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I used to think that fleecy blankets decorated with paw prints were rather cute.  I am not so keen now after two muddy days everything the dogs can reach is festooned with brown paw prints.

For the first time in my life everything matches!

Sue (Roberts partner) has dreams that when they move into their new house the dogs will wear little boots to prance around the garden!

The mind boggles – Robert rather more prosaically is buying a special kind of Astro Turf especially made to be dog proof, scrubbable, hoseable, only time will tell!

I would have slabs myself having seen their penchant for digging.

I was listening to the Budget on Radio 4 but I have had to turn it off.  It is not good for my blood pressure although I am sure that eventually he will say something useful, maybe!

I am off to wipe off a few more paw prints, I don’t like matching!


Aunty Pat rang from sunny Italy, and apparently it is really sunny this morning, at least in the Abruzzi.

Last week they had nothing but rain and they are all behind with the Olive harvest so they are grateful for the better weather. They only have about 20 more trees to crop and then they can hunker down for the winter.

To be honest their weather seems to be very similar to ours, although they get more snow in the winter being a bit higher in the mountains. (We are not in the mountains at all, anywhere)

And what does this say about me, blogging about Italian weather now!  I must try to get out more.

I am planning a trip to the library later today and really that is as exciting as it gets at the moment.

Although, I am looking forward to the 3 day Antique Fair at Bingley Hall, Stafford  Show Ground at the beginning of December.  8/9/10th I do believe.  The last one of the year for us.

The whole year has zoomed by and I really can’t believe that 2018 is just a few weeks away.  Looking forward to the lengthening days so much, I am not keen on the winter.  Bet you guessed that.




A dismal, sodden morning but much warmer than yesterday.  I have even managed to discard a fleece, not so winter as I thought,  maybe.

The washing machine seems to be on constantly in this house and a laden washing line waiting for a breath of wind stretches across the garden optimistically most days.

Even on a day such as this I try to give the clothes a bit of a blow before giving in and draping them around the utility room but today I was doomed from the get go.

A sweater and a bath towel and the line snapped with a crack.  The dogs thought this was great and as I saved my washing from being dragged in the mud they ran off with the line and played chase, gnawing it into several pieces and then abandoning it to come back and see what I was going to do for an encore.

Of course I have a spare line, any woman who has spent 50 years or so pegging out washing carries a spare.  And apart from as a washing line a spare bit of rope is always useful for this and that.

In fact when the dogs arrived we cut some lengths off this one and wove them into balls for them to play with in the garden, they were a great success!

My spare washing line is a lovely shade of green, as were the toys that we made for the dogs,  rather pretty we all thought.  Nicer than rope coloured rope.

My new line glows a pretty green and the dogs definitely remember that it is theirs, they have spent all morning trying to spring high enough into the air to catch it.

I have sent my Other Half out to buy a rope coloured one!



8.30 Sunday morning, a cup of coffee and toast and marmite.  A brief peace has descended upon the household and I am making the most of every minute.

Everyone, dogs and people (except my Other Half who can sleep through anything)  have been up and cavorting about since 6.30am.  Night Shift worker home,   Breakfast, Walkies, which ever or both and now they have all gone to sleep!

I feel the same way that .I used to when my children were very little, that really I should be rushing around doing all the things that one can’t do with small children hanging onto ones skirts.

However I am actually doing the same thing that I used to do then, enjoying the solitude, creeping about trying not to disturb anyone.

“Let sleeping dogs lie” and anyone else, say  I.



My Other Half has a habit of standing in the doorway (any doorway will do) and talking, apparently oblivious to the fact that no-one can enter or leave and most people (except me of course),  are too polite to say “Excuse me” probably not wanting to stop the flow,  not realising that he can talk ‘for England’ and never pauses to draw breath.

Our three house quest dogs were obviously brought up to do the same.  They are large, and I mean large, dogs!  And since one of them is wearing ‘the cone of shame’ to protect his newly operated on eyes, the four of them can have a lesser mortal pinned down for what seems like hours.

Go into the utility room or the pantry and getting back out again can take several minutes of negotiations, culminating in me shrieking “Shift” and giving them all a mighty shove, works like a charm!

The three dogs are sulking at the moment, Robert, who they own, has gone off to watch Leicester City play Manchester City and very unreasonably, they think, should have taken them with him and didn’t.

So they are stuck here with us, boring.   They are lounging and  moaning whilst secretly planning their next mischief.

It takes some thought, disemboweling the feather cushion was good, closely followed by eating the Rose bushes and digging a large hole in the lawn.. and Oh yes!  Unravelling a large ball of knitting wool, now that was fun.

What next on the ‘to do list’ one asks oneself?

There is a rhyme, something about “The cat from Norway. Got stuck in the doorway”, we could change that to the “Dogs from Derby” etc.  Maybe got very ‘Mardy’?



Winter draws on!  One of our old family sayings.

Touch of frost this morning but it only painted one side of the cars, so it doesn’t really mean it yet’

Time though,  to sort out serious coats and hats and scarves just in case the snow that the weatherman keeps predicting really arrives.

In some ways I liked not knowing what I was going to wake up to but that was in the olden days, now we seem to have to have a minute by minute forecast, boring though!

Very British writing about the weather, obviously nothing of note is happening here at the moment, not that it ever really does but writing and thinking is supposed to be very therapeutic for the aged and having nothing to write about usually doesn’t slow me down much!

Silly me!

Half past 5 this morning, Robert and his lady set off for Derbyshire to, hopefully tie up a lot of loose ends at her property.  Her sale is proceeding like most house sales as far as I understand it, rather like wading through treacle!  But it is proceeding thank goodness and fingers crossed.

And so we were left in charge of the three dogs!

I had rather hoped that as soon as Robs car had pulled off the drive and the excitement of parting had died down that the dogs would go back to sleep until breakfast time.

Of course they didn’t, they cavorted around the rain sodden garden and fought with each other and came and begged for breakfast every ten minutes until finally at 7.30 I fed them.

It takes about half a minute for them to wolf down their own breakfast and argue with each other about who will eat what is left of the slowests, usually Poppy.

And then they retreated to their room, and reclined on the settee and we sighing with relief sat with our coffee in front of our computers in our usual zombified state.

What I had forgotten, due to senility and stupidity is the cardinal rule, never trust quiet children,  for children read 12 month old dogs.

Much too quiet, we walked into a snow storm of feathers!

They had disemboweled a cushion.  You would be absolutely amazed at how many feathers there are in one cushion.  It is going to take days for us to stop clearing them up,  it’s worse than glitter, maybe even weeks.

And we are all smothered from head to toe.  Feathers seem to have a weird kind of clinging thing, spitting feathers is what we are!

I am glad that I never took up Chicken plucking!




This picture is from the book ‘Stars and Films of 1937.

After yesterday’s post about my Mother when this book fell open at this particular picture this morning  it was obviously meant to be!

My Mum loved the cinema, and gossip about film stars and used to tell us about the Stars of her youth, and foremost amongst the men she talked about was Franchot Tone,  she had quite a crush on him.  We all thought that she had made him up because we had never heard of him and used to tease her about him.


It wasn’t until years later that we saw Franchot Tone in an old black and white cowboy film.  my Other Half’s passion is old black and white films.

Anyway we went and apologised to her for our disbelief and now years later I find this picture.  Fancy him being married to Joan Crawford.

No wonder she couldn’t abide Joan Crawford!

Quarter to four in the afternoon and already the day is starting to chill and gloom, proper November.

It would have been my Mothers Birthday today, she was born in 1923 the youngest of 6 and from the few photographs that were taken, a small blonde, solemn faced child.

She grew up to be brave and funny, she didn’t suffer fools gladly and was slow to forgive but she could and would be kind and generous, sharing what little we had if she found others that were in need.

She and my Dad, loved each other madly, they were two halves of a whole and she nursed him through his final illness and never quite forgave him for leaving her behind and I couldn’t be too sad when she left us because she was convinced that he was waiting for her.

She always hated the month of November with its cold and shortening days and the promise of more winter yet to come.  She should have been a Summer baby, she loved the sun and swam like a fish.  Tall and lithe, she was one of those women who could throw on an old blanket and look good in it.




Now Bonfire night is nearly done!

Still fire works at midnight last night here and some sad person let some off a 5am today, however all that apart,  now I can turn my attention towards our next Antique Fair at the beginning of December and then Christmas.

I always think of November and December as one long slide downwards, gaining speed along the way until we all wobble to a halt for the New Year and can step off and collect our thoughts.

It delights my heart  to find presents that my family really like and love but in this age of commercialism the nearer to Christmas I get the harder it is to find them  And yes I know that there are lovely things out there all year round but I am always tardy with my shopping after all there is always tomorrow!

Which is where I usually go horribly wrong and eventually we shall arrive and there won’t be a tomorrow left to shop.

This post already sounds like an apology to me, time to write a shopping list and get focused.

After the next cup of coffee!