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vendredi 22 septembre 2017

THE BLACK THUMB CURSE








Hi everybody,


This week I won't beat around the bush, cause I have an urgent matter to deal with, and your help, tips and tricks are welcomed. So,listen.

I think I'm under a curse. Yes, guys, a curse, and I'm choosing my words carefully, but let's call a spade a spade.
I'm so desesperate that I have even thought of looking for a kind of witch doctor to break that long-lasting curse. No way! If there are any in Brittany, nobody can give a heads-up to find one.

You see I'm really grasping at straws, but my sanity is at stake.
So please, don't click off the page. Let me explain all my trouble, cause you are my last hope, my last resort. I really want to turn over a new leaf, and things to come up roses again.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not wallowing in self-pity. My life is still blooming great, but by next Spring I really need things to change to forget about the Black Thumb Curse.




Never heard about it ?

No, no, it's not a thriller, or any kind of cliffhanger!
Unfortunately, cause if it were, my life in the country would be a bed of roses.
But as the saying goes, there's no rose without a thorn.

Still can't guess what the Black Thumb Cuse is ?

Look ! Within a few lines, plenty of idioms about flowers, doesn't it ring a bell ?

You give up ? OK, then.

Well, the Black Thumb Curse is when fragrant verbs such as ' bud, bloom and blossom ' are swept away and let ' wilt, wither and dry up ' rule the roost.

Yes, guys, that's it. You've guessed .
All my expectations to become a master gardener are fading away, cause I was born with a black thumb. Unlike my mother who would grow whatever she wanted on her balcony, I ruined all my plantings.

I have to face the facts : I'm not a person with a green thumb.
I can almost pinpoint when I started developping the Black thumb Curse.

I was living in Paris, and one day I decided to grow herbs in a window box. It would spice up my blander dishes (yes, I was already a lousy cook) and give a boost to my landscape (a view on the roofs is romantic, but not really greeny).
Every day I was looking out for my basil, marjoram and savory seeds to grow out.In vain ...
One morning all my hopes were wiped out in a wingbeat by a pigeon sitting cosily in my window-box. When I opened the widow, it flew away, leaving an egg behind it.



One egg was not enough for an omelet, and anyway, there was not the single herb left  to liven it up...

When settling down here in Brittany, I should have remembered that first unfortunate step into  the Green Thumb World.
But you know how gung-ho I can be ...

The first white buds and long grass-like stems on the lawn thrilled me till Mr Google's verdict made me fall apart :

  " Wild garlic. An invasive species reproducing prolifically from 
     underground bulbs. A real curse ".

Once rid of those pungent, garlicky invaders, I thought I was done with my efforts. My foot !! 

Four-leaf clovers sneaked on the scene, and called the shots.
Another invasive species, and believe me or not, all four-leaf clovers aren't good luck charms. Not at all , cause, once I had dug out all those trespassers , the deers indulged themselves and nibbled all the rose buds I had pampered and fed with chopped banana peels mixed in their compost.
I had managed to keep my rose bushes healthy all throughout Winter, but I should have known that the Black Thumb Curse never leaves you quiet and blooming.

Since then, I have tried to do my best, but the burgeoning gardener I am is about to turn into a self-proclaimed Black Thumb for ever.

So, I'm looking forward to getting your helping hand and green thumb 


on my email address :



In the meantime, don't forget : BE PERKY !

















vendredi 15 septembre 2017

NAPPING OR NOT NAPPING



                                       



Hello everybody,


Is it me or do you sometimes feel the yawnings in the early afternoon,too ?
A tad boozy dinner, a restless night, a busy morning, a heavy lunch or just my body-clock all messed up ?
Well, whatever the reason, it seems that suddenly my eyelids get out of control and rule the roost !
According to some health nut gurus, what you need then is a power nap .




I'm sorry, but when you are in your office, rather difficult to snuggle in toilets usually not that roomy, lie down on a photocopier often much coveted (I hope not for the same reason ) or squeeze into a filing cabinet most of the time so dusty that likely to trigger  sneezing fits !

So what ?

Well,when I was working, not to let the need for 40 winks overcome my good upbringing, I used to have an extra caffeine fix before lunch-time.
Not that healthy, I agree, but for me the only foolproof way to kick-start the afternoon.




Unfortunately one day, after a night of partying, I arrived at the office and found out that the coffee-machine was out of order.
" How will you manage to cope with a coffee-free morning ? ", asked a colleague apparently worried about my haggard face.
" Easy peasy ! ", I replied, " I'll just have a mid-morning nap, and for lunch-time I'll be as fresh as a daisy ! Pick me up at 12 and you'll see the benefits of my morning catnap ".

Of course, I was joking, but I knew that my colleague was easily taken for a ride, so when at 12,  I heard a knock at my office door, I quickly laid a thick file flat on my desk, put my forehead on it, and let my right arm flop down as if I had been suddenly struck down by Morpheus.
A second and a third knock didn't make me change my mind. I stayed still and silent, waiting for my friend to open the door and find me sleeping like a log.



Sure, that was a prank she would remember for long, cause I had planned to leap up like a Jack-in-the-box as soon as she touched my shoulder.
Quite likely she would utter a shriek, and then burst out laughing when she realized I had pulled her leg one more time when telling her a few hours before that I would catch up for my sleepless night with a comfy nap !

A last stronger knock, then the door opened , and I could hear footsteps coming briskly towars my desk.
I kept pretending to be soundly asleep, even though I knew a fit of the giggles was on its way !

The sound of silence for a few seconds again...

Jeez, I wouldn't be able to play " The Sleeping Beauty " for long, two can play at that game, sure my friend was playing for time !

When I heard fingers drumming eagerly on my desk, I smelled a rat...




One eyelid up was enough to catch sight of a wedding ring on a pretty big hand.
Damn it, whose hand was it ? Couldn't be my friend's ? She was not married and moreover she had very small hands !

I eventually raised my head and ...in a split second I turned into a pillar of salt. Yes, guys, a pillar of salt !
As petrified and dumbfounded as the department head standing near my desk !

l strived to get myself together,and mumbled that it was a misunderstanding, I was not sleeping, I was just pretending to , to pull out a prank to a colleague.
I was digging myself in deeper, but I had to save my bacon, cause the red flag of an impending dismissal was floating in the department head's eyes. I was in a fix, and not a coffee one, unfortunately !

He let me tie myself in knots for a few minutes, and then said :

" It's high time you woke up and smelled the coffee, Miss Perky ! 

No way to take that literally ! It sounded more like " Are you aware of the situation you are in ? ".

But he didn't let me brood over that kind of warning and continued :

" I thought you were full of beans, but apparently coffee beans are missing today ! ...Anyway, have the coffee-machine repaired by tomorrow morning, and I promise I won't spill the beans ! ".




That was the first and last time I was caught napping ( sorry , I love puns ).


That's all for this week, guys, cause my eyelids are screaming sleep, so good night, sleep tight and don't forget : 

                                         BE PERKY !












vendredi 8 septembre 2017

BACK-TO-WORK BLUES





Hi everybody,


Perky the Busy Bee back on line this week !




Come on, don't you remember me ?
The tireless blunderer, the incorrigible diet-breaker, the lousy cook, the 
' black-thumbed ' gardener, and the ' lower than low level ' sporty girl whose adventures help you look on the bright side of things !

Does my name ring a bell, now ?
Yes ? Great, then !
For the new-comers on line today, no need to worry : this week's post will drive you right into the swings of things within a few lines. So, don't skip off my page !

First off, kudos to Canaille, my English Springer Spaniel, who filled my shoes and blogged for me while I was on a carefree staycation.





He kept the tempo up all Summer long, so now he really needs to get back to his doggy's humdrum routine.
Don't get me wrong ! He lives with two dogaholics,and long walks, mouth-watering meals, power naps, endless cuddles, and, of course, scrummy treats will be his lot ! Nothing to do with Joe Bloggs's humdrum routine !
Halcyon days till Christmas season, cause then I may ask him to lend me a paw again ( a hand in human language) and resume his woofing blogging job.

Enough waffle now, let's get down to brass tacks. 

I've got a question for you !

How do you beat back-to-work blues ?

Sure, you know what I'm talking about ! The gloomy feeling floating around when time comes to bid farewell to long-awaited vacation.

I guess no one enjoys going back to the grindstone after a fun-filled break, and even if now I'm as keen as mustard to make a fresh start, things used to be quite different some years ago.

That Summer had been just fun and frolic everyday. You know that kind of holidays you remember all your life.
Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, and that year, once more that damned saying proved to be right, and time came to pack and leave. I didn't want to, but what could I do ?

Sprain my ankle ? Ouch, too painful for a softie like me !
Catch a sunstroke ? No way ! The foul weather of the last few weeks ruined my lame excuse !
A sudden attack of amnesia ? My temp job would never turn into a permanent contract !

I racked my brain, in vain !
I had to face the facts : I couldn't escape my fate. I was doomed to go back to Paris and work !

On my departure day, to cheer me up, my friends came to the station to see me off. 





We arrived there 2 hours ahead of time. So, instead of pacing up and down the ominous platform, we decided to have dinner in a nearby eatery.
The meal went on so cheerfully that by the dessert I had already made up my mind : one very last clubbing and I would take the morning train and go straight to the office. I wouldn't be fired for missing half-a-day.
We danced through the night, and on the journey back to Paris, I slept like a log.

I guess I was not widely awake when I stepped into my boss's office, otherwise I could have said that I had hit the snoozze button again and again, and eventually overslept.It could have made sense.



Forget about that cast-iron excuse !
Instead, I said that the night before I had not been able to get on the train because it was overcrowded.
In those days you didn't need to book before travelling by train.
I was thinking I was off the hook, when a sharp question dampened my hopes ...

" Which train was it ? ", my boss asked.
" The 11pm from Quimper, sir ", I answered, a bit taken aback.
" Funny ", he replied, " I got on it at the first stop after Quimper and it   
  was nearly empty ".

Jeez, I got red as a beetroot, and felt so ashamed of my pathetic lie that I could feel my nose growing like Pinocchio's.




Then, he gave me a wink and added :

" But, maybe the 11pm train was a ghost train ..., now get cracking, 
   lady ! ".


Phew ! I got away quite nicely, but since then I have kept in my mind that a fault confessed is half redressed (a word to the wise is enough).

Now, I'm expecting your comments and your tips and tricks to beat back-to-work blues with flying colours ! 
You're welcome on :












samedi 2 septembre 2017

" NEVER GIVE UP ! "



                                 


                       


                     


Hey everyone,


Way to go, guys ! You've been absolutely fabulous ! Your kindly mails, your " likes " and witty comments on the social media have saved my bacon !
Perky, this blog's owner and my mum, as well, has made up with me ! Great ! I'm off the hook !
Let bygone be bygones ! After all, letting the cat out of the bag and telling you about her repeated brushes with Spanish learning was no big deal, was it ?



But, you know, my mum has a real knack for making a mountain out of a molehill ! No kidding ! That's one of her quirks.
You see once there was a tiny molehill in our garden, but when she told Sugardaddy about it, it sounded as if Mount Everest had been relocated on our lawn overnight !


Fortunately, Sugardaddy is used to her 'extra drama ', and usually turns it into funny stuff. That time, for example, he said that if there was a mole among us, he would do his best to find out who had infiltrated our organization and become a trusted member of it ! Perky cracked a smile, then, and Mount Everest slid back to the Himalayas, and left just a minute bump on the grass in memory of its fleeting visit in Brittany !



                                   ( Mount Everest : 8,848Mt/ 29028 Ft )

Daddy is really a smart cookie and he can find out silver linings in the blink of an eye . I love him to the moon and back, and not only because he is a smart cookie, though that phrase makes my mouth water. Have I told you that I have a sweet tooth. I guess I take after Perky, but that's another story. Maybe when things calm down, I'll tell you another secret about Greedy Perky ... Shh !

Thanks also for all your lovely photos, buddies !
To be honest, I must confess I have a crush on Ashkee, a cute little doggy who lives halfway around the world (The Philippines). 



His Mum told me that his mother died when the litter was born, and she had to nurse him with a baby bottle and fresh milk till he could manage by himself.
Now he is a jolly jumper like me, and a spoiled boy, like me, too !
His foster mum deserves congrats, doesn't she ? 
So, a big thumbs-up to Elefzee Lydia from all the dog rescuers !

You see, since I started filling Perky's shoes and blogging for her, I've made friends with lots of dog lovers all over the world, and even if we'll never meet, it's great to chat with like-minded people. That's the magic of the Internet !

Unfortunately, on the flip side, Google has ruined my great expectations. 
I mean I have suddenly realized that I am not the only pebble on the beach.
The Internet is swarming with wannabe blogging dogs, and even worse, with real woofing bloggers !
Jeez, what a fierce competition ! Rough patch to come before earning my place in the sun !
I hope Perky will give me a little more time to achieve my dream and be as successful as Emma (a Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen) whose blog is absolutely smashing and full of tips and trick for cheerful and lively dogs like me.

mygbgvlife.com


You know what ? I guess I have a crush on Emma, too !!




Don't get me wrong ! I don't fall in love easily . I'm afraid finding a suitable match will take me forever, cause ....my heart belongs to Daddy*  and ...oops, to Perky, of course.

But, I must admit that Emma has made a hit with me. She is smart and hear me out : she has even written a book !
Yes, guys, can you figure that out ? A book !
" Tales of a French Scent Hound " . Classy, isn't it ?
When I came across it, I was flabbergasted !

Poor me ! For the ball boy I am, there is still some way to go, but every dog has its day, so just wait till I'm famous. All things come to him who waits ...

In the meantime, I've decided to stay pawsitive, chill out in my comfy basket and read " The Waggington Post ", my favourite online newspaper. 
Want to know more about that resourceful paper ? Here is the link :

http://www.waggingtonpost.com

I had planned to tell you this week why September is a scary month for me, but I am on a tight schedule, cause Perky has made an appointment for me at my favourite groomer, so next time you'll know more.

Have a pawesome week and don't forget : BE PERKY !

                     Canaille aka Mr Joe Bloggs ( but wait till I'm famous !)





* Do you remember that song ?








samedi 26 août 2017

WELL-BEHAVED DOG





Hi my favourite bunch,


First off, are there newbies on line ? Yes ? Welcome, then, and thanks for being here !
As a bit of background, my name is Canaille. That's a French name. In English, it's ' Can I ', cause I am well-mannered, and always ask for permission , for example, ' Can I have a treat ?, Can I jump and cuddle on your lap ? Can I have a bite of your food ? Can I sprawl on the sofa ? and so on...

So, you see what a gentledog I am !




I am an English Springer Spaniel, and to let Perky, my mum, make the most of the Summer Holiday season here in France, I have offered to fill her shoes and blog for her.

So, here I am today, ready for our weekly appointment, and what comes to my mind right now is a question.

                           How good are you at keeping a secret ?


I mean, can you keep your lips sealed and be as silent as a grave whatever happens, or can anything unexpected loosen your tongue, and make you spill the beans accidentally ?



Rather awkward to spill the beans,but if they are raw green beans, it's no big deal. I'm partial to them and I'll take them !

But let's stop joking and get back on track.

I do apawlogize for my nosy question, but I really need to know if I am an incorrigible blunderer, or if any of you have already been in such an embarrassing situation, and how you have managed to be forgiven.

So, let me tell you why this week I am inquisitive.

Over the last few days things have not been going that smoothly between Perky and me.
Nothing to worry myself sick, cause Perky is a dogaholic, and I am the apple of her eye, but there's a kind of resentment floating around.
Quite jaw-dropping as I didn't see it coming.




Till last week I was feeling happy-go-Lucky. My Summer job as a wannabe blogger was going swimmingly, and, I must confess that all your boosting " Good job, keep going ! " and your cracking " Way to 
go  " let me hope I'd soon become a full-fledged blogger. I was really into it, and every week I was chuffed to share my pawsome adventures with all of you !

Everything was going like clockwork, and then suddenly, just a few lines too many in my last week post, and bye bye my great expectations : gone with the wind.


Yes, guys, all my dreams to fly solo in the blogosphere and become a first-rate blogging dog, have nearly gone up in smoke !




Nearly, but not totally ! Perhaps, I can still make up for my blunder with your tips and tricks...

But, have I really made a blunder ? I don't know, but the fact is that Perky was not a happy bunny when she read my post about her first steps into the fitness world ! She is usually easy-going, but every so often she has a real knack for overstating things.
So, when she found out that I had told you she is as stiff as a poker, she went ballistic, and even called me a tattle-tale. She said that spreading people's little secrets is a definite no-no !
I'm sorry but she is anything but supple. It's an open secret, it is what it is, and after all, nodoggy is perfect !




So, as long as she has not taken a chill pill, I'll stick to " Don't be too clingy and lie low ".

Yet, I know revenge is a dish best served cold, and I guess that as soon as Perky runs her blog again, she won't fail to give away my two main quirks. So better do it myself !

I'm a spoiled dog, and I've got plenty of squeaky toys, but empty plastic bottles are my favourite.
Give me one, and I turn into a smashing recycler. My jaws don't fit on the large part, so I let it roll away, and then chase it. I'm an expert on it and one leap is enough to land on my prey ( I'm an outstanding 
long-jumper).

Then I parade with it a little  to let it squeak for mercy. When my Mum cries for mercy,too (she doesn't have a musical ear), I give it the coup de grâce and chew its cap off . And shoo !!




So, if you don't know what to do with your plastic bottles, either click on the link at the bottom of this post, or " better call Canaille " ( a doggy version of " Better call Saul ", a series about the trials and tribulations of a criminal lawyer).

My second and last quirk...yes, buddies, I've only got two ! I know I have just told you that nodoggy is perfect, but I'm the exception that proves the rule !
I'm a jolly walker, a first-rate ' Fetch the ball ' player, a second-to-none cuddle-giver, but when it comes to sleeping, I'm quite self-demanding. I do pay attention to have enough naps to keep my sanity, and I usually have an early night.



But when Perky and Sugardaddy have guests, difficult to get to sleep.
They spend time round the table, eating ( Perky's stern look keeps me away), chatting (no way to join the conversation, my woofs are just all Greek to them), and laughing, and I can't sleep a wink !
Enough is enough !
So, when it is past my bedtime, I usually fetch my comfy basket and drag it all around the table, with a stop and a deep sigh near each guest.
Most of the time, my little game triggers at least one quick glance at a watch and then I'm saved ! Off they go !
A bit rude, but, anyway, less rude than what Charlie, one of Mum's previous dogs, used to do to chase the guests away.
Guess what !!

He f---- ! Yes, guys, Charlie could be a" gassy " dog when needed !






Now, you know everything about me, and you know why I'm not really in Perky's good books at the moment. 
Your suggestions to help me get through that rough patch are welcomed on

perkybusybee@gmail.com

In the meantime, be pawesome, and don't forget : BE PERKY !

                             Your devoted Canaille

By the way, if I had been a she-dog, I would have signed all my posts :

                             Virginia Woof ( classy, isn't it ?)

http://www.networx.com/article/top-20-things-to-do-with-an-old-plastic












vendredi 18 août 2017

DOGS CAN SPEAK !









Hi everybody,



One more time, Canaille, your favourite wannabe blogging dog is on line, ready to share his adventures with you and make you crack a smile.

I hope that wherever you are and whatever you are doing, everything is hunky-dory for you and all the ones you love.

This week, Perky, this blog's owner and my Mum,as well, is still having a blast with her friends, so a good opportunity for me to ask you something that has been bugging me since I was a puppy.

Have you ever tried to learn a foreign language ?
Yes ? Great ! Then, you must know how infuriating slow and frustrating it can be !




Reading, listening and writing have their own challenges, but speaking is by far the most difficult skill to master.
Well, at least, that's what I experience day after day.
And yet, I have a private tutor ! 
Yes, guys, a private tutor ! Classy, isn't it ?
You know her. Her name is Perky Busy Bee (my Mum), but you can call her Perky for short.

As a dog mom, she is second to none. She is a dogaholic, so I never run out of cuddles,ear scratches and belly rubs. 



Halcyon days for ever, so nothing to complain about.

But, as a private tutor, jeez, words fail me ! Yeah, you can say that again !

Since my puppyhood we have had countless one-to-one lessons, but after hours of awkward and strenuous conversations with Perky, I am none the wiser !
Don't get me wrong ! I'm not dumb, and Perky knows her stuff, but ...please, keep this to yourself, maybe she is a tad too demanding.

I guess that sometimes she forgets I started from scratch.
No kidding, when Perky and Sugardaddy brought me back home, I was an absolute beginner.



I could just yap and whine to show my excitement to be with my new foster pack, far smaller than the litter I came from, but friendly and cheerful, though.
Unfortunately, Perky was not that bright at puppy-talk and she thought I was a crybaby !




I quickly realized that my casual babbling was effortless,but apparently gibberish.
I was feeling like an expat striving to break through the language barrier. No way to take refuge and stay comfy in the expat bubble : not a single four-pawed buddy in the place !

Anyway, I needed to honour my breed and show how sociable, outgoing and smart English Springer Spaniels are !

Oops ,...tooting my own horn again, sorry, my furry fellows, no offense meant !
None taken ? Thanks a lot, you're so understanding and easy-going !

But let's get back to the topic in hand, I mean, learning a foreign language.

So, I pushed myself hard, and within a few weeks I had picked up a few keywords and phrases, you know, a kind of survival kit, a me-specific vocabulary to make my everyday life easier.



Mouth-watering words such as " dry pet food, biscuits, bowl", thrilling phrases like " let's go for a walk, let's have a cuddle ", or the magic stress-reliever " Good night, sleep tight " had no secret for me !
I still remember the ' wow ' moment I gave Perky, the very first time I could ask for the bathroom, I mean, the very first time I could make myself undertand and ask to go out to do my business.
I was just 4 months old and Perky was simply amazed.
Gee, I had never seen her so chuffed before !

Can't buy my story ? Come on, don't you remember how your mum and dad were over the moon when you got potty-trained ?
So, don't laugh at me, please !

I was motivated and my efforts were worthwile.

Now, I can count up to 3. No joking, guys, when I play " Fetch " , I can stay still till Perky shouts 3. Then, of course, I start off !

I can also tell the time.
Don't believe me ?
Well, just ask Perky,then.
She doesn't need to keep and eye on her watch. At 7.30am and 5.30pm, I turn into a kind of Velcro dog and follow her around till she realizes it is bowl-time.
I never cry, cause I have noticed that when  human babies cry for their feeding bottles, they are sometimes misunderstood and given a pacifier .


 I'm not fluent yet.
For example, when it comes to greeting guests ringing at the door, Perky says my barkings are often a mishmash of warming and warning sounds ( I guess I still have to work on my pronunciation).
You see how uber-demanding she can be !

Anyway, it's the pot calling the kettle back and I think Perky should put her own house in order, cause if you've read the post " Addictions " dated April 16, then you remember the mess she got in when she started learning Spanish. She got stuck in lesson 4 and kept repeating 
" Donde esta Pépé ? " ( Where is Pépé ?).
Since then, Pépé is still reported missing, and Perky has not made much progress in Spanish.
She has tried a new method, but when she went to her first gym session, she had to face the fact : she was still stuck !
Listen, the coach was Spanish, so an unexpected good opportunity to practice and test her knowledge !
Unfortunately, after exchanging greetings in Spanish with Carlos, Perky got tongue-tied, cause the only thing she coud have said was " un hombre come una manzana " (" a man is eating an apple" )! Difficult to fit into small talks !!
Now, you know why her first steps into the fitness world left her so low-spirited !!

Don't worry, I don't get discouraged as easily as Perky, so you will hear from me next week !




In the meantime, have fun and don't forget : BE PERKY !!