Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Belated Oak Apple Day greetings from Dorset

I discovered something very interesting as I researched a piece about yesterday's Oak Apple Day on behalf of my alter ego for the new Bridport Life and Times website.

The day commemorates the restoration of the English monarchy in 1660, as well as King Charles II's birthday.

No-one much marks it any more, but I think it's high time we re-introduced "Pinch-Bum-Day" to the country's calendar of events, especially here in Lush Places. 

Mind you, I'm not so sure many of my friends and neighbours would agree.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Right royal fun in Lush Places

Picture: Alexi Lubomirski/Kensington Palace
The village hall in Lush Places wasn't exactly packed for the Royal Wedding. But it wasn't exactly sparse, either.

Locals gathered together with food to share (and drink to keep hold of) as the big screen worked its magic. I did notice, though, some rather upmarket and expensive scotch eggs which didn't stray far from the person who had brought them.

The bride looked stunning in a simple, white dress, and the bridegroom was a handsome, dashing serviceman in uniform. The coverage was well worth watching, if only to see Windsor Castle in all its glory and St George's Chapel lit up by those lovely flowers.

Everyone agrees, though, that the preacher, The Most Reverend Michael Curry, made his mark. No-one's going to forget that address in a hurry. We loved the sentiment and power and culture-clashing zeal of his sermon. But it was far too long. He was aiming for six or seven minutes, but it went on for fourteen.

Love is the only way, its true, but the sermon caused howls of laughter in the village hall at the point when the Bishop sounded like he was winding up but then carried on as if he had actually only been just pausing for breath. The royals were pushed to the edge of their comfort zone. We especially liked the awkward reactions on some of the guests' faces. Zara Phillips' open-mouthed astonishment was a picture.

The big screen up and running, it was then time for a quick change to settle down to the FA Cup. As I'm football phobic, I opted for a spot of gardening instead.

Here in Lush Places, we're making the most of it as the Royal Wedding effect continues to hold off bad weather. It's as if Harry and Meghan had a direct line to Mother Nature. It's glorious out there.

Farmers are towing trailer loads of rubble to prop up gateways devastated by all the rain we had earlier in the year. And there is a real tangy smell of dung in the air today. Fields have been ploughed and the grass cut. People are busy, busy, busy.

Here comes the summer.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

Friday, 18 May 2018

Let sleeping dogs lie

Well, the good news is that the lump on Arty's head is nothing to worry about.

However, tests show she has major problems with her immune system. The future doesn't look bright for her, although we might be able to keep it at bay with the correct medication.

These are difficult times. I love my girl and I want what's best for her but I don't want her to be in pain.

Some days she's fine, other times she isn't.

This morning, though, you wouldn't know there was anything wrong with her. It was only the second time she'd been allowed off the lead following last week's operation. Yesterday, she ran through the field to her favourite patch of badger poo. And she just rolled, rolled and rolled in it.

It took two washes to get it off. I can still smell it.

This morning we walked to our favourite field, and the grass has just been cut. We made our way down to the middle to say hello to the ash tree.  And then Arty found something dead in the cut grass which she gobbled down before I could stop her.

She's got some disgusting habits, this dog. But I wouldn't be without her for the world.

Now she's sleeping in the sunshine on a pink blanket by my feet.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

Thursday, 10 May 2018

A poorly dog in the family

My poor baby girl is feeling a little bit sorry for herself.

And it's not surprising, really.

Artemis, my lovely, comical, gentle Korthals Griffon, has had to go to the vet's for a biopsy on a lump on her head. She looks like Frankenstein's Dog. 

At the moment, I am keeping her away from mirrors.

She's been poorly for a little while now, although she still has a good appetite and can run for England across the fields when she wants to. 
But obviously not while she's recovering from her operation.

We need to get to the bottom of her mystery illness. It's causing her quite a few problems. She's just not herself. 

I want my old dog back.

Fingers crossed the outcome is not as serious as it could be. At the moment, she's sleeping in her bed, getting over the general anesthetic and the discomfort of her stitches, itchy skin and headache.
I'll tell her you're thinking about her.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Back in Corfu for May Day

In the sleepy plateia, the swallows are swooping on training flights, chattering on the wing. There are literal double takes from villagers as they realise we're back, and lots of kisses, hugs and smiles.
In Paleokastritsa, the sea is clear and inviting through the olive trees.
In the town, washing is hung out between the streets, as it has done for hundreds of years. And our favourite hole in the wall has expanded to the other side of the street, still serving up the best souvlakia on Corfu.

The blue sky sets off the beautiful colours of the houses and shutters. The air is warm. It is spring but the island has jumped straight from winter right into summer.
Today is a holiday. Children will gather flowers from the olive groves to make May Day wreaths for their front doors.

That's about it.

Love Maddie

Batten down those hatches, it's recycling day

It's blowing a hooley out there.  The wind is lashing against the windows and the dogs are play fighting in front of the Aga before...