I usually write my ‘Pollyanna Post’ on a Friday ……..but, heck, I’m nothing if not a rebel ! So here I am …on a Saturday ….listing things which have gladdened my heart this week.
Well, first ….the weather has been glorious ….really sunny and warm ….and that always makes everything seem better. Ironically, as I type this, the sky is clouding over and the cheery, rather too-smiley, TV-weather-girl, is forecasting a “cold front and rain” …….. Ah well, I guess we have to have rain ….and it does mean that I don’t have to water my flower tubs, so that’s something to be glad about !
Now, anyone who knows me well will be aware that I am not the most maternal woman. I never “coo” over babies. I have never felt “broody” and I find it difficult to adjust to the modern way of letting children ‘dictate’ to adults. I suppose I’m of the “children should be seen and not heard” persuasion …… in fact, preferably ‘not seen’ either. However, I love my two children and I’m enormously glad to have my lovely grand-children. They are a delight; all five of them. And, this week, a special mention must go to my gorgeous grand-daughter, Lillian.
She has had to cope with a lot during the last couple of years ….I need not go into details … But suffice to say that she has dealt with changes in her life that would have had many other youngsters “going off the rails”. But, instead of moaning about things being “unfair” ……. instead of neglecting her studies …… she has pulled herself together and coped admirably with personal crap and dyslexia and, not only put in a stunning performance in her school’s production of “The Woman in Black” but also been short-listed for the position of Head Girl. Well done Lillian ….you make me very happy and extremely proud. And “well done” to my daughter Louisa, who has raised such a lovely young woman.
Yes, my grand-children are certainly a constant ‘Reason to be cheerful’ ………
Some other things that have made me smile this week,
- The beauty of nature, all around me ……
- The quiet, early mornings ……before anyone else is awake.
- People watching in the city.
- Public transport ……. I love to take the bus into town ….is that odd ?
- Finding a lovely, floaty kimono top and then discovering that its in the ‘Sale’ at half-price !
- Mangoes …my favourite fruit.
So, there you have it …. my list for this week. I would love to know what has made you happy recently.
My old, reblogged, story about Tarquin was very well received and so I wondered if you would like to read another old blog post about him.
Well, if you wouldn’t, you can always skip the next bit….but for those of you who are interested…..here is Episode Two .
Once Tarquin had accepted that he had to walk on a lead he decided that he would still be the one in charge and he went everywhere at top speed. His first show would be interesting !
The Scottish Kennel Club General Championship Show is held at Ingliston, on the outskirts of Edinburgh and the showground is located next to the Airport.
The trip down was interesting as hubby’s car suddenly developed a major fault and so the journey was made in my son’s Mini………. you may remember the one that had used a sheep as an emergency braking system ! (Described in my blog ‘Feeling Sheepish’)
Our party consisted of our black Afghan Hound, Cleo; Tarquin; my 6yr old daughter, Louisa; hubby Ian and me.
Now, two hours in a Mini is bad enough; but Tarquin insisted on making the journey perched on my knee in the front of the car. So I was buried under, what felt like, half a ton of hairy Afghan Hound.
We arrived safely and unloaded the dogs and show gear and made our way to the benching tent. Well, Ian, Louisa and Cleo made their way ………
I was pulled along by Tarky as he galloped at full pelt, tongue lolling out of his mouth, eager to play with every dog he passed !
Dogs are ‘benched’ at most Championship shows. This gives them all their own private cubicle; their own little space for the day. Nowadays, the dogs are usually secured inside large cages and are perfectly safe and comfortable and can be left for short periods of time. But in those days, the 1980s, there was a metal ring at the back of each bench on which to secure your dog, using a chain which was then clipped to your dogs collar; effectively keeping them in their own individual areas. Usually dogs soon accept this arrangement and just lie down and go to sleep until its time for their class.
After Tarquin had demolished his benching area and those of the dogs around him at least twice, I decided to walk him round the show ground to ‘tire him out’ while Ian stayed behind to rebuild the benches.
Well I walked him and walked him and he was still like a wild thing. Poking his nose into people’s show bags. Leaping on smaller dogs. Licking young children’s icecreams and generally trying to pull my arms out of their sockets.
I was absolutely exhausted by his behaviour and close to tears so Ian said he would take him into the show ring and show him. I brushed Tarquin and got him all ready and he looked beautiful; his thick gold coat glowing in the sunshine and all our friends said how lovely he was.
Into the ring went the Puppy Dog class. Most of them were jumping and playing and enjoying themselves !
I was pleased as perhaps Tarquin wouldn’t look so naughty if there were others misbehaving. There were about 18 Afghan Dog puppies of all colours positioned around the ring and the handlers got them all settled and even Tarquin stood fairly still while the Judge went along the line, examining each one.
I held my breath when it was Tarky’s turn. I knew he had excellent conformation, if only the Judge could actually get to feel it ! Ian was holding Tarquin with an iron-like grip and I watched as the Judge felt all over my lovely boy and looked at his teeth. Then Ian was asked to move Tarquin round the ring.
Oh goodness !
Off went Tarquin and off went poor Ian; hanging on gamely as Tarquin raced round like a greyhound. He was asked to move again and I was so excited …… the Judge liked him ! This time Tarquin was almost under control and moving well with head held high.
It was all going well until an airplane took off from the adjacent Airport. Up went the airplane and up went Tarquin, like some sort of rocket. He shot skyward, trying to catch the plane and the ringside erupted with laughter. Ian did not look amused and I tried to hide behind a nearby trade stand !
Well to our amazement, Tarquin was awarded second place; possibly for entertainment value ! Ha Ha !
I was in shock and Ian’s face was a picture.
Places are awarded from 1st to 5th and the lucky five have to line up to receive their rosettes. There was my lovely golden boy. He had done so well despite his behaviour. I was beaming.
The Judge bent down slightly to stroke Tarquin as the steward handed Ian the blue rosette. Just for a few seconds Ian was distracted and, in the blink of an eye, Tarquin leapt up at the Judge and grabbed his tie, almost strangling the poor chap in the process ! I almost sank to the floor in embarrassment and, once more, the spectators burst into laughter and actually applauded Tarquin as he left the ring.
Oh, goodness, he was becoming famous already. Or, should I say, INFAMOUS !
We had quite some time before Cleo would be shown as her class was after lunch, so we decided to have a cuppa and a sandwich. We had been up since 5am and we were ready for some sustenance.
For obvious reasons we didn’t dare go back to the benching area; so we found a lovely spot on the edge of the showground; beyond the trade stands and refreshment concessions.
Cleo, ever the lady, just lay quietly on her blanket; but Tarquin capered about in the freshly cut grass and soon he resembled a hairy compost heap. We were weary of having to hold a lead which had a whirling dervish at the other end, so Ian went off to purchase one of those long spiral spikes that you push into the ground. We would then be able to fasten the lead to it and have some respite,
These spikes were advertised as being strong enough to hold a Great Dane, an Irish Wolfhound and probably a Sherman Tank, but 6mth old Tarquin had it pulled out of the ground in seconds !
In despair I looped his lead around a nearby birch tree. It was only a sapling but looked very sturdy and at least its roots were secure in the ground.
For about 15 mins we had perfect peace. We sat in the warm sunshine, drinking our coffee and basking in our success. Tarquin’s rosette was pinned, ostentatiously, on my jacket. I was glowing with pride.
We gazed over in the direction of the show-ring, watching the Afghan classes and trying to decide when we would have to start brushing Cleo. Then suddenly my daughter gave a little scream and I turned to see Tarquin making his way across the grass with an uprooted birch sapling bouncing at the end of his lead !
Oh, Tarquin !…………………………………….