Easter Escapades

Happy Easter fiends,

What’s been happening: my special girl, Moja, came to stay – she had a great time, not sure she was thrilled by our early and very chilly walks so, I made sure she was very cosy and had naps. She’s a little bit older than me!

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And mum’s Godchildren (my Dogchildren!): Thomas 9 and Isobel 6 came to Ilfracombe for their Easter holidays. Small people have so much energy luckily, there’s loads to do around and about. And I went to a very special fancy dress Birthday party!

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So, what about Easter – it’s the most important festival in the Christian calendar. It celebrates the resurrection, or rising from the dead, of Jesus, three days after he was crucified. The Easter story is at the heart of Christianity. If you don’t know about it from school, Messy Church or Sunday School and would like to read more you can here. Although some of the story may seem a little scary and sad it has an uplifting ending.

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We do lots of things at Easter apart from going to Church, and most things seems to involve food and sweets. Lot’s would say we need to replace those with fruits instead. That’s not a bad idea as, they are just as colourful. And the mums and dads could have cherryade instead of sherry.

The Easter weekend starts on Good Friday (we think it was called God’s Friday first of all) when there are Hot Cross Buns – these are those current buns marked with a white cross (representing the cross on which Jesus died), these are best toasted. And many families have fish for the evening meal – I’m not sure why, though Jesus often talked about ‘fishers of men’ to his special followers; the disciples.

Exchanging and eating chocolate Easter eggs is very popular, no chocolate for dogs it’s not good for us. In the olden day’s the mums used to get real eggs. They were hard-boiled and painted with really bright colours and patterns (that’s the eggs not the mum’s). The bright colours are about new life, spring and light.

Nowadays, people give each other Easter eggs hollow and filled with sweets. And children hunt for Easter eggs hidden by the Easter bunny (mum or dad really). We think the Easter bunny or hare was a German idea that hopped over here. You can have an Easter egg hunt at home or some visitor places have big family hunts ….. not sure about those as,  think you must pay and then there’s the parking and Crudburys (think that’s what they’re called!?!) completely forgot, yes; forgot to put the word ‘Easter’ on all of their posters and adverts…. hmm too much sherry at lunchtime I expect.

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There’s tons of other Easter things like: Simnel cake to eat, Morris Dancing to watch; that’s the one where the men dress up in costumes with hats, hankies and ribbons and bells around their ankles and they dance in random places; like outside pubs – which is handy as, all that dancing can make you very thirsty. When I see Morris Dancing I always hope that their mums have washed those hankies they twirl about or it could be tricky!

So, that leaves Easter Monday as the perfect time for quiet and peaceful reflection.

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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)

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

New Year’s Revolutions

Hello again fiends,

Hope you all enjoyed Christmas. We had a great one; Mum and me were at Uncle David’s with it’s fantastic countryside nearby. Our morning country walks are frosty and foggy though no snow, so far.

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Did you see or hear the Queens Speech on Christmas Day? I wondered if she’d been reading my recent blogs as, she was talking warmly about small acts of kindness and we’ve been talking about that a lot in our blogs!!

I will include some pictures of Corgi’s in future ma’am.

It’s nearly New Year’s Eve – a time to reflect on the last year and look forward to the next. Hmm last year…. my run in with that crafty snake sticks in my mind but, all the good fun I’ve had and meeting new fiends top that; making the new films for the second Adventures of Ragamuffin series that you can see on You Tube was brilliant and I’ve made new fiends all round the world via Instagram including; Meg in Wales who looks just like me!! And of course I spent time with my very special fiends here.

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Mum and her fiends keep talking about making their New Year’s Resolutions – apparently, you decide things and plans that you’re going to do for the year and stick to them – though it seems a lot of folk only seem to do them until the end of January!?! And these Resolutions can be anything from; not to eat any more cake or pies, giving up that second dry sherry to something very big like a new job or moving house. Think Aunty Jules is going to do the cake one……again.

I heard on the radio a man that made a kindness New Year Resolution; he’s been kind every single day of 2016 and he’s going to do it in 2017 too. That’s brilliant – and he said it can be as simple as taking the time visit someone instead of just a quick hello, that little chat can really cheer someone up.

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We’ve all heard in recent days of the many  kind things that the late singer/songwriter George Michael did. He kept those good deeds private because, you don’t need to be showy about what you do. From helping the support children who needed someone to talk to, volunteering at a homeless shelter to helping the campaign against puppy farms – he spread kindness far and wide.

 

Last year we helped out Pets as Therapy and visited our chosen hospice,  took part in charity walks and the charity show and my fiends and I helped pick up litter and we’ll do tons more things in the next year.

Have a think about what you can do, a tiny gesture to you but, can be huge to others.

Our Resolutions could start a Kindness Revolution!!!

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Happy New Year.

Until next time

Rx

Ant & Dec

Hi there fiends,

Think we all know who Ant & Dec are – those two cheeky fella’s we see on television quite a lot….and thinking about it  – we have done for years….just how old are those two??

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They spring to mind this week as the jungle programme is back on – all those famous folk camping outside in the outback together, getting some treats but, mainly trials and tribulations….eating some really odd grub (and grubs)  and being scared to bits by all sorts of wildlife and creepy crawlies.

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They call this type of programme; ‘reality TV’ –  I think The Adventures of Ragamuffin on You Tube is the very best in reality TV but, then I would!!

Going back to this year’s jungle programme – everybody keeps saying; that this is the best series for a long time because, everybody gets on really well, they work brilliantly as a team on the trials, have loads of fun and laughs and support each other if they get a little down.

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And when they have got a bit snappy and snarly; they’ve sorted out, with some honest talk, very quickly. I think they will be fiends for a long time afterwards. 

It’s brilliant as they’re a real assortment of people – all sorts of ages and backgrounds – some of them are loud and some very quiet. I like Scarlett as, she’s a big mixture of laughter and fun and she can need looking after too – that’s like all of us really.

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 And that made me think it’s like that with my fiends and me. We’re all different types and sizes and ages and we all get on some of us do crazy things and some just poddle along and some want to be the boss – we have our snarlies and snappies too but, we get over it.

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Mind you, we don’t have to do Bush Tucker Trails……..though we do some long hikes which, can have hidden tricks and trials and creatures – snakes and splinters included – sometimes dubious things that we pick up and eat . And the mums have been known to turn an ankle on uneven ground, if they’re chatting instead of looking (which they normally do).

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Ant & Dec – they’ve been fiends for ever – playing, growing up and working together and you can tell they still have loads fun. I bet they have the odd snappy moment too but, that’s all part of being a fiend.

Fiends are a blessing.

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Until next time.

Rx

Cool to be Kind

Hello fiends

It’s been a funny old week –  folk, for all sorts of reasons, have been thinking about family and fiends they love. And thinking about other people, children and us dogs, even if they don’t know them.

We had Poppy Day, things about stopping bullying (specially children) and I’m pretty sure you heard about Walk with Walnut.

Being kind is one of the best things we can all do and it’s nice when others are kind to us…. it doesn’t have to involve treats – kind words, a smile, a hug, a pat or even a high five (or paws) can make someone and you feel better or special.

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There were lots of discussions about how to stop kids being unkind to each other – especially when they do it using Facebook or the other chatting app. s. If you ever feel like this is happening to you; speak to someone about it right away, mum or dad or an auntie maybe, even a teacher you like – they’ll help you do all the right things and feel better.

 

 

There was also: “Walk with Walnut” an event which started off very small then snowballed literally all around the world!!  Walnut was a dog who was very old and poorly – sadly her Dad, Mark, was having to take her for her last walk on Porth Beach before she went to the vet for the final time.

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Mark decided to invite some friends and other dog walkers to go with them – to keep them both company on their sad day and to celebrate Walnuts long and happy life. He used Facebook and a ramblers group shared it and one by one loads of people saw it including, newspapers and television shows. Mark was interviewed on TV and written about in the papers and on-line about the walk – he shared his love for Walnut and how he wanted her last walk to be special.

 

On the day loads of dogs and their people turned up at the beach – people from all over the world sent messages and photos of their local Walks for Walnut and shared their support for Mark and his family. It was sad and happy to hear about all those thousands of people being kind. That’s a funny feeling to have – mums call it; ‘moving’ or ‘think I’ve got something in my eye’.

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Mark had asked for support using Facebook and all those other media, newsy type things and people helped share his request and that shared other people’s kindness and sadness back to him and his family.

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People wrote poems and there’s also a song recorded for Walnut by the Ethical record label where all the profits will go towards Battersea Cats and Dogs Home.

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It’s cool to be kind.

Until next week fiends

Rx