The Good and Bad of Dog Walking

Onto something a bit more cheerful.

No matter how much you love your dog, and how much you enjoy walking, the prospect of daily walks is not always as pleasurable as might be supposed. In the winter, and for most of the subsequent months of this year, dog walking has not been a favourite pursuit of mine. Snow, rain, gales and ice have dogged (ha ha) my steps and with hood pulled over eyes and low cloud, the scenery is not a comfort.

Now that the sun has decided to show its face occasionally and the scenery has begun to reveal its soggy beauty, Milo is a particular pain. His thick black coat means that he gets hot running after the ball and needs to cool off his bits in landmark puddles around the chalk meadow or the woodland paths we are lucky enough to have surrounding us. Continue reading The Good and Bad of Dog Walking

On Women and Work again

Having read my dad’s comments on the previous blog I think I need to clarify things a bit.

I have done both types of child rearing and I have to admit that I preferred the first one, going out to work; and I suppose that my remarks about the disparity in the manners of my two daughters implies that yes, Mavis’s social skills would have benefitted from her being raise by the same child minder Horace. Can you imagine though, how it would be if all children were effectively raised in the same way? For a start think of the beaurocracy necessary to lay down and enforce rules about how our children should behave. Should they keep their elbows in at the table, ask to be passed the ketchup, ask to leave the table? Should they pass the orange juice to the left or the right? Should they say ‘pardon me’ or should it be ‘excuse me’ when they burp, or should they be told off? There are so many individual rules in families.

Can you imagine OFSTED inspecting the environments of these little ones: are they colourful enough, are the toys politically correct and so on? Continue reading On Women and Work again

On Women and Work

I find myself with a bit more leisure time having ploughed past a number of deadlines including Whizz’s 50th birthday party, painting the scenery for Mavis’s theatre group, organising a fund raising quiz to save an old building in Robinghood and dealing with a suddenly defunct washing machine having had a house full of party visitors and having let the laundry grow to a mountain of remarkable proportion.

Today I listened to Woman’s Hour, It’s ages since I listened to a whole episode, and the subject of one dicussion leads me to put finger to keyboard. The thrust of the item was an interview with the Danish minister for childcare – do we in the UK have one of these? Apparently 90% of one-year-olds in Denmark are in childcare and nearly all their mothers are employed. The minister was clearly in favour of this situation and thought that a similar, subsidised arrangement would be an ‘investment’ in the UK. I beg to differ: Continue reading On Women and Work

The first Outing in the Caravan

Getting the caravan out, although we thought it would be easier than getting it in, was no different. Neighbours were recruited, and after much shouting the caravan emerged on a Thursday afternoon and was steered onto the drive of a very obliging neighbour, ready for a quick getaway on Friday evening.

Whizz and I, Mavis (sans friend) and the two dogs, along with games, food, equipment and no awning (we still haven’t bought one) set off to a rather unpreposessing sounding site not too far away. It was in a junction between a busy road and a railway line, and we chose it for it’s proximity and dog friendly publicity material, the idea being to have a dry run before committing to a longer break. When we arrived, happily, it turned out to be like Telly Tubby land: bunnies, herons, wild flowers and fishing lakes surrounded us. The bunnies were a mixed blessing as I will reveal. Continue reading The first Outing in the Caravan