Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays and Thank You.

I am off to the computer-free zone known as Ganny's house for a few days, so I'd just like to wish all of my friends the very happiest of holidays. I know some of you are dealing with some really tough situations, and so I hope at least you find some peace.

As a relative newcomer to Blogville, thank you all for making me so welcome. Six months ago I didn't know this community existed and now I've found a host of new relatives! Although most of us will never meet in the flesh / fur, I feel as if I have made some really good friends. You're a great bunch!

See you all soon

Your pal / nephew / cousin   Deccy xxx

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Nearly Wordless Wednesday 21/12

It was to be hoped Santa could understand Declan's ideosyncratic style of writing.....

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Red Hot Christmas Presents..

Hello everyone. It's Deccy's Mum here.

Lots of us have felt the economic pinch this year, so a group of our friends and family decided that we should all take it easy with the Christmas presents. The hope was that we'd all spend less money but put a little more thought and love into what we gave, rather than the usual last minute panic buys that resulted in things people didn't need or want!

Several people in the group are pretty talented. They can knit & sew,and  one is a qualified reflexologist, so we can have a good guess at what some of the presents may be! Our household however, was in a bit of a quandary. Whilst Other Mum can knit, she'd need two years notice to produce a jumper and I can barely sew a button on. We really wanted to try and give something we'd made ourselves, so eventually we decided we'd fall back on one of the few talents that I have, which is cooking.

Some of you will know that Declan reckons I'm a miserable git when it comes to Christmas, and he may well have a point, but every year around October or November I make batches of pickled onions, red cabbage and chutneys for consumption over the holidays. My out & out favourite however, which goes down a storm with just about everyone is my Christmas Pudding Vodka. So it was decided. I would have to come up with something new to give our friends & family this Christmas.

I spent hours going through 20 odd years worth of notebooks and recipes and just when I was beginning to despair, I had a bit of a brainwave! Several years ago, Other Mum and I went to The Gambia in West Africa. We had a fabulous time not least because of all the wonderful local cafes and restaurants we were able to visit. I was hoping I could find some photos of them, but all I came across were these:

Admittedly they tell you very little about the food. We didn't have any crocodile or monkey - honestly! However, whilst we were there we came across some hot pepper sauce in one of the local shops. It was sold in an old ketchup bottle, which I doubt had even been rinsed under the tap never mind steralised! We were a bit reticent for a while but gradually we found courage and decided that given the amount of chilis involved bacteria was unlikely to survive! 

The sauce was fantastic so we asked the chap in the shop how it was made. He directed us to an old lady who lived on the edge of the village, so brandishing  a bottle of sauce we went to visit. With the aid of much gesticulating we managed to communicate, and she seemed delighted that we were so interested. She got her son to write down the recipe for us. I'm not convinced she told us everything that went in it, as that was a family secret, but it was pretty damn close! I made the sauce a few times when we came home, but then gradually forgot all about it, until now, that is.

I looked everywhere for the recipe,  but it was not to be found. However, I was pretty sure I could remember most of the ingredients, so thought I'd give it a go.

Gambian Red Hot Sauce in the making.
As this is Declan's first Christmas with us, we thought we'd name the sauce after him.......

It's not called Burning Ring of Fire for nothing!

..... and if the feedback is good, we may just go global!!

A Very Merry Christmas To Everyone!

ps. If you think you're hard enough, and you'd like the recipe, just drop Dec an email!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Getting up to Snow

 We get up at the ungodly hour of 6.00am. Well, sort of. The alarm goes off at 6.00am, but I usually think 5.10 is a better time to rouse my household. That is, of course, unless I've been whining and barking all night, in which case I will have fallen soundly asleep and won't get out of my bed until 7.00am. If I do decide to play alarm clocks, the following ritual occurs:

Other Mum stumbles out of bed, falls across the room and eventually steadies herself at the top of the stairs. She peers at me in a bleary eyed way as I stand looking at her through the baby gate.

 "In your bed Declan. Good boy" she says.

 I do as I am told..... until she stumbles back to the bedroom.

 I chuck my Kong around a bit and then do a bit more whining.

 Other Mum appears at the top of the stairs...." In your bed.....". This happens about 4 times.

 Then Mum appears. "For God's sake Declan, will you shut up! Get in your s*d*i*g basket and if I hear another sound I will tie knots in your bl**dy tail!

 Mum has the patience of a saint....hmmmm. Clearly she means business, so I get in my bed. By now it is 6.00am and time to get up. Hurrah!!

I promise I won't move a muscle..... until you're out of sight.....
Other Mum takes a shower and Mum comes downstairs to check me out, sort out lunch for Other Mum and make a cup of tea. She would like everyone to think how good she is getting up so early to make lunch etc. when she could have an extra couple of hours in bed. However, she has told me in strictest confidence that Other Mum "makes so much bl**dy noise with her showering, dressing and hair drying, I get more peace in the kitchen" It's ok, I've promised I won't tell anyone she said that.....

This morning Mum came downstairs and realised we'd had our first real snowfall. Nothing serious, but a bit of a shock as there has been no mention in the weather forecast! Her sandwich making routine was therefore interrupted by the need to shovel snow from our stupidly steep drive, so Other Mum could get the car out and go to work. I'll leave it to you to imagine how happy she was.... Anyway, after some initial slipping and sliding Other Mum got on her way.

Mum decided that as she was all dressed up for the snow we might as well go on our morning walk. She decided to take photos of my paw prints in the snow....

And she wonders why people give her funny looks...... 

She made sure I was wrapped up nice and warm for our walk.

Are you on a mission to make me look stupid this week, Mum?

Anyway, now we are back home, if she thinks that I am moving until I need a wee (which when I feel like it, I can hold for about 9 hours) she's got another thing coming!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday 14/12

Declan was struggling to get into the Christmas Spirit...

I suppose you think this is funny.........

...but I think you're  making me look foolish....

.....just to indulge your juvenile sense of humour...

If I pretend to be asleep will you stop pointing that bl**dy camera at me....?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Super Hero Sunday II

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Seasons Greetings

KC and I have decided to call a truce so that we could
get together to wish all my readers a
Happy Christmas!
check out our video...

I feel like all my Christmases have come at once, as I have been given this wonderful award by Fabulous Flo Flo is a young Ridgeback from Australia who lives with her Mum & cats. We're all really pleased that one of them, Fergus is continuing to make a good recovery after a nasty accident.

Liebster means “dearest” in German, and the award is intended to help up-and-coming blogs get the attention they deserve. As with any award, there is a bit of ceremony involved. In order to accept the award, we must do the following:

1. Copy and paste the award on our blog.

2. Link back to the blogger who gave us the award

3. Pick our five favorite blogs with less than 200 followers, and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have received the award.

4. Hope that the five blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to five more blogs

Its a shame that I am restricted to five nominations becuase I can think of another pawful of blogs that would deserve the award, but here goes: ( I'd better admit to some nepotism before I start!)

Nibs & Ambam are two hounds living in England with their two cats, Mummie & Daddie. Go visit; they are a very funny pair! Nibs is my cousin.

Three Greyhounds living in Canada. Veil & Maddy are also my distant cousins!

Joey & Scout are two Hounds in the States. Guess what? Joey is my cousin! Our Mum's are amazed at how like each other we are!

Beryl the greyhound and her brother Frankie live in New Zealand. They have a great blog & Beryl's Mum takes some terrific pictures! As far as I know, we're not related!

Chronicles the life and hobbies of Lori, from the U.S., and her three greyhounds. Surprise, surprise, Casper & Nikki are my cousins!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Declan Does Crafting...

For those of you who enjoy crafting, when did you start to make your Christmas cards this year? 
Whilst enjoying the sun in your gardens in August?  A chilly afternoon in October? Yep. That's what I thought. 

Crafting, or specifically card making, is not something that happens a lot in this household. Mum says why spend hours folding bits of card and getting covered in glitter when she can go to Marks & Spencer and get the whole lot in under five minutes. As ever, Mum misses the point... she is, as we know, a bit of a Philistine!

Other Mum, however, has been very keen on card making in her time. I found Mum rummaging in a cupboard the other day amidst coloured paper, rubber stamps, lights, pens, cutters, shiny stickers and pointy sticks muttering "WTF is all this stuff for?!"  As far as anyone can remember the last card making that happened was the year that Mum & Flynn moved here permanently. Other Mum decided to send cards with Uncle Flynn on them to celebrate. I was hoping to find one to show you, but I can't. Anyway, these are the pictures that were used:

So... it's been a while since crafting raised its ugly attractive glittery head in this house. Imagine then Mum's horror surprise when Other Mum announced she would like to make her own cards this year. Now, this was back in October, right? Wrong! This was last weekend. Everyone else has pretty much posted their cards, and she's just thinking about making them! Well, there was nothing else for it, I decided I would have to lend a paw:
You need any of this silver ribbon, Other Mum?
We made a start....

This double sided tape gets everywhere.......

A couple more.....

Other Mum reckons she might have them done by the end of this weekend. Hmmm... since when have we needed only 10 Christmas cards? Mum (rather sensibly in my view) is off to M&S for back-up.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday 7/12

No one was sure why Declan had disguised himself as a badger......

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

For Those Who Were Asking About My Bed...

Just a quick post because some of my American friends have said that they have trouble finding a bed like mine in the States. Mum knows someone over there who has got one and apparently it came from Amazon. The dog bed below is the same size as mine.

Deccy x

New Sleeping Arrangements

As some of you will know ( because I go on about it a lot) I have to sleep downstairs at night. Now I think that most reasonable dogs, and humans for that matter, will not be able to believe that I am treated this badly. Most of you are probably about to send an email to Mums saying that people like them shouldn't be allowed to keep pets at all, let alone a delicate little thing like me... It could hardly be worse if they tied me up in the snow and left me outside all night......

Declan, you are in danger of sounding like a right drama-dog and if you are not careful you will loose the sympathy of your public - Mum

Well anyway.... the reason I have to sleep downstairs is because of ba**a*d cat the lovely KC. Our worlds are divided by the baby gate at the bottom of the stairs. It really isn't fair. Flynn got to sleep in Mums bedroom and have cuddles on the bed in the morning. In fact he spent most of the day on the bed when he got older. So why can't I do the same eh? Of course Flynn liked ba**a*d cat KC in a more best mate, less tasty snack kind of a way I suppose.

B*st**d Cat on the bed that should be mine.....

Declan this really isn't rocket science. If we let you come upstairs you have to guarantee not to eat KC, pin her to the wall, make her hang off the ceiling, or try and swallow her in one go before we notice. Can you manage that? No, I thought not. - Mum

Alright already! I am trying. I will sit down when Mum brings her into the sitting room now - as long as I'm distracted with 27 bags of treats. So maybe one day. I wonder how I ever passed my cat test? Drugs I imagine.

So, no chance of a promotion upstairs in the near future. My bed sits at the bottom of the stairs and generally over the summer this was ok.

As you can see, there is a radiator behind me and Mum started to worry, now that winter is here, that I might burn myself when it was on or that my poor little back would be cold when it was off. Anyway, after much thought Other Mum suggested we take a leaf out of Sue & Song's book and get me a nice big basket to put my bed in. (Song is my Aunty, you know!)

Hmmm... this is quite nice, but might I be a bit chilly......?

Better, but I still feel something is missing......

Ahhhh...... zzzzzzzz!

Well I still think Mums are a bit evil, but I suppose sleeping here isn't all that bad......

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Super-Hero Sunday!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Yorkshire....... again!

At the back end of last year, our local newspaper challenged its readers to photograph Yorkshire. The very best of the pictures received would be published in a "coffee table" style book showing pictures of towns, cities, coast, countryside, industry - in fact anything that meant 'Yorkshire' to the people who live here.

At the time, Other Mum had just received a new camera for her birthday, so it seemed like a nice little project to get some practice with - both Mums are a long way from competent photographers! They spent a couple of weekends visiting places they thought might offer some interesting pictures and submitted six photos in total.

Earlier this year a couple of their pictures were published in the newspaper which pleased them no end! The article said over a thousand entries had been received and a panel would decide which pictures would be included in the book. Mums promptly forgot all about it, until a couple of weeks ago when they spotted the book in the local book sellers.

Having a quick look through, they were amazed that three of their photos were included!

The bottom left hand corner is a picture of Kilnsey Trout Farm taken by Other Mum

A steam train on the Keighly & Worth Valley Railway taken by  Mum
Oakworth railway station taken by Mum.
Oakworth station and the surrounding countryside was the location for the 1970 film 'The Railway Children' starring a young Jenny Agutter. Who could ever forget her wildly waving her red bloomers to stop the on-coming train!

This photo made it into the newspaper, but not the book. It shows a wind turbine with the missile warning site at RAF Menwith Hill in the background. Mums are still arguing over who took it!

Mums hope this will inspire a few people out there like them; a long way from being  good photographers, but enjoy it and are now feeling inspired to try and get a little better. Of course Mum sees it as the perfect excuse to get other Mum to buy her a nice little digital SLR..... good luck with that one Mum. Hehe!

A number of items featuring pictures of the 8002 steam train are available at Zazzle

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Visit to Ganny's....

Last weekend both Mums & I went to visit Ganny. (Ganny is Mum's Mum) I love going there as quite naturally Ganny spoils me rotten! We'd only been there a matter of seconds when Ganny said "Declan I have a little present for you.."

I love you Ganny.....
Ganny had got me this lovely furry Panda! I thought hard for a long time, and decided to call him........ Mr Panda!

Later on Mum, Other Mum and Ganny decided they'd like fish & chips for dinner, so Mum volunteered to fetch them. As she was going to walk I wanted to go too, but she said there would be a big queue at the shop and she didn't want to tie me up outside in case someone stole me! Other Mum suggested she put a sign on me saying  "Too old to race and has no gnadgers - no point in stealing him" which I thought was a bit uncalled for, nevertheless I stayed at home. 

On the way to the fish & chip shop Mum spotted a big tree which had been decorated ready for Christmas. Mum is a right miserable old git when it comes to Christmas, but even she had to admit it looked lovely. Fortunately, ever since she got me, she usually has a camera somewhere about her person!

The next morning, in time honoured tradition, I joined Ganny in bed for tea & biscuits. Ganny has something called a "Teasmaid" which  Mum thinks is ridiculous and Ganny swears by. If it means getting biscuits in bed, I'm all for it!

Look into my eyes Ganny... You KNOW you want to give me a Marks & Spencer  Gingernut....

As some of you will know, I am not allowed upstairs at home due to that b*st*^d cat my lovely cat KC having  her penthouse up there, so the availability of so many human beds made me quite giddy.....

........and I decided it was a situation I had to make the most of.....

Later on Mums had to take Ganny to Marks & Spencers as it had been about 48 hours since her last visit and she was getting withdrawal symptoms. I had to wait in the car, but Ganny promised she'd bring me something nice, amidst much tutting from Mum. When they FINALLY came back, Ganny said she had something she thought I'd like for breakfast the next day. I was a bit miffed as I wanted something immediately, but I smiled anyway. I could hear Mum mumbling in the background that it came to something when her own mother bought breakfast based on what she thought the dog would like & hadn't consulted her once.....

We all had bacon sandwiches for breakfast the next day, which were very nice & even Mum stopped being grumpy!

One of the things I love best about going to Ganny's (and there are SO many things...) is her garden. It's pretty long and there are lots of places to explore.

There are lots of squibbles too......

This is the entrance to the air-raid shelter which was built for  people to  take cover  when the bombs dropped in WWII. The local cats can use it to take cover from me now. Hehe!

Best of all, there's room for me to run really fast!

I had the best time at Ganny's. Mum says we'll be going to spend a few days with her at Christmas, and frankly I can't wait!