Sunday, September 9, 2012

A nice quiet August - thank god!

Just what I needed. August turned out to be a not too social, active, or busy a month so I had plenty of time to recharge my batteries. Mind you, it was really hot with temperatures in the upper 30s a lot of the time so I spent much of the day sleeping under the fan in the lounge of on cold tiles wherever I could find them. My active period of the day usually started around 7pm, much to mum and dad's annoyance, as that was when they were just trying to sit down and watch a bit of telly. I had to keep watch at the wall, bark at anyone who dared to walk past, and do the occasional patrol around the property. It was not until about 10pm when it was getting quite dark that I thought it a good idea to go indoors and settle down!

When Auntie Jo and Uncle Rob left in July I took on the task of keeping Uncle Rob up to date on the progress of a new house build nearby which he had seen the start of. To this end I set up a little web site - for those who are curious - and each evening visit the site, take a few photos, and update the blog with the day's progress. Mind you, after only a week of work they all went off on the typical French 4 week August break so work has only just resumed.

Inspecting the build progress

Auntie Mary and Uncle Tim came over for the weekend, firstly to go to this nice restaurant in Homps, and then to the Montazels fete lunch which is always a good if rather silly afternoon so I hear. All of this is second hand as I did not go to either. Mum finished up in the fountain with all the kids and silly adults and was there for about half an hour! The others stayed dry!

More bread dear?

Uncle Stu being a gentleman

After that everyone just chilled out - some more than others. 

Two old codgers and me

As usual much bottle stuff was consumed.

Checking on consumption rates

A few days later my old mate Boudie came over for a swim and brought his mum and dad along too. That was nice because I had not seen them since the party.

Soggy Boudie
Well, better be off as it is another warm day so I need to go and hold the sofa down for a few hours whilst mum and dad go out to lunch. Speak to you all again soon.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

What a July I have had!

Yes, I know! This time it is nearly four months since my last post, for which I am truly sorry. No excuse really except that these days I seem to impart all my news via Facebook but that is of course no consolation for all my blog fans from over 60 countries around the world (seriously). I am sure that the Moscow Institute of Microbiology (again, seriously) must be distraught that they have not heard from me for all that time. However, enough of this grovelling.......lets bring you up to date.

July has been absolutely frenetic with visitors and social occasions and it is only in the last couple of days that any semblance of normality has returned to chez nous. At the beginning of the month we had a lovely surprise visit form Uncle Dave and Auntie Karen. Uncle Dave was working in Toulouse for a few days and phoned to ask if he and Auntie Karen could pop down to see us for a short visit. Directions on how to drive to us from Toulouse were despatched tout suite and in no time at all they were here and tucking into the bottle stuff. Some things never change! 

We had not seen them over here for a while so it was great to chill out and have a good old catchup. Auntie Karen and I renewed our friendship and spent loads of time together as she is a real animal lover, even if she does have two cats!

Oh, and by the way, did I mention that Uncle Dave just loves chocolate. Here is the proof!

All too soon their visit was over and a mere two days later it was the day of our big summer party. Auntie Pam and Uncle Barry came over early to help and I wandered around checking that everything was being done properly. Well, one has standards to keep. In no time at all the pool and deck were full of partying friends and once again a brill time was had by all. Sadly, Auntie Mary and Uncle Tim could not make it this year and their presence was missed by all.

Two days later, charging around as I do, I tweaked a muscle or tendon in a back leg so was hauled off to see the vet. Not the lovely Marie Christine as usual because she is about to have a baby, but a very nice man instead. No lasting problem I am pleased to say.
That gave us just five days until our next visitors arrived - this time Uncle Rob and Auntie Jo. Turns out mum and dad last saw them over six years ago and I had never met them so I was really excited. They are total dog lovers and we immediately bonded - it was like we had always been best friends. 

Uncle Rob is a big  cycling fan so it was very fortuitous that, two days after they arrived, the tour de France went through the next village to us. They all went to see it but I was not allowed as mum said something about dogs always causing pileups on the tour.

Only a few days later Uncle Tim and Auntie Mary came to stay together with Matthew and Natalie. Needless to say, as is always the case with that four, an afternoon and evening of eating, excessive bottle stuff consumption, and revelry was had by all.

Mum and dad took Jo and Rob (they said I could call them that) off to Andorra for the day so Uncle Stuart dropped in to see me a couple of times that day. To be honest, I was grateful to have the opportunity for a good long catchup kip as I was beginning to get a bit knackered by then.

And if that was not enough, we all went over to Auntie Mary's and Uncle Tim's for the day for another day of debauchery (except dad - he was driving).

Having originally come for a week, Jo and Rob finished up staying for ten days. That was great but it all went by so quickly and very soon it was time for them to load up their car with loads of bottle stuff and go back home. I was very sad the next day and spent most of it asleep. Never mind - hopefully they are going to come back in a couple of months - can't wait!

So July is nearly over, and I will be glad when it is. I just love company and social activities, but to be quite honest, there has been so much of it during July that I think I will need to sleep through August to recover. Be in touch again when I wake up.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hi Ya! I'm back.

All right - I know it has been over two months since my last blog and that by now even some of my more faithful readers will be on the verge of giving up waiting. There is no real excuse really except that at this time of year I seem to spend a lot of time curled up on a warm sofa so there is not a lot to report. That, coupled with a bit of writer's block, has meant that you have all been deprived of my journalistic ramblings for a while, and I can only say sorry. However, spring is in the air, Easter is about to descend upon us, and everything is bursting into bud (and in some cases blossom), so I now have no excuse for not communicating with you all once again.

So what have we all been up to since we last spoke? Well one thing that did not happen was the planned trip to the mountains as it was snowed off! A sudden burst of snow and ice just before we were due to depart closed the mountain roads, made life a bit unpleasant here, and meant that we could not go and join Auntie Jo, Uncle Roy, and my mate Boudie as planned. Still, at least it meant that I did not have to wear that damned coat.

It has been a time for jobs around the house so I have had to get into Quality Control mode and regularly inspect the work being done. Firstly, Uncle Stu came round to paint our lounge ceiling. Now you all know how much I adore Uncle Stu, but that did not stop me from casting a critical eye over his work. As usual, his work was beyond reproach.

Then mum and dad went into a mad frenzy of de-cluttering. The whole mezzanine floor in the garage was emptied out, three trailer loads of rubbish taken to the dump (I love going there), and masses of stuff put up for sale. Mum has booked a pitch at a forthcoming vide grenier (boot sale) to clear the rest of the stuff. There were also a lot of both mum and dad's "fat" clothes put on Ebay as they are now both much slimmer and have had to buy smaller clothes. I don't have that problem.

Mum went to the UK at the end of March to visit her dad so my dad and I had a great bachelor time together. We just chilled out together and I helped him out with a few jobs.

Last weekend it was the Toques et Clochers event which this year took part in the neighbouring village of Antugnac where my girlfriend Lilly lives. Now I did not go, but as far as I can make out, this is an excuse for some forty to fifty thousand people to gather together in a ridiculously small village, consume copious quantities of the bottle stuff, eat them selves silly, snog members of the band, and return home "over tired" and sunburnt. Not my cup of tea.

The latest project saw the return of Uncle Stu to help with the creation of a gravel pathway around the front garden - something which has been planned for a number of years. They have finally got stuck into it so once again I was in QC mode ensuring standards were maintained. Currently half completed, rain has stopped play for a few days.

So that's you all up to date again. I will try to post more regularly in future unless the hectic summer social life gets in the way. In the meantime I had better get some rest before the next burst of frantic activity.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Love my new winter warmer....NOT!

As some of you may well know, I am not a dog that is too fond of the cold, even preferring to spend my winter evenings snuggled up on the sofa in my duvet. It is probably due to the fact that I have very short fur, and not too much of it. Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

However, some things I draw the line at and when a parcel was recently opened and a brand new bright red DOG COAT produced I was ready to pack my bags.

It was carefully explained to me that next week we were going up into the Pyrenees to join my mate Boudie and his mum and dad at a ski resort for a few days and that, as the temperatures were forecast to get as low as minus 11 degrees during our stay, it was thought important that I should have some protection from the elements. I can see the logic in that but something a bit more fashionable and in a more subtle colour might have been more acceptable, and it would have been nice to consult me first.

I mean, how on earth can I be expected to pull in that abomination?

Next week I will give you all a report on my adventures in the mountains and whether or not my new attire impeded my natural charm and elegance with the ladies. In the meantime I need to get out of this thing and have a good rest to get over the shock of it all.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A tribute to Uncle Clive.

On Tuesday I lost a really great mate - my Uncle Clive. 

Although my mum and dad had known him for 27 years, I had only known him for 3 years, but that is most of my short life! He was a regular visitor to our house here in Montazels and he and I always had loads of fun together. I used to sit up with them when he and dad had their "evening discussions" with some of the bottle stuff, and, in his fitter moments, even joined me on a few of my walks. But it was our special moments together that I will always remember, with me curled up on his lap.

I know my mum and dad are really sad as well, but they too will recall the happy times - his infectious laughter, his irreverent comments on life, and his great kindness.

I do hope that the rest of his lovely family - Auntie Cathy, Grant, and Becky - will still come and visit us, but at the moment I am really sad for them and hope that they can take strength from the fact that he was a super bloke who was loved by everyone, including me.

The Brigdale family and me

Bon voyage, Uncle Clive, to wherever you are headed now. Thanks for being my mate.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Well, goodness gracious me - Cathar curries!

Earlier this week saw a large increase in activity around the kitchen with some lovely smells arising from whatever was going on there. The action levels reached a peak on Thursday morning, just before the unexpected arrival of some 13 of my favourite people, all of whom, for some reason, were dressed very strangely.

Soon all was revealed. I turned out that mum and dad were holding a Curry Tiffin lunch for a load of friends and that dressing up in true Indian style was requested. Some people excelled themselves at this challenge whilst others were a little more modest.

Another feature was the application of a large red dot between the eyes - apparently some Indian mark of one's status in society. Even yours truly was not excluded from this but then I suppose that is only right in view of my position in the social hierarchy of this family.

With dad in the role of head chef, some four large vats of curry together with a large assortment side dishes, nibbles, and other delicacies were served up followed by a scrumptious Indian dessert made by Auntie Jo.

Not unexpectedly, bottle stuff was, as usual, in good supply, but strangely there was also a pot of stuff which had various bottlestuffs emptied into it together with all sorts of spices and fruits and then heated up. Apparently this is called mulled wine - a new one on me - and it proved exceedingly popular. I did not get offered any to try so I cannot comment. However, the end result of all this imbibing was that a good time was being had by all.

I didn't manage to sample any of the curries either, but I did manage to snaffle a samosa, a bit of naan bead, and a bit of poppadum when no one was looking and they were yummy.

And now I also have a new best friend - Uncle Stuart and Auntie Jo's son Tom who was over here for Xmas. He is a lovely person and I spent quite a bit of time on his lap and even managed a bit of a snooze whilst I was there.

As I had been up all day organising and then socialising, and as Uncle Tim and Auntie Mary stayed over that night, it was very late by the time I actually hit the sack. Consequently I had a bit of catching up on my sleep to do the next day as well. Come to think of it, I might just need a bit more.

Oh, and by the way, it is three years to the day today that I came to live here in lovely Montazels. Where did those three years go?

Happy New Year everyone.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Frightening objects and an industrial injury

Now as you all know I am a big, brave hunt dog and not much scares me...... but I must admit that occasionally something rather silly does. The other day mum bought a new pair of kitchen tongs - and they frighten the life out of me. Maybe it's because they are purple.

And I have always been a bit worried by the big ceiling fan in the lounge but recently this star thing has appeared dangling below it and that is really scary. I have to sit and stare at it for hours....just in case!

Yesterday my nursing skills were called upon. Basically, dad fell off a ladder in the garage, landed on his head on the concrete floor, and was rapidly leaking blood everywhere. Mum tended to the practical aspects of stopping the blood flow, dressing the wound, and administering brandy whilst I stepped in to administer TLC and maintain a "concussion watch" just in case he had done any real damage.

Glad to say that thanks to our combined efforts he is fine today apart from a small lump on his head and some quite sore bits of body. I think I might need to slip back into an 'elf and safety advisor role to ensure there is no repeat.

Other than that, all is well on the run up to Xmas. Dad has still to buy some more bottle stuff but mum is pretty much on top  of the food situation. I understand we are having "eggs benedict royale" (smoked salmon instead of ham) for Xmas day brekkie so I will look forward to that!

Oh, and by the way, my ringworm has nearly all cleared up and I stop getting the daily daubes soon, thank goodness. And it has been raining for three days now!!!!!!

Being a care assistant turns out to be quite a tiring occupation, so the sofa beckons.