We went to West End for lunch (well, two of us had lunch and one didn't) and I got my tongue on four kids, not a bad consolation. Earlier I went for a walk in the woods. Tim got talking to an interesting man. He said I had a bit of greyhound in me, not the first time someone has said this. He then said Tim had some German in him, which is true. He obviously has an eye for spotting ancestry. On more careful inspection he thought Tim had some Northern Italian due to his tanned skin. It seems Tim is as much of a mongrel as I am. Tim and Mandy celebrated with Mandy-made pizza and red wine last night. He also suggested that I was a substitute for a baby. Tim let this one go through to the keeper but I read a more interesting response last night to the very same remark.
I finished reading a book called "A Dog's Life" written by a first-time author called Boy, who happens to be the dog of Peter Mayle. For some reason, it is Peter Mayle's name on the cover. I guess it is because he is well-known and it makes the book easier to sell. (A reader recommended this book. I can't remember who but if you are reading, "Thank you. I enjoyed it.") Anyway, in the book they having a dinner party, when...
"Finally, having run out of hard news, she put forward the offensive theory that people have dogs as child substitutes. Misguided and discourteous, of course, but hardly original, and I thought the remark would receive the lack of attention it deserved.
I hadn't reckoned, however, of the effect of the monologue on the other half...At this point- inspired no doubt, by a surfeit of propaganda on the joys of fetility- he pricked up his ears and bit back. Good stuff it was, too, the gist of it being that many couples in these overcrowded times live in small apartments where dogs are forbidden. Desperate for companionship, the couple either buys a budgerigar or has a baby, depending on available cage space. Therefore, one could just as easily put forward the opposite argument that children are, in fact, dog substitutes. Have another drink.
..Vibrating with emotion like a blancmange on heat, the earth mother fixed him a furious and incandescent eye. 'That's outrageous,' said she. 'Are you comparing my little Tommy with a budgerigar?'
..'Why not?' said he. 'They're both small. They're both noisy. They both spill their food. And they both have difficulty controlling their bowels.' All true of course, but not really what a mother wants to hear."
The result was she stormed out. This is certainly a different approach to the same situation. I have pointed it out to Tim and Mandy. We'll just have to wait and see if they adopt it next time it comes up in conversation.
This photo is called, "tea and chocolate." It is a ritual in this house. The chocolate is 70% cocoa dark chocolate, which I never get because it isn't good for dogs and the tea is rooibos (red bush) from South Africa, which I sometimes get. Mandy and Tim learnt about it reading Alexander McCall Smith's series of books, "The Number One Ladies Detective Agency." They highly recommend the tea and the books.
Life is great when you have a good book to read written by a dog.