Friday, May 21, 2010

How daft is that ?

A delivery van showed up late yesterday morning. Wilf was in his full volume 'we've got visitors ' greeting mode by the time I made it downstairs to open the gate . One look at the packing cases and it was clear that the furniture ordered in London last month was going to be in a bad state of repair . One look at the ' we don't enjoy our job and it shows' delivery men and Wilf knew that there weren't going to be any Jaffa cakes for him . Both of us were to be proved right. The store in London had simply put the tables and chairs in brown cardboard boxes; no bubble wrap, no padding, no nothing. How daft is that ? Daft enough for everything to have been smashed to pieces. The charmless shipping duo ( representatives of the French chapter of the international order of 'Don't ask me mate, we only deliver the stuff ' ) were unhappy about having to unpack the contents for me to check. They were even less happy about having to repack them and take them away again. Lesson - never sign for anything before getting it out of the box.

A quick call to London, photos of the devastation sent by e-mail, and then a quick return call from the store saying that replacement items will be delivered on Sunday. We shall see.

Have just finished reading a book ' The Great Silence' about life in London in the year after the end of the Great War. In it a description of the first jazz band to visit England from the States in 1919. The band leader , Mr Nick La Rocca, had an uncontrollable tic in his shoulder that had made him ineligible for the draft, but on stage his erratic arm movements had the unexpected bonus of making him disturbingly attractive - 'like a filleted eel about to enter the stewing pot' according to the Tatler magazine . The wildly popular new jazz music was opposed by the usual suspects. The medical profession advised young women against dancing to the new fangled music as 'all this jumping about could cause permanent damage to the arrangement of the internal organs as well as placing additional strain on their delicate nerves'. A Canon of St.Pauls cathedral viewed jazz as a 'lowering of moral standards and a sickness in the pulse of the country. An American invention with every conceivable crude instrument designed not to make music but noise'. They probably say the same about Lady Gaga today.

Read an article about puppy proofing your house. After nine years it's amazing how much I'd forgotten. If ever there is anywhere on the planet that is puppy unfriendly it's the rickety old farmhouse with its antiquated electrical system, widely spaced stair bannisters, uneven floor tiles and maze of corridors. A lot of work lies ahead. It looks as if we'll be driving off to the breeders on Monday. Thanks for all your advice - I'm determined that we don't buy a puppy on our first trip out. 'The font' just gives me a wry smile when I say this.

Over breakfast a family disagreement. 'The font' says that Jaffa Cakes aren't sold in the US. Can this be true ? It's too early in the morning to consult any of our own junk food experts on the East Coast . Wilf is most concerned.


  1. Mmm, puppy proofing. A very topical issue in this household. I can so easily imagine the problems in an ancient farmhouse. My hundred year old granite semi is bad enough. Anything that dangles is fair game and Bertie's reach is increasing by the day....The heavy velvet floor to ceiling curtain which I use to stop cold winter air from the sun room cooling down the kitchen have been removed for the summer and I suspect I shall be looking for a new solution come October.
    Good luck with the puppy search and the furniture deliveries...

  2. Hey there Angus

    It sounds like there is excitement brewing in your house....mmmmm..AH! the smell of puppy-breath.

    Have you read 'Heart of Darkness'?
    The word 'civilisation' is such a dangerous word when it comes to marginalising unique cultures.

    There is an instrument called an 'African Harp' -smaller than the size of one's palm - hardly heard of amongst those who consider themselves 'civilized'. Played on its own, in the heart of the African bush, it produces a sound that pierces through the soul. The sound is a buzz of warmth and approachability.

    What beauty too there may be in silence!...the buzz of the cicadas in rural heartland, the breeze drifting through a remote valley, the 'sound' of the sun sinking into bare shoulders.

    So many people are trapped in what they construe as beautiful sound that there is no place for another...and they call it civilization!

    Just a thought!
    Sending lotsahugs to Wilf and the entire household (maybe not the builders:))...and holding thumbs for the safe delivery of your furniture.

  3. There definitely is an International Brotherhood of 'I just deliver the stuff, Mate.' It is probably the only phrase that can be recognised in any language.

    Good luck at the breeders....Not going to buy one straight away...You've got to be tough to do that!

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

    PeeS You might check out our latest post. It's about chewing.

  4. Morning Angus; Over here in New Hampshire, one of our larger corporate type supermarkets in town has a "foreign foods" section. The "Brit" section of the aisle features such things as cans of Spotted Dick, Mushy Peas, etal; AND packages of Jaffa cakes! So Wilf can relax. PS: You can get darn near anything you want in the've just got to know where to look.

    Also, Good luck on the puppy viewing. Last time I did that was eight years ago...I was just going to look mind you, not take one home. And so, having said that, our Cairn Terrier "Buzzy MacDuff" sends his very best to all of you this morning!

  5. Yes we do have Jaffa Cakes in the US - at international markets and some larger grocery store chains in their international sections. We have Pims at most stores which are a lot like Jaffa cakes. Jaffa cakes can also be ordered on Amazon - I couldn't determine if it was from a US distributor or not.

    What a bummer about the furniture. No one ever seems to know how those things happen. It was a good thing that you had them unpacked and repacked before the delivery people left.

    Puppy proofing the old farmhouse - I know what that's like. But my adult dogs seem to keep the puppies under control, but I know that sooner or later they will start chewing on a rocker leg or something. You basically either have to keep a puppy with you 24/7 or have it in a crate. After about 2 years they get to the point where you can almost stand them - LOL!
    Puppies are like babies though - if you wait until everything is perfect, you'll never get one. Good luck on the search.

  6. That box looks like another puppy chewed on it before it got to you. Good luck with the puppy hunt!

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

    PeeS Mom and me has never heard of Jaffa Cakes, are they yummy?

  7. Ouch!! I cringed when I saw the furniture pictures and the packing job. Yeah, I think there is a universal order of such delivery people. Not a happy group. As for the jaffa cakes...I don't even know what they are. I am American, but I live in Prague and have lived in Europe (CZ and CH) for the last 20 years, but unless jaffa cakes are now being imported to America, I can say I've never seen them...but I am from California...maybe your east coast friends will beg to differ with me. Good luck on the first visit without getting a'll need a lot of will power for that!! :o)

  8. I have never heard of Jaffa Cakes, so that's not a good sign. However, there are some to be had on and there's a brand of cookie (what we call biscuits) called Pims, available in most supermarkets, that LOOKS a lot like the pictures of Jaffa Cakes, but all the references we've found to them include chocolate, which my humans have always told me that I can't have because I'm a dog. What gives? Are they holding out on me?

    wags, Lola

  9. Hmmm....Jaffa cakes. "A rose by any other name, etc. etc." We might have Jaffa cakes, just not called by that name. What is in a jaffa cake? Is it yummy junk food, because if it is I would love it!

    The last time my husband and I bought furniture, we unpacked it from the box and on the underside of the table it read: Made in China (where else), assembled in Mexico. We added, "Put together by Native Americans!" (As my husband is of Creek Indian heritage.) A true multi-cultural piece of furniture.

    Good luck with the puppy search! Liz

  10. stupid furniture people.
    never heard of jaffa cakes in Missouri.
    i think the font has your number.....

  11. Hm. Jaffa cakes? Never heard of them, so I don't know if they are sold here. They sound very European to me....

    Sort to hear about the furniture, that is a bummer.
    Once, when a company moved us from state to state, they just hired a moving company which we are NEVER doing again. Like you said, you can really tell the workers did not like their job...they just slammed things into boxes.

    We move ourselves from now on!

  12. I confess that I'd never heard of Jaffa cakes until I read how much Wilf and Digby coveted them. Now I shall look for them in the market to see what they're like.

    As for "only looking" -- that's how we came home with Jakey some 8 and a half years ago. "Only looking" we said as we looked and looked and looked at him and wound up with his adorable 12-week old self in our car on the way home...

    As for "puppy-proofing" -- our most memorable tale is not from puppy Jake, who did strip the finish off Gucci sunglasses, swallow coins, demolish toys, and chew every pencil/pen/paper in reach; but from Just Harry. He was about 8 or 9 months old when we rescued him after he was abandoned following Hurricane Katrina's warm-up foray into South Florida on her way to New Orleans. Two days after we brought him home, I had inadvertently left the bedroom door open upstairs. When I heard extreme woofing, I went up to see what was going on and found that he had chewed two of the vertical blinds on the glass sliding doors at doggie height so he could see out, the better to bark at the passing scene. And then he also chewed a Rorschach image off the film on the glass to get an even better look...

    But none of that compares to what incompetent dealers can achieve with poorly wrapped furniture, right?

    xx Joan

  13. Jaffa Jaffa cakes here. But we live out in the middle of no-where. There isn't a McDonalds, Burger King or Wendy's anywhere near us....that's how far out in the boonies we are. So if American culinary delights haven't reached us yet, no European nummies are to be found. We do have an import section in our tiny little grocery store, it's mostly Latin or Asian flavors. We do however, have 4 different Pizza delivery options. Can't get a burger or Jaffa cakes, but you can always get a pizza.

    So, Wilf, if you come over the big pee, bring yer own stash of Jaffa cakes.



  14. Hi Angus,

    the "great silence" sounds like an interesting book to read.

    Jaffa cake? Not familiar at all.. wonder how it taste.

    Have a nice weekend!

    Adele, Vincent & Bella

  15. I've never heard of jaffa cakes before reading your blog, so I'm guessing if they are here in the States that they're in larger, metropolitan areas.

    I can't believe they sent that furniture to you in that state! I'd be livid, especially after waiting a month for it!

    Are PON puppies particularly destructive or active? I don't know a lot about them, but they must be adorable little furballs!

  16. Tell Wilf he can visit us anytime. Jaffa Cakes are located in the "British" section of Whole Foods. Although Edward doesn't know it.

    Rather shocking about your furniture delivery. What on earth were they thinking??

    And that sounds like a most interesting book. My favourite quote about the "dangers" of music comes from none other that Elvis...
    "Everything's okay as long as it doesn't frighten the children".

    Can't wait to read about the puppies. Take a boatload of pictures!

  17. We are sorry to see that attitude is not just HERE -

    Have a pawesome weekend!

    Khyra & Khousine Merdie

  18. Hi Wilf, Angus and Family

    We just discovered you over on Downunder Daisy's site and thought we would pop in and say hello. What an interesting family you are and poor Digby. Now we have found you, will pop in from time to time.

    We are in Uk and can post you some Jaffa Cakes if needed. Just let us know.

    Hector, Bonny and Co

  19. I've read "Heart of Darkness." Awesome. I will look for Jaffa cakes but I live in the same area as Shane so probably no go. Puppy proofing? How about adult blind Bloodhound proofing against her chew toy of choice - my "new" antique table legs? Can't wait to see pics of the new pup.

  20. 1. Yep, we can get Jaffa Cakes even in Texas
    2. Good grief! What is up with the "so called packing"???????(I promise I will do a better job!)
    THREE!!! Uh, about the looking at babies.......assuming you trust the breeder(knowing y'all they have beem researched very well.) Puppy breath(they shoud bottle it),I, well, uh, are you are bringing a blankey you can rub on momma dog.(I have found that helps) Personally,(and when I still had a litter now and again, always gave one toy-soft, and one blankey or towel with momma's,littermates if any still home, scent on it for the "getting used to period") Just looking....good luck with that. :}
    Good grief, that is tomorrow.
    Happy puppy "looking"!
    And we will keep Digby in our hearts. We think he is leading you.....
    God Bless, happy hunting, and oh please, I have seen PONS at the dog shows, but never a baby. Hope you get the chance to take some!
    Safe trip.
    Many hugs
    Jamie, Sunny & Scooter

  21. oops I, in excitement, read Mon as Sat. (Oh they are sooo close...doncha think?) Soooooo my statement(I think I made) of "that's tomorrow", does NOT mean I do not know the days of the week and their order ;}

  22. Puppy proofing!!! Our house is STILL puppy-proofed even though our "puppy" is 2 yrs old!

    Our funniest puppy-proofing experience was that we disagreed about whether we needed to cover the electrical outlets when K was a small puppy. We decided against it. She arrived in our house for the first time, marched directly to an electrical outlet and began licking it. You can imagine the screams of "no" emitted by the humans! She survived, as you know.

    I have never heard of jaffa cakes so they might not be sold in the US.

    Love the "wry smile"! I'd give you the same look!

  23. When the Font comes to London on her next visit tell her not to forget to pick up the new limited production run of LEMON Jaffa cakes!!!

    Eric x

  24. i can't believe your furniture got shipped like that. just awful!!
    i have never heard of a jaffa cake. what are they exactly? maybe they go by a different name in the states.

    the booker man and asa's mama

  25. we hope that the second shipment of the furniture arrives in better shape than the first!

    can't wait to hear about the new puppy! they're irresistible, you know.

  26. I sure hope the replacement furniture is packed more properly. Sorry you have the wait.

    My DH says he has heard of Jaffa cakes, so they must be out there somewhere. Tell Wilf not to worry.

    I really don't know anyone that went looking at puppies, who did not come home with one. Me included.

  27. I am in the U.S., and I have never heard of a Jaffa Cake...must check into this further!