dog eared

hamlet and max

On the beach at Brancaster recently, we were buffeted by some pleasant but strong spring winds which raised an ear or two rather than an eyebrow!

facing into the wind

Our JRT Max has normal ears as a rule, but they took on a new and different life of their own when the breeze caught the tips, filled them up and flicked them upright.


Trotting along having retrieved his ball didn’t help and in fact made it much worse (but very funny!).

running back to JC

We’ve seen his ears poking up before when he is speeding along and it makes him look like a completely different little dog but the weekend’s wind made it an almost permanent feature for him.


One of his favourite doggy friends is my sister’s wonderful and very dandy JRT, Hamlet whose ears show permanent signs of shock. He started puppy life with normal ears too but eventually they pinged upright and never laid down again.

pointy ears and a jaunty bend in the tail

It gives Hamlet a distinguished foxy look which is quite endearing but Max just looks completely silly!

had enough now!

We are home now and all has returned to normal and the ears have stayed down! Thank goodness but Hamlets gorgeous ears are still upright and we love him heaps for it!!

hamlet! (taken by my sis on a weekend away - liz elcoate)

wildlife photographer of the year

"taking flight" flamingos on a salt lake by Paul Goldstein

every year the wildlife photographer of the year comes to the natural history museum and it is a must see.

"the charge" by Eric Pierre

being a bit partial to some wildlife photographer myself even it we are talking totally different leagues, it makes my appreciation of it far greater I think.

"snow hare" by Benjam Pontinen

Some shots are so incredibly difficult to get.  Equipment isn’t as key as patience and sometimes a huge amount of luck.

"illusion" by Stefano Unterthiner

that is not to say that each one of the incredible images that we saw in the recently finished 2011 winners exhibition wasn’t technically incredible and that technical skill truly comes into it, it’s just that sometimes luck gives you the hand you need to make the difference.

"territorial strut" by Ross Hoddinott

some of the images come into the category of under 14s which always blows my mind.  HOW? when someone is so young, do they manage to achieve such brilliance when it should be the domain of the greatly experienced?

"fading beauty' by david maitland

These photographs which I took of the postcards we brought home that depict some of our favourites from the show do them no justice what so ever and the originals really must be seen to appreciate just how fabulous they are.

a day in fairyland


a day in fairy land

I have a wonderful book that my mum gave me, it is about fairies and it was given to her by my grandad on his return from the 2nd world war.

It is an enormous thing measuring about 350mm x 465mm, more like a presentation than a book to be read at bed time but it is a thing of loveliness.

berry picking

It sits on a shelf in our dining room and it was only when doing a little rearranging lately that I remembered it was there. I flicked through the pages and was reminded of just how interesting it is.

I decided to research it on the internet to discover that it is quite rare and may be of some value. It even has a you tube video showing the plates to music for those not fortunate to have a copy at their disposal.

fairy ring

The dust sheet is still in tact albeit a bit tatty but the pages inside are near perfect and the plates have kept their intense colour beautifully.

a fairy lunch

I don’t remember having it read to me, I think it was kept out of harms reach but I do recall poring over the pages myself at the kind of age when fairies and the like were more in my mind than they would be now.

Even though I am no longer that little person who believes in fairies, goblins and magic, I still like the concept of such fun and the mystery of magical creatures.  I still love to read thing like ‘the lion the witch and the wardrobe’, ‘harry potter’, ‘his dark materials’ and I find this book also lovely to read. The size surprisingly adds to its appeal.

fairy celebrations

It’s a bit of a shame that we lose the innocence and stop believing in these wonderful things once we grow up.

little blue ball

just out of reach


mine all mine

We were away this weekend for a very much needed break but also because it was JC’s birthday.

When asked what JC wanted to do or where he wanted to go, I think it was easy – the norfolk coast.

Any time that we get to escape to the beach it is a treat for us all really. I love it, JC loves it and Max, our JRT loves it too.

Watching him tear about the sand after a ball or a bird (Max that is – although JC has been known) is great entertainment and just the tonic we need.

It was quite windy over the weekend and the ball seemed to travel a bit further than usual but, oh what fun!

Who would think that a small piece of bouncy rubber painted blue would hold the potential for such joy?

I sometimes think Max would retrieve it time and again until he was completely spent.

We usually have his favourite treats to give to him as incentive to fetch his ball but this time we didn’t have them and he seemed to need no kind of encouragement and just kept going time after time.

Eventually he got sand in his poor little eyes which has meant a trip to the vet before so, much to Max’s reluctance, we headed back to the car and off away from the beach.

All being well, we will be back again soon!

cookie monster

getting close and personal with a delicious cookie

I was having a really tough time recently and my fabulous friend V, who know how to cheer a girl, dropped round a food parcel for me one evening.

cookies and coffee don't get much better

JC took delivery and I was very disappointed that V didn’t come in for a coffee (or a glass of wine!) and a good old chat. What I wasn’t remotely disappointed by was the content of the food parcel.

cookies, coffee and cows!

Oh my, what a chocolate oaty delight. IT was a beautiful little pile of chocolate cookies presented in a baking parchment parcel! I didn’t share them and I’m not abashed to admit to it! They were delicious and cheered me up no end.


A thoughtful food gift with a far reaching affect. As always V, thank you very, very much for the cookies but mostly for the love and thought that they were made and despatched with.

a bark bigger than his bite

a little snooze in front of the fire

Max is generally an easy, trouble free little dog.

He’s not a yapper or a whiner. He doesn’t destroy things or chew the furniture. He loves his sleep and is generally very well behaved. I really believe we were lucky when we got him and he came with some good base doggy material for us to work with.


One thing he is though, is a bit of a scardy cat (!!??!!).  He jumps at loud noises, is more than a bit nervous around big black dogs (that’s a whole other blog post!) and is quite noisy when he is spooked.

If someone creeps up alongside him on the other side of the fence when we are walking in the park, he leaps about 3 feet to the side and is generally ready to flee – until he knows it is safe not to!!!  Once impending death is not longer a serious concern, he decides to give his little terrier lungs a bit of a work out.

it's not a cuddle, I'm look out!

Oh my!! How can a small dog produce the kind of bark that belongs to some savage devil wolf dog that is COMPLETELY out of proportion.

Our poor postman must think we keep a great dane or a giant schnauzer when the sound of  letter coming through the letterbox solicits the same volume as the surprise in the park.

Chezlah & I love my neckerchief but JC doesn't!

I have to say that it doesn’t bother me, he rarely makes use of this enormous voice he has but it is invariably accompanied by a stiff legged stotting bounce that makes me double up with laughter.

He’s a complete star and delights us every day whether it is with a big bark, a lovely cuddle or a well executed trick.


couple by alan stone

we were very fortunate to get some money at Christmas. Along with this, wedding gift money and some that we put aside every month or so, we are slowly investing in interesting pieces of art that we like.  None of them are real collector’s items but we love them and think they are perfect for our home.

couple by alan stone

We have seen Alan Stone’s work before in the art gallery shop in Barnard Castle but we finally got around to buying the piece we have been admiring for quite a while.

It is called ‘couple’ and is now hanging on the chimney breast in the dining room of our house in the fens. It seems perfect to use money that has been given to both of us or as part of wedding gift. Ironically, however, although the piece depicts a couple of trees, with a couple of rooks in them and we are a couple, the setting is a steep hillside not unlike those where we both come from but nothing remotely like our home in London or the area in which our house sits which is below sea level on the fens and is flatter than flat!