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A fine morning this morning, so my usual habit of being sped around the village by our small terrier was unhindered by having to peer out from under my all weather jacket. There I was minding my own business, when bombini apidae suddenly ... I have never come across a case of dangerous driving in a bee before. Wasps, yes, but bees have always struck me as the gentlemen (and gentlewomen) of the airways, ever careful in their comings and goings. I can only assume that this particular bee was over-honeyed; under the influence of an over-indulgence in pollen, it was speeding its way hivewards so as to avoid 'the fuzz'; 'the boys in bluebottles'. And this bee surely struck me. Square in the right eye. It, the bee, was unfazed by the encounter, barely batting an eyelid, so to speak, before resuming its journey. I, on the other hand was much discomfited. I was not stung and the only hurt was to my dignity and to the dog as it was whirled around me like a windmill as I sought…


Recently, I have found myself considering the subject of objectivity. Many years ago, as an employee of a large UK insurance company, one of my colleagues - a trade union rep - approached me and asked for my opinion on some pressing staff concern or other. He did so, he said because "I know you can be objective". This had never occurred to me as a quality I might or might not possess. I always understood that I was just slow. Not stupid. Slow. Now - reminded of this incident - and realising that objectivity (being able to step back and assess a situation 'in the round', even should it tell against yourself) is a family trait, I seem to discern that being objective is not a common quality ... at least not today. Maybe it was common currency in days gone by, but the 'Age of Reason' is now only mentioned as history. We live in the Age of ... what exactly? Certainly everything happens with such speed that Slugalug's like me are an anachronism. One does not n…


The 'Dog's Brexit' thing has worn me out now. That, and President Gump's inauguration. The scale of the switcheroo in the world's understanding of itself has become exceedingly wearing of late. After my last post I found that the temptation to change it on a daily basis to accommodate the shifts and slides in perception of events just too much to handle, although my basic premise remained unchanged. I can see how journalists can become so frenetic at the constant change of things. I have to be very careful what I say about President Gump because I have many dear and beloved American friends and family some of whom think he is just the very man to set America back on track. Perhaps he is and I most certainly mean no offence to anyone who holds that belief. But in my view he is almost as presidential as a bowl of porridge, but with much less substance.

Donald Gump is undoubtedly a good businessman. He wouldn't be a billionaire otherwise. However, there are plent…


As someone interested in but never particularly shocked or surprised by politics and politicians, I have nonetheless been shocked but unsurprised by their response to the 'Brexit' opinion poll. I know that by now - some months after the event - millions of words have already been expended on the 'Hokey Cokey' Referendum (in, out, shake it all about). But in attempting to clarify my own thoughts on the matter - for the record and for the avoidance of speculation, I wished to remain in the EU - I am putting down here a few of my thoughts and gleanings on the matter both on leaving the EU and on the referendum (and referenda in general). I do not take any party political stance here; I hope merely a considered and clear-sighted one.
I find myself particularly distressed by the continual assertion by government (and other politicians) that "the British people have spoken", as if there has been an unequivocal statement as to the direction the country should take.…


... or WHEN CHRISTMAS GETS MESSY. Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a small arfhound wrecking at least some of your Christmas gifts. This is not done with malicious intent, but usually because said hound is saying to herself ... I am bored'they' [my people] are ignoring meI wonder what that [insert name of precious article here] tastes likeI wonder how easily [insert name of priceless article here] can be trashed / torn apart / made worthlessI am boredI am still bored and 'they' [my people] usually take me for a walk right about now and they are talking to each other and excluding me. I'll soon sort that * Now it has to be said that our darling dog does not confine herself to Christmas for her nefarious activities, but it is particularly distressing at this season of joy and goodwill that the festive spirit is being undermined by your 'nearest and dearest' [sic]. I cannot recall whether or not I have regaled you with tales of Gypsy Rose's boun…


Most recent posts have concentrated on either a) That Dog, or b) That Car. Certainly these two things have nearly monopolised my thinking - or my stress-life, as I now call it - for nearly a year. How could I turn stress into joy?
The simple answer is prayer, of course, which worked nicely - at least as far as the car is concerned.

Gertie, as I suppose I must now call her, was our dear Fiat Doblo, who has seen us through many house and business moves (including Ireland and back) and who was beginning to show her age at nearly 10 years old. Running well and in tolerably good condition, I could not help feeling that she could no longer deliver the reliability needed for our business.

I feel awful about it, as if I have betrayed a trust and imagine the old thing turning her headlights to the wall and shedding a single tearful indicator bulb at being passed over for a younger model. Well, at 6 years old Daisy is no spring chicken, but offers us a few more years of reliable service - more…