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K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge…

Good morning folks, welcome to a new week and a new chapter in K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge, the antidote to the Monday blues.

K’lee set the theme on Friday, leaving us the prompt; Man’s best friend, which I chose to interpret by sharing some fairly straightforward pictures of my late lamented canine companion, Karla.

The first half dozen of this magnificent seven were taken by yours truly, but the final image is one originally taken by friend and resident blog-toonist, Ho. I’ve just mucked about with it a bit.

I’ve posted a link to K’lee’s photo HERE, now let me see what you have to offer.

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To get involved with the challenge, post a photo to your blog on Monday, add a pingback to this post (or to K’lee’s) and don’t forget to tag your post #CosPhoChal.

Alternatively, add a link to your blog in the comments of either mine or K’lee’s post and we’ll come and check out your entry.

Any and all effects, editing, Photoshop, Instagram, morphing, collages or whatever other post production techniques you fancy are permitted, (in fact, they’re actively encouraged!) so get creative and turn your photos into artworks for the Cosmic Photo Challenge.

#CosPhoChal

 
12 Comments

Posted by on October 24, 2016 in Arts, Photography

 

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Dog days 6. (occasional tales of life with my people)…

Missed the beginning? Go back to part one here…

Part 6 – Slowing down.

(Translated from the original by dalecooper57)

Karla is a lady now.
She tells me so.

Karla is The Numphlet to Him and to Her.
But to everyone else I am Karla.

Now when we go out, I walk next to Her, I don’t run after things that jump in the grass.
I sniff all the wonderful smells, but I don’t want to play chase anymore.
Karla still loves sticks, but only slow ones.

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Sometimes after a swim, Karla feels tired now, legs all wobbly.

But when I go out to The Park with my people and I stop to swap smells with another dog, They sometimes talk to the other dog’s people.

They say things like;
– Oh isn’t she beautiful! She’s a puppy isn’t she?
– No, she’s actually nine.
Or;
– Actually she’s ten, if you can believe that. But she still thinks she’s a puppy, that’s what it is.

(I don’t know what “nine” or “ten” is, but they seem proud of me so I jump and jump, barking and wagging my tail, to make sure They know I’m happy about it)

– See? Still a puppy at heart. Karla calm down, you’re too old for that, you’ll hurt yourself.

But Karla can’t help it.
Karla loves being outside, and sometimes the feeling of freedom is too much and I have to run and run.
But the outside is scary too, there are noises outside that frighten Karla.

Sometimes, when They are talking to other dogs’ people, they’ll say;
– She’s getting terrible now, she’s frightened of everything.
She was really brave when she was a puppy, now if someone bursts a balloon a mile away, she’s off.

Oh, Karla thinks that’s unfair.

Wait. Was that a noise?

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Right, Karla thinks it’s time for a trot back to the car now.
Ok, more of a gallop really.
Well, maybe just a bit faster.

– KARLA! Mind the traffic!
– Good grief, that (bad word) dog has the road sense of a watermelon.
– You bad girl, you nearly got run over.

Back at the car now.
Safe.
{Innocent look} Who, me?
Happy now, even though He is angry. He’s not really angry, Karla knows.

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“Ok, we’re here now, close the door and let’s go!”

Who said anything about slowing down?

Except when we get home, then Karla does feel tired.
But that’s ok too, as long as I’m near Them.
And after all, there’s always room for one more on the big bed at sleep time.

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Karla dreams of chasing sticks.
Karla dreams of chasing the big stupid birds.
Karla dreams of running and running.

Karla dreams…

 

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Remember, remember, Guido, Carrot and the Chinese cook…

I’ve had a fishpond in our garden since we moved here fifteen years ago and despite now being down to just three fish it is still a source of great enjoyment to me, especially sitting in the sunshine with a cold glass of something refreshing and watching the fish glide sinuously about amongst the lily pads.

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So imagine my dismay when I receive a text message from Elaine at work this morning saying ominously “Ring me urgent, big trouble with fish pond”

Uh,oh…

Rewind 400 years:
It is the dawn of the 17th century.
In continental Europe, the Eighty Years War rages.
In the old low countries that would become the Netherlands, the Catholic Spanish are fighting the Protestant Dutch, aided by mercenaries and zealots from far and wide, including a man known variously as John Johnson, Guido Foukes, and Guy Fawkes.
During his time on the campaign Fawkes met Thomas Wintour, a fellow anti-royalist who introduced him to Robert Catesby, the man who would lead the conspiracy that would become known as The Gunpowder Plot

Rewind a further 700 years:
The dingy recesses of a kitchen in 10th century China;
A cook is making a spicy curing mix for half of the pig his master has acquired for winter storage.
In the gloom he reaches for black peppercorns to add to the saltpetre he has already got in his grinder, little knowing that what he has in fact added is ground charcoal, used to prime the ovens.
Not only that, he also erroneously adds sulphur in the place of yellow turmeric.

After starting to rub the mixture into the pork, he realises his mistake too late and has to dispose of the spoiled meat, already fearful of the punishment to come.

However, when he throws the carcass on the fire, thinking to tell his master a tale of a cooking accident, he notices the coating he had applied burning with strangely coloured flames and giving off loud cracking and popping noises.
Knowing a good escape route when he saw it, he hurried to his master and told him of this mysterious discovery.

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Experiments followed, packing the sulphurous black powder into hollow bamboo shoots and igniting it, the destruction achieved seemingly disproportionate to the tiny volume of mixture used.

The rest is history.
Or possibly gastronomy.

Fast forward to England in 1605;
By now Catesby had persuaded Fawkes and eleven other co- conspirators to take part in his audacious plan to assassinate King James I.
He had gained access to the undercroft of the House of Lords, where he and his cohorts stashed some two and a half thousand kilogrammes of gunpowder. Enough, by recent calculations, to cause total devastation to anything within a 500 metre radius of the blast.

Of course the plot was foiled at the last, the King’s men tipped off by an anonymous letter. But it is often forgotten, in our haste to cast a good anti-hero in our folk legends, that John/Guy/Guido only played a minor part in proceedings, merely guarding the cache of explosives and therfore being the only one caught red-handed.

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He gave the rest of them up under what would nowadays probably be called “enhanced interrogation”, but cheated the full weight of justice – he was to have been hanged, drawn and quartered – by jumping from the scaffold and breaking his neck before sentence could be carried out.

Now, back in good old 2013;
We still celebrate the burning to death of a man who actually took his own life under the very noses of his executioners.
And thanks to Henry VII choosing the new fangled fireworks (oh, if that long-dead Chinese chef knew what he’d started..) as the climax to his wedding festivities in 1486, immediately making them de rigueur with the celebrating upper classes and soon with anyone else who could mix the easily-accessible ingredients, we now fire all manner of alarmingly powerful ordinance into the night sky, never knowing quite where it will land.

Such was the case last night.

As Elaine opened the sliding patio door to let in some fresh air at about 10.30pm yesterday, a loud Whooosh noise, accompanied by a lot of sparks and smoke went past at just above head height and smashed into the fence.
The rogue rocket then proceeded to skitter about on the paving right next to the fishpond (remember the fishpond?) and then explode with the most incredible, deafening BOOM!

The box containing all the electrical connections for the pump, filter etc was reduced to this..

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… and when I returned home early from work to investigate the “big trouble” alluded to in her text, the waterfall liner, not visible in the dark last night had clearly been melted by the fiery detonation.

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This had allowed the pump to efficiently empty the pond over the patio in the night, leaving the gasping fish with only a few meagre inches of water in which to flop around.
When I got there the pond had been topped up somewhat but still looked in a sorry state.

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Nevertheless, after an hour or so of emergency restoration work on the waterfall the pump was repositioned and our two goldfish and my golden orfe, Carrot (named after Captain Carrot of the Ankh Morpork City Watch) could once again rest easy in their watery lair.

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Mind you, I can hear the fireworks starting up again already, let’s hope they follow the same never-in-the-same-place-twice rule as lightning…

 
8 Comments

Posted by on November 5, 2013 in aardvark, Blogging, Personal anecdote

 

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Picture this. Roo and the ducks…

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It was our last day of looking after Roo today so we took her out for a final walk to the wildfowl reserve at Chivenor.
As I never need an excuse to go looking for things to photograph, I thought I’d try and get some artistic shots of the ducks and gulls that populate the tranquil lake, and anything else the countryside had to offer this grey October morning.

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The ducks were hungry and noisily appreciative of our offering of bread…

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..opportunistic gulls swooping in to grab up any morsels from slow beaks.

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The velvet tubes of bulrush seed heads are looking ripe..

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..and away from the water, there is still plenty of colour in the hedgerows and gardens on and around the Tarka Trail.

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After a long walk in the fresh air, I think we succeeded in sufficiently tiring Roo out for her travel-weary returning owners.

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So long for now Roo, look forward to your next visit.

 
 

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Dog days 5 (occasional tales of life with my people)…

Missed the start? go to part one.

              Part five – Clumsy.

          (Trans – dalecooper57)

Karla is grown up now.
Now I am allowed to walk on my own, without my lead.
I don’t like going too far from Them when we go out though, so that’s ok.

But sometimes I get frightened by things.
When Karla was very small, Karla wasn’t afraid of anything except being left on my own.
Now there are so many places we go with bad noises and smells. Like The Town.
Karla hates the Town.

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Karla gets left outside when They go into places in Town.

One day, Karla was tied to a noisy, scary thing outside, (A rotating metal advertising sign on a stand -Trans.) when the other who stays with Karla’s people sometimes, took me into Town
When I stay outside, kind others stroke me and make kind noises, but Karla still trembles.

This day, an other walked past and when they hit the scary thing, it made a frightening noise.
Karla has had enough.
Karla wants to go back home.
Karla can run very fast.

Lots of cars. Lots of people.
Karla can’t escape the noisy thing, it is chasing me.
Karla runs through the scary Town, with the frightening, clanging thing still on the end of my lead.
It’s bouncing on cars. People are shouting.

I hear my other shouting too,
– Karla, stop! Karla, come here!

But Karla runs straight across where noisy roads cross over.
Shouting is getting fainter now,
– Somebody stop her! Karla, for (bad word)’s sake!

Suddenly, a strange other grabs me as I run past.
There is not much left of the scary thing. Karla has killed it

My other catches up. Very red face, angry,
– Thanks mate. Karla, you bad girl!

When we get home, my people fuss me lots,
– Oh, look at her feet, her claws are bleeding.
– She ran off with a sign, I couldn’t catch her. Ran right over the crossroads, nearly gave me a heart attack.
– Right Karla, lampshade time.

Oh no, not the lampshade!

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I have to wear this when I hurt myself, They think it is funny.
Karla doesn’t.

Once, Karla ran into a fence and hurt her ear. They took me to the Bad Place, and I had sharp, pulling things put in my ear.
And the lampshade. Again.

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Still not funny.

Karla got scared by a noise another time, and ran into a very hard stone post really fast.
He made me run back to the car,  and took me to a different Bad Place.
The red stuff stopped coming out of Karla’s face before we got there.
Karla was a good girl. I licked and licked, until it had all come off my fur.

The others at the Bad Place made a fuss,
– Ooh, she’s beautiful.
– It doesn’t look too bad, we’ll give her a couple of stitches and call you later.

He went away and left Karla.
Trembling.

Kind others cleaned Karla’s face where it’s still sticky and sore.
Suddenly, lots of red stuff, coming out in a big spray. All over the kind people,
– Damn, think she’s nicked an artery. We’ll have to put her under and repair it.

Sharp thorn in Karla’s foot.
Ow. Karla has had enough now.
Karla will go home.
Oh, Karla can’t make her legs work.
Mmmm, lovely, warm fuzzy feeling.
Karla thinks a sleep would be nice after all.

Waking up, all dozy and warm.
Where am I? Oh, Karla remembers now.
And what’s this? Oh, another lampshade.

Karla must be more careful, They say.
But sometimes, playing is too important, and Karla forgets.

Karla has hurt her foot in the river, poked her eye on a stick chasing the little white tailed hopping things, and once, when Karla saw one of those nasty meowing things in our garden, I ran after it.
But I forgot the big, clear door was shut.
Karla hit it very fast, made me see funny shapes in my head. Dizzy.

Clumsy Karla.

But my family always looks after me.
Even if they do keep my lampshade, just in case.

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3 Comments

Posted by on February 15, 2013 in Karla, Personal anecdote

 

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Dog day days 4 (occasional tales of life with my people)…

Missed the beginning of my story? start at part one.   

    Part four – Going away.

      (Trans. – dalecooper57)

Sometimes the family (not pack, now Karla has a family) goes to places away from home.

Karla loves going away.
But only if Karla and family go away together.

Sometimes the family goes away and Karla must go to Place of Lonely Dogs.

They call them Kennels.

The people are good, they are kind. But the place is full of noise.
It smells of fear.
Karla is quiet here.
At home Karla barks at everything.
Here Karla is a very good girl.
Karla gets extra walks with the kind kennel-people.

When the family come back, Karla is so happy.
But I still remember to glare at them later, to show them I am not happy being left alone.

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This is the look I give them.
He calls this picture Black Lodge Dog.

The best times are when I go with them to other places.
We all go in the car, sometimes a very long time, to a new home.
New smells. So exciting.
Family takes Karla’s bed for her.
Smells safe. Karla loves her bed.

Other times, we take home with us.
He takes a big soft bag, and hard, rattling sticks, and builds a house in a field!
It’s called Tent.
We get to live outside all the time.

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She and I, relaxing by tent.

Sometimes living in tent is scary.
The wind makes the walls shake and sway.
Very noisy.
I feel safer near Them.
Sometimes He says Karla is a bad girl when I sleep on his head (just to keep him safe) and wake Him up in the night.

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This tent was like a big ball.

We go to lots of exciting places when we live in tent.
Many rivers to swim in, many sticks to chase.
All He wants to do is look into a little box all the time.

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One day, we are playing with sticks in a river, He throws a stick, it is caught in a tree.
Karla can’t reach.
Tree is over the river.
Karla looks for Him. Karla needs help.
He is looking into his little box, laughing.

Karla really wants stick back.
Can’t quite reach.
Maybe if I stretch just a bit higher…

Not funny, no.

They take Karla to places that have lots of big open spaces to run in…

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…lots of sticks to chase…

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…lots of long walks to go on. We went away in tent once, and went on long steep walks every day!
(the Malvern hills – Trans.)
Here is me, with Him, resting after a long climb;

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They always take me to other places that have lots of space outside…

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…They even take me away with them when Karla has hurt herself…

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…and we sometimes go to places where there are no other people at all…

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…which is Karla’s favourite, because I love spending all my time with Them.

Karla loves going away with the family.
Karla loves coming back the most though.
It’s always good to come home, to lie in my place by Her side on the sofa.

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Karla loves home best.

(Thank you to Ho for additional photos)

 
6 Comments

Posted by on December 30, 2012 in Karla, Personal anecdote, Photography, Travel

 

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Dog days 3…

    Part three – Growing up fast.

(Trans. – dalecooper57)

Everything is happening so fast now.
Days go past like,…like,…like things that are not here for long.

Karla goes out every day now.
Oh, Karla loves going out.
Mainly, She takes me out – He goes away in the day, to the place that makes Him smell bad – sometimes we go in the Car (the smelly box is a Car) to the places with the fun-water.
And sometimes we walk up the hard floor hill until we get to the Field.

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Karla has learnt Car, and Field, and Walk, and Dinner. And lots of other words.
Karla is a Clever Girl!

Karla has leant other things too, not just words.
Karla has learnt she doesn’t like Baths at all.

One day, She took me to our Fields, near the House (new word for lair) and we were playing Fun With Sticks, our favourite game.
She was throwing away perfectly good sticks, and no matter how many times I brought them back, she didn’t understand how nice they were, and threw them away again.

Karla knows what to do with sticks.
Sticks are for chewing.
Sticks are for carrying, however big they are.

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While I was looking for yet another stick that wasn’t good enough for Her, I smelled something so good.
I had to find it, it smelled so doggy, but much, much stronger.

Wild.

I sniffed and sniffed and sniffed, even when She called to me.
And then I found it!

Oh, it was so powerful.
I just had to smell like that too.

I rolled, and rolled, and rolled…

She said
– Karla, what did you do?
Oh, you smell awful!

She said
– You’re going to need a Bath…

When we got home, He was there.
He said
– What the hell has she rolled in?
She said
– I think it’s fox poo.
He said
– Right, in the Bath then.

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           Nooooo! Not a Bath!

I knew. I knew what He was going to do.
He tried to pretend something nice was Upstairs.
Ha! Karla is a Clever Girl.
Karla doesn’t want to go.

He not play fair. Put Karla’s lead on her. Drag Karla up to Bath.

Frightening.
Smells wrong.
Bright, shiny.
Slippy in Bath, Karla can’t stand up properly.

He makes it Rain really hard.
Rubs horrible smelling stuff in Karla’s fur.

Karla has had enough.

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                    Escape!

Now, Karla doesn’t go in Bath anymore.
He makes it rain hard, and really cold outside instead.

It’s still better.

But Karla likes fun-water.
Water that moves, and is deep.
Water to chase Sticks in.
Water to dive in.

Look at what a good swimmer Karla is!

Karla can Swim very well.
Karla knows Swim.
She says
– Do you want to go for a swim?
Karla sooooo happy. Jumping. Barking. Yes please!

We go in the Car to The Meadow, which is like really big field, but with long fun-water at the bottom.
It has Sticks, and Mud, and lots of exciting smells.
And sometimes, there are little, furry, hopping things. They run really fast.
Karla always chases them.
They always get away, but Karla doesn’t mind.

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Here’s me with a really good Stick in the Meadow.

And then, after we walk round The Meadow, we get to the really fun part.

Karla runs to the fun-water, and…

Karla leaps!

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Leap to part four.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 9, 2012 in Karla, Personal anecdote

 

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