Monthly Musings – January 2017

Scraping in almost at the last possible minute with this – please excuse any tiredness induced typos!

An awful lot has happening in the world this month, and a lot of it has been awful. Part of me thinks that I should be shouting how angry and upset I am about it all from the roof tops and the other half of me wonders what good it would do. And then I think about how uplifted I felt seeing the millions of people, mostly women, marching in cities across the world on 21 January, and the sense of hope which swelled inside me at reports of the airport protests against Trumps “Muslim Ban” and the many lawyers and others who rushed over there to work on getting those people caught up in Trumps illegal an immoral executive order freed. And I knew that even if I can’t get to the protests I can write to my MP, I can sign petitions, I can speak my mind on line and in person and in doing that I become one note in a chorus of people who feel the same way and who are also determined that we will not allow the clock to be turned back, that this time we will learn the lessons of the past and we will not stand silently by whilst people in positions of power seek to treat other humans beings as things that are only there to do their bidding and must be fitted into their view of the world. We may only be individuals but together we are loud and we will not be ignored.
Apart from deciding that I’m going to stand up and be counted, my other plans for this year are quite muted. I’ve come a long way in the last seven years and I feel that this year, and probably 2018 as well, are the fulcrum around which may past and future will bend. As such this is to be a year of consolidation, of taking stock and making sure the work of the last couple of years is as solid a foundation it can be for the future I’ve planned for myself. What that basically means is that I’m picking up my studies again, keeping going with my writing, continuing to improve the house and garden, and continuing to work on refining a way of living that both makes me happy and creates both a healthy body and a healthy mind. I do have several trips already planned to visit family and friends in various locations (as well as quite a significant portion of time set aside for studying) and I’m intending to keep any other engagements to a minimum because not only do I need to save money, I also need to keep time for recuperation, exercise and relaxation.

I have set myself a few targets, to keep me accountable for various elements of my life that can get squeezed out if I’m not careful. This includes signing up – for the second year in a row – to the Get Your Words Out LJ community to keep me on track with my personal writing projects and also setting myself a 2017 reading challenge goal through my Goodreads account. My Bullet Journaling is going strong and seriously assisting in making me aware of just how much I achieve each day as well as keeping all my tasks, plans and dreams in one place and much more easily managed. I’ve also managed to get myself in to a proper routine with meditation and sleep patterns – which is something I’m rather proud of given how much I’ve struggled with both over the years – and I’m determined to keep this trend going through 2017 and make both an ingrained habit.

Next weekend will be spent reading, writing and relaxing and also visiting Gladstone’s Library to participate in their Hearth event, which involves 4 authors giving talks on their respective works and also an open session where everyone joins in. I’m very much looking forward to it and I hope that you’ve all got good things planned for the first weekend of February.

That’s pretty much it for my musings this month, so without further ado, let us move to the part of the musings that you’ve all been waiting for:


(dictated by Dog, transcribed by She-Who-Thinks-She-Is-Pack-Leader) 

Having been absent from your lives by way of a proper “doings” for several months, I can only apologise for starving you all of my much needed wit and wisdom and offer you all fulsome praise for continuing to love and adore me from afar. The close of the year is always a trial to me due to some human’s habit of setting off those abominable fireworks but now that we’re into the cold and mud of January those imbeciles spirits have been dampened and the bangs have stopped so I am back in tip top tail wagging condition and once again able to delight my army of fans in all manner of ways.

Having watched Dog destroy a carelessly placed houseplant with three vigorous swipes of the aforementioned tail, your transcriber can confirm that Dog is in no way deceiving you about her tail wagging condition.

Ignoring the horrors of the New Years Eve “celebrations” my year has had a rather quite start. The cold seems to be keeping the squirrels in their dens, rather than prancing about on my borders like the pretentious degenerates that they are, and so I have not needed to employ The Warning BarkTM or the patent pending “Bounce and Snarl” for days at a time.

In case you are wondering about the “Bounce and Snarl” it is, as its name would suggest, the move where Dog snarls in the manner of the Hound of the Baskervilles on acid whilst propelling herself skyward in the vicinity of the fence. It’s truly a sight to behold and several squirrels have almost lost their footing in the presence of such a magnificent display, presumably because they are laughing too hard to walk straight.

Unfortunately the animated mop that lives beyond the back fence has not been kept inside by the inclement weather and I have therefore had to keep up a strict pattern of border patrols to ensure that the sneaky bundle of rags does not even think of encroaching on my territory. She-who-thinks-she-is-pack-leader has repeatedly informed me that the irritating animal cannot get through the concrete bottom to the fence and is far too small to get over the top but she is sadly uninformed about the fiendish ways of the floor dusters and therefore I have had to volubly override her objections and insist that she allow me regular egress to the outdoor element of my domain.

Your transcriber wishes it to be known that if there anything more likely to make you acquiesce to a ridiculous request than a volley of piercing barks at def-con III then she hopes like heck no unfriendly regime ever comes across it.  

I also wish to report that She-who-thinks-she-is-pack-leader has failed me once again by ignoring my truthful protestations that I am in peak physical condition and have no need of any second opinion on the matter and took me to the … to the …. the-place-that-must-not-be-named! The horror of it all quite took my appetite away and I was in a positive decline for days at the indignity to being weighed and measured and having a stranger run his hands everywhere. I do not know why I put up with such treatment.

Your transcriber would like it to be known that whilst she did indeed take Dog to the Vet for her annual check-up and vaccinations – because she is a responsible owner and takes the health of Dog incredibly seriously – Dog is exaggerating for the benefit of her readers (possibly she’s been watching the news and somehow got it into her head that “post-truth” reporting was now de-rigueur, a notion that I will swiftly be disabusing her of). She consumed a quantity of treats both before, during and after the event that would make even a Great Dane look askance at the volume and was positively humming with pleasure in the car on the way home. I should also say that the Vet declared her perfectly healthy for a Dog in her 12th year, which is a great relief to me. 

As many of our walks this month have taken place in the rain there are not many outdoor photos of my glorious self that I can share with you but She-who-thinks-she-is-pack-leader has taken a few of my more introspective moments indoors. I think she’s captured my best side (all of them, obviously):

And that’s all for now, so it’s Toodle Pip from me and Toodle Pip from Dog!

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