Category Archives: Stories

Dogs Around the World: One Man and his Dog

Scott Memorial 1

One man and his dog, Spot, a bottle of lemonade and ginger pop; went to mow a meadow!

I couldn’t resist quoting the song One man went to mow that we sang as kids on school coach outings. The addition of “a bottle of lemonade and ginger pop” was a local variation.

This is the Scott Monument in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, Scotland. It commemorates Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. Completed in 1844 after the author’s death in 1832, it is in Victorian Gothic style and is the largest monument to a writer in the world.

Scott was a dog lover and you will often see dogs in his portraits. His favourite dog, Maida, depicted gazing lovingly up at his master in the statue, was a Deerhound cross. Actually, many people do not spot the dog at all, maybe because it looks like a lamb!

I sat on a bench right by this edifice while I ate a sandwich, accompanied by that seagull (You’ll never eat alone.)

As it is one of the tourist attractions, it’s difficult to get a picture of the memorial from a distance without lots of people in the shot, so the photo below isn’t too bad.

Scott Memorial 2

Residents of Edinburgh might be surprised to learn that there are more dog statues or memorials than just Greyfriars Bobby and this one. Apparently there are at least five more:

Greyfriars Bobby, Maida, Toby, Bum  (the American 3 legged one), Cuillin, Dobbler and Beauty.

 

You can read about them all here: Other dog statues or memorials in Edinburgh, Scotland.

 

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Sunday Musings #112

Life is not a fairy tale. If you lose your shoe at midnight, you’re drunk!

– Anon

Just saying!

 

 

post script: Many of my followers are not English, so for those who might not get the joke; it refers to the fairy tale of Cinderella. She was a poor girl who was dressed in a fancy gown and glass slippers by her fairy godmother so she could attend the Prince’s ball. At the stroke of midnight, the magic disappeared and she lost one glass slipper as she fled.

 

Windswept!

Wind Turbine 1

I was chuffed with this image of a wind turbine that I managed to snap from a train window in passing. You really get the sense of size as the massive blades loom over you.

Wind Turbine 2

Even seen from a distance they are truly majestic!

You can read here about Wind Turbines, how they work and their advantages and disadvantages.

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I’m all for using alternative sources of energy like the wind, water or sun, which are all there for the taking. I don’t know why we don’t use them more.

There is a strong persistent wind that blows in Cape Town from September to March, which is known as The Cape Doctor, because it supposedly blows away the pollution. Cape Town is actually known as The Cape of Storms!

I was happy to find out that we do have some wind farms around the area.

 

These photos are from one of my train trips in the North of the UK last August.

 

Lavender Blue

Hydrangea 1

Whether you see this as pink, lilac, mauve or purple . . .

Hydrangea 2

I think it is a lovely colour!

Hydrangea 3

This ancient hydrangea was already in the garden when we moved here yonks ago.

Hydrangea 4

The plant looks dead in winter but always amazes me by producing these lovely blooms each spring.

They don’t usually last long in our harsh sun, but I enjoy them while they’re here.

 

post script: I have promised my Northern WP friends gratuitous Spring photos to sustain them as they plunge into the depths of winter! In return they will supply me with Snow Photos in due course, to sustain me during the searing temperatures (38C – 100F) of summer here in Cape Town, South Africa.

post post script: And because I love the song, here is Lavender’s Blue from the movie Cinderella.

 

Unwelcome Visitors

You Little Monkey

I am waging war today!

Perhaps not what you would expect to hear from me, especially after yesterday’s peace post.

But there are some critters without whom the world would be a much better place.

I refer, of course, to those blood sucking parasites we all know.

What am I talking about?

Little Monkey has fleas!

Little Monkey – Always ready for Mischief

And it is all-out war!!

TACTICS

Treat the dog

Treat the environment

Spray everything

Vacuum everything

Wash everything

Repeat till victorious!

Happy Little Monkey

 

post script: This was not the post I had intended for today, but by the time I had waged my all-out war, I was too exhausted to be creative!

It is more than three years since LM last had these visitors, so we’ve done very well. The flea and tick season has just begun; if she’s going to get them it is usually this time of year.

The reason she rarely catches fleas is because she keeps away from other dogs, even when mingling with 30 or more dogs in her weekly socialising classes. She must have picked one flea up during the last class, when all the dogs were lying very close together doing stays. I choose the calmer more stable dogs for her to lie next to and then she’ll tolerate them. Unfortunately, one of the dogs must have passed on this unwelcome visitor!

 

Remembrance Sunday

Poppy Day

 

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

Poem ‘For the Fallen’ by Robert Laurence Binyon.

 

November 11th was Armistice Day and today is Remembrance Sunday.

Traditionally red poppies are worn to symbolise those that grew on battle fields such as in Flanders Fields. Here I have a photo of my own little yellow poppy that survived itself against all odds.

A two minute silence is held to mark the end of the First World War, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Because we should remember all those fallen in all wars.

And make sure that some day it stops.

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As a young kid I used to buy a poppy each year at school and when older, go round selling them to the other kids.

I used to observe the two minutes’ silence while watching the poppies fall in a remembrance service on TV, at 11 o’clock on the 11th November. They just kept on falling.

So    Many    Poppies.

So    Many    Lives.

And still we go on killing each other.

When will we stop?

 

Shimmering Reflections

Reflections 1

I have always been fascinated by reflections in water. I can stare for ages transfixed by the rippling images, as one would do a flickering campfire flame.

Reflections 2

Here you see buildings mirrored in the glossy Water of Leith, the main river running through Edinburgh, Scotland, for 35 km, till it flows into the Firth of Forth at Leith and thence into the sea.

Reflections 3

It was a little windier on our return trip walking back up the river, as can be seen by the cloudy appearance of the water closest to us; the surface whipped up by the strong Scottish wind.