Monday, 18 June 2012

Meeting Her Majesty (kind of....)....

All this happened in the frenzy of the Jubilee by the way, so forgive the delay. The piccie is of Tam and Isla (a.k.a Kate Middleton and a small Princess) on the beautiful boat The Fairmile (a.k.a. their personal Royal Barge) as part of the Dartmouth Jubilee procession. Very nice it was too.....


There are a great many benefits of having a dog. One of the main ones of course is that you are absolutely and unconditionally adored. This unfettered loyalty and relentless enthusiasm for pretty much anything you do is unbending.  Go out for ten minutes, and you’ll return to find the dog pogo’ing in delight in the hallway, surrounded by a scene that says “You went out, and I didn’t think you were ever, ever, ever, ever coming back. So I panicked and ate the sofa.” It’s hard to stay annoyed though - many’s the time I’ve been putting up a wonky shelf or cooking one of my famously inept meals only to glance round and see Reubs staring at me with that look that says “That is simply the greatest thing I’ve ever seen, you are a talent beyond measure and I respect, admire and love you for it.” This is diametrically opposed to cats by the way, who would look at you doing the same thing with an expression that unequivocally says “Call that a shelf? Jesus, what an incompetent prat” before stalking off to find small mammals to murder. 

One of the other great peripheral benefits of the dog thing is that you are forced to go out at least twice a day. Reubs is the size of a respectably plump timber wolf, and would not look kindly on me sitting at home watching the world go by when there are squirrels to be chased and large expanses of ocean to be barked at. Having a dog certainly keeps you fit, and so one of the real pleasures for me and big hairy fella is running along the path that leads from the house, winding its way along the coast through many an echoing cove and ancient wood.

My runs nowadays are fairly calculated affairs. Gone are the days of the pronking gazelle of youth, to be replaced by the gut-shot buffalo of middle age – I wheeze and stumble along, puce of face, heart vibrating like a bag of jam left on top of a spin-dryer, all the while leaving vapour trails of shining spittle in my wake. It’s not a good look, and I’m always keen to find reasons to stop. So as I ran along a quiet lane towards Dartmouth Castle, I needed no excuse to skid to a halt next to house tucked away in a shady hollow.

The image that had caught my attention was a really quite substantial picture of the Queen on the front door of the house. This wasn’t a photo that had been cut out of a magazine and casually stuck to the panelling, it was colossal – in fact it was pretty much life size. For one faintly panicky moment – as I blinked away the sweat that had streamed into my eyes - I thought it actually WAS the Queen. This would have been one of those classically awkward social situations, particularly as Reubs – untroubled it seemed by the presence of royalty - took the opportunity for a quick toilet stop. Suffice to say that he’s a very large dog indeed, so this is invariably a flamboyant affair involving apocalyptic smells, the occasional deafening noise, and a pile that can reach knee height. The fact that he was doing this directly in front of Her Majesty filled me – as I trust it would any stout hearted Englishman – with horror. Happily a closer look at the door revealed that it was HRH in 2D, and not the 3D version which would have seen me marched off to the Tower to be beaten senseless by furious Beefeaters. 

Having cleaned up (one of the other joys of dog ownership) I carried on running to the castle to finally stand on a grass bank that led down to the seashore, the green slope before me alive with primroses and bluebells. The cove below us shone in the morning sunshine, the waves rustling and chuckling into the loose stones of the beach after their journey across a wide sea. The castle was built to keep out the invaders from beyond the horizon, and stands as a monument to a time when being a Royalist could mean the difference between life and death. Such sentiments are of course long gone, but it seems to me that coastal communities – the front line for invasion in days of yore - always had to rely on an established Monarchy at their back as they faced such uncertainty to their front.  

We duly stumbled home, with me tugging a respectful forelock as we passed the door on the return journey. I know we all have mixed views on the Monarchy, but I reckon the Jubilee was a pretty good thing as it got us all buntingly-flutteringly happy for a wee while, before the spectre of double dip recessions and free-falling Euro's reappeared. Yep, I enjoyed the Jubilee. Let's do another one soon..... 


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  2. I like the blog, I like the picture of Reubs, I like the picture of Tam and Isla, but most of all I like the cake...WOW!

  3. haha funny as always. i am the same with my dog. she is constantly there seeking some kind of attention. it's amazing.
    beautiful photos monty and keep up thee good work. i love your blogs.

  4. Your blog does make my laugh, wish I had such sharp humour LOL
    Love Reub's by the way :D