Monday 31 December 2012

Back to the Future.

Que "Jaws" theme music.  Duuun dun duuun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun BOM BOM dun dun dun dun dun dun doo dedoo doo dedoo dede doo dede doo dededoo. The lyrics are very catchy...

Just when you thought it was safe to come out onto the water again, we are back by popular request for another cruising season. Well that's not a 100% correct statement, we are back, but at something of a reduced rate of output. I have also set myself a challenge and that is to devote less than 10% of my blogging time to having a grumble at CaRT. For a long time BW/CaRT has been my grouse of choice. For anyone with a boating blog, CaRT has provided over recent times such a wealth of inspiration. But not always inspiration of the positive kind.

So, what have we been up to in the intervening period whilst the blog has been left to look after itself. Well some time has been spent in downsizing the cupboard contents at home. Chateu Wits End is a big old place. Built on top of one of the local high-spots with magnificent view out over South Yorkshire with a vista stretching as far as the Derbyshire hills.

The house was built in the early 60's before the era of chipboard arrived. Built to take advantage of the hillside to cascade down (paddy field style) the hill and spreading over three levels. With an inclusive garage and a radio shack, it's a good place to bring up a large family. It comes with four bedrooms one of which has its own conservatory attached. However, because family has grown and moved on. It sometimes seems to be a very quiet and peaceful place to be. 

I have started to organise to get a few jobs sorted around the place. Jobs that we have intended doing for a while. Now, because the two of us just tend to rattle around in the place. We have to decide on our strategy for the future. So what do we do, we can either sell up or put the property on rental. So the local estate agents will be called in to value and advise on the two options.

So, we are back again...


Sunday 2 December 2012

A life in the day!

I'm sat here watching the old girl Abbey. She is an indomitable character. I suppose as dogs go she has been around for quite a long time. In that time she has obviously observed us at close quarters. She is aware of every slight inflection in our voices. So for instance, whispering about going to the vet is sure to alert her. Not only that she observes what we do and more to the point, she knows exactly when we are scheduled to do it.

If we decide to have a trip to the shops when we should not be going to the shops she is instantly placed on high alert. Now, because the dog suffers from anxiety attacks when left alone we have to organise our outings whilst she is having one of her frequent siestas. 

As I write, 09:45 she is up and around early. Her day tends to start much closer to 11am than 10am. I have just laid out her food. She sidled up, gives it as close a visual inspection as her old eyes will allow. When she finally decides that we are not trying to poison her. She carefully extracts one tiny piece to conduct further taste tests upon. So, she makes a unilateral decision that today the fare on offer is not up to the expected standard. So now, she has to make a judgement call. Ignore, eat or bury. She decided to go for the latter option. 

With consummate ease the old girl decides that the carpet can be rearranged to cover the food. A quarter of an hour later and after much pushing and thrusting with her nose. The dish has made two laps round the coal scuttle. But the task is still unachieved. Its at this point she becomes a bit irritated. There are several short pauses while she re-evaluates the situation. A further short bust of nose shuffling round the bowl leaves her even more frustrated.

A change of plan, is required so she decides to lay alongside the dish guarding the contents from our other dog Poppy. Poppy starts much earlier in the day and has long since had her breakfast. in fact her dish has been washed and dried ready for future use. The old girl decides that a short walk might help. She paces up and down the boat. Returning to look at the food bowl once more. Even more pacing is obviously called for. On her return, there is a low whimper of frustration before a further futile round of carpet nuzzling.

She has a drink from her water bowl. before contemplating the situation once more. Conducted this time from a position in front of the stove. A new strategy is decided upon. She eats half the content of the bowl. Thereby reducing the amount of food to be buried. A further protracted round of nose shuffling of the carpet round the bowl. However, even with the amount of consumables reduced by half, the task remains unachieved.

Its at this point I am brought into the equation for persuasion. She places herself in my line of sight. With occasional glances at the food bowl. However, I choose to remain ignorant of her commands. Now there is an added, whimper or two. With more frequent glances at the food bowl. I still have not made eye contact. Now, there is a small whimper which comes with a light and delicate touch of a paw on my shin. I still choose to ignore the request.

The ultimate weapon is now deployed, when a hairy chin is placed gently upon my knee. I can see in the midst of the hair, two dark eyes, (one is slightly milky from the onset of a cataract) which are in close proximity to a small dark nose. There is a small pleading whimper, from the hairy and cute monster. I acknowledge and she immediately looks at the food bowl, before returning her gaze to me once more. "OK" I say, getting up I place the bowl out of reach. 

With a sidelong glance, she heads for her bed. She begins to turn round and round in circles. She makes several turns in the opposite direction before resuming back to circling the other way again. There is an unsatisfied plop of her rear end, before I am placed in her gaze one more. She returns to circling again, first this way and then that. Followed by another unceremonious flop to her haunches.

I am once more the object of her gaze. So I move her bed a little closer to the stove. Then I gently lay her on her side after plumping up her bed. There is a contented sigh, as she lays back once more. The eyes close just as the blanket is tucked in at the edges.

Arranging my day, is such a tiring task. I know my place and so does she.


Saturday 1 December 2012

CARToon CCer!

It's almost December and Christmas is near! We would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a very merry Christmas. The Blog Meister is making a small change to the format of the old Caption Competition. Including a link to the current competition which will be available at all times on the sidebar. The caption competition is intended for you to be able to display your prowess at providing a pithy and witty caption. One that has a watery theme to it. 
The guest judges chosen for this Cartoon Caption Competition are the brothers Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Awarded the family peace prize for their services to the labour party. 
So lets get this right.
I'll be the Fat Cat
and you'll be the Lap Dog.

There is no pecuniary prize on offer as the Blog Meister is:  
i) A cheapskate. 
ii) A tight fisted old curmudgeon. 
iii) Not on the CART management payroll. 
iiii) Not amongst the ex BW working retired.

However, you will reluctantly get a mention in the captains blog. You can submit your entry on the back of a ten pound note, two five pound notes or by using the comments feature below. 

My Indecision Is Final.