A dog’s tailpiece

I thought I’d add a postscript to yesterday’s dog story… just to show I can be nice about our four-legged friends.  We are early risers and every morning around 6am I head to my local shop to get my I paper. The shop opens at 5.30am so they are always ready for me and as I’ve mentioned before, I just pop in, pick up the paper and settle up each Saturday. As you can imagine it’s very quiet at that time with hardly any traffic or people around. But if the weather’s fair I do have two characters who share the morning with me. It’s an older guy like me and his old shepherd dog. They use the lovely little park at the end of our road and it’s always completely vacant save for the odd vagrant. It houses a lovely pagoda and lots of big old trees…

And every day I see this sheep dog  run around then stop deadly still staring up into the trees. Then off he shoots to across the park to another tree staring upwards. After many early morning nods of the head towards his owner I stopped this morning to ask what the dog was doing. He explained that he was a working sheepdog until his retirement and shepherding is in his blood. So every day he sits beneath the trees looking out for squirrels and once he fixes on one he follows it swiftly across the ground as it leaps around the tree branches. It’s actually very satisfying to watch the dog – just as it is watching a sheepdog doing its thing in a field of sheep. It’s clearly not lost any of its alertness nor short distance speed. I think these must be the most intelligent of all dogs and I have to admit I’m a bit of a fan. I also really enjoy watching the owner patiently watching his dog with evident affection. They are a real team. I wonder if they worked with sheep together in the past. That’s a conversation for tomorrow.

But I am becoming very fond of this one man and his dog.



Me, dogs and big strong men

I’ve been helping a company with its marketing activity recently, involving quite a bit of content writing, which has kind of diluted my creative juices a bit for my pp stuff. But I thought I should get back in the ole saddle before I forget what it’s like to write completely without a direction/brief. Anyway my subject this evening is back to an old shaggy dog theme. In fact it’s about shaggy dogs. Well actually it’s about little dogs. And men. Big old macho men. Or so I thought.

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a pile of dog lit

One of the things I most miss in Italy is being able to browse around a book store. It’s just no joy when you can’t read lingua italia. So when we’re back here I’m forever killing the odd hour down at Waterstones or some local book shop. It’s sad I know but I could have worse (and probably more interesting) vices.

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great grass, man

Well another great day here and I’ve spent most of the day in the garden. The back’s hurting now but I’m showered, feeling clean and revived and ready for tonight’s match which is being shown live here. Can’t wait to be honest. But that’s for later. Earlier today the Scruff monster was at the front door again. But this morning neighbour P and her son A came over for coffee. P’s a big dog lover and was being very affectionate towards the urchin (which is what he ‘s craving). When P and A left I wasn’t surprised to see Scruff march off with them. Maybe his allegiance had shifted. 5 minutes later I could hear P’s own dog – a large Afghan –  barking away. Either the fellahs were having great fun or  Scruff was now in pieces. Either way I was thinking my period of guardianship may be over….

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scruffy and gabby

Well I’ve been told by a couple of women friends that my postings are turning increasingly gentle (they mean girlie) as my distance from mainstream Premiership football lengthens. I thought the Prescott posting was pointedly irreverent, bordering on gleefully malicious but I can’t deny the dawg’s having an effect. I’m turning all LolCats. God, damn it.

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Scruffy; the return


Aw gawd, it’s the dawg.  This little fella was waiting for me first thing this morning. If you’d read yesterday’s posting ‘Cats and Dogs’ you’d know he appeared from nowhere yesterday and just hung around – especially after I’d given him some grub. I expected him to have wandered off overnight but no, here he is. I gave him some prosciutto this morning – the only meat I have in the fridge – which he ate, though a little reluctantly I thought. ‘Scuse me Scruffy son, beggars and choosers and all that. Look at his face after he had it:

Not very happy! I explained to him that we’re not really pet people but I don’t think he understands English too well. What am I going to do with the little bugger…?



cats and dogs

Well from my earlier posting you might have imagined from the title (and perhaps secretly hoped, given my gloating over the weather) that this is confirmation that it’s rained today here, scuppering my plans for some garden work. Not a bit of it. The weather looked grim even just across the valley but all day it’s been glorious here. A little cloudy but warm – 20+ degrees – and a nice breeze. No, the title is intended literally; it’s about the four-legged rascals which seem to be be drawn to Casa PP.

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