Bella meets the real world

For the last 5 months Bella’s life has been a mix of eating, running, jumping, playing and sleeping. The worst thing that happened to her was occasionally getting under our feet which meant a yelp, a cuddle and then back to eating, running, jumping, playing and sleeping.

Yesterday that changed. Bella went to the vet for that little operation that puppies have to ensure that more puppies don’t mysteriously start to appear.

Since then, all Bella has wanted to do is yelp, lick her wounds and be held – by Jean or I, whoever is closest. On the ground she spins in circles trying to get to the wound which is obviously irritating her and yelping, before we pick her up for another cuddle.

As I write this she is curled up on my knee making little moaning sounds. To call her a “sad sack” would be an understatement.

What she doesn’t know is that by Monday her life will be back to normal – eating, running, jumping, playing and sleeping. We can’t wait.

Bella after that Op

Sad Bella after “that op” lying on my knee – photo credited Jean.

The up-side of jetlag

Those of you who know me, know that I’m not a morning person. The thought of getting up early (for whatever reason) is something to be avoided – unless lives are at risk or the end of the world is nigh.

Having said that, there is a brief period of time at the start of every holiday on the other side of the world when waking early is inevitable. It’s that 2 or 3 days when jetlag is ruling your life and waking at 3am with an overiding urger to eat dinner is the norm.

A few years ago we were in Rome when this short period was affecting us so – for the first time I can recall – I was up and out with a camera and tripod in Rome at 4am waiting for enough light to take some shots . Unlike other major world cities like Tokyo and New York, Rome sleeps at night. So the only people up at that time were newspaper delivery men, the occasional taxi driver and the even more occasional polizia – and me.

It was eerily quiet and I could hear my footsteps echoing off the building walls as I walked.

Within a few minutes of our hotel were the Spanish Steps and Piazza Babarini, both completely devoid of life, an amazing contrast with the rest of the day when they are full of tourists with struggling locals trying to make their way through the crowds.

New Shoots

First Bud of SpringFor the last week or so I’ve been keeping an eye on our grapevine. When I say “our grapevine”, I mean the one we share with our neighbours and which now runs almost the entire length of the fence between our houses.

In summer it’s covered in leaves. In early autumn it’s covered in grapes but for the last 3 months it’s been bare, doing it’s best impersonation of a dead plant.

Our first clue that spring is on the way and that summer is around the corner is the appearance of the first shoot from those seemingly dead sticks.

And today that first shoot appeared. Summer is coming.

Bella is growing up

Our little puppy who used to fit in the palm of our hands is now a gangly 18 week old teenager with a mind of her own.

We’ve had a dog trainer come in and help us to wrangle her into line. She’s much better behaved but still has those moments of total abandon when she laps the couch repeatedly at full speed with no regard for anything in her way – whether it be me or Poppie or any piece of furniture that she runs into as her turning circle increases.

In the last couple of weeks she has worked out how to jump up on our bed and Poppie’s last haven of peace and quiet is now gone. But Bella seems to know that the bed is not a place to misbehave and it’s not unusual to find them both side by side, surrounded by their toys, sound asleep.