A place to hide

Lately we have noticed that in the hotter days of Summer (yes, we do get a few here in Ireland), both dogs appear to disappear.

So I investigated. His loud snoring does have one advantage.

And discovered a really neat house.

The weeping willow has grown and its drooping curtain of branches forms a perfect hideaway for both dogs. Though, I did get the impression someone was not happy that I discovered their secret.

 

Odd things you find growing in the garden.

Irish weather is always a hot topic (excuse the pun) but when one day you wake up to a dark sky and thundering cold wind. The next day it is beaming sunshine and heat. It is no wonder Irish people are so besotted with the weather.

However I am discovering that there is another hot topic in our house – strange things that pop up in the garden.

See for yourself. I look forward to the many varied comments that will follow the pictures below.

I was weeding and discovered this gorgeous plant, weed??

Then this odd looking object.  I wonder who or what planted it?

 

Out and about with dogs

This past week, I was lucky, every day I went training the sun decided to warm us.

Here are a few pictures of Ellie and Judy, showing off. Ellie decided to let me climb the tree and retrieve the object,

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While Judy collected it, then went for a swim, just in case I hid anything in the river bed.

Maria’s Stuff: Life is stranger than Fiction Part two

This story might be familiar to some of you already.

 

Amadeo's house

Niall’s legs felt like lead as he walked the short distance to collect his car which he had left parked at the house his sister was minding. Two days of work with only travel time between jobs left him feeling as grey as the sky overhead.

Lost in this hazy greyness he failed to notice the tiny woman until she spoke to him. “Good afternoon.” Her soft voice had an authoritative air to it which made him stop before her.

He noted her pastel pink coat, soft nude coloured shoes and pink hat thinking, she is dressed like the Queen of England. Niall noted the package she carried was square, wrapped in a crimson glossy paper and sitting on top of it a perfectly formed golden bow. He looked around him and couldn’t see how she had arrived at this old house on the top of the hill. He wondered if she was an angel.

“I’ve been invited to tea.” Her crisp words brought a smile to his face.

Niall opened the gate and she, to his surprise, walked through. He followed and they walked towards his car.

“You must work here. Are you the gardener?” She stared at him closely. “I have come to have tea with Lady Louise.”

He wondered in what parallel universe did gardeners wear nifty suits and white shirts. But she reminded him of his grandmother, whom he missed, so he made no caustic comment.

“No, I don’t work here. I left my car with my sister who is minding the house while the owner is away and I have come to collect it. I don’t think there is anyone here.” He waited for her to digest this information.

“So I am at the wrong house. I should try the other big house on the far side.” She said with a nod which sent a ripple waving across her silver hair.

He opened the passenger door intending to leave his jacket on the seat when, to his astonishment she neatly slipped into the seat.

Her blue eyes flashed at him as she said, “That is good you have your car. It won’t take a minute.”

Niall smiled while inside he groaned. He had thirty minutes to get to Dublin for his last appointment, then it would be home for food and sleep. He opened his mouth then thought better of speaking. He shut the door carefully and got into the driver’s seat.

The house in question was a mere four hundred yards away. He drove slower than normal and arrived before the large electronic entrance gate.

“It’s shut.” His passenger said. “I’ll wait.”

Lucky for all concerned the gate opened and he drove through, straight to the front door.

Then without thinking he got out, raced around to the passenger door, opened it and when she alighted Niall gave a slight nod.

With a nod in his direction she sailed sweetly past him carrying her gift.

Niall didn’t linger. Tiredness evaporated as he got back into his seat, gunned the engine and got out of there before he was snared again. “I am not up to dealing with a double dose of silver-haired trouble today.” He said with a sigh of relief as he noted his passenger had gone inside.

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I was reminded of this tale last week.

It was late, I was late.  And worse the automatic gate was playing up. The reason why became apparent when I stopped outside the gate and rolled down the passenger window. A ladies voice wafted in to me “Ah good I thought I was late.”

I frowned wondering if I, yet again, had got my wires crossed. I didn’t remember volunteering to drive an elderly lady anywhere.

So I leant across the seat and peered out the window. No, I didn’t volunteer to drive a stranger anywhere, especially to a committee meeting,  which I guessed was her destination judging from the clipboard and file she carried.

She was talking at a rapid pace. I remembered NIall’s encounter and wondered should I shut my window, lock my doors but her next words caught my attention, “It is kind of you Maureen to offer me a lift.”

“I am sorry I am Maria,  not Maureen. Are you sure you have the right house?”

She looked at me blankly then grimaced. “You are not Maureen”

I overlooked the disdainful look she shot my way. I smiled and agreed.

She didn’t look happy at all. “Where is Maureen?”

“One house over,” I said , thankfully at this point the gates clanged shut and I put my foot to the accelerator and left her to toddle into the house next door.

Like mother like son, I decided.

 

 

Thank you for the Reviews

I am really chuffed when I get a good review for my children’s book but the ones that surprise and delight me most are those that are given by seven and nine year olds, and lately twelve year old blogger Olivia along with her brother Oscar (nine) added their review to the list. Thank you to Sean  and Amy and Luke who also reviewed the book for me. Their reviews can be found on Amazon

Bob, of course doesn’t listen or look for reviews, simply attention or hugs. This morning to my surprise he was listening to bird song.

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Why is he still sitting?

Nature and Dogs

2017 is, so far, extremely mild though not particularly sunny. However, as the other two dogs in my life love walking, Bob is often enticed or dragged out for a walk.

I have noticed one definite thing about Judy, the black labrador, if there is water around she will find it.

I took her to Skryne today to walk across the fields. We started off well,

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Then with head high and tail working like a helicopter blade she was off – water. Everyone could rest safe there was nothing else on the river.

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Life with Dogs

Life with dogs…is not easy, just take a look at these pictures

Dressing up for my blog site didn’t turn out the way I hoped this Christmas

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They both were behaving like a Diva. So I took Ellie outside, this is the best I got..

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Are you for real? I am not posing out here it is mucky and cold.

So I tried Judy. She wasn’t much better as all she wanted to do was find fish.

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Surprises at Christmas

Unfortunately snow is not looking likely, yet again, here in Ireland but as it is usually a one or two day mushy affair, we are perhaps better off without it. However, these photos will explain the title of the blog post.

No surprise in the first one.  Bob asleep…again.img_0316

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Even Ellie could not waken him.img_0321

 

She considered joining him but only for a minute.

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But she did find one or two interesting things beneath the tree, did you spot them?

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It left her feeling a little puzzled or is it just that intent border collie look, begging for someone anyone to play with her? You can decide while we grab a racket and a ball.

Happy Christmas everyone and a great, 2017 to all.

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How Bob arrived.

A co-worker of my husband asked, “would you be interested in a 2 year old dog?”

The question caught him out, as he kindly asked what kind of dog. Fast forward to the weekend and we went to see this Norwegian Elkhound. Bob was bought for a lady in her eighties. But he was too big, too strong and heedless.

We arrived at the house in the country and were greeted by Bob, front paws on the top of the gate and hind ones planted firmly on the ground. He took one look at us and smiled. I think he was saying, gotcha!

He was correct. He had us from that goofy smile and ceaseless tail wagging.

He came home with us quietly. We stopped to buy leash, bowls, dog food etc. And then the trouble started. He decided he would be boss and eat everything in sight. Wellington boots, shoes or slippers weren’t good enough they were simply a starter. What he liked was the tough teeth crunching wooden posts, his kennel and finally his coupe de resistance, the electric gate leads.

As everyone knows he obviously survived the electricity but didn’t go back for seconds. The reason being the wires were encased in plastic casing then a metal casing. In fact everything we thought he might eat was encased, or locked away or hidden.

Luckily he mellowed as he settled down though he never lost that heedlessness making teaching him a very big challenge. In the end though I think he has been the teacher.img_0201

Take this idea I had for photos of him and Ellie.

I had everything set up then he decided he wasn’t in the mood for modelling.

On this occasion I didn’t give in.

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It isn’t easy getting the bow in place, getting him to allow it to sit there was the big problem.

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There is that look on his face again, wouldn’t you love to know what he was thinking?

 

Irish Wedding – The Day Before.

Friday the 12th of August was “D” day before Sara and Colm’s Wedding.

We were woken early by Bob, demanding breakfast. You would think he knew something strange was happening. And it got stranger because they (Ellie and Bob) both had a bath.

Though he showed his disgust at this pretty simply by ;  rolling on the grass.

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It was just as well we were up early because shortly after the invasion of helpers landed one after another and soon the house was a giggling mess of bridesmaids, groomsmen all intent on helping set up the venue.

With the van loaded, garden stripped of most of its blooming, daisies, hydrangea, roses and any thing else that looked interesting, we set off.

 

It was hard work, but with six of us working together we had the place ready in five hours.

Some new talents were discovered during the process, though some did take a nap every now and then.

 

 

It did look pretty amazing in the finish. What do you think?

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So it was home, with the boys to Dublin and the ladies (+Pat) home to relax and chill.