One of our favourite things is a leisurely evening stroll along the banks of the Thames. It is very desolate where we go, plenty of wildlife to admire and acres of river frontage for the dogs to run on. today there have been so many boats going up the Thames to get ready for the River Pageant, the highlight of the celebrations in London for the Queens Diamond Jubilee celebrating her 60 years on the Throne.
I could spend hours down here each day, and the dogs won't complain, they love it. They can swim here in a small river, sometimes they get to go in the Thames when the tide is just right, they scent rabbits and foxes, and delight in jumping like a spring lamb through the waist high grass.
On the way back, we always stop at the Bee House and just sit and watch the river. Mirabelle practices her recall very well down here, and there is nowhere for her to escape to if she decided to make a run for it unless she wanted to swim over to South London over the Thames!
Maddies owners will be on one of the boats in the pageant, we will be down in London Town to watch, we just tried out Mirabelle in her special rucksack as she will be coming with us to join in the Celebrations. A thousand boats and The Queen on the river, I can't wait.
I came across this word when reading recently something by
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:
'' Il n'y a pas des sots si incommodes que ceux qui ont de l'esprit''
Which roughly translates to a great saying:
'' There are no fools so difficult to deal with as those who have some measure of intelligence'', and I'm sure we all know a few of those!
But I knew I had seen that particular word somewhere else, and hey presto, there it was in the description of 'The Large Rough Water Dog' by Thomas Bewick in the book Quadrupeds (1792)
In the description he states:
''remarkable for their long and shaggy coat, which incommodes them by growing over their eyes''.
So incommodes translates to me as a hindrance or something that hampers or impedes.
Of course we all know that the Barbets hair grows over its' eyes, so a trim or a bit of thinning is required so as not to impede their sight. I personally keep my Barbets with long hair, but tie it back if it interferes with their vision, a must I find when out swimming.
Anyway, I love the word incommodes, and along with so many other english words, it originates from France.
Take a look at this short video. Amusing
Then, if you want to see how to understand French gestures in one easy lesson, go onto here: http://youtu.be/FKTrBk95kMU
Hahaaaaaahhhaaa, hope you enjoyed!
''The Hattons' and Milles' dine here today - & I shall eat Ice and drink French wine and be above Vulgar Economy''
Jane Austen July 1st 1808
I think I'll reserve the French wine for myself, but the Ice can be for the dogs.
We had fun making various frozen treats, and the dogs had fun trying them out. The favourite so far has been sardine and mixed veg. We just mashed the tinned sardines in a jug, topped up with water, poured into disposable plastic drinking cups, chucked in a handful of frozen mxed veg, then put in the freezer for a few hours then removed from the cup and put on a dish. Mirabelle decided hers tasted better in the grass, so Nelly went to join her. Odo sat under the garden bench out of everyones way and delighted in licking it until it dissapeared. Even Lulu who is a hoover around food, managed to make hers last for around 15 minutes!
Kongs are a brilliant way to offer cooling treats too, just bung up the end with cheese or peanut butter, then fill with some tasty chicken or fish stock and freeze. I personally don't give the dogs
ice-cream, far too much sugar in it for my liking, but that doesn't mean the children haven't!!!!
There comes a time when humour is needed.
So for my French, North American and other friends... a joke.
The train was quite crowded, so the US Marine walked the entire length looking for a seat. But the only seat left was taken by a well dressed, middle-aged, French woman's poodle.
The war weary Marine asked ''Ma'am, may I have that seat'?
The French woman just sniffed and said to no-one in particular
''Americans are so rude.! My little Fifi is using that seat'.
The Marine walked the entire length of the train again, but the only seat left was under that dog.
'Please Ma'am, may I sit down? I'm very tired'.
'Not only are you Americans rude, but you are also arrogant'!
This time the Marine didn't say a word, he just picked up the little dog, threw it out of the train window, and sat down.
The woman shrieked 'Someone must defend my honour! This American should be put in his place'.
An English gentleman sitting nearby spoke up. 'Sir, you Americans often see to have a penchant for doing the wrong things. You hold your fork in the wrong hand, you drive your cars on the wrong side of the road. And now Sir.. ... ... ... ...
you seem to have thrown the wrong bitch out of the window'!
It has been so hot here in London the past few days. We headed up into town for a special event. The beach on the river Thames just in front of the Tower of london was open to the public. This only happens one weekend a year. It was all to do with what we call Mudlarking, or Surface Archaeology. Dogs are not allowed, but Mirabelle had special permission. Everyone that came was able to discover what has been thrown away or lost from The Tower over the past 900 years. And there were plenty of things to find.
Mirabelle however was more than happy with the few bones she found, as cattle have been slaughtered here up to one thousand years ago. There were plenty of knowledgeable people on site to identify the finds, and yes, Roman pottery was abundle.
It turned out to be one of the hottest days so far this year, so being on a beach was just perfect.
After we had finished on the beach, we went to see the Yeomans who were wandering around, unfortunately they weren't able to pose with Mirabelle for a photo, they were concerned she may chase away the Ravens, and oh dear, that would never do, as the saying goes '' If the Ravens leave the Tower, the Kingdom will fall'' and we can't have that on the lead up to the Queens 60 years on the Throne can we! so we went to look around at some of the finds, amazingly there were 900 year old Roman leather shoes, having been very well preserved in the mud and water. On speaking to the woman displaying them, she told me of how they used urine in the tanning process, I told her of the way some unfortunate souls were employed to collect dog faeces, which was also used in the tanning process, Hmm, dogs certainly have alot of uses.
From there, a short walk to St Katherine Docks for some refreshment, and of course a good look at all the millionaires lounging on their fantastic yachts. Who needs St. Tropez?
It's exam time here, , so to ensure the arrival at school goes without a hitch, I have been driving to and from my daughters school and finding short cuts to avoid the most of the congestion. I've been driving past a park that I had never visited, so this morning I stopped off there with Mirabelle. A beautiful walk, Rhodedendrons in full flower, Bluebells in the shady wooded areas, and a hidden lake surrounded with Willows. We walked around with her off lead, close to the shore, lots of ducks, geese and a couple of swans, some with young so displaying very protective behaviour. It was brilliant, teaching her not to chase, yet allowing her to watch and show interest. We walked further around and met up with a nice bloke from Romania walking his St Bernard. An instant friendship was formed, and after a little playing on the shore, they both went in for a swim I am enjoying taking Mirabelle out on her own, as although she knows other dogs, it is nice to see what beautiful dog manners she has when meeting new friends.
Well Done to Laura Browne with her PWD
We saw her last year in Paris, and quite by chance, our friend had been talking about us and our dogs to her whilst in Portugal last summer. Not only doing well in the show world.......but doing a fine job in rescue.
Mickey Mouse in the House
We saw Nelly showing a great deal of interest at the door to the utility, just near the back garden door. Hmmm, go in, move the washing machine, and out at breakneck speed runs Mickey! Action plan below. Also with all the wet weather recently, we have had lots of snails in the garden. As the incidence of lungworm has risen sharply in the UK, I do a sweep of the garden often to remove the pesky little blighters. Do make sure to administer a preventative before you need a cure!
Well we have as most of you know, had appalling weather this past month or so, just as we got a hosepipe ban, the rain began. Today is not so bad, Damp sunshine, so it will be good to get all the dogs out and look forward to not having muddy floors on their return! But this dreadful weather has left me with spare time, as many of the outside jobs in the garden just can't be done. Delayed planting of seeds and tender plants, has enabled me to browse some lovely shops online. This one is lovely, when I need to replace my dog lead hook I'll head down here for one of these (only kidding). Enjoy browsing.
Two things particularly bothered me today.
The first was finding out that someone is considering using an
e-collar on their Barbet.. NOT an Elizabethan collar that you get from the vet when you need to stop your dog or cat interfering with a wound, but an Electric collar, used to shock dogs when they display unwanted behaviour including barking.... or as an aid in gundog training. Thankfully they are not commonly used in the UK and a complete ban has been in place in Wales with a fine of up t £10,000 if caught using them.
The second thing today that bothered me was meeting a guy walking a Doberman. We kept Dobermans many, many years ago, so the thing that was quite obvious to me was its' pointy sticky up ears. They had been cropped. Cut. Made to stand up. Totally barbaric and illegal here and this one hadn't been imported!