Saturday 24 December 2016

The Wee Folks Seasons Greetings,2016.

Ah, behold the wondrous magic bestowed upon us by Fidelina, the beautiful fairy princess, her beloved husband, Geoffrey the garden gnome and their boy child, Einahalk.  They, from the land of the wee folks, drenched in symbolism, of love, of hope, of compassion.

The wee folks, a celebration of diversity in an all different, all equal world.  

Observe their joy as the wee folks sense the simple enchantment of twinkling lights. 

A fun time to be had as the festivities of free minds rejoice in their passionate desire to see us, the big people, learn of their non-judgemental ideals. 
Their sweet innocence doth be a marvel to see. 
 True love has no boundaries. 
                                                                Group embrace. 
A snowy scene from yesteryear in the enchanted garden where they once lived. 

The warm, reassuring glow from within my living room where the wee folks now reside as they pass on their lessons for me to learn, for you to learn, for all of us to learn. 
And thus, the setting sun kissed the western horizon. Evening cast hopeful shadows on the sleepy town of Leek, Staffordshire, England.  Tis the wish of the wee folks, such scenes of wonder would result in the dawning of the new day.  A new day of compassion amongst us of the big world.  

Penny, the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar, along with the wee folks, leave you with some prose for thought.

In the past year
We've seen your fear
Not aligned
Man unkind 
Hatred for those 
Who chose 
To live in peace
Make the hatred cease
Make compassion contagious
The premise not outrageous
Peace to you all
Our impassioned call.

Saturday 17 December 2016

Just Before The Magic Arrives.

Just when I thought the momentum was about to return, the momentum got somewhat derailed.  I was going to post up a whole bunch of photos from my trip to British Columbia.  Being that it's now almost that magical time when the wee folks take over my blog, I shall briefly inform you of what's been happening.

I don't normally resort to Anglo-Saxon derivatives to convey how I'm feeling.  Consider this the last resort.  If you don't like the usage of profanity, look away now.....You can, if you so wish, skip this paragraph and the next.  What a fucked-up few months this has been.  I went through all that passport bullshit with the Canadian government, to such a degree, that I didn't even know I could legally board a plane to Vancouver until about a week before my flight.  My right elbow is still hosting a giant tit aka "tennis elbow".  Typing with the intrusive tit makes keyboard manoeuvring quite the contest.

To add some farcical, fucking festivities to, the season to be jolly, season, I now have a car that has had some rather unwanted customising.

A little over three weeks ago, I took my car in for some routine servicing.  I made mention to the mechanic that the car was running a bit rough.  When I went to get my car, I was assured the vehicle was now okay.  When I drove off, I realised that the car was still running a bit rough.  I booked my car back in to have the problem rectified.

Nine days ago, I did indeed have the niggling engine problem apparently sorted.  That was the good news when I phoned to see if my car was ready.  Here's the bad news.  The mechanic told me that he'd taken my car for a test drive and that the bonnet, (the hood), flew up on him while he was driving. The end result was a smashed-in bonnet, a dented roof and a cracked windscreen.

He claims that I had a faulty bonnet latch.  This is now causing a, who is responsible, legal battle. There is no way I will pay for the repairs.  I consider this most odd that in the seven years of owning the car, I've never had any trouble with my bonnet flying up.  In fact, within the last two months, the only time the bonnet has been opened was during the time it was taken to the mechanic's garage.

The irony within all of this is that if the car had been properly serviced in the first place, my car would not now be smashed up.  I now wait for the mechanic to get a replacement bonnet, fix my roof and replace the windscreen.  In the meantime, despite assurances my car is safe enough to drive, I'm paranoid about going out of town.

I suppose, when I really think about it, 2016 has been a screwed-up year, worldwide.  Bizarre Brexit result in the UK, some sort of reality TV presidential election in the States and the horror that is Aleppo. Despite my moaning, I do realise I have plenty to be grateful for.

Once again, the comments are switched off.  I'm sure you still understand that it's very difficult for me to actually type.  This has left me way out of the blogging interaction loop.

Thankfully, the wee folks and friends will be taking over my blog sometime next week.  The magic will arrive.....The wee folks annual, seasonal wish.

Friday 2 December 2016

Somewhat Normal Service Shall Commence Shortly.

Despite my ongoing problem with the giant boob hanging off the bottom of my right elbow, I shall be attempting an actual post fairly soon.

You are imagining this post.  In the meantime, here's three real photos from my trip to British Columbia, Canada.
Boyce-Gyro Beach Park, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.  September 26,2016.
Oyama, British Columbia, Canada.  September 26,2016.
Gellatly Bay, West Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.  September 28,2016. 

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Typing With A Tit On My Elbow.

Yes, I know, why am I still not posting?  Consider this some sort of post.  The problem is that it's extremely difficult typing as my bursitis in the elbow aka "tennis elbow", has worsened.  Typing while having a jiggling lump is not easy.  I'm now empathising with Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar, who has told me, on a number of occasions, that typing for her is like a human trying to type with mittens on.

I've now been on the anti-inflammatory drugs for two weeks.  While taking the drugs, I was told not to take anything for the flu I managed to get during my trip to British Columbia.  This compounded the situation.

Yesterday, I went to my health centre to get a flu jab.  The flu clinic was a walk-in without needing an appointment.  I had a crafty plan in regards to getting a flu jab.  In other words, how to have an appointment with a doctor without actually having an appointment. When the doctor called me in, I told her that I wasn't sure if I could have the flu shot because it might clash with the medicine I was taking for the elbow situation.  She looked at my elbow and proceeded to go get the doctor who'd seen me in the first place. The two doctors stared at my great lump, as in the lump on my right elbow.  They agreed that I needed to go to hospital.  I now wait for my appointment to come through the mail.

Like I stated to the doctors, I really didn't want to go to accident and emergency, wait several hours as a bunch of rowdy drunks proceeded to puke all over me.

Oh, I never got the flu shot because I was informed that as well as the clash of medication, the fact I'd just had the flu meant I couldn't get a flu jab.

That's about all I can type.  This is most frustrating.  I hope to be sort of blogging within the next month.  Apologies for not interacting with you.  I know you'll understand.  Once again, I shall be leaving the comments switched off because responding to comments whilst trying to keep a flopping blob off my keyboard is not my idea of fun.

I'll slap up a couple of photos from the second day of my trip to British Columbia.

This is the view from the top of the hill in White Rock, British Columbia.  My mother and my stepdad live about a ten minute walk from this location.
Here's another view from a different street.  If you go down to the beach, way off in the distance, you can see the Peach Arch, which is located at the border crossing just before you go into Blaine, Washington.

Taking photos often turns into some weird adventure for me.  While attempting to take the above photos, some old dude was following me around.  He gave me strange looks.  Just about normal for me.

Wednesday 19 October 2016

I "Flu" Back From Vancouver.

I'm very sure you've been anxiously waiting for a post from me.  Thus, stay calm as I let you know that I'm not exactly well enough to do a blog post.  Typing this post is taking a lot of effort as you will begin to understand.

Oh yes, I left Vancouver at 7:00 P.M., Saturday, October 8.  I arrived just before noon, Sunday October 9, at Manchester airport wondering where the hell the weekend had gone.  I prepared myself for the jet lag.

The next few days and the jet lag kicked in, big time!  It seemed that my body was here but my mind was 8 time zones behind.

Still, I waited for the jet lag to subside only to then realise that I'd picked up a rather nasty flu bug that could be traced back to my time in Kelowna, British Columbia.  I worked that out because my friend, Heather, whom I'd being staying with in Kelowna, mentioned to me in a recent phone call that she was just getting over the flu.

Fantastic!  I travelled over 4500 miles, went back 8 time zones just to get some Canadian flu.  A bit of "eh fever", eh.

I also noticed about a week before the end of my trip to British Columbia that I had a lump growing on the bottom of my right elbow. It's called bursitis, aka "tennis elbow", although I didn't play any tennis.  Tennis elbow can be caused by a thump to the elbow, or can be caused by doing a repetitive motion. No, not that!

I have no idea how I got such a condition.  You will now further understand that typing this post is indeed taking a lot of effort.  Try typing when you've got a giant bollock flopping onto your keyboard.

I've been to the doctor's who has prescribed a course of anti-inflammatory drugs.  I'm hoping to see some improvement over the next few days,  If not, I have to go to Accident and Emergency to get the big elbow bollock popped.

So there it is.  I've got the flu, a "testicle" drooping down from my right elbow and a bit of lingering jet lag.

While I'm in what I hope is recovery mode, the comment section will be set to the off position on this post.  I really don't want to attempt to keep shoving my flopping ball sack off the keyboard.

Thanks and I hope you are well, eh.

Here is the view out of the plane I flu, um, flew on.  Yes, a window seat with a view of the wing. Although, seeing the wing is reassuring, I was sort of hoping for a view of the scenery below, aka constant clouds.  Note what it states on the wing, " DO NOT WALK OUTSIDE THIS AREA".  A really good idea at 40,000 feet.....

Friday 16 September 2016

BlogAir To Vancouver.

Hi there, yes it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!  My human dad, Gary, is about to take a plane to Vancouver.  Okay, he's actually leaving on the morning of September 19.  I said goodbye to him yesterday, September 15.  From now and up until October 7, I will be staying with my human brother, Tristan and his girlfriend, Sue.  From the evening of Friday, October 7 until Sunday afternoon, October 9, I will be staying with Gary's ex wife because Sue and Tristan will be spending the weekend in Munich, Germany.  Gary arrives back on October 9.

This means that a soon as Gary gets back from Manchester airport in the taxi, he'll be getting into his car to come and get me.  I hope he remembers which side of the road to drive on.

While I'm pawing this pawst, I visualise Gary doing his final preparations for his trip to Canada.  I sensed how stressed he was because there was over three weeks of him wondering if he would even be allowed to board the plane.  He seems so much better now he knows that all is okay.

It's going to be a real challenge for him.  For my human dad has lots of anxiety and he's travelling on his own.  He hates travelling on his own.  I wish I could of gone with him.  Alas, the logistics would have been too much.
Then again, he is flying on the blogger's favourite airline, "BlogAir".  Hopefully, whatever blogger who ends up sitting beside him doesn't start going on and on and on about blog hops, blog fests or anything to do with the alphabark, um, alphabet!  Hopefully, whatever blogger who ends up sitting beside him doesn't go into acronym overdrive, such as, " I'm doing YA writing with an MG theme and my WIP is coming along real good!"  WTF!!?  ARF! 
You might have realised that I have actually worked for BlogAir.  However, Penny the Pawlet has now retired.  Shame really because I could of taken Gary to Vancouver and had a brief stopover meeting his friends, family and of course, his adoring fans.  Yes, Gary's delusional.  We must humour him.

I will miss Gary and I know he will miss me.  It will be wonderful to see him when he gets back. Gary, if you do get onto a computer when you're in British Columbia, pawlease, pawlease, bring me back some delicious Canadian doggy treats!  

You will note the comments section is switched off.  My paws need to pause.  Pawsitive wishes, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! 

Friday 2 September 2016

I'm Going To Take Off, Eh!

If you read my last post, you might of worked out that I've endured over three weeks of bureaucratic bullshit, to the bullshittiest extreme.

Oh yeah, I applied to have an extra layer of security on my British passport, despite the leniency period that's still in force during the time I was scheduled to take off to Vancouver. Doing what I thought was the right thing turned into me battling with a bunch of "do not reply" emails.  Over three weeks of frustration, anger, panic attacks, anxiety, mood swings, as I battled with misinformation overload.

How I've managed to keep it together is thanks to you and my constant positive visualisation of greeting my parents on the other side of Customs at Vancouver International Airport.

What happened to me should of never happened in the first place.  I was determined that justice would prevail.  When I first got rejected for Canada's Electronic Travel Authorisation aka "eTA", I had no idea what was wrong.  To make the situation even more aggravating, I hadn't a clue what they wanted from me in regards to documents, despite my several pleas asking them what they wanted.

My head went into speculation overdrive.  Why was I being denied an eTA?   Had the authorities found out about my kinky parties that involved covering myself and any willing participants, with maple syrup?  Maybe they found out about my rendezvous with a moose?  Or maybe, just maybe, they noted the time on Spanish Banks beach in Vancouver when I got caught by a police officer illegally consuming a Molson Canadian beer in a public place.  The police officer yelled at me, "Down that beer!"  I reacted by downing the beer, not onto the ground, but down my throat.  I recall he was not impressed but did sort of chuckle.

It did transpire that they'd decided that I had permanent resident status in Canada and thus, I was supposed to board the plane with an up to date Canadian Resident Card, complete with a photo.  I'd never even heard of such a card.  What a crazy, confusing caper.

Today, I'm feeling rather smug.  I must keep my smugness and my silly grin under control.  After just over three weeks of sheer torment, I have defeated the Canadian bureaucratic monster!   Today, I received, not one, not two, but three emails from the Canadian immigration authorities.  Here's the gist of those emails.  "Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's review of your Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) is now complete. Your eTA remains approved.  You remain authorised to travel to Canada by air."  They also stated within one of the emails that they conceded that I had been experiencing technical problems with the account I had to set up with them.  I actually received an apology for any inconvenience caused.

It figures, yesterday I went and got a whole bunch of documents sorted.  I spent almost an hour with a professional photographer as she had to get my photos just right for the Canadian government photo specifications.  After a frantic day and at much expense, I sent all the information required to the Canadian High Commission in London to prove that I actually don't live in Canada.  Then, today, I got those emails.  What a difference a day makes.
In the words of those two Canadian legends, Bob and Doug McKenzie, I'm going to "Take off, eh!

Tuesday 30 August 2016

Maple Grief.

I've been wanting to do this post for about two weeks.  Trouble is, each time I thought I could get it started, a new situation in the world of puzzling bureaucracy, brought another unexpected twist in an already twisted tale of torment.  Yes, to be precise, unfathomable bureaucracy, courtesy of the Canadian Immigration Department.  In this bizarre case, bureaucracy equals misinformation overload.

By my standards, this is going to be a rather lengthy post.  Please Grizzly bear with me.

When I think about it, it all started the day I made that phone call back in May and booked a flight to Vancouver.  I booked a flight to Vancouver for September 19, 2016, returning, October 8, 2016. When I phoned the travel company I always use, no mention was made of needing an extra layer of security electronically placed onto my British passport.

To clear things up, in case you were wondering.  I'm not a Canadian citizen.  In a rather irrational moment, my then wife and I left Canada without getting citizenship.  I am a British citizen.  My ex wife is a Belgian citizen.

The tickets arrived in the post a couple of days later.  In the notes that came with my airline tickets, was a mention of it being my responsibility to have an "Electronic Travel Authorisation aka "eTA", sorted out.  Not being even remotely aware of such a thing, I checked the Canadian government's website about this eTA requirement.  On the site, it declared that I should get an eTA before I book my flight to Canada.

What?!!  As stated, I was not aware and I was not told when I booked my tickets about needing an eTA.  After all, they had my money for the flight.

Around August 10, I had a quick look over some of my checklist for the upcoming trip to Canada. Passport, yep. Travel insurance, yep.  Greyhound bus tickets, yep.  Electronic Travel Authorisation, nope.  Better do something about that, I thought.

Back to the Canadian government website in regards to applying for the eTA.  Here's where the irony kicks in on a massive scale.  The Canadian government has a leniency period in regards to the eTA. It was supposed to be in force as of March,15 2016.  I'm flying to Vancouver within the leniency period because the eTA becomes officially enforced as of September 29, 2016, ten days after my flight.  In other words, I didn't need to apply for it.  Despite this, I thought, what the hell, after all, the website assured that most people would be approved within minutes.  I considered it would be the right thing to do by getting that extra layer of security being electronically stamped onto my British passport.  A mere formality?  Excuse me for the following.  How fucking wrong I was!

Here's the gist of the email reply I received after applying for the eTA and paying the $7 that was promptly charged to my credit card.

"Your application for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) has been received.  A review of your file is underway.  You will be advised within 72 hours of the next steps regarding your application."

So much for getting approval within minutes.  I checked and found out that, evidently, 99.5% of those applying do get approved within minutes.  Negative speculation went into overdrive.  Waves of panic and anxiety washed over me.

Two days later, August 12, I received the follow-up email.

"A review of your Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) application is underway.  To continue processing your application, we need documents from you.  If your documents are not received by the prescribed deadline, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will have to assess your application with the information that is currently available.  This may result in the refusal of your eTA.! " 

The email went onto to state that I needed to set up a special account with the Canadian government so I could see what documents they required and by what prescribed deadline.  I did this, after much messing about.  Once set up, I eagerly checked to see what documents they wanted by their prescribed deadline.  The section that was supposed to show me what was needed, was blank.  Day after day of, "No data available."  For the next ten days, I went through the, "No data available", routine.  Ten days of sending them urgent requests the only way I could via the technical issues section.  The account was so ridiculous that, for example, when I'd click onto the section to confirm my passport was British, it decided that, "GB British Citizen", from its own list of places, was, in actuality, an invalid place!  I sent them several screenshots of all the technical problems I'd encountered.  I might of well of been typing to myself.

Then came the next email, dated August 22, 2016.

"A review of your Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) application has revealed that you are a Canadian permanent resident.
By law, Canadian permanent residents, including those who are also citizens of a visa-exempt country, cannot apply for an eTA. As a result, your application for an eTA has been withdrawn.
Your application is now closed. You do not hold a valid eTA.
Appropriate travel documents for Canadian permanent residents
As a Canadian permanent resident, you will need to present a valid Permanent Resident Card or a Permanent Resident Travel Document when travelling to Canada. It is recommended that you also present your valid foreign passport. Otherwise, you may experience delays or be prevented from boarding your flight and/or entering Canada.
As a Canadian permanent resident, it is your responsibility to make sure that your Permanent Resident Card is still valid, and to apply for a new card when your current one expires.
If you are living in Canada and do not have a Permanent Resident Card, find out how to apply.
If you are outside of Canada and do not have a Permanent Resident Card or your card is expired, find out how to apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document"

Oh yeah, now I really was freaking out.  A Permanent Resident Card?  Never heard of such a thing and never needed one on all my other flights to Canada.  I have not lived in Canada for nearly 29 years!  I needed to take action and fast!

I went to the Canadian High Commission's website in London.  I phoned their number only to be informed it was an invalid number.  There was, however, a message.  I was told to check out the Canadian High Commission's website in London!  I thought I'd just done that.  So, no working phone number but an email address I could inform them of my situation.  Oh, they gave me a response about how to get a Permanent Resident Card. A card, that on average, takes 41 days to process.  My flight is, as of this writing, in less than 3 weeks time.

Out of ongoing desperation, I phoned other numbers in the UK, such as the Canadian Embassy in London.  Once again, I was stifled by calling non-existent phone numbers. Okay, I did get a message on one of those numbers that told me to phone a certain number and I could find out the number I wanted.  The cost? £28 a minute, or about $48, Canadian.  Yeah, right, like I would do that.

Then, finally, I noticed the number for the Consulate of Canada in Edinburgh. That was on Tuesday, August 23.  I phoned the number and went through to an answer phone, where I got to leave a message.  I informed them of my situation.  An hour later, a Scottish gentleman phoned me back.  I told him what had happened and despite the leniency period, I'd applied for the eTA.  I read him out the above email.

He assured me that I should be just fine when I go to Manchester airport to check-in for my flight.  I told him I was concerned that because I was refused an eTA that it would get flagged up on the system.  Once again, he said I should be okay and just make sure I get the process started in regards to actually proving I don't live in Canada.

Which brings me to nearly the final part in this still ongoing, stressful saga. I now have this form to fill in from the Canadian government that wants me to send a photocopy of my British passport, two photos that have to be taken by a professional photographer, which the photographer then has to stamp with an official mark on the back of one of the photos, when I first lived in Canada and where I'm living now.

Yes, by doing what I thought was the right thing almost seems to have been the wrong thing.  I didn't have to apply for that eTA, just yet.  Now I've put myself though weeks of anxiety that I didn't have to have.  The way I've been treated, I almost feel unwelcome in a country I lived, worked and paid taxes.

You might now realise why its been very difficult to concentrate and interact on your sites.  My fragile mental health has been severely tested.  What has happened to me and to others who I've contacted in similar plights, is very cruel and inhumane.

I use positive visualisation techniques where I see my elderly parents waiting for me as I go through Customs at Vancouver International airport.  My visit to Canada will now be with a sense of relief. From Maple Grief to Maple Relief.

At this point and to conclude, I shall let Penny take over.  Rather surprisingly, if you travel to Canada by land or sea, that darned eTA is not a requirement.

"Human dad, Gary.  Please don't worry about your trip to Canada.  You will be fine.  You've done nothing wrong because you did what you thought was the right thing.  Heck, even if I have to doggy paddle you over the Atlantic in a canoe, you will get to see your friends and family."

Thursday 18 August 2016

All I Want To Do Is Visit My Friends And Family.

The clue about my next post is within the title of this post.

This post will be very brief.  If you've been communicating with me, supporting me, for which I'm truly grateful, you will already know what my next post will be about.  What I can say is that an ongoing farcical situation is taking a huge toll on my already fragile mental health.

My next post will be laced with irony.  It seems that by doing the right thing, I have caused myself unwarranted stress and aggravation.

I'm struggling enough trying to blog these days without having to go through the most horrendous worry I've ever encountered.

The comments section is switched off for this post.  In the meantime, I shall do my utmost to distract myself by commenting on various blogs.
Thankfully, in my 3D reality, I have Penny to keep me company.

Wednesday 3 August 2016

The Pawmier Inn.

Yes, I know, when it comes to blogging these days, my contributions are sporadic to the point of almost being nonexistent.  If it wasn't for Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar, this blog may well have gone for a permanent sleep.  

I mean, I've been twiddling my thumbs instead of putting up this post.  It's a post I should of posted up around the middle of July to compliment nicely the post on another site that I will mention further down this page. 

Monday morning, 16th of May. Such a significant day.  For this was the day Penny and I met up with Sharon Mayhew.  Sharon, as an eight year old child, spent a bit of time with some of her relatives in this town of Leek, Staffordshire, England, before she moved to the United States.   Penny and I prepared ourselves to meet up with Sharon and her grandfather.  

I was very nervous about meeting Sharon.  I was somewhat concerned that the place she was staying, "The Pawmier Inn", sorry, "The Premier Inn", might not be exactly be the best place to take a dog for breakfast.  Sharon, bless her, had received special pawmission, sorry, permission, for Penny to be allowed in a discreet part of the breakfast area.  

Upon arrival at the breakfast reception, we were greeting by a couple of the staff.  "Hello, you must be Penny!", one of the staff stated with absolute, wondrous glee.  "Come this way, please, Penny.  Oh and bring your human with you."  Okay, I made up that last sentence.  It's not easy for me knowing that Penny is a world-famous blogging sensation.  Yes, I'm rather jealous of the dog.

Penny and I were warmly greeted by Sharon and her grandfather, George.  It was a wonderful chat.  I felt at ease.  I really struggle with social situations.  To have challenged my anxiety was another step forward in my ongoing battle against my very low self-esteem. 
Sharon and her granddad, George, at the breakfast section.
Sharon told me it was okay to mention that George is a youthful ninety five.  She was teaching him how to use an iPad.  Proves you're never too old to learn something new.  George drove Sharon to various locations around England.
Here you go!  Notice how starstruck Sharon is with Penny! 
Sharon is delighted.  Penny is ready to grab the bacon on the plate! 
Awe, look!  Penny ready to give Sharon some doggy kisses. 
A photo off Sharon's phone as the two of them posed for a selfie....

And now for the link to Sharon's informative, interesting post about her trip to Leek.  The Gift Of Visiting The Setting Of Your Novel (MS) With Your Grandfather (Samuel George Johnston) and Meeting Blog Friends.  I would kindly ask you, if you haven't visited already, to go and check out Sharon's blog post.  Thank you.

Thank you so much, Sharon.  It was an amazing, inspirational experience to meet your good self and your incredible Grandfather.

Tuesday 12 July 2016

Not A Pawlitical Pawst.

Hi there, yes it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!  Once again, I'm taking over this blog site because my human dad, Gary, can't be arsed, is still really lethargic when it comes to putting up a blog pawst. I shall do my very best to come and visit your blog.

A whole bunch of pawlitical stuff has been happening over the last few weeks in the UK.  A lot can happen in a week in pawlitics.  Lately, it seems a lot can happen in five minutes in pawlitics. It's all very distressing and worrying.  Thus, my human friend, this is not a pawlitical pawst.  Not even any mention of a pawed pawlitical announcement.

I want to tell you a heartening, pawsitive story. My human brother, Tristan, went on a week's holiday to Cyprus with his partner, Sue.  Tristan asked his dad, my human dad, Gary, if he could water their garden plants while they were away.

Behold, a couple of hanging baskets in their garden!

Of course, this being the British summer, the slightly warmer part of the British winter, my human dad, Gary, only had to water the plants once during the week Tristan and Sue were away in Cyprus. Yes indeed, it rained almost the entire time they were away.  He went over there when the rain had eased off to a torrential downpour....

I recall when Gary used to have a really beautiful garden.  He'd ask Tristan if he would like to help with the gardening.  "You must be kidding!", would be Tristan's response.  

Now Tristan just loves a bit of gardening and is so proud of how well his flowers are turning out.  He was thrilled that dad took some photos.  Sue is such a calming, pawsitive influence on Tristan.  

Sunday 19 June 2016

Hatred Will Not Win.

You have witnessed and I have witnessed, the horror that hatred has done.  Lives have been lost. Hearts have been broken.  Our beleaguered, fragile planet has been tormented by those who would use the poison of hate to frighten us.

You will not succumb and I will not succumb, to the insidious epidemic of hate that causes havoc on a worldwide basis.  You have seen the awful events in Orlando.  You have seen the daily occurrences of the war-torn nations.  Humanity fleeing in a desperate attempt to live a life of freedom, of compassion, of love.  You will be aware of the murder of a member of the British Parliament, Jo Cox. A woman of peace who has left behind a husband, a son aged five, a daughter aged three, a mother, a father and a sister.

This has been a terribly sad time in the UK.  I have reflected on the cold-blooded, callous murder of Jo Cox and ask the question, "why?"

Since her murder last Thursday afternoon, I have felt a sense of humanity at its finest.  Those who have fought a ruthless battle during our European referendum campaign, have demonstrated that beyond the bitter politics, lies that loving sense that we must all be here for each other.

Britain weeps.  The world weeps.  In peaceful defiance, the world will embrace the ideals of love, not hate.  Hatred will not win.

Thursday 9 June 2016

Chevrolet Choo Choo.

Wednesday morning, May 18, 2016.  Destination, Dovedale, via Ilam, in the Peak District National Park.  Dovedale is about fifteen miles east of our starting point, Leek, Staffordshire. Whenever I see the road sign for "Ilam", I always think of eleven o'clock in the morning. Coincidentally, that's around the time we arrived at Ilam on our way to Dovedale. 

This was going to be a three day camping adventure for my son, Tristan and his good friend, Dominic aka "Dom."  Tristan had suggested I take the shorter yet, oh so narrow, winding road via Ilam, to get to Dovedale.  A road so narrow that whenever a vehicle came the other way, I had to take evasive action, pull way wide to the edge and avoid upsetting the sheep.  I will refrain from any sheep jokes.  
Here they are, all ready to go on their camping trip.  Dom is on the left and that makes Tristan on the right.  The photo was taking from a very wet Dovedale car park, which you might refer to as a parking lot.  

Before leaving, I told them if they needed a ride back, I would come and get them.  They had planned walking the fifteen miles back to Leek.  
As I headed back out of Dovedale, I decided to take the easier route back to Leek.  A road somewhat wider than the one we came in on.  Then I got to a crossroads.  One way indicated Ashbourne, Derbyshire, the other, Buxton, Derbyshire.  Knowing Buxton very well, I thought, what the heck, head towards Buxton for a different, scenic drive back.

Then it happened.  My very smooth running Chevrolet, suddenly became a violent, trembling beast of a car.  The car was shaking real bad and I heard a sound that made me feel like I was in the cab of a steam train.  Wasn't quite sure whether to apply the accelerator or look for some coal to shovel.  This went on for about five minutes.  Then the car ran smoothly for the next five minutes.  I was feeling somewhat panicky but I did maintain my composure.

The drive to Buxton seemed to take forever and then some.  The car continued with its five minutes of smooth driving and five minutes of living in an earthquake zone.  Buxton, where for art thou, Buxton.  Finally after about thirty minutes, I arrived in Buxton.

I knew that the journey from Buxton to Leek would require me driving the A53, one of the steepest stretches of road in the UK.  Predictably, as I headed up the steep road, my car started acting up again.  Somehow, I did continue to stay calm.  I visualised the end of the thirteen mile stretch that would get me to Leek and to a mechanic I trusted.

I explained the symptoms to the mechanic and I got my Chevrolet booked in for the next morning, Thursday morning.  

After taking my car to the mechanics, I waited for the outcome.  Of course, my car needed one part and the part wasn't going to arrive until Friday morning.  The part, to bore you, was called a caliper, which is part of the braking system.  How odd that such weird happenings from my car could be related to the braking system. 

On Friday morning, my phone rang.  It was my son asking me to come and get them.  At this point, I still didn't know if my car had been fixed.  I explained to my son what had happened to my car.  I told him I'd phone him back.  Luckily, the car was fixed.  Within the hour, I had paid for the repair and got the two dudes in what was now a very smooth running car.

I know, by my standards, I rambled on in this post.  To summarise, which is a good starting point for anybody who, heaven forbid, skims through my posts, all turned out well.   I stayed calm.  That, in itself, is a momentous step forward in my ongoing challenge of not allowing anxiety to overwhelm me.

As for Dom and Tristan, they had fun during three days of torrential rain. 

Wednesday 1 June 2016

Trying To Not Make A Brick Of Myself.

If you click on the link above, you will be taken to a map that shows a brick wall under construction along the Canadian border.

This is a photo of what you will see in the link.  Moose, sorry, bear in mind, that the brick wall has gone a considerable distance further west than in the picture you see. 

Although the above video, courtesy of the British TV show, "The Last Leg.", hosted by an Australian, pleads with Canada to build a brick wall, I want to try and help any Americans wanting to still flee to Canada.  You're welcome, eh. 
If you're an American and you wish to get the heck out and head north, you'd better hurry up because the wall is now around the Montana/Saskatchewan border.  If you live on the East Coast of the USA, pisser, because you've got some travelling west to do to still get across the border.  If you live in Alaska, you wont find any wall. 

Upon arrival at the un-bricked portion of the border, you will be welcomed by a moose, a serenading Mountie, some hoser wearing a lumberjacket, a guy wearing a hockey uniform, Justin Bieber, Celine Dion, William Shatner, the band members from Rush, Michael J. Fox, Jim Carrey, Avril Lavigne, Shania Twain, Alanis Morrissette, Mike Myers, Dan Aykroyd, a beaver and Pamela Anderson handing out small samples of maple syrup.

Good luck, eh.....

Friday 27 May 2016

Blogger Interview With My Alleged Human....

Hi there, yes it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

This is the fastest pawst I ever pawsted.  I've noted that my human dad, Gary, has been interviewed over at the adorable human, Chrys Fey's, must read blog site.  I wonder what he's been rambling and ranting on about?  Please, if you haven't already visited her site, be gentle with any comment you leave.

Thanks and here is the link to Chrys' site :

Blogger Interview with Penny's Alleged Human, Gary aka "klahanie"

Pawsitive wishes,


Tuesday 10 May 2016

The Alphabark Challenge, 2016! And Then Some!

Hi there, yes it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!  I do understand that you've been waiting and waiting and waiting, to the point of uncontrollable frenzy.  Yes, that's correct, you've be dreaming of that alternate challenge to that A to Z thingy. Then again, maybe you got so mired in the alphabet, that everything you see and do now relates to the alphabet.  You might need an alphabet detox!

I do realise that I was going to put up this pawsting on May 1.  The situation is such that my human, Gary, being so dog-tired, has needed my constant attention.  I do worry about my human dad.  I was going to pawblish something brand new.  Instead, I'm going to cheat because I need to keep looking after Gary.  So here goes with a past pawst and then some! 

"A" if for "Arf!"
I'm having a laugh

"B" if for "Bark"
Sometimes I snark

"C" is for "Chihuahua"
Hello, how are ya? 

"D" is for "Dog"
A pawblished blog

"E" is for "eekPawblishing"
If that's your thing

"F" is for "Feline"
Having a whine

"G" is for "Gary"
How very scary

"H" is for "Howl"
Without a scowl

"I" is for "Insect"
A bug I detect

"J" is for "Jack Russell"
The dogs that hustle

"K" is for "Klahanie"
Pawmoting I see

"L" is for "Loon"
A Canadian tune

"M" is for "Metrosexual"
Such a transport ball 
On all things Metro
Didn't you know.

"N" is for "Noodles"
Oodles of noodles
You stick them in water
Just like you ought ta
And what have you got
One silly noodle stuck to the pot

"O" is for "Ogopogo"
Way to go, go, go
Canadian lake creature
Is what we feature
Ogopogo can kick Nessie's rear
Take that, you Loch Ness dear

"P" is for "Poodle"
Which rhymes with noodle
Doggy jumps through hoops
And you scoop its poops

"Q" is for "Query"
Hi pawblisher, deary

"R" is for "Rivet"
Don't you forget
The noise of a frog
Over there on a log
There you go
I toad you so

"S" is for "Sasquatch"
Go have a watch
Don't say, "Big Foot"
Or you might be kaput

"T" is for "Toadstool"
How very cool
No, not that load
Not a stool from a toad

"U" is for "Unread"
Start over, instead

"V" is for "Vacuum" 
Instead of a broom
Knowing my luck
My vacuum wont suck

"W" is for "Weird"
Oh, how they cheered
For the Alphabark
That's having a lark
Not lark as in bird
Haven't you heard

"X" is for "Xerox"
Photocopy your cocks
Place your butt on the screen
How very obscene

"Y" is for "Y am I doing this?"
Am I taking the p**s?
Look below
And you will know

"Z" is for "Zest"
My good-natured jest
I did this with Zeal
How do you feel? 

The above, a recap
That makes you clap.

Sadly, my friend
We've come to the end
That sums it up
From this lovable pup
Just one last thing
I do bring.

 Not quite the end
My human friend
If you did the alphabet
Without regret
Well done to you
This be true
Yes, the A to Zed
Something I dread
Or pawhaps the A to Zee
If you're a Yankee
Seriously though
What do you know
I nearly pawmoted
Duly noted
The alternative to the alphabark
Oh no, it's back to snark! 
Here you go
To end the show
A rufflections pawst
From your lovable host!

Thursday 31 March 2016


Hi there, yes it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!  If you, pawchance, are visiting this site because you were eagerly anticipating my alternative to that other challenge that relates to the alphabet with 26 letters, I convey my humble apawlogies.

I got to thinking that it would be unfair to compete with the A to Z Challenge.  This is due to the obvious fact that you would be so in paw, um, awe of me.  Indeed, my human friend, if you're doing that alphabet thingy, my satirical pawsts would put you in an hypnotic trance.  A trance so pawfound that you'd forget all about the A to Z.

So, being such a thoughtful dog, I've decided my rebellious, bordering on cynically, snarky challenge, shall commence on May 1, 2016.  Besides, I'm rather busy looking after my human dad, Gary.  If only I could somehow snap him out of his chronic fatigue.
Yes, make a note in your calendar,  Circle May 1, 2016.  Heck, it might even take your mind off all those reflection pawsts about reflection pawsts about reflecting about the A to Z Challenge, 2016. Yes, those reflection pawsts that go on and on and much so, that you suddenly realise it's April Fool's Day, 2017, just in time to start all over again.....

Yep, the comment section is switched off.  If you're doing the A to Z, I sort of wish you all the beast, um, all the best.....