Wednesday 30 July 2014

Friday 18 July 2014

Flower Festival 2014

The Flower Festival is one of the highlights of the biennial Crowthorne Carnival. Susannah, Bethan, Frankie and Lolly (!) came with me on Sunday afternoon. It was held in the church of St John the Baptist and it was packed. Light lunches and refreshments were served throughout the weekend.

Various local organisations took part, among them schools, Women's Institute, toddler groups, flower arrangers and businesses. The theme for the Carnival was ‘Strictly Showtime’.
Detail from 'Fiddler on the Roof' by St Sebastian's Women's Institute 
'Fiddler on the Roof' 
The font provided a platform for 'Carousel'
Every available space was used
'The X Factor', a popular television show
Not sure what was the inspiration behind this - 'Oliver' maybe?
'Swan Lake' by St Sebastian's church
There were musical interludes
'The Tower of Babel'
'The Beautiful City'
'The Cleansing of the Temple'
 'All good gifts'
Joseph and his coat of many colours
'Facets of Faith'
'St John's flower arrangers
'The Miracle of the Burning Bush'
'The Mikado' by Crowthorne Traders' Association
'Elton John'
'Detail from 'Elton John'
'A Midsummer Night's Dream'
'Singin' in the Rain' by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Crowthorne branch.
'Dancing on Ice' by Crowthorne WI. 'Dancing on Ice' is a popular television programme.

The pew ends were decorated. This one was inspired by 'My favourite things' from 'The Sound of Music.'
'Noah's Ark' by The Net, formerly known as St John's Sunday School.
Royal Ascot scene from 'My Fair Lady' by Crowthorne and Sandhurst Flower Arrangers
Crowthorne Gang Show - Scouts
'The Lion King' by Hatch Ride Primary School
This and the following scenes were on floats at the Carnival Procession at the beginning of Carnival Week.
'The Wizard of Oz' by Wildmoor Primary School
'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'
Detail from 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'
The splendid Cedar in the graveyard.

Monday 14 July 2014

Stealing the Limelight

Stealing the Limelight
Lolly, eight weeks old
All the four-footers have been confounded by the introduction of a tiny creature which has completely stolen the limelight. They are not quite sure just what it is – at least, they were not when Bethan brought it into the house last Saturday. The cats, Herschel in particular, went into predatory mode on first sight. Bethan and I had driven to Shropshire to Threevalleys Gundogs to collect her (first) puppy, a little black bundle of absolute cuteness.
Bethan with Lolly, nine weeks old
Yesterday Bethan came to visit and Lolly, for that is her name, now nine weeks old and a little larger and much more confident, travelled with her by bus, tube and train from Muswell Hill to Crowthorne. They spent the day with us. This time, the cats did not attempt to stalk Lolly although they are still markedly bigger than her.
Jellicoe, whiskers well forward, approaches with caution. Naturally, Isambard was nowhere to be seen!
The dogs, all seven of them, (Tia, Foxy and Buster are spending their summer holiday with us) had relaxed by the time Bethan and Lolly left. Today they are tired – all the stress of coping with an incomer has taken its toll.
A close encounter with Foxy
Lolly will be visiting again next weekend. It is important that the adult dogs become accustomed to her while she is still very small as they will often be spending time together. 
Frankie, nineteen months old
Frankie was delighted to see a tiny version of Jenna. For him all black Labradors are called Jenna but he is beginning to distinguish Gus and Tia. The fox red Labrador brothers Bertie and Buster are a puzzle to him for they still look very similar. Foxy is one on her own and on a strict diet, for she is greed personified. Frodo, of course, is very different and definitely not a Labrador.
Susannah with Frankie
Bethan with Lolly
There’s never a dull moment in the Cooke household!

Saturday 12 July 2014

The Further Adventures of Frodo the Faller - Frodo is Missing the Limelight

The Further Adventures of Frodo the Faller – Frodo is Missing the Limelight

You may remember me. I used to blog . . . No, no, what I meant to say was that it has been a long time since I updated The Further Adventures of Frodo the Faller which means the good old boy has been living a trouble-free life with just mild seizures every few weeks.

Nonetheless, it would seem that Frodo’s nose, quite apart from being a little dry and cracked (for which I apply Vaseline) has been a little out of joint because he has not had any blog posts devoted to him recently. (Our time has been stolen by another little chap.) 

Naturally Frodo decided to remedy the oversight.

You may remember earlier this year, in May, I commented that Frodo had what looked like a graze on the top of his head but it didn’t appear to be troubling him. Shortly after I published that post Frodo started rubbing his head against every available surface and the ‘graze’ swelled and reddened and so Frodo went to see his friend Phil-the-Vet. Phil thought it was either a bacterial infection or a problem with Frodo’s immune system. 

We were told to shampoo the affected area but the shampoo was to be kept out of Frodo’s eyes – quite difficult considering the location of the infection. Frodo is such a good boy and never complains or struggles but it was clear he was not enjoying the process. However, it seemed to calm the inflammation and antibiotics were also prescribed which eased the itching. 

Phil wanted further investigation so Frodo spent a morning with the vets in order to be sedated and have skin samples taken. He came home a little dopey and with some impressive embroidery on several parts of his head. The hair in the original affected area dropped out and for a while we thought Frodo was planning to join a religious order, so imposing was his tonsure.

Eventually it was confirmed that Frodo has atopic dermatitis which is a very common affliction in dogs. It is responding well to medication. I hope Frodo will be satisfied now that he has enjoyed the spotlight once more!