Labrador training

According to training experts it does differ. No dog is born with the precise knowledge of what you want him, or her, to do – or more importantly what you don’t want them to do! And Labs are very much included in this group!

They may be very loving and cute but let’s face it they don’t know about all the rules to go with living in our (human) world. They become acclimatised fairly easily if trained correctly but to start with they have no idea (no more than a baby does of course).

Must confess I am much better at raising my children, disciplining them, than I have ever been at training any of my dogs. My parents and now my husband Tom, tells me that I am far too soft with the dogs! I must admit they are right. How can I help it thought – Abby looks at me with those big brown eyes and I usually (not always) don’t have the heart to discipline her, especially where there is smacking involved.

But I know, for the sake of Abby’s safety in particular that I need to train her a little more than she is trained at the moment. I will have to harden my heart!

I have found out that I will not be able to train her properly unless I get to know, and utilise, the most effective Labrador/Retriever training methods – so here goes.

Also I am now convinced that our (Abby and I that is) time together will be much more enjoyable if she is better adapted to living in this all-consuming human world.

Abby is well behaved usually when the family settles down for dinner, she doesn’t have to be shut away – well with our immediate family she is but she soon changes into a ‘food sponge’ when my mother and father-in-law come to dinner. She obviously has them all figured out.

She is (Abby I mean not my mother-in-law) good when you take her to the beach (whereas my mother-in-law isn’t). Abby is never a pest – mother-in –law is!

Just joking (sort of) couldn’t resist, mostly because I know mum-in-law is overseas at the moment!

All jokes aside it is amazing how Abby has learned that Grandma will ‘treat’ her to whatever she wants off her plate – Abby is simply repeating a behaviour that ends with a reward – usually a scrap of chicken, a biscuit etc.

Labs will not learn if left alone so Abby (who is already a very good dog) is going to learn to become a superbly behaved dog.

Want my life to be more fun

Been feeling the same, doing the same thing, looking the same for ages and ages. Apart from that discussion with Tom about having more kids – an idea I am far from keen on!

I like feeling light, being crazy and acting accordingly a majority of the time – these days I am lucky if I get to be crazy a few times per year!

We can all be too serious at times (even me). So, I’ve decided to go back to the fun, light me! So there!

Might even reinvent myself – horrify Tom (and his friends) by dyeing my hair purple, orange or even green – or maybe have all colours together!

I am going to start doing things I normally (lately anyway) would not do.

My comfort zones have changed – I am at danger of becoming a boring suburban housewife – of being middle aged and dumpy before my time. I can make some fun changes I think by simply changing my routine and become a little less stable and stifled.

I need to get back to being MYSELF – and get Tom to be more relaxed (even naughty) too.

Somehow, I feel I have got myself into the unfortunate habit of starting to worry about what people will think about me being a little ditsy – never worried me before so why now? Maybe they will judge me – nearer to the truth is the fact that 99% people probably don’t think about me at all or what I may be doing.

Money is short for Tom and I at times, even though both of us work full-time. Just reminded myself that some of the best things in life are free – that is not just a saying, ITS TRUE. Sometimes it is the simple things that really give you a buzz – just being in the moment with your partner and kids!

If you are a Type A personality (an addicted planner that is) – don’t plan for once – go with the flow. In other words allow things to happen naturally – do things spur of the moment – it can be really fun when you throw a little caution to the wind.

And never, ever, wait until the time is perfect to do something – you will likely never do it if you wait until the time is right!

I was walking down the street the other day, just going for a walk, and didn’t see one person smiling – even the fellow who was talking loudly to himself as he strolled along was frowning and sounding angry!

Will end with a few really great funny quotes, some more than others:

  • “People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do”(Isaac Asimov)
  • “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please” (Mark Twain)
  • “Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company” (Mark Twain)
  • “A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find such a man” (Lana Turner)

Now I know some people will want to write to me saying some of these are out-dated or sexist in their opinion. Don’t bother. They are funny anyway! Well I think they are and surely a few people had a little laugh at one or two?

I got confused! Easter or Mothering Sunday?

For some strange reason, when I did my last post, I thought this weekend was Easter – don’t ask me why but I came to believe that Easter was at the beginning of March, rather than near the end! I had even asked people over to a special Easter Sunday lunch.

It is no wonder I suppose that people think I am a little ditsy at times (well most of the time as far as some are concerned). Some people delighted in texting, emailing or even ringing to tell me!

Well its Mothering Sunday, called Mother’s Day by some (the American version of the day I am reminded) so I just told people to come along anyway! So where, when, why & how did the Mothering Sunday/Mother’s Day traditions start?

It is a trifle complicated. The occasion of Mother’s Day originated in the US, actually being proclaimed as such by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914 – as the result of a campaign by Anna Jarvis. The British revival of Mothering Sunday is attributed to Constance Smith, who was inspired in 1913 after reading a newspaper report of Annan Jarvis’s campaign for the celebration in America.

So where is the complication, the big difference? Well Constance Smith was a High Anglican who actually believed that “a day in praise of mothers” was expressed in the liturgy of the Church of England – unfortunately she was wrong but I don’t think we mothers care do we?

Constance did a lot to revive the customs of Mothering Sunday for which we should all thank her – she even published a booklet in 1920 named ‘The Revival of Mothering Sunday’.

Now I don’t know about you, maybe you aren’t into traditions or the history of them but I find some quite interesting – Mothering Sunday is one of them. Want to know more simply Google it – you will pick up things you would never have known.

And you never know you could even get interested in finding out more about a lot of things?!

What I find quite interesting is the fact that neither Anna Jarvis nor Constance Smith ever became mothers themselves? Two women who weren’t mothers came up with a day (with variations) that celebrated the fact of motherhood?

Whatever your thoughts – have a good day!

WOW! what isn’t happening in London!

Wow what terrific weeks we are in the middle of here lately. London is such an exciting place in which to live, work and play – I feel so lucky that I experience all three here.

Cirque de Soleil: Amaluna is on until the 6 March (so hurry to see it). London Fashion Week (well this just about over isn’t it). Mother’s Day in London on the 6 March, St Patrick’s Day celebration 13 to 17 March, and let’s not forget the legendary Head of the River Race on the 19 March.

The events go on and on. One of the most important events for me, without doubt, would have to be the Cancer Research UK Boat Races (ie Oxford and Cambridge Boat Races) to be held on 27 March!

Spoilt for choice aren’t we.

Of course Easter in London runs between the 25 and 28 March, with special activities for kids, including the ever popular Easter Egg Hunts.

For we adults there is always a host of treats of course, including sumptuous chocolate afternoon teas, Easter concerts and fabulous holiday packages. It is more than easy to find so many things to do in London, that your will turn!

I don’t know at this stage whether Tom can joint us but the kids and I are off to the Giant Easter Duck Hunt (WWT London Wetland Centre) – only £1 per person too.

You really do need to plan ahead for busy times of year such as Easter but, I can tell you now that I am definitely put some ME time aside (which is when I allow some extra online bingo time at my favourite site,, which is amazingly generous.

Have a safe and happy Easter; enjoy those free festivals and events too. Enjoy our wonderful, lively 24/7 City – and maybe some of the wonderful Multi-Hand European Blackjack you can find at