Muddy paws at noon

Guess whose made these paw prints?

We have a four legged friend in our household, who not only takes up more than his fair amount of emotional space, but is also incredibly messy.

We went for a walk this morning (as we do almost every morning), and I thought that I’d cleaned his paws when we returned.

But it appears that somehow I had missed one, or possibly two or three. I don’t know how. Paws are cleaned in order.

I know these prints don’t appear too dramatic, but that is because the photo was taken after washing the carpet.

These prints are like footsteps in concrete, which having set are proving difficult to remove. No-one noticed the prints (on the hall carpet) until they had been there for some time.

Wine will be served promptly tonight …



Another first for Surface Languages

Sounds impressive does it not, and it is.

Well, for the first time ever on Surface Languages, there is a guest post.

It is about learning Czech and how Chapman Woodriff (the author) learnt  Czech from scratch. You can read it  here and I recommend that you do.

It resonated particularly with me, as Czech and Polish have similar challenges, and I have not risen to the challenge with Polish. It made me think about what I did or have done differently with Spanish and Italian in comparison with Polish.

But that is for another day.

The other news is that I can no longer wipe my dogs paws, which is a problem on a day like today, when it is raining, and large paws like sponges soak up water.

If I wipe, or even look like will wipe his paws, he …

… empties the contents of his stomach.  Yes, he yaks up.

It is a very, very effective way of not having your paws cleaned.

They don’t mention this sort of thing in dog training classes. Full of people whose lives are oh so perfect, and dogs oh so neat and perfectly groomed. Grrr.

Besos, baci, and the rest.


Panna, crema, cream and custard

Well  there I was thinking that crema  meant ‘cream’ in Italian when suddenly it is brought to my attention that it means custard.

You could’ve knocked me down with a feather.

If you want to ask for a hot chocolate with cream in Italian (and it happens) just say :-

Un cioccolato caldo con la panna. How confusing is this? Panna means ‘cream’. Say it once. Say it twice …

And other important news:

It is the time of year when our hound needs his annual checkup and injections. I’m not looking forward to the trip to the vet because :-

1. He hasn’t been taking his diet seriously and they have a graph of his weight. This is shown to us on a computer. I feel guilty and he doesn’t.

2. The booster he needs requires a nasal spray. Have you every tried giving a nasal spray to a large dog? A dog who recognises a nasal spray when he sees one, and doesn’t like what he sees. It is not an experience you forget in a hurry.

And there is more.

I’m working on a site called Polyglot People (as and when), being as I have things to do like trips to the vet, fixing a broken fence (sigh) and so on.

Anyway, it is coming on well, and will be awesome.



It is Sunday night and …

… full of wine and peace, I’m contemplating the important things in life.

Life should we have a second dog or not?

And if so, what type?

Alsatian, Labrador, Retriever or Saint Bernard?

My wife wants (and apparently always has wanted) a Saint Bernard. I have a certain sympathy with this point of view, and see all sorts of potential benefits. I mean, who wouldn’t want a dog like that? Especially with the cold weather that we seem to have nowadays.

However living in an end-of-terrace I fear this may be impractical. There is also the issue of drooling, and ahem well you know, cleaning up after something the size of a small elephant. ‘Poop bags’ as they are so delicately known only come in certain sizes.

My son and I (and yes kids this is the correct way to write this) both want an alsatian.

I think we will compromise. Watch this space.