Sunday, April 11, 2010

Zero return.

Despite having been trimmed and groomed to within an inch of their lives in readiness for the summer heat Wilf and Digby are once again looking shaggy. A good half hour of solid work with the comb and brush and the two of them came off the table looking - shaggy. Forget about diminishing returns , grooming these two is an absloute zero return game.

The sweet little hotel on the place des Vosges gave me a duplex room. There must be hoardes of people who would sin to be given a duplex but not me. I'm a dyed in the wool lateral room person. The problem with a duplex room is simple - the bed is upstairs and the bathroom and wardrobes are downstairs. Want to sit on the edge of the bed and put on your socks? Oops, they're downstairs. Want to put on your cufflinks? Oops, they're upstairs. Oh, that's the mobile phone ringing must run downstairs to answer it. So life in a duplex goes on - yoyoing up and down. At least double and probably three times the usual amount of energy and time must be expended to achieve the same result.

Arrived at the hotel to check-in and greeted the front desk staff in what was more than adequate French. Imagine my surprise when they started to talk back to me with a series of apparently uncoordinated sounds interrupted by glottal stops. Somehow, despite having stayed in the hotel many times, they had got me down on the computer as being Portugese. I've been to Lisbon only once and sadly speak not a word of the language. Seeing my blank expression the receptionist repeated the greeting - twice. Each time he ratcheted up the volume in the belief that he was dealing with someone who was self evidently hearing impaired. At check-out the process was repeated - despite having a decidedly un-Portugese name and paying with a Scottish bank credit card the computer cannot be wrong.

Thank you all for your kind balloon blowing reminiscences. 'The font' is now even more convinced of the benefits and superiority of Swedish health and safety legislation.


  1. That's interesting, you are getting them ready for the summer heat. It's raining here again and I don't think summer is anywhere near.

    W & D are adorable with the shaggy look...anything else and they won't be Polish Lowland Sheepdogs.

  2. Hey Mongoose...
    I love the yo-yo story and was thinking about dispatching a hearing aid to you...'pronto!'!

    By the way...there is a glimpse of our morning newspapers on my newly revamped personal blog:
    (I must admit, I was thinking of you when I took the photos...although you have probably seen them.)


  3. Every time I read about your grooming escapades, I'd glad to have short-haired dogs! I wouldn't have the patience for it!

    That duplex will get you in shape for the bike riding in your future, right? And, the hotel staff is teaching you Portuguese. It must be an educational visit!

  4. Never mind where you put on your socks. Think of the charm of a duplex room!

    In my experience, you might as well give up on the boys ever losing their shagginess. I trim Edward's face in the morning, and it's shaggy again by the afternoon. But, once again, think of the charm!

  5. I'm with KB on the grooming issue. Two sheds a year in Spring and Fall and usually one session with the Furminator takes care of it all!

    Perhaps you should try to reply to them in Portuguese. Then, when they see how poorly you grasp the language, they might attempt something else!

  6. As I was reading through, I said to myself, I bet the receptionists will ratchet up the volume ... as well they did. Living in a bilingual community here in South Florida, we have that experience often -- (and I admit to being guilty myself from time to time).

    The Place des Vosges. I have a red square lamp made from a lucite material which I bought in a shop there a zillion years ago. It's not very functional -- and much too modern for its origin -- but I keep it just because of the memories of that beautiful part of Paris.

    Wilf and Digby seem to retain their dignity mo matter how shaggy they look. I confess, I can't wait every morning to get another glimpse of their adorable selves!

  7. Just read your comment about Edward at the beach. You are right beyond words. He will not go near the water. Not a shred of interest. Lovely trait, really, as he stays much cleaner!

  8. i guess you had better brush up on your portuguese for next time, eh? haha.

    the booker man's mama

  9. Dementia and stairs just don't mix! But it keeps you fit.

    The boys look great.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  10. It just occured to me that Wilf and Digby look an awful lot like Walter Mathau...that sweet old frump!