Four and a half Months, 500 Likes, and a Book Review

Standard

HecTOR is 4 1/2 months old now. We think.

Anyway, it’s a fortnight since we got him, and I have NO BRAIN LEFT. What I do have, now, though, is a new respect for parents. Okay, I do have one or two neurological conditions which make me predisposed to being super tired, but at least I get sleep, even if it’s not the super good quality sleep, the M&S sleep of the healthy. HECtor spends most of the night snuggled against my head, neck or face, which is sweet, if a bit non-breathy.

I only call him Hector some of the time. He never answered to ‘Ben’ which is his ADM adoption name, but I am aware that a new owner will want to name him themselves, and so I call him ‘puppy’ a lot as well as just squeaking *HEY* at him. (And growling NO!)

I note ADM have added a whole bunch of Ian Morrison’s fancy pictures to his profile – the main one being a black and white shot for all the world like an actor’s head shot.

Moody.


They also have him down as a staffie mix, which I am not sure he is. They might know better, or they might just be hedging their bets, since the trademark body type and triangular head won’t arrive for some time yet. What I notice is his paws are nice and big, and his legs are as long as Popsy’s already. And he walks like he had balls the size of tennis balls, even though they are no bigger than marbles. Also, he has a lot of spare skin on his head which makes him look like he is frowning – I think the spare skin is for his triangle head. But I could be wrong, so don’t quote me.

Here’s one which reflects his Scrappy Doo ness.

scrappy doo

Ten’s observation that young Hector has a touch of the Scrappy Doos about him reminds me of a statue in Kew Gardens called The White Greyhound of Richmond which, tragically, Wikipedia fails to illustrate, so you’ll have to click here to read about it after you have looked at the stupidly arty picture on the English Heritage site. When I first saw it I just thought SCOOOOBYDOOOOO!!!!!! But this was pre digital camera, so I don’t have my own image of it. And Kew is bloody miles away from here, so I doubt I will be snagging one soon.

Still! SCOOBYDOOOOOOO!!!!! No?

***

I fail to have much news to impart due to all the parenthood but I will do my best, since I love my blog and I love you reading my blog, my dear readers. I have just passed 500 likes, apparently, so that’s NICE and LIKEY.

***

At night I like to listen to Radio 4 plays and stories. There’s been a serialization of The Bell Jar lately, there’s always the Afternoon Play to catch up on, and I like The News Quiz, which is a satirical offering hosted by Sandi Tosfig and featuring Jeremy Hardy, both of whom I LOVE. What I didn’t love, the other night, was Thinking Allowed, which is hosted by sociologist Laurie Taylor. It’s not my favourite programme, but I do have a passing interest in things sociological, having done a postgraduate course in that area. Usually it’s pretty inoffensive. It’s not very challenging, but it sometimes airs some interesting things, and this episode promised a look at ‘neds’ – a sort of Scottish version of ‘chavs’, and for my American friends ‘white trash’ or for Grady – ‘zefs’. So far so predictable. Then he had another guest on, one Simon Harding, who has authored a book called ‘Unleashed’… a £70 tome about “attack dogs” and their owners. Priced presumably to catch that niche market ‘lawyers prosecuting dog attack cases’ he revealed his position to be an example of what, in sociology, we call a “common sense argument” – that is to say, ill thought out bollocks.

Relying mainly on statistics, Harding found that it was hard to get any qualitative research done since his interviews, designed to highlight these dogs owners as having ‘status deficit’ resulted in him having to RUN AWAY in the middle of them. Quel surprise.

What pissed me off was that my going to sleep cozy gravy of programmes had been RUINED by a spike of adrenaline as I listened to this smug tosser opine about the uneducated working classes.

He managed to make a strangled coda of ‘well, staffies are different’ but it was rather too little too late for my liking. My only hope, which presumably is his hope, is that having become an ‘expert’ in ‘attack dogs’ he will be asked to act as expert witness in dog bite cases. What will happen then is that the jury or, more likely JP, will discover what a total tosser this guy is as he reveals his ‘research’ to be merely prejudiced opinion.

You will hardly be surprised to discover that I wrote an Amazon review PDQ – although I had to fillet out all the swearing I had so creatively used in my facebook update on the same topic.

elaine4queen is unwell

Standard

The journalist, Jeffrey Bernard was a notorious drunk. He was the subject of a West End play called Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell because this is what was printed without any preamble in the stead of his column for The Spectator when the writer was too drunk or hungover to hand in copy.

Sadly, for me, my ‘hangover’ is from my big day of two medical appointments and attendant traveling.

tilda swinton in cornelia parker’s ‘the maybe’

Last night I was kind of wired, and even though I listened to an hour of guided meditation I found I couldn’t sleep. Today I couldn’t get up, and Ten has had to do EVERYTHING.

I am now going to watch some TV, and if that doesn’t work I will find some radio.

Today is canceled.

Reading and Writing, a Stylish Granddad, and My Slow Day

Standard

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Where is your favourite place to read?

On a sun lounger.

photograph by martin parr – source magnum photos. click through to see more

At home I listen to audio books mostly, and radio plays, but on holiday I read. I deliberately minimize contact with the interwebs when I go away so that I have a complete change of scenery including screen time and the sorts of things I  read here. I listen to audio books then too, but on holiday I will actually read print on paper & with my eyes.

Up until recently my eyes hurt a lot and I have had trouble concentrating, so with one thing and another I avoided reading anything long. A change of medication seems to have helped the eye problem a fair bit, but I haven’t got back into the habit of reading books at home. Too much internet to tidy up. With limited spoons I have to prioritize dog, food, self care, housework, paperwork and then blogging and being online for fun, and lately a little painting, so books don’t really get a look in.

I am not a professional writer, but I do write most days, so  I love articles like this one from Brain Pickings.

click through for margaret atwood’s 10 rules of writing

***

So, this is refreshing;

click through to the article on jezebel

It’s a Chinese man modeling his granddaughter’s clothing line.

***

Considering today is the day I *might* be taking on Watson we are having a very slow day indeed. When I took Poppet out this morning she was unimpressed by the rainy weather and preferred to snoof around the estate after bread left for foxes or birds, cats hiding under cars, and her other ‘urban’ interests. We got back and I toweled her off, and she’s spent the past few hours under a blanket. Meanwhile, I have been trying to manage my pain without taking pain killers, and am still not really dressed…

The sitting room needs tidying if it is going to be new dog proof. Problem is that although I moved here over a year ago, things do not have proper places to go yet, and it’s all still a bit experimental, so there is always an excess of things. I spent the previous couple of years steadily de-cluttering in my old place, so it could all be a lot worse. Still, with limited spoons…

Right! I’m off to feed myself and the beast and do my best at tidying.

Wish me luck!

Dream House, Swans as Pets, and My Current Wants

Standard

Friday, November 16, 2012

Would you buy your dream house if the price was right BUT you also were told it was inhabited by ghosts?

Absobloodylutely! Unless it had the bad feng shui, but then it wouldn’t be my dream house, would it? I’d like a space with lots of south facing windows, lots of heat and light. Low windows, reading nooks with the little day beddy thing in. Fireplaces and stoves. French windows – lots of french windows. Small rooms, big rooms. Rooms with connecting bathrooms, a walk in wardrobe, comfy furniture, space for making art, great views, animals outside and in. Plenty guest rooms, a music room, a viewing room. A room with a huge table and chairs all round for eating and for late night conversations. The forest, the sea side, crashing rock, soft sand… To get this kind of thing at my price, there’s pretty much have to be some deal breaking ghosts on my side.

Oh! And a swimming pool.

***

Since today I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo tired after Bowen, I’m going to cheat the rest of this post. But i will provide quality padding. These photos, for instance;

Quite simply ganked from tumblr wholesale, with the following caption;

A pet swan named Leila being helped into a car where it enjoys a ride to the shops. Its owner Mrs. Watson of Chesham, Buckinghamshire, says that Leila, who has been a family pet for two years, can open doors and is a good guard dog, England, 1936 *

photo by William Vanderson.

What I can add to the party is that Anna Pavlova had a pet swan, Jack. There is no record of whether she took him car rides, though. I doubt it. Taking your swan to the shops seems rather an English thing to do. I cannot imagine Anna Pavlova being that parochial. I could see her taking him somewhere fancy, though.

***

So, my apologies for being a bit *thin* (on paper, if not in life) today. I am quite borked. For some reason I seem to be in rather an acquisitive mood, though. I have been researching the Panache sports bra on the recommendation of my friend @Mockduck who runs. I don’t need ‘sports’ as such but I could use a softish non fancy bra that you don’t have to struggle to get into – and not only does this have back fasteners, but it has a fancy adaptor so you can wear it either scoop or sport back. AND IT COMES IN PINK. yasss! 

The other thing I find myself in lust with is the new Kobo Mini eReader, which is authentically pocketable, not tied to a particular seller (I’m looking at you, Amazon, you conniving greedyguts) and is available for £50. Although I tend to listen to audio books, my eyes are not as bad as they were since I came off Duloxetine, and I have enjoyed reading books when I have been away from home (and for home, read THE INTERNET). Although it was possible to go online the last couple of times I went away, I chose not to take this life with me, but to have a ‘real’ holiday (with small borrows just to check in).

Anyway, I’m not for jumping the gun right now. Tonight is all about chillin’ with my dawgie and watching bits of telly, playing Words With Friends, and listening to radio plays.

Happy rest of friday to you,

e4q

x

Poppet my Pet, a Painting and a Philosopher

Standard

Thursday, November 15, 2012
Tell us about your favourite pet.

Sorry all cats, but Poppet is the best in class. And it’s not just me, either, the INTERNET loves her too! One time I was walking her in London Fields and someone came up to me and asked “Is that Poppet?” because he’d seen her on the internet!

i love you – feel my tongue

Here she is loving up Lahikmajoe during his recent visit from Germany. If you click through you’ll see the blog post where he admits his infidelity to his own dogs. It’s just how it is. Poppet = ALL THE LOVING.

All Dogs Matter, the charity where I adopted Poppet from are co-hosting a photo competition here.

The Kirsty who shall remain mysterious suggested I put this photo in;

I am not entirely convinced it’s her cutest photo though. Not as such.

I must say, though, it always makes me happy.

***

Yesterday I broke two habits – first of all I painted without tidying up first, and secondly I did two of these small pieces in a day!

It’s not that they are so very labour intensive, it’s just that doing any kind of art making is really new for me. I have been a good 6 or 7 years away from doing anything of the sort, and I am rather Bambi about it all. You know, that bit where he is just born and is shaky on his pins.

I am working in a sketch book which I wrote in in 2003. I am using a limited palette, and I think I am being rather influenced by the colours that surround me this autumn on the River Lea.

I expect I will graduate to larger works at some point, but for just now making marks is quite enough to be getting on with.

***

Just listening to an In Our Time about Simone Weil. It seems that a huge part of her philosophy was to do with ‘affliction’ which was partly influenced by her chronic migraines. Not what I expected when I started listening to the show.