Tuesday, 24 January 2023


Where does the time go?

Gilbert is nearly twelve weeks old now and enormous – for a puppy. We think he’s going to be a big dog, as tall as Bertie

 and as broad as Gus.

I believe that it’s preferable to have a summer puppy, rather than a winter puppy, but over the years we’ve had a mixture of both. The main differences are in the hours of darkness and the weather. Summer tends to be warmer and the daylight hours are longer, though many days can be quite chilly, and very wet. It’s not unheard of for us to light a fire in June!

We had a couple of rainy days when Gilbert was first with us but now it’s dry and very cold, -7° Celsius yesterday morning with a sparkling hard frost, but taking him out to relieve himself has not been particularly arduous. He quickly does what he has to, then, depending on the time, goes back to bed or has breakfast. This morning he woke us at 6:00, but a few days ago he wanted to go out at 1:00 a.m. and then again at 6:00. Some mornings he has woken us at 3:45. In general, though, he has slept through the night, and starts his day between 5:00 and 6:00!

Roxy plays with him now. 

He’s very respectful of her and easily put in his place and that’s just as it should be. Susannah’s little dog, Arthur, is far too accommodating and doesn’t discipline Gilbert. His long spaniel ears and the plentiful feathers on his tail and legs are just too inviting for a pup to ignore. We are very vigilant and separate them when they get too excited. Playing together when one of the pair is in the pen is much safer!

Frankie is growing up fast. He has started making video clips, using his ‘phone. He adds music and text and uses different voices for the characters. It’s a good and imaginative way to express himself and he’s exploring relationships and feelings, though he doesn’t realise it.

On Friday, he went with his class to ‘The Living Rainforest’. Before he left for school he said that he wanted to hold a tarantula if he was given the opportunity. ‘I’m scared of spiders,’ he said, ‘but I’ve got to get over it.’ With a positive attitude like that he should go far.

Though still cold, the weather has improved. Last night’s temperature was -2° and at 6:00 this morning it was zero.  It feels quite balmy and this afternoon’s predicted temperature of 5° sounds almost tropical. There’s no wind, which makes a huge difference. No matter what the weather, the birds and squirrels are busily preparing to procreate, apart from the wood pigeons, which are active all year round.

A pair of magpies is nesting in a nearby oak. Watching them yesterday, I concluded they were refurbishing their nest, as they pulled out leaves and twigs. They keep a lookout for the red kite which roosts near them and will attempt to steal any chicks, though they will vigorously  defend their offspring and chase it away.

red kite being pursued by crow


  1. Puppies and kittens are so playful. Your fur babies are cute. I think Gilbert has a sweet face. And speaking of birds, I saw the most enormous hawk in a tree across the road yesterday. I thoughtit was a huge owl until I f got the camera. We are expecting snow and those cold temps will drive the hawks to our feeder to 'hunt."
    I will be glad for warmer weather.

  2. I guess the feeder provides easy pickings for hungry predators. I'm looking forward to spring, but it is interesting to see the inhabitants of the trees when the branches are bare.

  3. I've been following the posts on Gilbert - what a sweet puppy! I hope he brings you many years of fun and companionship.

    1. Thank you. He's already a very companionable puppy and great fun.

  4. Zero is balmy and 5 degrees is almost tropical? Urk! I'll stick with Australia, thanks very much.
    Gilbert is looking well and growing fast.

  5. It's all relative, isn't it? 40 in the summer made subsequent 30 seem quite cool!

  6. That's exactly like a baby, lol ! Cats are more practical, they find their toilet alone. That's nice that Frankie creates videos on his phone, Toby uses his phone more for games than for creative purposes. But I don't think that he would take a big spider in his hand, he would rather run away ! (me too) It's a good intention to win over the fear, but I couldn't even start !

    1. My fears remain firmly entrenched, too. I'm a natural-born coward!

  7. Hi Janice - lovely post about family life ... so it goes, and will go - for a few more decades and Frankie in a lot more will follow on. Great he's developing creative skills - so pleased for you all ... cheers Hilary

  8. It's certainly interesting watching the younger ones grow. We've been very fortunate with our family . . . so far;-)


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