George’s Olympic Holiday

The Olympic Games ended on Sunday night, at least for a couple of weeks until the Paralympics start. We watched the Closing Ceremony with mixed feelings of joy, pride and sorrow that it’s all come to an end. It’s been hard work following all the events, but a thrilling experience nonetheless. A feeling of ‘hangover’ is predicted to sweep the nation over the next couple of days, until life returns to normal. We’ll see about that.

On a personal level, we’re planning to spend the two weeks (until the Paralympians take central stage) enjoying the rest of our holiday and reflecting on the Games gone. The 30th Olympic Games were all about inspiring a generation, and I think they’ve done it successfully. Our own daughter has been swimming for hours every day and is planning her own Olympic career for the years to come. If all the kids in this country and all over the world are doing the same, the future of sports is looking bright.

All this is very nice but, since this is a dog blog, you’re probably wondering about the whippet… Has he been inspired by all this sporting holiday frenzy? The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’. George being George, he’s stuck in his routine and not very flexible when it comes to any major changes to his day. So he’s been running along the same paths, playing the same games, eating the same food and going to bed at the same time every day.

But there has been some improvement. We’ve taken him for more walks around the countryside, which has opened up a whole world of new smells for him. Whilst out and about, he’s made more doggy friends than ever. Thanks to the nice weather, he’s also been able to lie in the sun undisturbed – in his favourite camping chair – allowing his human sister to immortalise him in a work of art for the family collection

http://mylittledog.wordpress.com/

However, the most adventurous thing George did in the past few weeks was to try out Brianna’s latest food discovery: Marmite crisps! The initial hesitant sniff was followed by a little lick with the top of his tongue, just to see what this brown, yeasty stuff was all about. The next second, the Marmite-smudged crisp was gone and the whippet was licking his lips.

http://mylittledog.wordpress.com/

Although I had the camera ready in my hand, this is the best photo I managed to take. It took five attempts (i.e. five crisps) and I still missed the eating bit. He seems to really like Marmite… Who would have thought?

12 Comments

Filed under Photo diary

It’s Frontierado Time!

Those of you who also follow Balladeer’s Blog, will already know that we’re only one day away from donning our cowboy boots and scarfs for the Frontierado holiday… If you haven’t heard of it yet, don’t worry, it’s not too late to join in the fun… The Frontierado crowd, lead by the Blackwater Kid himself, are a friendly and welcoming bunch.

If you’re intrigued and want to find out more, the following link will take you to Balladeer’s Blog, the source of this wonderful event. Here you’ll be able to read the amazing stories of some of the brave Frontierado heroes – including myself (aka Lady London) – written in the unique and charming style of  Mr. Ed Wozniak:  http://glitternight.com/2012/07/15/four-forgotten-gunslingers-with-cool-nicknames-2/

Happy Frontierado!

1 Comment

Filed under General

Emergency Pancakes

As you already know – I’m sure I’ve moaned about it before – our summer here in the UK has been rubbish so far. In actual fact, it’s fair to say that we haven’t had any summer weather yet, as it hasn’t stopped raining since Easter.

Apparently, this is an all-times record… But we could have done without it, really. The rain and cold temperatures have brought everybody’s spirits down. Although we’re trying to stay positive and hope that sunnier, warmer days will eventually come our way, there is one member of our family who’s had enough and is succumbing to weather-induced depression. Yep, you guessed it: it’s George!

Fed up of getting wet, walking through mud and puddles and not being able to sunbathe in the garden, he’s been sporting his moody look for weeks now. Yesterday, after getting caught in torrential rain once again, he looked so sad and grumpy that I knew it was time to take action and cheer him up. So, after consulting with Brianna – who is Chief Advisor on matters relating to George, yummy treats and general kids’ stuff – we decided that there was only one solution to our whippet’s bad mood: emergency pancakes!

My family love pancakes… Jam, sugar and lemon, honey, cream, chocolate spread or cheese, whatever the filling, they’ll eat them up in seconds. George is usually allowed one plain or cheesy pancake, but this was an emergency situation, remember! So he had three…

http://mylittledog.wordpress.com/

They seemed to do the trick, at least for now. There’s a bit more bounce in his step and a bit more optimism in his eyes. Hopefully, the sun will reappear before I have to switch my entire family to a pancake-only diet.

11 Comments

Filed under General

Evening Cuddles

It’s about time I published something short and sweet, and Wednesday seems to be the best day for it… After all, it’s Wordless Wednesday, remember?

So here are a couple of pictures of my two kids chilling on the sofa one cool, rainy and uneventful evening.

http://mylittledog.wordpress.com/

http://mylittledog.wordpress.com/

There wasn’t anything special about that evening, but watching Brianna play on her DS with George cuddled up in her arms filled my heart with joy. Once again, it was a good reminder that it’s the little things that can make us the happiest.

26 Comments

Filed under Photo diary

Olympic Torch Relay, 02 July 2012

With 25 days, 05 hours and 41 minutes to go until the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the excitement levels here in the UK are rising by the minute. In spite of the doom-and-gloom economic and financial news we’re bombarded with every day, doubled up – so far – by the most miserable summer weather on record, the host nation is getting into the Olympic spirit and seems determined to enjoy the Games.

One of the brilliant initiatives of the London 2012 Organising Committee was to have the torch travel within 1 mile distance from 95% of the population of the UK. That’s like having the Olympic torch visit your back garden. To achieve this ambitious plan, the torch is being carried by 8,000 torchbearers up and down the country over a period of 70 days, up until the 27th of July.

Today, it was our turn to cheer and welcome the flame. A once-in-a-lifetime, not-to-be-missed event, especially since all 8,000 torches were made by a local company here, in our city. This little detail made the event even more special, as there was a feeling of entitlement and pride running through the crowd.

Luckily for us, the procession was scheduled to reach our corner of the world between 7.30 and 8.00 in the morning, which gave us plenty of time to go see it and still make it to school on time. We went out early – too early, thanks to Brianna who couldn’t contain her excitement – and occupied a strategic position on a traffic island, in the middle of the road. The 15-20 minutes wait gave us time to soak up the atmosphere.

And then they started coming.

First, there were a lot of police officers on motorcycles… Some of them were solemn and serious, whilst others worked the crowds, beeping their horns, waving and shaking hands with the people lining the road.

http://mylittledog.wordpress.com/

Then the sponsors’ procession arrived…

http://mylittledog.wordpress.com/

…followed by the torch and its bearer, flanked by two runners on either side…

http://mylittledog.wordpress.com/

Cheers, applause, more cheers, and then it was over. The torch had moved on to the next roundabout to be cheered by other people and we returned home to get ready for school. But the feeling remained. We felt joyous, proud and energised. But, above all, we felt inspired.

http://mylittledog.wordpress.com/

*** If you want to read more about the Olympic torch, its history or its route, click here. If you want to watch the Torch Relay live, click here.

14 Comments

Filed under Photo diary

The English Landscape at It’s Finest

As you already know, not long ago we spent some time in the Lake District. We’ve been going there for three years now – ever since Brianna could do some ‘proper’ climbing/rambling – and I don’t see this tradition coming to an end any time soon.

But what is this irresistible force that drags us back up there every summer? Why is it that we love it so much? Is it the hills, valleys and lakes, the long walks or the green grass? Is it the challenge of conquering a peak in pouring rain and blasting wind? Is it the fresh air? I reckon it’s all of the above, and more.

It is this “more” that I’ve been trying to put my finger on ever since we returned from our holiday. And, whilst pondering about it, I remembered two quotes from one of my favourite books, The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. I looked them up in the book – for accuracy – and typed them into this post. These words and the some of the pictures we took in the Lakes are – at least for now – the best explanation of what makes this beautiful region so appealing, not only to us, but to thousands of tourists from all over the world.

Enjoy.

The English landscape at its finest – such as I saw this morning – possesses a quality that the landscapes of other nations, however more superficially dramatic, inevitably fail to possess. It is, I believe, a quality that will mark out the English landscape to any objective observer as the most deeply satisfying in the world, and this quality is probably best summed up by the term ‘greatness’.”

http://mylittledog.wordpress.com/

http://mylittledog.wordpress.com/

http://mylittledog.wordpress.com/

I would say that it is the very lack of obvious drama or spectacle that sets the beauty of our land apart. What is pertinent is the calmness of that beauty, its sense of restraint. It is as though the land knows of its own beauty, of its own greatness, and feels no need to shout it.”

http://mylittledog.wordpress.com/

http://mylittledog.wordpress.com/

http://mylittledog.wordpress.com/

*** Note: I was going to edit some of the photos and brighten them up a bit…But then I changed my mind … Yes, it rained a lot and it was cloudy for most of the time. It was also rather blowy. There’s nothing wrong with that… In fact, it’s great! Rain, cloud and wind are, after all, ‘an English thing’. :)

16 Comments

Filed under Photo diary

We’re Still Around

Hello to our blogging friends everywhere who still remember us! Although we’ve kept a very low profile for months, we’re still around and planning a return to writing sometime soon. So, stay tuned!

Kristin, Robin, Sue and Ed – I’d like to thank you for checking up on us over the past few days. I’m truly touched that you’ve thought of us during such a long absence and I feel very privileged to have made such good friends in the ‘blind’ world of blogging. Life’s been too busy for a while, but George and I have been keeping an eye on your blogs (thanks to email notifications) and we hope we’ll be able to share our adventures with you again. Soon.

In the meantime, if you’re wondering what exactly we’ve been up to in the past 4 months, my husband has published a detailed post on our other blog yesterday. Here’s the link: http://www.city-smallholder.co.uk/blog/2012/06/13/work-life-balance-solution/

Assuming that some of you have missed George’s cute face, I leave you to enjoy a photo taken last week, during our annual Lake District adventure.

http://mylittledog.wordpress.com/

22 Comments

Filed under General