Sunday, 7 March 2021

Sunday 7 March 2021

Mistress has made a cake.  It has got chocolate on it so I am not allowed to have any.  As if that, and the pictures posted in recent entries were not debasement and humiliation enough for a sweet young thing such as I, she is now making me put the recipe on here so her friends can have it.  My way is clear.  I will have my revenge - but she won't find it until she next puts on her boots, hehe...

"Exhibit A"

If you must...

Coca-Cola Cake (by Nigella Lawson)

For the cake

200 g (7 oz) (1 3/4 cups) plain flour
250 g (1/2 lb) (1 1/4 cups) golden caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
125 ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125 g (4 oz) (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (Mistress accidentally added a bit too much cocoa powder once and it was actually quite nice, so you could add a little bit more if you want to)
175 ml (3/4 cup) Coca-Cola (Mistress says to use proper Coca-Cola, not Diet or Sugar-Free as they won't taste right)

 (22-23 cm Springform, lined with foil to prevent the batter leaking, then greased)

For the icing

225 g (7 oz) ( 2 1/4 cups) icing sugar
2 tablespoons (30g) butter
3 tablespoons (45ml) Coca-Cola
1 tablespoon (15 ml) cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4/ 350 F and put in a baking sheet at the same time.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, bicarb and salt. In a measuring jug, beat the egg, buttermilk and vanilla.

3. In a heavy-based saucepan, melt the butter, cocoa and Coca-Cola, heating it gently. Pour into the dry ingredients, stir well with a wooden spoon, and then add the liquid ingredients from the jug, beating until it is well blended.

4. Pour into the prepared tin and bake on the warm sheet for 40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

5. Leave to stand for 15 minutes in the tin before un-moulding. Then unclip, unwrap and turn out on a wire rack, making sure you’ve got a sheet of newspaper or something underneath the rack to catch any icing that drips through.

6. Sieve the icing sugar and set aside for the moment. In a heavy-based saucepan, combine the butter, Coca-Cola and cocoa and stir over a low heat until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla, and spoon in the sieved icing sugar, beating as you do so, until you’ve got a good, spreadable, but still runny, icing.

7. Pour this icing over the cake, while the cake is still warm, spread gently and leave till cool before transferring to the plate on which you’re serving it.  Decorate it however you want - in the picture Mistress used white chocolate buttons with rainbow sprinkles. We wanted to use those jelly Coca-Cola bottle shaped sweets but the shop didn't have any.

8. Now grill 87 chops of various types for your loyal and long-suffering Parson Jack Russell and tell her she's a good and beautiful girl while she eats them. 

All hail.

Saturday, 13 February 2021

Saturday 13 February 2021

Disrespectful laughter is not a sound that I like.

Don't mistake me, I do very much like to laugh.  I just don't like being laughed at very much.  My handsome predecessor, Jasper (who started this blog back in 2006) liked making people happy as much as he could and often performed particularly to gain laughter and general amusement.  Here he is, nobly sacrificing dignity for the sake of laughter, posing at Pixieland on Dartmoor in Devon:

No part of this picture was digitally edited or added-to.  
He wore this hat and sat on this toadstool for REAL. And was happy about it.
You can visit the scene of the crime here: Pixieland

Elsewhere on this blog you can spot him dressed as Sherwood Forest, some Watercress, Robin Hood and performing in character as 'Bullseye' in a production of Oliver! and these were by no means all his appearances.

I will admit that I have done a couple of shifts dressed as some watercress myself; you can find it here within the pages of this blog if you want to see that, I am not going to look it out and post it again.  My own ability with photography is not high - just a few days ago I sat on Mistress's 'phone and accidentally posted a rather ordinary (as if there could be such a thing) photo of myself dozing on a sofa to her "My Story" section of something called Facebook.  She only found out when she got notifications that people had seen it.

The general subject of this all came about back at our house earlier today.  Mistress was sorting through a box and found lots of dog photographs. Right back to her first dog Jaki, through the tragically short-lived Tess Tickle and our hero Jasper-Horatio up to my own sweet self, Mistress showed me lots of pictures and I enjoyed them very much.  We also found some pictures from six years ago.  They were less to my taste.

These pictures were taken on the day that Mistress came out of hospital after recovering from kidney failure.  She had brought some "souvenirs" from the nurses on her ward.  Because I was so happy to have Mistress home alive and well I reluctantly agreed to pose briefly with these items.  It was my belief that these pictures would never see the light of day.  Silly me.  I defy you, friend reader, to dare to laugh at them...

Yes, that's what I thought.  A shocking abuse of sanitary apparatus.

After coming back to GrannaPea's house later in the afternoon, I was given a big tasty chew to enjoy.  I decided to consume half and stash the remainder for another time.  I duly took the first opportunity of sneaking outside when the back door was open, to bury my bounty in a carefully concealed secret location.  I chose a specially-secluded site, prepared the ground, and placed the chew.  Some time later, GrannaPea had cause to put some stuff into her compost bin and, inexplicably, found my place of concealment!  The traitorous septuagenarian (big word for me, I know.  I looked it up on Mr. Googles) came back into the house laughing in a VERY disrespectful way and summoned Mistress.  She followed her mother back outside and both of them returned laughing heartily.  I got very cross.  The more cross I got, the more they laughed. Mistress called me "a total muppet" and said that my burying skills "were rubbish".  I think not.

After all, I chose my spot most carefully.  It was the site of where the old compost heap used to be (before the posh new compost bin arrived).  I didn't go there hardly at all last year because birds were nesting in the clematis and I had to be good and leave them alone.  They are gone now and the nest is empty.

Mistress has been using her new computer to play games (very unfair, it was only supposed to be for me to be writing this on). Some of them have been "hidden object" games, where you have to find particular things on a crowded screen.  So here is my very own hidden object game.  See if you can find (a) the nest (easy) and (b) my very carefully and professionally hidden chew (I bet you can't):

I don't know why they were laughing.

Stay safe, be nice to each other, don't give up hope and keep smiling.

Lots of love from Gisèle x

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Wednesday 3 February 2021

 In this picture you find me sleepy in my basket.  I have had a very busy few days.

I have been helping Mistress and GrannaPea to make our house better.  I have been enjoying lots of walks.  Now, Mistress is watching a special programme about Captain Sir Tom Moore, who passed away yesterday.  He always seemed like a very nice person.

I am happy to bark that GrannaPea has had her first Coronavirus vaccine jab, on Saturday.  Obviously, I went along to supervise.

Here I am, standing sentinel...

Custodian of the accompanying leaflet...

I had a strategy, too, for ensuring my own dose of the jab (we dogs can't catch the virus, but one can never be too sure...).  I was going to scuttle in, in place of GrannaPea, claim that I was a sufferer of restricted growth with body-hair issues and an unfortunate facial abnormality (they were Mistress's badly-chosen words), and proffer my supple little forearm just as the needle descended.   But I was thwarted in the final moment.  Mistress said that GrannaPea needed the injection and, in any case, she had to go into the building by herself.

I told Mistress that when I had finished having my picture taken (see above) I would break into the back of the hotel and steal all the rest of the vaccines for me and my friends.  She said that I would not.  I said I would.  She said, in that case, if I was so excited about injections then she would take me straight to the vets doctor and I could have a proper dog one.  Apparently when I was last in the vets doctor place they said I could have some cosmetic works done on some of my teeth.  My right jaw isn't quite proper after some mischief when I was little and some of my teeth are not too straight.  Well, I know what teeth are but I don't what cosmetic means.  My teeth work fine and I haven't got any pain.  And Mistress says it would be a lot of anaesthetic which might be a bit dangerous.  It would cost nearly a thousand pounds, but Mistress said she would very gladly pay it if I really wanted it, and it would be a nice big needle too.  Really big.

I changed my mind.  I don't like injections any more.  GrannaPea will have another one, in about 12 weeks.  But she is welcome to it.  I have gone off the idea.  I am very glad that GrannaPea has had her injection and it makes it a bit safer for her.

And it's February already!  Where did January go?  I will look under the sofa tomorrow to see if it went down there.

Stay safe, be nice to each other, don't give up hope and keep smiling.

Lots of love from Gisèle x

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Tuesday 26 January 2021

I have been very busy these past few days.  Supervising the restoration of my home after the toilet-traumas (mended, but we are still living with GrannaPea for the moment - it is warmer here).  We have had some snow.  I haven't seen very much snow in my life, but I do like it.  Until I remember that it is cold and wet.

We went out early in the morning when it snowed (on Sunday).  Mistress thinks that making a snowman is boring and I can't make a snowdog with my little paws.  So we made a "snowrona virus" instead.  At least it is topical.  Mistress shared a picture of it and quite a lot of people liked it, which made me happy.  Someone said they liked it as an example of typical British humour.  I asked Mistress what that meant because I have never heard of a dog called that.  She just looked at me, shaking her head.  But she was smiling, so that's alright.

I like making people smile, even when and especially because times are horrible.  Here is a picture of me after we had finished our building and taking pictures, showing exactly what I think of the REAL Coronavirus:

"Die, foul 'rona!"

I can be vicious when I want to be.

If only I knew how voodoo works, then I could destroy the virus for properly and for ever.

Here is a picture of the snowrona before I attacked it.  This is the one that I said Mistress could share.  She took quite a few pictures but in most of them I wasn't ready or I looked cross (so would you if you had to sit on the wet snow on your little furry bottom).

I approved this one.  I wasn't burping in this one.

Later in the day we went out for a long walk and I had so much fun, I ran and played in the snow like a puppy.  Afterwards I fell so fast asleep back in the warm that Mistress had to check that I was still breathing (I was).  She told GrannaPea that I was so sound asleep that I was "basically just a chop with fur on it".  But I had fun, so I don't mind.

The snow is almost gone now.  I am quite sad about this, but was cheered up this morning when GrannaPea got a 'phone call from the local human vet surgery today - she is going to have her Covid-19 vaccine injection on Saturday.  That makes me happy.
Mistress has got a new laptop computer for herself.  Actually it is for me (I am typing this on it now) as long as I don't dribble on it.  Mistress is using it too for writing some things but I don't know what she is writing.  It isn't this, so it can't be very important, but I will let her have her turn and try not to be too cross about it.  I don't like being cross, so I won't be.

Mistress took some more pictures of me playing in the snow.  I will try and find one or two where I don't look annoyed at having my photo taken or am engaged in activities which are apparently "not ladylike".  I don't know what that means.

When I was playing I saw some of my friends.  Rolo the Labrador barked that he had a new joke for me.  "What's the difference between roast beef and pea soup?" I didn't know.  "I can roast beef but I can't pea soup..." He ran away laughing.  I kept saying it over and over again in my head but I didn't understand it until later, when I was back home and Mistress was drying my paws. And then I got told off for slipping out of my towel because I was cackling like a misbehaving biddy-hen. Harsh.

Stay safe, be nice to each other, don't give up hope and keep smiling.

Lots of love from Gisèle x

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Thursday 21 January 2021

When I started typing this it was 21:21 on the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century.  I don't suppose that means anything really, but it isn't something that happens every day.

Mistress has had further toilet-trauma.  We are still staying at GrannaPea's but have been going to our house to do tidyings and things.  There, we found that the toilet which we thought had been fixed was actually still not mended and water was once again pouring onto the floor when we pulled the handle.  Mistress was very angry.  She telephoned for a plumber and was told that no-one could come until February.  Happily, yesterday, they had a cancellation and so Mistress received a text message to say that plumber "Jake" would soon be arriving.

We went to our house to await Jake's arrival.  Only it wasn't Jake.  It was our friend Ross, from before.  He at least had the grace to look slightly ashamed of having to fix the problem that he failed to fix before (he forgot to include a key part and some sturdy screws in his previous effort).  I made sure to supervise him extra-closely, with my special bug-eyed expression so he knew I meant business.  I think the repairs have worked properly this time.  I hope so, for his young sake, anyway.  But why did they call him Jake, when he is Ross?  Or maybe his real name isn't Jake. Is it even Ross?  But whoever he is, I am grateful for his efforts.

And barking of annoying toilets being successfully flushed, my friends in America have a new leader and I am glad.  I hope that he will bring better things to the world in general.  More dignity and respect in any case, and that is always a good place to begin.

I look a bit dubious, but only because it was my dinner-time
and Mistress should have been getting my meal instead of
 making me pose for pictures...

I have hope for happier times ahead.  Even if it is still a bit difficult at the moment.

Stay safe, be nice to each other, don't give up hope and keep smiling.

Lots of love from Gisèle x

Friday, 8 January 2021

Friday 8 January 2021

Mistress with her arm down the toilet.  Can there be any more glorious, more edifying sight for a pretty young Parson Russell Terrier than that of her Mistress with her arm down the toilet?  I don't think so.

Much has happened since I last put claw to keyboard.  The Coronavirus is growing worse, almost by the hour, and its shadow is falling ever nearer to my basket.  The events in the USA the night before last, when their nation's Capitol was stormed and infiltrated by vile thugs, resulting in loss of life, incited and goaded by the very President of the country.  It sickens me and I will not even mention him. He will not have the oxygen of publicity here.  He might have a partly-orange face like me, but I think I wear mine better, inside and out.

But enough of this.  There are innumerable other places to read about such sorrow and I don't want it to be here.  I am simply happy enough to be alive and well here on this Friday.  This then: after the toilet maladies at the beginning of the week, Mistress had to prepare the... less than tidy... room for the arrival of the emergency plumber.  This involved tidying away of one of my more advanced Giz-nests, a good one, with treats and at least two chews in (I wasn't happy, I had worked particularly hard on that one), then preparation of the offending wee-station itself (still leaking water).  Having protested impotently at the dismantling of my bathroom stronghold, I sat down in the room doorway and enjoyed every single second of my Mistress scrubbing at, swabbing and scouring the wretched receptacle.  I enjoyed each one.  When Mistress saw me watching and grinning she said some very rude words.  I laughed.  But then, when she started advancing towards me in her rubber gloves, armed with her befouled scouring pad, I chose to run away squealing and wait out the rest of the time in the car.  I think she has forgiven me for enjoying her misery.  Mostly.  

I don't know why humans are so obsessed with toilets.  I can understand the room, because the thing was broken and there was an outside-human coming to mend it.  But no matter where I go, every time I lay a pretty dog-egg Mistress or GrannaPea picks it up in a little green bag.  Why?  I mean, I am grateful that they admire my work so much - and I do work hard to create eggs of especial beauty - but where do they put them?  What happens to them?  I don't know.  Perhaps they are building a house out of them.  It should be a good house, they are quite robust.  And it would have a good bathroom.

The plumber came.  He was called Ross and was very nice.  He repaired the problems very well under my supervision.  I think that people only like doing things when I am watching them and so I took care to watch him very closely.  He didn't mind though and talked to me while he was doing his mending and pipe works.  I am sure he wishes that he could have stayed in that bathroom talking to me and playing with his pipes all day.  But he couldn't.  And now everything is mended and nice again.  But I am not allowed to rebuild my nest.

Mistress and me are still staying with GrannaPea at the moment, even though the pipes are mended.  It is easier and these are not easy times.

On Thursday (last night), they re-started the Clap for Carers which first happened in March last year.  I wrote about it before (First dose of The Clap).  It went on for a few weeks before they stopped it at the end of May.  Now it has been re-started in this third English lockdown as Clap for Heroes, to include all the people who do important work, like bin-men, delivery drivers, vets (hmmm), supermarket workers, postmen, loads more, as well as NHS peoples.  I like it.  I approve of anything that is nice to people and makes people smile.  I asked Mistress if I could join in and so, last night at 8.00pm, I was given a little pot and a wooden spoon to bang out my little barky thank-you.

I approach my instrument.

Thank you!

I had a very nice time with my little drum-kit.  Until Mistress took it away because "it was being abused".  She said I would turn into Animal, off of The Muppets (I don't care, I like him), and my music was stolen from me.  Until roughly 8.00pm, Thursday next week.

Animal - Godfather of the sticks 'n' skins...

Who would even dare to try to foresee what might happen between now and then?  Not me.  But however else we are further tried - or cheered - until then, I can only do my best and...

… Stay safe, be nice to each other, don't give up hope and keep smiling.

Lots of love from Gisèle x

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Tuesday 5 January 2021

A very happy new year to you.  Such as it is.  The Coronavirus news gets worse almost by the hour.  At least 60,916 new cases here in the UK just today, over a million in total now, and a complete new countrywide lockdown for who knows how long.  And our toilet exploded this morning.

But Mistress says that we have to keep hopeful.  Even though more people than ever are dying and the evil virus continues to spread unabated at least we have two vaccines that dwell among us now.  Something of a miracle when you think about it.  Mistress's brother has already had his first injection and we very much hope that her sister-in-law and GrannaPea have theirs very soon.  I am very frightened now (I wasn't before) and I want Mistress to have it too.  But Mistress isn't in a vulnerable group and says that it is more important that other peoples have it first, the peoples that need it more.  Mistress was very ill last year and in hospital for a long time, but she says that she feels better now than she has done for a very long time and it will all be alright.  I think she is very annoyed about the toilet today.  I was tempted to laugh when I saw all the water pouring out but it really wasn't very funny.  A plumber is coming on Thursday and Mistress and I are taking temporary refuge with GrannaPea (a good blessing that we are able to do that).

Did you have a nice Christmas (even despite the circumstances)?  I did.  I went to church on Christmas Eve with Mistress and GrannaPea and got a blessing from the Bishop (the second time I have been blessed by a Bishop).  Mistress laughs and says she never understands why I don't burst into flames whenever I set a paw upon sanctified ground... Heheeheee.  I have always been a cheeky pickle, but Mistress says she wouldn't have it any other way.  And I have never been vicious (unless you are of the squirrel or rat persuasion...).

I got some very nice presents.  A pretty new bouncy ball from my friend Luna, some new chews, some biscuits, different treats and a very tasty turkey dinner.

With my favourite new chew. Although I didn't want to have
my picture taken.  I was tired and my Giz-tuft had gone all flat.

My fangs get on with their toothy business.

Actually I had three turkey dinners (but not all on the same day).  A very good haul for me this time, hehe.  But I am grateful for whatever I have, especially at the moment.

When, in June 2012, my tender little claws first fell upon this blog - and even looking back at August 2006, when Jasper-Horatio committed his first bark to the screen - who knew that I would be writing about such things as are happening today...?  Madness.  And an exploding toilet.

Stay safe, be nice to each other, don't give up hope and keep smiling.

Lots of love from Gisèle x