Thursday 30 June 2011

'Pen Eh' The Jack Russell Dog And Modest Internet Star.

Yes, it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star.  Now then, Gary, the human I allow to live with me, came back from a really long trip over to Canada.  He's told me that Canadians say 'eh' a lot, eh.  So the old fart thought it would be real clever if I had my named stated in the Canadian version.  Thus, 'Penny' becomes 'Pen Eh'.  Oh, how clever.  I think not, eh.

Right then, to humour the old dude, I reluctantly posed in front of a 'Canada Eh' t-shirt and a Vancouver Canucks flag.  Apparently, a bunch of folks in British Columbia were sticking flags like the one in the photo, on their vehicles during the Canucks Stanley Cup play-off run.  Whatever the heck that is.  And yes, it gets worse, I went along with it and wore a genuine Canadian toque.  Note my overwhelming enthusiasm.

This is my new doggy pal, Bean.  Bean is a Canadian dog and is a much loved family member of Heather and Wayne's.  Gary has told me that Bean is quite the runner.   Aha, runner Bean...get it?   Arf, forget it, eh.  How you been, Bean?  Bean, what say you and I do a collaboration posting sometime in the near future?

When Gary came back after five long weeks, which seemed like five years to me, I actually recognised him.  I know he was worried that I might bark at him, chase him out of the house or piddle on his shoes.  Much to his delight, I went crazy with excitement, gave him doggy kisses and then piddled on his shoes.  I missed him as much as he missed me.

July 1 is 'Canada Day'.  You can find out a bit of the history of Canada Day, here Canada Day.   So, on behalf of Gary, I wish all Canadian animals and humans, a peaceful, pawsitive Canada Day, eh.  This is 'Pen Eh', Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star, saying, see ya later eh.....

Sunday 26 June 2011

Bear With Me?

I was told to watch out for the wildlife when I was staying at Heather and Wayne's.  'Watch out for raccoons and watch out for bears', I was warned.  Fair enough, so I kept a watchful eye and managed to photograph a few 'scary' creatures in their garden.

I sat outside on their patio, camera at the ready.   Much to my 'horror',  I noticed a couple of 'menacing' looking birds helping themselves to birdseed.  Suddenly I'm thinking about a remake of a certain Alfred Hitchcock film.

Then it got even worse.  I observed that dreaded little creature known as a squirrel.  Well, I think it's a squirrel or a chipmunk.  Anyway, it's evidently some kind of  rodent that can makes the lives of gardeners a sheer misery.  They love to eat bulbs.  And no, not the kind that light up your house.  Apparently, they have a love of tulip bulbs and many a squirrel and chipmunk has been seen booking flights to Holland.  Possibly with the exception of flying squirrels who save themselves a fortune in airfare.

Now then, back in my garden in England, I can have some real worries about wildlife.  Who would dare want to upset a hedgehog?   Even the garden gnome is wary of this 'evil' beast.

And here's another monster that has been seen wandering through my English garden.  Such an animal, with that menacing look, is best kept a safe, safe distance from.

Yes indeed, beast beware!  I very bravely took a chance to get a more up close photo of the crazy critter.  Whoops!  My gosh, it's Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star!  "Hello Penny...ummm.....good dog...."

You may recall that I was told about the possibility of seeing a raccoon or maybe even a bear.  I was awoken by an almighty crash.  "What the f**k?", I thought.  I noted the time.  It was just gone 4:30 A.M. and it was starting to get light out.  I looked out the bedroom window and......

And through the safety of the glass of the front door, I photographed what looks very much like a bear.  Bear with me?   Oh no, I definitely kept a safe, safe distance.  Thank you very much.  

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Hope Grows In The Garden.

And what of freedom?  The freedom to soar amongst the trees and find the words to describe our pain, describe our joy.

And what of the mountains?  Do we see them as barriers?   Or do we visualise the view from the top and the panorama that inspires us to seek a happy life?

And through the forest, those trees of confusion in our minds, can we see the clearing ahead?

I gazed over at the snow-capped mountain, thought about my friends, Heather and Wayne.  I sensed we were all on top of that mountain, looking out at a positive, more caring, more compassionate world.

We spent a couple of hours at Minter Gardens.  It was a lovely, sunny day.  I was grateful to be amongst such beauty and grateful to be there with two very close friends.  Minter Gardens is located 115  kilometres east of Vancouver and only about a half an hours westward drive away from Hope, British Columbia.

And Wayne, what of our deeply profound conversations?  I see in your eyes the passion of a man who has so much more to tell.  You have told me a few tales of your life with such articulation and powerful passion.   Now can truly be the time, through the magic and the wonder of the written word, for you to find some comfort for yourself, and in turn, for others.  You, my friend, my brother in the true sense of transparent humanity, have a gift for writing.  Open that gift and share your feelings.  Your mind, your soul, will never be shackled.  

Heather, Wayne, you are both testimony that, despite the adversity that entered your lives, positivity will never let the ugliness of a negative environment destroy your determination, to live your lives the way you want to live.

Hope grows in the garden.  It is nurtured and will blossom through the undying force that we call love.  

Wednesday 15 June 2011

From Home To Home.

I gazed out the window and said a reflective fond farewell to British Columbia.  The plane took off from Vancouver airport at 5:00 P.M on Saturday, June 11.  After a nine hour flight and the advancement of eight time zones, we landed at Manchester airport at 10:00 A.M., on Sunday, June 12.  Where the heck had the weekend gone?
For five weeks I left my own routine to to be involved in the routine of two remarkable people.  Two people who have been beset with unimaginable adversity.  I did my very best to be there for my friends.  My own life was put on hold.  The passion I have to write was set aside for another time.  Yet I know that through the deeply profound and inspirational experiences that we shared, that we embraced, my ongoing quest to be a better man, moved one step closer to a more compassionate reality.  I want the mixed emotions, the joy and the despair, to be conveyed through the power and the wonder of the written word.
I'm exhausted yet elated.  I'm tired, but I cannot sleep.  Jet lag has left me with a feeling of surreality.  I look around my English home and wonder if the last five weeks were just a dream.  Did my trip back to Canada, my other home, really happen?  And I realise that it was very real and very raw.  I challenged, once again my anxiety, my overwhelming sense of being stupid and knew that no judgement was made of me.
I shall be doing a few postings of a time that will be etched in my heart and soul, forever.  I have been humbled and I'm even more grateful for all the good that is part of my life.  I have watched, with great admiration, two people who could easily be overwhelmed by a negative environment.  And somehow, despite it all, they continue to seek and cherish all that's positive in life.  Heather and Wayne, the next few postings, I dedicate to you.

And thus from home to home.  On a misty mid-June early English morn, I reflect upon my life and understand that changes in our lives do not happen until we are sincere with ourselves.