Tag Archives: kids

How Much is that Doggy on the Armchair?

We had another playful weekend the other week, and boy it was fun. We were more outdoor oriented this time, as the weather gods have finally decided it was spring and rewarded us with glorious, sunny weather and quite a few degrees on the Celsius scale. Out and into the wild we went, eager to check out our forest, our fields and pretty much everything else in our corner of the world. I’m happy to report that everything is still in place and turning bright green but, as I left my camera at home – doh! – I have no evidence to back this up. So I’ll have to return to it some other time.

This post is about another one of our family games, which we indulged in after we returned from the walk. George was pretty much exhausted and went to sleep in his dad’s chair, as always, so it was up to Brianna to decide what she wanted to do. She said she was going to her room to ‘think about it’, and re-emerged half an hour later with one of those I’m very pleased with myself looks on her face.

In a solemn voice she announced that “today we’re not playing anything …because I’m too busy with my new business. I’ve opened a new shop in my bedroom!”.

I’ve got to tell you that my daughter is quite entrepreneurial that way. She’s always looking for a way to earn her living, and her bedroom often turns into the premises of her new business ventures. It has served as a cafe, zoo, school and dog kennels in the past, so it was only a matter of time until the idea of a shop sprung into her mind. This was the day.

In the half an hour she took to prepare for the grand opening, she’d covered every item she owns with ‘For Sale’ signs and price tags, and her door was filled with all sorts of announcements, from the opening hours to irresistible offers for the potential customers.

So we loaded our pockets with pennies and queued up outside the shop door, excited at the prospect of what we might find inside. I have to admit that we were quite impressed at the level of organisation and the professional, helpful and friendly service we found. Here’s a little snippet of what the shop had on offer:


Now, you wouldn’t expect Brianna to leave out her precious companion – the little whippet called George – would you? She involved him in her shopkeeping game, by delegating him a very important role: that of the most expensive item on sale! Needless to say that George was not at all impressed with his new status. In actual fact, he was completely disgusted at such humiliation, but was too tired to do anything about it, so he just sat there looking sad.


What do you think? Not a happy bunny, right? But do not worry, she did buy him back at the end of the game and they’re best mates again!



Filed under General, Photo diary

Do Animals Go to Heaven?

Brianna brought home a thick collection of children’s poetry last month. Apparently they’d run out of books in the classroom, so the teacher brought in one of her own from home.

I couldn’t resist browsing through, and I came across a nice poem about the dilemma a child is posed with when their beloved pet dies. Although not the obvious choice for a children’s book due to its rather sad and philosophical subject, it is a beautiful poem which I thought was worth sharing. Here it is:

          Burying the Dog in the Garden

                                                 by Brian Patten

          When we buried

          the dog in

          the garden on

          the grave we put

          a cross and

          the tall man

          next door was


          ‘Animals have no

          souls,’ he said.

          ‘They must have animal

          souls,’ we said. ‘No,’

          he said and

          shook his head.

          ‘Do you need a

          soul to go

          to Heaven?’ we

          asked. He nodded

          his head. ‘Yes,’

          he said.

          ‘That means my

          hamster’s not

          in Heaven,’ said

          Kevin. ‘Nor is

          my dog,’ I said.

          ‘My cat could sneak

          in anywhere,’ said

          Clare. And we thought

          what a strange place Heaven

          must be with

          nothing to stroke

          for eternity.

          We were all


          We decided we

          did not want to

          go to Heaven.

          For that the

          tall man next

          door is to blame.

This poem brought tears to my eyes and stirred the inevitable discussion of what’s going to happen when George dies. A subject that I’m not very comfortable with and prefer not to think about just yet. At the end of our little talk, Brianna decided that she believes animals have souls and although she’ll be sad when the day comes for George to go, she understands that this is the cycle of life and knows he’ll be up there watching over her. What a wise child. I just blocked out the thought and took George for a walk.


Filed under Whilst walking the dog

2920 Days of Christmas

With my daughter’s birthday coming up on Friday, I felt that writing a short off-topic post about the event would be a nice surprise for her. After all, she is my little blog advisor and one of my two favourite models – I’ll let you guess who’s the other one!


As Brianna’s special day approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about our role as parents and how parenthood has changed who we are.  Although I am the sole bearer of words on this space, it is only fair to write this post in the plural since, just as it takes two to tango, it also takes two to create and raise a human being as part of a loving family.

With this in mind, whilst out and about with George this morning, I remembered something profoundly beautiful that a friend said to me in one of her letters. She said that since the birth of her daughter “it feels like it’s Christmas every day”. I cannot think of better words or a more succinct way to describe how we feel and all the wonderful things she’s brought to our life.

The sense of wonder as we rediscover the world through her eyes. The fun of splashing through puddles on a rainy day. The thrill of joining in her favourite games. The worries of each new beginning and the pride of seeing her develop into a free-thinking person. The privilege of sharing in her dreams, the overwhelming love that makes her the centre of our universe, and the excitement of the years to come.

It’ll be 2920 days of Christmas for us soon. 2920 happy, wonderful days that we will cherish forever.


Filed under Our days, Whilst walking the dog

Two in One Bed

George owns one of those kidney-shaped plastic beds that are everywhere and you can buy for a tenner. He got downgraded to one of these indestructible items after eating his RSPCA-recommended, soft, padded bed that we bought for him when he was a puppy.

Of course, we’re not that cold-hearted to make him sleep on the bare plastic. Like any other whippet, he wouldn’t lie on anything cold or hard, so we lined his ‘nest’ with soft and cuddly blankets. Surprisingly, this new ‘mean’ bed has proved to be an instant hit, not only with our furry boy but also with the youngest members of the family. It has, in fact, become the best and most wanted seat in the house.

You will often find Brianna and one (or two) of her cousins squeezed in the dog’s bed with George, playing with their (or his) toys or just lying on top of each other ‘being dogs’. Sometimes, the real dog will surrender to the noisy invaders and take refuge on the sofa, watching over them from the distance.

Most of the time, however, when it is quiet and there’s no one else around, this is what you’ll see: George and his human sister cuddled up together, enjoying a good story.



Filed under Photo diary