Saturday, 6 November 2010

Miscellany - In No Particular Order

Benno is totally confused once again. It happens twice a year, when humans take it into their heads that they must change all the clocks of the land. When it's a question of getting his five meals a day an hour early, well, he can cope with that. Come wintertime, though, they make him wait an extra hour for each of them. It's enough to make a dog weep.  And messing about with walkies too? What's that all about?

"What have I done to deserve that?" You can see in his eyes how hurt he is.

In case you're wondering about the five meals a day: he has a delicate stomach and needs his food divided into small portions, at regular intervals. He said he wouldn't mind a continuous drip feed, a kind of doggy feeding assembly line. He thinks it would make life easier for all of us.

This heron is standing in his very own assembly line of food, silently, infinitely patient, almost trancelike.Very occasionally he shifts position and, with great deliberation, steps sideways, like a stilt-walker, for a better vantage point.  Every so often that sharp beak stabs down and brings up a tasty morsel.  I stood and watched him for a long time; a perfect tool for meditation.

From The Heron by Theodore Roethke

He walks the shallow with an antic grace.
The great feet break the ridges of the sand,
The long eye notes the minnows hiding place.
His beak is quicker than a human hand.

I have recently been honoured with not one, not two, but three awards.  It is time I displayed this honour here and now.  

Herrad at her blog Access Denied - Living with Multiple Sclerosis
gave me the first one.
I am one of those moaning minnies who frequently whine and complain - well, we should all go and see what this patient and brave lady has to cope with, her unfailing humour and courage in the face of
this beastly disease is an example to us all.

Val of monkeys on the roof gave me this one.
I have only recently discovered Val, who lives on a Nature Reserve in South Africa.

I understand that internet access is  only so-so; in spite of it she manages to post fantastic posts telling us about her world and the world of the animals who share it.

Val's blog is better than a nature program on TV; her stories are instant and immediate, they talk about yesterday and today, rather than what happened last spring.

Jinksy of napple notes is a long time favourite.
Or she would be, if she didn't take the mickey so mercilessly.
Usually in verse form!

Anyway, she took it upon herself to design, execute and hand over this award for me and me alone - I am saying this here, Jinksy, so you can't change your mind and distribute it amongst all and sundry -.

Thank you all very much.


  1. Poor Benno. You can only ask a dog to understand SO much. The stomach rules!

  2. Congrats on the awards. You deserve them for sure. I feel so sorry for Benno, just from the look in his eye, but I know he is being cared for. The smaller, more often feedings are a sure thing for the suffering gut.To us humans too.

  3. benno lunges off the screen with those mournful eyes!!! steven

  4. wow. nice blog bling you got...yeah my cat struggles with the time change as well...waking me up to go out in teh middle of the night...we used to see a lot of herons when we lived in FL...

  5. Friko - you always make me smile. Benno is one lucky dog to have such an intuitive, caring master. Congratulations on all your well-deserved awards.

  6. Congratulations on your awards. You're an engaging writer. We fall back in time tonight with our tyrannical clocks.

  7. the whole spring forward and fall back thing has me confused too.

  8. I remember the early days of blog awards. My blog has been up and running for 9 years. I'm not bragging, just asking for pity.

    The awards of old were full of requirements: mention where it came from - send to ten others, etc. I realized it was only a form of free advertisement.

    But YOUR awards were truly complimentary and well deserved.

  9. Wonderful picture of the heron--it is indeed amazing to watch them scout for fish. Such focused stillness. You've described it wonderfully, and I'm glad to know about the Roethke poem as well. Benno may not yet know he will get through this time-changing trial, but we know he will, with his award-winning mistress in charge!

  10. Benno looks like a darling ol' fella. I'm sure he thinks this whole clock thing is some kind of enormous plot perpetrated against dogs!! Our Lindy lives by her stomach, and she is not going to be a happy camper when I change the clocks tonight.
    I never thought of heron-watching as meditation, but I think you're right. It would be perfect!
    -- Kay

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  11. Oh I'm totally with poor Benno, what we do makes absolutely no sense to our wonderful dogs, bless them!
    and congratulations on three very lovely awards well deserved :o)

  12. My dear Friko - How could your Jinksy special award EVER be given to anybody else? Do you have a twin hiding in Blogland? No? Well then! It is yours and yours alone, a one off, as is your delightful writing- unique to you.

  13. Congrats on your awards. That puppy face is just too adorable.

  14. Prince Benno rules.
    I agree with him that people
    should quit messing with our
    internal clocks. There are a couple
    states in America that just refuse
    to change to Daylight Savings Time.
    They are brave and resolute.
    Too bad I don't want to live in them.
    Washington state is home for me.
    Mountains, ocean, and inland sea.
    Only New Zealand came close to
    matching the natural beauty.

  15. Poor old Benno. So much of life is a mystery to dogs. On the other hand, they seem to know so much more than we humans in many instances.
    We're about to change the time by an hour tonight, so we'll all soon be confused.

  16. Congratulations on your awards. You are most deserving!!!

  17. All awards deserved. I like that line in the poem: 'quicker than a human hand'. Great stuff.

  18. There is nothing more affecting than the look on a disappointed but eternally hopeful dog. Benno looks like such a cuddly pup. Hug him for me, please.

    I saw a heron on my way home from work the other afternoon, nowhere near any body of water. I love seeing them. A fun fact to know and tell (if it's true; somebody told me and I don't recall if the person was trustworthy on these things): migrating ducks and geese land where they see herons because herons are so shy that the travelers know they'll be safe.

  19. Benno
    I sympathize entirely, but there really is no accounting for these humans.
    Your eyes are really convincing. The humans have a full length mirror in our hallway and I practise "sad eyes" in there when Tramp isn't looking.

    The vet here is quite impressed with Lady's acting ability. She tells us that she is convinced that if Lady were human she would be National Theatre material.

  20. Aww those sad little Benno eyes, Friko - how could they change the clock and confuse him!!
    Think your blog awards are very well deserved - well done - lovely blog as always. Molly xx

  21. Well deserved awards -- Love the heron picture! And Benno -- so sad at this barbaric mistreatment.

  22. ha ! nearly same problems with the kid over here, even though not so much with food, but with the time going to bed.
    Please have a good Sunday you all.

    daily athens

  23. Congratulations on your awards, Friko. When I learned of Benno's five meals per day, I knew that I was going to have problems with my own lab and Zen master, Derry. While she has no delicate stomach, she is now insisting that she be treated with the same generosity as here friends in the U.K.

  24. Benno looks so trusting – he really loves you. Congratulation on your awards – your posts are always an enjoyable read.

  25. Congratulations on all three of your special awards... all well deserved. Your blog, your words run deep within the hearts of your readers.

    Poor poor Benno. I'd change it back if I could right today... I'm sure our two will be right there with you in the morning come time for that first walk and their morning food.

    What is it with these humans anyway? Come up with such a dasterdly thing as changing time! Don't you humans realize the body clock is the best to follow anyway!

  26. Great recognition Friko - congratulations!
    Your Benno and our Sasha (the senior puppy of our trio) would get along famously - I suspect they both have the same "tummy clocks" which resent seasonal changes.

  27. Oh Handsome Benno and his TwoLegs confusing his old brain!
    What is with this DST anyway, it has never made sense to me and I despise the short short evenings now.
    Congrats on the pretty hardware, you deserve it all, my friend!

  28. What interesting and varied awards. You are most deserving. I just set my clocks back as we change tonight. Dogs seem to have clocks in their stomach's. I was just thinking how confused Cody will be for her morning meal.... just like Benno. It's a dog's life.

  29. ach, diese Zeitumstellung ist für fast jeden eine Bürde und sie ist so schrecklich sinnlos noch dazu. Ich würde einfach Benno (man könnte ihn drücken, diese liebe Gesicht...)in seiner alten Zeit lassen, wenn es für euch möglich ist, denn die Zeit wird ja wieder umgestellt...
    Der Reiher, vor allem der Graureiher, fasziniert mich unendlich und ich könnte ihm stundenlang zusehen. Ein schönes Bild!
    Wahrlich, Du hast die "awards" verdient und ich freue mich für Dich!
    Bis bald ( ich war krank, deshalb die Abwesenheit...)!

  30. Oh dear, a lab with a delicate stomach... that is a 'contradictio in terminis'. Poor Benno. Although, our labs would love to eat five times a day I'm sure. More often wouldn't be a problem either.
    The hour confuses our horses the most. And our chickens too. Our dogs, cats and pigs just live with it. Like we do.
    Congratulations on all the awards ;-)

  31. My French vet recently told me about a device for cats or dogs that is basically a tube - to be filled with dry food - with random holes just big enough for one piece each to pass through as the tube is rolled/pushed around by the animal.
    It's great for cats who otherwise gorge themselves, and who also get the satisfaction for 'hunting' for their food. But apparently it works well for dogs too, as long as they don't chew the thing up, I suppose. I'll try and find the name of it again and send you the site.

  32. Oh my, the dreaded delicate tummy in a large dog. Poor Benno, and poor you! Benno has company around the world today. As Puddles, our living Fraggle sensed it was time to get up for her morning run with my husband, she was devastated, heartbroken, a dog without country that she had to wait an hour.

    Luckily, treats work like amnesia pills with Pud. We're not above bribery.

    Lovely awards, and of course, who wouldn't wish to read about Monkeys on a Roof? It sounds like a delightful fable about to happen.

  33. Ah Benno, Ed and Reub couldn't agree more.

  34. Hello Friko,

    I am a bit like Benno, on this first morning of our own clock changing. I will dread the early sunset. And will be confused about meals for a few days.

    It's been grand catching up with your posts. xo

  35. oh these eyes of benno - just so lovely!

    regarding your question: ich habe meinen blog angefangen auf deutsch - aber nach und nach habe ich immer mehr englischsprachige blogs gefunden und auch immer mehr englischsprachige besucher. eine weile habe ich dann immer einen teil meiner posts auf deutsch und einen teil auf englisch gemacht - aber da meine deutschen freunde ebenfalls englisch können, habe ich dann irgendwann nur noch auf englisch geschrieben. ist aber immer noch eine ziemliche herausforderung...deutsch wäre leichter..
    aber ich lerne unheimlich viel und das ist toll und ich lerne so viele tolle leute aus der ganzen welt kennen. das finde ich spannend!

  36. I agree with Benno about the time change. I'm having to have m 5 meals at a different time too.

  37. I'm still nodding off in the evenings , an hour early , in an unattractively Granny-way ten days after the clock change . My tum is less of problem . I'm always ready to eat .
    My eyes aren't so affectingly soulful though .


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