Dog(s) of the (more than one) Week: Barnaby and Kizzie

Meet Barnaby, a lazy St Bernard with a fondness for tummy rubs. We remain suspicious that he was not, in fact, a real dog, but was a man wearing a suit created by The Jim Henson Company. Such a big softie, he just stood there with a hurt expression while a family, who were out walking a muzzle-less Buster, let their dog take lump out of Barnaby’s big fluffy tail. (Special shot of the feather duster that he calls his tail shown in the second picture, below.) There are more shots of Barnaby getting some attention on Flickr.

Barnaby 1
Barnaby 2

And last week, we walked Kizzie, a sweet old Rottweiler whom we’ve walked before. We actually got her by mistake, as I got her confused with the much livelier Rottweiler, Cassie, that I’d had the week before. But then, after we’d walked Kizzie, we spotted Cassie in her kennel, and when I walked up to say hello, she bared her teeth and started barking at me. I’m going to go ahead and assume this was because she was feeling nervous, enclosed in her kennel, and that I’d just been too presumptuous in walking straight up to her, because she was very well behaved when I had walked her the week before. Plus, I was wearing sunglasses, and she might have been freaked by not being able to see my eyes. (What is Dog of the Week?)


Pottery, Wii, and transvestism

Jenny’s cousin and thoroughly, delightfully batty aunts came to visit. We painted crockery...

Crockadoodledoo Sheila and Isla convinced that Wii Tennis was a great game...

...and, with the power of OldBooth on the iPhone, turned Sheila into a man:



I’ve been mucking about with virtual machines a lot recently, and in order to get Windows 95 to install, I had to dig out my USB floppy drive to make an image of the boot floppy. Young whippersnappers may never have heard the satisfying clunk and whrt-whrt-fud-fud-fud of a 3½″ floppy drive, so I’ve preserved it here for all eternity. May we never see its like again. (I am, as an aside, just old enough to remember 5¼″ floppies, and weird enough even to remember the weird, chunky 3″ models used by the Amstrad PCWs my family had.)

Four Phintastic years

On this day four years ago, Wife and I hired a band, invited a bunch of people round, and told them all that we each thought the other was a pretty nice person, all things considered. Today marks our fourth anniversary, and we toddled off to the Michelin-starred The Bath Priory for lunch. Such a glorious experience, and rounded off beautifully with this rather lovely selection of petit fours. Marriage rocks, by the way.

Anniversary petit fours

Dog of the Week: Cassie

Yesterday’s dog was Cassie, a Rottweiler who, unlike Kizzie, was decidedly not arthritic. She was strong, and it took us while to get to know each other, but by the end of walk, I had her sitting at heel like a good girl when we stopped and waited for other dogs to pass. (Of particular note since she lunged madly at the first few dogs we passed.) A combination of heavy sporadic rain and wanting to give her more attention than any of the other dogs I’ve walked to date meant that the only usable image I have of her is the tiny clip below, but I think it’s worth sharing to show that even Rotties are just big puppies underneath. (I was struck again by how alike dogs are; despite knowing that they share a common ancestor only a handful of generations back, it’s still striking to me that a stocky great lug of a beast like Cassie would sniff at a scent in the grass with the utmost delicacy and care, and that she’d respond to the same commands, affection and body language as any other.)

We also went to Cardiff to see Cope, and though we had to leave early today so I could get back and get some work done, we took time to visit the bay and stop into the Assembly building. It’s a stunning piece of architecture, and the use of wood and slate is a sympathetic yet bold mix of traditional materials and techniques married to uncompromisingly modern aesthetic. The openness and welcoming nature of the place is also striking.

What’s more, though the shots below – the brick building is not the Assembly, though I forget its name and use now – have been Photoshopped (sorry Adobe), they’re the first in-anger pictures I’ve taken with the iPhone 3GS, and they are at least passable.

Welsh Assembly
Brick Building