My apologies for a lengthy absence. It is not because of my tumour - far from it. In fact, dewclaw on wood, that has settled down considerably and is merely tiresome, as opposed to painful. No, I was absent due mostly to our straitened finances. For three weeks in September, due to a series of unfortunate situations, my partner and I found ourselves having to live on a mere £26. It was, to say the least, not easy. I always had enough to eat, but my partner had to manage with just one very basic meal per day. Consequently, we retired to bed at about 8pm on most days, with a book by candlelight, in order to conserve both energy and electricity.
But now we are back! Back, solvent once more, alive and sniffing bottom! (The latter is just me. My partner doesn't sniff bottoms, to the best of my knowledge). AND I have been mentioned on the radio!! Oh yes. The DJ is the ever-excellent Kevin Williams and he broadcasts at 7.00pm on Tuesdays here: http://www.hospitalradiobedside.co.uk/ ("Listen Live" can be accessed by clicking on the headphones in the right-paw column). There is a current popular track by Maroon 5 (featuring Christina Aguilera) called "Moves Like Jagger"). Sweet Kevin rechristened it, live on-air, for me: "Moves Like Jasper"! And, although I bark it myself - my moves ARE good. Oh yes, believe it baby. Seriously. Listen to Kev. - he deserves a wider audience.
My Holly tree continues to thrive. My partner and I did a spot of gardening this afternoon and put a little bit of compost around it. My partner says that this will help to feed the roots. I can quite understand this; compost is delicious. I always try and snaffle a few bites of it from the garden whenever we visit my partner's parents house.
I have got a brand-new next-door neighbour! He is a very, very young Staffordshire Bull Terrier and his name is Milo. He looks very much like me. So much so, in fact, that were it not for the operation of which we do not bark, I would have been racking my brains to try and recall any recent indiscretions. Particularly as the pup has already shown a decided fondness for my other neighbour, pretty Westie Terrier Rosie, - and (as we all know) the apple never falls far from the tree... Milo, apart from his infant cuteness, has one temporary advantage over me however - his diminutive size. Several times now the puppy has escaped from his rear garden by hopping between the fence posts and, each time, it was to scamper directly to Rosie's kitchen! By rights, I ought to be jealous, but I confess that I admire the lad's pluck. Plus which, Rosie continues to show a distinct preference for me (one cannot blame her - she is only canine, after all). I can therefore chuckle with fond indulgence over Milo's love-struck antics.
Following the mortifications visited upon me by having my teeth brushed, I have been subjected to further indignity in the bathroom. Yes, dear reader, yes. It's true.
On Wednesday, I was enjoying the unusually-warm October sun and was dozing peaceably in the work-yard. Alas for me, however, I had settled my rear into a small pool of spilled diesel fuel. My rump was irredeemably tarnished. I tried to shield it from my partner but, of course, she clocked me straight away. After a bit of light verbal chiding, and mockery from other friends and colleagues, I thought I'd got off lightly. But no. Oh no.
As soon as we arrived home, I was marched directly upstairs to our salle de bains and lifted into the bath/shower. This, in itself, was troubling enough. I was then ushered into a nightmare from the mind of of the inimitable Alfred Hitchcock himself.
This was the first shower I had received since our bathroom was re-fitted earlier this year. I have to admit that the warm jets of water that issued from my new shower unit were infinitely pleasant and not a little relaxing. My partner had also shown consideration in selecting an unscented shampoo, so that I would not be transformed by this episode from the mighty Jasper H. Stafford into a pampered fool. Submitting happily, therefore, to my bath it proved as painless as it was pleasurable. More than can be barked for the unfortunate Marion Crane, I feel - but she really shouldn't have stolen that cash in the first place. And taking a room in a place so obviously sinister as the Bates Motel is just asking for trouble.
For the sake of appearances (and in the hope of gaining an extra supper-biscuit by making my partner feel guilty), I pretended that I had been traumatised by my appalling defilement in the shower. Yet again I was thwarted. I left my partner to clean up the bathroom by herself, whilst I headed downstairs for a drink and a nap. Unfortunately, I was so soothed by my evening bath that I fell fast asleep.
For any reader troubled by the prospect of my Hitchcockian trauma in the shower, I offer you comfort here in this post-bathing image, in which I was captured unawares by my partner - curled up snugly in the foetal-position with a great big grin on my face. My partner says this is one of her favourite pictures of me, despite it being taken less than four days ago, with my tumour-infested-snout side uppermost: