Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Family Pets

Pets have always been an important part of my life, but when my beautiful
Beagle-cross dog died suddenly from cancer, I decided not to replace her, but to be free to come and go as I wished.                                                  
However, I do have a sort of grandmotherly interest in the two family dogs - Gypsy, the enormous, gentle but now elderly German Shepherd and Winston, the lively young Shar Pei pup.
In her hey-day Gypsy walked miles, swam in rivers; protected her family and enjoyed a hearty appetite.  She took up space in the car; had her special spot in the house and regarded herself as equal to any member of the family.
German Shepherds had not been favourites of mine since the day one followed me to school and was only scared off when a lady came out of a house with a sweeping brush and shooed it away.  But of course Gypsy is different!  I was with the family when they chose her from a litter of ten, with a huge mother and a white albino father. All the pups were beautiful, but she was the smallest.  As she grew up she hated West Highland terriers and all postmen and she bit a corner off every envelope that was pushed hastily through the letter box. Nowadays, she lies in the sun watching the family come and go; no doubt dreaming about the adventures she used to have.
As for Winston, he is jet-black, young and full of fun with a wicked gleam in his eye when he manages to sneak into the bathroom and emerge with a whole toilet roll hidden in his mouth. Of course his name was chosen because of his heavy jowls, reminiscent of that great Prime Minister.
The Shar Pei breed is new to us so we are learning all the time. He is handsome, proud, aloof and very loyal to his master.  His joy knows no bounds when they are re-united after a few hours separation.

So I’m finding that it’s great to watch these animals without the sole responsibilities of caring for them.

Follow Me, Boys.

The back seat's mine!





Thursday, 22 March 2012

A Writer New to Blogging


Every morning I check my computer for e-mails and usually I have some; often written only a few minutes earlier so that I can visualise where my friends are and what they’re doing.  But the messages themselves have such an impersonal look about them – they’re typed in a plain font with black ink and long straight lines that stretch across the screen.  Often the messages are so brief that they remind me of the telegrams that used to come in those dreaded yellow envelopes and were usually the bearers of bad news.
And then I think of how the post used to be delivered by a man in a smart uniform, who carried a heavy red bag and seemed to be permanently cheerful.  He recognised the people on his round and even called “Happy Birthday” as he brought an obvious collection of cards to the house.
And what a pleasure it was to pick up the letters from the doormat and instantly recognise the hand-writing or that particular brown ink that could only be from a favourite Aunt; or the foreign stamps – the French ones on flimsy envelopes that had come by air-mail to bring news of my Pen Friend in her lovely flat in Versailles and who’d been writing to me since we were schoolgirls.  Or the envelopes from Singapore and Amsterdam where my two brothers-in-law lived and worked.
Then I think of the copperplate writing of my mother’s sister in the same town – no easy telephone connection then, hence the letter posted in a box near her own home.
Later there was an envelope with a typed address and a long typed letter from a Welsh friend who sneaked time in her busy day as a Secretary.
There were bills as well, in boring brown envelopes with a frank mark instead of a stamp and there were lively picture postcards, from friends who were on holiday.
Of course letters could be saved; tied up in bundles with red ribbon if they were very special or stuffed into bags if more mundane.  All to be read and re-read years later, creating a very personal living history.
But still my e-mails are welcome, even if they do lack the romance of the hand-written letters.  They are quick and convenient in a world that has speeded up and changed beyond recognition.
I’ll just check if I have another!!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

A Writer New to Blogging


A Writer New to Blogging

I am interested in everything and involved in most things .I  even enjoy gardening without my dizzy dog to wreck it. Sadly I lost her several months ago.  But writing’s in my genes and that’s always top of my list. I've been writing most of my life and in recent years have moved on to writing short stories and novels.  I've been lucky enough to win some short story competitions and be placed in others. In recent years I've been focusing on the novel and have published two - The Smile of Deceit and Bridge to the Moon. I am now playing with the idea of making my short stories into Kindle editions.
I am a Bishop Auckland girl and have always been part of its community as a Bank Clerk, a Magistrate, a Hospital Receptionist and a Foster Mum as well as having a family of my own. But writing’s in my genes and that’s always top of the list.