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I just like terrible films, OK?

Paddle of Rebuke
We just watched 'World War Z'. Pp felt that it was 'pretty poor'.

It had:
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Admittedly, it did also have a large number of Characters With Common Sense Failure, which always annoys me in an apocalypse but otherwise, I am struggling to see what's not to like here.

So much thunder rolling today, and it's heavy and airless and hot, for all the flower-scents.  A break in the weather would be welcome. 


The art of being photographed.

I observe that the children of people that I know, if judged entirely on photography, would appear to be all stunningly attractive. Photographs that I own of people that I know from their own teen and childhood years, and photos of members of my own family suggest that by comparison, humanity up to about 20 years ago was largely composed of odd-looking, grumpy-faced or mad-looking and somewhat furtive trolls.

Either some sort of alien intervention has taken place unnoticed, or nowadays, people get photographed so often, and get to see the results so instantly, they have on the whole, got a lot better at being in photographs.

I expect Future Historians to come up with a complicated theory about nutrition and dentistry. Or to go with the alien intervention thing.

In the house of broken animals

Rosie Down Hole
Rosie Roo has tummy trouble, to the point where I took her to the vet last night. Vet was concerned (apart fom the immediate problem) that she is still so very thin - she has put on a kilo or so since she has been here, but after two days of not eating, that's already falling off again. She just isnt' a big eater, and it's hard to tempt her appetite : her bowl is often left half-full. So, vet said 'OK, we will take her out the back, get some blood samples and give her an antibiotic and antinausea jab'.

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Inside brain, outside brain...

dog knotwork
We'd rather give ourselves electric shocks than be alone with our thoughts, says new study

I was interested by that news story, and thought about it as I mowed the lawn. It seemed odd to me that they ruled out the person who had found a pen and started making a 'to do' list. Surely, that is a person who is not only comfortable alone with their thoughts, but has decided that their thoughts were so useful, they were worried about forgetting them and wanted to record them for their future convenience?

One thing I sometimes like to do in my head is design elaborate rabbit houses. It seems an odd and arbitrary division to say that you are alone with your thoughts while you work out how the doors would be secured and what materials to use for the roof and how to cut a pleasing set of curved windows that could be shuttered in the winter, but to say that as soon as you start to draw the thing on paper, you are somehow operating outside your head. I often write things in my head, but my head has very poor storage facilities so I forget them. Otherwise this blog would have a lot more stuff in it.

I wonder what people who would rather shock themselves with electricity than be alone with their thoughts, think about while mowing the lawn or hoovering? I can't believe anyone thinks about the mowing.

Lurchers in the post-industrial landscape

Arsenic mining is forever... Hound atop arsenic spoilheap, still splendidly bald despite about a century of abandonment.  The heap, not the lurcher.  The lurcher is not particularly abandoned.
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In the house of ancient animals

Footie, our 17 year old grumpy tabby cat (he's the short haired one) has been diagnosed with kidney failure.  Apparently kidney failure goes in stages, 1-4, and Footie is at Stage 3.   Fortunately, we don't have to try to get daily pills into him (getting pills into Footie is an extreme sport).  He will need a prescription food, but he's quite an enthusiastic eater, so I hope that will not be a big problem.
Henning and Footie
Henning menacing poor Footie with his hairy hairy presence.  


Chocoholic Vole

Trust me
Summer time, and the windows and doors are open.  The first time I saw the vole zoom across the floor and take refuge under the sofa, I was a little surprised, but assumed it had been imported by a cat.  Then I thought that it has been a long time since any of our geriatric cats bestirred themselves to hunt, so this seemed odd.

This afternoon, I surprised the vole half-way up our Ikea shelves, tucking in enthusiastically to a small bar of chocolate it had found there that I had put safely out of reach of the dogs.

I now believe it to be not a sad Victim Vole, carried in by predators, but  a bold Raiding Vole, nipping in through the french doors in the hope of finding loot.

Definitely a vole.  Not a rat, not a mouse. Vole: little round face, short tail. 

The Plumber Cometh!

dog knotwork
And he has fixed our dripping tap, after holding forth at length about how unlikely it is that he would be able to find a matching widget to replace the leaky one.   Apparently tap manufacturers each make 40-odd near-identical Tap Widget Inserts, and our tap carried no ID.  And yet, somehow, the million-and-oneth chance that slays the dragon - the Chosen Widget that he brought with him did actually fit!

... eta, it turns out on closer examination that he has put the taps back the wrong way round, so now you push them to make water happen, which is a bit odd. But at least they have stopped leaking!

In other news, when I went to the pet shop the other day, some builders brought in a blue dragonfly that they had found injured, and left it on the counter.  The poor girl manning the till did not know what to do with it. That pet shop does not sell pets at all, only food and toys and beds - and anyway, dragonflies are not pets!

I offered to take it away and let it go beside a stream - I think probably it was dying anyway, but I thought probably it would find it less stressful to die in a quiet spot in the sun, and if it was stunned rather than permanently injured, a pet shop was not the place for it.   So, we wrangled it into a box - it grabbed hold of Pet Shop Girl's finger, at one point, and we had some difficulty getting it to let go, which almost caused her to have a melt-down.  But I told her 'Be Strong!' and she was.

So then we went to my car - me carrying my various purchases, and leading Rosie Roo,  Pet Shop Girl behind me carrying the dragonfly in a box.  But then we were interrupted by the dragon-fly-delivering builder, who demanded a status update on his dragonfly.

We told him our plan, and he said 'I could take it to a stream!'

So we handed the dragonfly box back to him, and disbanded our procession.

Erratic behaviour of the Rosie Roo

Rosie Runs
I've been trying hard to work on Rosie Roo's behaviour with other dogs, and also coming when called.  Yesterday we practiced lots with the longline and a selection of treats (Rosie gets bored if you keep giving her the same treat.  I have to make sure the bag contains at least 4 different items...)

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Three random things

dog knotwork
1) I met a tiny adder last week on the hill.  He curled and hissed and darted defensively at me in a way that clearly expressed 'I am a great big snake!  Fear me!'  but at the same time suggested that it was trying to conceal a monumental lack of self-confidence.  It was a very small adder.

2) Walking down by the river, I saw what looked like a tiny, dark-brown grizzly bear poised in the road in front of me, one paw raised in a heraldic fashion.  It looked around at  me, and then sprang agily up into the long grass of the bank.   I think it may have been a mole.

3) My garden is hot and full of flowers, butterflies and bumblebees, and even some of that great rarity, the honeybee.  I saw a fritillary this morning, although it was in too much of a hurry for me to work out which fritillary it was. 


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July 2014



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