Category Archives: Behaviour

Vodka Day

Vodka Day LM 1

One for the road?

Looks to me like Little Monkey has had one too many already!

Vodka Day LM 2

I can’t believe I missed National Vodka Day this year (it was the 4th). I had a lot going on, but still that’s no excuse.

Vodka Day LM 3

And I must praise Little Monkey here. Sometimes I think I take her good behaviour for granted. She was snoozing on her mat, so I thought it was a good opportunity to snap a Vodka shot. However, as I arranged the bottles and glass near her, she raised herself up on her front legs to see what was going on.

I gently pushed her back down, but as I stepped back to take a shot, she half sat up. I settled her down again and got my photo. Then I trotted into the kitchen with her to give her a treat.

It was only afterwards that I thought, “Hey, she did all that for me, with no treats. Pretty good for a Mutt!”

Cheers!

 

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Sparky’s Adventures in Suburbia

Sparky 1

Spotted!

So there I was minding my own business pottering around my lawn, when suddenly I noticed the Lady of the House looking at me.

Sparky 2

Indecision.

Maybe I should go? But I don’t see the wolf.

Sparky 3

Confirmation.

Yep, she’s still looking, pointing that silver thing right at me.

Sparky 4

Decision!

I’m outta here!

.

I spotted little Sparky the squirrel on my lawn the other day, and he spotted me too. It was fun to watch his little brain working, while he decided what to do.

Sparky 5

This is how far away he was (on zoom) and why some photos are a little blurred.

 

Focus!

Little Monkey

Haiku 80

Hey Mum! You have my

Undivided attention

Tasty treat offered

.

 

There’s no denying that Little Monkey lurves her food; the more so, the older she gets.

I had a special treat for her and judging by this focused look, I guess it smelled really good!

 

post script: For dog owners: others may find this a bit gross! I suppose someone will want to know what the treat was: a dried pig’s ear. I’ve never given her one before and after first seeming a bit wary, she promptly ate it. Then she brought it all back up in the kitchen during the night!

 

Languages – Duolingo 500

Duolingo 500 Days

I have just completed 500 straight days of learning languages online with Duolingo. Hooray!

I’ve been learning several languages for a few years now.

Duolingo Italian

I have completed the Italian and the French trees, but still pop by there most days to practice. I’m also learning German and have just started Spanish.

When you complete all the exercises at level one or with one crown then the little Duolingo Owl appears, draped in a cape of the country’s flag.

Duolingo French

Duolingo: Where you can learn such useful phrases as –

Italian: Non vedo il tuo dentrificio. I do not see your toothpaste.

I’m sure this must come up several times a day in normal conversation!

Of course, exercises get a lot harder as you progress and some things you just have to learn.

C’è qualcosa che non avrebbe voluto fare? Is there something that he would not have wanted to do?

I nipoti non le mancano. She does not miss her grandchildren. 

The second one is tricky because it kind of translates to ‘The grandchildren are not missed by her’, which is how I remember the sentence structure.

There are many other little quirks that are second nature to a native speaker, but difficult for a learner.

For fun I am also working through the reverse language tree for Italian and French. ie I am learning English as if I were a native Italian or French speaker. This gives me more of an insight into the actual learning process.

For example, assuming I am Italian, the text was:

Quanto è?

The three answer choices given were:

1. How much is it?
2. How almost does that cost?
3. How enough is that?

It is blatantly obvious to a native English speaker that the correct answer is 1, but it makes me realise how laughable the choices may be that I am struggling over, when learning Italian from English.

I’m not good at languages; French was my worst subject at school.  (Surprisingly, I was good at Latin, but since we did not have to speak it, I don’t think it counts!) 

It is best to practice something every day, even if only for a short time, rather than spending an hour once a week. You’d think I’d be fluent by now, but you’d think wrong! Still, I understand quite a bit, even if I cannot speak the language very well.

To practice something that you are not good at makes your brain work harder. It keeps the little grey cells going.

Use it or lose it!

 

Natural Selection

Baby Geese

Natural Selection

Tiny Guinea Fowl chick abandoned by your flock

Scratching in the dirt as you’ve seen your parents do

But without their guidance and protection

And only a few inches tall

You will not survive alone

Breakfast for the Magpie chicks?

Sadness

Heart-rending peeps follow me down the path

.

Egyptian goose with the badly broken leg

Each halting step agonisingly painful

Yet still you hobble near your chicks

Protecting them alongside your partner

Your commitment ensuring

The survival of your genes

Endurance

Raucous screeches follow me down the street

.

On our walks around the neighbourhood Little Monkey and I have come across many new-born chicks: Guinea Fowl and Egyptian Geese.

When I see an injured or abandoned bird it is hard not to interfere, but there is nothing to be done. The injured bird is still protecting its chicks and the abandoned chick will either survive on its own, or not. It had a near miss when LM spotted it before me!

I did search for the parent Guinea Fowl, with the intention of guiding the baby chick back to their safety, but they were nowhere to be seen. Guinea Fowl are notoriously bad parents.

It reminds me that life out there in the ‘wild’ is tough.

It really is the survival of the fittest.

 

Sunday Musings #150

87% of young people have back pain. The other 13% don’t have a computer.

– Unknown

I played outside a lot as a kid; climbed trees; rode a bike; played tennis, cricket and football with my brothers; walked in the woods. Inside I read a lot of books; knitted; sewed; baked; played cards and board games. And so did my kids.

I have to wonder what today’s generation of kids will be like when they grow up?