While shepherds washed their socks…

Christmas greetings fiends

room-2

Joyeux Noël, Frohe Weihnachten, Meri Kurisumasu, Felicem Diem Nativitatis, Blithe Yule – these are a tiny selection of those famous greetings from all around the world – you can match them to their country and read all sorts of things about the stories, customs and traditions of Christmas here.

 

I like; ‘Felicem Diem Nativitatis’ best, which is Latin and hints at the nativity!

nativity-2-b

I’m playing a shepherd, amongst other parts – a Wiseman and Herod (thankfully, not the donkey), everyone wants to play Joseph but, how could that ever work for one of us fiends!! Paws make it a little tricky to hold small people, even if they are wrapped in swaddling clothes.

herodblog

 

There’s a Christmas Carol about the part the shepherds play in the Nativity, here’s the first verse:

 

While shepherds watched

Their flocks by night

All seated on the ground

The angel of the Lord came down

And glory shone around

And glory shone around

 So, it seems, one dark night, just outside Bethlehem, where the shepherds looked after their sheep, an angel appeared before them and the glory of God shone around them – they jumped, I would have done too. Luckily, the angel said, ‘Don’t be afraid, I have good news for you – today in Bethlehem a Saviour has been born for you. You will find the baby lying in a manger.’

barnblog

What an amazing experience! When the angel had left, they said; ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem to see what’s happened.’ They headed off and eventually, after asking around as one stable looks much like another, found the baby Jesus lying in a manger and when the shepherds returned to their sheep, they praised God.

Another excellent Christmas carol is the ‘Good King Wenceslas’ one. (Mums have a bit of trouble pronouncing that at Midnight Mass after a couple of dry sherries). Us fiends like the line about ‘the feast of Stephen’ – what was that all about, was it a feast with turkey and those little sausage and bacon things? No – it’s the old-fashioned way of saying; a day that celebrates Saint Stephen. King Wenceslas was a  saintly fella too, the carol tells how he went through the deep snow and freezing weather to help a poor man who had no food or firewood – the gift of food and firewood was ‘a feast’ to the poor man.

You can find all the stories, words and links to singing the Christmas carols here.

Well, fiends I must get back to the Nativity rehearsals, now where’s that tea towel……

nativity-1a-1blog

Happy Christmas fiends and wishing the whole world a peaceful New Year.

 

Until next time.

Rx

 

Henry the Red Nosed Reindeer!

Hello again fiends,

We all know Rudolph but, who’s Henry? Another reindeer but, we’ll get to him a bit later.

We only really hear about reindeer at Christmas time – I’ve met a few of the other type of deer at Richmond Park in London  – they are related but, have some differences.

ragamuffin3

Deer live in meadows, parks and forests, and they’re not really built for heavy snow, they’re a fair bit bigger than me! Reindeer live in very cold places and have much thicker coats and special hooves for walking on ice and snow.

10801856_10205374329582089_6622123144333256401_n

The most famous reindeer is Rudolph of course! He was different too with his famous, very shiny, nose. But, because of that difference he became a real hero.

thsd4zpjp6

He lived in the North Pole with Santa. He was a happy and lively fella and loved playing in the snow (which is probably why his nose went red – the cold does that, unless you’re a dog, and it can make your nose run too so, always good to have a tissue in your pocket).

One Christmas Eve, the other reindeer teased him because, his nose was very large and bright red, he looked different. Rudolph was sad that his fiends were laughing and he was afraid that Santa wouldn’t choose him to help pull the sleigh.  He decided to go and see Santa and the Elves anyway, they were always kind to him and never once mentioned his nose.

He helped them wrap and load up the presents – the elves did the selloptape bit as, that’s not easy when you have hooves. When Santa was ready he called the eight reindeer he’d picked to pull the sleigh. Rudolph started to slowly trudge back to his den to watch a Christmas special or film.

The others pranced around as though they were warming up for Strictly Come Dancing, or something just as glittery, and proudly took their places to pull the sleigh. Santa looked around him and noticed how foggy it was. He was a little worried that they wouldn’t be able to see their way as, they didn’t have fog lights and they’d have to miss the Christmas Eve delivery – can you imagine that!?!

Luckily, he spotted Rudolph and he had that very famous idea!

rudolph

He sang out: Rudolph with your nose so bright –  won’t you pull my sleigh tonight!”

You can sing-a-long to the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer song here.

Santa hitched him up to lead the team – everybody cheered, they loved Rudolph and said what a very special fella he was………..even though he was different.

15267748_10211094496018523_3524207606380262641_n

That brings us back to Henry the reindeer – he’s different – he’s wooden and looked stylish though, a little plain for the festive season but, when Auntie Jules fiend Stephanie saw him she knew he could become very special at Christmas too. Using her very, clever florist skills  she bought plain old Henry to life –  now he has pride of place and is the star of a very special Christmas display.

Look how good being different can be!

ragamuffin4

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!

goodsmiley

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’

world-smile-day

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.

gazette-scan2

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.

dementia-concert-l-m-1-1

Until next time.

 

Rx

Wimbledon: Ball Boys vs Ball Dogs

Hello Fiends!

Thank you for all your kind words about my blog last week. I am glad it made you smile.

I have been watching Wimbledon this week, that is when it hasn’t been postponed due to rain! I love it because it includes my all-time favourite thing, bouncy balls!

The ball boys and girls are almost as good as me at fetching and letting go of the balls.

CroydeMolly 1 copyresv swim copyResv swim ball (2) copy

This got me thinking, I think I would make a pretty good ball boy. Although I’m not too sure about the caps they have to wear, I think I prefer my own hats.

It turns out, lots of other fiends have taken an interest in tennis recently. Take a look at these fiends on Twitter who were preparing for the French Open a couple of months ago.

And here are some fiends celebrating Wimbledon. Just look at all those strawberries!

Wimbledogs
Picture: Joe Pepler/ Rex

As it happens, Aukland in New Zealand have already thought about who would make the best ball boys and girls of all time. They had a little help from five time Wimbledon champion, Venus Williams…

I think the problem is I would get too distracted and want to join in with the game, so maybe it is best to leave it to the fabulous Ball Boys and Girls of Wimbledon!

My own videos are up on YouTube for you to watch now! Do show any younger fiends you might know who don’t know how to work computers. There will be a new one up later today, but for now you can watch last week’s. I went on a big day out! It was SUCH an adventure.

If you weren’t a dog, or couldn’t be for my human fiends out there, what animal would you be? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

Until next time fiends!

R x