Sunday 31 December 2006

Index 2006

In January, Marion came to visit, the hoover regained its suck and I took photos up Rivington. In February, the allotment got trashed. In March, TJaM went to Crufts, the humans got Norovirus, the dogs ate a hare and it was TJam's brother's 30th.

In April, ducks took up residence outside our house and Beanz got her Kennel Club bronze citizen award. In May, TJam and Bamgee had a party, we all went to visit Noisette and Carlsberg threw a worm up on the carpet (no photos!). In June we got a new allotment, Mrs Chilled and Mr Chilled got married, Noisette got her PhD, Carlsberg wandered and then got an abscess and Chips got her Kennel Club Bronze citizen award.

July was dominated by the cat. Radical action was taken for her abscess then she escaped and then went awol. JoeyM got married. I didn't write anything for August, but we went camping in Anglesey. In September we went to a garden party.

In October TJam went to the States and in November, a Barn owl sat on her shoulder. We went to Cazza's 40th birthday celebrations and Jean Michel came to stay. In December we had fabulous Christmas celebrations.

Thursday 28 December 2006

M6 Toll

On our drive down to London,TJam was feeling mean, and the roads were empty, so we decided we would not take the M6 Toll. We were lucky to live to regret it. I bet they haven't done any repairs on the M6 since... well, ever. It must be part of their ploy to get everyone paying the toll. As it was, with all the pot holes and concrete slabs around Birmingham, we were lucky to survive with only mild concussion. The Christmas presents did make it home in tact.

Today we made good use of the M6 Toll, while we could still get it for £3.50. It will be £4 as of 1st Jan, but it is a small price to pay to avoid serious head injury and motion sickness.

Wednesday 27 December 2006


Liqueur, Mr Liqueur and Piglet came for lunch. It was very nice, and thank you to TJam's mum for cooking a lovely spread. Sadly, no food fell on the floor so the dogs went hungry once again. Boo hiss.

Monday 25 December 2006

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Here is a picture you won't see very often. All the human family sat around the table. It was taken shortly before TJam's brother nearly joined the horrific statistics of the 3 people per year who lose an eye by champagne cork. As it was, he got away with minor bruising and wetness.

We've had a fabulous Christmas. Us animals got loads of presents that we would like to eat straight away, but which the humans are rationing. Meanwhile, they are stuffing their faces.

Luckily, the decoration project of the house hasn't moved on, so we are all sleeping downstairs. Beanz and I are making the most of diving under the covers and sleeping comfortably with TJam.

Sunday 24 December 2006

Rolling - by Chips

Today has been a day for rolling. Rolling on tufts of grass, rolling in smells, rolling in fox poo. I love rolling. I love dancing around the smell, wagging my tail, dropping my left shoulder, changing my mind, dropping my right shoulder and scooting my neck across the floor. I love getting up and doing it all over again. And again. And again.

Today has been a day for having a bath. I do not love having a bath.

Friday 22 December 2006

Merry Alternative Christmas!

Today, TJam and Bamgee celebrated their alternative Christmas. They had nut roast and brussel sprouts. Us dogs had a hide chew, but Chips didn't eat hers. They must be a dodgy batch. I had 2.

Bamgee gave TJam a mini trampoline. TJam has always wanted a trampoline, ever since she saw a display (in which a girl fell and hurt her neck) at the Walnuts Trampoline Club in 1976. Now her dreams have come true. Here is Bamgee, giving a demonstration in her new Christmas wellies.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Thursday 21 December 2006

Old Friend

I got a Christmas card from Anna today. Anna, my lovely friend who I ate more bowls of peanuts, raisins and chocolate chips with in the name of A level revision, than I care to remember. She kept my secret: that I never actually read or understood, "Nostromo", even though I wrote a full 4 page essay on it. We cycled to school together. She went to youth band and was in the relay team. Last year, my card to her was returned as a "not known at this address. Addressee has moved".

So Anna, if you're reading this, please email me so I can write to you! I miss you and I think of you often. And congratulations on your life and beautiful children :)

Monday 18 December 2006


Hooray. TJam's lovely new wellies have arrived. She has been wellieless for 2 weeks and it has not been fun. Trainers lined with carrier bags just don't compare.

These are Muckboots and we have to say, they are like walking on air, apparently. They are also safe from -20 to +75 degrees but we hope TJam never has to test them. I hope they go better than the muddies that she wore through in 3 months and had to be replaced after 6. Unfortunately she left them in a pub near Shrewsbury where they went missing. Good luck to the people who took them. I'd say they had a few weeks left in them. They also didn't have any kind of sole. These new ones have proper soles so TJam won't slip over in the mud. Well, hopefully not.

We are now going out to christen them. They are the best boots TJam has ever had so far.


Note to TJam: Do not confuse your own blue towel that you take swimming, with the blue dog towel.

The first she knew of this was when she got a face full of fur after her lovely shower. Our apologies to the cleaners at the pool, especially around the shower and drying area. TJam did her best to remove most of the black dog hairs that fell onto the floor. Without sharing too much information, suffice to say that her whole body looks like she needs a shave and her clothes are feeling very itchy all over.

Saturday 16 December 2006

Mystery Benefactor

Today I received a shopping voucher for £5. It came from Leeds. I have no idea who it is from. Thank you to the mysterious sender.

I hope it is not my agenda for change backpay.

Friday 15 December 2006

Funny or Mortifying?

TJam was involved in making a video about a charity. It was all going so well. Her t-shirt is faded and grey, so she had squeezed into a 10-year old child's t-shirt so to match everyone else.

After 5 minutes of filming, the video guy said to her, "Do you want to nip to the bathroom and sort your hair out?"

Being a believer that it is what's on the inside that counts, and having been raised to believe that vanity is the worst of sins, TJam said it was ok. It was hard to stick to her principles when clearly she looked rough as ... something very rough.

He said, "OK then, but this is for posterity you know"

TJam thought it was funny, but when she's told people, they have been mortified on her behalf. She still thinks it is funny.

Children Disappointed Worldwide

Santa is dead.

I know this because his 10 foot inflatable remains are lying in my next-door-but-one neighbours' garden.

I might invest in a puncture repair kit.


We had this really cool little dog food carrier. It held just enough food for 2 dogs for 2 days, and the 2 little bowls sloted snugly on each end. It had a little handle to carry it. It was very handy and very well used.

TJam thought it might go nicely in the dishwasher to get cleaned.

We now have a half size, unshapely pile of plastic. Think big, see through clay coil-pot shape (the kind you made when you were 5 years old). TJam thinks we don't know. But we do.

Saturday 9 December 2006

Eating Raw - by Chips

For a while now, TJam has pondered feeding us dogs a raw diet. This seems to be very controversial, which is why she hasn't dared to do it yet, wanting more information and more evidence. Carlsberg catches her own natural diet and doesn't seem any the worse for it. I digress.

We went to Rivington today. I found a dead sheep and ate its leg. TJam couldn't get anywere near me. I just kept running and crunching til I'd finished it.

I have been fine since. I consider it being proactive. The more times I eat raw and am fine, the more evidence for our case of decent and varied food, not a bowl of dried kibble. Victoria Stillwell from "It's me or the dog" says that dogs should have variation so they don't get bored.

So TJam, LISTEN UP! Remember the time Beanz and I ate the hare? WE WERE FINE! Remember that squirrel? FINE. The thing that looked like a human foot? Fine. (Well, I was fine, Beanz threw hers up at the vet after she got spayed and they kept it in a see through plastic bag to shame you when you went to pick her up.) But all in all, we eat carcusses and are fine. Please give us more carcasses.

Wednesday 6 December 2006

Good Trains

In other news, TJam managed to be standing on the platform of a station 15 minutes before her train was due to leave, yet not see the train standing there, or anyone getting onto it, and only realised 10 minutes after it had pulled out of the station (if it was ever really there, which she doubts, but the Guard says it was so it's his word against TJam's!).

We must commend Virgin for their flexible handling of the situation. They let TJam get on the next train, even though she had paid for a reserved seat. That's not the kind of service she was expecting. So instead of, "you missed it. You'll have to buy another ticket", it was, "You can get the next train instead". Wow. It's a long time since she wrote (or even thought) anything nice about train travel. Maybe things have taken a turn for the better. Anyway, credit to Virgin.

Friday 1 December 2006

What's worse than...

Mrs Chilled and TJam shared a room for the while volunteering at the weekend. As they were just about to go to bed, there was a shriek, and there, between Mrs Chilled's 2 pillows, was a faded pink, flowery, nylon nightie that smelt of an elderly woman.

She phoned down and they delivered clean sheets.

They were struggling to see a bright side to all this, until Bamgee pointed out (via text) that at least there was noone actually in the nightie. Suddenly it seemed like somehow they'd got off lightly.

Organised Friends

We got our first Christmas card today. It was made by the lovely Liqueur and my not-goddaughter. Now that is organised.

Thursday 30 November 2006

Words to the Wise

When eating Weetbix:
1. Put on enough milk
2. Don't sneeze

When you buy a new towel:
Wash it before you use it (unless you want to be covered in towel flavoured fluff)

When drinking coffee in a meeting with your manager:
Don't hold it by slipping your thumb through the handle or it might slip and spill all over you.

Please add on you little tips in the comments box. They must have been learnt through bitter experience.

Wednesday 29 November 2006

Life's Disappointments

...discovering that you are looking at last week's TV guide.

Yesterday I spent all day looking forward to "It's me or the Dog" only to be greeted by "How Clean is your House?" This morning I discovered the reason why.

The only consolation was that there was a Monk on that I have never seen before.

So the evening was not all bad.

Tuesday 28 November 2006

Cat bite (yet again)

I have been to the vet again today. Another bite to my tail.

I felt better after my anti-inflammatory injection and I managed to eat my tea when I got home.

Monday 27 November 2006

Barn Owl

Today at work, I had a Barn Owl on my shoulder. It was just amazing. Just amazing. The man from the Owl Sanctuary was visiting and doing a demonstration. He said, "Here, hold this" and next thing, I was holding Paulie the owl. She was so soft and light, and her huge claws didn't hurt at all. And she was right next to my face.

I remembered the book, "Plop, the Owl who was afraid of the Dark"

Wow. Owls are amazing.

Saturday 25 November 2006

Sign of the Times

On Saturday afternoon, we went to Bishop's Castle for the Lights Festival. It was all very traditional, with a Santa's Grotto, street stalls and a roasting hog.

As the children huddled around a Punch and Judy show, we marvelled at how youngsters don't really need technology and computer graphics to enjoy themselves; that they can still be held, awestruck, by ugly puppets and a funny voice. (Of course, there was a disclaimer before the show, that only Mr Punch is allowed to hit people with a stick, because he is only being funny, but we all know that it is wrong to hit people with sticks, don't we boys and girls?)

Our marvelling didn't last long. Mr Punch didn't get to lay a finger on Judy. The sausages had to be retrieved from the hands of a young boy, a gang of 4-8 year olds started jumping up at the booth to get a touch of Mr Punch and one boy started hitting it with a christmas tree branch. Mr Punch and Judy called off the show.

Happy pre-birthday Cazza

Happy pre-birthday to the lovely Cazza who will be 40 in one month. She is lucky to share her birthday with Father Christmas. We all went down to Shrewsbury for a suprise party, expertly arranged by Mr Cazza.

Wednesday 22 November 2006

Visitors and windscreens

JM has been staying with us. This picture was taken when it was still funny that JM had dropped the arm of the windscreen wiper onto the windscreen and chipped it. TJam was reassured that it was "absolutely nothing. Nothing at all" and JM was admiring his handiwork at having replaced the windscreen wipers without looking at the instructions.

This picture was taken before said windscreen wiper came half off on the M60 at night in the rain.

This picture was taken before TJam discovered a crack on the windscreen. Before JM said that it certainly and categorically wasn't there the night before, and that "something bizarre" must have happened.

This picture was taken when TJam was still smiling about it. It was certainly a lot funnier before she had to fork out seventy five quid to replace the whole windscreen, which, incidentally, now is part of the structure of a vehicle.

And apparently, it remains a mystery how the screen got cracked. To me, it seems a lot easier to solve than the peanuts and raisins incident but no one is admitting responsibility.

Friday 17 November 2006


Yesterday, TJam came home to find a glass jar, previously containing 500g of nuts and raisins, with a very very low level of nuts and raisins, but the screw top lid still on. She looked at it and looked at it again, and wondered aloud if she had eaten so many of them in only one day. She looked at me a few times, but the lid was back on. She said she thought I had done it but she had no proof.

By this morning I had prepared her proof. She set to with the mop and bucket, muttering that if she had wanted to see things like this she would have worked in a chocolate peanut brittle factory. But she will never know how I got the lid off and back on again. And neither will you.

Thursday 16 November 2006

Happy Halloween

Happy late Halloween. Catching up on October doesn't seem to be happening on the October page, but I'm too proud of this little creation to just let it go by without comment. I still have pumpkin soup in the freezer. Thank you Auntie Ann for the recipe.

Washing collars

Yesterday, TJam washed our collars. Washed our collars I ask you! So the only decent thing to do was to roll in fox poo, come home and wipe it on my bed. I smell gorgeous.

Tuesday 14 November 2006


Isn't it typical that, now I have a superduper new blog that is easy to post to, absolutely nothing has happened. It has rained. My windscreen wipers need changing. Why do we never think about windscreen wipers when it is dry, and when it rains, it is too late? *drums fingers*

Sunday 12 November 2006

New look Blog

TJam has been working very hard on her blog for a while now, trying to work out a new format and all. She hasn't got the hang of pictures yet. She was so excited about the changes that she was awake at 5am thinking about it. I took the opportunity to purr by her head and pat her face to ask for food, but she wasn't having any of it.

Speaking of food, Bamgee brought my a pouch of food from Russia. I have no idea what it said on the packet, but I gamely got stuck in and ate the whole thing, and no ill effects yet.

Anyway, let TJam know what you think of the new look. You can now COMMENT on posts. Hooray. And TJam will work on the photo thing. And then she is going to put a password on the old posts so you can only read the archives if you know her. She is getting paranoid about how much stuff is on here.

Friday 10 November 2006

Animals in on the Act

Sssssshhhhh don't tell TJam, but us animals have worked out how to post in this blog, so we can keep you up to date on what is REALLY happening, not what TJam wants you to think.


Exotic Town

I have noticed recently, a disproportionate number of Exotic Pet Shops in Our Town. I have seen 3 today. There is one almost everywhere you go. Admittedly, one was a front for a drugs trade, but no sooner had that one shut down than a new one opened just down the road.

Clearly exotic pet shops are vital. In one central parade of shops today, it went:

Launderette, Off Licence, Mr Chan's Chinese Takeaway, Pizza Shop, Bookmakers, Sweet Shop, Exotic Pet Shop (tortoises, reptiles, parrots...). The greengrocers has closed down. It's interesting where priorities lie, especially in the high-rise part of town.

In other news, we met Lynda, clicker lady today, who said the dogs have come on. And so have I. So that's good news :)

Thursday 9 November 2006

New Neighbours

Today, we got new neighbours on the left.

We were very sorry to say goodbye to Gaz, Karen and bernes. They were good neighbours, and we will miss them. They haven't taken their trampoline with them yet. I expect they will come back to pick it up, but there is still time for me to sneak into the garden under the cover of darkness and have a little bounce.

Monday 6 November 2006

Cover me Down the Chippy

It all happens around here. This evening I went to the chip shop. Not the local one, because that is only open Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Why would you open a chip shop on a Monday, Friday or Saturday evening after all. Who would eat chips then.

There was a police car on the corner outside. I went in and joined the queue for chips (there's always a healthy queue at an Our Town chippy).

There was a child in the queue, who went to stand by the door, at which point the owner advised the child not to go outside as there was a "gunman in the area". Police had done a door to door to make sure there were no children in the street and had been parked up on the corner all afternoon. Clearly it is acceptable for adults to get shot.

So I paid for my chips, shouted,"Cover me!" and did a Cagney and Lacey run back to the van. Actually, I just made that last part up. I just paid for my chips and came home, and Noisette came for tea.

Friday 3 November 2006

Trying something new

Well, some of you may have noticed that we've had a few problems uploading our pages these last couple of months. So I have decided to have a try at using this format to see how it goes.

New month, new start.

Those of you who were disappointed with my lack of phototaking at the last "worm in cat vomit" incident will be glad to know that I was on the ball on the most recent occassion, and i will share it with you as soon as I can work out the technology... Brace yourselves.

Meanwhile, I am sitting here with the tv on and a CD to try and mask any firework noises.

Tuesday 10 October 2006

Lucky Escape

Today, TJam was amusing herself before her flight home, and she sat down in a lovely park. The above police car drove along the path and slowed down.

Officer of the Law: *waves*
TJam: *waves back*
Officer of the Law: How are you?
TJam: Good (see how she picked up the lingo in under a week), thank you (ever polite)
Officer of the Law: *gets out of car and walks towards TJam*
TJam: Am I doing wrong?
Officer of the Law: (thoughtfully) I don't ..... thiiiiiiiiiink so.... You're wearing a blue shirt, not a green shirt.
TJam: Oh good
Officer of the Law: Have a good day *Turns and walks back to his vehicle*
TJam: You too (she's so gangsta)
Officer of the Law: *Drives off*
TJam: *doesn't have to accompany said officer to the station. Or produce any papers. Which was a blessing as she didn't have any on her*

The end.

Monday 9 October 2006

Halloween American Style

During their stay, Gingerted and TJam have been impressed with the Americans' Halloween decorations. When they first arrived, they thought that a 9 foot high inflatable pumpkin, spider and ghosts was the wildest thing we had ever seen, but that has been kicked into insignificance by the home made illuminated graveyard (playing organ music) with scream emitting headstones, a werewolf on the roof and moving ghouls (with genuine skulls) hanging from the trees.

Sunday 8 October 2006


Apparently TJam has been partying all weekend to celebrate 15 years of the camp she worked at. It sounds like great fun: pool, dancing, laughing, speeches, and catching up with friends.

Only service dogs were allowed, which Beanz and I definitely are not.

Monday 2 October 2006

Chips v. Catfood

At first, it was Chips 1, Catfood 0 but now it is looking more like 1 all. Not so funny now, when my ribs look like I've swallowed a football. TJam has a plentiful supply of pine floor cleaner, ready for the morning.

Saturday 30 September 2006

MP3 Player

TJam got an MP3 player today, for her trip the States. She spend 10 minutes downloading all her music onto it and 45 minutes working out how to put the carry strap on.

Tuesday 19 September 2006

Computer Up and Running

It's ok everyone, you can stop worrying. We have had some trouble uploading our blog due to some technical hitches. Did you notice how I slipped in that bit of jargon? For TJam's mum's information, a blog is short for weB LOg. See what the techie freaks have done? Made a single word out of two words.... clever huh?

Anyway, it seems that yet again, our attempt at an August blog has been foiled. Aug 2005 looks like it's never going to happen, so we'll have a go with Aug 2006, but if it doesn't appear by November, don't go looking for it.

Wednesday 13 September 2006

Dear Slug

We don't know where you live. Nor do we know where you got the idea that it is ok to snuffle around our kitchen counter every night and slime everywhere. You are mistaken and this has got to stop.

Saturday 9 September 2006

Garden Party

Today we, and all our friends from Rivington, were invited to Archie's garden party. Everyone was there, B1, Chester, Fallon, Jake, Jeff, Vinnie, Rosie, Nero, Archie and us. It was quite a squeeze.

The humans had lovely food expertly prepared by Mary and Bernard, and there were bacon flavoured bubbles provided by the bubble machine. Sorry B1, no scones for dogs :(

Monday 4 September 2006

Country Smells

Living in the country is very nice and we wouldn't change it. The farmer spraying his crops with chicken excrement is great for dogs and not very nice for humans. They do not like hanging their washing outside to dry with that smell. Nor do they like going to a meeting wearing clothes that have dried outside in the country at this time of year.

Looks like TJam learnt a lesson today.

Monday 31 July 2006

Summary of July

Brain capacity spent worrying about the cat = 80%
Time spent thinking about living on a narrow boat = 20%
If you wanted anything else out of us this month...
maybe August.

Thursday 27 July 2006


Let us now draw a line under this cat episode. Last evening, we went for a walk, calling along the vicarage wall. Then we came home. About 2 minutes later, we got a phone call from our friendly neighbour saying, "We think your cat is here. We heard you calling and then she ran through the garden!" Leads on in 10 seconds flat, Bamgee made a dash for the treats, and we went up, called, and Carls popped up onto the vicarage wall. Another call and she came over meouwing. She was a bit jumpy but we picked her up and carried her home.

2 pouches and half a dish of dried food later, examination revealed her wounds to be healed and her to be in general good health. She was just a bit wide eyed, jumpy and very very very hungry.

We will never know whether she intended to come home or not, or whether she just got disorientated and decided to stay where she knew she was surviving. there are a million other possibilities

She has slept on the landing all night and is calmer this morning. She asked for food at 2am and again this morning (some things never change).

Nicole (our vet), your work wasn't in vain and to our neighbours, thank you for your informative phone calls that lead to this recovery.

End of this installment (I hope).

In other news, Bamgee is having building work done on her house, and Dr Noisette came round and we had a lovely afternoon.

Tuesday 25 July 2006


Lots of exciting things have happened in the past couple of days.

On Sunday we spent all day walking along the canal looking at boats and stopping off at the pub. Us dogs were very well behaved. TJam has been somewhat pre-occupied though, as Carlsberg hasn't come home since 16th July. TJam has delivered fliers to her neighbours and someone has phoned this evening to say they saw her last night, so at least she is still alive. We have also been told that she usually sunbathes on the farmer's trailer, but that a ginger cat has now taken her place. We keep our paws and fingers crossed.

Monday 17 July 2006

Wild Week

Carls has had her stitches out, collar off and promplty went awol. TJam says she did not fork out over £300 for her to go missing. They will have words on her return.

Saturday 8 July 2006

On the Mend

Bamgee brought Carlsberg some poorly cat milk. It is like lucozade but for cats. She managed a purr this evening. Carlsberg that is, not Bamgee.

Friday 7 July 2006

Drain is Out


Nicole, the vet said that she did not swear as per TJam's description of the consultation. TJam agrees that she was probably mistaken but they have agreed to leave it there for dramatic effect.

Wednesday 5 July 2006

Tuesday 4 July 2006

9 Lives

TJam barrackaded Carlsberg upstairs and went to work. A clothes airer, a baby gate with 4 inch gaps and a sheet of metal and a box blocking off the catflap. There was no way she was going to make it downstairs anyway wearing her buster collar, and also she could hardly walk.

TJam went off to work and came home at lunch to check on us. She went up to see Carls, but there was no cat there. She looked under the beds, in the cupboards, behind the door... there are only so many places a cat with a buster collar on can hide. No cat. In disbelief, she looked in the garden. No cat. She kept saying, "She MUST be upstairs. She CAN'T have got out. She treble checked and quadrupal checked but no cat.

Finally, she put our collars and leads on. We needed to go out anyway, as I had broken into our holiday supply of dried food. We led TJam down a different path from usual. We walked behind the houses and past a sports car. Beanz got down and started sniffing. TJam had a look under, but she couldn't see anything and pulled us on. Beanz lay on the floor and started wagging her tail and sniffing hard. TJam double checked, and there, right under all the bodywork, was our frightened little cat with her buster collar sprung open.

TJam phoned Pin who came to help. TJam pulled Carls out from under the car and then wrestled her back to the house. Carlsberg did not want to be carried but she had to come home.

She is now sulking upstairs and has a bleeding foot on top of everything else. So she is off to the vet's in a minute for some pain relief and a check over. She was not supposed to jump over the fence 24 hours after surgery so she will probably get a talking to. Or TJam will.

Updated 8pm - the cuts on Carls's paws were from where she HAD BEEN ATTACKED while going outside. The wounds would have become abscesses but for the fact she is already on that many antibiotics. So she had a painkilling injection and came home and is already looking much more spritely. We are optimistic.

Beanz is the queen. She quite possibly saved Carlsberg's life. We are so happy.

Comfortable Night

The Carlsberg fanbase will be pleased to know she spent a comfortable night and even dragged herself up onto the bed twice and fell off it once. She decided to explore and master her lampshade-head-thing at 5am and is a lot brighter now that it is 7am.

TJam has now also learnt how to spell abscess. It's from her hours trawling the internet to look up normal cat respiration rates in her over anxious state at midnight last night after Carls tried to jump off the bed.

All is much brighter this morning, and a big thank you to all our friends who have mailed, texted and phoned. We appreciate it.

Monday 3 July 2006

Abscess Revisited - with style

Poor Carlsberg has not been feeling at all well over the weekend and yesterday she just laid on the landing all day and night. This morning, TJam took her to the vet, who said, "Sh*t!" (sorry to any under 16s) "Is there any chance she could have been shot?!". Well, there are loads of kids that shoot over the back, so it was a distinct possibility. Carlsberg stayed at the vet for x-ray and surgery.

1pm - the vet has just phoned. It was not a pellet, but huge abscess that stretches from her back, all the way around to her groin. She will need a drain. She can come home tonight.

Evening: this is what she looks like now and we have never seen anything so pathetic.

The drain goes in the top of her back here:

and all the way down to come out of her belly here.

TJam made her a comfy bed, but Carlsberg got up and balanced herself on the cardboard box and fell asleep and that is where TJam has left her. She isn't allowed to be around us dogs because we will try and lick her wounds and we're not allowed.

Carlsberg has to go back to the vet on Wednesday.

Abscess Revisited - with style

Poor Carlsberg has not been feeling at all well over the weekend and yesterday she just laid on the landing all day and night. This morning, TJam took her to the vet, who said, "Sh*t!" (sorry to any under 16s) "Is there any chance she could have been shot?!". Well, there are loads of kids that shoot over the back, so it was a distinct possibility. Carlsberg stayed at the vet for x-ray and surgery.

1pm - the vet has just phoned. It was not a pellet, but huge abscess that stretches from her back, all the way around to her groin. She will need a drain. She can come home tonight.

Evening: this is what she looks like now and we have never seen anything so pathetic.

The drain goes in the top of her back here:

and all the way down to come out of her belly here.

TJam made her a comfy bed, but Carlsberg got up and balanced herself on the cardboard box and fell asleep and that is where TJam has left her. She isn't allowed to be around us dogs because we will try and lick her wounds and we're not allowed.

Carlsberg has to go back to the vet on Wednesday.

Saturday 1 July 2006

Wedding Congratulations

Congratulations to Jo and Jon, who got married today. Bamgee and TJam went to their reception and TJam wowed the audience with her medley of the wedding march, love songs and football songs expertly performed on the paper and comb. There was panic during the day when TJam realised her playing skills were very rusty, but constant practice made perfect and it all went well.

Friday 30 June 2006

Thank Goodness for Insurance

Another trip to the vet for a 2nd lump. He said it felt more like a tumour but since it has appeared at the same time as my war wound, it is too much of a coincidence and he will treat it as another abscess.

However, this one seems more problematic and if it doesn't heal properly I may need surgery. So please keep your fingers crossed that it all heals nicely. Apart from anything else, I hate staying in the house. I hide behind the front door and when people come in, I dart past them to make a break for freedom.

TJam would welcome any advice. She wants to build some kind of airlock.

Wednesday 28 June 2006


As the title suggests, there are more health issues down on the ranch. Poor old me developed a big lump on my back and was walking funny, so I had to pay a visit to the vet, who whipped the scab of an absess and, well, we'll leave the rest to your imagination. Actually, it is best not to think about it, it will only upset you. TJam was morbidly fascinated.

The vet said I was probably involved in a fight, and from the location of the wound, I was running away. Chips has said she will give me some lessons in self defence.

£41 later and I am injected and armed with a course of antibiotics.

Thursday 22 June 2006

Go Chips!!

Dear Carlsberg

You know as well as I do that if you have a pouch in the morning, you start patting my face at 5am to ask for your breakfast. And you can forget it cos it ain't gonna happen. I must confess to being suspicious. How comes you have just come and sat on my knee AGAIN? Are you even the real Carlsberg or an imposter? I will ask the vet to check your microchip when you go for your next booster.

Anyway, we have more important news now. After 4 years of work, and times of despair, Chips has got her bronze Citizen Award from the Kennel Club. Perhaps I will carry her rosette around in my bumbag so if she gets in a scrap I can whip it out, wave it around and blame the other dog. A special thank you to Gayle, Derrick and Karen who let her into the quieter class even though she wasn't qualified, and who let us work at Chips's pace so she could calm down and chill and, and dare I say it, enjoy herself in class.

Lots of love

Wednesday 21 June 2006

Reply to Letter

Dear TJam

Firstly, I have to say that I was coming home anyway, and your letter didn't make a bit of difference. I am a cat and I will do as I please, as is my feline way.

Please do not think, however, that I am not aware that you are thinking of selling up and leaving the rat race to go and live on a narrow boat. As you well know, boats do not suit cats. You had better stick to your promise that you will not leave until I give sign or signal that it is ok. And please do not think that you will be able to hasten my departure.

Please also do not think that my being extra friendly since I got home and sitting on your knee for the first time this evening is my attempt at winning you round and keeping you on my side.

Lots of love


PS What about a pouch of catfood in the morning as well as the evening?

Tuesday 20 June 2006


Firstly, my sincere apologies to those who berated TJam for not photographing the "tapeworm on the carpet" scene. I can only imagine how you are going to take the following news.

Whilst out walking, I dived gleefully into some long grass. TJam smelt me as I came out carrying a decomposing rabbit carcus seething and dripping with maggots. It was a wrestle to prize it from me clamped jaws, but the adrenaline rush helped her no end. And the sorry thing about all this, was that TJam's first thought was, "I haven't got my camera!" What does that say about her?

Monday 19 June 2006


Dear Carlsberg

I am sorry we left you for the weekend and went down to London. I was careful to leave out your favourite food and to make sure someone checked on you (even though the key wouldn't work and they couldn't get into the house). I feel you are overreacting by not coming home. I haven't seen you for 5 days and I am starting to worry, even though I know you pull this 7 day stunt every summer. How am I supposed to know if you are out on an expedition or if you are locked in someone's shed and need rescuing?

It's raining now, so why don't we call it a truce and you can come home, have a pouch of food and we will all be winners. Huh? Waddaya say?

Lots of love

Thursday 15 June 2006


Congratulations to Dr Noisette who has got her PHd! Hooray!

Sunday 11 June 2006


TJam and Bamgee went to a Town and then to the Lake District to celebrate Mr and Mrs Chilled's wedding. It was a beautiful, humourous and moving ceremony and fun and friendly reception.

Everyone had a great time. Congratulations Mr and Mrs Chilled!

Saturday 3 June 2006

Walking Day

Today was walking day. This is a local custom when humans walk from the church to the war memorial, playing music and stuff. Whilst TJam applauds the upkeep of local tradition, she did not enjoy waiting in traffic for half an hour before pleading with Mr Policeman to let her drive to her own home rather than take a 7 mile diversion.

Luckily, what with the crying, shaking and general drama that accomanies a hormonal human on low blood sugar, Mr Policemen let her drive home and the peace was kept.

Friday 2 June 2006

Allotment Relaunched

TJam and the dogs went to the allotment at the crack of dawn to start putting a fence around it. So far they have done a gate frame and dug holes for the posts. And they claim to be exhausted.

Meanwhile, I have been enjoying reading "Your Dog" magazine and laughing at all those stupid canines. They think they are so clever. They should try being a cat.

Meanwhile, I have been enjoying the mattress. Very nice. Very nice indeed. Keep up the payments TJam.

Thursday 1 June 2006

Good Night's Sleep

Today, TJam hoiked me off the bed to make way for a new matress. She is very excited about it and is hoping to, at last, have a good night's sleep. I will let you know.

Friday 26 May 2006


Ok, the title alone should have you steeling yourself to keep your last meal firmly in your stomach.

TJam can now count herself amongst the distinguished few who don't need to use "Google"..."images"..."search"... if she wants to know exactly what a whole tapeworm looks like when it has been vomited onto the carpet from the belly of a cat. When do we get to celebrate?

Wednesday 24 May 2006

The Noisettes

Today we went for a lovely visit to see Noisette, Mr Noisette and Ms Noisette Junior. They were very welcoming and I even had a little sleep in their kitchen. Beanz and I played in the garden and we went for a walk in the fields.

Mr N gave us some doggie chocolate buttons. It was lovely.

Tuesday 16 May 2006

Lovely Walk

Today we all went for a walk in High Park. It was lovely, and us dogs were mainly well behaved except that I grumped at another dog and got into trouble and the owner cried, even though it was all handbags at dawn. But apart from that it was a lot of fun, and the humans went to Papa Luigi's for lunch. It was sad when everyone had to say goodbye as everyone had a wonderful weekend.

Friday 12 May 2006

Dirty Stopout

Carlsberg has been awol for 24 hours for the firs time this year. What a fairweather cat. Well, the opposite of fairweather actually. She only spends time with us when the weather is horrible. A whiff of sun and we don't see her for days.

Saturday 6 May 2006

Mystery Benefactor

A kind, yet mysterious benefactor has sent Bamgee and TJam an Oxfam Unwrapped present. They have planted trees for them! Unfortunately, they have not put their name on the card, so we can't thank them. If it was you and you are reading this, please put TJam and Bamgee out of their misery. Actually, they have a little inckling about who it might be, but they don't want to ask you in case it wasn't you and you feel like you should have sent them something! So thank you, whoever you are.

Wednesday 3 May 2006

Yoga and Rabbit

This evening TJam was peacefully doing some yoga when she looked over to Carlsberg who jumped out from under the bed and pranced around with something soft and furry. On closer inspection it turned out to be a pair of a rabbit's back legs, held together by the tail. On closer inspection, Carlsberg appeared to weigh approximately (1 x cat) + (3/4 x rabbit). How very mathmatical. And how not zen.

Saturday 22 April 2006

Bronze Citizen

Well this is something no one ever thought they'd see. Yes, your eyes do serve you correctly. That is a photo of Beanz wearing her Bronze Good Citizen Rosette. She earned it today at her exam. TJam was more nervous than when she did her human exams for goodness sake. But Beanz was cool as a cucumber and even managed a little sleep while she was waiting to do her "controlled walk though a door". The fact that she had been charging round the park for 2 hours beforehand had nothing to do with it. She was very well behaved and we are very proud of her.

7pm: looks like Beanz used up all her Bronze Citizen behaviour at her bronze citizen exam. Tjam's mother was right when she told us pride comes before a fall. She (Beanz, not TJam's mother) has barked at a jogger, 3 horses, 3 boys playing in the stream, 2 girls walking down a path and one unknown monster. That will stop TJam getting above herself. Beanz: profilaxis for arrogance. I guess profilaxis is one of those words TJam can say but has no idea how to spell. That and trayps. Ok ok, there are a few.

Wednesday 19 April 2006

BB for Noisette

Today our new friend Noisette came for the afternoon. She said us dogs were on urr BB. That's "best behaviour" for the uninitiated. Which, of course, makes TJam out to be a liar when she tells terrible tales, but she'd rather be a liar with BB dogs, than telling the truth about the ASBO brigade, especially when new friends are concerned.

It puts me in mind of a time when TJam was making a new friend, Thistle, and we went to the beach for the first time. Beanz went behind some public toilets and ate something that I can't tell you here, suffice to say someone mustn't have had their 5p to hand. About 10 minutes from home TJam tried to casually disguise a terrible smell by opening the window, but there was no diguising this smell. Beanz had puked up her treasure down the side of the back seat of the new car (with our new friend in).

Anyway, end hazy memory sequence and back to the present day. Noisette came for a walk with us and it was all very nice. Note to TJam: don't try to cook when new friends come to tea. Or at least, make sure you have some form of ingredients in the house before they arrive, or they will be obliged to smile and say, "yum" when eating some mushrooms, kidney beans and a green pepper.

Monday 17 April 2006

Authentic Cat Treats

When Father Christmas delivered a nice little red box of ocean bites for Carlsberg, we were pleased for her. TJam didn't realise she would be handing over REAL LIFE WHOLE FISH with their googley little eyes looking up at her. Even Carlsberg did a double take before she ate it. And that is the cat that eats a whole mouse or bird without a second thought. Don't get me wrong, TJam doesn't believe in dressing meat up so it doesn't look like meat. If you're gonna eat it, at least eat it for what it is. It was just a shock for her to have 20 pairs of eyes staring at her while she opened the packet. Next time she will brace myself. And be glad she is vegan.

Wednesday 5 April 2006

More on Ducks and Rabbits

The plot thickens. The duck plot that it. When Bamgee went swimming this morning, the duck bodies were gone. Someone with greater plucking knowledge clearly had the same idea. Following a day of mourning (I'm not exaggerating), TJam met the farmer and told him about the ducks.

"Oh no!" he said, "The duck is in my barn sitting on 6 eggs. She's been there all day." When we looked onto the big puddle on the marsh, low and behold, there were two ducks! Here is the evidence. Are they Mr and Mrs Duck? Or Mr and Mrs Duck II?

Meanwhile, this evening, TJam was just planning for an early night when the cat flap went, Carlsberg chirped, and a baby rabbit shot across the kitchen. TJam sighed and shook her head. The rabbit went under the bureau. TJam made a path of boxes towards the open door (we stoked up the fire, it was freezing) but the poor rabbit wasn't going anywhere. TJam missed the end of Monk. She put on her gardening gloves and eventually worked up the courage to slide the rabbit out and catch it. It was wriggly so she had to let it go in the garden. It has the night to recover and TJam will see if a mercy mission is called for in the morning. It is now 22:31 and TJam is finally going to bed.

There is good news on the allotment front but you'll have to read about that another day. Now we must all go to bed.

Tuesday 4 April 2006

Mr and Mrs Duck

Here, there should be a photo of two adorable ducks who have set up home in the flooded marsh that is next to our house. We have seen them twice a day for two weeks, and they haven't been phased by the fact that the dogs have been distracted by handfulls of duck and rice dog food that we got in a free sample (nor do they seem to have been worried about the irony of it all).

Instead of a photo, there is now empty space. Mr and Mrs Duck must have wandered onto the main road and are now together in ducky heaven. TJam and Bamgee are both gutted. Of course TJam is a sucker for any animal but the depth of Bamgee's reaction has come of something a surprise. We must be winning her over.

TJam couldn't help thinking it was a waste for two such fine specimins to lay on the highway and get flatter and flatter and she did think about experimenting with a raw food diet for the dogs for a couple of days. The plan only went on hold when TJam realised she would have to do some kind of plucking, and that, should another couple of ducks set up home there next year, that she might have a harder time convincing us dogs that dried duck and rice kibble are better than the real thing.

Sunday 26 March 2006

Rod for her Own Back

A while back we went away for the weekend, and when we got home, TJam gave the cat a well known brand pouch of cat food as a "sorry for leaving you" present. (Actually, it was her Christmas present from Auntie Ann that TJam forgot to give her before).

After a week of ignoring her, TJam managed to convince Carlsberg that she is not going to get up at 5am to feed her a pouch, no
matter how much the cat purrs on TJam's head or taps at her face. TJam did relent though, and Carlsberg and TJam now seem to have compromised on one third of a pouch at tea time.

TJam has created a monster. It only took thirty seconds, and there it is.

Tuesday 21 March 2006

Norovirus Part II

"Winter vomiting disease" seems like an understatement for having your guts ripped from your abdomen by 50 stampeding elephants. However, it is over now.

TJam the emetophobe came through. I think it's what they call "flooding". People pay therapists good money for that experience, and here she was getting it for free. Somehow she's not as happy about that as it sounds like she should be.

Sunday 19 March 2006


Look at these amazing photos of last weekend. The trees were encased in ice, like they were made of glass. We have never seen such a thing before and it was amazing.

Thursday 16 March 2006


Poor Taz, TJam's parents' dog, who had been poorly on and off, finally got just too poorly. Chips and Beanz will miss him when we visit and we are glad we got to see him one last time.

Monday 13 March 2006

Norovirus visits (and snow)

Poor Bamgee has been sick all weekend with Norovirus. This charming bug is also referred to as "winter vomiting disease" and affects 1 million people per year.

On a happier note, we have had snow! And yes, if you look carefully at the photo, it IS showing two wild dogs ripping the flesh from a recently deceased hare. Of course, they are not TJAM'S dogs, they are a genuine wild breed, native to the UK. The fact that they seem to be wearing fluorescent collars is a mere trick of the light. Heh Heh.

Ok, ok, it is me and Chips, doing what dogs do best. De- lish- ous!

Friday 10 March 2006

Safety First

Today TJam went to Crufts. Look at the bright new leads we got. No one had better run us over now! TJam also got new wellies. Luckily, her others split on Monday so she decided to treat herself and get a neoprene pair. They are so gorgeous and warm. She will report back whether they are worth an extra thirty squids to normal wellies.

Monday 27 February 2006

Life int' North

Today while we were out walking we met a group of 6 boys out hunting with their ferret. I had heard about that kind of thing but never seen it with my own eyes. Oh, life in the north.

Saturday 18 February 2006


Today TJam has been wondering about underpants. Specifically why it is that someone might put their underpants on inside out, and then think to themselves, "No, I might be in a road traffic accident the one day my underpants are inside out, I'll change them" and then go right ahead and waste a vital 30 seconds putting them the right way round.

Firstly, underpants are equally clean on both sides when you put them on, and secondly, if you *are* in an accident, you are likely to soil them and in any case they will be cut off you and no one but no one will notice if they are on inside out or not. So my advice humans, is spend your 30 seconds on something else.

Thursday 16 February 2006


This is our favourite sign. You can guess what TJam does every time she sees it. She is such a conformist.

Wednesday 15 February 2006


Look at the amazing roots on this tree. There are roots like this everywhere. TJam is making a point of noticing things like this. It is so easy to walk past and not see them.

Tuesday 14 February 2006

Cannot Tell a Lie

OK I admit it. It was me that went through the compost bin. Yes, those are green pepper seeds next to my bed. I did eat the shrivelled, mouldy green pepper. I cannot tell a lie. I am also responsible for the half a banana skin in the kitchen.

Monday 13 February 2006


Bamgee should be in Peru about now...

Meanwhile, TJam is going to have a LOT of explaining to do when she next visits the Buddhist Centre. Tonight, she has killed some slugs and snails. She has put it off for a long time, but she said something about kill just a couple (haha, call that a couple) now and save having to kill off hundreds later. They are eating the whole garden and we are going to have to grow veg there this year. So I say, be like a dog. Kill EVERYTHING IN SIGHT and don't bother with a guilty conscience. You have a lot to learn from us dogs.

Friday 10 February 2006


It is with regret that TJam has made her decision to retire from her allotment. We hadn't been for a couple of months, and when we went down there today, the fence has been broken down in 2 places, the locked door forced open, the wheelbarrow and state of the art spade stolen, and people had had a massive bonfire, burnt a bike, broken some glass and taken drugs on our patch. Since we don't feel safe there and TJam doesn't have the skill or inclination to build a secure fence to keep intruders out, we will be retiring from the allotment until such a time as we can find one that doesn't need an alarm system.