Oh, it’s the first food time today for us Great Danes! Just a quick wee under the high things while he gets the smelly stuff-mmm yum. Now she rubs that thingy on us-feels good! A short lie down in our comfy boxes. Ah, now we’re out running through herbs. Smells of cats where he and she sit. Quick, a run up the rocky bits to look for something furry! Inside on to our soft snugly beds. We get up for more pats from her-aah.
I’m sitting as well as I can.
I’m good at sitting.
Me-Wake up to Cyprus morning sunshine. Enjoy a swim while it’s cool. A cleansing shower. A breakfast of various flavours and textures A choice of activities and hobbies. In our own lives, let’s live for the moment when we can.
We can find something to like on the school run/way to work-the chatter of the children, attractive plants, interesting buildings, familiar sounds and faces. There’s always something to appreciate wherever we are, at work, at home, shopping, whatever. When in a rush and due to our wish to succeed in any way, whether it be just to arrive on time or to aim for a high standard, things can pass us by. We can train ourselves to be more mindful of the present and so improve our wellbeing.
He sounds loud. He shouts at something. I don’t like it. I’m Stellar, a Great Dane and I’m scared. She looks at me and she says it’s alright. I get up. My head hangs down. I go where it’s quiet.
I hear a crash outside. More smashing. I keep away. Venus, my sister, hears only a little, so Venus goes and looks. She’s banging things on the ground. She throws a bag on the ground. Smash. She throws it again. She looks inside the bag. Is she cross too, like him?
Smash some crockery when you’re feeling cross!
Me-Break your old or broken plates etc in a shop bag. Grout the small pieces of china on to a pot with a rough surface. For outdoor use, make sure your grout is frost resistant. Fill up the gaps between the “mosaic” pieces with more grout. Paint the pot to match. Maybe you will feel better then!
It’s late and dark outside. We Great Danes are lying in our day beds. Venus makes rrr sounds from her face. She says I do it but it’s her now. There’s a light thing on and she and he are looking at the big box. We Great Danes see a big black thingy. It moves fast above us. It goes flutter, flutter. It goes everywhere fast. Maybe it wants to get out. I should jump on it but it’s too late. I’m sleepy. She gets up and turns off the shiny thing. Something goes click and the bright things are on outside. The flutters stop. She says its gone. The big shiny things go off and inside the small one comes on. She sits down and they look at the box.
It flew around the room.
The next morning someone tells me to see the monster under their bedroom curtain. Oh perhaps it’s the giant moth from last night. It flew up the stairs. I can see its colours now. It looks like military camouflage with some purple. As I pick it up it doesn’t move. It’s about the width of my palm. Oh no, I hope it’s alive. I drop it from a balcony on to a garden plant. A few minutes later in the front garden, I can’t see it where I dropped it. I hope it’s ok. Inside again, I’m on the other side of the house. There’s a big moth shadow on the other side of the muslin curtains. Perhaps it’s the same moth. Gently, I take it off the curtain and release it into the back garden from the high terrace. It flies away fast. It shoots upwards and to the left. It seems to know where it’s going. It’s an Oleander Hawk-Moth. Their larvae feed on pink, white and cream oleanders, maybe ours. I hope it was ok. I love them but others aren’t so interested!
It’s getting hot and we Great Danes, Stellar and Venus, watch the small dark thingys fall from the spiky tree. They go click, click. She got it before we came. They had labra sort of dogs then. They’re under our tall thin trees. I look at the grass which grows from the dark things. I don’t want to eat it. There’s better stuff to eat out here.
It’s bigger than our house!
They call, Stellar, Venus and we have to go away from the tree. A man goes up. He goes up high. I hear saw, saw. A big bit falls down, then more and more. They put them along the fence. Why won’t they let us out to run after cats? The long bits are sharp so we stay away.
One large leaf falls on to the pile.
Me-This palm type has no dates or coconuts. Fourteen years ago we planted it as a garden feature when it was a metre tall. I chose it because the strong fan like leaves stand up well to heavy winds. Sometimes our palm tree is trimmed by a brave man. He climbs up the trunk without a ladder. He places a rope around the tree and just a strip of wood to stand on. We use the reddish-brown trunk leaf bases to burn on the fire in winter. The leaf stems have sharp teeth along them so beware!
Seedlings-big and small
I remove the round black sprouting palm seeds from the soil. Perhaps I keep one in a pot where it has self sown. As the small shrub grows I cut away the lower browning leaves.
We Great Danes, Stellar and Venus, like to sniff and stick our noses into things. I like the old basket. I like to mess it up. It’s full of soft and hard things, thin stringy stuff and soft woolly stuff. It smells of sweat, sheep, insects and dust. I want to eat the things. I try to make it all into a nest with my nose.
Khaki thread to repair an orange item.
Me-The sewing basket is in a high cupboard in the kitchen. The sharp needles thread through pink felt and the pins are in a small box. I begin to set up my trusty old portable sewing machine. It’s been my friend for many years. I need red thread. Er, where’s the reel of red cotton? Oh well there’s another one, slightly lighter, more orangey. Isn’t there? Um, no. It’s here but it’s all broken and won’t fit around the cotton reel holder on the machine. Ah ha. Someone’s been snuffling in my sewing basket. I wonder who? I hope they enjoyed eating and digesting the reel of red thread. I suppose they tried the orange reel and someone rescued it before it was swallowed.
The blue and red reels are well chewed!
When others borrow your sewing basket don’t expect them to tell you that the dogs ate some for lunch!
I’m a Great Dane so I’m a great big dog. One day half my face got huge. The nice man put a needle in me (ouch!) and I got better. I think I saw a big black spider. Maybe I sniffed it. Maybe it crawled into my crate while I slept in the basement-creepy! Perhaps it bit me-ugh! It made me feel sad and I was scared to walk about. Soon I was wagging my tail again!
A baby Cyprus Tarantula in the garden sink. I let it go.
Me-When our house was first built, we had visits from Cyprus tarantulas. Someone said they were revisiting the land where they lived before our place was there. I put a towel over three and stamped on them. After finding out that their bites weren’t poisonous but like a bee sting, I felt guilty. Usually I leave spiders alone as I imagine they are mums with babies! Lately after many years, we have had more visits. This is because a neighbour planted banana trees in which black spiders live here in Cyprus. This time I freed the one I found but friends kill them. Who is right? They have a right to live but our dogs have a right to be safe in their own garden.
We rush out to sniff it. We bury our heads in it. We know lizards scuttle in it. We begin to nibble it. We continue this habit for about ten minutes. Then on to the path we both deposit some saliva with chewed Lantana in it. Why do we do it? I don’t know. Is it the aromatic smell? Don’t know. Is it the taste? No idea. We just keep on doing it even though it makes us a little sick!
It smells mmm.
Lantana is like a weed in some countries. In our garden I have planted various colours: orange, white and two-tone orange and red. There is also lemon, lilac and two-tone pink and lemon. I must make some cuttings and plant some more. Why do I like such an ordinary plant? It stands up to heat and drought. It flowers for most of the year. Cut it back savagely and it grows again fast. Shape it how you like, low as flowering ground cover if you wish. Mine is in terraced hedges.