Tag Archives: play

Our Trouble With Action Shots

I very rarely take good, clear pictures of George in action. Not that I don’t want to. I do, in fact, take hundreds of photos of him running, playing, chasing and generally bouncing about. It’s just that most of them come out blurred, out of focus and pretty much unusable.

Like this…


…or like this!


It’s a bit of a shame, really. In an ideal world, that second picture would have been a cracker. I blame the failure of these two shots and countless others on my ancient camera – which is too slow for George’s speed – and my limited photographic skills.

Since I’m not a quitter, I’ve decided to do something about it. Ideally, I should buy a new camera. Or take a photography course. Or both. A new camera is in the cards, sometimes in the near future. The photography course isn’t, due to time constraints.

Realistically, until we purchase the new piece of technology we need, what I’ve got to do is take the camera with me when we go out with the dog. I learnt this today, during George’s lunchtime walk, when my persistence was rewarded with a couple of good shots. Good enough to put on the blog, that is.

Today we were lucky to have the whole field for ourselves, so I got out the tennis ball and tempted George with a game. He was up for it. So I passed the ball to my husband and grabbed the camera. I must have taken about 30 photos whilst the boys played. Many of them were no good. But a couple of them I liked. Here’s one (I’m saving the others for another time):


It’s not a picture to do justice to George’s beautiful movement, but it’s a start. At least it’s not blurred. Maybe there is hope for some more ‘action posts’ in the future.



Filed under Photo diary

Mystery Creature Revealed

OK, voting is now closed, folks. All votes have been counted and verified by an independent (not) judge. I can now reveal who George’s mystery friend is and, more importantly, who won the ‘Guess Who’ competition.

Taadadada…Meet Ishoo, everybody.


Ishoo is my mother-in-law’s Yorkshire Terrier and George’s youngest buddy. He is 1 now, but was only about 5-6 months old in that photo. He’s still a tiny boy, but has a lot of character and we are convinced that he’s a whippet at heart, since the behavioural similarities between him and George are amazing. Which might be why they’re best mates and George prefers him over dogs his own size.

Here is the original photo…


…and another one just because they’re both so cute:


Now we’ve come to the exciting part…The Awards Ceremony! And the winner is … complicated.

No one guessed that George was playing with ‘Ishoo the Yorkshire Terrier’, but a few of you have identified or guessed some key elements. Therefore, in joint first place, we’ve got Kristine and Carrie, who both guessed George was playing with another dog. Ladies, please let me know if you’d like your fur babies to make a guest appearance on our blog at some point in the near future.

Because I’m a softy, I’ve got a few more awards to hand out. First, our worthy runner-up is Kas, who guessed George is playing with another animal, smaller than him, but then got distracted and failed to identify it as being a dog. Her silly answers would have won her the comedy prize, if there was one. Which there isn’t, of course, since this is a serious blog.

We’ve also got two special prizes. The prize for originality goes to Sara, who guessed that George was playing with a toad!!, and the prize for logic goes to Melissa who deducted that George is playing with someone smaller than him, whom he’s not very familiar with. I find this impressive, given the fact that Melissa is not a doggy person. Indeed, this was the first ‘unsupervised’ play session George and Ishoo shared outside in the garden, so they were both testing the water.

I have really enjoyed everybody’s answers, so I’d like to thank you all for playing along. The funny thing is that I came close to choosing a similar photo in which George was playing with Brianna, which would have made pretty much everyone else a winner. Such is life.

I hope you’ve enjoyed out little game. It’s back to more serious stuff next week. Have a nice weekend!


Filed under General

Let’s Play…Guess Who!

I’ve been tempted to jump on the Wordless Wednesday train for a while now, as I think it’s a really neat idea. I love looking at beautiful photos of dogs, cats, flowers or anything else, and the absence of words can be quite refreshing at times. There’s only one problem that stands in my way: I love to talk and can’t shut up. But I’m working on it, and one day I might be able to post something completely wordless. I’ve come close to it a few times, but I’m not quite there yet.

Anyway, as this week’s attempt to fewer words, here’s a photo of George – in what looks to me like a somewhat uncomfortable bow position – asking for a game.


If you want to play, you could try to guess who is the mystery living creature that George wants to play with? Human or animal? Dog, cat or something else? Breed? Name? (I know, now I’m pushing it). I’m afraid you don’t win anything, apart from public recognition for being good at guessing. Although a guest appearance on our blog is a possibility. Clue: it’s not me, I was talking the picture.

And no, that’s not our revamped garden, we were visiting.


Filed under General, Photo diary

Blanket, Hopscotch and a Pack of Dominoes

Whilst out on my last February morning walk with George, I was going through last week’s events in my mind, trying to pick my favourite moments and the one day worth the title of ‘highlight of the week’. This is usually a difficult process, since our philosophy as a family is to try to only do things that we like and value, and our weeks are therefore packed with favourite activities. This week, however, one day sprung to my mind instantly: Thursday. A could-have-been-ordinary day best described by three ordinary key words: blanket, dominoes, hopscotch.

That’s all it took to keep my entire family – and my daughter in particular – entertained for the whole of last Thursday: a makeshift tent, a pack of dominos and a paper hopscotch. As every parent knows too well, children’s school holidays can be a really tough time. This is a time when you have to up your skills and divide your time and attention between work, home and preventing your child from getting bored.

Well, my daughter was on holiday last week  and we happened to be busier with work than normal. A very unfortunate coincidence, I must say. Although she’s a good and thoughtful kid who likes her own company and is able to entertain herself due to a vivid imagination and the bouncy presence of George, by Thursday she’d had enough and requested that everybody takes time off to play with her. We had taken turns in keeping her occupied up until that point, but now she wanted all of us to spend time together “like we normally do”.

The weather was not warm enough to go for one of our mammoth nature walks, so we were bound to stay indoors and find something to do. And then, Eureka! My husband had a brilliant idea: why not make a tent in Brianna’s room and go camping?

The little bedroom quickly became a frantic construction site, with the huge blanket I use to cover our over-sized family sofa being draped over the dining chairs and tied with Brianna’s hair baubles. Within 10 minutes, the set had changed completely and a dark-brown canopy tent was reigning proudly in the middle of the room. The curtains had been drawn to create atmosphere and a feeling of authenticity, and the tent had been packed with indispensable camping items that we always take with us on our adventures: an ancient, tiny radio bringing us the latest tunes, a pack of dominoes, bottles of water, all the snacks we could find in the house and, of course, George’s cuddly dinosaur and chewy bones.

All we did for our first two hours in the tent was chat, listen to music, have a laugh and play games. Once again, our treasured pack of dominoes proved to be very successful with the entire family. Even George showed an interest for the smooth pieces, but then decided the game itself was not challenging enough for a whippet, so he concentrated on his chewy stick instead.


The middle of our camping adventure was marked by lunch time, when we had to rely on our stocks of instant soup that we’re saving for when the real camping season starts. We ‘cooked’ them outside in the garden on our small camping stove, and ate them in the tent, sitting bunched up together on the floor ‘to keep warm’. Nothing beats a bowl of hot soup on a chilly day. Again, the dog refused to join in, claiming that ‘human food is no good’ and requesting his bowl of raw mince to be placed in the middle of the tent.

The tent did not survive long after that, mainly because Brianna didn’t want to play dominoes anymore, the adults had started to get backache, and George had abandoned ship altogether and was sulking on top of his sister’s pink duvet.


Whilst the tent was going down and the house was being restored to its original, Brianna came up with a new idea for the rest of the afternoon: a hopscotch. We do not own a manufactured hopscotch, so she had to rely on her resourcefulness and make her own out of paper and sticky tape. Here is the result:


Needless to say that this makeshift hopscotch kept both of us, girls (Dad said he’s past the hopping age and George was still in a mood) busy for the rest of the day. And the next day, for that matter. I have a feeling that we’re up for another play session this evening, too. I can’t wait!

I know that our Thursday may not seem like anything special to other people. I guess most have stopped reading this unusually long post by now. But I am hopeful that the few of you who have had the patience to read on will get the point that I was trying to make: there’s magic in the simple things, as very often it’s these simple things that count the most. Happiness is not measured by expensive trips and fancy items, but by the quality of the time you spend with your loved ones. Last Thursday we improvised and created a fantasy scenario which brought us closer together. We really enjoyed ourselves, and the smile in Brianna’s eyes was our biggest reward.


Filed under Whilst walking the dog