shaggy dog story

Tomorrow is the last day of the Chinese year of the dog; as of Tuesday February 5th, we’ll be in the year of the pig.

Although I tend to always write at least one blog post to mark the Chinese New Year, I don’t really know a lot about the Chinese calendar. Nor do I know much about the zodiac, though a colleague once told me that if I was a Gemini born in the year of the dog it explained why I was a two-faced bitch. Everyone else in the staff room expected me to be very, very cross, but I reckoned it was the first witty thing I’d ever heard the guy say, so I laughed and treasured it up to use myself when it seemed appropriate.
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sick as a dog

I don’t know what the ideal length is for a blog post, but some weekends I seem to spend a heck of a long time writing.

Today, though, I’m going to settle for posting this screen shot, taken from a local pub website. There’s definitely something about those last two words that makes me wonder what they put in the biscuits.

Text from pub website "dog biscuits on the bar and plenty of water bowels"

dog days

Last week I talked about choosing love poems to read at a local event. In the end, I think I found nine short pieces that I ran together to produce a story of a kind, which seemed to go down reasonably well.

One of them has a dog in it, albeit unseen and at a distance, so makes a good piece to include in this first blog post of the new Year of the Dog.
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memories beginning with “c”

A few weeks ago, I posted a picture of a cyclamen flower and pondered why I always forget the name. Today’s flower also begins with “c”, but for some reason I find it far easier to remember the word clematis.

Considering this for a few moments raises the question of how, given the range of shapes, sizes and colours the name can be applied to, I know the flower in the photo is a clematis.
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moving targets

Usually, I take pictures of flowers and plants because they’re pretty and they tend to keep still; just occasionally, though, a moving image is too delightful not to at least try and capture it.

dogs playing in small pond
dogs just wanna have fun
The photo doesn’t do justice to the reality: there were four dogs in total, and for a few brief minutes before their – unseen – owner whistled them back, they chased each other in and out of that muddy puddle with pure unfettered joy.

positively logical

It’s not all fun spending a week in a house with a pedant whose current reading matter is the biography of a logical positivist (or that of any other philosopher, perhaps). I was told yesterday that describing someone as “a good poet” was meaningless, it was a value judgment, that what I was actually saying was, “she is a poet; hurrah!” (As opposed to “she is a poet; boo!”)

Guard dogs
No dogs or other animals - clustered or otherwise - were harmed in the writing of this post

We did however manage to see eye to eye – or was that hear ear to ear? – when the news was on the other night, reporting on a disease affecting dogs in the UK recently. The disease remains unidentified, but the reporter said that some progress had been made after vets observed clusters of dogs dying all across the country from the south west to the north east.

It is probably sad but true that in the course of their work vets observe animals dying. But to observe clusters of them dying and not take action – as opposed to noticing the clusters of reported dog deaths – seems heartless. I think any vet who did so would be a bad vet and deserve to be booed.


dog on bridge

Looking through my files for a poem with a dog in it to go with this photo, I am slightly surprised just how few there seem to be. There are plenty of cats. And then there are dog ends and dog shit, dog-tooth waistcoats and quite a bit of barking, but very few actual dogs.
Continue reading “doggerel”