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My reputation in the local village is one of barely concealed eccentricity. Something confirmed to me only yesterday by the slightly quirked brow of a neighbour followed by a resigned shaking of the head as she scuttled past my window to the post box.

Allow me to explain…..

The recent warm weather has allowed me to throw open wide the windows of my little house to welcome in those warm and playful summer breezes which seek out and clear even the most stygian corners of a room. However, it also allows in some of the more unpleasant wee beasties that inhabit the foliage clinging to the exterior of my house. I have found the odd snail sojourning on my windowsill, a wandering earwig which seemed much put out when expelled and some of those fragile looking long legged spiders with bodies no bigger than a grain of rice, one of these having taken up permanent residence behind the dresser. We call her Geraldine.

I have no particular objections to any of the aforementioned beasties but what does annoy and infuriate me are the number of flies which toil endlessly round in circles in the upper air space of my sitting room. Their very presence is bad enough when I am upright and vaguely coherent but quite alarming to one who is given to sitting down upon completion of her daily chores and promptly nodding off with her mouth open.

So, I was to be found yesterday leaping round the sitting room, white tea towel in hand, swatting frantically at anything that moved, looking wild eyed and not a little demonic. Behind me bounced, as ever, the faithful Mr Wilf who just looked rather pleased.

Daisy took no part in our routine. The doyenne of the dentastick is going through a ‘Beulah, peel me a grape’ phase at the moment and simply could not be prevailed upon to leave the roomy comfort of MOH’s armchair for a turn around the room.

Why anything airborne considers it wise to remain in the same room as a batty, swatting woman being pursued by a crazed and portly hound is beyond me, although it seems we rarely, if ever, manage to hit anything. But they will keep coming back! Perhaps it is, after all, an unwitting testimony to the strength of our performance and, due to this repeat demand, we find ourselves able to offer a number of spontaneous matinee performances several times a day.

As I twirl my tea towel with the practiced air of one who is no stranger to the stage, my nativity angel given at the age of five whilst dressed in an Isle of Wight tea towel was considered something of a tour de force, the be-whiskered and scruffy face of Mr Wilf, pink tongue lolling from the corner of his mouth, eye balls on stalks due to the very great emotion with which he imbues each and every one of our performances, can just be seen clearing the height of the windowsill. Hence, the slightly startled, if resigned, look on my neighbour’s face.

We may not be Fred and Ginger but I like to think we still cut a fairly mean rug!

By the way, Geraldine is on notice as her work ethic leaves a lot to be desired and she is clearly not pulling her weight here!

Bright Blessings


I have come to the conclusion I live in a village where if anyone sees the odd bottom sticking out of a hedge they inevitably know it to be mine. In fact, I am pretty much convinced that walking towards a fellow villager there is little chance they will have any idea who I am but in retreat they are only too painfully aware of my identity; ‘that’s the woman with the bottom and the two mad dogs!’

I am a sensible woman of, shall we say, mature years, it covers a multitude of sins and of a diminishing Mrs Pepperpot habit if my recent dealings with the NHS are to be believed. I am shrinking and, therefore, should not be much given, as I bob along towards sixty, to scrabbling about in hedgerows. It’s the dogs you see.

As you know, Daisy and Wilf go everywhere on their leads which, in turn means so must I even if this necessitates traversing any alarmingly armed hedgerows that might get in the way. I am also somewhat round which means shimmying through narrow gaps is a challenge that was never going to be easy. Hawthorn I have found to my cost is painfully unforgiving and Hazel similarly unyielding.

I do my best which is why on any occasion a passing stranger has spotted my bottom sticking out of a hedge it is a given there is usually an amber-eyed Daisy or portly Wilf on the other side. They are entirely to blame, totally without embarrassment and usually full of irrepressible mirth at my expense.

Daisy has always been good at getting herself entangled in prickly bushes. My abiding memory of her first escapade involved MOH in an SAS style rescue mission, armed only with secateurs and a few ripe, well-chosen words that would have made the proverbial trooper blush. MOH waded in whilst I, of course, assumed the position, flat on belly with bottom in the air trying to spot her whilst MOH demolished most of a small thicket until she was reclaimed. On that occasion not only was a small army of early morning dog walkers treated to this most well-padded of views but a number of Royal Naval Warships happily degaussing in Plymouth Sound! You see, my bottom has history! Daisy’s only comment on the whole sorry saga was to cough up a small piece of rabbit ear, pursuit of which beastie was responsible for her predicament in the first place. I can assure you the rest of the rabbit lived happily to tell its tale.

Today, both Daisy and Wilf took me by surprise by pursuing the same scent simultaneously through the same small hole at speed. I found myself first of all unexpectedly impaled on a hawthorn bush. After much tugging I managed to put enough distance between myself and the bush to allow me to drop to my knees. On examination of the hole the words camel and needle sprang instantly to mind.

Daisy had managed to get caught up by her collar whilst Wilf barked dementedly at, apparently, nothing in particular. I wriggled into the hedge with my bottom protruding out into the lane. As I attempted extrication I heard the sound of the farmer’s quad bike approaching. Red faced, I closed my eyes and prayed he would not stop.  Thankfully he continued on noisily up the hill. Whether he spotted me or not I have no idea and only time will tell.

I wrapped Wilf’s lead around my left arm to free up my hand. I grabbed Daisy by the scruff of her neck and managed to remove her collar, extricate her, extricate her lead, put her collar back on, put her lead on and tie it round my waist so she couldn’t wander off. With rapidly diminishing feeling in my left hand I managed to thread Wilf back through the hole and out into the lane. In the distance I caught sight of a very apologetic looking pheasant, equally suitably red-faced, hot footing it towards the horizon.

I was grubby, with muddy knees, spiders in my hair and pins and needles in my left hand where the circulation was attempting to re-establish itself. My dogs looked quietly angelic. I live in hope they never go tearing off in opposite directions because then I will be truly stuffed!

Of course, if I am genuinely diminishing in height, as my recent dalliance with the NHS suggests, eventually my bottom will cease to be an object of embarrassment and my neighbours will have to get used to identifying me by my ankles instead. Every cloud……as they say!

Bright Blessings x

We travel together often, Daisy, Wilf and I and it has become something of a chaotic affair. We pour ourselves and assorted paraphernalia, portable dog bowls, leads, dog coats, water bottles, blankets, towels, treats, wellingtons, waterproofs and the like into my tired little car and head off.

When Daisy was a single lady it was a much more sedate activity requiring a lot less effort. She would sit back on her haunches in the front seat of the car, recline against the upholstery, ever so slightly raise her right paw and gaze enigmatically out of the window. The sight caused much amusement amongst my friends, neighbours and passing travellers. She was very Garbo in those days.

Daisy is, as you know, a dextrous and supple individual. Travelling in the car she has always found it easy to shift her balance extremely well in order to remain upright whilst I corner or take a roundabout. She leans into the bends like a seasoned TT rider taking them all with ease.

We first noticed this phenomenon just after she came to live with us. We used to travel daily along the narrow, winding lanes of Cornwall in order that I might catch the Cremyll Ferry into Plymouth for my work. She would sit on MOH’s toolbox in the back of the car and placing a steadying paw either side of the front seats peer out intensely through the gap. Ears cocked and eyes alert she would follow the twists and turns of the road ahead whilst occasionally turning to absentmindedly lick my ear. She handled each bend with aplomb. She would then hop into the front seat for the return journey home, sometimes before I had fully left it.

If I were to anthropomorphise, I would say that on the beach of life Daisy would have to be a surfer and, I apologise here, something of a cliché, with tousled hair, bleached blonde by the sun, clad in the finest make of wet suit and riding the biggest waves on the very best of boards. She would undoubtedly be a champion.

Wilf, on the other hand, would be the unfortunate chap who is painfully salmon pink at the end of the day from too much sunbathing and too little factor 8, dressed in day-glo bermudas with a muffin top. He would be the person the RNLI would have to rescue after he had been haplessly washed out to sea on his plastic lilo.

Meanwhile, back in doggy form……

We travel everywhere these days in a snow like flurry of dog hair. There is also a tenacious battle of wills for the window seat. Daisy usually wins and maintains her position by leaning forward so that her back paws are on the seat and her front paws are on the dashboard. Wilf has tried to emulate her on numerous occasions with varying degrees of success. Unfortunately, he is quite a stiff legged little chap (think the legendary James Cagney dancing in ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’) and consequently has a poor sense of balance (unlike the immortal Mr Cagney). Wilf has fallen off a floor cushion before now, whilst it was actually still on the floor!

I have lost count of the number of times on our travels he has suddenly pitched forward and slid inelegantly off the passenger seat and into the foot-well. On each occasion it has been a prat fall worthy of Del-Boy. Like Del-Boy, Wilf has also mastered the art of getting up very quickly in that age old and very human fashion of hoping that by doing so no-one will notice that anything untoward has happened at all.

I can’t be sure but I am almost certain that on each occasion Daisy was smiling!

Bright Blessings

I love my dogs. However, walking them is often a fraught affair, on occasions slightly hazardous and always potentially embarrassing.

Neither Wilf nor Daisy can be let off the lead so they both have extendable leads to allow them the maximum right to roam. Daisy, as every terrier owner will know, is guided not by her brain cells, which are cunning and clever should she choose to use them, but by the unfortunate desire to pursue anything with a pulse. In the presence of an interesting scent, squirrel is a particular favourite but anything will do, it is nose to the ground, tail in the air and, given the opportunity, she is gone.

We lost her once in Cornwall on a miserable and wet day when she turned her nose to the pursuit of rabbits. After a long and fruitless search she was eventually found and returned to us by a kindly walker. She was totally sodden and an alarming shade of orange due to the red colour of Cornish soil, which by the state of her she seemed to have been wallowing in and which that county is renowned for.  It took an age, a lot of hot water and any amount of scrubbing to get her clean.

We lost her a second time in Wiltshire when she decided to tryst with the rather sleekly handsome young man from a nearby cottage.   MOH foamed and roared on her return like a disapproving Victorian parent whose only child has dishonoured the family name by such a dalliance. I rather liked the boy. He was of excellent pedigree, extremely good looking and very well behaved, unlike my two. I think it safe to say the little minx led him astray on that occasion!

Wilf stays on the lead because, although he has a loveable nature, he is possessed of remarkably few brain cells and is not good with other dogs. We did lose him once in the bluebell wood when I was out one day walking with MOH. Wilf didn’t go far and kept us in sight at all times. MOH’s attempts to apprehend the escapee involved yelling ‘Sit!’ very loudly at every opportunity. As if that was ever going to work! Eventually I think Wilf worked out that Daisy was on the lead and, therefore, unable to elope with him, Elizabeth Barrett, Robert Browning style, to a life of sybaritic pleasure in the woods, so he gave himself up to me. He trotted up and calmly surrendered himself to the lead. My heart left my mouth, returned to its usual position and all was thankfully well with the world.

Once outside they are both highly excitable, running back and forth. On more than one occasion I have found myself trussed like an oven-ready chicken as they run widdershins and deosil around me to the point where one more tug, in either direction, would see me go down like a felled pine and up-end in a ditch!

In order to avoid this fate we have developed a rather strange dance which, to any startled passer-by, must appear very odd.   It involves me stepping over the leads as the dogs cross in front of me. Slightly reminiscent of a goosestep I suppose, but without the associated swagger or aplomb, or Double Dutch skipping but without any actual skipping! There is also a lot of spinning on the spot and frantic hand manoeuvring in order to stop the leads from fouling up.   Perhaps now you understand why I prefer to walk them alone in out of the way places!

As they run feverishly to and fro this actually amounts to quite a lot of unintentional aerobic activity on my part which I feel the urge to counter with coffee and copious ginger nut biscuits when I finally get home, red faced and exhausted.

Today’s embarrassing incident occurred when I managed to get my hair caught in Daisy’s lead. It decided to retract as I lifted my hand to my face to swat a fly which was bothering me. The lead snatched up quite a thick strand of my long hair which I then couldn’t get out because Wilf wouldn’t stand still long enough to let me get my other hand to it. Daisy, most uncharacteristically, decided at this point to sit down and stare up at me with those amber eyes of hers whilst I stood in the middle of the lane staring back at her with her lead firmly clamped to my head.  Eventually Wilf stuck his head in the hedge and I managed to extricate myself.

I once got my hair, which is really quite long, stuck in the electric window of my car. It was snatched up as it closed and, due to the number of cars behind me, I found myself having to drive up the spiral entrance of a multi-storey car park with my neck uncomfortably stretched and my head cocked to one side until I could find a parking space and release myself!

What a life!!

Bright Blessings





Having dashed off the majority of my tasks for the day I was persuaded to sojourn in the garden by the sight of my neighbours wandering round the village in shorts and tee shirts. The sun had finally made its way in over the roof tops and was nicely heating up the small seating area of our postage stamp garden.

I don’t own a recliner or anything like so on the rare occasions I  sit outside I make my own by pushing two of our old garden chairs together and putting my feet up. It came as little surprise to me that no sooner had I done this and made myself comfortable than my stout little shadow, Wilf, appeared at my side. He eyed me up and down and then without any warning leapt onto my lap! Not only was I left slightly winded but also totally incredulous at the gazelle like agility displayed by this most portly of hounds and loveable couch potato.

Wilf proceeded to make himself comfortable and steady by jamming one rear leg against my right knee.  He then flopped against me resting one paw on my right shoulder and the other on the top of my right arm. He then breathed a deep sigh of contentment as his head came to rest on my elbow. It was at this moment, as I put my arms round him, I had a vision of myself and my improvised recliner concertinaing in the middle and folding like a zed bed under our combined weight. However, as this alarming event thankfully failed to materialise, I relaxed and patted myself metaphorically on the back for having had the foresight to push the two chairs more closely together than usual thus narrowing any potentially ominous gap.

A Wilf viewed at such close and very whiskery quarters is an even more handsome hound than you would suppose, with something of the young matinee idol about him. His rotundity only appears to be a problem for the person he is sitting on. Otherwise he runs madly about the place in pursuit of, or being pursued by, Daisy at a fair old turn of speed.  However, anyone unfortunate enough to be struck by him during one of his high speed pursuits would go down like the proverbial nine pin.

A laid back and mellow Daisy came and joined us. She took up her usual place on the baggy old director’s chair we keep especially for her. The canvas has stretched slightly and she seems to like it for its hammock like tendencies. She is something of a sun worshiper and likes to find the hottest spot in the garden in which to bake. She curled up and proceeded to doze.

Thus swathed in dog I put my head back, closed my eyes and let the heat of the sun coax out my freckles. A little while later I felt the gentle rumble of melodious, even lyrical, snoring delivered in Wilfs own unmistakeable fine, rich baritone!

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I had to go for a bone scan recently.   As a preliminary I had to be weighed, much more than I should be but not as much as I thought, and I had my height measured.   Horror!  According to the nurse in attendance, and I made her do it twice,  I have shrunk by one and a half inches in height which MOH thinks is a hoot.  I am a bit peeved as 5’4 1/2 ” hardly made me Amazonian but 5’3″!   I am now officially shorter than my mother.   MOH has started calling me Mrs Pepperpot.     I am not amused!  I am blaming it all, rather irrationally, on friction caused by being towed all over Wiltshire by two mad and wilful dogs!  Wherever we go I am the one on the end of two long leashes, seemingly in control, being dragged here, there and everywhere.  It has obviously taken its toll. What a life!

Bright blessings






Daisy is a delicate girl, small, nimble, quick and really very seductive when she wishes to be.  Wilf is a handsome hound with issues. He is a big swagger on legs, a hound’s hound who should not to be toyed with.  Despite this he is putty in Daisy’s paws.  She toys with him mercilessly, pilfering his place in front of the fire, or turning her sunlit amber eyes upon him as she calmly steals his place on my lap.  She is a naughty trickster and sadly he can be rather dim.  She is dexterous with all the sinuous agility of an elite gymnast. He is portly and has trouble raising his back leg sufficiently high enough to scratch his ear!  She is Twiggy to his Meatloaf. Nevertheless, it appears to be a match made in heaven.  They are the Brad and Angelina of the canine world.   It hasn’t been easy though.  We had to think very hard when we first decided to take Wilf on.  He is, like Daisy, a rescue dog and like many rescues the kennel he came from could tell us very little about him.  He came to us as a foster for two weeks initially and simply never went back.  However, he definitely came with baggage which, a year on, still runs very deep.  Raise a finger and he will flinch.  He jumps at the slightest thing, big all four paws of the ground jumps, which is the most athletic he ever gets except when savaging rice cakes! He is constantly hungry and will hoard food in his bedding.  He is relentlessly insecure and is my constant shadow.  Wherever I go there is the tell-tale ‘tick, tick, tick’ of his paws behind me.  I have fallen over him more than once.  Sometimes this is wearing but I only need take one look at his desperate, scruffy, whiskery face to know that all he wants is love and affection, a tummy rub, some food, the odd treat, a comfortable bed and Daisy.  Not necessarily in that order but he will grasp them as he can.  I love them both absolutely.  Daisy has accepted him without complaint.  She was Queen Bee, a solo doggy diva, for four years and could have made his life miserable.  Or, alternatively, she could have made our lives miserable but she chose not to.  She keeps him in check with a cuff around the ear if he gets too boisterous and makes sure that she is first in line for any cuddles being handed out by MOH.  Then she can be annoyingly smug as MOH does not dole out cuddles on demand.  They are mighty and delivered without warning and Wilf was a little taken aback when first he was swept up off the ground into MOH’s bear like grip, but then so was I and I have been Mrs MOH for seven years now!

On a practical level  two dogs are twice everything, walks, expense, food costs, vet’s bills, insurance.  However and infinitely more importantly, they are also twice the fun and twice the love to the power of a zillion!  When they are both curled up at the bottom of the bed, MOH please do not read this I know you don’t approve, they are also twice the expert duvet snafflers but only Wilf snores!





July 2018
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