Willow, The ‘Romanian Terrier’

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WOOF WOOF! So, a little while back around March or April time, my partner and I happened across this little monster (the dog, not the cat (also a monster)). The happening upon came almost immediately after both agreeing that we were going to wait at least a year to get a dog, as is, apparently, usually the case.

We both actually came across Willow separately, but at the same time. I was at work, and just happened to see her picture on a dog rescue page, and then when I got home, my partner said he’d seen a dog online, and showed me the picture. It was the same dog, and on the same page. Willow. It was instant love. It was immediate, and we didn’t even know her.

Within two hours, a deposit was paid, to a rescue centre we’d never been to, and over a hundred miles away. We rushed up to meet her a week later, already k12795353_1239143036114878_7807227902223658174_n
nowing she was the dog for us. The day we met her, she was terrified. She’d spent almost no time with or around people, and it was heartbreaking. If we could have had her home that day, we would, but the rules are the rules and we had to wait for a home check.

So we returned home, and passed the home check the following week. Another week later and we finally picked her up. And then she was home. We’d (or I, at least) had decided she wasn’t allowed on the sofa. The first thing little, shy, scared Willow did was get on the sofa. I rationalised that it was all new to her, and one day on the sofa wouldn’t hurt anyone. One day has turned in to eight months. The sofa is Willow’s. She has her own spot; all of it.

Her first weeks at home weren’t great, but that’s expected. The housetraining went faster than expected. She’s never barked. But the nerves; poor Willow was so scared, and for a little while we worried that maybe we wouldn’t be the right home for her.

That didn’t last for long. She came out of her shell faster and faster. From day one, she’s loved playing with other small dogs; big dogs scare her; unless you’re a Rottweiler. We’ve never quite figured it out, but Willow has a complete, trusting love for Rottweilers; sometimes I wonder if it’s because she was the same colouring? It doesn’t matter. Rottweilers mean playtime to Willow.

When Willow arrived home, we had one antisocial cat, Luna, who at first gave Willow plenty of space. Another cat, Myrtle, arrived just a few days after Willow, and within a week they were friends (see picture above). Before us, we’re not sure Willow had ever met a cat, but that hasn’t mattered. They don’t bother her. In fact, Willow thinks all cats are friends (they aren’t).

14068018_1371245712904609_1497266158178238041_oWe don’t have a clue what breed Willow is, so on walks I often tell people that she is a Romanian Terrier. Funnily (to me, at least), it rarely gets questioned. I can’t help but imagine some poor, dear old lady phoning up a rescue centre, asking for more information on Romanian Terriers.

It doesn’t matter what breed Willow is, though. None of that really matters. We never set out for anything in particular. We fell in love with her ears, and it grew from there.

Now, she sleeps on the bed, sits on the sofa and can’t help but check out what’s on the kitchen surface the moment a backs turned. Of course, she has her quirks; you must not stand behind her, and Willow isn’t a fan of being on her back (unless she’s sleeping). She prefers pooping in the middle of the road, and she has to investigate every single puddle on a rainy day.

What more could you want from a dog?

Stephen.

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December Weather

December rolls around
Cold, and damp
And dark, and grey,
No sign of snow on the way

We put a lot of pressure
On December
Festive joy, and seasons greetings
Christmas is on the way

So many, empty months
Come first
Then December is here
And all at once…

December
And the year’s end
Has come around
Snowless, again.

It’s Christmas?

I really thought that I had more time before Christmas, and this morning I’ve had the realisation that it is now just two weeks away thrust upon me; AND I’M NOT READY. I really haven’t even made an impactful start on Christmas shopping yet, I think in total I have two (parts) or two entirely separate gifts.

Usually, I’m the Christmas shopping ninja and by now I’m ready to wrap things up and get  the cards in the post. This year, however, I’ve not even cracked out a glue stick yet. I still don’t have a clue what to get people, and I don’t have a clue when I’m going to find time to wrap things up.

Of course, if I don’t but anything, then I won’t need to worry about wrapping things up. As I’m getting older, I’ve started to look at Christmas in a different light, and for me, the most important part of the day is the meal, and the time I’ll get to spend with my family. The presents really don’t matter at all; but it’s lovely to see other peoples faces when you get them a wonderful gift that you know they will love.

I guess moving away from home is what has really changed how I see Christmas. I don’t see the people I love as much as I like, so having a day completely free to spend with them with no work obligations is the best gift of all!

Silent Sally

WHY HAVE YOU NOT WRITTEN ANYTHING, STEPHEN? Well, the short and simple of it all is that I have literally just been really busy, and not had time to think about writing a blog post. (Honestly, though, I do want to get in to a regular writing/blogging routine… I DO!) The slightly more interesting side of things, though, is that some of that busy time was spent focused on editing my first short story, With All My Love, Gloria.

I’m extremely excited to say that Gloria’s story is now out there for all of the world to pick up and enjoy. It’s only short, but that’s all it ever needed to be. I feel very proud of what I achieved with the story, and can only hope that those who do chose to pick up a copy will enjoy and/or understand.

What’s next? Well, I’m HOPING (no promises, though) to write and release a further three short stories in a similar format over the next year. I have the ideas in place, plot points etc, I just need to focus and commit the time. I need to discover the characters and what their needs are; what story do they want to tell.

Personally, for me , it’s all very exciting! I’ve been writing what I hope will one day be my first complete novel for years now (I finish one section and end up detesting the previous parts already written) so to actually commit to something new, and something different0 and then put it out there in the world.

So, although this post doesn’t say much about myself… It doesn’t really venture into the realms of blogging that I intended to focus on… I’m glad to be able to put this little bit of information out there. It at leasts shows those who to venture upon this little space what I am about, and what I do.

Hopefully, a few of you do take a chance and pick up my first short story (HERE). Let me know what you think.

Stephen.

Constellations

I stand alone and look up towards the stars

A familiar, welcoming reminder that home

Is just the other side of the very same constellation

That I now find myself below;

And I wonder

Does my mother look up

Towards those very same stars

And know I’m just the other side

Gazing, waiting, wondering

If our eyes can meet

Via Venus and the International Space Station…

S.C. Elliott

Well, Isn’t This A Great Start

Well, we’ve reached the end of week two of Stephen with a ph returning to blogging, and I’ve only managed to blog for one of those weeks. Aren’t I just damn fantastic? This isn’t what I actually intended, but I ended up working extra shifts this week at work, and was physically too tired when I got home to do much more than order takeout (I’m supposed to be on a diet…) and have a bath (I REALLY like baths).

Next week should be a return to the norm, all fingers crossed. I’m currently sat on my lovely, comfy sofa with my Romanian Terrier (please note not an actually breed) and a cup of tea, mentally preparing myself for a Sunday alone at work. I work every Sunday alone, and I actually quite like it this way. I’m just not feeling it today.

Before I go to work I’ll peel some potatoes and dish up some veg so that I can get a roast dinner cooking as soon as I’m home. I’m usually really prepared and organised with things, but the last few months at work have been really hectic and I’ve completely lost any sense of my usual routine!

Christmas is coming, and I really need to get started with at least the basics; but I don’t actually have a clue which basics to start with. Should I make my cards and gift tags first, or should I find peoples main presents and gift wrap. I’m pretty fussy on how I put together my Christmas gifts, and every year I tend to follow a theme. This year the theme is verging towards silvers and blues, with snowmen and snowflakes, but I’m not 100% set on that yet!

This has to be one of the most mundane posts. I’m pretty sure people don’t want to read about this sort of thing! I’ve got a few days off after today so we’ll pick up at a more interesting point tomorrow!

Have a great Sunday!

Stephen.

Weeping Willows

November; and autumn slowly,
Soggily,
Transitions to winter
Grey clouds dilute
The once blue skies
And mulch, and mud, engulf
The warm autumnal hues
October displayed,
Vibrantly
Beneath the auburn canopies
Bare branches reach
Desperately,
Skeletal hands; corpses
Great oaks, now dormant
Maples, and weeping willows
All rendered widows
‘Till spring returns
Its dew drop
Kisses.

S.C. Elliott