Ellie has been ‘gardening’ and I’ve been cooking


As we are now well and truly into the New Year, I hope my second blog of 2015 finds that all is as well as can be expected with you all.

As I write I am dealing in a manner that only a man can do – with a non-specific Viral Medical episode (‘Man Flu’). Whatever it is, it grasped me in its tight grip and unfortunately prevented me from attending The Q Beauty Bash on Tuesday and also missing out on Wednesday’s Gem Fest with expert guest Mark Walker, both of which I was looking forward to being a part of.

I felt it would not have been very gallant of me to risk passing on such a virus to our customers attending the Bash or the good Q production folk and Mark. I feel much brighter today (Thursday) for an hour of Diamonique Get your Rocks On and Household Helpers featuring the brilliant Vax Dual Power Carpet Washer – I hope you were able to join me.

EllieAt Home, Ellie has been her usual busy self, as you can see from the picture – she was caught in the act doing a spot of gardening. I’m not talking about digging holes which puppies are famous for, no I’m talking about selectively destroying various large shrubs, particularly a Ceanothus bush (Californian Lilac) and more spectacularly two 9 ft high bamboo bushes (Me ole bamboo)!

She doesn’t actually eat them – what she does, rather like a beaver, is chew them about 6 inches up from the ground then carry them very proudly to just in front of her kennel and form a little parade of green bamboo poles. I couldn’t stop laughing, but then soon remembered that I have been nurturing them for a couple of years. I know bamboo is tough stuff but she’ll be at least 4/5 years old before they will be as tall again. Hey ho!


Ellie wearing a hair clipWhilst on the subject of questioning her pedigree (i.e. part Beaver) I’m wondering if she has some hippopotamus blood in her as well? We may just have been lucky, but Toby has always skirted round puddles and prefers to stay clean and dry (kind of), however, Ellie makes a beeline directly to the deepest and muddiest part of the puddle and just proudly stands there, takes a quick sip and races off in a plume of muddy water.

As I’ve said before she is a real character, but lovely with it and after watching that puppy show on telly the other week – an angel!

We are planning to attend a bearded collie show near us and will hopefully meet up with Ellie and Toby’s respective breeders and you never know some of their brother and sisters too! There will be a shaggy dog story or two to tell after that!

I tried my hand at a spot of cooking last week and did my best to emulate Green Seasons chef Michael and cook one of their beautiful boneless gammon joints, as he does. Well, I’m pleased to say it went down very well with all the family. Michael’s method is to boil the joint for 15/20 mins or so then roast and baste with honey, orange, cloves to taste – I built up a nice glaze in the pan (see pic above). The gammon was succulent and not in the slightest salty – perfect! Thank you Michael!

Until next time

Stay safe and warm

Dale x


  1. Ellie January 23, 2015 at 7:13 pm -  Reply

    Beaver? Hippopotamus, Dale?
    Next thing you’ll be telling us she has some ”giraffe, tiger or even ”ellie”phant in her!
    Too funny 🙂

  2. Jean pugh January 26, 2015 at 9:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi Dale,

    I hope you are feeling better.

    I had to laugh At Ellie and her gardening, what a little mischief, She looks so innocent in the photograph, no I didn’t do this it was Toby.

    Hope you enjoy the bearded collie show, and hopefully see some of her brother and sisters. With the two young Labradors we have which are brothers we often meet up with some friends who have their litter brothers and sisters and we do some training with them, it is great to see them and how they are progressing.

    Love Jean x

  3. twinkle January 27, 2015 at 3:11 pm -  Reply

    Hi Dale ( and Ellie)

    Aww what a little Monkey gorgeous Ellie is bless her. She seems to be having fun though 🙂

    Muddy dogs are a nightmare. I once had a dog who escaped upstairs after being in a very muddy garden. Leaving muddy paws all ocer a cream carpet. Whoops.

    aww the bearded collie show will be fab. Please take lots of pics so we can see too.

    lots of love


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