There’s a saying among dog trainers and handlers: Everything travels down the lead. Because working with a dog is about much more than the commands that we give them. It’s about the way in which we give them. About our tone of voice. Our body language. Even the mood we’re in. To work effectively with a dog, we need to be in the right frame of mind. And we need to put everything else aside. Continue reading
We’ve had Ozzy, our Labrador puppy, for six months now. And it’s over a year since I started Googling ‘getting a second dog’ and poring over the advice on how to make sure an existing dog and a new dog get on well. But on reflection, the internet only really gave half the story. So here’s my battle-scarred contribution to the great ‘second puppy’ debate. Continue reading
I read somewhere or other that our lives are a series of moments. Now, the physicist in me is quick to point out that this is a statement of the bleeding obvious. But my philosophical side would counter that, in any life, there are likely to be some moments that have greater salience than others. They just might not be the ones we’d expect.
New research tells us that those from the upper echelons of society are most likely to secure the top jobs in Britain’s leading legal and financial services firms. It’s outrageous, sure, and we should definitely do something about it. But what we really need to combat is the bizarre notion that only lawyers, bankers and accountants can achieve career success. Continue reading
I’d seen the chap in the green wellies way up ahead as I ran along the coast path this morning. And bit by bit, I’d gradually caught up with him.
“Morning,” he replied, stepping to one side of the path to allow me to overtake him.
He looked me up and down slowly, in the way that farming-types do.
I tried to adopt the air of someone for whom it’s perfectly normal to run around the Cornish countryside while caked completely in mud down the right hand side of my body, from my ear right down to my trainers.
“Yup,” I replied. “Lovely morning.”
He glanced again at the blood oozing out through the mud from the large graze on my knee and dribbling its way slowly down my shin.
“Bit slippery out.”
“So I noticed,” I grinned, and limped on my way.
To say that things have been a little hectic recently would be somewhat of an understatement. And they haven’t really calmed down, to be honest. So I guess I’m just going to have to live with this new level of frenzied activity. Which means I’m going to have to become a whole lot more disciplined about setting aside time to, you know, eat, think… and write! Continue reading
You might remember that I’ve rather rashly signed up to run the Somerset Levels and Moors Marathon. Well it’s now just a couple of weeks away, and I’m slowly tapering off my running so that I end up on the start line with at least some energy left. But while it’s been fun training for the race – and, hopefully, I’ll enjoy the race itself, too – I can’t help thinking that it has taken up a rather significant amount of time. Perhaps a little too much. Continue reading
It was already a glorious day when I woke up yesterday morning, so I decided to head out with Molly for a quick walk on the beach. There was hardly a soul around, so we practically had the place to ourselves.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a ride!'”
– Hunter S. Thompson
* I mentioned back in January 2012 that this might become an occasional series. Turns out I was right. But it is, admittedly, very occasional. Let’s try to ramp it up. Send me your quotes and I’ll post my favourites.
I think I’ve been rumbled. I thought I’d managed to hide it, but it appears that the cat may be out of the bag. At some point during the last couple of years, I’ve somehow become a runner. Not just someone who goes for a run from time to time, but an actual runner. A proper runner. With all the shorts, mud and chafing that comes with it. Continue reading