Gemma was in seventh heaven when presented with this enormous bone. Younger son has joined his younger sister as a waiter during the school holidays at one of our local winery restaurants. He brought back not one but two of these near carcases from work yesterday, so both Gemma and our other dog, Zac, enjoyed themselves as we departed for New Year festivities.
For those few of you (if any) who visit this blog, here is a rather intimidating photo of BigFoot in full charioteer mode barreling down the middle of a road somewhere in Wiltshire, the actual location being withheld for the sake of public safety and calm. This road does possess two 'traffic calming' chicanes not that that is of any concern to BigFoot who has been known to force the local school bus to take sudden and evasive action. To give you an idea of the speed at which the chariot is driven, that excuse for a flag was once a nice 3ft sq square of blue cotton, now reduced to a shredded crepe-like tatter. Not long after this photo was taken, she was apprehended by the local constabulary for conduct endangering life in that she was seen, through a haze of blue smoke, perfecting donuts in front of the village post office. Her excuse? "I got my crutch jammed in the clutch"! I'm rather proud of this photo as I had to set my camera as if photographing an Olympic 100 metre final.
Our 90 yr old father (which art nearly in heaven) used to ride with the Beaufort Hunt, so I took him to the meet yesterday, a mile or so from Badminton. There were at least 150 on horseback (quite a few of them being children) and many more followers. I understand that numbers are on the increase given that they're supposedly not now meant to hunt foxes anymore. Well, the above photo was taken about 20 mins after they had started and about 45 secs after a fox had jumped down onto the road and run towards us, very closely followed by 2 or 3 hounds in full cry. Freddie and his followers crashed through a hedge on our left. We hoped that he got away. I'm glad to say that all the rest of the hounds plus all those on horseback had no idea where Freddie had gone and went past us. I have to say that the vast majority of the riders thanked us for stopping the car as they rode past. My father remarked that it was only the third time he'd ever seen a fox during a hunt.
I couldn't resist taking a photo of this Hooray Henry - what a poseur!
Here is a picture of domestic bliss - Bigfoot ironing my shirts. She was worried that Matron was looking over her shoulder and decided to dust down (literally) her iron which took her half an hour to find! Unfortunately, not long after this photo was taken, the very scene that you see was transformed into something close to an enactment of the Somme. You see, I was in the enemy camp for the rugby match at Twickers. Yes, I know I'm a turncoat and, indeed, by half time I was seriously considering turning my coat inside out again given the hammering I was getting from Bigfoot. But I digress. So, we retired to either end of the Sitting Room and called in BF's husband as referee. Needless to say he proved to be totally ineffectual and somewhat biased. I was at a severe disadvantage given that BF had a distinct weight advantage in the scrums and, once she got going, was difficult to stop on the burst. On the other hand, I was very nimble albeit extremely unfit (as my coach, Matron has informed me on numerous occasions). Well, close to half time, I had managed to make the most of a number of penalties conceded by BF (mostly for taking me out when I didn't have the ball, which was most of the time). On the stroke of half time, the ref at last looked up from the Telegraph and asserted his authority by sending off BF for stomping me in a maul. She was banished for ten minutes to the kitchen to make the tea. But, blow me down, right after half time that little squirt of a ref sent me off for sledging!! All I said was "Who suffered their third worst defeat in One Day Cricket the other day?" So, I had to go and wash up the tea stuff during which time BF managed to lurch drunkenly over for a try. But her hysterical whinnying came to an abrupt halt when I dodged round the sofa, accidentally kicked her crutches from under her and scored in the corner right under the television for a memorable victory. Does anyone know how to get rid of blood on the walls?
BigSis has tarted up my Blogsite and set up a Blog Roll for me which reminds me of a delicate situation that I was confronted with this morning. You know how it is when staying with friends/relatives - you're not used to how things work and are keen to do the right thing particularly when it comes to bathrooms. Let me, gentle reader, remind you that over recent days I have consumed a reasonable amount of airline fare which, at the best of times, is barely palatable, at others simply disgusting but at all times of dubious heritage (especially when concocted in Asia). This can and does lead to one's gastric juices becoming somewhat confused with the result that they crack the poos and refuse to work normally. So, imagine my horror on discovering that, after answering the urgent call of nature, I was confronted by (and I know no other way to put this) skidmarks. There, I've said it. Well, I looked around for a bogbrush but to my dismay found nothing.............but wait, I spied a very peculiar implement lurking in a corner. Something I'd never seen before (but will again as I intend to present Matron with one - Bigsis says that I can get one in Waitrose tomorrow). This thing consisted of quite a nice longish gaily coloured plastic handle with a claw on the end! I kid you not! I then discovered that you can push a sort of button and the claw becomes alive and becomes a grappling iron (or, more accurately, grappling plastic). Being an extraordinarily logical person, I decided that the purpose of this implement was to unblock the dunny; but this wasn't my immediate problem. As well as logical I am exceedingly bright (despite what Matron may think), so, using my well-honed improvisational skills, I selected a suitable wad of loopaper, took the plastigrapple (as the implement was now to be called) and in no time at all eliminated any signs of the aforesaid and offending skidmarks. BigSis has subsequently explained to me the finer art of using the plastigrapple and I just hope that Oz Customs will allow it into the cxountry - is Australia ready for it, I ask myself.
Having arrived on an A380 this morning what better than to visit Kemble airport this evening with Bigshot Sis for a spot of arty tarty artistry with somewhat smaller planes. The question we ask is for viewers to comment on which of these two photos is the better. She took one of them and I the other.
Bigfoot (aka Rural Villager) has tagged me to mention six interesting things about me. Unfortunately, I don't have all day to write all about moi as, unlike Bigfoot, I'm extraordinarily interesting. Also, unlike her, I'm perfectly proportioned anatomically. Whoa there, don't lets get too big headed! So .........
When posing (as one does) for my christening photo with proud Bigfoot (as she was even then at the age of four) cradling me in her arms, I managed to wee all over her much to my delight & her lifetime chagrin! That probably explains her bullying me thereafter.
For eleven years during the eighties & nineties I indulged in amateur theatre ( I sensed that my public really needed me). Eleven traditional English pantos (I even sang a song a la Rex Harrison in a production of Robin Hood) and two musicals, 'Me & My Girl' and a starring role (albeit unduly minor) in '42nd Street'. I looked good in tights - and still do.
My 15 minutes of fame in February 1983 during the disasterous bushfires here in Victoria and South Australia. Somehow the BBC had broadcast my office phone number for worried relatives to ring for information on loved ones etc. I spent all day fielding frantic calls from the UK 'til I rang the ABC (equivalent of Auntie) and asked them to put the Beeb right. The ABC then interviewed me that evening on the radio about my unusual day.
Plucking up courage to skydive a couple of months ago - see earlier Blog.
Before leaving for Oz in 1979, I was a memeber of Epsom Hockey Club and partook in a world record beating game of continuous hockey - we started under car headlights and finished about 12 hrs later. Some unmentionable Dutch team then promptly beat our record - such is life.
I caught my one & only salmon at the age of about 12 on the Ballynahinch river in Ireland. This is the same river on which my grandfather died of a heart attack in 1952 having just landed a salmon while fishing with my father. Grandfather was carried up to the Ballynahinch Hotel and his salmon was enjoyed that night.
If I knew how to, I'd like to tag Millenium Housewife (in the nicest possible way) as I find her Blog to be wonderfully well written and extremely amusing. As for the other five, if you're reading this, count yourself in!
This one gave us just a frisson of nerves beside our pool on holiday the other week. Luckily it's a harmless tree snake who, with its mate, seemed to live inside a rock wall beside the swimming pool. One member of our family was not seen anywhere near the pool after this sighting. Let's just say that, if we were to have been bitten, medical help would not have been close by!!
Elder daughter saw the back end of a snake disappearing in one of our garden beds last weekend - judging by the description either a tiger or brown snake - both of which are extrememly venomous.
This pic was taken last summer at our local sailing club when we held the Asia Pacific Tornado Titles won by this Oz boat which, as world champions, went on to win silver at Beijing the other day. Tell me, why is it that you Poms have to combine with those mortal enemies the Scots and Welsh (with the Northern Irish thrown in for luck) for the Olympics as Great Britain? Is that the only way you can gather more medals than Oz? What other sports do you call yourselves GB? Sour grapes you may say - sure is but thought I'd stir you up and cause you to pause momentarily from your chest beating!! Pip Pip !!
Younger son now has braces and was not happy to be called "metal mouth", "train tracks" or "brace face". We therefore had to think of another suitable description - hence he is now referred to as "SBF" as, In Oz, a Standard Boundary Fence consists of hinge lock (also known as ring lock) topped by 2 strands of wire, more often than not of the barbed variety. No doubt Rural Villager will know precisely what I'm describing and can answer allcomers questions from those not quite so agricultural.
More local wildlife - I expect you saw these rainbow lorikeets in Adelaide. Anyway, these are Victorian ones and very common and chatty they are too! In which case they could be called Victorian Beckhams, I suppose. To answer your question, since 1979 and, although I miss my UK family, I wouldn't live in the UK for quids (other than for the West Country and its pubs!)
It probably looks pretty ordinary to you lot in the UK but this is our very last jar of Chivers Redcurrant Jelly which we found the other day hiding in the dusty depths of our pantry. As redcurrant jelly enthusiasts (for that read tragics), Chivers is the only make to have. We do possess about 20 jars of the Crosse & Blackwell variety (we have to stock up as & when they appear on our local supermarket shelves) and even a couple of French jars, but NOTHING beats dear old Chivers. We'll keep this one as a momento of times past and, in any case, its Use By date was September 2006!
Younger daughter has just had her hair re-styled - was very long, rather unkempt but kept bunched up on the top in an artistic mess (see my earlier Blogg Blog). Now it's much shorter with a fringe. Cyberspace comments please from all of you who don't know her from Eve.
as my sister, Rural Villager, has just reminded me of her enormous clodhoppers - here's a photo of five feet at (yes) Byron Bay. For some reason my two daughters decided to paint their toenails black. Well, I couldn't be left out, now could I?
Also, what a feat for my dear Sis - two awards in one day - she always was a little on the greedy side (particularly potatoes, talking of toes). Congrats, Bigfoot, richly deserved and thanks for sharing the glory 'tho I most certainly don't deserve it other than as your long suffering Bro.
Every year at Byron bay on holiday I go for a reasonably lengthy walk before breakfast. Last year one of the brood bet Her Indoors $10 that she couldn't hack it with me on my walk to the end of Tallows Beach and back. As you can see, she won the bet. Cape Byron is Australia's most easterly point.
Her Indoors, the brood (3 of whom are pictured here) and I will be spending 3 weeks' holidays here in September before I rug up and visit Rural Villager, husband and rescue dog in November. If you ask nicely, I'll post some more pics of this marvellous place.
Her Indoors and I suspected that our resident bears were getting up to no good when left to their own devices. So, we set up a Bear Cam, went off to work and returned to find the following camera stills!