Posted in Animals, Challenges, nature, On the wild -side., photography, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wordpress

Against the Odds: WordPress Photo Challenge. Roe deer.

wp_20170215_10_06_04_pro-2

So – I’m out with the Daisy dog (a retired racing greyhound) in what I have christened the magical valley. Not a very original name and I really must come up with something more imaginative. I can guarantee that I will spot something rather special when I amble down to it… through the glorious, thick mud at the moment.

Just a few of the things on my spotted whilst walking in the magical valley  are:

  • Goshawk
  • Red Kite
  • Barn owl
  • Kestrel
  • Hare… one – the size of a small dog
  • Rabbit
  • Rat
  • Pheasant
  • Deer
  • Buzzard

And a cast of thousands.

Back to the subject in question… Against the Odds, which is this week’s topic for the WordPress photo challenge https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/against-the-odds/

As the Daisy dog and I stand in the valley I spot two female roe deer in the trees, just above us. I scramble for my phone, with said dog straining on her lead to sniff at yet another blade of grass. I have to quickly delete some images as I’ve rather cleverly filled up the memory. ( What really?  Now of all times?) I wholeheartedly expect the deer, who are well aware of our presence, to move on at any moment. They don’t and I manage to get some shots… of their bottoms (white)

Does my white bum look big in this?
Does my white bum look big in this?

and their heads… seemingly growing out of the trees.

An unusual tree.
An unusual tree.

I curse the fact that I haven’t got my proper camera with me ( better zoom), but hey … I’ve managed to grab some shots of them.

On cue, they bound off over the hill and the Daisy dog and I amble back home. Inside I’m skipping and doing cartwheels!

I’d say the chances of me getting any shots of those two beautiful animals was Against the Odds!

If you want to check out the other entries for this challenge, just click on the link above.

Thanks for dropping by.

Dorne x

 

Posted in Animals, Arty -farty!, Challenges, nature, photography, Wordpress

Solitude: WordPress challenge.

 

The folk at WordPress are asking us to give them our definition of solitude, for this week’s challenge https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/solitude/

Here’s my take on it.

fibro-fog-for-wd-5

 

I value time spent alone, with my own thoughts. I guess I’m lucky in that I can find my solitude in a room full of people, or a busy environment, if I choose to. I just retreat into myself. Quite literally in a world of my own.

But, to get myself a really big dose of solitude – nature is my addiction.

 

cropped-cropped-cropped-twitter-header-111.jpgblog-background

blog-post-before-bed-2snow-inner-child-4

hog weed seeds 1cropped-big-skies-651.jpg

view smoothcropped-blog-art-7.jpg

big skies 33Favourite lane

Whether I have an hour to roam around, or a snatched five minutes, nature works her magic every time with me.

Solitude to me is that sense of truly being connected to your body, soul and mind. The three can so often be off in different directions. To fuse them together brings with it a sense of solitude and peace. A heightened sense of just being… a pretty cool fix, I think.

We enter this world by ourselves. We live alone with our thoughts and we depart this world by ourselves.

Solitude is a gift.

I’m looking forward to seeing what other folk come up with… click on the above link to see for yourself.

Thanks for dropping by.

Dorne x

 

 

Posted in Adopting greyhounds., Greyhound training, Greyhounds and muddy boots., This thing we call life.

A fistful of sausages: training the Daisy dog.

 

the-daisy-dog-1

For a few sausages more I’m hoping my greyhound will be good, not bad and certainly not get us into an ugly situation.

I’m out with the Daisy dog on a bright, late January afternoon. The birds are singing hopeful songs and a gentle, relaxing walk lies ahead of us.

We turn the corner and are immediately thrown into a standoff, not dissimilar to a scene from a spaghetti western – hence the title.

 

Photo credit: pyxurz.blogspot.com
Photo credit: pyxurz.blogspot.com

A beautiful, long-haired, border collie who goes by the name of Flossie leads her pack of two humans. They always trail several yards behind her. The music builds to a climax  in my aching head as I clock Daisy’s body language. She is eyeballing the Flossie and all her muscles have been tensed. Flossie stares the Daisy dog down and keeps coming at us.

There’s no time to retrieve the fistful of sausages in my glove ( yummy!) and I take evasive action by turning my pooch away from her perceived threat to face a wall, whilst calmly, but firmly telling her no… to defuse the situation. But, Daisy’s not having any of this and she lunges at the Flossie. I manage to pull her back in time and tell her no! She gives up and the standoff is over. Phew! The Flossie continues on her walk.

The rest of Flossie’s pack ambles up and a joint and judgemental ooh! is muttered by them and so the finger of blame wafts in my direction.

To say that I’m bloody furious is an understatement.

Standoffs with this Flossie are becoming a regular occurrence.  Usually, I get to deploy my weapon… sliced sausages. A request for the Daisy dog to watch me distracts her as she loves sausages. Don’t all dogs?  The Flossie passes us by and her pack of two loyal followers rush silently past us. Which is odd, to say the least. Most dog walkers like to pass comment on our various canine encounters. Or at least say ” Hello.”

In my quest to train our pooch, I go everywhere with my fists and pockets full of sausages, or bits of beef, pork and when I’m desperate liver. All cooked of course. I smell really yummy and dogs for miles around are thrilled to see me. They all want to stop and say hello. Which is fine… the Daisy dog gets to socialize with other dogs and I get to chat for England.

dog-walking-daisy-post-1

All except Flossie that is. Flossie doesn’t stop to chat, her pack never stop, or chat and the Irish Daisy dog thinks it’s highly amusing to shout “Feck off!” at her.

It is not.

This is not acceptable for a lady/female greyhound and so the training continues.

At this stage my husband and I ( one has been watching The Crown on Netflix and is feeling rather regal) can’t decide whether it’s the pack leader thing that is the problem, or the rubber ring that Flossie has rammed in her mouth, at all times. The Daisy dog has lots of toys and things to chew… other than chair legs, mobile phones, pairs of glasses and false teeth, but no rubber ring.

Yet another day and Daisy and I round the corner to be confronted by the Flossie. This time I quickly cross the road, with a very verbal and reluctant Daisy dog in tow. Flossie continues and her single pack member struggles to keep up with her.

I cross back over and explain to Flossie’s guy that it would be very helpful for them to have her on the lead, when we meet. He admits that he can’t walk her on the lead. She “pulls my shoulder out of its socket” he tells me.

We talk on, the Flossie keeps going… somewhere around the corner and walking along the side of the very busy, main road through our village. ( The thought of this scares me to death…  seemingly not him.)

He accuses me  of having a vicious dog. I point out that in all of our standoffs I’m the one that has to deal with both dogs. Never have they made any attempt to call the Flossie to heel. ( There’s no whistling of the pooch going on in this version of The Good , The Bad and The Ugly.) Nor do they put her on a lead; as other dog owners tend to do, when they see an approaching dog being walked on the lead. It evens things up a bit – in the canine world!  The Flossie is presumably still on the roam. Points made and taken, we go our separate ways.

december-2016-new

Several minutes later and the pooch and I are further down the road, and making my way round to the river when we meet…

Flossie leads again, he follows on. His anger is almost tangible.

This time the sausages are deployed, but we’re trapped in between another damn wall and them . He struts past. However, Flossie has stopped to sniff the grass. He shouts her five times, each time more frantically and angrily. Finally, she decides to join him. The Daisy dog is more of a lady this time and doesn’t swear, or attempt a lunge for the collie. She gets an extra-large piece of sausage and oodles of praise.

Bloody marvellous, I think… and head to the river for some chill out time.

dog-walking-daisy-post-3

The Daisy dog’s rubber ring arrives today.

Watch this space as I train our still adjusting to life as a family pet and so occasionally ever so slightly naughty, but absolutely adorable greyhound.

Do you have a free spirit dog? Or are you training your pooch? Feel free to share your experiences and words of wisdom/techniques .

Thanks for dropping by.

Dorne x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Daisy dog hard at it.
The Daisy dog hard at it.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Arty -farty!, Challenges, Photo challenges, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wordpress

WordPress photo challenge: repurpose.

TAKE TWO LAMPS.

 

The WordPress Photo Challenge https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/repurpose/ this week asks us to think about repurpose.

So, the stars of my post are these two lamps. wp_20170128_18_48_07_pro

They began life as two rather plain, dusty pink bedside lamps. They did their job, but with no frills or bows.

Sadly, they were so boring I have no before pictures to show you.

Using wrapping paper and photocopies of some of my artwork I set about covering the shades (decoupage). Finally, I sealed them with a specialist glue, which also acts as a hard-wearing varnish. I save up pieces of ribbon and three pieces became bows for one of the shades. There was a hairline crack to the base of the other lamp and this section was decorated to match the shade. They don’t have to be perfect… a bit like me!

wp_20170128_18_43_06_pro

These two lamps have now got new personalities and my inner child got to play  for a few hours!

I look forward to seeing all the other posts using this prompt.( Click on the above link.)

Thanks for dropping by.

Dorne. x

 

Posted in nature, Photo challenges, photography, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wordpress

Weekly Photo Challenge : Graceful.

memories-of-summer-2016

To me this is graceful.

The delicate seed head … you can almost feel the softness of it and the gritty seeds contained within. A breeze will separate the seeds and they will float off … to create another brilliant, yellow dandelion flower.

No – your eyes haven’t gone funny on you. This is one of my photographs that I’ve digitally enhanced. I felt it emphasized the shape and grace of the flower – turned to seed. I hope that’s allowed!

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/

Thanks for dropping by.

Dorne x

Posted in Funny videos, Having a rant, On my soap box, This thing we call life.

A right load of old garbage.

wheelie-bin-saga-2Back in the day, here in the UK and I’m guessing quite probably in a quite a few other parts of the world, households had a simple metal dustbin. We even made up songs about it here in good old Blighty.

My old man’s a dustman he wears a dustman’s hat. He wears cor blimey trousers and he lives in a council flat.”

 

Sang Lonnie Donegan in 1960.

And here’s the proof.

Once upon a time the dustman came to collect your one metal dustbin, which was discretely tucked away in a corner of your garden. He would leave the lid and haul the bin, on his shoulder to the waiting wagon. Then, he would return the empty bin, replace the lid and if you were super lucky… close the gate after himself. And the bins were emptied every week – not fortnightly.

The downside of it was – there were massive landfill sites, scarring the landscape and gulls the size of a small dog feasting on the festering mess.  We were rapidly running out of places to dump our garbage and something had to be done.

These days we have a bin for household waste, recycled waste and garden waste.

wheelie-bin-saga

They come in lovely bright colours, such as blue, green and black. Some of us have small courtyard gardens and have opted to use garden refuse sacks, which have to be bought  and a licence obtained in order for the bin men to stop and lob the sacks  into the back of their huge wagons.

The remaining two bins in garish colours and proudly displaying the name of our local borough council – lest we forget who the magnificent things belong to, take up about a sixth of our yard. They blend in perfectly and in summer positively hum – but not with the sound of insects.

At this point, after I’ve emptied an entire bottle of concentrated disinfectant into it and it still smells like a mini landfill – because it has been sitting there festering in a heat wave for two weeks, I dump it the passage at the back of our cottages.

The day before bin day we drag the monsters around to the front of the house. I know there are some folk out there who have about a mile to walk from their house to the bottom of the lane, with their wheelie bin… because these super-duper vans can’t come up the lanes these days. We are asked to put the bins out for 6am on the collection day. I have yet to see a van out at that time – but, we live with the fear of being left with the festering mess for another two weeks – that would give us a month’s worth of garbage – very nasty garbage to contend with.

It’s easy to see when the bin men have been… various wheelie bins are scattered all over the pavement. If you’re pushing a pushchair, or driving a scooter enormous fun can be had tackling the obstacle course. Sometimes you actually have to move the bins out-of-the-way.

In order to cut down on the waste material that can now be sent for recycling, packages arrive in huge cardboard boxes filled with about a tree’s worth of brown paper. The pen that you ordered is in perfect condition and the box and paper fill your recycling bin.

I’ve had a run – in with our local council recently over them failing to empty our recycling bin. It was happening all too frequently. We live on the main road that runs through the heart of our village. On bin day the road is a sea of bin wagons and yet on several occasions recently not one of them stopped to empty our bins.

Just what kind of service were we paying for and surely common sense should have told them to stop and sort out the line of seven eagerly waiting to be emptied bins? Er… no.

Anyhow, after a series of rather silly emails that they sent to me and which annoyed the hell out of me, the matter has now been happily rectified.

At my most mad moment I took to Twitter… a la Donald Trump style.

Just who the hell do I think I’m talking to? I asked myself. I’m not one of the most powerful people in the world.

But, it felt so good. I’ll give Trump that.

However my series of garbled and somewhat confusing messages will be out there forever! Not so good.

I growled at the woman in the refuse department when she couldn’t and wouldn’t answer my questions.

” If you don’t stop shouting at me I will end this call.” She told me.

Honey, if you think that is shouting you need to develop thicker skin. I didn’t swear at you, insult you, or use my extensive sarcasm on you. I had to raise my voice because you wouldn’t let me get a word in edgeways!

All is now well in the garbage garden and we’ve kissed and made up. I have the manager of the department on speed dial and I’ve emailed him to ask him to send my apologies to the woman who was on the end of my frustration.

I was going to ring her and then I thought she might just have a nervous breakdown. Best not.

My beautiful garbage bins are now back in the garden and look as wonderful as ever. And, as I’ve taken delivery of a packet of TENS Machines pads this morning… the packaging for it has now filled the recycling bin. Roll on the next fortnight!

How about you?

Do your bins get emptied and do the bins fill your garden? Do they hum to you in summer? It would be interesting to know how other parts of the world tackle their garbage.

I know – I need to get out more.

Thanks for dropping by.

Dorne x