wasn’t until nine in the evening that he turned up. ¬†The alarm was still going, the dog was still barking, I was at the end of my tether, but at least the storm had passed. ¬†It took him about three quarters of an hour before he managed to silence the darn thing. It had been fried. ¬†We needed a new unit. It would cost. Cost a lot.

Since then, I’ve not been so keen on storms. Neither has the dog.



Wouldn’t Chips be Good?

IMG_0223So, it’s going to become a requirement for all dog owners to have their furry friend microchipped. ¬†Quite right too. Our dog was chipped when we got her from the RSPCA and knowing how barmy she is, it’s comforting to know that if she manages to get herself completely lost, she’s got a chance of getting back to us. ¬†But I’ll bet there are a lot of folk out there who are whinging about it nonetheless.

Actually, it’s made me wonder how far off we are from us humans being micro-chipped. Sounds a bit radical doesn’t it? But, surely its going that way.

Now, a lot of people in this country are completely opposed to identity cards. I can’t see the problem really – I already carry a photo driving licence with me, and lets face it, with our use of credit and debit cards ‘big brother’ abounds. ¬†‘They’ can already see the last time I bought loo roll, where I bought it, and how much I paid. ¬†There are cameras on every corner in town (for all the good they do) and they can even be used to shout at people if they espy any one misbehaving.

Yep, we’re all monitored. ¬†Get over it, it’s only going to get worse. ¬†I actually don’t mind at all. ¬†I’ve nothing to hide and have a clean conscience. ¬†I think a micro-chip in my arm might be a jolly good idea really.

I could carry all my medical records around with me in safety. ¬†All the fuss that is currently being made about on-line records would be solved. ¬†Ambulance crews could carry a scanner and they’d instantly know my blood type and any drugs I’m taking. ¬†Bob’s yer uncle.

We wouldn’t need to carry our credit cards we could pay with a wave of our arm – no fear of anyone pinching my pin!

My house would be fitted with ‘home scanners’ so that any uninvited guests would be scanned and their details recorded. If I had my way, they’d automatically get tazered big time at the same time. That’d teach the buggers. (you may guess from this that I’ve been burgled once or twice and have some serious security neuroses).

We wouldn’t need keys or pin numbers or passports – all those things we forget so regularly. ¬†It’d be great!

Ok, so I’m on a flight of fancy. I might be going a bit far and it certainly won’t happen in my lifetime. ¬†Maybe one day though. ¬†So if you’re a rogue or a villain reading this, you’d better mend your ways a bit sharpish matey!!

Dog brain

ImageAnother perk of being at home so much is spending more time with my little dog, Suki. ¬†The thing about dogs is that they are joyful. ¬†Practically all the time. ¬†She had to spend this last weekend in the kennels, which she’s not so keen on, but happily joins in with the other inmates, her bark, as recognisable as my baby’s to me, as I drive off.

She was a rescue dog and has ‘issues’, particularly with other dogs, but despite her problems, she is a happy sort, and her favourite thing is, without a doubt, running. ¬†Running, running, running. ¬†Like the wind. ¬†Her paws barely touching the ground, she is off like a bullet as I release her from her lead. ¬†Huge circles round the fields, hareing back, tongue lolling, cheekily knocking my legs as she does a handbreak turn halt when I whistle for her. ¬†It looks like there are no thoughts in her head at all, she‚Äôs just enjoying the sensation of running.¬† She has an enviable zest for life, a joie de vivre that I can only dream of.

Nothing is ever an effort.  She’s up with the lark, waggy tailed, and ready to run in the garden before my eyes are even open.  She is inquisitive, and will investigate every small thing she finds with the same happy curiosity whether it be a bit of carelessly dropped veg in the kitchen, or an ant wandering across the patio. She loves learning, and seems as pleased as I am that she can understand me when she finally gets the hang of a new trick.

Perhaps we could all do with a little of that doggy attitude. Making the most of those times when we can just do our own thing, taking pleasure in the small things, and actively enjoy picking up new skills.

I can just feel my joie-de-vivre seeping back already!