Friday, 26 September 2014

Blackberries are now off the menu!

A wee poem for the Feast of St Michael & All Angels
Mind those prickles, can be fickle.
Ease your hand in, come out slow.
Grasping just one precious berry
Black as night and ripe to go.
Berry dark and very shiny
Spill your secret, we must know
What's the legend that surrounds you?
Tell the tale from long ago.

On the feast day of St Michael
Just as mass was being read
Then the Devil fell from heaven,
Landed in a bramble bed.
How they pricked him, how he cursed them,
Called them names and scorched them black.
After that he pissed upon them
Swore once more and turned his back.
Michaelmas falls late September,
Eat them till that day arrives.
After that, please do remember,
Devil's piss may shorten lives!
Bon appetit!  Where's the custard, easy on the urine.
For all the smart arses amongst you, I am well aware
that Michaelmas falls on the 29th and that I am just a
tad early with this post but there is a very good reason
for this. 
Over the next couple of days I shall be changing address
for the fourth time this year and it looks likely that I shall be
without access to the internet for a while until my new
connection is installed.
Home at last!
All year I've felt a bit like a greyhound awaiting adoption
and hopefully, like all of them, I've finally managed to
find my "forever home" although no one ever knows what's
just around the corner which is what makes life
so exciting and a bit scarey at times.  Bring it on!
There will now be a short .....
Back soon - don't go away!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

A chatelaine no longer!

Yesterday at 0900 French time Chateau Long Dog
passed into new ownership - lock, stock and
smoking septic tank!

Goodbye dear chateau.
Ring the church bell,
Toll the death knell
For a lifestyle that's all over and done!
I've sold off the chateau
I've eaten the gateau
So now I'm a girl on the run!

Last sunset from the terrace.
The staff have all been notified by text
that their jobs no longer exist.
That's the way it's done these days.
I shall particularly miss Joel, my gardener,
no one could trim a bush quite like him.
Merci cheri, it was fun!

I wonder if he'd consider relocating?
What's left of my long suffering goods and chattels
(that is all the stuff that hasn't been eaten by the rats)
are now on the way back to Blightey
in the back of an unmarked Luton van
destination unknown.

Refugees waiting to hop on lorries to England
Strict instructions have been issued
not to hang about at Calais as I don't want to
find some uninvited visitors in the back
when we go to unload this end.
Right now I don't even have a bed myself
let alone a guest room.
I do love a good cliff hanger so I shall leave you
with this thought .....

Wouldn't you know it, they're all shut except one!
As one door closes another one's
quite likely to slam shut in my face too!
Don't miss the next thrilling episode of
Long Dog Rides Again!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Autumn Equinox

At precisely 10.29pm EDT on 22nd September 2014
it will be the Autumn Equinox and the first day of fall.
From here on out the temperatures will begin to drop,
the days will begin to shorten and the nights,
inevitably, will become darker and longer.
Foliate head ceiling boss from Norwich Cathedral.
The Druids called this time of year Mea'n Fo'mhair when
they traditionally honoured the Green Man, god of the forest,
by offering gifts of cider, wine and herbs to the trees.
The acorn is the equinox symbol and thank goodness for
that because it gives me a chance to add something
cross stitchey to this post.  To whit a snippet of acorn
border taken from Froth & Bubble plus a couple of
insecty hangers on for good measure.  Where's the bug spray?
Always leave them with a smile, so how about this?
It always managed to raise a snigger or two
back in my gymslip days (and I don't mean when I
was at school either - but that's yet another story
for yet another day).

Sunday, 21 September 2014


There now, that got your attention instantly.
There's no use denying it Camilla, because
I saw your nostrils flare at the very thought..
They're "boy horses" Alice dear, do try to keep up.
A close second to my lifelong passion for running dogs
is my love of horses and it occurred to me last night
that I hardly, if ever, mention them in my writing or poems.
 Today I intend to put matters right and have decided
 to dedicate this entire post to these beautiful creatures.
Which means that my sister, for one, can look away now
as she's certainly not into animals, although if some of her
early boy friends were anything to go by that's not strictly true!
Laurence of Arabia perhaps?
I was always a very horsey teenager and used to be a working pupil
at the South London School of Equitation back in the day.
What that actually meant was that in return for shovelling
mountains of dung, picking out endless hooves, filling water
buckets and haynets at some ungodly hour of the morning in return
I was allowed to ride free of charge.  Bliss.

Many's the time I would be seen hurtling up Streatham Common
at full tilt on some wild eyed mount in the pouring rain.
It always rained in St Reatham as I recall.
I even won my first rosette riding side saddle and
dressed as Her Majesty the Queen
at the Tooting Bec Show.  Well they couldn't really let
anyone take precedence over the Queen - now could they?

And then I discovered boys .....
By the way, this one's for you Ginger.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Walk report

Same time, same route but never the same twice.
Today there was no sign of the tall, thin, elderly couple
with the two Bedlington Terriers.
Neither, I am glad to say, were there any remains of
dead toads still in evidence - nature's undertakers
had taken care of that although there was a
fresh little squirrel corpse laying patiently at the
roadside awaiting the arrival of the night shift beetles.
Such bounty - sign of a hard winter to come?
I spoke briefly with two ladies being towed along by exuberant mongrels,
the ponies were taking advantage of some late
lush grass and the Doberman slumbered on blissfully as always
on his bench in the sun.
He doesn't need to mount guard, just one look is enough
to deter all but the most faint-hearted.  Besides,
the old spaniel slumbering next to him will soon tip him the
wink if anything seems amiss and in need of his attention.
But the highlight of my amble undoubtedly has to be a close
encounter with a little Westie puppy who, on this momentous day
for Scotland of which he was totally oblivious, rolled
over for a tummy tickle and then proceeded
to gnaw at my newly varnished toes.
Cheeky little sod, men have died for less!

I don't know about you .....

..... but does anyone else find the current vogue
for exhibiting words of wisdom on FaceBook,
office walls, greetings cards and even,
occasionally, in the loo a little strange?
The only acceptable occasion, of course, is when
they appear on a sampler.

American sampler, Rhode Island 1785

Let's have a look at a few of these edifying
little homilies and perhaps you'll understand
what I'm getting at.

Take this one for example,
Now the way I read this situation is that the
best this poor guy can do is kiss his arse goodbye.

Well meaning words I don't deny but what if ......
..... you were to take them literally,
like the driver of this vehicle obviously did,
and there was no immediate left turn.
Are you beginning to get my drift?
This one is an absolute classic ......
(although look before you leap would have been more apt)
OK Theodore, what do you suggest?
And if you say "hang on in there" I'm going to kill you
if I ever get down from here.
How about this one?
I found it under the section marked "love",
My advice in this situation is be careful what you wish for.
I will leave you to ponder on this,
signed Julia Line, the most successful woman on the planet
- no, make that the universe (I've had a lot of practice).

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

I'm a little worried as .....

... I seem, of late, to have been in the grips of a lace obsession.
  You may even have noticed it yourselves
from the topics or one or two recent posts.
My inspiration for Bagatelle
It can mean only one thing - I am going soft in my old age.
I am in touch with my feminine side and this troubles me.
Edwardian lace
What has happened to the feisty Julia de Long Dog
well known for her love of leather and coarse woollen homespun.
Could it be my remaining, solitary hormone deciding to
have one last fling before it's too late?
Do you ever wake up feeling a bit "ruff" in the mornings?
Heaven forbid, am I likely to start wearing facepowder
and combing my hair on a daily basis.
These are troubling admissions for me to make but lace is indeed
very beautiful, extremely girly and utterly irresistable.
Darling lace thingey
Will you all excuse me for a moment all may not be lost after all.
A simple colour change was all that was necessary!
"Jake, take those off immediately"
Beauty is in the eye of the (be)holder
"and don't let me ever catch you wearing my knickers again!"

Monday, 15 September 2014

Bufo Bufo - The Common Toad

Don't bother to ask how my walk went today because
I'm going to tell you anyway -  horrendous.
It was like finding myself trapped in a corner of
Hieronymus Bosch's painting The Garden of Earthly Delights!
As a child I grew up with stories from Kenneth Grahame's
The Wind in the Willows and avidly followed the
adventures of Ratty, Mole, Badger and, of course my favourite
character, Mr Toad.  I love these warty, misshapen creatures and have
even shared my living room with a few when my children were young
and insisted upon bringing them indoors for further observation.

Back swiftly to my constitutional before everyone becomes
totally confused by my many tangents.
I had already found a 5p piece, a couple of conkers
and a small heart-shaped stone by the time I turned into
Mill Lane but I certainly wasn't prepared for the scene
of utter carnage that I was about to find there!

Toads at certain times of the year gather together in groups called
"knots" or "jubilees" and I think perhaps a recent
sudden downpour had disturbed them.

In any event they had certainly taken to the road where they
had been mown down, very recently, in their dozens by passing motorists.
A couple I found were badly injured and barely alive so with the
aid of a stout stick I found in the hedgerow I helped them on
to their last reward.

I then promptly threw up rather noisily in full view of some nearby workmen
and decided to call it a day - bloody Monday!

I shall not be having toad in the hole for my supper
tonight (or indeed for some considerable time to come).
Anyone fancy a muffin - don't even go there Camilla
my sense of humour has temporarily left me
along with my lunch!

The Lace Bomber of Warsaw

Polish artist NeSpoon is fighting a one woman
war against urban decline.
Underpasses, empty buildings, pavements,
sewer grates - nothing deters the lace bomber.
She prefers to think of her work as
"illegal city decor" and goes about Warsaw
spreading her magic on anything
ugly that offends her eye.
No job too big for this feisty lady.
Every grotty building that she passes by,
She doesn't worry, she doesn't cry,
Another of her specialities - Public Jewelery
She just spreads her kind of happiness
As she goes by,

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Maybe it's because they're all Londoners ......

If there's one thing guaranteed to get all you ladies going,
and a couple of sailor friends too,
it's when I write a post that includeas a fit bloke or two.
In fact I've even had a few requests which, alas,
could get me into a whole load of trouble if I complied.
So today I'm going to sing the praises of Cockney men,
the best blokes in the world, and where better to start than
the best known of them all - Michael Caine,
born 1933 in Rotherhithe.
Next up good old Terence Stamp, born 1938 in Stepney.
They don't come more Cockney than that and you certainly
wouldn't go turning him out of bed on a cold day.
Or even a warm one come to that!
David's surname may be Essex but he's definately from the Smoke.
Plaistow to be precise in 1947.
That was a good vintage (same year as me).
There's something for everyone on this blog and so if you
prefer a younger model you couldn't do any better than
little Danny Dyer born in Canning Town, 1977.
However do not be fooled by this impostor.
Dick Van Dyke born in 1925 in West Plains, Missouri
may have passed himself off as a chirpy Cockney sparrow
in Mary Poppins but you've only got to hear his
accent to know something's not quite pukka.
The London tube map
And for those of you not in the least bit bothered by a bit
of rough or smooth here's a boring Cockney cross stitch
to keep everyone happy.  Ertcha!