Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Wednesday 1 July 2015

The second great war has begun. One against several this time. Stay tuned for further updates from the frontline...

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Sunday 3 May 2015

A very long time has passed since there was a rational bark on this blog.  I blame a combination of factors: my partner's second job and long working hours; her sometime ill health (now approaching the road to recovery, thankfully) and Gisèle's general preoccupation with things a young lady ought not to be considering...

I am happy to report that her behaviour has shown a vast improvement of late.  Not that she was ever a particularly naughty girl, but she is now completely, 100%, trustworthy with all farm animals and horses.  Sheep (and anything else besides) may safely graze in the presence of little Gisèle, she pays them no heed.  I cannot rightly say when this transformation took place and it was certainly a realisation she ceme to by herself, as my partner had long been exasperated by the terrier's inappropriate belligerence.  It has made a great deal of difference - unless roads are involved no lead is necessary for sweet Giz. 

Alas, her indefatigable campaign against squirrels continues unabated.  She caught and killed her first one last week.  The kill was incredibly swift and totally bloodless.  Gisèle was immensely proud of herself - right up to the point where she put down the ex-squirrel and tried to wake it up so that it could play with her.  Once the truth had been explained, poor Giz became quite mortified and was very subdued for the rest of the evening.  She hasn't learned from the experience, however, and is still to be often found pursuing squirrels or shouting up at them from the ground... I have washed my paws of this madness.

A very happy event in our nation's history today: the safe arrival of a baby princess for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, a sister for HRH Prince George.  She hasn't been named officially yet.  I overheard Giz in the garden this morning, confidently assuring Rosie that the new baby will be called Princess Gisèle.  Personally I have my doubts over this but, wishing to avoid a tiresome and ultimately futile dispute, I chose not to comment.  Rosie seemed persuaded by Gisèle and barked only that she thought that the royal infant should be called Princess Gisèle Rosemary.  Both girls agreed on this, before launching themselves into a mad play-fight which brought neither of them any dignity.

I am in hopes that a further entry may soon be forthcoming.

Good night.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Tuesday 14 / Wednesday 15 April 2015

God bless Gamon de Pycombe, Kitty and all the other dogs and peoples lost on this night in our year number 1912. Mistress and Jasper tells me about of them and I am sad and wishes for that I can have saved them. They are rests in peace. Yes. But I am sorry acause of what happened. I sends love and respects to them as lost their VERY PRECIOUS lives this night 103 ago. Bye-byelovefrom gisEle-STEPHanie xxxx

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Sunday 22 February 2015

Oh, for goodness' sake...  I turn away for a few brief moments - and return to find witless and inane drivel such as the previous post polluting my carefully-honed blog.

I blame Betty.  It can only be her fault that Gisèle's standards of grammar and language have plummeted so far.  If our heroine had spent less time messing around outdoors and giggling about boys with Betty, then this would not have happened.  I endeavoured to represent the seriousness of the matter to 'Sèle, but I lost her attention after about three minutes.  She did start to listen, but I knew I'd lost her when I saw her eyes following the progress of a robin on the bird-table in the garden.  I gave up.

One thing, at least, was achieved from Betty's most recent week-long visit; the circumstances under which she got her "modicum of revenge" as alluded to in the 9 November 2014 post.  It transpired on a hot summer's afternoon, when my partner attempted to procure the girls some relief from the heat by taking them down the lane to the ford (this being the ford where my partner has previously endeavoured to rebuild Gisèle confidence in the water - there has been some progress; last summer Giz voluntarily paddled in the sea at Lepe and enjoyed herself greatly - but this was after the events I am describing).  On sighting the water, Betty plunged delightedly into the water and immersed herself in the deepest part of the river, in the middle.  Gisèle carefully skulked at the water's edge and only went so far as allowing the water to lap over her paws.  Her face bore an expression of wistful longing as she watched her friend swimming around happily in the cool clear water.

Finally deciding that she wasn't brave enough to venture deeper, Gisèle turned and trotted to the little bridge across the ford.  As she began to cross, Betty doggy-paddled alongside and tried to persuade her little friend to join her in the water.  I watched as Gisèle stopped to watch Betty enjoying her aquatic escapades with a slight hint of regret in her brown eyes.

All of a sudden, there was the briefest scream and a good deal of splashing.  Once my eyes had adjusted due to the sparkles reflecting off the water, the bridge was empty.

Gisèle quickly surfaced, spluttering and splashing, followed by a wickedly-grinning Betty.
"-glub- You did that DELIBERATELY Betty!" squealed an irate 'Sèle, paddling around to face Betty.
"It was an accident!" grinned Betty, swimming out of range of the furious terrier towards the centre of the ford.  Gisèle splashed off in hot pursuit.  Every time she got nearer to Betty, the large dog would paddle further away, much to Gisèle increasing frustration.

Suddenly, Gisèle seemed to realise that she was actually swimming and tried to set down a paw on the bottom of the ford.  Finding that she could not, she began to panic.  Splashing and fretting, she got herself to the edge of the ford and staggered out, trembling and whimpering.

"Gis!" cried Betty, "What did you do that for?!  You were doing really well and swimming all by yourself!"  As annoyed as I was with Betty, I appreciated that she had been trying (in her own way) to encourage Gisèle to be more confident in the water by demonstrating to her that she was an able swimmer, despite her (reasonable) fears.  Betty struck out and swam to join her friend as quickly as she could.  "I'm sorry Gizzy; I didn't mean to frighten you."  Poor Betty was mortified.
"That's ok Betts." replied Gisèle in a small voice and the two friends cuddled and nuzzled each other.  "At least I'm nice and cool now..."

Gisèle fared somewhat better where her supercilious buzzard "friend" was concerned.  Despite Betty's advice, cajoling, persuasion (even threats at times) and irritation, sweet 'Sèle continued to visit the nest of buzzards, more often than not bringing them some sort of gift or "advice".  She persisted in her cheerful and hearty banter, even though she was never met with more than nods or stares.

Inevitably, alas, came the day that Gisèle had been convincing herself would never come.  She was trotting happily along the path, enjoying her walk, when a large buzzard loomed and circled a little too close for comfort above her.  A cursory guess suggested to me that this was a male buzzard; possibly the patriarch of the nest upon which she had been calling.  Further and lower swooped the buzzard, encompassing tiny Giz in his menacing shadow.  I saw concern beginning to register in young 'Sèle's brown eyes.  At length, one of the big raptor's outstretched talons came close enough to graze the terrier's head and she screamed.  She tried to run, but she was on open ground and the nearest cover was too far away.  As the buzzard dived for a more concerted attempt to snatch little Giz, there was a sudden violent clash of feathers and much noisy screeching.

"You leave her alone!  She's alright, that one!  You're NOT to take her! Leave her!"  The female buzzard, mother of the chicks Gisèle had so assiduously visited, battered her fellow-raptor with enough force to put him off and Giz was able to make her escape.  I would like to think that Gisèle has learned a salutory lesson from this experience.  As much as I would like to think that - I know that she will, as ever, have learned nothing.

I did, out of interest, ask Gisèle how things were progressing with her new boyfriend Bracken.  She cannot remember who Bracken is.  There's no hope...

Pip pip!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Hello, hihihi...
Gisele-Stephanie here but shhh! Don't tell Jasper, shh!

I do does have a new boyfriend who is called Bracken. He is does come from a rescue home and didn't have know how to enjoy his food proper until I is have show him yes I did.

I written is not good and I am is sorry but I do it want to say that I do is like Mr. Bracken yes very much. I might is that want to have my own yes please husband and am babies soon and no might be better not even cross if Bracken had been help get me marriage babies. Yes yes.

Sorry my own written is not be better. Jazz be able back to help me sorry soon.

Bye then love from Gisele xx

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Wednesday 31 December 2014

Quick update - my partner has been working flat-out at the vets. At a dinner party tonight to see the new year in...

Betty is to return for a week in a few days' time, which has caused much joy in the household.

Gisele's behaviour has improved beyond anything one might have anticipated and she has become all that I could have wished for my partner - a loving, devoted companion; whilst losing none of her cheeky, saucy, mischievous, independent and lively personality. So different from myself - and happily so.

Pretty Giz consented, in a moment of Christmas weakness, to go on a date with Archie, the Jack Russell from the house at the end of our terrace, who has long lusted after her. It was not a success.

More to follow anon...

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Saturday 22 November 2014

Well, I should like to be regaling you with information from sweet Gisèle - but when I chatted to her about her news and about what she wished to bark, when she began with "Hihihihi... I's on heat - write my 'phone number and address and tell all boy dogs to come and visit pretty Giz, hihihihiiiiiiiii...", I knew that it would not end well.

Instead, therefore, whilst our diminutive heroine "cools down", here is a piece written by my partner; composed as she visited the WWI commemorative art installation of poppies at the Tower of London.

Blood Swept Lands & Seas of Red


This was the name of the art installation in London, consisting of 888,246 ceramic poppies (one for every British military fatality), created to mark 100 years since the beginning of World War One.  I happened to be in London & went to see it two days before it was fully dismantled.  I found the experience somewhat unsettling & sat on a step to capture my thoughts in writing.  This is what I wrote:

The Tower of London, 15 November 2014, 11:52am

They are coming in waves.  Something vaguely unsettling [is] going on here. [On my] arrival here [earlier, there was] only a certain amount of good-natured jostling followed by apologies & awkward smiles.  But now tourists of all hues & accents pour down Tower Hill as the coaches & tubes disgorge their contents in droves.  A man holds a ladder above the heads of the slowly-moving morass & a pair of Police-officers keeps a vigilant watch, mounted atop powerful, patient horses, both of whom blink unflinchingly as their photographs are taken & their noses are repeatedly tapped by strangers.

The art installation is undeniably beautiful. A single poppy for every UK soldier lost in the bloody slaughter of WWI – & [in this] setting; England’s mighty fortress, which has held firm for centuries -  stronghold of our crown & resting place for executed monarchs & traitors alike.  The mere words “the Tower” once filled Londoners’ hearts with dread – & now it is almost impossible to withstand the huge tides of people rushing to its walls, marshalled by a small army of people with loudhailers trying desperately to keep the crowds in motion & avoid a devastating crush.

There is something ugly about this now.  People are pushing to get at the front, for the “best” view.  An heavily-pregnant woman has just stumbled after being shoved.  Those with high-powered cameras seem utterly oblivious to the presence of tiny children in front of them as they jostle & position in order to get the best angle.  One man barely notices that he has kicked over a toddler, so absorbed is he in focussing his lenses, & he grunts the most cursory of apologies to the tot’s parents.  Helicopters offering “aerial tours” fly & hover noisily overhead at regular intervals, & still more surges of people come.
What have they come to see?  The sea of red spilling from the mighty Tower & filling its moat, representing the blood of the fallen?  The art installation that is the current zeitgeist, the pièce du jour, to keep pace with fashion?  An opportunity for a “poppy selfie” to prove to their Facebook friends that they were here?
Or do they fix their eye on one single poppy & spare a thought for the lost life that that individual ceramic bloom commemorates?  Perhaps a 19 year-old Tommy, shot in the throat by a German sniper, fallen to the ground in abject terror; the last coherent sound he is able to fix upon as he begins to drown in the endless mud & his own blood is that of his mates being yelled at by their commanding officer: “Forget him!  Leave him! He’s gone; there’s nothing you can do! Keep going…!”
Perhaps some do see these poppies as the 888,246 individual lives snuffed out so brutally.  But for the most part – today, at least – more visitors seem keener to push & mutter obscenities at the back of a stranger’s head, when they deem him to have “taken too long” to capture his photograph & his memory.

I wonder what the ghosts of the Tower make of all this?  I found elements here more ghoulish than even Anne Boleyn’s reputed spectral wanderings.