Saturday, January 10, 2009

Winter Walks and a thank you for my award

I hope the pictures capture how cold it was out by the canal this afternoon. In the distance we could hear the hunting horn (boo) and the barking of the dogs that accompany them, which made the bichons quiver with excitement. We threw stones and sticks on to the frozen water and watched them slide across. Once you force yourself to go out in winter sunshine it really is suprisingly nice and that is what you have to do when you have dogs - force yourself outside.

It's lucky we live in a little cul-de-sac (funnily enough not a phrase known in France; they say 'impasse') and that we are not on a busy road, because I am always to be found very early in the morning outside on the gravel of the front garden urging the dogs to go 'on the paper'. Why the trigger words are 'on the paper' is because Misty, the first bichon we got, was house trained using a puppy pad ( disposable absorbent pad) which got moved nearer and nearer the front door. I used to hate it when the doorbell rang and whoever stood there would have the full view of the (and it was always when she'd just that second used it) yucky old pad.

The neighbours really must think we are mad - all the local dogs are sent out on their own and take themselves for walks. Our little princesses are supervised by a bag lady in a dressing gown and slipper boots with the shower caps on them, curly hair sticking up all around her head and a very natural looking face (although I never wear much make up unless we are going somewhere special). I stand there in the freezing cold, repeating like a mantra 'on the paper, on the paper' ruing the day that I ever chose to be a dog owner and wishing the bichons would hurry up and go and not be so entranced by everything. Every dog owner reading this knows exactly what I mean.


The lovely cheshire wife has given me a present of an award - The Van Gogh's Ear Award.I think it's because I'm a little bit crazy and might decide to chop something off in an artistic strop. Awards are lovely and I haven't forgotten that I said I'd try and design one - it's much harder than it sounds.


Lulu LaBonne said...

Well done on the award.
What a picture of you in the mornings - and you think watching ants is a strange occupation?

Frankofile said...

Do hope that's not *your* ear 8-)

We've just walked Sky round a frozen lake. Local children were having huge, supervised fun on a shallow, frozen-solid and roped off corner.

Marie Reed said...

bbbrrrrr! the picture is worth a thousand freezing words:)

Bill Stankus said...

Cold or not, that looks like a good place for plein air painting.

Jennysmith said...

What a stunning and amazing place you live in , FF, no wonder you left London. You are to be envied despite homesickness and cold and whatnot.

Well done on your award. Or should i say awards. You've just been presented with another one. (on my page) Congratulations! xxxx

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Congratulations on the award. Well deserved. I did, in fact, design an award and then someone else went on to award it. Ho least it is doing the rounds...maybe I will re-award it to someone (pl) time.

I was also reminded of something I read somewhere...that Caravaggio was attempting to de-testiculate an opponent on a tennis court when he, in fact, accidentally killed him. Don't know where I read it so it might not be true....aah! it's coming back to me...I read it in last week's Radio Times...regarding past episodes of "QI". Danny Baker made the first gaffe ever on the General Ignorance Round...asking for "new balls please?" You did mention Van Gogh...after all...

Hadriana's Treasures said...

(pl) some time. Hate leaving typos uncorrected.

Elizabeth said...

Yes! They joys of dog-ownership.
In the city, plastic bags in the pocket.
Visiting Xmas dog did not know he could pee on concrete -so had to sneak on to grass/pachysandra when no one was looking.
Good a bout being forced to go for walks though.

Lane said...

Lovely photos. I can just imagine the dogs sliding on the ice.

I have to force myself to go out at the moment. Freezing fog is neither pretty not pleasant:-(

justme said...

Congrats on your award my totally deserve it!!
And I am loving the image of you in your dressing gown and slippers....very french!

Cynthia said...

I went for a walk by the river today also. Though I left the dogs home and I wore a sleeveless face got red from the heat rather than the cold! Your photos are crisp and alive...but your word pictures are stuck in my head! I see you with the dogs, your hair, your covered boots!!I'm smiling. Stay warm.

LadyFi said...

Oh - I love going out in the winter sunshine (it's the cold winds I don't like)... My boy never goes in the garden. I actually have to shower, get dressed and take him out for a proper walk before breakfast! (In the week, this all happens before 6.30!!!)

Em... being given a chopped off ear ... is that an award? Or is the maffia trying to tell you something!?

lady jicky said...

Your neighbours would hear from a crazy aussie this -

"little pee, little pee, come on do a little pee"
I do not have your snappy shoes but I will be in my old dressing gown. LOL
If you have some rain with that cold weather - can you send it down to us please?

Brother Tobias said...

Lovely winter photos. And a familiar issue - the Social Secretary can be heard plaintively calling, 'Be a big girl, be a big girl'.

French Fancy said...

Lulu - anyone watching me in the mornings outside with the dogs would have a right old laugh. At least for the lunchtime and evening similar exercise I've got proper clothes on, but there is still the 'on the paper' mantra.

Happy Anting

Frankie - cue for lots of ear jokes :)

Marie - hello there. It was really really cold.

Bill -If I could paint it would be one of the places I would choose to set up my easel. I leave all that to Mr FF's ma who is pretty good and sells quite a lot of her canal views

Jen - it truly is wonderful where we are. It's an area of canals,lakes and forests - all on our doorstep. There are loads of campsites (the French do a good job of those) and in the summer the whole area gets packed, just like our good old Lake District.

Hade- thanks and thanks for the old 'new balls' gag. Re Caravaggio - he's one of my 'faves' (I do like old-fashioned art best).

Elizabeth - oh how sweet that a dog didn't know he could pee on concrete.

Lane - Pop hates the cold and rain and Misty loves it. Consequently Pop is out in the front and quick as anything is sorted. I'm sometimes out there with Misty for up to 17 mins.

We'd never go out for a walk in freezing fog though - the grubbiness of it seems to stick to their coats and they turn
pale grey.

justme - thanks:) Awards always touch me.

Cynthia- face red from the heat - it's just wrong, Cyn, it's just wrong - it's January after all :)

LadyFi - your dog has got you totally sorted. I love it!

ladyj - little pee little pee :) I've got quite a collection of dressing gowns now - as I'm out there in public I figured the least I could do was have a decent choice.

BroTob - I just read your out aloud and Mr FF snorted with laughter - a big girl!

Desert said...

Graphic ice pictures..........bbbbrrrrrrr. The vision of loveliness with teh shower capped feet.....priceless.

Mabruk on the award.....coming thick and fast now. Do they have Nobel prizes for bloggers OR 'Booker Blogger'??


nikkicrumpet said...

LOL an ear award is different! And I think we need video...or at least pictures of you on your bichon walks!!!

The Dotterel said...

Oh yes - a YouTube video, definitely. (Just to prove they aren't really poodles, you understand!) Ouch.

Jessica said...

Conrats on the award--that's a cool one! :) I love those pictures, as well!

blogthatmama said...

We all really want a dog but every post I read by a dog owner really puts me off! I love cold winter walks too, that canal looks so icy!

Mama said...

Lovely photos, love crisp winter mornings, I have the doggie doo to look forward to FF, but your post may just delay D(og) Day a tiny bit longer (at least until the weather warms up. Many congrats on your award, but please do not chop anything off, I cannot stand the sight of blood (that's just in case you were thinking of blogging it too). have a wonderful week, I am off the piste now. hugs, Kathy.

Phil Lowe said...

love the blog and tonight I have a new phrase in my vocab ie: on the paper. I haven't even got a chien ou chienne but still funny all the same.Oooh and I've just seen your NeoCounter- hey funky!I want one!
Frenchyphil aka mugofstrongtea