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Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
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Sunday, 31 March 2013

Have I Gen. Zhukov's toughness?

(Above) Von Paulus plans an outflanking manoeuvre

Missie, my younger daughter's Cairn terrier, is spending an uneasy ten days with me and - as I write this - I realise where the roots of dissension lie. I am old and so is she. Please note: this is an I-post, not a we-post (ie, one that necessarily includes VR's views)

If I adjust Missie's doggie years to match mine, both of us are staring 80 in the face. Selfishness and routine are essential in cheating Biblical expectation and both she and I rely on these factors every waking moment. Inevitably there are clashes.

I should also explain I have reached a financial point in life where saving money becomes irrelevant and spending is all that is left. Just recently I was almost party to a decision to spend £75 on a pair of Hotter Energises ("Shoes to fall in love with" says the publicity; see pic) and this project only came to nought when I discovered that Size 11 isn't available in a wider fitting. Who needs more than one pair of shoes, anyway?

What I was party to was the replacement of a rather gloomy, dark green leather sofa, still in fairly good nick, with a gayer, stripy sofa from Parker Knoll (ie, pricey) on the grounds that it lifts the otherwise pessimistic atmosphere of the living room. An airy-fairy idea which confirms only one thing: when it comes to cash I disburse rather than conserve.

I am sure you can see where this is leading. The PK sofa is becoming a symbolic Stalingrad in the war of wills between Missie and me. The hell with the living room decor, says she; those stripes would set off my highlighted greys. And while I prefer to play the triumphant role of General Zhukov (All those medals!), leaving Missie as the unfortunate General Von Paulus, I fear the coughing tendency has returned, despite antibiotics, and I am a weakened force. More later, perhaps.


  1. My first two dogs were allowed onto the sofas (but never beds). But in those days as an impecunious father of 3 active children the sofas were second hand anyway and this did not matter.
    My later dogs have been (3) German Shepherds, a dog that needs to know its place in the "pack". As such they have been forbid from sofas, beds and chairs. Although I do have a photo of the first (a bitch)curled on my lap, together with two contented ginger tom-cats. They, of course, were the bosses and she knew her place.
    Sorry to hear that the cough has returned - I picked mine up during my 3 days in hospital (at least it was not MRSA) and it has taken about a month to clear.

  2. Time to put on Shostakovich's Leningrad at full blast I think.

  3. My heart turns to moosch with old dogs and cats. So I put a towel on the furniture and if they can't jump themselves, I lift them.

    Clear spinach soup for the cough!

  4. Avus: We could afford to be lax about the leather couch; its replacement is, as you can see, a lightish coloured cloth fabric and is more vulnerable to dog's claws and dirty dog's paws. Funny you should say that about beds. Missie sneaked off during the day and we found where she'd gone to when we turned in just after midnight. A half-eaten bone in the middle of our bed coverlet said it all.

    Sir Hugh: Your prescription sounds as if you're the sort of person who keeps their bedroom windows open throughout the winter.

    RW (sZ): Never mind about old dogs and cats, what about old homo sapiens? I am he. You don't say how you are able to tolerate dog flatus from such a nearby source, Defective olfactory sensors could undermine any claims you make for your beer.

  5. Interesting that the little dog turned its back on the camera. a modest Missie. The last time a dog visited us, it was a Jack Russell, a breed I value for its irreverence, liveliness and intelligence. This one ate my slippers and though a year old had never been introduced to the idea of crapping out of doors. Needless to say I liked it much more than its owner. It posed for the camera all the time incidently, vain as professional celebrity.

    I hope your cough is not to troublesome and leaves you soon. This is the sort of weather that coughs seem to enjoy.

  6. When intestinal gas is involuntarily expelled, it helps to have another creature nearby on the couch. Keeps the others in the room guessing. Have you heard of the newest volume by a popular science writer: http://www.npr.org/2013/04/01/175381702/in-digestion-mary-roach-explains-what-happens-to-the-food-we-eat
    In the book, Ms. Roach devotes a section to scientists who study noxious flatus.
    As for my beer, it is entirely harmless. Each bottle comes with a triple-clad no flatulence guarantee. As does my Sauerkraut. (The secret is caraway seed!)

  7. Joe: Dog-crap is weighing on me heavily. The abstract topic, that is, not the stuff itself. I could easily devote several posts to its moral implications. But so far I've held back, a bit like Sherlock Holmes did when asked about The Case Of The Purple Anteater (the exact name escapes me) and replied "the world isn't yet ready for that". You were immensely tolerant about the Jack Russell but, if I read between the lines, the JR's owner sounds truly horrible. Another subject the world isn't yet ready for, no doubt.

    RW (zS): I question the phrase "noxious flatus". Is there any other kind?