It’s A Dogs Life

“And the dogs they run in the good good morning sun” ~ Damien Rice

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Dogs (n): a domesticated canid, Canis familiaris, bred in many varieties


I’ve always been a cat person. The softness of the fur disguising the sharpness of the claws, fond of basking in sunny spots, & enjoying undisclosed nocturnal encounters.

However, I was walking across the park recently and dog lolloped along in front of me; just off the leash, tongue hanging out, heading straight to check out the new smells on the deserted basketball courts. That’s how to live, I thought. Eagerness for new opportunities, let us all go forward in life with our noses a’quiver & our tails held aloft (although the tongue-hanging is optional), and embrace what exciting smells the future may bring.

Then I heard the dog’s owner call him back. It wasn’t a nice call. It was unpleasant words, shouted agressively and without patience. It made me want to slink onto my belly, never mind the dog.

And that’s also life, I thought. Our responsibilities, our chores, the every day detritus of life calling us back each time we want to make a break for our own metaphorical deserted basketball court of exciting smells. We may have chosen the responsibilities or they may have been thrust upon us but sometimes they hang like a millstone around our necks when we want to break free and step out to something new.

The trick then is how to carry these responsibilities lightly, how not to have our spirits broken & be left slinking on our bellies but be able to take them with us. Instead of straining at the leash, look at what our leashes are & change them. The only person in our lives holding us on a leash is ourselves. What could we achieve if we stopped thinking of ourselves as constrained and instead saw what we have as possibilities not responsibilities?

In general, a dog can no more fit through a cat-flap than a cat can fit down a mouse hole. Dude, truly, leave that door alone. You are too big for it. If you are trying to squeeze yourself into something in life and you just can’t, don’t let life diminish you so you fit. You are too big for this opportunity; stop, take a look round, see what other doors there are out there. And as for locked cat-flaps? Some houses you are just not meant to enter. Don’t dwell on those that are closed to you, go and enjoy the myriad of others that are open instead.

I then saw a crow menacing a squirrel. I haven’t worked out what message on life to take from this one yet.

Interested in your thoughts or paw prints on a comment box-shaped postcard, as always.





“Beauty’s only skin deep, yeah, yeah, yeah. I know that…
Beauty’s only skin deep, yes indeed.” ~ The Temptations

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Beauty (n): the combination of all the qualities of a person or thing that delight the senses and mind


I can’t recall I’ve ever looked up a word for this blog and been quite so delighted with the definition as I have with this one. Go on, read it again…doesn’t it make you curl your toes with delight?

Anyway, in the current media climate, one cannot write a blog on the subject of beauty without mentioning Ms Samantha Brick. As far as I can tell, Ms Brick is an ok looking woman who has maximised her assets in order to achieve what she wanted, namely a wealth, career, material goods, husband. It seems to have worked for her. Fair enough. I wouldn’t mind a bit more money & a Mulberry Alexa myself but faced with the option of the bag versus holiday/good times with friends/a few more visits home to see my mum? Yeah, no competition at all.

The vitriol launched at Ms Brick has been deeply unpleasant. She seems to think she is hated because she is beautiful. No, it is that society don’t like women climbing over other women to get to the top then back-stabbing them. That is deeply unattractive behaviour. If the materialism and the domineering husband have made Ms Brick happy then good for her. Many of us would choose friendlier, less back-stabby routes to get what we want.

Sadly, “society”, in the UK at least, also doesn’t like women talking about how attractive they are. Thing is, it never works the other way round either. There was uproar about how good Helen Mirren dared to look in a bikini at 60+ (or whatever age the great Mirren is, I haven’t researched her age, but I remember she looked fab in that bikini). Posh Spice doesn’t smile on photos cos she knows she doesn’t look good. Yet she gets slated all the time for this. You ever seen a photo of her smiling? I have. She’s right, her smiling face does not work in photos. She looks great all the same. And heaven help any famous woman, especially a model, if she dares to get her figure back quickly after having a baby…

Women, it seems at the moment, can’t win. We look good and talk about it. Doom. We look good and self-deprecate. Doom. We just look good and don’t say a word. Doom. This mentality has to stop somewhere. Please?

Strangely, the idea for this post came to me because of the cats. If you follow me on Twitter you’ll know that I have a regular cat visit called RC. He is, by anyone standards, a gorgeous cat.  But this weekend there’s been a new ginger tom on the season, whom I named Macavity. The two of them had a stand off this morning. RC flattened his ears & hissed at Macavity like a demon. This is perfectly natural behaviour; his space, he feels threatened. Yet it was the one and only time I’ve ever seen this cat look ugly.

So maybe this pulling down of others we humans do is just our own version of the cat flattening the ears & hissing? Can we rise above the natural instinct of being threatened by others? Or do we need to yowl those that we perceive as a threat into submission?

It’s an ugly subject, I know. Thoughts, my darlings, on a postcard-shaped comment box as always…