Friday, March 23, 2007

Snoring muses

I used to have colleagues, now I'm freelance I just have the dogs to keep me company (and John between lots) and Alice's snoring is getting out of hand. She's nowhere near as noisy as it used to be working in the same office as Mark McStay (now there's a gifted man) but for a small dog she makes a dreadful racket.

The canine balance tipped a little when Max, Jamie's greyhound, came to stay last Sunday. He's still not forgiven for nearly eating Sid. The Evil Genius was most put out at being pinned upside down on the feed room floor by an over-exuberant hound. Thank God Max was muzzled.

The cats still outnumber the dogs six to two and we're all very pleased to have Hedwig re-join the fold now that G'donga (of Mudawin fame on the front cover of the Doncaster Lincoln Sale catalogue) has moved with Jane Chapple-Hyam to John Ryan's yard and stopped feeding her.

So Dave Morris has replaced Jane and the decibel level in the yard has risen considerably. Unfortunately my office is at the end of the house which overlooks Dave's side of the yard and I now have to listen to him as well as Alice's snoring.

I always thought Basenjis did their own thing. Stan has always followed me loyally but Alice now wants to do everything he does and insists on coming to the races and even went to Dawn's for supper the other night, making herself at home by jumping from sofa to sofa.

It's brilliant to have Ben Bhraggie and Anis Etoile back. They almost make up for Panto not being here. The great thing is Hugh's started to love Ben almost as much as I do. John's always very mean about Ben (we've finally stopped calling him Baby Benny as he's now a great, lolloping beast) to annoy me but with Hugh's careful handling I know he'll prove him wrong one day.

Between snow and hailstorms I was lucky enough to photograph some of the Darley yearlings this week, including my old friend by Singspiel ex Moon Cactus, who was orphaned when his dam, also mum to Doyen and Moonshell, died from complications after foaling him. I've been following his progress for the last year for the foal diary on the Darley children's website ( and he's a little cracker.

Also on parade were half-siblings to Dubai Destination, Iffraaj and Mamool and Petrushka's filly by Gone West. It's lovely to see them in these early stages and wonder just what they might go on to achieve.

Tonight I'll be enjoying the company of an even more precious youngster, namely my six-month-old niece Madeleine, pictured here being strangled and having her ear pulled off by her cousin Cameron, number one son of my youngest sister, Zed. (Editor's note: no children were harmed during the posting of this blog).

I'm being trusted to stand guard while my sister Ting and her husband Jake have their first evening out together since she was born. Better not stuff it up.


easygoer2 said...

There would be potential for spicing this blog up a bit with a chutney recipe or two.

problemwalrus said...

Talking about chutney there's a very acceptable suffolk pickle on sale at the River Farm smokery just outside Newmarket. I bought some recently and have been eating it with just about everything, apart from my wife's excellent lemon drizzle cake.
How is Beguiledy by the way?

Commander Collings said...

Beguiledy is in good form. She, Hedwig and Brilliant Star are almost identical except for the markings on their noses. And talking of noses, the ingrates turned their collective nose up at my offering of chicken leftovers after lunch today. Seems my cooking's not on a par with Whiskas.

I've always meant to stop at the smokery but I only seem to pass it when I'm rushing home from racing etc. Must make an effort especially if there's good chutney to be had.

I'm keen on the idea of building my own smokery here. My dad's friend Jimmy Stewart in Golspie (home of the real Ben Bhraggie) has his own smokehouse in his back garden and does the most heavenly smoked salmon. I think that might be my summer project.

John and I are hoping the walrus might make a special guest appearance at the BHS summer party this year.

Commander Collings said...

Damn, just realised I'm not Commander Collings any more. Have hereby changed my blog name to one of my favourite race mares - an appropriate handle for a journo, too.

The Lemon said...

Hello, i thought i would introduce myself as i have not blogged on your website before although i am an avid reader. this lack of blogging has been due to a complete lack of understanding of the cyber world. nevertheless i think ihave mastered it. talking of smoking one can make quite a good small smokery as Hugh Fern-Whittingstall showed in an episode of River Cottage.