Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A Christmas Message from Max & Millie


Incredibly it's over 30 years since the phrase A Dog Is For Life, Not Just For Christmas was first used to try and get the message across in the UK……..alas, it seems we are still saying it.

We. Will. Get. You. For. This....

At Christmas time many parents think that the perfect way to reward their children is with the gift of a Dog, although these days it's more of an iDog methinks. Yes, parents will perhaps want to reward their children with a puppy and the vast majority of parents will have thought long and hard about what is involved and hopefully they will have considered re-homing rather than forking out on pedigree breeds or going to the dreaded puppy farms! We still need to reinforce this message to everyone, not just parents wanting to give their child a pet.


Is that a Reindeer I see Dad???

Millie knows only too well from her own experience that London has its fair share of stray dogs. Max was the innocent victim of a household that was not suitable for any pets, never mind a tiny 16 week (ish) old puppy. We will never ever forget where Max and Millie came from or that we are privileged to re-home them with us. In fact, they weren’t re-homed with us, we were adopted by them and I, for one, feel extremely lucky that I am in their lives!

The Grinch!!!!!!

When we are entrusted with the precious life of a Dog, or indeed any pet, we take on a great responsibility. However, with that responsibility comes enormous joy, happiness and learning. A dog that is loved, cared for and treated well will return unconditional love in abundance and will become a companion, a member of the family and as many will tell you, a trusted confidante…..(Oh the secrets that Max and Millie could tell!!!).


What did I do to get re-homed with you?!

Please remember that A Dog Is For Life, Not Just For Christmas.

Millie's festive fleece is a "snug fit"......!

Max and Millie will be giving their annual donation of foody treats to the local 'not so fortunate' waiting-to-be-rehomed dogs of South East London.  We hope that in the very near future each and every one of them finds a wonderful "Forever Home" just as Max and Millie have done.

video
Santa's Little Helpers!!!!!

Festive woofs and licks from Maximillian Sydney Bruiser and Millicent Hermione Oprah McEllis xx

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Boys to Men

2nd birthday celebrations for Max and Millie are now a dim and distant memory, instead it's now all about Christmas, the journey to France, shopping for gifts, preparation, preparation, preparation. Today I managed to do at least half my Christmas shopping online which has taken a bit of pressure off.....only a bit though! Why, pray tell, do the shops out there think that each present has to cost hundreds of pounds, and that we, as members of the population they target, have the money to spend in the first place when there is a rather serious economic meltdown taking place out there....hmmmmm?!?!?!?!

The (un)official 2nd birthday picture

So, what do I have to say/rant about/get off my chest in this male dominated chapter of the blog???

Well.....as far as I am concerned you can sod Christmas, really you can. Don't get me wrong, I am more than looking forward to a holiday in France with my handsome Husband, the Wooflets and our lovely, wonderful friends but I would happily and honestly give up the entire festive period and all that goes with it if I could have a Husband that was 100% healthy and I MEAN 100%! It's seriously no fun for him at the moment, if it's not one thing it's another, or a combination of more than one. Seriously, give him a F*CKING break, please?! I'm not going to go into a huge list of symptoms, they are many and the list IS extensive but I would like my Husband to retain at least some dignity (some things don't need blogging!), however last week he spent 4 hours (2 hours waiting and 2 hours being treated) in the Western Eye Hospital experiencing a severe Uveitis/Iritis attack (Google it) in his left eye. Basically, in layman's terms it's inflammation of the Iris and is not pleasant. At. All. It's also a 'by-product' or side effect of his Spondyloarthropathy.

My handsome Husband

He became quite the celebrity patient with the Consultants summoning the junior doctors to 'come and have a look' at this extraordinary case. Eye pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mm Hg). Normal eye pressure ranges from 10-21 mm Hg. My old man's eye pressure was somewhere around the mid 40s and was affecting his eyesight to the point that it was blurry/foggy, he had a severe head ache and the bulging was causing issues!!!!!! If this isn't bad enough, add to this his aching/hurting/swollen joints, the dozens of pills he takes (you can hear him rattle when you shake him!), the insomnia and a myriad of other ailments. What truly breaks my heart is seeing him struggling on two walking sticks because there are days when he can't walk without them. He's not a man to be limited by walking sticks, he wants to be out there having an adventure and getting himself into trouble!

Foggy London

There is always a smile there, sometimes it's hidden from view and can be a rare creature to spot, but it nearly always shows itself eventually. He amazes me that he can be so positive and still retain that effervescence that I love so much. Me, I wouldn't deal with it half as positively as he does. My Fella gets on with life, he tries really hard to not let it beat him and for the most part it doesn't, the days that it does beat him are, thankfully, extremely rare, I think I can count them on one hand. He is, considering everything, astonishingly positive and I admire him more than I can express through words alone. Never does he ask for help nor does he complain, never. 

It goes without saying that I worry about him and my mind is filled with questions, the answers to which appear difficult to find sometimes, although they can be staring me in the face:

Am I doing enough?
Is he alright?
Am I helping out when and where I should be?
Am I paying enough attention?
Am I getting in the way?
Why don't I remember to remind him to take his pills?
Am I being supportive?
I should cook more often!

All these questions, and more, go through my head on a daily basis.

Doggy cuddles are very beneficial for those in need....

Which brings me nicely to me and my head.....oh what a tangled mess that is!!! Recently I have been more than a little unhappy, not with anything in particular, with everything. Last weekend I was incredibly grumpy, angry even and I found it so hard to calm down, to ignore myself and get on with the weekend. Something as simple as cooking the Sunday Roast was filling me with dread, anger and putting me in a really bad mood. To put it simply, I was heading for a humongous tantrum, HUGE! I was having arguments with myself in my head, I wanted to throw stuff, slam doors and lie on the floor and bang my arms and legs, screaming and shouting. You'll be pleased to know that I didn't!

A face that screams "THERAPY"! (Loving the hat!!!)

I would like to say that I have a very short fuse but I don't have a fuse. It's gone. This feeling is bubbling under the surface all the time and some days I really struggle to hold it in. Anything and everything that doesn't go my way or for whatever reason goes wrong, it upsets me, it makes me cross, it makes me angry, it makes me REALLY angry. There have been days when I have felt the urge to sob, scream and have a bloody good cry, but why, what for? It's not going to change anything, I'll still have these feelings and will still wake up every day and go to bed every night with that 'unstable' feeling in my 40-something bones and I'll remain on the verge of breaking down into a sobbing mess. But, I HAVE to hold it in, if I let it out it wouldn't help us, it wouldn't help my Husband and I must remember that at all times. I'm waiting for a revelation and I want some sort of resolution but I fear that they may be far, far away. In the meantime I deal with it internally, but believe me when I say that on a positive note, two little wagging tails and the warm, furry hug of your Husband make everything easier to cope with.


Losing my mind.....

Finally, Max has discovered 'happy time'!!!

Our little boy is growing up and turning into a little man. Maximillian Sydney Bruiser McEllis has discovered the joys of shagging a cushion. Oh yes, he is a Bad Ass little sod who likes to give the sofa cushions a good seeing to. He crossed the line when he tried to mount Millie, she was not best pleased and told him so. Daddy's little puppy is now a proper little dog.....how the little ones grow up so quickly, it feels like only yesterday Max was a tiny little puppy and now he's a tiny little dog!

'Bad Ass' needs a snooze after 'Happy Time'...!

And as for Millie....??? She's wonderful, she is most definitely still as crazy as hell when she goes out for a walk and sees other dogs, however at home we are seeing improvements in her behaviour all the time. Millie now actively WANTS to play with toys and Max. She'll run around, pick up a toy and present it to Max for some play time. They'll have a bonkers 5 minutes darting around the lounge and dining room before Millie realises that she's playing and then straight back to bed and to sleep she will go! It's brilliant to see, it's wonderful to see her settling down and really becoming happy and settled in herself. She is a marvellous little dog! Oh, Millie also has the best dog smell in the world, she smells really, REALLY lovely and I am a huge fan of cuddling into her with my nose snuggled in her fur.....I do the same with my man but that's a different blog! *grin*

Comatose!

As you can see, I have finally managed to work out how to put the music player within each chapter of the blog, at last!!!! The track is inspired by Maximillian's new found pleasure..... *ahem* (Just click the play button).

Frankie Goes To Hollywood - RELAX (Scott Wozniak Classic Re-Edit) by ScottWozniak

Apologies if this chapter seems to be a bit 'close to the bone' and personal, however, it's how I feel right now (Isn't that what blogging is all about?). I also cleared the content with my Man before I published it.

Normal service will resume eventually, I promise.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Anyone for 2nd's.....?

November is here already, how did THAT happen?!?!?! The evening darkness descends at approximately 4pm and we no longer see the Hens during the week, they have the sense to arise later on in the morning and we get home in the dark.....an almost depressing time of year but also one of beauty, colour and daily change as the trees shed their cloaks of leaves and become skeletons awaiting Spring's arrival and the promise of warmth and new growth.

London is pathed with Gold...

This chapter is brought to you by the letter 'M' and the number '2'. M is obviously for Max & Millie who both 'celebrated' (this basically means they scoffed loads of treats!) their 2nd birthday this week. It's incredible to believe that the dogs are now 2, they're still such little dinky things and I always think of them as puppies even though they are now officially adult, something I fear Max will never be in his mental state!!! As for Millie, I've always maintained that I think she's that little bit older, she could possibly be 3 in my mind, but as is the way with rescue animals, we're guess-timating and will never know the truth. No matter, we love, adore and cherish our animals, whatever their age.

Doggie treats!!!

M&M are, as always, spoilt rotten and received a card from Grandma (treats will be arriving with her at the end of the month) and a birthday 'cake' from their Dads made from chewy hide, something they love. Inside the cake were lots of smaller but just as scrumptious treats for them to devour. Is it any wonder that Miss Millie McEllis has increased in weight from 6kgs to 8.15kgs since we got her?!?!?!?! They've also got some Christmas 'outfits' which we are both responsible for buying them....I honestly cannot wait for December so that I can start taking pictures of them in their hoodies, fleeces, scarves and bells......oh yes, there are BELLS!!!!!!!

Christmas sneak preview........*excited*

The only small 'problem' with them having outfits is that when they have them on they each see each other as a toy, and therefore, you have the unfortunate issue of two dogs trying to rip and rag each other to pieces!! I say unfortunate, it's actually bloody funny and I will be getting video once we enter the festivities proper.......not that I am wishing November away but who knew dogs and Christmas could be so much FUN?!?!?!

We picked up some bargains at the Garden Centre....

The other '2nd' to celebrate is Yours Truly recently became a Runner Up in the "Britain's Next Top PA" competition 2011, which is run by Office Angels, a national recruitment agency. My wonderful Boss nominated me for the competition and I then promptly forgot about it - I never thought I'd get anywhere. So, a few weeks later, I received a call telling me I'd been short listed to the Final 20. I then endured (I hate them) a competency based telephone interview - "Give us a specific example of a time when...blah, blah, blah....". I was then short listed into the Final 6!!!! 


The Final took place on Wednesday 2nd November, held at De Vere Conferencing facility near the BBC offices in W1, and the evening (and announcement of the winner) was held at Gordon Ramsay's Claridge's restaurant (nice food!!!). Helen from The Apprentice presented the award to a fantastic, deserving lady called Lesley Knight, PA to the Chairman of Chiltern Railways, she ran rings around us, just an amazing PA!!! Yes, I was gutted, absolutely disappointed not to have won, however Lesley really was THE deserving winner. Although, I was the only male PA and the only London PA in the Final 6, so some achievement there methinks!!! Any Head Hunters out there.....do get in touch ;-)

John McKenna, Britain's Top Male/London PA!!!

Now, in the words of Taggart, "There's been a murder!", or should I say there's been approximately TEN murders!!!!!! In the last couple of days a creature of unknown origin or species has helped itself to the vast majority of our goldfish in the pond, even Mr. Swishy, the huge fantail that was here in the pond when we moved in over 8 years ago has gone....trés tragic! It seems a tad OTT to come in and basically empty the pond of just about ALL the bloody fish....obviously a well stocked larder that has now been well and truly plundered. If it's a cat, it's going to find its arse having an intimate meeting with a garden fork......I jest you not!

In Happier Times......!

As part of my Britain's Next Top PA goody bag I received a Kodak Play Full HD video camera which is rather brilliant. It's tiny with a itty bitty screen, however on playback the videos are very good quality and I can feel myself becoming addicted to recording anything and everything.....apologies to my long-suffering Hubby and the pups as they will no doubt feature in many of my 'captures'......! Anyway, judge for yourself on the quality by having a peek at the video below:

video
Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3.....

Last and by no means least, Millie-Moo's passport is almost ready. Eight little paws are nearly on course for a Christmas holiday in France, woo-hoo!!! They will of course be travelling in their festive outfits *grin*

This chapter's music is all because we've been 'rolling in the celebrations' this week! Enjoy!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Devil Dogs of Devonshire Road


It's close to midnight and something evil's lurking in the dark
Under the moonlight, you see a sight that almost stops your heart
You try to scream but terror takes the sound before you make it
You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes
You're paralysed




You hear the door slam and realise there's nowhere left to run
You feel the cold hand and wonder if you'll ever see the sun
You close your eyes and hope that this is just imagination
But all the while you hear a creature creeping up behind
You're out of time



Darkness falls across the land, the midnight hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood to terrorize y'alls neighbourhood
And whosoever shall be found without the soul for getting down
Must stand and face the Hounds of Hell and rot inside a corpse's shell



The foulest stench is in the air, the funk of forty thousand years
And grizzly ghouls from every tomb are closing in to seal your doom
And though you fight to stay alive your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist the evil of the Thriller....Mwahahahahaha!


There's no better music track for Halloween than Michael Jackson's "Thriller". Play it loud and do the Zombie Dance!!!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

For the Living know that they will Die....

*Spoiler Alert* 
This chapter has nothing to do with dogs.
There are times, I'm sure you will agree, when a person near and dear to you says or does something that just blows you away. It stops you in your tracks, it moves you, you take a breath and you think "Wow!". My Hubby has been, for quite some time now, writing down the many weird and wonderful thoughts in his head, everything from 'How can I get my Husband to eat Aubergines?' to 'Will he notice if I move this Dahlia?'. 


His mind is constantly on the go, a whirling dervish he struggles to tame but knows he never will! The following is a piece he wrote about death. It started life as thoughts sparked by the fact that the local Council want to turn our recreation ground into graves and it morphed from there. I really wanted to share this with the wider world, and thankfully, my Husband gave his permission. 


So here it is, unedited:

"We all deal with death at some time in our lives. Generally it’s coping with the fallout from the death of a dear and loved one, be it a grandparent, parent, partner, child, whoever it is the grief and sense of loss is not something that you would wish on anybody. But for most of us we grieve, we weep and we carry on. For some that isn’t so and sadly follow, however this isn’t really about death but the dead. Losing both my parents in the matter of three short years is something that I am still astounded by. How could that happen to our family? Why was that lovely, mad, loving Mum taken from us when she had so much to give to life? No matter, they have both gone due to cancer. I never thought about it before, even when half the family had died from cancer, but when Mum died I began to think maybe cancer would be after me at some time? On the morning of my Mother’s funeral I lay awake in bed, dreading the day, dreading the thoughts of having to go through the rituals that carry the vessel of my Mum’s soul to its final place. To say goodbye in a public way, to console others grief when in fact it was our sadness that needed some voice. As much as you feel that death and the passing of a life, it can be the saddest of times, it was also on this occasion a time of celebration. Oft said and I always thought what a pile of old crap, how can you celebrate a life when you are so sad but of course with both Mum and Dad their journeys were over, their suffering finished and on to gentle peace, then that is to be celebrated. For them, rest; it's only us that weep at their demise.


Do you party for the dead? Yes. A gathering of people who you will never see again coming together, memories of friends and acquaintances and aged faces you recall from childhood, people who remember me before I had the beard, belly and baldness combo. All wanting a chat and a cup of tea or a beer, sandwich and sausage roll. All with stories, some you know, some you don’t. You find out that most of my Mother’s side of the family seemed to have succumbed to cancer in one form or another (not exactly comforting). But party we do – to help smile through the sadness, to remember lives that nurtured our own, to laugh at the funny bits and hug over the sad bit and more to celebrate the family we still are. How precious are siblings, our partners, children – as one life goes another is created. It must be even sadder to have no family at all. I am a lucky man.
But it’s what we do with our loved ones once death has taken its toll and the rituals performed. For some to be interred is the preferred option. Why? I have no idea. For some its religious, for some its a family tradition, for some it is just due process. I question why swathes of land are covered in stone with graves deserted by families, forgotten as those that remembered die or move away. The inscriptions slowly fade as does the memory of the decaying bones beneath the soil. The newly dead are highly visible with glossy black marble headstones, solar garden lights and vivid fake lilies. I wonder, if the recipient were alive, would they relish such garish accompaniments to their burial?


As you may guess, I’m not big on the grave visiting ritual however I recently visited a church in Cheshire where a dear Aunt of mine is buried. I remember little of her death, she was killed in a car accident. I was only young and remember the family all being awake and crying at 4am, it seemed very surreal being awake at that time of day in my childhood. I can’t recall her being buried, I don’t think I saw that. We went to the churchyard not knowing where the grave was, a field of headstones being scattered with the golden colours of autumn leaves blowing in the breeze. We eventually found the gravestone, lichen covered and forgotten and in the form of an open book, my Aunt’s memory inscribed on one side, the other side empty. My Uncle whom she had always thought she would be buried with had remarried, lost touch with us all, no doubt his burial allegiance lies elsewhere now. My Aunt’s direct family have all gone now, passed away themselves so there she lies, alone in an uncared grave, the unfilled promise of a shared burial site and a story there for all to interpret. We tidied around the stone and left some freshly picked flowers to cheer the lichens in the autumnal sunshine – I think that she would have liked them as well.
I know that Mum and Dad did not want to be interred, not to be enclosed by the earth but to be part of it. Spirit, what is spirit if not in a green bottle and served over ice with tonic water? Spirit is what both my parents thought they would have and indeed do though their spirits could be more described as cherished memories or beloved remembrance I guess. Dead, very much so, but even then they didn’t want us to think of them below ground slowly decaying. They were both very much people of green fields, fresh country air, sunshine and rain (you get lots of rain in Cheshire so just sunshine would have been unrealistic), a small whisky and home, they both embodied the word “home” for all of us. They wanted to be cremated and wanted to be free after death, away from the confines of regimented cemeteries, the marble and the fake flowers. They didn’t want to be remembered by a piece of stone, they wanted to be part of the countryside that they loved. And so they have become – both are now in places that they would have loved. My Father is underneath an oak tree by a gate where he spent many hours waiting for the Cheshire Hunt to go by. My Father never quite got the idea of where the horses and hounds would go and consequently spent far more time than he should have done by that gate. Maybe it was an excuse to get some quiet time with his pipe – whatever it was it was a place he loved and a place which for us as a family is appropriate to him. I think he would have greatly approved. As for Mother, she is also underneath an oak tree. It’s a very special place. It's where she grew up. From the tree you can see the house where she was born, the house where she died and in winter when the trees have shed their leaves you can see in the distance where Dad is, still waiting for the Hunt to arrive. As was with Mum, it’s a place where she can keep her spiritual eye on all of us.


I guess in truth that sums up what I was trying to say in dealing with the dead. Live your life to the full, you will be loved and remembered but most of all you will end up as plant food."


After I read this, I cried....actually I cried while reading it, not because it is sad, but because it is so honest and moving.....and so very, very HIM and that, more than anything, is why I am in love with him. Mr John Arthur Ellis is one amazing, incredible man (not that I needed to tell you that!).

P.S. The dogs are fine!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Ey Oop Love!

Greetings Peoples,

We've been away having a much needed (and deserved) break, did you miss us?

A week ago on Friday we drove oop North to "Nana's House" and began a week long holiday in Cheshire, home of cheese, The Hunt and ancestral roots of my In Laws and their many, many offspring!

Tilstone Lock Cottage where Nana lived during WWII

Max and Millie always have a wonderful time in Cheshire running over fields and down tow paths next to the Shropshire Union Canal. Millie is always looking for some poor unsuspecting creature to hunt while Max is looking for the biggest stick he can find for one of his Dads to throw (a simple boy with simple pleasures!). There's so much green space for them, it's truly wonderful to see them scampering around - it's even more wonderful when they get home knackered and collapse in their beds!!!

M&M at Tilstone Lock (obviously!!!)

Now, when I say it's wonderful to see them scampering around in all the green space that surrounds them, this is indeed true, until Millie gives you a heart attack!

Husband lets her off the lead.
Millie sees ducks on the canal.
Ducks take flight.
So does Millie.
Millie disappears over the horizon.
I panic. 
We sprint after her.
Millie returns......eventually!

video
Millie off the lead before she saw the ducks!

Talking of ducks, we called our friend Sue who breeds ducks and chickens in the Chester area and we popped over for a cuppa and a chat. It's always a delight to see her and her Mum and to see the fantastic birds that they have. Every time we go there I always come away longing for another breed of hen to join our Girls (Gold Laced Orpington Bantams are my current favourite!). Max has been before but even so he's always overwhelmed with the number of birds that surround him, whereas Millie just ignores them because she's on the hunt.....as always! 

You can see more of Sue's birds here - http://www.victoriaspoultry.co.uk

Dear Santa, I've been a REALLY good boy......

Our visit also gave us the opportunity to see Stella....the Buff Orpington Bantam that we bought as an egg from Sue, brought to London and hatched under Harriet. She returned to Cheshire last year as she didn't really "fit in" here with our Girls and is now a Mother herself, having raised a brood of chicks this year. Let's hope she didn't pass her grumpy, aggressive nature on to her brood!

Stella!

As we had the dogs with us, it prompted us to discover the local area more than we normally would have, looking for decent walks for them and us. Hubby decided that we would visit Delamere Forest and see what it had to offer. It did not disappoint. The Forest is situated in mid Cheshire about 15 miles from Chester in the most glorious countryside. We parked up and set off for a walk around Blakemere, one of the many Meres in the area, which was absolutely smothered in Canada Geese, Mallard, Teal and and Greylags. It was superb!

Blakemere

For those that don't know, Blakemere is an ancient peat bog in a wood that has been re-found and excavated....well that's the simplest explanation I can come up with. So, the water is as dark as treacle and of course it's full of thick, sludgy mud. At the shore, the water was smothered by an invasive pond weed which, to the dogs, appeared to be suitable for walking on. It was not.

Mucky Maximillian!

Max was chasing a stick and pelted forward and, yes you guessed it, went straight in. Well, actually, he went straight under! What came out of the 'water' can only be described as the creature from the black lagoon, vaguely dog-like in its shape. He was covered from head to toe in mud. And he loved it! Millie on the other hand, tried to walk on water, thinking that the weed was solid....in she went!

Millie goes in!

One of the things that we REALLY wanted to do while we were in Cheshire was to visit North Wales, and in particular, Snowdonia. We were there last year in Beddgelert when Mum became ill and we both felt the need to go back to the mountains, to reconnect, to regain the happy, positive feelings that Snowdonia gave us both and now does again.

Mountain Max

We parked in Beddgelert on a cool Thursday morning, rain clouds threatening us with their heavy loads, the wind whistling down the valley and it felt good to be there, it felt fantastic to be there! We decided to walk up and over the mountains that surround Beddgelert, taking in lake, river, moorland and woodland.

Me and my 'Kids' at Aberglaslyn

I cannot tell you how cathartic it was, to be out in the fresh Welsh air, to see, to hear and to feel the mountains, to be with my Man and my Kids, to be back in Snowdonia again, under happier circumstances but at the same time acknowledging and never forgetting that this time last year was a very different kettle of fish! Those that know me are aware that I am in no way a religious person, I have no faith to speak of, but I swear by everything I hold dear that Mum was "with us" both in Cheshire and in Snowdonia (definitely in Snowdonia!!!), every now and again I got a feeling or a smell would waft past and I would think 'Mum'....

One Man and His Dogs

Upon leaving the mountains we popped in on our friends John and Tim who live on the outskirts of Llandudno in a gorgeous 18th Century house. While we were in Beddgelert I thought it would be nice to buy them a small gift by way of appreciation for dinner and their company. I know that John and Tim were absolutely delighted with their present and will treasure it always, they didn't need to say a word, the looks on their faces said it all - it also comes in handy when you want to brush up on your Welsh (or do the dishes!).

I'll have a Moron please! (photo copyright Mr. Tim Shawcross)

A week in Cheshire at Nana's House and Snowdonia has come and gone quicker than an X Factor contestant and now we are home in our flat in Saaaaaf East London, snug as bugs in rugs. Back to work tomorrow, which feels like some sort of evil sentence that has been placed on my head. Oh well, only 10 ish weeks until Christmas holidays! 

This week's musical selection was another 'obvious'...it had to be Welsh and it had to be Tom Jones.....enjoy!

Mountain Max and Mountain Millie

Lastly, I am DELIGHTED to announce that the blog has passed the 5000 hits mark!!!!! We're currently cruising along on 5025.....A-MAZING! Thank to all of you for your visits, they are as always, much appreciated and only serve to make me want to continue to blog! Thanks to M&M too without whom this blog would not be possible....our little dogs ROCK!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Back in the pINK!

You'll be pleased to hear that (almost) good health has returned to Devonshire Road. My wonderful man is nearly back to his normal (has he ever been such???) self. He's on the steroids in readiness for the new regime that's going to make him worse before it gets better, but he's on positive form at the moment....which can only be a good thing, I keep telling myself!!!

He drinks wine by the mug these days!!!

The only thing that appears to want to stick around is the blasted Insomnia......I wake up almost nightly with the bed all to myself (is this REALLY a bad thing?!). He normally returns somewhere around 5am for a warm cuddle, which is blissful. Thankfully, the naked sleep walker has not reappeared.......As well as his improved health, the Hubby has gone and got himself another tattoo. It has recently been completed and, I think, it is rather lovely. It's inspired by a tree fern and is of a maori/polynesian/tribal design.....it definitely suits him very much indeed.... *grin*

Hubby's tat

Not only has Mr McEllis gone and got himself a new tattoo.... *drum roll*.... so have I! 

It has been some time in the thinking, designing, finding the confidence, etc, but today I did it, I went and got inked. I was a tad nervous to say the least, however Richard, my tattooist was nothing short of bloody marvellous, guiding me through every step of the 3 hours I was in his hands, ignoring the 'ow', 'ooh', 'aah', 'sh*t', 'f*ck', etc, that uttered from my lips. The last time I had a tattoo was 23 years ago, I was young and un-wordly wise and I picked something that today I find just isn't me, it never was really, but you live and learn, and bizarrely, although I've often thought and talked about getting rid of it, I wouldn't be without it. 

Work in progress....

My tattoo is inspired by the mighty Albatross, the Southern Hemisphere seabird of myth, legend and superstition. My tattoo is symbolic and a metaphor for the following reasons:

  • I love birds, nuff said really.
  • Albatross pair for life - if my Civil Partnership f*cks up and falls to pieces, I'll never be doing it again. Nor do I think I will EVER be in love with any other man as much as I am with my Husband, he IS my pair-bond........his Alba to my Tross!
  • My back is a constant source of pain and discomfort and so, having the bird on my back, seeing as my back is 'an Albatross around my neck', seemed more than appropriate.
  • I have, in recent times, rid my life of Albatross that were definitely around my neck!
  • Albatross wander the Southern Oceans for years and years.....my life, up until a few years ago was full of me just wandering, never really settling, akin to the Albatross.
So there you have it, and I have it, and I love it.....I think we came up with a beautiful design, don't you?

The McKenna Albatross

Now, what of the pesky little dogs you ask? Well, they're fine actually. No real news from either of them....I did ask and they refused to comment. They plod on and enjoy their spoilt rotten lifestyles, being little buggers and having it bloody easy quite frankly...oh to be a dog in SE23, what a wonderful life!


 It was a chilly morn....

We recently took Max and Millie to meet with Karen, a professional dog groomer, who specialises in small/medium dogs. She lives just off our road, literally a 5 minute walk away. M&M charms the pants off her, as is their way, while we spent time ooh-ing and aah-ing at her banana collection in her garden (ours are better!). Twas decided that Millie doesn't need any grooming (what would you trim?!?!?!?!!), she is gorgeous just as she is. Max, on the other hand, needs a bit of a trim and a tidy, especially around his arse end....he does have a fluffy bum. Karen will be taking her choppers to Max before the end of September, and of course, there will be pictures!!

Daddy Love

This year, we have decided to flee the UK for Christmas and spend it in France, staying with our wonderful friends, Sharon & Nick in their beautiful house in the French countryside......and Max and Millie are coming too!!! Max already has his passport, Millie's will be ready in a month or so. It's very exciting to think they'll be journeying through Le Tunnel to Le France for Le Christmas Holiday with Le Dads.......very exciting and I really can't wait to take pictures of them in France....Le puppies are going to have Le Grand Continental Adventure!!!

Walkies......

This chapter's musical delight is a bit obvious really......it HAD to be 'Albatross' by Fleetwood Mac......Enjoy.