Sunday, 6 April 2014

Sunday 6 April 2014

A wet day today, though reasonable enough yesterday to enable Gisèle and my partner to do some gardening.  This far, they have onions, sweet peppers, courgettes and tomatoes on the go, with carrots awaiting planting.  My partner is most encouraged by the progress of the tomatoes in particular - she has never grown them from seed before and they seem to be thriving.  Indeed, until a couple of years ago, she had no luck whatsoever with growing vegetables in the garden; someone used to eat the seedlings or wait until the fruits and vegetables appeared and then plucked and ate them himself, hehe...  Fortunately, neither Gisèle nor Betty have the same passion for fresh fruits and vegetables as I enjoyed.

Betty's return to the house is imminent and Gizzy has been busy getting things ready for her friend's visit.  In order to stop her fretting herself into a state, I suggested that she might like to write a little more about her last holiday on Dartmoor.  After all, she had only managed two instalments thus far and I knew that she had more pictures that she wanted to share with you.  I did, however, point out that it couldn't really be titled Gisèle's Holiday Diary any more - it was almost six months ago now.  So little Giz agreed to rename it Gisèle's Holiday Memories.

Without further ado, then:-


Oh dear, hihihi! I have been very bad and forgot to write about my holiday for ages. Naughty me. But I have been very busy, yes indeed. But I still have nice dreams about my holiday and the fun I had. Here is a link to the last writing I did about it:- here it is.

The next day when I woke up it was raining a bit - only a bit though, so I didn't worry too much. My friend Marnie had gone out somewhere, but some fresh new-laid eggs had been left by our door and I was allowed to have one boiled for my breakfast. It was the nicest egg I had ever tasted; so fresh and delicious, not at all like ones you might buy in a shop. Everything is nicer when it comes from home and is fresh (I think that is why Mistress is growing vegetables in our garden this year, but we haven't got any room to plant and grow any chickens).

After breakfast, we headed out for the South of the moor, to a nice walk which Mistress said Jasper had used to enjoy. We drove to Shipley Bridge car park and walked alongside the river towards the open moor.

Jazz used to love playing in the river exactly here.  But I am too little and frightened of water -
although I did paddle in the pools at the edge.

After we had turned the corner and crossed the bridge, the road became rougher until it was just a footpath track. We headed up the slopes towards the mighty Avon Dam. Mistress had been there before with Jasper and his predecessor, pretty Tess, but I had never been. Up we climbed, stopping to chat with some walkers coming the other way (that is one of the things I like about walking on Dartmoor, you meet such lovely people along the way). Parting company with these new friends, we soon came into view of the impressive Avon Dam and reservoir...

  the blue arrow below indicates where we were when the next picture was taken...
The vast edifice of the Avon Dam looms into view
As we passed the Dam and walked alongside the reservoir, the rain began to fall more steadily. Undaunted, we persisted towards our destination where, sheltering ourselves as best we could, Mistress and I ate our packed lunches. But not for long...

Giz wet. Giz cold.  Giz going home.  With or without Mistress.

I was very cold indeed - and it took us a good couple of hours at least to walk all the way back to the car.

Later in the evening, back at our holiday cottage, once I had been dried, warmed and fed, I heard Marnie's claws clicking on the path to our front door. After obtaining the necessary permissions I bounded out to play ball with her in the dogs' playing field. After twenty minutes or so, my attention drifted to the steeply-wooded hills on either side of the farm buildings and fields. The woods were teeming with owls, as we clearly heard at night, but it began to occur to me that there might also be squirrels lurking within. I suggested a little foray into the woods to Marnie, but she didn't seem too keen.
"Well, you CAN walk in the woods - " she barked, "But it isn't safe, unless you are very careful about where you are going. There are loads of old mine shafts in the hills and they are dangerous. If you fell down one you would die for sure. That's what those signs say there." She indicated the big notices at the entrances to both sides of the woodlands, but the words on them were too long for me to read. "You have to stay right on the path all the time, because mine shafts are everywhere."
"Why don't you do something about them?" I puzzled.
"Well, they don't belong to me, or my people." replied Marnie, "Even though they haven't been used for ages longer than 100 years ago, they still belong to the old extraction company."
"Eh? But you just said they WERE yours!" I couldn't understand my new friend at all.

"What? No I didn't!" yipped Marnie, "I said they were mines."
"Yes, exactly! So they ARE yours!"
"No!! They're not mine!"
"You DID too say that they were yours!"
"No - they are mines."
"Yes! YOUR mines!"
"No, no! They ARE mines - but they are not mine!"
"They are not MY mines. But they ARE mines."
"So if they are not your mines, whose mines are they?"
"I told you! The mine company!"
"Yes!! YOUR company! They are yours! So fix them!"
"But it's not MY mine company."

I began to think that Marnie might be a little bit mad. I knew I was right, and so left it there and we went back to playing ball.

'The mines aren't mine' indeed. Hiihihihihihiiiiii...!

Betty is coming to visit tomorrow. Yayyy!

Bye-bye love from Gisèle. x

 First and third photographs on this page ©

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Tuesday 25 March 2014

A strange week, to be sure.

Although there is much to be thankful for in our tiniest of worlds, Gisèle has been behaving strangely and my partner has been almost permanently exhausted, dejected and much-depressed of late.

I cannot attribute it to the weather - for spring has truly sprung, with warming sunshine, twittering birdsong, colourful and fragrant flowers budding and receding flood-waters everywhere, along with the promise of more better weather to come.

I cannot attribute it (wholly) to financial woes - for my partner's IVA (see this post for the onset of this particular wretched saga) is, hopefully, to conclude within the next few months.  I had sworn that I would stay with my partner unto the end of this most awful trial.  Rat-b*st*rd cancer; that malevolent marauder of time, denied me even this.  But Death could not thwart me. It took my body - but it could NEVER conquer my spirit.  Gisèle-Stéphanie, as sweet and keen as she is, cannot think upon such topics as finances; they mean nothing to her.  And so I remain; watching over my most only - my partner, who saw my many faults and the manifold acts of wickedness I perpetrated and forgave me, loved me and turned me into a better dog than I had any right to be.  But - not for the first time - I digress...

I wonder if it has ought to do with the sadnesses in the world at the moment?  The appalling upheavals and injustices within Egypt, Syria, Iran, the Ukraine and Crimea... The dreadful and protracted tragedy of Malaysian Airlines Flight No. MH370; those poor, poor families...  Oh, God bless them.

I feel SO deeply on all these things, and more besides.  I should have learned to feel gratitude for the mere fact of my existence whilst I still lived.  But how can one explain to those entangled in the daily rigmarole of life, work, bills, socialising, image-building/maintaining, etc... - that the mere fact that one exists and can feel is the very greatest blessing of all.  It has been so long, that I can no longer remember what it was to draw a deep breath on a crisp, frosty morning, and smile at the mist produced when I exhaled.  What it was to stretch out on my very OWN patio and feel the sun warming my body.  To drink deeply from a Dartmoor spring on a hot day and savour the cool-crisp sensation of the water as I swallowed it and felt it travel through my warm body, chilling and refreshing all at once.  Please, my friends, please enjoy these simple pleasures while you can...


But Gisèle has not yet learned to think seriously upon such things.  No.  Oh no.

I almost despair of her - I keep faith that she cannot be entirely lost to better thinking - though my hopes aren't high...  I can only apologise most profusely for what follows.

My partner was stretched to her highest, uppermost limit by Sèle's CONSTANT whining about her ridiculous tuft.  With muttered profanities, my partner finally (reluctantly) seized up her scissors and The Great Snip took place.

Upon initial snipping, a wound was revealed, and further snippage was necessary.  Gisèle had a thorn piercing the flesh atop her head, which was removed painlessly, once sufficient fur had been snipped away.

I have to bark, that I was alarmed at the state of Giz's exposed face.  Many injuries had been revealed - wounds from her former bullying by Betty.  Wounds that I knew about - the time the left side of her mouth was torn open, bite marks on her left cheek and above her left eye; but others too, which I think Giz had concealed to try and spare Betty in those early days before they became the very best of friends.  In any case, if Giz had forgiven Betty, then so could I.  I followed Gisèle to the French Windows, to which she padded in order to examine her newly-shorn reflection...

"Aaaaaarggghhhh!  I look like a complete TIT!" Gisèle squealed.

Well, I couldn't disagree.

Only Rosie, Sèle's friend from next-door, claimed to see notice no difference in Giz's appearance.  I suspect she was just being kind, as everyone else laughed at the newly-trimmed Giz and remarked on her new "Lego-Cut" (my partner not being skilled in canine fur-dressing).

"Put it back!  Make it grown again!!" demanded an angrily disappointed Giz.  My partner and I gently tried to help her to understand that fur, once cut, cannot be instantly regrown.  She refused to see reason, so I kept out of the way whilst my partner endeavoured to deal with the truculent terrier.


I only dared to return a few days later.  Gisèle, at least, seemed happier, even if my partner did not.

"Jazz!" chirruped the little terrier, when she sighted me, "Hiiiiihiiihihihiiii!"
I winced and affected to ignore her irritating giggling.
"Are you liking your new furcut, then?" I hazarded cautiously.
"Well, no," she confessed. "Hiihiiiihihiihihihihiiii!"

I knew that requesting an explanation would be admitting weakness.  But, dear reader, how can you blame me?  Let us travel that weak path together.

"Go on..." I sighed, a sense of foreboding fast-approaching.

"Did you see what was is cut off?!" squeaked Giz, indicating towards her foam basket, where my partner had placed the snipped-off clumps of fur, "Enough to make a big old merkin*, hiihiihihihihiiiiii!"

"GISÈLE!!" I spluttered, aghast, "Where on Earth did you learn a word like that?!"

Gisèle looked suddenly sullen and muttered something virtually incomprehensible, amongst which utterances could be discerned the word 'Honey'.

"Honey the cat from opposite?" I queried, "That weekend after Betty went home?"
"So you and Honey sat in the garden, repeating to each other saucy words and laughing over them?"
"Yes.  Honey told me loads, hiihiihihi... I only had a few that she didn't hear before, hiihiihihihihiiii...."
"Oh, brilliant.  So you and Honey - two otherwise respectable, likeable, reasonably intelligent young ladies - chose to spend your afternoon teaching each other naughty words and giggling...?!"
"Yeh!  Hihihi! It was one of the BEST afternoons of my life, hiihiihihi...!"

*Oh, just Google it.  Bl**dy-h*ll; now I'm depressed!


Monday, 10 March 2014

Monday 10 March 2014

I knew that Gisèle had come up with an idea.  She had been sitting upright, staring fixedly at the soundly-sleeping form of Betty for at least the last twenty minutes - since around 5.00am, to be precise.  She seemed to think that the more determinedly she stared at Betty, the greater the chance that Betty would soon wake up.  Whether or not Betty was aware of the two bright little eyes boring into her prone self, I cannot bark.  However, twenty minutes is usually the outer limit of little Gisèle's patience and - sure enough - I heard the little frustrated sigh that immediately preceded affirmative action.

"Betty!" ventured the tiny Jack Russell, "Betty! Betty! Betty!"  When this produced no effect, a little claw entered the fray.  "Betty! Betty! Betty! Betty! Betty! Betty! Betty!" repeated Giz, each "Betty!" being reinforced with a prod from the claw, "Betty!Betty!Betty!Betty!Betty!Betty!Betty!Betty!Betty!"
"Go'way, 'm'sleep." grunted the unfortunate Betty.
"No! Betty!Betty!Betty!Betty!" persisted Giz, somewhat unwisely in my view, "Betty!  It's urgent! Betty!"

Betty groaned.

"If it's anything other than the house being on fire, I'm going to kill you Giz."
"What?  No, you have to get up now! Betty!"
"I'll bark it again.  IS the house on fire?"
"Ummm... I don't think so..."
"Is there even any smoke?"
"No, but I know where Mistress keeps matches.  I can put the curtains on fire if you want."
"In that case, Giz, kindly lie down on your back, tilt your head up and expose your throat."
"Oh! OK - but..." chattered Giz, doing as she was told.
"Now I'm going to tear your throat out, you little sleep-thieving parasite."
"What? Oh! Hihihihihiiiii - but no.  I need to ask you a really big favour."

"Is there any chance of me getting to go back to sleep this morning?" sighed Betty.
"What d'you want then?"

"I've decided.  After we were barking about fur-styles the other night, I decided it HAS to go.  You have to pull it out."
"Not your bl**dy tuft again?!"

"Yes.  It's GOT to go.  Ever since you tore- I mean, when you bit me- ages ago, when my face was sore and open and all the fur came off... when it all grew back the tuft grew back even bigger and fluffier.  I HATE it - Look!"

With that, Gisèle shook her head and rubbed it on the edge of Betty's pillow.  The unfortunate fluffy tuft that perched comically atop the little terrier's cranium stood erect.  Betty was unable to stop herself.

"Pfffftht...!  Hur hur hur - snort - hur hur hur!" chuckled the Giant Schnauzer, "Hur - snort - hur hur, I'm not nipping off that little beauty! Hur hur hur...!"

"Oh PLEASE Bettz" implored Giz, "I hate it!  It makes me look SO stupid.  I won't squeal or anything - I will just lie here, good and quiet, and you pull it out.  Go on - do it NOW!"  Giz positioned herself carefully below Betty's jaws, squeezed her eyes tightly closed and braced herself. "Nip it Betty! Nip it!  Pull it out!"
"No! Stop it, you nut! I'm not pulling out your hair!"

"Why though?"
"Because it will hurt!  And if I pull it out again, it will only be even thicker when it grows back again! No!"

"I want mistress to shave it, but she won't." Giz whined petulantly.
"I should jolly well think not!" barked Betty, "The itchiness would drive you mad when it started to grow back!  It's not that bad..."

"I hate it..." grumbled Giz moodily.  I hoped that she wasn't going to go into one of her 'difficult sulks'.  Betty looked down at her and I could tell that she was thinking along the same lines...

Tuft Dormant

Tuft Rampant
(not all of it - plenty more at the back of the curl)

"It is a bit funny-looking," admitted Betty carefully, "I mean, when you twiddle it with a claw and it stands up straight by itself..." She stretched out a stubby claw and twizzled Giz's tuft into a sturdy upright peak, "You might even be able to pick up short-wave radio, hur hur hur - snort - hur hur."  And with a wink at her tiny friend, Betty made a noise like the interference one encounters when attempting to tune a radio.

Gisèle simply couldn't remain in a sulk at this - she sat up and beamed at Betty, the twinkle returning to her dark brown eyes.
"Bsssszzzzzzt!" joined in Gisèle with a giggle " is the news on Giz-FM: Everyone afraid as Betty's ar*e continues to get bigger - hihihihihihihiiiiiii - dangers of tidal waves if she sits down suddenly - hihiihiiii - public warned to stay away - army called out to monitor Betty's massive ar*e..."
"Oh, shut up, Tufty..." grinned Betty and, with that, Giz collapsed with her high-pitched giggles as Betty pretended to be cross and gently swiped at her.

With much relief I watched as the two friends snuggled close together and went back to sleep.  Well, I mused to myself, it may be a mad life they lead - but it is a happy one...


Friday, 21 February 2014

Friday 21 February 2014

Gisèle was going to write this entry herself.  I believe she was going to "entertain" you with the fact that she wasn't currently barking to me, apropos my lecture to her on morality after her frolics with Boris.  She was also going to provide you with a list detailing why I was (a) wrong; and (b) a boring old fossil.  These, however, are "treats" to be savoured at some future point, for events have overtaken her easily-distracted mind.  Ah well.  Anticipation, they say, is but half the thrill... For goodness' sake.

Betty has returned.  She is, I am pleased to bark, behaving herself extremely well - despite the insolence of Gisèle, who had convinced herself that it was in honour of another visit from Boris that the house was being prepared.  On discovering that it was The Hon. Elizabeth (she had not bothered to listen to my partner's prior information of Betty's visit) at the door Giz, in response to the Giant Schnauzer's hearty greeting, snapped "Why aren't you Boris?!  Go away!"  Fortunately Betty is used to Gizzy's habit of barking first, sniffing later and actually thinking as the merest of afterthoughts.  All is well now between the girls.  Now...

The very evening of Betty's arrival last week coincided with the worst of these awe-inducing and destructive storms under which much of Britain is currently suffering.  The wind literally roared around our little house, the trees at the side creaked and twisted most alarmingly, branches crashed down, and the rain sounded like pebbles being repeatedly hurled at the windows.  Even Gisèle, who is not normally troubled by such things, was afraid.  The power flickered on and off and the two trembling dogs clung to each other for comfort and support.  My partner, after having lit a few candles "just in case" suggested, in a braver-sounding tone than I suspected she felt, that Gizzy tell Betty about her nice weekend with Boris (by way of a distraction from the wild elements without-doors).  The two girls trotted upstairs and I could hear them chattering away quietly.

After twenty minutes there was a sudden outbreak of hysterical screaming.  There were then two thumps - one soft, one heavy - more screaming, followed by a great deal of scrabbling.

My partner and I raced upstairs.  The two girls were in witless hysterics, screaming and shrieking, pushing, shoving and scrambling over each other in frantic attempts to squeeze themselves into the little airing cupboard.  My partner's clothes were flying everywhere.

"What are you DOING?!" cried my partner, but Betty and Giz were both in such a petrified state that neither heard her.
"OI!!!" I roared, "Pack it in, the pair of you! Now!!!"  The squealing stopped, but the desperate scrabbling did not. "Come out of there!"  Giz was half-way up one of the legs of my partner's pairs of trousers and reluctantly reappeared, still shaking.  Betty reversed out, wearing a pair of my partner's flowery-pink knickers on her head like a hat.  My partner pulled them off her with a look of disdain.

"What's going on?!" I demanded.  Both girls looked too terrified to bark.  They looked at each other shiftily, still quivering and squeaking.  "Come on - out with it!"

Eventually, Betty mumbled "Gizzy told me about all the naughty s*x-things she and Boris did..."
Giz corroborated this with a whimper, and then burst into tears.
"Oh, Jasper!" she wailed, "It's ALL my fault! All MY fault!!!  We're ALL going to die!!!"  Both girls began to squeal and cry again.

After what amounted to almost twenty minutes of extremely tiresome coaxing, I finally got the two to concede that they had decided that the weather and the flooding is some sort of Divine retribution for Gisèle's weekend of immorality.  It took me a further twenty minutes to get them to accept that it was merely weather, and that the natural behaviours of two young dogs, mutually attracted, were unlikely to bring about the full Apocalyptic might of the End of Days on the entire planet.  As soon as that rather heavy penny had clanged down in their relatively empty heads, they were quite satisfied and trotted off so that they could "do each other's fur-styles".

Terrific.  Another evening wasted.  Although I'll admit that the weather WAS pretty scary.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Thursday 6 February 2014

I have wrestled long and hard with my judgement concerning this entry.  Several times I have composed this blog-post only to re-think it, decide against it, only to change my mind and ponder anew.  Am I justified in posting this?  Was it a bark too far?  No; I concluded.  I have a duty.  The young males of the world have a right to be forewarned that such a wanton creature is in existence - and, based on available evidence, that she will be actively hunting them out and that they ought to prepare themselves for the persistent tap-tapping upon their doors...

I suppose such scenes were inevitable, given the untamed passions of young Gisèle.  But they still rendered me barkless.  Boris was the hapless "victim", though not an entirely unwilling one.  He had come to stay for the weekend and, initially, all proceeded in a well-mannered fashion.  The morning after his arrival, however, ushered in a new scene.

As my partner gradually wakened from her slumbers, she was aware of the sounds of rather frantic activity accompanied by heavy breathing.  Had I been physically able to, at that point I would have leapt in front of her face, to spare her the scene at the opposite end of her bed.  She shouldn't have had to see that...  Two dogs; one large, with black curly fur - the other tiny, with wispy white fur, were united in an act of frenzied passion.

"Turn away, oh, turn away..." I whimpered to my partner, but she was staring in shock at the spectacle before her.  Had she not been certain that Boris had been "attended to", she may have resorted to actual screaming.

With a certain amount of haste, she left the two lust-crazed creatures to get on with their foul, depraved business.

Returning to the room some time later, having not-unreasonably decided that it was high time the bed-linens went into the washing machine, we were a little disturbed to find the two furry fornicators still committed about their business.  My partner turned hurriedly away, shaking her head and muttering darkly to herself.

Now then. I confess that I had, during my lifetime, failed to be sufficiently sympathetic to my late, dear, friend Ewan's plight each time he bewailed the events which took place every time his basket-mate Fizzy was in season.  Fizzy, like Gisèle, had not been "seen to".

Cometh the seasonal onslaught; cometh the torment...

Ewan genuinely believed that hiding beneath the dining-table would sufficiently shield him.  He thought that no-one would possibly be able to find him amidst the myriad legs of table and chairs.  He was wrong each and every time.  In every season - without exception - Fizzy found him, hauled him out and smacked him about the face and neck until he capitulated and fulfilled her sordid whims.  The only difference betwixt Ewan's and Boris's plights was that Gisèle was not, at present, in heat.  Oh no.  Gisèle was beyond EVEN Fizzy's justification.

I realise, now, that Gisèle is basically a torrid whirlpool of salacious hormones and passions, bound with wispy tan and white fur and an endearing smile.  She knows the powers she possesses in her beauty, her lithe young figure and the deep liquid pools in her pretty brown eyes, in which an unprepared young man could easily drown... And she knows how to best employ that exquisite witchcraft in order to get what she wants...

All weekend, this went on.  ALL WEEKEND.  Sickened.  Sickened is what I am by these immoral developments.

Some images exist.  Obviously no pictures of the most base acts.  If you are looking for those I suggest you leave here IMMEDIATELY.  And take your perversions with you; they are not welcome here.

And so:-

1. Mata-Hari ponders her victim

2. Battle commences

3. Boris claims that he is "too tired"...

4. ...Gisèle informs him that he is not.

5. He begins to weaken...

6. Weakness scented, powerful
wiles are unleashed...

7. A tender kiss is bestowed

8. And our reluctant suitor capitulates; totally
hoodwinked by the tiny doggy-Delilah.  Wimp.

Let us leave the scene.  Admittedly, there was a certain charm and sweetness at the outset.  Boris is genuinely enchanted with Gisèle, and he has always been a fond friend.  But the fact that this carried on ALL weekend - added with the fact that my partner has been single for a VERY long time (and I accept my share of the blame for that; my efforts whilst alive in attempting to kill all her prospective suitors whether by fang or by bottom-gas - borne out of jealousy - cannot have helped her situation) - and topped-off by the incident when Boris's nice owner came to collect him and the two dogs fled upstairs giggling to have "one last go" before he went home - all combined to make a most trying and tiresome weekend for my partner and I, no matter how much Boris and 'Sèle enjoyed themselves.

When Boris has finally been bribed into leaving his lady and returning home with his owner my partner wasted no time.  The bed-linens were in the washing-machine and Gisèle was in the bath, both in less than ten minutes.  Giz did not go quietly into the soap-water; she protested volubly but was too tired to resist my partner's determination.  Justice and cleanliness were thus served, I feel.

One more photo remains from that first day to share with you.  Immediately post-fun, that first time, he fell instantly into a deep, snoring sleep:-

You may judge 'Sèle's view of this by her expression.
Poor Boris...

It was NOT a blunder he committed a second time.

I reiterate - Gisèle was, and is, NOT in season.  So I warn you gentlemen.  She's out there - and she will find you.

I urge you to persuade your human partners/owners to purchase a double-lock for your door at their earliest convenience.  Don't bark that I didn't warn you...

Stay vigilant, my friends.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Monday 20 January 2014

Gisèle has got a new hobby.

Thankfully she has now got over her violent stomach bug (let us not go there; it wasn't pleasant).  Therefore she is once again bursting with enthusiasm and vitality and is consequently seeking out new and imaginative ways to accidentally injure herself.  Having learned an early lesson in the witless folly of getting one's self trapped underground (see here for that sorry débacle), the young Gizzles has been seeking out ever more inventive sources of entertainment.

I am sure that I have alluded in the past to Gisèle's passion for chasing squirrels - into which she was indoctrinated by Betty (not that much in the way of encouragement was needed in this case).  This pursuit has led directly to Gisèle's new-found obsession.  Before I proceed any further, let me assure you that I have counselled the young Parson Jack Russell Terrier against her new favourite activity.  I may as well not have bothered, for all the notice she took of me.  In her paws be it then.  I have done my best.  Witness this folly:-

Betty (wearing her muzzle) sits sentinel

Spot the Gisèle... special prize for anyone who
finds her in the first two seconds of looking at this photo...

See?  Unwise at best.


I couldn't WAIT to jump out of my cosy sleeping bag for my third day of holiday. Eis and Devon from next door had already gone out for the day and I couldn't see Marnie anywhere - and I was even MORE disappointed to see that it was raining. I barked at the sky to make it stop, but it didn't work. I will get Betty to tell it off later. Luckily (for the sky) the sun soon came out, all fresh and new! Hurray!

After we had put our packed lunches together my Mistress and me hopped into the Gizmobile and we were away!

We decided to go and visit Fox Tor, near Princetown, as there are lots of old huts and things to see, a pretty river, Fox Tor itself, Childe's Tomb (an old stone cross) and - of course - Fox Tor Mire, which was the inspiration for the Great Grimpen Mire in the Sherlock Holmes story "The Hound of the Baskervilles". Jasper really liked Sherlock Holmes stories, but they are a bit difficult for me to understand. I'm not a Basket-ville dog (I don't think Jasper was one either - you can make up your OWN mind about Betty, hihihiiii...).

These two are of the big area of Fox Tor Mires, from the West

This is me deciding not to investigate the mire more closely

The crossing place for the river, above the mire, just below Fox Tor itself
Now, there is an interesting story about this exact site of the river crossing place - my Mistress and Jasper had a bit of a mishap here a few years ago. I thought it was funny. Mistress said that she smiles about it NOW, but she and Jasper weren't laughing at the time when it happened. I think it was in 2007, probably. That is the last time that Jasper and Mistress had a BIG Dartmoor holiday together.

The river place above is a few miles South of the little town of Princetown (where the nice Plume of Feathers pub is, and the less-nice prison). When Mistress was there with Jasper they parked their Little Green Corsa (like the Gizmobile, but less Giztastic) in Princetown and began walking towards the open moorland. They hadn't gone too far when Mistress realised that she had left her compass back at the B&B where she and Jasper were staying. Only a VERY stupid person goes off into the middle of nowhere without a compass - especially into an area that is famous for being scary and dangerous. So she and Jasper walked back into Princetown and went to the High Moorland Visitor Centre and purchased a new one.  

Off they set again for the long walk towards Fox Tor, Mistress wearing the shiny new compass on its cord around her neck, Jasper capering happily and loving the fresh air and glorious scenery. After a lovely walk of a good few hours Jasper and Mistress arrived at the very spot that is in my photograph here. I have to say that I wasn't as pleased to be here as Jasper was - I am still frightened of water and it is quite deep here. Jasper liked doing swimming and paddling, but Mistress either has to carry me over or I have to find a narrow bit and jump over... Anyway, back to 2007, and Jasper's holiday. Jasper crossed the river first and Mistress went next. As she stepped from the big rock on the left of the picture to the smaller rocks above it, the knot in the cord around her neck slipped undone - before she could catch it, the new compass fell into the water and the flowing water began to carry it away. Jasper went swimming after it as quickly as he could - but as the water flows directly into the mire, my Mistress wouldn't let him go too far in case he got stuck and died. She had to call him back and the water was too fast further downstream for him to catch up with the compass. Mistress and Jasper watched the brand-new compass disappear off towards the mire. It's probably still there. Then Mistress used some bad toilet-words (the sort that I'd get a spanked bottom for if I barked them). And then they went home.

No such horrors for me! Apart from the scary bit of getting across the river, I had a LOVELY day, brilliant running and laughs. Mistress liked it too.

Me with Mistress's rucksack, on the path back to the Gizmobile.  I was very tired
and looking forward to my dinner, my bedtime story and my cosy sleeping bag

Eis and Devon still hadn't returned from their day out when we got back to our cottage and I was SO tired I didn't go out to see if Marnie wanted to play after supper. I LOVE HOLIDAYS!

Bye-bye love from Gisèle. x

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Good day - and a very happy new year to you, dear reader.  'Twas an early bedtime for my partner and the two girls, Betty and Gisèle, although they did stay awake long enough to hear the chimes of good old Big Ben ringing in the new year.  Let us hope that it brings much happiness to all.

To judge, however, from the scenes outside my partner's windows it would seem that the weather is not terribly happy.  A fearsome gale is (literally) howling around the small cul-de-sac and large drops of rain are hurling themselves against the window-panes.  Having witnessed well over 20 storm-felled trees in the woods yesterday, my partner is not minded to expose the two furry blossoms to these wild elements (and not just for fear that they might all get gusted away to the magical land of Oz and squash a witch. Though, having barked that, I'm sure Gisèle would love some pretty ruby slippers; Betty, on the other paw, would merely chew them).  The girls aren't terribly happy about this - but, as I can read in my partner's eyes every time the wind howls with renewed force, it only takes one windblown branch to fall upon a furry head...  It simply isn't worth the risk; especially so when one has a garden that the girls can use for "necessities".

Betty and Giz very much enjoyed their walk in the woods yesterday.  The weather was not unpleasant, despite the débris from the previous storm and good fun was had by all (except, possibly, the squirrels who attracted the girls' attentions).  Regular readers of my humble musings may recall that Betty has a muzzle, purchased after an unfortunate episode last year (and of which there is no need to bark).  My partner -  recognising that said muzzle was not required at home with Gisèle, yet not inattentive to Elizabeth's temper directed towards others when out and about - decreed that Betty must (despite protests from BOTH girls) wear her muzzle on walks.  Betty did not go quietly.  At length, however, she accepted my partner's argument and was content (it was a very soft and comfortable muzzle, after all).  Giz, however, detected a rich seam of p*ss-taking to be enthusiastically mined...

Oh dear...