I finally took the plunge and took Molly to a poodle parlour. I was tired of the hideous knots in her fur, especially the paws, and of the battles involved in trying to groom or trim them out myself. I expected a terrible scene, but, up on the table with a restraining leash at each end, a muzzle and me holding her, she acknowledged herself beat and gave in with a fairly good grace.
When she rolls around on her back Tom says she looks like a stranded beetle. But I have to say it is lovely to see her paws so clean and neat, and her shiny black toe-nails, which she even allowed them to cut.
My latest favourite photo groups on Flickr are 'Stick Figures in Peril', and the smaller but equally important 'Stick Figures who have the Situation Under Control'. This was my contribution to the latter, which I noticed on a walk at the water mill.
I hadn't so far found any stick figures in peril, but while lying awake at 3 in the morning worrying about everything from the usual Tom's-and-Molly's-health to female genital mutilation via how we were going to wallpaper the ceiling over the stairs, the apparent impossibility of a post-oil economy, and Sarah Palin, I resolved to make myself feel better in the morning with some swift and wholesome action. I would take the Karcher first to my car, which had sweet little mossy Zen gardens growing in the corners of the windows and mudguards (Joe tells me his Morris Traveller grew so much greenery on the woodwork that it became invisible when parked under a tree...), and then to the bathroom extension wall, which I painted about ten years ago and had since turned from beige rose to mucky green.
The Karcher, and ours isn't, any more than our vacuum cleaner is a Hoover, is a high pressure water cleaner and de rigueur accessory for French households, where it is usually wielded by the man of the house. Something to do with the public peeing thing, I think ( 'a good Frenchman' our friend Jean-Jacques told us 'never pisses alone'). It also gained some notoriety as the tool with which Sarkozy claimed he was going to cleanse the racaille from the banlieux, which shows something of the extent of its assimilation into the cultural context.
Applying it to the BX, I was led to observe the resilience of spiders' webs; a jet capable of stripping the paint from the bumper left strands of them still hanging on in there.
Having rendered both car and extension free of moss, I noticed an example of Stick Figures in Peril on the body of the Karcher. One should on no account, it seems, aim one's Karcher at people walking dogs and carrying document wallets.
I've been playing with the colouring sticks again. This was from a photo I took of some greengages last year. I was going to use the photo to illustrate an extract from Rumer Godden's book 'The Greengage Summer', but then I got a little bothered about copyright, contacted her estate website, but then rather lost interest in the whole project.
I'm getting some Derwent Inktense pencils; Tom's bought them already ( I'm not really supposed to know this) but I might have to wait till my birthday. They're deeper and more translucent than these ordinary ones.
Blogger told me the other day I had a 'follower'. A little bonhomme in green showed up on my dashboard. This is evidently some new Blogger thing. It turned out to be Avus, ahead of the game as ever. Avus is Herhimnbryn's real life dad who rides Rudge bicycles, with which I have a family connection, so I'm very happy to have him as a follower, though he might overtake me on the Rudge. I doubt that he's a camp follower, probably more like a caravan one...
My lovely sister is coming to stay for a week or so, as ever cause for great rejoicing, and making up somewhat for the trips I've had to cancel this year. So I'll likely be a bit absent hereabouts. I'll try to take some pictures.