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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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.

Second Chance

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Two weeks today, the world will be blessed with possibly the only miracle of 2016; Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. In fairness, no matter how you look back at the past year, it hasn’t been great, has it? Brexit and Donald Trump aside; we’ve lost Bowie and Prince; Gene Wilder and Alan Rickman; Victoria Wood and Caroline Aherne; the list goes on and on and on. The bad news mill has been relentless this year.

The Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, for me at least, is a light at the end of that tunnel. I need it; the world needs it. Sometimes it’s important to be able to get wrapped up and lost in another world, and in times of darkness, Stars Hollow has been my own personal sanctuary of choice.

For me, the warmth and depth of the characters, the vibrancy of the town and general strength and support of community are an escape that welcome with wide, loving open arms. With the Gilmore Girls, you’re not just watching a family; you’re part of one.

That’s something we all need to hold on to during these trying times. Community. Love. Warmth. Support. Family. This isn’t so much a post about the Gilmore Girls (as excited as I am about it), but about the former. Humans have always been divided; and right now is a time for those on the other side of that divide. It’s not forever. It’s not what we necessarily want; but it’s not forever.

Sit tight, put on a movie that you love or watch a TV show that makes you feel good. Listen to music that helps you relax. Put everything else out your mind for a few moments. The problems aren’t going to go away, but they can afford to wait for a moment.

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That aside, I really can’t wait for the new episodes and to be able to delve back in to the world of the Gilmore Girls at least one more time. It’s a world that I both embraced and felt embraced by for so long; having the opportunity to step into that familiarity once more just feels so unbelievable to me.

*   *   *

Anyway, sorry for the strangely shaped post today. I’ve not really decided how best to utilise this blog yet, or what my aims will be. I’m certain that I’ll share some of my creative works, and my views, but I’d really like to find some form of structure to my posting method.

Have a great weekend everybody, and I’ll see you on the other side.

Stephen.

MORNING!

Good morning world! Bare with me, as this is  the first time in a very, very long time that I’ve posted anything on a blog (I was eighteen when I finished posting to my first – and most successful – blog). I feel like so much has changed in those seven years, and the blogging process seems to have more options than ever, so I’m sure over time you’ll find this little page both change visibly and read differently to what it does today.

First posts are the worst, and I really didn’t want to fall in to the trap of writing a first post about first posts. Neither did I want to write a post simply introducing myself, because I both find them boring to read myself, and I truly believe that you’ll discover who I am through the journey of this blog if, of course, either of us stick around.

If anyone even discovers this little page.

*insert cheesy line here* I guess, one of the reasons I have started this blog is to provide a beacon of light in these darker times (you’ve got your outdoor glasses on) as well as to provide a creative outlet for myself. Why a creative outlet (no one asks)? I like to consider myself a part time writer, mostly in the poetry fields, but occasionally I dip my toes into the fields of fiction.

I prefer poetry simply because it’s less messy. Fiction has characters and places and objects and just about a million and one other things to hold on to and remember. I have a short attention span and a disastrous memory! Poetry can be more clear cut, and even when it’s not clear cut; abstract.

Over time you’ll definitely see some of my work appear on here. I’ll probably also talk about the work of others I like as well; what I’m reading or watching etc. Maybe, if my life ever becomes a little more interesting, I’ll even talk about what I’m DOING! (Don’t be silly, Stephen).

Yes; my name Stephen. Stephen with a ph not a v. Not Steve. Not Ste. Plain old, bog standard, the name my mother chose for me, Stephen. Steve is for lads, van drivers and builders. I am none of the latter. Ste is for… Well, I couldn’t even tell you what Ste is for, I’m just not a fan.

One last thing before I wrap this longer than I intended but shorter than expected, not a first post post, up, is a promise of sorts. I’ll do my absolute best not to bombard you with a million and one pictures of my dog or two cats; Instagram is for that. Twitter is for moaning. I’m sure that soon I’ll post links to both pages, when I’m both more organised and ready.

Anyway, that’s about that for now. I do have an idea of a posting schedule in my head; of what I’ll post, and when, but I’ll be making no commitments just yet.

Have a fantastic day (or evening, depending on where in our big round world you are) and we’ll catch up soon!

Stephen.