I’ve been sick the last few days. Coming on the back of a lengthy work trip I’m not surprised and likely I contracted whatever it is on a flight – plane-flu.

As is usually the case when I’m sick, my dreams become more vivid or at least I remember more of the content. It tends to be about what I should be doing at work or is at the depths of my mind.

We were talking last night about remembering Sparky. It’s nearly a year since we lost him, and whether we should mark the occasion by buying our current dogs a rememberance gift. Ruby of course wasn’t around, but Wilson was and I wonder what he remembers? Without trying to anthropomorphisise, does he think about Sparky?

I dreamt about Sparky last night, which I think is actually the first time since we lost him. He was poorly, as he was latterly, but perhaps a reflection of my own illness? My preference is to remember him when he was strong.

Anyhow I think we will mark the occasion in some way, but not sure how just yet.

2014 Review and a Look Ahead

I don’t tend to do review of the year posts each year, sometimes I’ll take a theme and just cover that, other times I won’t bother at all. The latter is more often the norm. 2014 however has been a “bit of a year” for me. So I thought I’d just write out a few highlights and one or two low bits too for good measure.


I’d say that the year as a whole has been backdropped by work-life balance, with the balance being unevenly tilted towards work. I’ve had to reapply for my job as part of a restructure, and it’s been pretty full on. I’ve been offered voluntary redundancy twice (and we’re just going for a third round now), I’ve not applied on both occasions, but am giving the third time some serious consideration.


On the life side of the scale it’s been a tiring year. I’ve done far less, due to pressures of work than I would like. I’ve noticed that I’ve been far less present on social media platforms, as well as reading less books and generally having less time for relaxation.

We lost Sparky our elder dog back in March, and then got Ruby at the end of June. I still miss Sparky every day, and things still feel very empty without him around. Wilson has taken well to being the older dog, and I’m really pleased and impressed with the way he’s turned out into such a well rounded dog.


The allotment has been going along quite happily, it’s not been the best of years, but it’s been far from the worst, and I’m setting a good basis for next year. I’ve managed a few video posts, and have a year ending one to go up, as soon as it’s posted to YouTube.


As I mentioned I’ve read far less than I have done in previous years, mainly due to having less free time. I would however single out a few books I’ve read (I read these in 2014, but they may not have been published this year) to mention here:

The House of Dolls by David Hewson – There’s no such thing as a  bad book by David Hewson, and this new series set in Amsterdam has all the hallmarks of being fantastic. This first in the series is excellent and I look forward to reading the next one, hopefully in 2015.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – This took me back to my childhood and the computer games that I used to play.

The Burning Room by Michael Connelly – The latest Harry Bosch, and a great addition to the canon, and likely to be a milestone step in the series. I’m not sure where Michael Connelly is going next here, but there are a number of options, and again I look forward to the next in the series. (I also loved the Amazon pilot of Bosch, and can’t wait for the full series).


Again, a few to single out (and again I watched them in 2014, but they may have been released before that year):

Dawn  of the Planet of the Apes – Only recently watched this, but I loved the direction that the movie went in following on from the previous one, and abandoning the Charlton Heston era movies (and the awful Mark Wahlberg remake).

Captain America: The Winter Soldier – I love the Marvel movies (and the comic books too), and I’ve seen a few others this year as well; Thor: The Dark World and The Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s a close choice between Capt. and Guardians, but again, I think the way that the story and characters have been bought on since the first Captain America movie, plus Avengers: Assemble give this one the edge.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Loved this. Wasn’t sure that it would ever work as trilogy of films, but it does. Looking forward to the final film too, although that will be a 2015 watch for me.

Godzilla – A remake that remain truer to the original and a great film.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – I’ve never read the books, but love the films, again looking forward to the final two parts of this series too.

And Looking Ahead to 2015?

I’m not sure what 2015 holds. More upheaval at work I expect, and I need to make a decision about voluntary redundancy again. There will also be more  books to read and more films to watch. I don’t really do resolutions, but I’ve got a few aims for 2015.

  1. Be more balanced of temper. I think in part 2014 has been characterised by me having a shorter fuse than usual. I’m not happy about this, so want it to change. More counting to ten I suspect in 2015.
  2. Better work – life balance than above.
  3. Read more, although be realistic about what’s achievable. I also want to get through the “To Be Read” backlog mountain. Although I’m not setting any firm systems in place to do this as I have in the past.
  4. Have a good year on the allotment, and try to keep a better photo and video record of what’s going on there.
  5. Write more. Both blog posts, but also get back into writing properly.

There are lots of other things in my head (you could always add; lose weight, be fitter etc) but the above are the main aims.

Time Travel

imageI’ve been using an app – Timehop – on my phone for a few months. Every so often, it throws up something that I forgotten about. Today it was the holiday we had 12 months ago. It was a very relaxing week and the last holiday we had with our dog Sparky. Sometimes this app knows how to really stab at the heart.Untitled

Wilson’s Story – A New Life Begins

IMG_0478I got used to my new life really quickly and actually quite liked the cage that I had to sleep in, particularly because it had lots of toys, blankets and cushions and so was really comfortable.

In fact I spent lots of time in there, even when it wasn’t time to sleep, although I did a lot of that too!

Alan and Ann said that I grew really fast, and was a quick learner, particularly when it came to becoming trained in the house.


I still wasn’t allowed outside of the house and had to go and see someone called Vet. He was very nice and made a real fuss of me. I didn’t really notice the first needle that he put in my neck, but then he gave me something called a chip, and that was a BIG needle and it hurt a bit.

Alan said that the chip was a good thing and would stop me getting lost, so I guess the pain was worth it.

Vet said that I would be allowed to go out of the house a week after my needles, but that was to be a long week!

I did enjoy the car trip. Alan put my cage on the back seat of the car, he said that it was so that I would feel safe, but really I think he just didn’t want me sitting in the front with him, even though he did let me sit on his lap in the drive for a bit until we were ready to go.


Sparky and I were starting to get on much better now. I think Sparky was just showing me a tough exterior but really he was a gentle giant. He would play with me from time to time, and he played with me a lot more when Alan and Ann weren’t in the room, so I think the act was as much for their benefit as for mine.


IMG_0388I loved being out in the garden, there was so much to see and do, and I was always able to find things to keep me occupied. I did however have one small incident, which I think got blown out of all proportion.

You see; there is a pond in the garden. Alan and Ann had both said to be careful around it and to make sure that I didn’t get to close to the edge. However it looked just like an extension of the lawn with the pond weed floating on the top and I thought it would be really easy just to walk across the top of it from one side to the other.

Boy was I ever wrong, and did I get wet!

IMG_0392Not just once though, but twice because Alan made me have something called a bath, and he washed off all of the weed and the smelly mud with something called shampoo, in the bathroom sink.

It was a very humiliating experience, and not something that I ever plan to repeat. At least not for a while, anyway.

I was finding out a lot about my new home, it had all the mod cons, and great parents and a step-brother.



Wilson’s Story is an occasional series of posts charting the first year of my dog, Wilson’s life.

Part One of Wilson’s Story can be found here.

All of the parts so far, can be found here.



I was born on 28th March 2010, at Netley Marsh in Hampshire. I’m a mongrel, or so my paperwork says. That means that my parents were two different breeds of dog.

My mum was a Border Collie, and my dad, a Jack Russell Terrier.

Alan says that I take after my mum for my colouring – black and white – and after my dad for my size.

Alan said from the first day that I came home with him that I would probably take after both my parents for my temperament – smart but stubborn.

Continue reading “Origins”

Dog Walk – A Photomotion

One of the groups I belong to on Vimeo is the Weekend Project.  Basically on a Friday (once or twice a month), I get sent an email with a challenge.  If I have the time and the inspiration I take on the challenge and create a video.  This weekends challenge can be found here

In simple terms this is joining together a succession of still images to make a video.  I took over 400 images on a Canon 500D to make my entry.  I haven’t used them all because, believe it or not it was hard to get the whole thing under the 3 minute time limit (mine comes in at 2mins59secs!).

Although this is a competition, and I would love to win, there are some very talented videographers on Vimeo so the chances are slim, but you do have to be in it to win it, as they say.  I use these challenges more to improve my skills, and learn new techniques and I’ve learnt a lot from this weekends challenge.  I was using a relatively new camera, that I’m not that familiar with, plus this has stretched my editing skills (or perhaps just the editing software).

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy.  I’m rather proud of the end result.

A Dog Walk Photomotion For The Vimeo Weekend Project Group from Alan Williams on Vimeo.