Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring revival

In an earlier life, at an epoch designated communally by archaeologists as BF [BEFORE FITZROY], this excavated textile specimen was no doubt a sock… but my image is of poor quality, since I don't have the necessary photographic equipment to record forensic scenes.

Today, alas, in spite of our unbounded faith in the great annual revival orchestrated by the Creator and His Hordes of Heavenly Angels, there's no way in the world that I'll ever again be able to put a foot into a resuscitated version of that sock, which has clearly gone far too far beyond the Third Day. Be that as it may, I'm determined to make a massive spring effort to restore my Gamone house and property (maybe with the help of historical photos from the present blog) to something like the state they were in back in the BF era.

Talking about my second dear dog, here's a photo of the residence that Fitzroy has set up for himself (with a minimum of help from me) after his spontaneous decision to move out of the magnificent wooden mansion that I had built for him just a little further up the street.

An obvious advantage of this new place (I'm obliged to admit) is the fact that it offers an uninterrupted day-and-night outlook over the valley: that's to say, primarily, the Cornouze. You'll understand that, for an esthete such as Fitzroy, the constant presence of this beautiful view is essential, indeed vital. Dogs do not live by bones alone.

Meanwhile, Fitzroy's sporting interests remain as usual. In that domain, I have to correct remarks I've made in the past about his activities in hose handling [display]. Maybe it's because I'm growing old—or maybe simply because because I'm not a dog—but it takes me time to understand certain things. I had imagined the case of the long hose wound around my young plum tree as a screwed-up session of hose running [display]. It is in fact a totally new sport, named hose curling. It was only this morning, thanks to the persistence of my dog, that I became fully aware of this.

Any old idiot (such as me, now that Fitzroy has made it clear to me) can tell at a glance whether we're observing hose running or rather hose curling, because they're played with quite different lengths of hose. And hose running doesn't require the presence of a tree.

Talking of plum trees and spring revival, you may recall the January anecdote about the horses of Will the Welshman and my donkeys devouring the bark of young trees down in front of the house.

Following the departure of the horses, I modified the position of the electric fence in an almost certainly vain attempt to save these trees. Well, I prayed fervently to my compatriot saint Mary MacKillop [display]. It's still too early to believe in a miracle, but this photo I took this afternoon seems to suggest that the good old sheila might have heard my pleas, and acted upon them. If so, thanks a lot, mate!

Meanwhile, since the sunny weather is, in itself, a mini miracle at Gamone, I decided—as I said earlier on in this blog post—to get stuck into cleaning up Fitzroy's winter mess. Sophia, of course, couldn't give a damn about whether or not the lawn is strewn with sticks. She's even more Zen, more of a lazy existentialist, wise but unworldly, than I am… which is saying a lot, particularly in the domain of spring cleaning. As for Fitzroy, he's clearly shocked by the idea that I might be about to get rid of all his stuff.

To be perfectly honest, for the moment, I've left the tangled twigs lying there. Fitzroy will have a chance of deciding, during the night, whether he should make an effort to redistribute them all over again. As I always say (and I'm sure my two dogs agree with me): Live and let live.


  1. Glad to see that the plum trees have survived, William.

    Do you think that Fitzroy would like his palance relocated to the new location of his home? Does he return to it when it rains?

    Perhaps it's too grand for him?

    Speaking of socks. A dog I know well called Max always has one sock. He picks it up and walks around with it. He chews it. He brings it to you to have you throw it so he can catch it and bring it back. It's a lot safer throwing a sock indoors than a ball!

    In many ways, Max's sock is like a child's favourite toy - when he loses it he can get quite upset until he finds it again, with or without human assitance.

    I don't think that Fitzroy builds quite the same relationship with your socks, though!

  2. Annie: I'm not sure that Fitzroy has truly abandoned his kennel. For example, he certainly spends time there (for a while, at least) when it's raining, and I actually leave his food inside the kennel. But William (the Welsh drover who bred the dog) always insisted upon the fact that this is an outdoor race. And it's clear that Fitzroy is not fond of the inside of my house, and seems to be bored there. He's attracted by the possibility of being in tactile contact with another animal, be it me or Sophia. He's by far the most sensually-demanding creature I've ever encountered (with apologies to any old flames who might be reading my blog). If he were a woman (that's a totally stupid "if", but this thought has often gone through my mind, so I'll finish expressing it), Fitzroy would have reduced me to an emaciated psychological skeleton: the sort of situation that most males do in fact crave for. We might pretend to complain about being stared at with big soft eyes and asked, for nth time: "Tell me, what are you thinking about?" But, in fact, we love such constant pointless questions. And that's exactly how Fitzroy behaves with me. He sits down on his backside, at my feet, and peers ceaselessly up into my eyes. It can be quite unsettling. And caresses turn rapidly, for Fitzroy, into spiritual ecstasy. (Well, they seem to produce a transfixed Teresa-of-Avila state.) In any case, getting back to his new abode, he appears to appreciate the vegetal presence all around him. On one side, there's a wild rose. On the other, a wisteria… which he has pruned to his tastes (literally) by chewing. In front of him, there's lavender. And beyond that, his lawn and his sticks. Besides, it's a spot just alongside one of the main doors into the house, so he can detect the sounds of anything that might be happening inside.