30 November 2017

Quiet Baking

Kat was working a long, cold shift last night finishing at 6.00 a.m. this morning.  She ‘phoned to ask if she could come home to sleep as there was noisy building work outside her barracks.  We told her she didn’t have to ask.  She replied that she had been brought up to be polite!

Rick was ecstatic when she walked through the door at breakfast time although he can’t understand now why he can’t go into her bedroom and sleep with her.  We are tip toeing around the flat trying to be as quiet as mice and stop Rick from barking.

“I think I’ll do some baking.”
"No, baking."
“Can you bake quietly?”
“Of course I can.”

Of course I can’t.   It was like I was suddenly suffering from Tourette’s Syndrome or performing Bjork's It's Oh So Quiet.  The harder I tried to be quiet the clumsier I became.  I seemd to have no control over my movements.  First the stack of baking trays in the cupboards toppled over.  Then I knocked the coffee bean tin onto the floor.  When the oven timer went off I stabbed wildly at the button trying to turn off the loud beeping.  I was a nervous wreck by the time I finished.

The cakes turned out nice though.  And Kat hasn’t come out of her bedroom yet so she must be fast asleep.  Shhh.

28 November 2017

Graduation Day

Just to make the blogosphere even more dog-heavy here is a picture of Rick with his doggy diploma and rosette.  Paul was chuffed to pieces with his rosette, Rick couldn't understand what all the fuss was about.

26 November 2017


 Today is a family Sunday at home.  Kat is here for the weekend, tempted by roast chicken for lunch.  Rick is absolutely smitten with Kat and doesn’t leave her side.  He likes pretty young women.

Yesterday Kat and I went to Royal Wootton Bassett to buy a dress pattern and some fabric.  She wants to make an evening gown for a masked ball next month.  The shop had a wonderful selection of colourful silks and satins but we ended up buying black crepe.  Kat has spent most of the morning carefully cutting the paper pattern.  She is very careful and meticulous with her sewing and has far more patience than me.  Rick is sitting at her feet snoozing as she cuts.

He is settling well into his winter home.  He sleeps in his bed at night in our room and never jumps up onto the bed.  Apart from two nights ago when he suddenly landed on top of us.  I think he might have been cold. I thought it was Paul getting amorous.

25 November 2017

Flying the Flag

It is freezing cold outside today, early this morning Rick jumped on the bed (he has never done this before) and tried to get under the duvet with us.  Paul is making tomato and lentil soup for lunch, just the thing for a wintry day.  Kat is on her way from Brize Norton to spend the weekend at home, she enjoys her home comforts.

There are hardly any leaves left on the trees outside now and I can see clearly into my neighbours’ gardens.  The house opposite has got a Union Jack flag flying.  This practice of flag flying seems to be coming more widespread but I’m not sure I understand why people want to do this unless they live in a castle or a stately home.  Is it just a statement to say I’m British and proud of it?  I’m British but I wouldn’t dream of sticking a flagpole in my garden and hoisting the Union Jack.  There again I spend half the year living abroad so perhaps I’m not qualified to pass comment. Maybe it’s connected to this recent upsurge in nationalism in the country.

(In Denmark it is illegal to fly a foreign flag unless it is put up next to a Danish one.)

24 November 2017

Wiltshire Walk

sheep grazing in the Wiltshire countryside

It’s been a pleasant wintry but sunny day so we took Rick for a long walk in the Wiltshire countryside this afternoon.  We walked along the old railway track that leads through the Bowood Estate.  The railway used to link Calne to Chippenham and was opened in 1863 by the Great Western Railway, falling into disuse in 1965 after the Beeching Axe.

the old railway track
Rick sniffed excitedly at the leafy high banks of the track and suddenly became fixated on one single spot.  As we looked the soil started moving and erupting and we were rewarded by the sight of Mr Mole poking his head out to say hello.  Further on a grey squirrel leapt from branch to branch high up in the trees, Rick went absolutely berserk.   His day was finished perfectly when a pheasant ran across in front of him, giving its loud distinctive call.  Good job he was on a leash.

22 November 2017


The Buttercross, Chippenham

Today we went into Chippenham, our nearest market town, to do some clothes shopping.  We weren’t looking for any designer shops but headed straight to Millets.  Half an hour later we came out of the shop laden with new waterproof walking boots and jackets.  Trendy, fashionable footwear seems to be a thing of the past now that we have a dog to walk.  The boots that I bought back in the summer in France let in water but my new Berghaus boots are guaranteed to be waterproof.  Time will tell.

I also picked up a new Vileda mop, ideal for quickly cleaning up muddy paw prints.

Chippenham is a typical old, Wiltshire town with the Buttercross, a stone structure dating back to 1570, standing in the market square; it was used for the sale of meat and dairy products. In 1889 the Buttercross was sold for £6 and re-erected as a gazebo in the gardens of a local manor house where it subsequently fell into disrepair.  It was only restored to its original site in town in 1995 with funding from local people.