I resent these jokes about British cuisine .. so I’ll tell you a little story if I may: I was 8 1/2 years old, and my 1ST EVER BEST MOST PRECIOUS FRIEND IN LIFE was an old 85 YEAR old English lady! Her name was Gladys. She was nearly or let’s say she was blind, just not entirely. Every day she would set out from her lonely house and walk with a white sight stick to guide her so as to come to my parents cafeteria! She struggled alone against many odds so as to be sure to be there every day. Then I’d see her walk in and a smile emerged across my face that extended from ear to ear! We sat opposite each other at my Dad’s cafe eating the most beautiful hand cut chips or ‘Pomfrits as they call them in Europe, thick, freshly blanched and lovingly fried by my late father as deeply as his extraordinary generous soul! Gladys said that they were the best chips she has ever eaten in her life, and that while she was alive and strong enough she would continue to make that long walk from her lonely living room chair to my happy childhood haven!! And I will never forget my best friend as long as I live, if I live to be that age I would also love that God would grant me the same honour as he did when I was a young child… bless my late father, bless you late my dearest friend Gladys… and bless you the wonderful potatoes that are grown in God’s Great Earth!!!! Amen 🙏
The historic London black taxi, London would not be London without it! Real London cabbys who love to chat through the glass and lose all track of all time as their meter ticks away… I’ve probably confessed some of my most inner thoughts to a black cabby… so in tune and empathetic with the life… and the jungle When I was 17 my father sat me down and gave me an ultimatum… he said I had to choose, it was either him, or her (my girlfriend at the time)… for me it was an easy choice… Off I went, no money in my pocket, no bag, completely spontaneously just walked out of the building slamming the door behind me… where would I go, well of course I would head to my girlfriends flat in Elephant and Castle… how to get there?… well of course flag down a black cab. And so I did, and he stopped, he saw how young I was so I simply explained that I had run away from home with no money and please could he take me to Waterloo where I would meet my girlfriend… Back then… I think it was 1990, nice people in London really existed, especially the yours truly black cabby, who of course opened the door to let me in and took me for no fare all the way from Hendon Way to Waterloo… wherein I unearthed all my emotional turmoil at home due to my recent ‘coming out’… for him… not a bother… a real pleasure… showing me the real true meaning of compassion and empathy… my subsequent adventures I leave for another time, perhaps another blog … now I’m off to take a shower, infuse myself with my new Cartier perfume, slip on my jeans and leather jacket … then jump in a black cab and see what road lies ahead!
Time, time, time, how it passes. Back at work now and so much has happened since .. mated Kali who didn’t stay pregnant due to pyometra , fought with the emergency vet, after having taken some invaluable advise from my specialist friend in Greece and one here in Czech to keep her uterus in tact, intensive intravenous therapy seems to have cleared her up for now ..
I think it’s safe to say that the Male with whom we chose to mate her is somewhat of an ambassador of the dobermann. He only confirmed what I suspected and what is evident from the video of his bite at the Championato in Spoleto, fearless unreserved full blooded attack resembling the speed and velocity of working lines.. outstanding! Yet on the photo shoot which was such a pleasure to attend with the best ever and most markedly important photographer of the great dobermann breed, Giota Bouranta, Atlas managed to accidentally break my finger snapping my tendon and crippling my right hand for weeks, I still haven’t recovered and will probably need an operation .. it wasn’t his fault but he does owe me some champion puppies in compensation:)
In the meantime my mother’s been diagnosed with lung cancer, has had and recovered from a hugely invasive operation only to very nearly face death following an infection brought on by chemotherapy!
In the midst of this we managed to go on with the show, bringing home 7 cups from the Europa golden Dobermann and 3 from the IDC! This love & work, passion for the breed is certainly not for the faint hearted!
I learned a long time ago, about 18 years now, after loosing my father to leukaemia, not to plan things too far in advance, as the saying goes, you never know what’s just around the corner! That’s what these beloved dogs of mine have allowed me to do that I think for such a high anxiety person as myself could never otherwise be possible, that is, to live for and find pleasure and contentment in the present rather than wait for some hypothetical future circumstance that may or may not materialise..
They insist, my dogs that is, leave your pen down just for a few more minutes while you pet me, have an extra 5 minute lay in in the morning let the day pass by a bit before you face it, we’ll face it together in just a while .. it’s a beautiful morning, leave the car at home let’s get some air and go for a short walk .. turns into a few hours .. hungry now let’s go to the market and get some fresh meat for later, you can cook a little for you too if you don’t like it al fresco! Back home now need to clean up a bit, hoover up the little black and brown needles around the house, wipe the surfaces, mop the floor, after which we must sit and relax for a while and of course have a cuddle, endulge in the sweet woodland scent that lingers on your shiny coat and sigh a breath of relief from the endorphins that we release as we forget the world together..
Eventually the cooking commences, you know what, I’ll just have some pasta and a glass or two of wine, you enjoy that lovely shank of lamb, it’s my pleasure to watch you enjoy it, I’m sure I’ll get a taster when you lick me all over my face to express your gratitude and ensure the same meal again soon.. and now it’s finally time to put a little music on I think, how about the Mozart I know how much it relaxes you after all those thoughts of chasing rabbits, and hunting for moles ..
And before I know it night is falling and I’ve exhausted myself just attending to my master the dobermann, and he saved me from myself and from all the frightening thoughts that have relentlessly tried to encapsulate the space in my mind and suffocate my desire for life ..
I’ve bred a few now, and I know how to separate the ‘men from the boys’ when choosing the special ones, as they become the reason, when I feel that all is lost and not worth the fight anymore, there is a sleepy little creature somewhere in my room that captures my eye, intoxicates my morning and fills my eyes as if they encompassed the world, ablaze with expression, and insatiable zest for love, life, air, water, desire like fire, my soul yearns, for more and more, and how time passes and passes, and with this beautiful gift I choose life and live every second as though tomorrow just doesn’t exist ..
And then there was Ruby..
She had us waiting until a few days before Christmas to come into heat. She was due at least 2 weeks earlier but Ruby wouldn’t be Ruby if she didn’t mix up and stir the feelings of those around her..
But it turned out to come as a pleasant reprise. For we had spent nearly 4 weeks freezing and working hard in Czech so hitting the road after this felt really good..
And then it got even better, turning from a hard winter to a deliciously warm, bright, magnificent summer. What a delight came over us as the snow melted under our winter tyres and we entered the coast of Italia via the hot tarmac that had been gently heated by the rays of the Mediterranean sun.. ahhhhh
And even better, the smell of fresh calamari frying, the fruits of the sea, the simple sumptuous pizza, and ohhh the Pinot Grigio..
And all this accompanied by the music of the waves gently tiding and caressing the curves of the west side of this beautiful boot, in Civitavecchia, explained to us by a very charming, handsome waiter to mean old city, and pronounced chi-vita-vekia.
The place is really alive, buzzing with life as a tourist resort, but in fact full of natives just enjoying their city, great wine, fantastic food, amazing climate.. indeed, why wouldn’t they.. We certainly did!
With 2 very large cars and 10 dogs on board trying to negotiate the small side streets in Italy would be a bit of a nightmare. But, to our very pleasant surprise we found a wonderful hotel with very good parking facilities, that accepted dogs, and moreover with good size terrace and sea views.. Christmas was sorted !
Just another example of how this magical creature always holds a trump card in our lives, making mayhem and stretching our boundaries only so that we can see what lies beyond them, that once we can see we can choose to embrace or not .. And more often than not we do, well at least I do..
Thank you Ruby and Merry Christmas!
It’s freezing, can’t feel my feet or my hands and getting bruised and beaten by my dobermann as I’m instructed to use her high, crazy (but beautiful) drives as the incentive for her lesson in obedience! Well sounds like a contradiction in terms, but strangely it seems to be working .. (more…)
Among God’s creatures two, the dog and the guitar, have taken all the sizes and all the shapes, in order not to be separated from the man.Andres Segovia
When I came across this quote by Andres Segovia the other day, I could only sit back and smile in wonderment at its truth, well at least in relation to myself. As a child, up until late adulthood I could not be separated from my guitar. (more…)