I MET three lovely/cute/furry trotter dogs ... One, a tiny mop-head mongrel terrier like the one in the photograph was having a ping along the side of the canal. He wouldn't come when called as was more interested in sniffing odours of lady doggies on clumps of dandelions... I didn't notice he was there till I glanced up from my Sun newspaper to see the tiny trotter standing at my feet smiling the way doggies do. Then of course he scampered off leaving me wishing I'd asked what breeds they thought he was crossed from...
Doggie number two I didn't get a photo of and wouldn't be able to dig up a photo like him. Another tiny small dog, not necessarily terrier. Had ears in the stocks, like bits of black flannel tied to his head, black and white patches all over him and a showdog's bearing (standing square on all fours, slightly forward-leaning), his tail was remarkable, sticking straight up, like a furry fountain, or a handle for grabbing the swine! It wouldn't surprise me if he was a Chinese temple dog cross, or something like that... This little doggie was pinging all over the park. The owner saw me staring and kept turning to look at me, glaring suspiciously because I had dared do a double take on his rambling canine... People!
Finally I was about to go when a shambling woman mutters past me with a young Staff on a lead. I looked at her twice then she looked at me then I realized she didn't just look like my old friend Carla it WAS her. We got talking for ages as Bobby the dog went pigeon-chasing. Carla's boyfriend has just run out on her so she was all over the place in tears. At first I asked whether it was hayfever and she just cried more.
At one point her dog shot off like a heatseeking missile... not after the pigeons but after another dog so far away it was barely a speck to us... thankfully on the other side of a chainlink fence because Bobby was barking his head off. Then Carla yelled Bobby, BOBBY! ~ To my astonishment the doggie-missile came rocketing back and ran round Carla waging his tail. "Come back to Mummy, that's right, that's right," she said. When I expressed surprise that her dog actually obeys her because so many people seem unable to handle their pets she said "oh I can't do scatty dogs".
Then we got talking about rottweilers and staffs and akitas and mop-head terriers and she said "yeah: they're much more faithful than PEOPLE. At least they're loyal."
She also told me there are now rehabs that will take in tiny terriers etc. Not because the furries have been shooting up gear but because their owners have.
Well that's an interesting idea. But I'm not sure I can have my doggie now. What would the poor swine do when I went to college? Run up and down yapping in the corridors of Higher Euro-babble as I locked myself in the simultaneous translator's booth? You gotta consider these things, and that's one big reason why I didn't just run out and get a puppy the second the idea grabbed me (and it certainly grabbed me as y'all know)... I knew I'd always intended to travel in the future. Travelling with a doggie does cut down one's options on what to do, where to stay and all...
The computer's resonating with the most amazing ambient techno direkt aus Deutschland! ~ thanks to live-streaming from Deutsche Funk's DRadioWissen station... I'm rock and rolling at 3am:~ luvverly!
Funk means broadcasting. They don't call themselves Funk because they are funky... they just happen to be Phunkey as well!
Deutsche Funk Startseite: http://www.dradio.de/dlf/
PS: That doggie pictred top reminds me of a Coronation Street actor... he played some kind of writer or poet... can anyone remind me of the actor or character's name..?
NOTE TO SELF: Deutsche Welle www.dw-world.de/dw/0,,265,00.html
RE languages, I think I've caused confusion. Language competence is most commonly graded with the CEFR scale, running from A1 (most basic) through A2, B1, B2, C1 to C2 (near-perfect). According to CEFR, I have German to roughly B2 and would aim for C1 in order to get on the course; French is about the same. So far I've focused on reading books, magazines and websites. Though I talk about "learning" I do already speak well enough to go and live abroad. But for academic study I need to brush up on the written language and grammar.
Dutch I can already read well enough to understand the gist of newspaper articles, websites etc ~ basically because it's so similar to German. If I put in the work I should be able to express myself at A1 within a few weeks. To get on a course I'd aim for C1 competence.
So I'm not "learning three languages" I'm brushing up two and starting a third from scratch...
CEFR Scale: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_European_Framework_of_Reference_for_Languages
City Lit is the best place to go for language evening classes ~ they offer 20 languages.
I have to be careful about using up government funding, but it looks like I could go for level 5 classes German and French
City Lit prospectus www.citylit.ac.uk/resources/Languages_summerguide2010.pdf
City Lit "what level?" www.citylit.ac.uk/courses/languageassessment
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