A very funny clip of someone I can identify with...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GRSbr0EYYU&feature=player_embedded
 
 
It's Canada so it must be snowy, right?  Well not quite - we live in a temperate (in fact the most temperate) region of this enormous country and snow is somewhat unusual, especially before the official start of winter. We can usually expect about 20 days of snow on the ground throughout the winter, but a white xmas is not usually expected. So this week's dumping of the white cold stuff has been fun for the dogs, and I thought I would make a record of today's outing and share some of it with you.
The pooches are currently growing their full coats, and the low temperatures will no doubt help that along.  It seems like we have been dealing with them moulting/shedding for months now, so it will be a relief when that finally stops and the vacuum doesn't have to work quite so hard.
Today's walk was along a local logging road and trail, somewhere we use on many weekends because it's so quiet and we can allow the lads to run and run to their hearts' content.
Here we go:
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Well SOMEbody looks happy to be in the snow don't you think?
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Looks cold doesn't it?
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Not too cold for a good play though!
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The snow has been sprouting overnight...
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Still life...Bosco decorating the landscape.
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And now my most familiar view of the dogs on most walks...
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Mexican stand-off...with Canadian snow.
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Bosco is now growing his coat for the winter just in case he gets any snow on him...oh...
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Buckley has made himself 'invisible' in order to ambush Bosco. Still some work to do on that then...
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Coyote tracks...tiny compared to our guys' feet, but these beautiful creatures are still to be respected - they are after all totally wild animals.
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I'm thinking that this must be called a 'frosticle'...any other suggestions on a postcard please.
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And finally, amid all the green and white, a little difference...
 
 
 
 
I'm not sure how this will go...but I am going to metaphorically jump in with at least one toe...I'm going to step away from the doggy theme here for once (yes I know it's not exactly the most doggy dog blog out there but it's mine and it's honestly a bit like me)...without much ado I would like to share with you the opening page or two of a book I am writing about a short period of my life - the period of time when I became a British Bobby. Please read on:


 Memoirs of an ordinary man in a
uniform





Chapter one: Destiny?



Do you
know the feeling? That hideous sensation of warm, thick glutinous lumpy liquid  landing on your back… If you’re a
 parent or anyone else who has comforted a sickly baby on your shoulder,  you’ll know  what I mean –  the moment when your little darling  brings up his or her last meal onto your shoulder along with a resounding belch – one of  those ‘it  comes with the territory’
moments. In such a situation, one generally grits one's teeth and deals with the  situation sensitively...except on this night I wasn’t a
parent, in fact there were no babies in sight, and this abso-bloody-lutely,  definitely did NOT come with this particular  territory!



That  particular moment stands out in my memory as the point at which I realized with  a firm conviction that I very much needed to be doing something different with my life, and very soon. The moment that my hopelessly drunk branch manager,  sitting behind me in a Peugeot 505 (three rows of seats) taxi, threw up over my  one and only suit - that was my epiphany. Hardly a road to Damascus situation
  but at the tender age of eighteen, a stinking wet jacket at 12.30am on December  14th 1983 in the back of a ‘Triple  A’ taxi in  Chester would have to do.


       Two  months earlier, with mediocre ‘A’level and ‘O’ level
  results to spur me on, I had taken my first job as a trainee insurance
  inspector in the proud city of Liverpool. It would be disingenuous of me to  imply that insurance was my first calling - in fact what nobody in the office  knew was that I had already embarked upon a road that would take me to a world  of experiences I would never have imagined - yet here was I in my ill-fitting grey pinstripe suit (obviously cursed), a fully paid-up and very junior member  of the rat race. I was part of the way of life I had declared never to join,  with only a glimmer of hope to keep my dreams alive. And now, following a  celebration of our branch achievements (all of which had taken place before my
  arrival) and in the back of a taxi with 20 miles still to travel before I
  arrived home, my boss had unceremoniously and extensively - if not generously - deposited the contents of his not inconsiderable stomach upon me. What the hell  was going on?  Was this really the
way the world was? Enough was bloody well enough. With all the self control my  eighteen tender years  could  muster, I …remained absolutely silent…not a squeak left my lips, I faced the  situation in stoic silence and with a deepening sense of disgust – obviously there was no way this man could have my respect from this  moment on. Some may suggest I was being unkind but I’m sensitive like that – I have
this strange built-in aversion towards being vomited upon. 
 


I had no  way of knowing it, but I was already destined to enjoy a career of unremitting  variety, excitement, laughter and fulfillment ( and with its fair share of  pavement pizzas). You see, had I but realized it, I was already on the way to  becoming a member of Her Majesty’s
  Cheshire Constabulary.



It was  that intention that had made it possible to even entertain the idea of an  ‘office  job’, something I had for years sworn that I would never  do.


That I  would ultimately attempt to join the police service was almost a foregone  conclusion – the  youngest child of a serving police officer and with my eldest brother already  six years into a similar career, my options were limited as far as my father was  concerned. With the best of intentions he had expectations of me, and even  though I had a sense of being pressured into something I knew little about, I  willingly went along with the unspoken plan. Going along with the plan was kind  of what you did back then -that or become a punk rocker. This particular plan had been  in place for as long as I could remember, cemented by my childhood desire to be  just like my dad -manifested in my efforts at the age of nine to impose my  authority upon my school friends by ‘arresting’ them based upon my interpretation of the laws of the land. Good grief, even at that  age I was an officious and royal pain in the arse!


 In the course of a  spectacularly mediocre school career I had admittedly achieved little, my efforts being characterized by a distinct lack of a work ethic, and being brutally honest I did just enough to get by, just enough to stay ahead of the  main pack. With money tight at home, University was never seriously considered  to be an option, and by the time that the end of school loomed large on the horizon, I had, somewhat ruefully, and in the absence of any real ambition to do
anything different, decided that I would try to join the police service as soon  as I could. To the very few humanized teachers with whom I came into contact,  this appeared to be a severe disappointment. 


        
My grammar school was a rather grandiose relic of the British Empire, a
former boarding-turned-Grammar school (grimly hanging on to the status that the  title afforded it) with three centuries of self - proclaimed illustrious history  (marked, in chief by the construction of an all-weather sports pitch which  enthusiastically flooded during the smallest precipitation event). The teaching  staff consisted of two main camps; the traditional public school masters whose idea of appropriate punishment revolved around inflicting immediate and  humiliating pain; and the younger, more 'enlightened' group of former hippies
who had evolved into fierce socialists, although curiously many of the hippy  crowd also favoured summary torture as a means of enforcing classroom  discipline. No doubt it was all very good character-building stuff (aided by the  simply ridiculous yet complete absence of the fairer sex from the student  population) however it is certain that a certain Mr. Dickens would have  recognized the environment.



    These hallowed halls had  allegedly produced captains of industry, nurtured leaders of our armed forces  and given virtual birth to many an athletic prodigy. In fairness, numerous  famous names had begun their political or commercial (or indeed sporting)  careers at Calday Grange County Grammar School for boys…and now…now to the
abject horror of any member of the teaching staff who cared a hoot, Samolis was going to squander all this tradition and join the police service – or as  one of my teachers (a committed socialist teaching economics and politics in a  decidedly right wing establishment) supportively phrased it: “Ohhh -  you’re  going to be one of Thatcher’s boot  boys are you?”…The lack of enthusiasm for my noble choice was palpable, but to me it seemed completely natural and equally inevitable - if a little foreboding.
The school authorities had only themselves to blame anyway, appointing me, as  they had (and apparently in total ignorance of years of classroom and school yard mischief), a prefect during my
final two years…oh the heady delights of total power! I was
hooked!



So it  was a momentous day when I obtained an application for the Cheshire Constabulary  and with some trepidation (after all I had been building up to this moment for a  long, long time) filled in the details and answered the questions. Having been  brought up on a diet of honesty and integrity, I was unprepared for my  mother’s total
panic when it emerged that in my application I had confessed to suffering from a  mild allergy to pollen. Disaster! What  had I done?! For a few stark and dreary hours it seemed that I had  apparently thrown everything away, ruined my life and lost a career, all with  one honest yet foolish stroke of the pen. It seemed to my parents at least, that
in defiance of a life of catholic piety and guilt I should in fact have lied and  portrayed myself as totally without blemishes of any kind –
essentially the perfect human. However now the damage had been done, and all I  could do was wait to be rejected on medical grounds! Obviously in my  parent’s eyes  the curse of hay-fever was a dreadful weakness and I would be derisively cast  from the recruiting pool as a result of my hideous genetic mutation. Needless to  say, faith in the power of prayer, the lighting of thousands of candles and the
blessed virgin's intercession was confirmed when I received a letter informing  me that the police service would like to get to know me a little better before
they made a decision…a miracle!