Moore… Sir Roger Moore!

Hi fiends,

We’ve been pretty busy so, had a little break from the blog but , we’re back now.

Fiends have been to stay, visits to people, pals for sleepovers while their mums went away and we’ve been up to London were we visited our favourite restaurant again –  it’s called Joe Allen. It’s brilliant, very dog friendly and they do the most fantastic sausages ever, yes ever!tot.jpg

And it was my birthday!!! We had a great party with our fiends at the Carlton Hotel just up the road from home. Lots of the small fiends wore fancy dress and looked brilliant!

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I am now four years old…. which sounds a lot more grown-up than three!

Talking of age; who’s old enough to remember the actor Sir Roger Moore in The Saint and the James Bond films? Sadly, he passed away last week as, he’d been ill. He was 89.

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We loved him in Ivanhoe, as The Saint and as James Bond – some folk say he was the best 007 as, he added a little touch of humour to the films and he was very suave. I’m not totally sure what ‘suave’ is but, he was it ….. according to the mums!!

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We saw Sound Stage 7 – where he used to film The Saint at Elstree Film Studios – there was definitely a scent of suave in the air!

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People say he came from humble beginnings… we think he would say he came from a normal family. He once said: “My father believed in toughness, honesty, politeness and being on time. All very important lessons.” We agree!!

Sir Roger was very modest and not at all showy offy – when he was asked about his acting style he was very honest and said he worked to; “You just have to look at the lines, say them, and don’t bump into the furniture.” Which, in my humble acting experience is very true, though in my case; it’s ‘don’t jump onto the furniture’!!

He also did lots of good and kind things outside of acting including; being a voice for animals – he was very against fox, and all animal, hunting and said very tough words about those who went hunting, regardless of who they are.

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He was very keen that all children in the world, whatever their background, could have a good chance in life and he thought we should: “Teach love, generosity, good manners and some of that will drift from the classroom to the home and who knows, the children will be educating the parents. Let’s face it, the children who do that are the hope of tomorrow.”

And because of his care and interest for children’s futures he got involved with The United Nations Children’s Fund – known as UNICEF. You can see his activities and more about UNICEF here.

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He was very ‘hands on’. The mums say that some famous people have their name connected to good works but, don’t always really help out except; ‘on paper’ or perhaps in the papers!!

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Roger Moore wasn’t interested in anything on paper, he wanted to see for himself what it was all about and visited UNICEF projects that help children all over the world including: China, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala and he went out and got support and donations to make sure there are more projects.

For all his fantastic work with UNICEF he was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in January 1999, which is just about the best you can get apart from being King…..though, I’m not certain Prince Charles would have been too happy about that! So, the Queen made him a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in June 2003.

And he really was a saint!!

Until next time

Rx

Food of Champions

Hello fiends,

What’s been happening…. Max has gone home as Auntie Jill is back. We had a great week together, even fursister number 1, Thumbelina, was sad to see him go…… or was it just his bed she’ll miss!?! And guess what – Buster is staying this week – more fun and games!!  It was British Pie Week. And the Six Nations rugby was won by England –  what a win, what a match!!

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And, hurray it was Clare Balding and Crufts again at the weekend – one of the World’s biggest dog shows. We loved watching all the rounds and the hero dogs in the Friends for Life competition and the fly ball and then the rescue dog agility competition are best. And we all love Clare Balding – just think when she grows up, she’ll be Mary Berry.

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A Border Collie hasn’t won Best in Show at Crufts yet and English Cocker Spaniels have won the most number of times! That’ll please Max that the Spaniel clan are tops! And it was a type of Spaniel who won Best in Show again this year –  a young American Spaniel – though he’s actually from Blackpool!?! He had a very fetching long, brushed coat, am not sure I could carry that off….. I’d probably trip.

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I often dream of trotting round the show ring on my lap of honour in Birmingham and being interviewed by Clare but, so far have only had a go in a local job show – it certainly isn’t as easy as it looks – even the mums have to prance round!! You can see my efforts in my Adventures of Ragamuffin episode Every Dog Has His Day   ah well you can’t win ‘em all.

It was great fun though and I made lots of new fiends but, didn’t bring any rosettes home…. still it’s all about the taking part not the winning. Mum had my favourite dinner for when we got back – she calls it the ‘food of champions’ which is a better prize than any rose vase or silver cup and sash!

It’s a pretty easy recipe if you want to have a go:

Mums Champions Liver Cake

  • 2 kilos liver (cheapest) probably pigs
  • Approx. 150g of wholemeal flour
  • 1 egg or stock to add moisture

Put the liver and egg or stock in a blender till smooth or the liver is in very small pieces. Add the flour until the mixture is thick like brownies – if it’s too thick add a little milk or more flour if it’s too runny. Put the mixture in a baking tin about an inch deep will be enough. Put in oven at 170c fan for approx. 20 mins the mixture should still be a little moist and a knife will come out clean if you stick it in the middle. Leave to cool. If you want to use it as treats; cut into cubes and store in the freezer in bags. Eat within three days if kept in the fridge.If you can make it last that long!

As an extra you could try mums’ very special topping use; mashed potatoes made with a little butter and semi-skimmed milk – spread the mash on the liver cake and top with low fat natural yogurt when the mash is cool. For special occasions, you can decorate with those lovely little cocktail sausages. And most importantly always lick the spoon and bowl (the dogs, not the mums!!).

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Think Buster will help me polish off the lot!!

 

Until next time

Rx

Flipping Pancakes!

Hello fiends,

What a busy week.

England beat Italy in the Six Nations rugby – what a game that was. For film fans, it was the Oscars where, I think the ‘envelope lady’ had her end of show sherry a bit early! And, most importantly, my fiend Max is staying with us – his mum, Auntie Jill, is having a very special birthday and has gone away for a few days.

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She couldn’t really take Max with her so, Mum said he should come to us of course! We’re also feeding their two cats called Doris and Johnson….though mum keeps getting mixed up and saying we’re going up to feed ‘Boris Johnson’….. sigh!

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We’ve having loads of fun with Max here – I even let him sit in my place next to Mum, a bit longer than normal but, he’s my fiend so, that was good really. Though, my fursister Thumbelina hasn’t been such a good hostess and gets into Max’s basket for a nap!  As if she hasn’t got enough places to sleep! Cats are so cheeky and Max says not to be messed with – specially Thumbelina!!

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Even though Max is a grown -up dog he’s been missing his mum – I know that I would too as, we’re always together in fact, I don’t mind saying: I’d miss her loads. Poor Max nevermind, I found lots for us to do. And mum sent some photos of him and me to Auntie Jill via the worldwide super highway as, she’s missing him too!

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Hurray for Pancake Day today.  All that flour flying and flipping will keep us busy.

Max asked what Pancake Day is all about – well, as far I know the time before Easter is called Lent (nothing to do with lending things) and the day before Lent starts is called Shrove Tuesday. Rich foods including; eggs and butter were not allowed during Lent, so people made pancakes on Shrove Tuesday to use up all the ‘rich’ stuff and called it Pancake Day for fun. In other countries, they call it Carnival or Mardi Gras.

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We had a go at pancakes last year too, as you can see more ended up on my head and on the floor than on the plates. They’re messy things to make and humans invented tossing the pancake – a pretty risky invention if you ask me!! Aga’s, dogs, small children and Travertine tiles up and down the country end up covered in half-cooked batter!!

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At bedtime, Max and I tell stories, laugh and have also been making up rhymes about missing someone who is far away. We’ve seen them in those Christmas Cards, with glitter on, under the heading: ‘Across the Miles’.

They normally go something like this – 

Even though you’re far away I think about you every day, though the miles lay between us we’re never far apart – love doesn’t count in miles – it’s measured by the heart!

Hmm we decided we should maybe stick to limericks or, pancakes sticking to the pan!

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Get flipping fiends!

Until next time

Rx (and Max)

National Love Your Pet Day

Hello fiends,

It’s one of those special days – it’s National Love Your Pet Day!! That can’t be too hard as, we’re known as a nation of animal, especially dog, lovers.

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Me, my fiends and my fursisters looked up some of the reasons us pets are loved – we couldn’t look at all pets as there are so many that are loved from; snakes (eeekk) to stick insects (really!).

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Here are some of the top reasons we found that the mothers love us.

Love – Us fiends wait at the door when we know you’re coming home. We jump and jive about with excitement when we see you, as if we perhaps we thought you might not come home, ever. Fursisters don’t exactly do that but, they will come and rub around your legs and guide you to the kitchen.

(Wo)Man’s Best Friend – Forget eyePhones, tele or Tweeter our batteries or interest will never run out. From the fun of a puppy to the grandness of an older dog, we are full of love, surprises and fun. And fursisters are the same – you can never beat the thrill of a kitten latching onto your ankles as you try and go down the stairs.

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A Great Cheerer Upper – When you’re feeling a bit fed up and thinking no one loves you, you’ll always have us fiends to make you feel better. We love to put our head in your lap and show we love you, and always will. And fursisters will give you that ‘love eyes’ look, a purr and might, just might, sit on your lap well, pretty near you anyway. It’s official – pets are better than sherry or chocolate!!

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An Ever-Ready Exercise Partner – We know that you can’t take most fursisters for a walk, except perhaps Siamese who; seem to like it or that Bob cat in the book and film though, you can move across the room really, really fast when they knock over the pot plant that you’ve probably just watered as, you don’t want them to tread in the soil. And as for us fiends, you only have to walk fairly near to where our lead is and we’re up and ready for a walk, for as long and far as you want, depending on the rain. And you get to meet new people when us fiends have a bit of a chat with their dog.

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Cooking Skills – Us fiends and fursisters don’t mind if you’re not a Gordon Blue chef. You don’t need to be Mary Berry (though we all love her and she’d give us five star treats and she’d wear nice jackets for our walks). We’re pretty much happy with whatever we get, specially – mum – if it’s your homemade Liver Cake which, is the best in the world, the whole world, ever. Though fursisters can be a little bit on the fussy side –  no need to worry you can buy best wild salmon in most good supermarkets now.

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So, us fiends love that we are loved and we hope, mothers everywhere, you can always feel all our love back.

 

Until next time, with love

Rx

Six Nations Rugby

Hello fiends,

It’s chilly here though, don’t think we’re going to see any big snow I’m three and still haven’t played in ‘proper’ snow. Think the mums are quite pleased it’s not coming this week though.

 

Nevermind, there’s plenty on the tele today as, the rugby Six Nations Championship is on. It’s the oldest rugby championship in the world, it started back in 1882, I wonder if the mums went to the match. It used to be held between: England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, France joined in 1910 and Italy joined in 2000.

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It’s difficult to know which team to support as mum and Uncle David have links with Scotland, I’ve got Welsh ancestors and we like Ireland but, of course, it must be England!!

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We’re a ‘rugby family’ – Uncle David used to play when he was at school, in the Royal Marines and then for Hong Kong when he lived there. He’s the best player and has the most International caps ever – he made an amazing 55 appearances – I reckon that’s a rugby record!

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And next is Cousin Richard, he plays for Loughborough at No.12, they’re brilliant; they just beat Bath and are second in the league thingy…. they could win it!! It looks like my expert coaching and training sessions have really improved Cousin Richard’s game….. wonder if I’ll get a mention when he lifts a cup!! The match against Bath is here and you can see Cousin Richard being interviewed.

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Me and my fiends have great fun keeping Uncle David fit and training Cousin Richard; he looks pretty good in the picture below. We play on the beach and at the local rugby club when the proper teams aren’t playing there. They should let Uncle David and Cousin Richard play for them –  they’re legends.

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Love doing my agility stuff with mum and us being a little team but, big team games like rugby, football, netball and rounders are brilliant fun too. You make new fiends; with team mates and the coach and supporters too.

Doesn’t matter if you win or lose you’ve got your team mates and everyone is playing towards the same goal (except the opposition of course!!) You all have different skills and putting them all together makes the team. It’s like us fiends really – me and Buster are good at the ‘doing’ type things, Moja is our supporter, Figgle is our runner and Max…… Max is….well, just there really and we love having him around….that’s what we call teamwork.

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Loads of local rugby clubs have youth sides and have special games for very young fiends, even some of the big league teams. Have a look at their websites under the ‘Community’ section and they should have details there.

We’re looking forward to cheering England on!!

Until next time

Rx

Special Relationship!

Hi fiends,

It’s been very chilly though, when you’re out and about look around – there really are signs that Spring’s in the air…. yes, really – despite the fog and drizzle. We’ve spotted Wild Primrose and Snowdrops just about coming through, and the birds are up earlier and singing a bit louder and longer at the end of the day. Where my fiend Ruf lives, a Robin has started building its nest!

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Talking of fiends – in the last few days all we keep hearing is; ‘special relationship’; on the TV, radio and in conversations between the mothers, just about everywhere.

What’s that all about? Something to do with that ministry women: Mrs Treesare May and a trumpet, we think. Us fiends thought she was more of a violin type, trumpets need an awful lot of hot air and can be jolly hard work.

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My special relationships include; sausages (just joking – all of us dogs say that) and my fiends – two and four legged and even six or eight legged if you like spiders. We’re ‘man’s best friend’ which includes women and children too.

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Looking on the world wide super highway, or ‘web’ for short, we found a great poem by a little fiend called Tara:

A friend is a person who comes and won’t judge a flower by its colour.

A person who will never give up on you.

A person who will comfort you when storms of tears are in your mind.

A person who will just have some fun with you and give you a good laugh.

A person that doesn’t mind expressing their happy or sad feelings to you.

Buster and Moja both liked the bit; ‘storms of tears’ as, tears can be like rain and seem like they’re never going to stop…. specially if you’ve got a massive splinter in your paw or if you’re feeling sad. We think Tara is a great fiend to have too, she knows all about what fiendship feels like inside.

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In the olden days, when the mothers were very young (Buster, Moja and I often wonder; how!), people used to stick all their fiend’s photos together in books called; photo albums. Think that sounds good as, you could then look at them properly without them whizzing past because, someone else has done a Tweet or Post that you have to look at next.

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So, that’s why all the photos this week are of some of my ‘special relationship’ fiends as, it’s lovely to have them all in one place, hope you like them too!

Until next time

Rx

If it isn’t fun it shouldn’t be done

Hi fiends,

If you’ve read my blog before you know we look at stuff that’s informative, current and often funny…. this week we look at something that’s a little worrying.

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A little while back we talked about me doing The Adventures of Ragamuffin films and being in that brilliant charity show with the great kids, think I said something like; “being on stage is very different to making our  films – mum and her clever fiends do editing and stuff to so, it doesn’t matter if you fluff it as, they can kinda fix it afterwards……….”

Should say too; if you fluff it on stage it’s part of the fun and always made us all giggle. And  when you’re working with us animals and children anything can happen so,  whether you’re an amateur, small production company or perhaps; DreamWorks for instance, you should always be prepared for the unexpected.

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The editing and stuff that mum and her ‘technical’ fiends do in the editing place make the final film look fantastic in the end. With all that wizardry technology around you can fill in any gaps you didn’t get when you were filming  Think you can even rub out the rain!!!

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Which is why we’re worried, shocked, sad, angry and fuming to hear about, and see for ourselves, the cruel treatment of a German Shepherd dog in a very big budget feature film. The film is going to be in cinemas across the whole wide world very soon – not just on You Tube like me.

The lovely dog was there to film a scene for ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ –  the film of a popular book of the same title – this poor dog was forced to do something it really, really didn’t want to do, it was terrified and hurt and in danger.

We’re puzzled because, those big film companies have ZILLIONS of pounds and dollars to spend on the best special effects and computer technology (called CGI) in the whole world so, there’s no reason to make any dog (or any animal or person) do something that’s very dangerous and in this case left our fiend terrified and scared.

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If the Director was good he wouldn’t even need technology, he would just shoot the right film pictures to cover that section of the script…… not everything has to be illustrated literally (according to Auntie Jules – she used to work in filmey stuff with mum), specially when it’s just a few seconds out of the whole thing. If we can do it with our little films so can they!!!!

The film production company and other filmey people involved seem to be trying to say that nothing really bad had gone wrong and they were ‘investigating’ and ‘looking at’ the ‘incident’……. Thanks to the land of Tweeter and all those other Apes; the incident was on film for all the world to see exactly what happened.

Decent, professional  and kind animal trainers and handlers (and owners, of course) know when an animal is; unhappy or scared or hurting or nervous or tired or just plain bored and stops…….. so, there’s no excuse to be cruel or for this incident to have happened. Mum and our film crew fellas always know right away if me, and my canine ‘co-stars’ and little  fiends in the films, aren’t having fun or have just had enough for the day.

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We send our prayers, best wishes and love to the dear fiend involved – we will not be going to see it.

Until next time fiends

Rx

An Actors Life for Me?

Hello fiends,

Have been mooching around the house or sitting with mum as, had a giant splinter in my paw! Another trip to the vets to have it removed…ouch it was painful so,  we had to be brave….again….remember the snake incident!

Mooching is good, it gives you time to think…..hmm let’s see; had a great summer shooting the films for the second series of The Adventures of Ragamuffin. This time they’re starring me as a grown-up dog – none of that puppy malarkey!! You can see The Adventures of Ragamuffin Lewis on You Tube.

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My fiends were in some of the films too. Poor Buster got a little bored hanging around waiting for mum to decide what she wanted to film next. She does have a very long list  that she works through with the film crew but, things can easily change – like it might start raining or be very noisy so, you must wait (and wait) until it’s quiet or sunny again.

Buster said he wasn’t sure if ‘this filming lark’ was for him though he liked the ‘acting’ bit and thought he was good (steady on Buster you only had to dig up sand on the beach – it was hardly Lassie Come Home!).

 

Acting or singing is really good fun and a cool way to use up your energy and much better than just hanging around the shops or with your nose stuck to a computer screen!

I suggested to Buster that he should go and join a local amateur dramatics group – was hedging my bets there as, not sure if any of them take dogs!

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Anyway, it’s as it sounds; local people doing plays and musicals on the stage in a little theatre or hall with a stage. Normally they make all their own props, costumes and scenery so, even if you’re not sure acting you can do the backstage stuff. I did some performing on stage in the summer too I had a good time and got to eat some of the props – you can read about it here.

Along with school drama clubs there are lots of kid’s groups around the country – often called Youth Theatre (sounds a bit posher than amateur dramatics). These little theatre adventures won’t very often lead to a big role in the sparkling West End – where all the famous plays are, though can help you develop into a better performer and give you confidence and enthusiasm which is helpful if you are sometimes a bit shy….Buster is rarely shy…….and you’ll make friends, too! You can look them up on the internet or ask at your local theatre.

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There are, of course, the television talent shows including: Britain’s Got Talent and the X Factor but, though they can make people and dogs famous it’s only a very few each year. Local theatre will give you loads of experience and who knows you could then go for a big audition if you wanted to take it that far!! Lots of famous ‘proper’ actors started off in local theatres: Michael Caine started going to the Capitol Theatre group in Horsham when he was very young and Robert Pattinson went to the Barnes Theatre Company near his house. So, you never know……..

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Give it a try!

Until next time Rx

 

 

Dogs, dancing and music

Hello fiends

What a week it’s been! It included; being kind to all animals, reciting poetry and smiling a lot!

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There’s been lots of ‘special’ international days this week including: World Animal Day, International Poetry Day and World Smile Day.

World Smile Day is really special; organisations, all over the world, use it to promote the good work they do and encourage people to take part or donate money or things. The motto for the day is: ‘Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile’

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Mum believes we should all try to be the best that we can be, including doing things that’ll help others smile. And all of us fiends can do just that – you and your fiends don’t have to travel a long way away or give loads of money; you can just give just a little of your time locally. litterpick

My fiend Buster helped out in the summer, we picked up litter on our walks – he was good at it and pretty enthusiastic too! His mum did manage to find her purse which, he’d put in a waste bin by mistake.

I visit a nearby Care Home. Animals can be very therapeutic and calming for people in lots of situations. Everybody there enjoys our visits, including me – it’s lovely to see everybody and I sometimes get a tasty treat –  it takes just a little of our time to sit and listen and chat and give a happy tail wag.

What else, well, a couple of weeks ago I made, what mum called, my ‘stage debut’ at a fundraising concert for the Alzheimer’s Society, South West at the Landmark Theatre here in Ilfracombe.

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I’ve been on a stage before but, this concert was a bit bigger – I was nervous I can tell you! It’s very different to making our Adventures of Ragamuffin films  – mum and her clever fiends do editing and stuff to those so, it doesn’t matter if you fluff it as they fix it afterwards but, live on stage that’s a different story. Gulp!  dementia-concert-all-1-1

Thankfully, with loads of practice, it went well and I showed my agility and obedience skills with the help of mum and some very brilliant young assistants – though I might have eaten one of the sausages just a tiny bit early on the obedience section……it slipped…….an easy mistake! Was great to be part of the concert and meet everyone; we made the audience smile and we smiled too.

There’s loads of ways you can get involved in helping out locally – have a look at what’s near you; maybe there’s an animal sanctuary, community garden, church, charity shop or computer club that gives lessons. Or you could see if you have a local Volunteer Centre that you can drop in to and there’s also a great website called: Do-it  http://www.do-it.org.uk/ which matches up opportunities using your postcode.

‘Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile’ is a pretty cool motto to have.

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Until next time.

 

Rx

More About Autumn

Hello fiends,

This week has been fun and busy again but, I’ve been thinking – loads of things happen in Autumn so, thought we’d have a look at some more of them. They’ll be lots of scary Halloween things coming into the shops soon and adverts for local Fireworks Night Displays but, we’ll talk about those in a couple of weeks.

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There are a couple of things you can do to prepare for those events: if you and your fiends are building a bonfire; keep an eye out that no hedgehogs make their winter nest in the bottom (check it each week and on the night) and if you have a dog or cat or little pet who’s not keen on big bangs and flashes – think about getting advice from your vet now, this week, about products and ways you can help it all be a little less stressful. Don’t mind saying; me and my cat sisters are pretty scared of fireworks and we stay very close to mum!! My fiend Rufus hides under loads and loads of cushions!

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Back to other Autumn things: the bird world gets really busy. Me and my fiends love watching the Starlings doing that crazy flying thing. It’s brilliant; hundreds of Starlings collect together in trees, or on piers, or TV aerials or on roofs and all sing together, like a massive out of tune school choir. This is called roosting and then suddenly – they all take off together, flying in patterns all over the sky, whizzing about, looking like they can’t decide which way to go but, all staying together and going in the same direction!

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Loads of Starlings flying together like this is called; ‘murmurations’, my fiend Moja says it looks like Bird Ballet! Bird experts think they do it as protection, that’s ‘safety in numbers’, or it’s a way of signposting the place to roost to other Starlings that are new to the area. I think the ‘safety in numbers’ idea is true –  when they’re all flying together it can look like a giant shadow monster!! Which is pretty scary if you think about it?!?

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 The other thing Starlings and birds of all types do in Autumn is get ready to migrate – that means they fly off to live somewhere else for the colder months, like a winter holiday. So, some of those new Starlings flying around near your house could well be winter visitors from Eastern Europe who have come to the UK as, our winter is warmer than theirs! You can often spot birds flying in a V shape formation in the winter skies when they are heading off to warmer places.

Some Swans, fly all the way to the Arctic as, it has a really good short summer there when it’s cold here. And in the Artic Summer there’s twenty-four-hour daylight and loads of food to fatten them up before the flight home. What a long way to go for a slap up meal – Joe Allens would be easier and nearer!

Birds are fast and can go anywhere if they have enough energy so, they can fly to the best places for food and to live safely through the winter. The RSPB website and books are a great place to get more info.

There’s lots of reasons birds migrate but, the experts think that sometimes it’s just because they can! But some don’t go at all including, the beautiful Red Kite which is the bird on the left below.

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Until next week, keep your eyes open for Starlings and their Bird Ballet and see if you can spot flocks of birds migrating.

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Have a good week fiends

Rx