bunn (bunn) wrote,

Christmas books & shopping trips

I am indulging horribly in my mighty pile of Christmas books. I have just polished off Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Not sure it *quite* lived up to the reviews for me - it does annoy me when an author sets a series of events up, and the main character manages to ignore them one after the other till you feel like an audience at a pantomime going 'it's be-HIND you!' Also, the ending was a bit weak I thought, though no doubt we are being set up for an even more mighty sequel. Still, there were lots of clever references, most of which I am sure went straight past me, and I shall certainly have to read it again at some point to pick up all the bits I missed.

Also read Ursula Le Guin's Changing Planes, a book of short stories all based around the premise that if you are sufficiently bored, uncomfortable and nauseous in an airport, you become able to travel to new planets and universes for as long as you like without time passing at the airport. Creating new worlds is obviously her Very Favorite Thing, and I do like her sense of humour even if I make the premise of the book sound terribly heavy and gallumphing. Oh well. There were some weird overlaps with JS&MN too, which gave me some truly weirded out moments. It was like ideas were leaking between them: most odd. Must avoid stacking those books together: further leakage could cause some sort of hole in reality...

This was also a week of shopping.

We took off to Swindon for a day to do some clothes and shoe shopping. Plymouth is all very well, but a bit limiting when it comes to clothes, and also we always seem to get distracted from our true aims and end up buying books instead of trousers, or petfood instead of shoes. So we went to the Outlet Village, and came back with 6 pairs of shoes between the two of us, which I think is pretty good. And Polo bought a burgundy velvet jacket which looks like it should belong to Jon Pertwee's Doctor, which is most uncharacteristic of him, but nonetheless a fine garment, and I bought a great many trousers, which will be handy on occasions when I am not wearing my Waterproof Trousers bought from the market in Tavistock. (I also have a Waterproof Coat with a Waterproof Hood, all with 'ALL MAJOR SEAMS SEALED!' from the same fine emporium and the entire outfit cost only 12 quid).

We were there the whole day and stayed over. Incidentally, the Vine Tree pub in Norton, just north of junction 17 of the M4 is a very good place to eat: vastly better than a Little Chef!

As this was not a dog-friendly activity, Molly had to go away to stay. I felt most guilty as the Travelodge and the Vine Tree were both ostentatiously dog friendly, but the Outlet Village certainly wasn't, and a day in the car is no fun. We did need to try some dog-boarding place: you can't rely on always being able to go dogfriendly places (which reminds me, must sort out her doggy passport: I think it takes 6 months for the inoculations to be fully valid.) Plus, we are thinking that if we have a LAN party or anything we will probably need to send her away, as she takes up quite a lot of space and scoffs any food left unattended below 6 feet from the floor.

Went to visit a boarding kennels locally, but it was - well, it was adequate. In the way that a juvenile prison would be an adequate place to store ones children, but they might be a bit teed off about it to say the least. So she stayed with someone who does 'own house' boarding and only one dog (or established pair) at a time, plus her own dogs that sleep separately: this cost a tenner a night.

I was concerned about hygiene, but they had tiled floors, leather furniture and each dog brings its own bedding with it, so I don't think there is really much more risk than in a kennels. It felt like a much calmer and more relaxed environment in which a pointy dog could doze the day away, and they said she had a great time playing with the resident collies while she was awake. At any rate, she was pleased to see us, but didn't seem all that anxious to leave and was fussing around the owner as much as us, which has to be a good sign. She was a bit hyper when she got home, but I'm not sure if that was just because she managed to hoover up a couple of chocs left in an almost-empty box while we were unpacking. Luckily there were no other ill-effects (chocolate is poisonous to dogs, but these were mostly marzipan, which is why they were still in the box...)
Tags: books, dogs, food

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