Friday, 30 December 2011

Leaps And Bounds.

I have found out that 2012 is a 'leap year'.   And so, it will be a good year for kangaroos, frogs, toads, gazelles, grasshoppers, spittlebugs and 'leaping lizards', our friend, the gecko.  Note the 'Jacket rabbit' getting ready for the leap year.
I do hope that 2012 has us improve our lives in leaps and bounds.  Maybe a leap into the great unknown, but a leap, nevertheless.  Yes indeed, a leap into action in the spirit of a leap year.   Just make sure you look before you leak, I mean leap.  So let's leap for joy and not leap to any conclusions that would prevent us from a leap forward in a positive way.
And what an ideal time for a quantum leap.  Or a mini quantum leap that is being practised on a group of islands in the South Pacific.  Take for instance, Samoa, which is going to skip December 30, 2011 and suddenly find itself fast-forwarded to December 31, 2011.  Imagine having your birthday on December 30 on Samoa and discovering, tough luck, your birthday has been cancelled.   If you have no idea what I'm talking about, perhaps this link might help: Samoa and Tokelau to skip a day for dateline change.   
So, in the coming leap year, I will hop on buses, planes and trains.  I will think about all of those born or getting married on February 29 and wonder if they use February 28 or March 1 to mark their anniversaries in 2013.
And in 2012, Americans can say to you, 'have an extra nice day!'  I say to you have an extra nice Happy New Year.
And to finish off in the spirit of leap.  I recall those memorable words said the day they landed a man on the 'Nevada desert'.  "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind."

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Another 'Thawt' Or Two.

I 'thawt' you might like to know how the thawing of the 'old bird' went.   And yes, once again, I'm referring to the turkey and not my dear ex.
You will be thrilled to know that the turkey did indeed turn out succulent and juicy.   I can measure the success of how well it turned out by the noticeable lack of white meat left in the fridge.  A certain young man is most partial to the white meat on the turkey.
And jiggle my giblets.  The wrapper on the turkey stated that it "serves 8-10".  Really?   8-10 Munchkins, maybe.
I recall that one year when I cooked the turkey upside down.   No, not me!   What I mean is that I inadvertently stuck the turkey in the oven the wrong way round.   I also recall, much to my delight, that turkey cooked just fine.
We had a nice, peaceful Christmas.   I ate in the living room and attempted to watch some television.  Television was crap and by seven at night, I said to heck with it and went to bed.  I'm grateful I'm under no pressure to do the social scene.  
This will be a very short posting.  Now we can look forward, with realistic positive anticipation, to a better, more uplifting New Year.  

Before I go, there will be some of you who link into the following blog and may have not realised that this writer,'W.M.Morrell's Musings From Down Under.' has done a recent posting.   Unfortunately, she has encountered some internet problems and thus, I would like to draw your attention to her latest article, which can be found here: Support Fellow Writers By Buying A Book For Christmas. 

Thank you and I 'thawt' I should let you know how grateful I am for your positive interaction.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Defrost The Old Bird.

Well now, I have come to the realisation that it's time to defrost the old bird.  And no, I'm not referring to my ex wife.

Of course, as I quickly move on, I'm referring to the defrosting of the turkey.  I just hope I've worked it out.  Um....lets see.   Okay, if I leave it in the fridge, the temperature should be 4 degrees C or 39 degrees F.  I must allow about 10 to 12 hours per kilogram.  Or, in a cool room where the temperature is below 17.5 degrees C, 64 degrees F, allow approximately three to four hours per kilogram, or longer if your room is as bloody cold as my kitchen is.   At a room temperature of about 20 degrees C , 68 degrees F, allow around two hours per kilogram.
Whoops....I'm already confused.  Yet somehow, each year, my turkey seems to turn out okay.  As for the ex wife....well.....
At this point, I would usually try to do a bunch of predictable puns.  Puns such as wasn't this a fowl blog and I'm not one to duck the issue because that would be the chicken's way out and I'm just trying to write a very pheasant article.  No, I'm not going to do that and send you on a wild goose chase.  

The 'wee folks' who live in my garden, wish you a most peaceful Christmas and that the dawning of the New Year shall see you feeling positive and truly inspired.

And it seems only fitting that Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star, the real talent on this shy, humble, unassuming site, has the last word.
"My dear friends, human and otherwise, here's wishing you a pawesome Christmas and a pawfect New Year.
Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses, your way, Penny xx"

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Each Christmas.

Each Christmas, over the last few years, I contemplate not bothering with putting up a tree or adorning my home with all the decorations.  Those special moments of Christmas past, had become just a faded blur. Why bother with seasonal lights when nobody would come to see them?
And I went for a stroll in the heart of Leek.  I gazed at blue twinkling lights adorning the branches of two trees that stood beside the Nicholson War Memorial.  And on that cold snowy night, alone with my thoughts,  I realised that in actuality, I have much to be grateful for.  I got in my car.  I headed home.

I went into my living room and I suddenly found myself putting purple lights on my fake flower arrangement that sticks out the top of a big tub that looks like something a snake might come out of.  If you click on the photo it might give you a better idea.   It appeared that I might be giving in, yet again and would soon be merrily covering the house with pretty little lights and seasonal adornments.   Oh my.....

Before you could say, 'Merry Boxing Day Eve', I found that I had gone into some kind of Christmas trance and my living room was sort of transformed into some kind of magical wonderland.  Even Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star, was dazzled by the light display.  You may note her staring up at her 'Santa's Little Helper' bib she proudly wore in her previous posting.
And so, despite the probability that I will have no visitors, I realised that the soothing ambience, the gentleness of the scene, was giving me a sense of peace and tranquillity.   Yes, I have a son who may take a fleeting glimpse at the Christmas tree.  And yes, we have a dog that will provide us with much needed company.   So really, it aint so bad.  

I stared into the candle.  Found my thoughts absorbed in the warm, reassuring glow.  I thought about the gifts that have nothing to do with money.  Gifts that are truly priceless.  I am determined, more than ever before, that I will praise my son, bestow upon him the positive affirmations he craves within his heart.  I give him the gift of a smile.  And I wait for the smile to return to his face. I wait for the flickering glimmer of hope to return to the eyes of a sad young man.

Friday, 16 December 2011

The 'Wee Folks' Christmas Special. Revisited.

And thus, Fidelina, the beautiful fairy princess, Geoffrey the garden gnome, and their wee son, Einahalk, rejoiced in the warm, reassuring glow of the twinkling Christmas lights.
The 'wee folks', such wondrous, magical creatures, had come in from the cold and gathered in the comfort of the living room.   All different, all equal, celebrating the magic of a special time.
Such diversity.  Their's is a world where all is possible and no judgement is ever passed.
See the joy, the sheer delight on the faces of the wee folks.  They know that life should be a celebration of all that is good.
And the party continued.  They danced and they sang to sweet tunes of love, hope and understanding.
In the above photograph are Venetia, the sister of Fidelina, and bridesmaid from the enchanting wedding of Fidelina, the beautiful fairy princess and Geoffrey, the garden gnome.  Standing beside her is the 'best gnome',  Teagan.  There was a hint of romance between the two of them at the magic-filled wedding on the first day of summer.  Note the gnome in the background, Yrag, who is the best friend of Teagan.
And here is a happy little monkey, with his great long arms, wrapped over a couple of friendly garden gnomes. Nice tinsel effect, happy little monkey.
Dreams can come true.  Dare to believe in yourself.  Fidelina, Geoffrey and their beautiful little boy, Einahalk, wish you a peaceful, happy and so very positive Christmas.
And the wee folks gazed out the window.  They looked out, looked up, at moon drenched sky.  Tis a marvel to behold the shining orb through winter branches.  Soon they would leave.  Return to their world of love and peace. 
Their message to us is simple, yet profound.  For the wee folks live in their wee world, where stigma, labels and the passing of judgement, are bizarre and baffling concepts.  May we learn from them.   Let us celebrate and rejoice the diversity of mankind.  And just like in their world, we can truly be, all different, all equal.

My dear friend, this was a posting from last Christmas.  During the uncertain times that have been encountered in my house and the fact I'm struggling to focus, I do so hope that you will share in the joy and the wonder of the message in this reposting.   In kindness and hope for a better way, for you, for my son, for all of us.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Santa Paws.

Seasonal greetings.  Yes, it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star.  Do you like the title of my pawsting?  I really like this time of the year. You might call me a 'Yule dog' which must not be confused with a Yule log.  Or, if you happen to be a dog from the southern States, a 'Y'all dog', or maybe that's a 'Y' all dawg'.  So this here is my Yule dog blog.
Gary, the human I so kindly allow to live with me, has told me that this can be the loneliest time of the year for some folks.  While others are getting together with family and friends, they are sad and all alone.  This distresses me.  So I was thinking it would be very nice if you humans found the time to go and check out that lonely neighbour.  Made sure they were okay.  You may well receive the gift of warmth and genuine gratitude from a poor soul who may have felt invisible.  
Now my human spends most Christmas Days by himself.  Yet he is grateful.  For he has a roof over his head,  a son he loves and me the Jack Russell who is his companion.  In the past, he has spent Christmas Day feeding the homeless and this has given Gary an acute awareness of just how much he has to be thankful for.  After he fed the homeless, he came back to me and our lovely home.  Many of those in such a desperate situation  would be spending a cold night in an underground parking lot.   
Gary has also told me that some people get puppies and kittens as 'gifts' to be placed under the Christmas tree.  'Awe what a cute little puppy!   Oh wow, what an adorable little kitten!'  And with some the novelty wears off.  The reality of responsibility becomes too much.  Little puppy becomes an older dog, becomes a burden and gets neglected.  Little kitty becomes a cat and gets ignored.  Humans really need to think it through before they make the decision to bring an animal into their lives.   
You know what?   Those who truly love and respect their cats will forever see the playful kitten.  And me, yes me, I will always be a puppy at heart.  You should see how I make Gary and his son laugh with delight as I race around the house and do my silly dance.  
May you have a peaceful and positive Christmas.  Be grateful for what you have, remember the lonely and yes please remember that famous slogan, "A dog is for life, not just for Christmas."   

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Depression Is A Thief.

Depression is a thief.  Robs the colours from the rainbow.  The dreams, the hopes, the beautiful colours, I so embrace, had faded to a teasing, taunting background blur.  Faded to murky shades of black, of grey, of white.   
No, not again.  Please, not again.  And I lay in bed.  Watched the shadows dance upon the wall as the cool autumn breeze drifted in through open window.  And I lay in bed.  Hardly noting the tears streaming down my cheeks.  It had all become too much as I lay there and thought of my sleeping son.
Depression is a thief.  It robs you of the joy of the simple things in life.  Blocks out the sounds of the singing birds playing gently on the branches of winter trees.  Depression is a thief.  Steals the wonder from your heart and suffocates with impending doom.  

And yet, despite it all, I have received gifts of caring, compassion and hope. You have reached out to me and your kindness is clear, profound demonstration that we can all be here for each other.  Thanks to you and thanks to my determination to cling on to those delicate strands of positivity that linger in the back of my mind, the colour is beginning to return.  It's a little bit blurry, a little bit hazy, but the uplifting colours of optimism have started to immerse my being.  I even heard the sweet sounds of winter birds playing gently on the branches of winter trees.
And thus, thanks to David at,  A Day in the Life  and Kim and CindyLu, over at, CindyLu'sMuse,  for doing guest postings while I have been trying to work through this bout of depression.  I am heartened and encouraged by such genuine and inspirational concern.  I thank each and every one of you for reaching out to me.  For thanks to you and your warm wishes, the thief has been apprehended.

Monday, 28 November 2011

A Friend Of A Different Kind.

A dear friend of mine, Kim and her adorable dog, CindyLu, have kindly agreed to do a guest posting on my site. You can find these two wonderful writers over at this site: CindyLu'sMuse   
Kim and CindyLu write thought provoking and informative articles that relate to the unconditional, non- judgemental love that our vulnerable friends in the animal world have to share with us.  If you have never visited the site of CindyLu'sMuse, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star and myself, highly recommend that you check it out.
Thanks Kim and CindyLu.   I am honoured and privileged that you would do a guest posting for me.  The posting is titled, "A Friend Of A Different Kind."

Gary writes regularly about the issues surrounding mental illness, emphasizing  the need to remove the stigmas attached to this subject in our society. I write regularly about animals - pets in particular - with an emphasis on the positive actions people take to improve the lot of our beloved, furry friends. Subjects miles apart? I think not. I believe that the pain and discomforts of many mental illnesses can often be eased by the love and companionship offered by one's pet.

There are a myriad of different types of pets. Any of these can offer us friendship, a sense of value, some even exercise, conversation - with an added benefit for us of improved health. Life is less lonely, more valuable, and much more fun. Although caring for a pet is not for everyone, many of us benefit immensely from sharing our lives with them.

I've had pets all of my adult life, and have always considered them a part of the family. Somehow, they were never just "mere" animals. The more time I spent with an animal, the more I felt less superior as a human. Pets forgive, forget, always afford us a second chance. Imagine if all people were that way! Pets offer complete trust, unconditional love and loyalty. How could I feel that I, as a human being, were possibly superior to that?

For the past going-on seven years now, I've volunteered for a pet rescue organization. Almost Home Foundation is dedicated to saving the lives of as many dogs and cats as it can. Sometimes we rescue pets from high-kill shelters or faraway places where there is such an overabundance of them, saving them from being euthanized. It can be a saddening, frustrating, disillusioning job at times, but because of human ignorance or greed, not because of the animals. These dogs and cats in need keep us motivated.

How did I get started in the pet rescue field? Well, It was actually because of my son. He'd been suffering through years of depression, anxiety, difficulties with school. When my neighbors (a wonderful couple dedicated to making this world better) told me about the organization they were involved in, a thought occurred to me. My son had always loved animals.

I knew that there were therapeutic benefits to spending time with animals, and thought that perhaps also by getting involved in helping dogs my son would have an activity that took his mind off his troubles. There's something quite healing about focusing on the suffering or needs of someone else less fortunate. 

He began by volunteering as a "dog handler" at adoption events. Every Saturday and Sunday, he would be assigned a dog, given all the details known about it. Then he'd spend the next four hours talking with people who wanted to know more about the dog, ensuring the dog was comfortable and on its best behavior, chatting with other volunteers, helping people in the adoption process when they chose his dog.

He loved it, looked forward to the weekends, and became impressively adept with both dog handling and many other duties for these events. It boosted his confidence, showed him he was worthy - and the affection from the dogs themselves gave him positive feelings.

I learned then the immense influence pets can have in our lives. When the organization began working with cats as well, we became a foster home. Little did I know that within two months' time, my home would be filled with litters of kittens and an occasional adult cat. My children reveled in doing what they could to help these homeless animals.

As a divorced woman with four children at home, a job and a house to maintain - one might think I was utterly nuts to be taking on these additional responsibilities. Truth is, I believe they actually saved me. Daily life was quite challenging and stressful; having these adorable creatures at home to nurture, enjoying their cute antics, the snuggles and purrs - were stress-busters. You cannot continue to feel anxious, angry, stressed...if a little furball is curling up against you, purring away.

Just like for my son, being involved with something that was much larger than just myself helped me cope with my own life's ups and downs. It gave me a wider perspective of the world, kept me from concentrating solely on myself and my worries. It afforded the chance to meet new people, make new friends. Many of these people also struggle in one way or another, and find it just as therapeutic to be a part of the organization, and in doing something good for homeless pets.

You don't have to volunteer with a pet organization in order to reap the benefits these animals offer. Just having a pet of your own can help. The unadulterated adoration and loyalty of a dog, the purring cuddles of a cat - the connection you feel with an animal of any type when you care for it, knowing you are responsible for its well-being - are all uplifting, positive reinforcements to whatever fragile part of your mind or soul is in need.

This is a difficult world we live in. Daily life can be challenging at best, horribly cruel at worst. Not one of us is perfect; we all each have our private demons we battle with. It's nice to know that we have been provided with some measure of companionship, peace and contentment - by some of God's blessed creatures...those known as "pets".

Sunday, 20 November 2011

"Me and My Hairy Friend"

Greetings, tis I, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star.   My human, yes Gary aka klahanie, the human I so kindly allow to live with me, is still taking a break from blogging.   I know that when he actually does a posting, he will not apologise for not writing.   If anything, it might be better that he apologise for writing.  
In the meantime, Gary has contacted his good friend, David and asked him if he would like to do a guest posting on this shy and humble site.  David, the human with a tendency for the usage of big words, was thrilled to bits to have this opportunity to expose himself, I mean display his abundant writing skills on this site.
And thus friend, whether you be human or otherwise, without further ceremony, I present to you David's posting, titled, "Me and My Hairy Friend".  I should inform you that his posting was delivered by carrier pigeon and the poo on the parchment has been removed.

So, I’ve been invited to do this “guest posting” for my very dear friend, Gary, and also, of course, Penny, the modest internet star. In fact, maybe I should have mentioned Penny first, as there does seem to be some confusion over who is looking after who, with Penny, in the many posts she writes (actually, I think that she secretly writes them all and just lets Gary take the kudos), referring to Gary as her “human”.
Gary and I have known each other for quite some time now, and I believe we first met at our local mental health charity, The Media Action Group for Mental Health. It was during their “Mindbloggling” project that Gary and I first came into contact. The aim of the project was to get people with experience of mental ill health to write blogs about their lives and the way their conditions affect them, in the process hopefully reducing the stigma surrounding such illnesses. And, Gary sometimes writes about his struggles with depression, but mostly his blog, as you will all know, is a witty and humorous look at life from his very own, highly original perspective. Indeed, by doing this Gary shows that there is so much more to him, and to us all with mental health issues, than simply a label or diagnosis. So, there has been blogs about the most quotidian (he hates that word, so I thought I’d get it in!) of subjects, such as non-stick frying pans, fridges, trips to the shops and travelling on buses. But, such is Gary’s talent as a writer, that he manages to infuse such everyday matters with wit, wisdom and insight, and his warm, friendly and funny personality always comes shining through.
I sometimes refer to Gary as “my hairy friend”, given his moustache and his propensity for having a hairy back (which really is quite prepossessing, by the way) and I feel we have a lot in common. After all, he is from Canada, and I’m English. He is in his fifties, and I’m just approaching 40. He is losing his hair, whereas I still have a lustrous mane. Ok, so we’re not doing that well so far. But what we do have in common is the fact that we have both had experience of mental illness, and are both dedicated to reducing the stigma which surrounds such conditions through our blogging.
So, after all that about Gary, perhaps I should tell you a little about myself. Well, as I’ve said, I am just approaching my 40th birthday. Yes, I will be officially middle-aged. However, I have not yet resorted to smoking a pipe and wearing slippers all day, and try to maintain a youthful outlook on life. Gary often says that I resemble “Robin Hood”, whatever Robin Hood looked like, but I do not go around wearing green tights and brandishing a bow and arrow. And, like Gary, I have experienced mental ill health, and have a diagnosis of schizophrenia. OK, so that is, I know, for many, a very scary word, associated as it often is with violence, “split” personality, or a complete inability to function. I have to say, though, that I don’t fit the mould of your average “axe murderer” stereotype, and am just a normal, really quite friendly, person. I know that it is often difficult for those who are not familiar with what schizophrenia actually is to get past the many stereotypes which pervade the media and other sources of information, but I would just say that, for the most part, these representations are grossly misrepresentative of the majority who have experience of this illness. The many I have met with the diagnosis, through my own experience, have been kind, indeed gentle, people, who just want to get on with their lives despite their illness and the stigma surrounding it. I hope that anyone reading this will be broad-minded enough to just at least think about what their response is when they hear that dreaded word. Or perhaps you could even read something about the condition and improve your knowledge of it. Indeed, if there is one way of improving the stigma surrounding conditions like my own, it is to get people to understand the facts about it, rather than relying on misrepresentative media portrayals. Failing that, you could always pop over to my blog, "A Day in the Life". Now there’s a novel thought.
So, having done my regulation anti-stigma spieI, I would just thank my hirsute pal for allowing me access to all his wonderful followers and commenters, and I thank you for taking the time to read this little post.          

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Reaching Out To You.

The ethos, the ideals of my blog, have and always will be my attempt to demonstrate that my mental health issues are only a small part of who I am.  I endeavour to be of support and encouragement to those who may be experiencing feelings of great isolation as they battle with the turmoil of mental health concerns.   Yes, I am mentally ill, yet I am not ashamed of who I am.   
I endeavour to display realistic positive anticipation in my daily life.   For the impact of negative speculation plays on the mind, destroys the uplifting energy I so desire.  I'm battling here.  I cannot focus.  I cannot eat.  I hardly sleep and sleep has been the only freedom that I know.  And when I do catch those moments of precious sleep; instead of waking up with an air of optimism, I wake up to wave upon wave of panicky thoughts, drowning what's left of my fragile ego.  
I'm gasping for breath as I write this.  The fragments of my positive energy punched, kicked and suffocated by an unrelenting negative force.  One of my few remaining passions, the passion to write, something I hold so dear, is garbled and sporadic.   
And what has triggered this negative energy?  The sadness in the eyes of my son.   Sadness caused by the desperation of not having work and being able to move on with his life.  His sadness, a grim reminder of the torment I endured all those years ago.  I see his pain and I relive my own personal nightmare.  Somehow I must regain my inner strength.  The love for my son depends on this.  
And thus, my dear 'electric friend', my 'electronic tonic', this very frightened and lonely man is not going to post for the next little while.   Instead, I'm going to do what the ethos of this blog set out to do.  To encourage and support others.  I will be as proactive on as many of your blogs as my exhausted mind will allow.  I embrace the true spirit of the caring and sharing blogging community.   Indeed, all different, all equal.   
I thank you for your time and your understanding.   And now, I'm reaching out to you.....

Saturday, 5 November 2011

"Maxwell's Silver Hammer."

This posting might give you something to sink your teeth into.   Or maybe, it's just a bit of 'filling' before I actually formulate something remotely close to a decent article

"A rotten tooth, said to belong to John Lennon, is going up for auction on Saturday.  The cavity-ridden, discoloured molar is expected to raise £10,000 at least, according to the auctioneers in Stockport.  No DNA tests have been done on the tooth because it is so fragile but it was reportedly given by Lennon to his former housekeeper, Dot Jarlett, in the mid-1960s when they were in the kitchen of his house.  "He was very generous to my mother, Jarlett's son, Barry, told the BBC.  "He treated her like family because he didn't really have a very big family and he really looked after my mum. He used to call her Aunty Dot."  Source : The Huffington Post, Friday, November 4, 2011   

Now then,  John Lennon apparently pulled out his cavity-ridden, discoloured molar.   A bit of  "twist and shout!"   Or maybe he used, "Maxwell's Silver Hammer".   Anyway, I can visualise the proceedings at the auction.  The 'Tooth Fairy' would be the auctioneer and the audience would be made up of eager, long in the tooth, dentists.  And perhaps, the Tooth Fairy might just use Maxwell's Silver Hammer as some kind of symbolic gavel.
Here are some songs you may associate with the Beatles and John Lennon.   'Long Tooth Sally', 'Get Plaque',  'Gum Together', 'Happiness Is A Warm Gum', 'Toothy In The Sky With Diamonds', 'Love Me Chew',  'Yes Decay....all my troubles seemed so far away..'.   Okay, brace yourself, I know you can come up with your own toothy tunes.    All I am saying is,  'Give Teeth A Chance....'
Before I go, the photo is evidently John Lennon's prized molar.   That's the tooth, the hole tooth and nothing but the tooth....

Monday, 31 October 2011

Penny's Pyrotechnic Plea.

Greetings.   Yes, it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog wishing to discuss a very important topic with you.   The next couple of weeks can be terrifying times for me and for many of us animals.
From just before Halloween, until just after Guy Fawkes Night , also called Bonfire Night, we animals can be subjected to very frightening sounds and bright lights.   I have been told this is caused by fireworks.
Below is my plea for a bit of common sense that I posted up last year.  I hope the following two weeks will not be as frightening as those in the past.   

When Gary goes out and leaves me alone, he knows that someone has been setting off fireworks outside the house.  He finds me huddled and shaking inside the closet.  His socks are wet from my nervous piddle.  Why are they doing this?  Why do they have to explode those scary things outside our home?  I'm so scared, so very scared and confused.
Gary has told me that there is no need for people to buy fireworks and cause such stress for us innocent creatures.  Gary has told me that people who buy fireworks are putting themselves and others, at risk.  He has told me that people can go and watch fireworks at controlled and safe public displays.  So why do they take the risk?  I don't understand any of this.  I think that the purchase of fireworks to the public should be banned.  Gary has told me that the Accident and Emergency units at the hospitals would agree.
So please, spare a thought.  Think about what a terrible and scary time this is for me and many other animals. Please do not go throwing fireworks down the street.  Please, if nothing else, think about saving some money and going to a public display.  I have been told by Gary that fireworks are expensive and you would get to see loads more at an organised and safe fireworks event.
Please have a safe and happy Halloween.  If you are celebrating Bonfire Night, please take heed of my impassioned plea.  I thank you.

And, if you are not aware of Guy Fawkes Night, here is link:   Guy Fawkes Night in Britain.   

Friday, 28 October 2011

Sorry Store Stories.

Hey, hey!   Wasn't that fun trying to say the title of this posting?   Being sober, may or may not be of help.   So here are some sorry store story situations stated simply. 
I went and locked my front door with my car key and started up the house.  Then I went to my car and wondered why it wouldn't work.   Upon realising I was using my house key, I laughed hysterically, got weird looks from my neighbours and eventually proceeded of on my little excursion. 

Upon arriving at the supermarket, much to my delight, I saw an empty car space.  That would be the car space that was quickly taken by a lady driving a Land Rover full of screaming kids.

Thus, after several minutes of curb looking for a parking space, I finally got a location to park, three miles from the store entrance.  

First of all, I needed to go to the post office and very conveniently, the post office is located within the supermarket.   I couldn't believe my luck that there was only one customer in the post office.   That was the good news.  The bad news was there was only one staff member working at the time and the customer ahead of me was having gigantic parcels sent to every corner of the planet.  Half an hour later, it was finally my turn.  I only went in for a couple of second-class stamps.  Yes, in Britain, even stamps have a class system.

Finally, clutching onto my second-class stamps, I headed into the supermarket.   I grabbed a basket and went to get the usual items, you know, those items that they deliberately place at the back off the store, such as milk.  Because, like I've mentioned before, they are hoping that other temptations along the way to the milk aisle, will cause you to impulse buy.   Thus you walk out of the shop with your pint of milk and a 55 inch, high definition, colour television.

Anyway, strolling down the aisles, skilfully avoiding the angry mob at the 'reduced price' section, I bumped into my doctor.  "Hi doc", I stated.   '"Hi Gary", he replied.   So there we were, exchanging pleasantries and  I had this visual of the time he had on a surgical glove and um proceeded to um.....

Now it was time to go to the 'Express' 'Baskets Only' check-out.   I note one of my pet peeves.  The basket handles of a basket, three down, has it handles folded in and thus the stack of baskets is in disarray.  I have to straighten out the handles and stack the baskets neatly.  I make sure the handles on my basket are placed folding out.  The shopper behind me places their basket on the stack with the handles folded inwards.
In front of me, is the 'oblivious' customer who has brought a shopping trolley to the baskets only check-out.  She has purchased half the store.   The cashier looks at me and shrugs her shoulders.  And I wait and I wait.  The check-out next to the one I'm at, suddenly opens and a bunch of customers who were after me, rush over and of course, are out of the store before me.   

At last, bag of groceries packed, I went to the counter at the entrance.   This would be the counter where you can buy lottery tickets.   There is only one person in front of me.  Once again, that might seem to be good news.   So what does this person do?   Well she buys twenty scratch cards, of which, she insists on scratching,  right then and there.  She then purchases Lotto this and Lotto that.   And just when you think she is about to leave, the lady gets the cashier to run through all her previous zillion tickets from Lotto this and Lotto that, through this machine to see if she has won anything.   She has not.   I was hoping she might have won the big one and would never return.    So, after fifteen minutes of twiddling my thumbs, whistling, smiling through gritted teeth and staring at the ceiling, I bought my newspaper......

Exhausted, I traipsed back to my car.   Of course, that would be the same car that seemed to have vanished, because it was either stolen or I couldn't remember where I'd parked it.  However, after much roaming around and under the watchful eye of the store's security guard, I found my car and put in my groceries.

I was about to drive home when I remembered that a store nearby had been taken over by new management and I was curious to see what was on offer.  I went in and was amazed by the huge Halloween section.  I saw a lady I recognised from behind, as being someone I'd had some pleasant chats with.   She was playing with a scary Halloween doll that made a screaming noise.   I went up to her and said, "Boo!  Very spooky!"  She turned around and it was a total stranger......

Back in my car and time to go home.   This time I used the key to the car to start it.....

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Paw Attention.

Greetings.   Yes, tis I, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star.  Here's a photo of me talking to  one of my many admirers.  Yes, even cats recognise my obvious writing prowess.  Hey cat!   Calm down.   I do understand you are starstruck seeing my awesome self.

You may have noted in the post before this post that the human I so kindly allow to live with me,  put up an award announcement.   Yes indeed, it was the 'Friendly Blogger Award.   However, the friendly blogger who bestowed this award to this site, included me as a friendly blogger.   So, in fairness, it's my turn to add some more friendly bloggers to the list.   Thanks again Teresa, who can be found here,  A Likely Story , for thinking of me and that human, Gary.  

Here goes, the Friendly Blogger Award to these bloggers to do as they wish with.


And just like my human noted,  we think of all of you who so kindly visit our site, a friend.  We are very grateful.

Speaking of friendly, honourable mention must go to Casper the friendly ghost writer.

And of course, that famous Canadian, 'The Friendly Giant'.

In case any of you doubted that I do my own posts.....well, here you go, the above photo is of me formulating  this article.   All I have to do now is press...... "PAWBLISH POST".......

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


Ah yes, friends.   And when I note 'friends', it is in no way a reference to that nauseating, sickly sweet American television 'shitcom', I mean 'sitcom' show, 'Friends'.   That would be the show that had Jennifer Aniston amongst the galaxy of stars.  Yes, the same Jennifer Aniston who was devastated when I told her I wouldn't marry her.   So, yes indeed,  to try and get over her heartache, she married and then divorced, Brad Pitt.  I guess she never really got over me turning her down.  Which reminds me, if you're reading this Brad, no I won't tell you the secret in regards to my stunningly good looks.   Or, is that stunning or stunned look...Anyway, whatever, Brad, deal with it.
So nothing to do with the television show, Friends.  The show that also featured Courtney Cox.   You may recall her in a certain Bruce Springsteen video.   Yes, his video for 'Dancing in the Dark', where he beckons a very young Courtney Cox to come and dance on the stage with him.   And judging by their dancing, I wish they had danced in the dark, total dark.
Before I completely digress from the actual theme of this posting.....I suppose there might be a bit of a clue in the above photo.  Teresa, over at this friendly site : A Likely Story  has very kindly bestowed the 'Friendly Blogger Award' to me because she considers me to be a friendly blogger.   Teresa, I'm most honoured that you would think of me as a friendly blogger friend.  
Okay, I'm supposed to forward this award onto a few friendly bloggers.   Of course, you are all friendly and during an extremely difficult time in my personal life, your friendship has been a lifeline.  However, even though I consider you all to be my friends, I wish to pass on the award to the following for their ongoing kindness to me that goes beyond any words.  To all my blogger friends, I am truly grateful.

2:   THE SNEE         
3:   Austanspace    
4:  thefeatherednest       
7:  browndogcbr     
10:  Soundoff    
11:  CindyLu'sMuse      
12:  It's A Lollipop World     
14:  The Manic Chef  
15:  joanne rose  

To all of those friendly bloggers I have forwarded this award too; please do not feel any obligation to acknowledge this award or, if you do, to not list as many friends as me.
I am going through the toughest time of my life.  I've been in the background and not very proactive.  I cannot think straight and I'm exhausted.  My dear friends, all of you, I hope you understand.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The Sadness In Your Smile.

Within you lies great beauty
Yet I see the sadness in your smile
I see it as my duty
To walk with you a mile.

'Walk a mile', as in walk a mile in your shoes, your moccasins, to try to understand and not pass judgement.  To experience what you experience.
In this all too hectic, fast-paced world, it can be easy to ignore the plight of our brothers and sisters in their time of need.  I reach out and will do my utmost to turn those tears of sorrow into tears of joy and laughter.
I know we can all be here for each other.  We can realise a better place in what should be an all different, all equal society, that embraces the diversity of mankind.  Nobody has the right to devalue your humanity.  

I see the homeless man
With the sparkle in his eye
I see the greed with the evil plan
And ask the question why?

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Are Spiders Narcissistic?

Cobwebs.  Now the cobwebs I'm referring too, have nothing to do with a cob as in, corn on the cob, a thickset, stocky, short-legged horse, a roundish lump of coal, or even a male swan.  Although, I've no doubt, that a male swan may well have its own web (webbed) site.  There are many definitions of cob to be found.  Some might even be slightly suggestive.  Anyway, I'm not going to get a 'cob on', over it.

Of course, I'm referring to cobwebs or spider webs.  Have you ever noticed that your car can be nice and clean, except on the side mirrors?  You washed the car yesterday and it was spotless.  You go out the next morning and note the cobwebs on the side mirrors.  So, you remove the cobwebs.  You go back in the house.  Five minutes later, you decide you need to go back to your car.  And once again, there are cobwebs on your side mirrors.  Then you look at the row of cars on your street.  You notice that everyone of them has cobwebs on the side mirrors.  Out of frustration, you decide to wash your car again.  Five minutes later, the cobwebs have returned to your car's side mirrors.
So, I'm wondering if spiders are narcissistic?   Do they love to pose and admire themselves on your car's side mirrors?   Maybe it's posing, showing of its 'daddy long legs'.  Maybe, just maybe, it's a plot by spiders to piss us off.   You are driving along and realise that the cobwebs you forgot to clean off have caused you to not see the really angry cop who is trying to get you to pull over.
Then again, I've never actually seen a spider on the side mirror.  Only the cobwebs.  Oh how I wish to see a spider on a Fiat Spider.
If you had an ear of corn lying on a spider's web....would that be 'corn on the cobweb'?

For your consideration.  Here's a web sight.  And yes, Spider-Man has his very own website.  You may have realised, if you actually read this posting, that I obviously need to 'clear away my cobwebs', have another cup of coffee and go outside, to yet again, clean off the cobwebs on my otherwise clean car.  That would be unless I mention the bird shit, but that's another story.....

Friday, 30 September 2011

A Cacophony Of Confusing Chatter.

For too long, I've been feeling like I'm the solitary figure, sitting in a crowded room.  Off in the corner, listening to the voices, blending together like garbled gibberish.   Not one voice discernible amongst the cacophony of confusing chatter.  
Yet, I felt this way as I sat alone in my living room, trying to battle against the negative energy that has battered my fragile ego.  I needed calm.  I needed peace.  I needed the mixed up voices of the inner critic to hush and let me breathe again.  Then I remembered just how beautiful it is in the world just outside my front door.  I needed to go out.  The above photo is a view of  The Roaches, just four miles from the town of Leek.  The photograph was taken from a vantage point just a few minutes walk from where I live.  

 Three miles north of where I live, you can get this magnificent view of Rudyard Lake in the foreground and a hill named, The Cloud, in the background.   You can click to enlarge any of the photos.

And now I observe the view on offer from the road that runs along the side of The Roaches.  Off in the distance, the sleepy town of Leek can be seen.  

You may be aware just how sunny and warm it has been here in Britain.  Here is the sun almost set beyond yonder hill.  The view from The Roaches, on this most gorgeous of days, left me feeling alive and refreshed.

 The sun had almost sunk beyond the horizon.  I sat there alone and reflected upon the day, that glorious day I decided to go out and learn to breathe again.  The cacophony of confusing chatter had been replaced by the soothing calm of a gentle voice.  The voice that told me that the negative energy would never defeat me.  
And tomorrow?  Well, based on today, I shall endeavour to live my life embracing the magic of a positive reality.    

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Cheese And Thank You.

'Ooh, that's why I'm cheesy.  I'm cheesy like Sunday morning.'   Or to kinda', sorta' quote the Beatles, 'Cheese, cheese me, whoa yeah, like I cheese you....'  Did you know that the week of  September 24 until October 2, is 'British Cheese Week'?  If you weren't aware of this and wanted to find out all about it, there's a link in regards to the campaign to promote, yes, you guessed it, British Cheese.  Here's the link : British Cheese Week  
I love cheese.  I've mentioned in another posting, just how much I love cheese.  The stronger, the stinkier, the better.  Cheese so smelly, so ripe, that just the aroma wafting up, heading directly for your nose, is enough to singe your nostril hairs.    
Dogs love cheese.  Well, every dog I've offered cheese too has gone into a frenetic fun-filled frenzy.  Note Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star's enthusiasm over the pack of cheese.
I love cottage cheese.  I have noted that folks here in England are not that keen on cottage cheese.  That's very good.  This means, at the 'reduced price' section in the supermarket, the army of 'old rage pensioners', who clear out everything else, by the trolley load, leave me the tubs of cottage cheese.  
At this point, I would probably attempt a few predictable cheese puns.  I know, you Gouda be kidding.  Instead, I leave you with a series of films, and no, not the film on really stinky cheese, but movie type films that were dedicated to cheese.  'The Big Cheesy', 'Cheesy Rider', 'Five Cheesy Pieces', 'Cheesy Come, Cheesy Go' and of course, who could forget this classic British cheesy movie,  'Cheese Sir!'.
Now, I have no idea what kind of cheese you like.  Maybe you hate cheese.  Perhaps the idea of being overwhelmed by the fumes of really strong cheese, makes you think of these lyrics, 'cheese release me, let me go...'    Then again, to kinda', sorta' quote John Lennon, '..all we are saying is give cheese a chance...'

Penny wants to take your photo.  'Smile and say 'cheese'......