The long and the short of it.

A very short story featuring Bob and his friend Maxwell

It was looking like snow. This was a special event in Ireland.

Bob was sitting staring out the kitchen window. He suspected it might snow but more importantly the oven was humming along with the cook who was rolling out biscuits.

“Hmm, biscuits,” Bob thought and set off to tell Max who lived a short distance away.

Cold, wet weather never bothered him because his thick coat kept everything from touching his skin. The extra bonus was fleas usually died before they fought their way through his coat.

Bob arrived at Max’s door. “Where is Ellie?” Max was peering over Bob’s shoulder.

“Didn’t bring her she is on cookie guard duty.”

Max didn’t linger. His short legs worked hard to keep up with his taller stocky friend.

“What happens if we get lost in this snow,” Max asked Bob as he pushed his way through the deepening snow.

“Trust me,” said Bob, “we won’t.”

However when they passed a tree they had marked some minutes earlier they sought shelter and had a meeting. “We are lost, aren’t we?” Max nudged Bob as he spoke.

“Maybe we should have a nap?” Bob suggested.

Max objected to this and they continued on for a while until they arrived back at the tree once more. “We are lost.” Bob said.

“What can we do?”

Bob sighed. “I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this? How is your singing voice?”

“Superb” Max boasted.

So together they began to sing, their favourite, – who let the dogs out.

Within minutes they heard a familiar bark and Ellie trotted up to them.

She looked at both dogs covered in layers of snow and simply said, “hurry up the biscuits are cool, well not as cool as you guys” and she led them home.

Much later, Bob and Max sat beside the fire munching on lavender dog biscuits.

“Do you know Bob it was worth the trip. But perhaps we shouldn’t go out in it again. What do you think Ellie?”

“Please don’t, your singing almost knocked the tiles off the roof.” She mumbled as she rolled over for a snooze.

They simply joined her in their favourite competition; snoring.

(Future trouble lay in the fact that Bob was dreaming of digging a tunnel to Max’s house.)

Summer is over but Bob has found…a new love

Yes, Summer is definitely over, no more raspberries or blackcurrants to pick. The blackberries are rare to find these days but don’t worry he (Bob)  has moved on to bigger and greater things…

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Apples!

I am hoping gravity takes over and one (a small one) hits him on the head because they are very nice apples and we would like to have a taste of one or two.

 

Bobs Diary: A New Year means

Happy New Year to everyone far and wide,

bob high viz 1

A New Year is the same as a blank canvas for this dog.

My resolutions should read like this:

I will lose weight by walking more and eating less

I won’t laugh at Maria’s chicken legs

I will not canvas for fans at a barbecue

I will not stop while walking and wait for kids and little old ladies to pet me.

But the truth is:

I hate walking and don’t see the point in it. The world tends to come to me. and I like riding in hot carsdaisybob in car 2

You got to laugh at something, besides she laughs at her own legs too.

When you have crowd appeal why not use it?

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And besides you should always obey traffic signs:

Bob at Play

 

 

Maria’s Stuff: On the topic of diets ….

The word “diet” never sat well with me. As a chunky teenager, I always felt – fat. But joining an athletic club, plus cycling to and from school soon slimmed me down. As a result of this experience I have always, had an interest in cooking, dietary requirements and exercise. I apologize if this sounds pompous but it is the truth, I like food and I like to think healthy, always have and hope I always will do so.

When I stopped coaching athletics in primary schools I decided this extra time should be devoted to me, getting fitter. The main reason is simply,  I volunteer with a rescue group and I don’t want the fact I am older than some of the crew mean I am automatically thought of as too old to crew a boat or use Ellie for tracking. So I started going to a gym for classes and this progressed to Cross fit which I am hooked on as it has made me more aware of flexibility core strength etc, which can only mean a fitter me.

Hisilicon K3

Birthday Burpees – what a way to celebrate your birthday.

However I suppose in my long-winded way, the point of this whole tale is in general people do not stretch themselves, we take the easy way out, as I did for years saying I walk every day so I am fit enough. Truth is I have learnt a lot about myself, my body and  about the correct way to eat, (for me) and would love to encourage everyone to do the same. There is no magical diet but there is a way to eat (diet) to suit each one of us given our body shapes, our past times and our budget. It simply takes time to discover it. What do you think?

Bob’s Diary: Dieting is no fun.

Just a note to remind all of you two legged friends that while you might enjoy dieting, – I don’t.

There is no harm in a little treat or six, every now and then is there?cropped-01-08-08_11393.jpg

So I drew a rough correctly sized treat for a worthy pet such as myself. What do you think?

bob sized treat

Maria’s Stuff: Flash Fiction: Mysterious Mirror

Lorna stood at the market stall sheltering from the downpour. Her mission was to find a mirror for her newly decorated bedroom. She scanned the assortment of jumble before her.   Her snub nose wiggled in distaste.    Lorna was seeking an unusual piece.

“Which item has attracted your attention, pretty lady?” The stall holder’s twinkling dark eyes regarded her.

Lorna knew she was pretty. A label she earned by merely entering into this world.

“I’m sure one of my special hand made pieces …..” His hands swept across the colourful hair combs, scarves swirling with colour and hand stitched purses carefully set out to attract attention.

She sighed, she suspected he would keep badgering her until she relented. Her cold blue eyes pierced him.  “I have enough tat.  You do not have what I am searching for – a special mirror..”

An elderly lady looking for  shelter jostled Lorna who snapped at her, “there is no room.”

Before the lady moved away, the stall holder  said, “please take this seat. You are welcome.”

When the rain stopped Lorna left with his words reaching out to her, “may you find what you are looking for, pretty lady.”

Lorna  tried every furniture store in the town but didn’t find her mirror.

Taking the shortcut back through the market hours later  a familiar voice asked, “did you find your mirror?”

She shook her head intent on walking home.

“Wait, you may like this one. It was given to me in exchange for some bags and shoes.”

With a sigh she turned. He was holding , her perfect mirror. Intricate surrounds in ornate gold completed the black framed mirror. It would look stunning in her room.

“A stunning piece for a stunning woman.” He told her.

Lorna didn’t haggle but paid the modest price . She was correct, it did suit her room. It sat on her dressing table. She frequently stared at her reflection.

She discovered it was addictive to stare at the frame, running her hands along it then touching the smooth glass which showed her perfect image .  In the following days, she devoted time to the mirror.

“Perfection,” she murmured.  “You and me, we were made to be together.”  The words were spoken with conviction.

The air hummed. Her arms and body shook. Gently she was scooped upwards to float  through time and space. She closed her eyes opening them only when she felt firm ground beneath her feet. Lorna shivered. Her world had changed. She was in a cold dank space staring out  of a window frame into a perfect room. She reached out but her hands hit off a barrier.

It wasn’t a window frame but the frame of a mirror. Her scream shook nothing but her thin body.

Time passed. No one came into the room.

One day the mirror was taken down and examined by a pair of familiar dark eyes. A gentle voice chided,  “now where shall I put you?  You look old and spent no one will enjoy looking in a mirror that is cloudy and glazed. I’ll put you in the dark cool attic for the time being. You will like it there.”

Lorna’s screams echoed but went unheard..

 

Flash Fiction: Flying Cakes.

 

Dear Kate,

Chris is lying in hospital.

The doctors don’t know what hit him. That is the trouble.

I know you are only 6,000 miles away but it might as well be the moon in moments of crisis.

I could do with a hug or a smack, I don’t know which would be best. You, as usual, would know and administer the necessary action.

How do I do it? I am married the sum total of five weeks, happy at last, and wham: my husband is lying unconscious on a hospital trolley. The fight for a proper bed is constant.

Right here we go, deep breath, the story begins like this.

I have been trying to impress him.

I’ve sorted his house, scrubbed and cleaned it until it has become so clean and sterilized it is a no go area for any insect or germ.  His wheezy chest has vanished. We are both delighted with his incredible stamina and energy. No need for details your vast imagination can sort that area out with delight, no doubt.

To celebrate I decided to bake his favorite, double chocolate fudge cake.

Me, bake? Why ever not? I decided to go for it. I bought the necessary ingredients and cake tin. Then I followed the recipe carefully. Placed it in the oven and went to watch my favorite tv program.

One hour later the smoke alarm woke me. I opened the back door, windows, skylights. I pulled the offending item from the oven. It was double all right, double burnt and hot. My burning fingers begged for mercy so I pegged it out the back door. This was followed by an awful sound.

I raced out. There Chris was, lying flat on his back and the hissing, smoking cake beside him. I called for help.

Checked no one was about then heaved the offending item even further away and there you go. What to do next? Please help.

 

Your loving but needy friend,

Maria

Bob’s diary: An Ode to my love…

O, love of my life

you brighten my day

energize my body,

bring my senses to life,

fill me with delight

I thank you, O dinner

you are daily enjoyed

with heartfelt appreciation.

 

bob in wood final

 

Maria’s Stuff: Life in the gym at 50.

My decision to take classes in a local gym stemmed from the following facts.

For the period of eighteen months to two years before June 2013, my life revolved around my parents. My mum’s strokes meant she needed our support and that was that. However, following her death in June 2013 I began to take a look at my own health.

I’ve always been conscious of my health but never more so than after witnessing the devastation that a stroke, diabetes and heart problems can bring to someone’s door.  Add experience with dealing with epilepsy and asthma into the mix and I had good reason to sit and think about my future.

Health is your wealth. Truth.

I decided to step up my fitness regime by doing, Pilates and Kettlebells. All went well and when my husband said he was going to Niall’s gym for some strength and mobility classes I was encouraged to go along.

I have been there once a week for the past five weeks. It has been an eye opener for me.

1              I’m not as unfit as I thought,

2              A combination of working for years at a typewriter or computer has reduced my shoulder mobility and

3              Competitiveness does not diminish with age. (As I quickly discovered when a mini competition began between me and another lady of a good twenty – twenty-five years younger than me.) It was worth the heavy perspiration rate when I noticed the surprised and strained look on her face.

The disadvantages of going into this particular gym are:

1. Niall  – Having the trainer tell you “Mum you really don’t need to push yourself into a state requiring an ambulance, do you?” is a bit disheartening.

2. Letting the whole room know you actually gave birth to their personal fitness trainer is not always a good thing.

3. Bribing your trainer (son) with chocolate cake/cheescake and pancakes does not always work in your favor.

But the advantages are still there,

1. I’ve toned up those dreaded bingo wings.

2. I can manage to keep up with the kids I coach athletics to.

3.  I can eat the said, cheesecake, chocolate cake with less guilt than ever felt before.

tea 1

 

The only trouble is what happens if and when I stop exercising? Best not to worry just enjoy the cake.