Nicotine-Free Ramblings

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The soon-to-be-harvested golden seed heads of the waving flax rustled and twittered; Pagan, like a fat, furry bouncing bomb, sent bird shaped splashes of burnt umber, soft slate grey, dark iridescent blue flashing into the air. Above, the jacks watched, twitching, in pairs along the telegraph wires; a comedic translation of the neat, sharp swallows waiting to desert the harshness of a UK winter. Can I write without the aid of nicotine? Possibly?

Sometimes the whole world feels as though it’s against you; the rabbits thumb their noses, the jackdaws mock from the treetops, and buzzards smIMG_0064irk from on high. Poor Hamish just had to duck as the windswept willow twigs – soft and malleable, just tapped him on his head; jumping sideways, he ran to hide behind me just in case! Life is tough for a 10 stone Alaskan Malamute!

Not that I have an interest in poo or anything, but there is a dog who walks in the fields before I get there that has really weird poo; it’s bright green, and I mean bright, and full of what looks like wheat seeds, or corn. Anyway, I’ve been puzzling over this for a couple of weeks, as you do, and this morning I finally met the mystery walker. He has 7 or 8 cockers, sprockers, sprickers, or crickers (sorry, Hatty, I didn’t ask for DNA proof, cos we all know it’s not proof an…………they were sodding spaniels – okay? lol), a retriever, and a rather miffed GSD in a basket muzzle. Impeccably well trained to the whistle, they milled around his proper working mans wellies (unlike my cheap Dunlops – I have wellie envy; in what world is that right?). We exchanged a few words – his involved pheasants and guns, mine involved giggling and trying not to trip over Hamish. We parted, his dogs running off ahead of him, mine almost pulling me over, causing me to squeal in a ‘I’m a feeble girl, who’s scared of spiders and country stuff’ kinda way. However, at no point did I ask about the mysterious green poo – bollocks, it’s bugging me now, and will continue to. Can I google it? Best not, I feel……….

I have tried and failed to quit smoking for years – over and over again, the guilt of lighting up, the inhale, the false promise of relaxation, the empty wallet.Yesterday I was on 40 a day, and now I’m not!!! None at all – cold turkey, wham bam thank you ma’am – Related imagedone! I am free at last and will not smoke again – there’s no point! My GP’s receptionist mentioned a phone app that she and her friends had had great success with – yeah right, a phone app?!! But I was desperate, so lighting up another cig, I downloaded it. It sat on my phone for a week or two, but yesterday I opened it, with great trepidation, and listened, agreed with what the guy was saying, and smoked my last cig!
I am tempted to light up – I won’t lie, but won’t do it, there’s nothing to gain by doing so.
If you, like me, were desperate to quit, give it a go – honestly you have nothing to lose.

This is what I used (Believe it or not): https://www.juicemaster.com/stop-smoking-in-2-hours-app/

 

This whole quitting smoking lark is so much easier than you think; I struggled, cut down, limited myself, smoked low tar, vaped, etc, for years, and it was always a form of torture, coupled with self loathing guilt every time I gave in and lit up. But this time – 5 days Related imagedown the line, and I can honestly say, understanding how the ‘nicotine trap’ works, is the key to giving up; understanding the relationship between you and smoking throws up questions and answers that make so much sense. I won’t say quitting was pleasurable, but it wasn’t the torturous enduring longing that it has been before. I even stood next to a smoker yesterday, and yes, I enjoyed the smell of the smoke, but did not have the urge to smoke at all!

 

One thing that gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling is watching Hamish’s tail go into a slow but joyous wag – his whole body grins in childish glee. This morning he just didn’t stop wagging – he cantered along the tracks, finding sniffs to sniff, before bounding onwards, sharking through the damp grass, staining his fluffy cheeks vibrant green, and smiling the whole way round. He’s such a sweetheart! Still nicotine free too!!!

 

So, after the heavy and persistent rain last night, followed by more this morning, keeping my footing on the mud slides that pretended to be tracks, was challenging, to say the least; not helped by rabbits that were either as thick as shit, or more cunning than a box of cunning weasels studying for a degree in extra cunning. Related imageThey sat in plain sight, causing the dogs to go absolutely bonkers, and us unable to continue at any pace other than a hanging-on-for-grim-death slow walk; finally, they would shoot off sideways into the undergrowth, before the next one would take position. The other trick that was, apparently, ‘great fun’ this morning, was to wait, hiding under the canopy of crops, before being flushed out by Pagan, running straight into Hamish, who would panic, and then be flattened by an excitedly manic Pagan. Me, all the while, trying to stay vaguely in control – Yup, right! Coffee and drying off time 😉 Still no ciggies BTW and no cripplingly hindering urges to light up, either xxx

 

Gertie the Pink – that little firecracker of ball-chasing energy, just lay there and watched the beasts approach, then they lay down next to her – all three dogs too hot to care. Grunting Owner tried to gain some interest by bouncing his ball (Hey ho) in front of each dog in turn – all three ignored him! The futility of life lol. However, still no cigs!!!!!

 

Now, I could say that whilst walking this morning I was planning world domination, the plot of my best selling novel, pondering obscure and ultimately pointless philosophical conundrums or watching the minutiae of the world around me; however I was actually trying to work out how soon I could get away with turning around and heading for home, who had stolen the air, and how alarmingly big Hamish’s balls looked from behind now he’s in full coat drop. Ho hum

 

Whilst the fog burned off after the night, and the sun was still rising, I walked, and the beasts bounced, around the fields and copses. In the never ending hunt for a bunny breakfast, their foraging led them off the tracks and into the fields of silvery blue flax; with heads down, only sleek, shiny backs and waving tail plumes were visible above the crops (unlike our blessed leader, this isn’t the worst thing they have done lol). Pagan, stoical and surefooted as ever, trotted ahead, every now and then looking up to check I was still attached to my lead and hadn’t broken free, while from behind her would come a rustle, a huff and an embarrassed snort as Hamish fell down another rabbit hole.

 

Walking back, the beasts trotting contentedly along next to me, it struck me just how much flora and fauna they carry home on their coats; before shaking it all off, they must have a whole ecosystem in miniature.
Just today Pagan is covered in silvery blue flax flowers, gathered as she bounded joyfully through the fields; somehow, though, on Butch Grrl, they change from beautiful garlands to warrior camouflage, enabling successful bunny stalking. Hamish’s delicate petal coating gives, not the impression of a modern man wearing an ‘in touch with my feminine side’ floral shirt, but of a sparkling Mardi Gras queen complete with waving plume tail! Ho hum……:/ However amongst the flowers, there are also tiny green and black fly, perfectly created spiders, a beetle or three, a small elk, a couple of tawny coloured moths, a meandering cete of badgers, grass seeds, most of an oak tree, a small patch of clover, more grass seeds, and a weasel. Coffee time, I feel

Yesterday, after our walk, I was concerned to see a bloody paw print as I was removing collars and leads. I couldn’t tell who it belonged to as they milled around waiting to be towel dried (Hamish loves doing his Yoda impression – go, on admit it, we’ve all done it!), so it was paw inspection time. Eight paws later and no sign of anything – no splits, slits, cuts, nothing. It obviously wasn’t that bad then, thought I. This morning I was alarmed to see another blood red paw print – again paw check time, again nothing. Whilst they had breakfast, I stepped outside for a cig, and there it was – a little pile of red brick dust, which, when mixed with water, turned to bloody red! Haven’t a clue where it came from. Is Pagan living up to her name and practicing a Voodoo protective spell? Or is she trying to purify and cleanse Hamish of his impure, and quite frankly, randy thoughts? Who knows, but whilst the mystery of the Bloody Paw is solved, my mind is now onto where the brick dust came from. Badgers – got to be the badgers

 

 

 

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A Jumble of Stuff!

Hamish has always been the type of well adjusted and secure dog that has never felt the need to prove himself with daring deeds or dramatic gestures; Pagan goes bowling into anything, nothing phases her, but Hamish, proud and aloof, stands apart (or hiding tbh). Today, however, he deigned to follow his sister into the murky depths of the pond for a cool off. Realising he was in up to his elbows and yet, was still alive and unharmed – no killer ducks, or murderous moorhens, he got completely over excited and went a little bit crazy – even Pagan left him to bound and twist joyfully by himself. Bravely, in giant leaps, he crested the pond bank, water flying from his fur and sending rainbow prisms into the sun, put his paw in a rabbit hole and fell over. Oh well :/

As the sun was hiding behind the clouds, it seemed like the perfect morning to venture down to the river with the beasts – there is no shade so we can’t walk there if the sun is too hot. The bank has become horrendously overgrown – cleaver, nettles, rushes and so on, that getting down to the waters edge would have been a nightmare with leaded dogs. The swans drifted elegantly through the lily pads on the water’s smooth surface, and I think I could hear chips and squeaks from among the bullrushes where, just possibly, nests were hidden. Pagan loves taking a prolonged dip in the river – she swims along and I match her up on the bank; it took her a while to find a slightly flattened track down to the waters edge, but in she went – a cross between a shark and an otter with attitude. She emerged, triumphant, shaking shining droplets of water over us. Hamish, with his new found paddling bravery, followed the track to the water for a little drink. There followed an almighty splash, followed by smaller ones and a bout of sneezing. I peered over the edge to see Hamish emerging from the depths, looking incredibly pleased with himself, river water dripping from the tip of his tail to his furry ears. He bounded up to us, dancing and smiling joyously (there is nothing in the world as joyous as a happy malamute), spraying water everywhere, and with happy, smiling bounces, tritt trotted all the way home! I love my furry demons! PS I have no doubt that his dip was accidental, and not a sudden bout of derring-do lol

 

I have just smashed a bowl (and not the intentional Greek wedding kind of smash – this Related imagewas the ‘oh bugger’ kind). It got me thinking, as most things do, that we have a much more intimate and personal relationship with mugs, than other crockery. Whilst plates and bowls house our food prior to, and during, eating, mugs hold our coffee, tea, and when necessary, gin! We also tend to spend more time choosing the design, and style, that will hold our chosen beverage – or maybe that’s just me

 

What could be more relaxing than a quiet stroll through the cool, shadowy woods at five am? It was all going so well – dogs padding along silently, young jackdaws calling, while jumping from branch to leafy branch in the canopy, every plant lush and verdant. You’re all waiting for it to go horribly, horrendously wrong, aren’t you? I was musing on Descartes theory of dualism (see, you can’t take the student outta this girl lol) when The Creature From Alien Attached Itself To My FACE!!!!! Jesusholyshitinamug!!! It was huge, with the hatred of all the wasps in the world rolled into one giant mosquito-like creature! I swear I could see its eyes and fanged grin (I know, I’m probably completely out on the physiology, but I’m not bloody googling it – too busy recovering with gin) through its muscular, many jointed legs that seemed to cover my eyes.Getitoffme! I slapped and Image result for face hugger alien monsterflapped about, exciting the demons, who, naturally, joined in the game, not realising my impending doom. Finally, still intact, it buzzed off, and just about intact, I carried on, Descartes forgotten, and hand waving in front of my face to prevent any further attacks by prehistoric megamossies! Maybe the fields tomorrow

 

I’m a student and I write for a sort-of living – so constantly either busy or feeling guilty because I should be busy. My last module has finished and unless I have to resit my exam (which I probably will :/ ) official study is over until October. I have also finished my Related imagelatest writing contract, and it’s too hot to whore myself out for more contracts today, so what do I do? The dogs are flat out, I want to be flat out, but feeling all lost and stuff – I never have nothing to do! This is weird lol

I feel really lost without the guilt of study avoidance to mentally fight with! I know, I’ll ease that lost feeling by avoiding writing contracts! Phew, that was a close one – I almost did some work 😉

Apparently malamute’s feet smell like popcorn – I will keep you updated once I’ve got close enough to mine to sniff them. And my discoveries and insights today amount to – dogs seem to show emotion initially with their left eye, followed by right. Don’t say you never learn anything lol

Hamish didn’t want his blueberries this morning, so he made a little pile of rejected fruit in the corner of his crate, and curled up into a tight ball away from it; he’s safe now lol

Walking back it was so hot that I took the demon’s headcollars off; they were just slouching along, waiting to reach the water bowls. Other than magpies, pigeons and the occasional flat squirrel, we rarely see anything to wake them up on the short stretch of lane to home. However, this morning, we were granted the magical gift of seeing not one, but two gorgeous, rich russet coated foxes within yards of each other. Plush pelted, glossy and fit – they were stunning, just trotting along, with a long easy stride, tails low and ears pricked. Hamish didn’t know what to do first – he looked across at his sister several times, considering a slapsie fight, but managed to keep his adrenaline in check – which was a relief for both Pagan and myself. Without the addition of a headcollar, they are even harder to hold – I say harder, I actually mean impossible! There is definitely something to be said for heat weary malamutes – phew! Coffee, revision and sleepy dogs – perfect!

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Just seen another, or one of the pair from this morning, gorgeous fox dancing around the garden! Jumping and twisting in the dusk, glowing orange, rich with life and vibrancy – a beautiful vision. Foxes are special to me – I often ‘see’ my own fox in my dreams – a sneakily cunning Cheshire cat grin on it’s pointy face!Image result for toothy foxes

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For a few months now, I’ve suspected that the local Elizabethan manor farmhouse has been sold – new fences and big metal gates put up, structural work on the house and outbuildings, new, weird feathery fronded crops (which aren’t doing too well) in the fields and a freshly creosoted summer house (seriously, who creosotes a summer house?). But today was the giveaway – peacocks! Fucking peacocks – wandering out of their garden gate and into the fields! The beasts (not breasts ffs) didn’t know where to look; these big, vibrant birds, strutting around as though they owned the place, Image result for stupid peacocksstretching wings and opening their fan-like tails – stunning! However, not so stunning when there are two demons, who, having quickly gathered their senses (well, Pagan had, Hamish was just going along for the ride) are rapidly bearing down on the ostentation (yes, I checked) of peacocks. The birds, finally, made a flurried dash for the gate and safety, screaming blue murder as they went, the dogs stopped, watching as the rather plump birds got stuck in the narrow gateway, and I think I broke a rib laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation – five fat peacocks struggling to get through the gate en masse! Not so elegant now, are you, you stupid birds lol

OMG when does my mind stop adding extra words? Just making revision notes on functionalismas an objection to dualism – using the example of bicycle brakes and what Related imagerealises the functional role of stopping the bike. ‘If I take away the proper brake, and replace it, this also realises the role of the brake, even if it’s something weird involving a coat hanger and a badger’ – WTAF a badger? Seriously, where does that come from? I have an exam looming, and I’m on about badgers? Fucking hell…….

 

More Malamute Adventures (& one that however hard I try, I can’t blame on the dogs)

My beasts never fail to amaze me – often in an embarrassingly bad way, but today they were fab. I met up with a Kent group of mally and sibe owners for a group walk locally. 18740677_10159235103050497_3293180578611957350_nBeing that it was too warm to do much for me and the demons, I thought I’d just pop along to say hello, then meet them at the end (dashing home for coffee in between lol). I had warned everyone that mine could be…..um a tad over-exuberant and hadn’t quite grasped the etiquette of a meet ‘n’ greet situation, but yet again, they let me down! They were brilliant – greeting every dog fairly calmly, and even, dare I say it, even wanting to play (tentatively) with the only other malamute there! Now, I look like a liar lol

UPDATE: We went back to meet everyone after their walk, and found them sitting outside my local, recovering in the shade. And I am pleased to report that the beasts (not breasts, please note – **for new readers, see comments below regarding my breasts – I do not bring them up in conversation without serious cause – I am embarrassed for my filthy minded friends 😉  – and for blog readers, my posts are released on Facebook first) were still in the mood for love, not war. Hamish did decide, however, that the other malamute was a bit scary and needed growling at – my giant wuss then hid his head between my knees – a dog to be proud of lol

****Offensive Content Warning***
Today’s walk is brought to you by the letters ‘Fucking Hell’ and ‘Thought I’d never get home’! Today, I fell down a ditch – not any old ditch, mind, the ditch from hell. Deeper than me, with near vertical sides, half full of rank water, and rocks – which my head said a far too intimate hello to. There were brambles, nettles, probably glass, almost certainly dead things, and skeletons of previous ditch victims. Dizzy, wet, with blood dripping Image result for cliff faceeverywhere (okay, maybe a slight exaggeration), I weighed up my options. I have a team of strong sleddogs here, who pull all the time – this should be easy! I’ll just ‘hike on’ and they can pull me out! However, ‘Hike on, dogs’ apparently means lie down and relax these days. I threw the last biscuit in my pocket in the hope that they would chase after it – nope, they missed that one. Fucking hell, there were no branches to grab onto, the gate post was too far to throw a lead round it and pull myself out. I climbed, and slid down, 7 or 8 times, and had all but given up, awaiting my fate. They would find a sad corpse, with two loyal starving, barely alive malamutes Image result for skeleton lying downwaiting, ever patient, for me to return to them – yeah right! One last ditch attempt (pardon the pun lol) and with much scrambling, sliding, and relief, I made it out! I survived! The dogs, immune to any distress, shook themselves and pulled towards home – fucking bastards, now they sodding ‘hike bloody on’! I have a nasty cut across my knee (which was the dodgy one anyway), countless scratches, thorns, bruises, and lumps, and a severe and long lasting disappointment in my so-called sleddogs ;). Lassie would’ve helped, if Hamish hadn’t eaten him/her/who knows first.

A follow up to yesterday’s apparently hysterical misfortune – still containing potentially offensive language 😉
In order to unplug the laptop, I have to crawl under the table – normally not a problem. However, last night I had to slide off the sofa to the floor, and because I couldn’t bum shuffle as my knee had failed me, I had to wriggle worm like across the floor. The demons thought this was great fun and insisted on joining in – fucking hell, it was much less fun for me! Anyway, eventually I crawled into bed, and got vaguely comfy – I couldn’t turn over, so I sort of lay there, stuck all night. This morning, I, with much ‘steady on’ing, and ‘Fucking stooooop’ing made it round the fields. Fortunately, the buns had taken pity on me and respectfully hopped back to their burrows on sight. As I approached the scene Related imageof yesterday’s horror, I swear I heard an evil chuckle, and when I stared down into it – from a safe distance, plus some, the ditch definitely smirked – fucking bastard! It’s times like this that make me wish I had someone, but I’m home now, housework done, dogs sleeping, coffee made, and I’m quite glad it’s just me lol. At least there’s no one to laugh at me trying to stand up because my bastard, fucking, shitting knee has seized up in protest!

 

A pretty eventful walk this morning; after opening the back door, the dogs, as usual pinged to the end of their leads, but Pagan kept running with no ping! Fortunately, it confused her as much as me, and she ran back when I called. Back inside, a hasty repair was made to her lead eg added another clip and off we went. Both beasts were puzzled by the extra jingling coming from Pagan’s neck, which elicited extra boundy excitement. The walk itself was hot and humid, with the demons sharking through the dew soaked grass in absolute delight. We emerged through the bushes surrounding the cricket pitch, only to come upon Gertie, the Pink Jack Russell!!! We haven’t seen her, or her Grunting Owner for months. This apparently vicious little girlie, who has to be muzzled when around other dogs, immediately jumped on Hamish for licky snogs, and Pagan danced for joy. The demons didn’t last long in the heat and were soon piles of panting fluff on the grass, but Gertie kept leaping on their backs; all three were in doggy heaven. Meanwhile, Grunting Owner grunted, and I tried to keep the potential deadly tangle of leads untangled, not wanting a repeat of the Maypole Incident that is eternally etched on my brain. The beasts are now snoring, and I have coffee!

 

The Last Few Weeks – catch up

Pagan is such a hard bitch that she doesn’t even shake the water off after a swim Image result for grrlanymore – she drip dries and doesn’t care! Unlike wussy Hamish who doesn’t do the whole getting wet thing mmmmkay

For the last two weeks, right by the field gate, there have been two young buns; they sit close to each other nibbling on the grass, quite happy in each others company. On seeing us, one runs to his nearby burrow, the other has further to go – down the track for several hundred yards before reaching the safety of home. This happens every morning, and every morning the beasts go wild, as though it’s never happened before. I always wonder if the second bun has no local friends – mates in his ‘hood, if he has ideas above his station, going to see his posh mate in the bigger, better situated burrow, or is just hangin’ with the cool clique? If I look closely, will I see eyeliner, crimped fur, and little Siouxsie and the Banshees tee shirts? Are they the Goth kids? I wonder sometimes if my view is tainted by my own youth – nope, obviously not at all lol

 Not sure if it was Bunny Party Night last night, or just lots of slutty buns just wanting a quick fumble, but this morning there were rabbits everywhere; hopping out of one

Party Bunny by Mythal
by Mythal

burrow, running along in front of us for a few hundred metres, before diving gratefully into another. It was sheer chaos, and with the mud underfoot, there were a few choice words uttered/yelled/screamed lol. But we made it home and now they are snoring away, and I’m knackered – obviously far too knackered to start revising for hours lol

 More revision today – not sure if it’ll make any sense in the end, but it’s jogging my memory on what we’ve studied so far. A damp, humid plod this morning; Pagan keep her flag waving til the end, but Hamish dropped his half way round – it was just too muggy. He’s now collapsed in the kitchen without even a song! Of course, there may also be an element of sulking after I unintentionally flattened his tail when removing his headcollar. That woke him up – whoopsie, I’m a bad mummy lol

 Today, I must study, must make readable, understandable notes, use a highlighter (or several) and maybe even coloured pens too. I have tiny Post It notes (as ever, huge thanks to their inventors, Romy and Michelle) to stick, probably randomly by this stage, throughout my notes. And I must get it through my head that stationery, which I love, Image result for stationerydoes not mean the same as stationary, which, confusingly, I also love – today the two must be separated and one left out in the rain. Talking of which, it was a hot, steamy and wet (not in a good way!) trudge this morning; Pagan just plowed on, sharking through the long, rain soaked grass, while Hamish took great pleasure in brushing past me at every opportunity – sharing the delights of wet legs (again, not in a good way). But now they are snoring away, in contented piles of doggy dreams, and I have coffee, text books, and a reluctant brain lol

 Now is obviously the season of the Thickie Rabbit! Ignorant to the teeth bearing down on them, they hop leisurely along the path, pausing every now and then to sit up and sniff the air. Every day has that lazy, stretchy bank holiday feeling for the Thickie Bun. But not for me – being dragged along by frothy mouthed, wild eyed, barely tamed demons is not the best fun in the world! Bloody bunnies – Beatrix Potter don’t know them too well, do she!
P.S. Just a pondering, but of course it could be that Clever, Sneaky Rabbit is drawing the beasts away from her burrow of kits? Am I doing her a disservice? My shoulders say who cares the outcome is the same – ouchie!

 Well, that’s it – the last assignment for this module has been submitted, so now I can relax? ……Oh no, not at all…EXAM coming up fast. So revision it is……and coffee! The beasts are both so good when I have to work, or have my head in a book, manically making notes; they will play together, with only the minimal input from me. They let me know that they want my attention in subtle, affectionate ways – Pagan will throw a toy at my head with pinpoint accuracy, and Hamish will make a sudden leap onto my shoulders from behind, with less accuracy, and more violence. Fortunately this only happens………all fucking afternoon, the little bastards

 How To Tell if You Have a Malamute by Anon

  1. Take your dog to the backyard; have him sit (good luck) about ten yard from you, facing you, of course, and begin to call him by his/her name and every other endearment term you have for him/her. If the dog gets up and goes directly opposite to you: You might have a Malamute.
    2. Start by sitting your dog same way as before. Roll a tennis ball to him/her. If he/she watches the ball go bye with a mildly curious look on his/her face: You might have a Malamute.
    3. Repeat the above sitting exercise. Take a frisbee and gently toss it at him/her. If you hit the dog square between the eyes: You might have a Malamute.
    4. Repeat the above sitting exercise. Produce a bag of chips. If the sound of the bag being open makes him/her come to you to see what you are going to eat: You might have a Malamute.
    5. If he/she consistently destroys toys, bed spreads, furniture, etc. and then looks puzzled when you get on to him/her: You might have a Malamute.
    6. If he/she rushes to the door when the bell rings acting like a savage werewolf, but then does everything he/she can to get the visitor to pet hi/her: You might have a Malamute.
    7. If you are leaving for work in your car and prior to backing out of your drive way you spot him/her looking at you through a window the same way passengers of the Titanic looked at the last life boat being launched: You might have a Malamute.
    8. If you are trying to sit down on a couch and he/she beats you to it: You might have a Malamute.
    9. If the conditions around the food bowl looks like a tornado just hit the area: You might have a Malamute.
    10. If you are feeling sick and he/she stays by your side for hours on end without moving: You might have a Malamute.
    11. If he/she behaves completely different that every book on Malamutes say he/she should: You might have a Malamute.
    12. If he/she continues to be a lap dog even though he/she now weighs well over 100 pounds.
    13. If you let him/her go outside and he/she immediately goes looking for every squirrel he/she can find to run it up a tree: You might have a Malamute.
    14. If a visitor tries to lift your baby or grandbaby off the floor and he/she smiles at him showing every tooth God gave him/her: You might have a Malamute.
    15. If you have a dog hair factory operating inside your home: You might have a Malamute.
    16. If you love him/her despite all of the above and would not trade him/her for any other dog: You might have a Malamute.
    17. If you think you own this dog, but in reality, he/she owns you: You might have a Malamute.
    18. If he/she sleeps in way that contorts his/her body better than a Cirque de Soleil acrobat can: You might have a Malamute
    I hope you find the above list helpful.

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 Beginning to drag myself out of the pit that I’ve been residing in for the last few weeks – the screaming is still there, but it is receding slightly. So today, with a clean-ish house, and a not-so-clean mind, I will study. We had a lovely walk along the river, accompanied by a pair of rather curious swans. We watched the buzzards circling, the plovers running out of the crops where they were nesting, and the occasional plop of a water vole taking a swim. It was quiet, peaceful perfection – the beautiful symmetry of the natural world, the symbiotic lives working in harmony, each having its own role, yet existing in co-dependency. Until we found a fresh pile of horse crap – then it was ruined! lol

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Is Vaping the New Black?

I have smoked on and off for many years, through the time of cool smoking – when we imagine we looked so sophisticated, rebellious smoking – when the bad kids did it on street corners, adult smoking – picking my moments during a meal with friends to nip outside for a quickie (oh, if only) and feeling relieved to discover a dining companion also smoked, and finally shame smoking.

This is that time of guilt when we know full well how bad nicotine is for us, and yet we still light up; we chew gum, use breath freshener and dry shampoo (thank the lords for dry shampoo) to hide our shameful secret. We are horrified when we calculate our monthly ‘up in smoke’ spending, but yet still nip to the corner shop for a pack of twenty on the way to work. Because – well, for me anyway, we enjoy it. We enjoy that hit, that comfort found in embracing a familiar action. It’s relaxing, like coming home on a wet and windy day, closing the door behind you and leaning against a warm radiator – and if anyone mentions breast feeding and oral satisfaction in relation to smoking, may Nick-o-Tine strike you down in flames!

But for many of us, myself include, that pleasure fades, and the guilt gets stronger, building until The Day arrives – the day to Stop Smoking! I chose vaping as my method of quitting (this time) – still with the hit of nicotine, but without the other chemicals, nasty stale smoke aroma, and much cheaper (a major deciding factor).

Thus began the RESEARCH – I never do anything without copious research, Google really is my best friend! I spoke to people, consulted websites, and reviews, and finally came up with two I liked the sound, and more importantly, the look of – I bought both; an Innokin Endura T18, and an Aspire K1.

Both are stylishly sleek and gorgeous – stainless steel and glass affairs, slim and relatively lightweight, the batteries and coils (see, I know my vape tech talk) last long enough for me, and they are easy to top up with liquid (which, BTW, is poisonous to our furry friends).

Using the vape pen in company is a weird experience – you feel smug, and strangely cool! ‘Yes, look at me! I have given up the evil cigs, and now receive my drugs in a sophisticated, and elegant way, unlike you who still smokes the filthy white sticks; I am socially acceptable – you are scum’! It’s a weird feeling – openly inhaling drugs from a shiny little pen.

I look round, and find myself staring at other vape pens – mine looks smarter than yours, oh yours is shinier, I was even eying up a gorgeous brass, copper and polished wood steampunk vape the other day. The guy told me how he had searched high and low for the individual pieces that made up his drug delivering work of art. Apparently, it was frequently admired, and he had plans to create an even more flamboyant and enviable smoking pen.

Vapes are rapidly becoming The Accessory to have; people who have never smoked cigarettes are wielding them, wanting to share in the more stylish end of the vape market , hardened vapers share their experiences and preferences, and we all stare at each others, judging our own nicotine delivery system against others. Small cottage business are being started to supply the growing demand for unique, one-off vapes, with prices to match, and shops sell the liquids on brightly coloured little stands set next to their tills.

Are vapes becoming the new black? Yes, I feel they are, however, if they help me give up smoking, I don’t really care!

Opinions should be engraved onto a polished wood and copper vape pen and sent to me, or just comment here, please………………

 

Little things

Crikey, this morning was energetic! Being dragged along the lane, whilst everything else had that bank holiday lethargy – that relaxed sigh, that unknown to dog owners turn-over-and-go- back-to-sleep deliciousness, when suddenly a sharing platter for two scampered out of the brambles! Bébé lapin for breakfast, anyone? Poor thing screamed Image result for baby bunnyits head off as the beasts descended; it ran in panicked circles as they tried to catch it. Eventually, I had them under tight control-ish, and the relieved bunny could stagger home to impress his peer group with his tales of demons swooping from above (bet he misses out the ‘screaming like a girl’ bit lol). Luckily the dogs, for all their determination, didn’t manage to even touch him – phew! Anyway, after a recovery break, we continued on into the fields – which have now been harrowed to a fine till, although the wide verges are full of wildlife and interesting sniffs. Our next hazard, spotted across the flat, bare fields, were bloody pheasants – a whole herd of them (which apparently is a bouquet – seriously WTF? Whoever decides these collective nouns should be sacked). Well, this bouqu………nope, can’t do it! This herd of pheasants strutted en masse towards us, proud and stupidly aloof; the dogs went crazy – bouncing along on hind legs, darting towards the herd, which finally got the message, and took, screeching, to the sky! Can we go home now? I staggered along behind their fluffy butts for the rest of the walk, broken and swearing! I now haz coffee and tired dogs!

 

Well, that was alarming! Just had my grocery delivery, accompanied by two rather less than burly delivery men. Naturally, I asked why my small order of three bags necessitated the, IMO, overload of staff. One giggled girlishly, pointed at his team mate and said ‘not allowed to lift anything, so he’s driving’. Oh, a bad back, thought I, and just smiled in a polite and sympathetic-but-not-really kind of way. The ‘bad back’ chap handed me the thingy to sign, and as I took it, said ‘Yes, not allowed to lift, see, as I have a mild groin infection’. Jeez, mild, or not, take back your signy thing – I need to disinfect, like now! #feelingatadbleuch

 

Must Keep Up!

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Incense smouldering, dogs crunching breakfast, 1 contract finished last night, another one to start over the weekend, Plato to read, hot water to wash up in, coffee brewing and Marilyn Manson on full volume – does it get better? Well, I always said I was eclectic lol.

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It is interesting to note what advertisers leave out of their persuasive telly ads. For example, kitchen roll adverts; never have I heard them mention the fact that their paper Image result for kitchen roll imagetowels are so strong and tough that they can survive, in one piece, the stomach acid and intestinal peristalsis (yes, I did biology A level at some point in the murk of my past) of a malamute who’s eaten an all-you-can-eat-as-long-as-it’s-kitchen-roll-buffet! Who knew? This, I feel, is a missed marketing opportunity! I wonder if it’s reusable afterwards?

 Damn, thought I’d got away with it, but using a different brand of toothpaste involves a full body inspection, according to Malamute Protocol

 

Image result for kc good citizenEver since Hamish’s accident with the electric fence, he’s been funny about having his nails trimmed – I can touch his feet, play with his toes and tap them with the clippers, but the moment I hold his nail ready to trim, he gets nervous and grumbly. So, yesterday I took him to the Wussy Pooches Poofy Pamper Parlour (names have been changed to humiliate Hamish) for a nail clipping. He was brilliant – not a murmur out of him, despite my dire warnings to the groomer. It was a fabulous place, and runs play sessions, day care, and training, etc. Both him and Pagan (well, I couldn’t leave her out, could I?) had aImage result for extremely fluffy dog drawing lovely session in the toy room afterwards – complete with complimentary wees from both of them – whoopsie. I’m definitely going to take them again, and am considering doing the KC Good (in a malamute kinda way) Citizen Scheme thingy with them – eeekkkk! It’ll give them something to keep their far-too-active brains (or whatever Hamish has) busy, and, as I am used to being shamed completely by them on a daily basis, will complete my own humiliation – I consider it good training for my ego 😉 . What do you think? Fancy coming on a journey of fun, frolics and embarrassment in a malamute stylie with us? This is where we went: Little Dale Dogs in Hawkhurst, Kent.

 

I feel dreadful – trimming Pagan’s claws, and caught the quick! Poor lovie is really upset at me, and I don’t blame her. I is a bad, bad owner and am now in the doghouse – ironic really as I live in the doghouse lol Maybe I should be in the personhouse as that would be punishing?

 

Apparently using a cosmetic face mask alters your identity so much that it confuses dogs – well, my dogs anyway, well, just Hamish actually. He’s following me round everywhere, asking for reassurance – or biscuits; maybe it’s biscuits, actually I think it is biscuits. Nope, he’s still confused, even after biscuits. Silly boy!

 

Once one has scoffed all the dandelion flowers, one may substitute with daisies, Related imageaccording to Pagan – who knew?

 

Woohoo result finally back from my last assignment – highest result for philosophy so far! Does that mean it’s going in – like fuck it does! That stoopid bun from yesterday did exactly the same thing this morning – hopped out right in front of us, had a snack, a small wash and leisurely hopped away. Beasts were as confused by this as Related imageyesterday. Seriously, rabbits have no respect whatsoever these days, the whole world is going to hell in a hand cart (sort of loving that image – creaky, wooden, rickety woodwormed cart, held together with iron strapping, hand made nails and faded dreams – although it does also bring the idea of leprosy in some strange way – who knew? lol ). Anyways, I now have coffee and snoring dogs – perfect!

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Luckily I had the beasts close to me when stoopid bun hopped out right in front of us. He just sat there, looked around, and had a nibble on some grass that was so tasty that it overrode any inherent dog fear! The beasts looked up at me, looked at each other, looked at the bun, and then back at me. It’s fair to say, we were all a bit confused. Finally, Mr Bun, happily replete, hopped leisurely away from us, no rush, no fear, no brains, and we continued with our walk. Hey ho, life on the edge!

Fucking rabbit, fucking dogs, fucking painful arm!

After working hard all morning, I now have a tiny bit of breathing space, before I open the study books. The beasts are fully engaging with this whole spring thing! Pagan went deep river diving this morning, surfacing with a very fetching waterlily leaf mop cap, looking for all the world like a pink nosed Mrs Tiggy Winkle. I think Hamish would have been more delighted to wear it than she was, and it would’ve suited him better! She has then gone on to frolic through the garden, snaffling all the newly awakened golden dandelion flowers, whilst Hamish, after peeing on the daffodils,  lay and surveyed his kingdom (queendom lol) singing quietly to himself. I’m still sniggering at Mrs Tiggy Winkle!

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