Thursday, July 27, 2017

Dogs have ears.


The PONs head out of the front door. Today is a day for howling. Yesterday was a pretty good day but today is going to be a hundred times better. Bob throws his head back and starts which is the cue for his sister to join in. The famous ululating PON howl. How the villagers must love us.


Both PONs have now had their second summer buzz cut.


There was a retired farmer on the island where Angus was brought up. A tall, gentle, cultivated man who knew the tides and could read the sky. An expert on Scotlands ancient vitrified hill forts. Mysterious structures made from granite blocks that had been melted and turned to glass ( in a process long lost and today technologically impossible ). After his wife died his daily routine changed. He would visit the pub for a wee dram or two then walk the clifftops accompanied by his trusty black Labrador. Whatever the weather he and the dog would sit and stare out to sea oblivious to everything bar each others alongside warmth. The old man spoke with that soft whispering island accent bordering on the Icelandic. He told an eight year old Angus to never forget that dogs have ears ' that can hear the flowers sing as they open '.  The knowledge of the Gael. Sophie is the sort of dog that lives in that magical place. She'll sit for hours, lost in her own world, following invisible things in the sky and listening to sounds no human ear could ever hope to capture. She revels in natures greenness. Bob by contrast is not prone to reflection. He guards 24/7 or 6/7 when adjusted for naps, walks, tickles and meals. Brother and sister but such different characters


The Judas tree on the village green now out in full bloom.


At the market the colourfully dressed gentleman from Togo wonders if I'd be interested in a turquoise hat . '' It suit you very much Mister ! " he says before adding " Make you look younger !! ". Angus ignores the inference and promises to think about it. Sophie wonders if it might be edible.


Point #5 is intriguing but I don't think I've ever seen, let alone been in, a Cracker Barrel Old Country Store : http://cookpolitical.com/story/10201


28 comments:

  1. Always rather liked the Old Cracker Barrel Country Store....may have to revise that.

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    1. To give you an idea if you don’t already know, based on my own experience rather than looking it up, Cracker Barrel is a restaurant chain with an attached store that maintains an image and a product selection generally consistent with an image of down-home country, small-town, or rural 20th Century America. It’s a sit-down restaurant with a large menu so it makes a welcome change to a diet of fast food if you’re on a cross-country road trip and tired of drive-through windows. They are big enough to handle tour bus loads of people. I don’t know but suspect that your best chance of finding one is within a few miles of an interstate highway exit ramp. The nearest Cracker Barrel is about a 10 to 15-minute drive from our house. I think the nearest Whole Foods is in a metropolitan area about 150 miles away from us in a different state and it would take about 3 hours by car to get there.

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  2. Isn't that tree an 'Albizia'? I've planted two, but both died.

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    1. You are right. I checked with the mayor and the Judas tree stopped flowering two months ago.

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  3. I agree with Cro Magnon, the blooming tree is a mimosa (Albizia julibrissin). They have a lovely fragrance!

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  4. "who knew the tides and could read the sky" -- saltwater farmers and watermen have a special kind of knowledge that is, alas, not much valued in today's world.
    That blue hat is a rather dubious shade, but the light-colored one on the front of the table could be quite smart.

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  5. May we know which island that was, Angus? It sound likes it would be a good place to visit.

    Cuddle your dogs today. Ours is failing, and it's heartbreaking

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    1. My heart goes out to you.

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    2. Our thoughts are with you. Be strong.

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    3. I am so, so sorry and am thinking of you tonight.
      Nothing much harder in my experience.
      Much love.

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    4. It appears that, after a month of misdiagnosis, and probably treatment for somethings he has, but is not yet serious, she's launched into recovery. On Monday, I thought she was not going to seethe end of August. Now, it seems likely, it's "only" kennel cough"- we've been treating her heart!! Two days on anti-biotics and there's a marked improvement; a couple more days and we can take her off the Frusemide and go back to sleeping through the night.

      Thank you sincerely for your concern and care

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    5. That is, in its way, great news. Keep us posted on what a couple more days with the antibiotics do.

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  6. Thank you for telling us about the wonderful retired farmer. I fear Bertie's acute hearing is mainly deployed for more utilitarian purposes - the distant rustle of the crisp packet for example.

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  7. That old farmer was so right. I bred dogs for many years and can understand totally what he meant. An old friend and breeder who is sadly no longer with us once said to me "They are never alone. They know and sense far more than we ever will"

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  8. Of course dogs are more perceptive - they don't have the everyday worries that we have.
    Nothing like a good howl to start another best day ever !
    My Lab. has taken to sniffing car tyres, this is something new, and can only be because there are so many foreigners renting many of the local villas. I wonder if she can decipher where each car comes from?

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  9. I would have guessed Sophie, as a diva, would be impervious to introspection, while serious Bob would seem the type to listen for flowers opening.
    I always knew there was something off about Cracker Barrel.

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  10. The Judah's Tree looks like a Mimosa tree. I'd love to hear a Pons' duet sometime 🙂. Maybe a video?

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  11. Hari OM
    I could spend many a moment with Sophie in synchronised introspection... YAM xx

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  12. A beautiful story about the old farmer and his knowledge. Very touching and sweet. Thank you.
    Vancouver Barbara

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  13. Time and tide, dog and master, the secrets of the earth and heaven shared...

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  14. Consider. There are no CBs in NYC, Chicago or the entire state of CA. They are generally located along Interstates in the south and other rural areas. They offer a clean safe place to stop and eat basic rural home cooking. The store part offers gift shop merchandise, old fashioned hard to find candy and sodas, plus seasonal merchandise. They offer sweet tea and brekky all day. Large parking spaces for tour busses and RVs. CB is not going to appeal to the population that generally flys over the middle states between NYC and CA. If you aren't into biscuits, cornbread, chow chow and sweet ice tea, you have probably never darkened their doors.
    Also consider. WFM offers chicken breasts @ $7.49 lb. The closest one to me is over an hour away. I can drive 10 minutes and get chicken breasts @ $1.98 lb. I suspect the profile for the regular WFM shopper comes from a different demographic than me.
    Consider the bottom line. Regardless of what you think of President Trumps personality, my own portfolio has grown very nicely in the last 6 months.
    I know the market is about the long play and that all sorts of things influence it, but is is nice to open those quarterly reports and see lovely gains.
    Who knows, at this rate maybe I can shop at WFM too. Not giving up CB when I travel though. As a woman of a certain age traveling alone, I seek out safe and clean and yes, dare I use a hackneyed phrase, wholesome.
    Pam - staff to Boonnie n Kenzie, the wee Scottie girls.

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  15. A beautifully told remembrance of the retired farmer. Sophie – who is looking most fetching with her summer cut – as the more reflective dog is something of a surprise. But then Bob must keep his feet on the ground.

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  16. This is such a lovely post. My grandfather's parents both hailed from Stronsay, Orkney. An accent all their own isn't it.

    That's our Karma also - her head is always up and she's always dreaming and looking at the clouds.

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  17. Your Judas tree is our Mimosa. There were three in our garden when I was a child. Perfect for climbing.
    And Cracker Barrels cover our interstates like a rash. Not exactly a culinary experience I particularly love.
    Sophie and Edward sound like kindred spirits entirely. xxx

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