It’s a dog’s life

It’s beyond me why people say:

It’s a dog’s life.

Most of the pet dogs I see are spoilt rotten and pampered by their owners and everyone who sees the dog, wanting to stroke it, cuddle it, tickle it, etc, etc.

Let me introduce you to Titch, born August 1983, “crossed Rainbow Bridge” August 1997.  Here he is, aged 8 or 9.

EPSON MFP image

Mother: Jack Russell, Father: German shepherd.

Temperament:

  • Much more Jack Russell than German Shepherd.
  • Very affectionate, especially if you had sweets, or indeed any food on you.
  • Very sweet-toothed: even if you were talking about buying a three-piece suite, he would come running to you from wherever he was, in the hope of having a chomp of a boiled sweet or jelly baby.
  • He would often come up to you, place his chin on your lap, paw at you and beg for a good fuss.
  • Very playful, always after a belly rub, tummy tickle or stroke, or even the mention of those words.
  • He loved being tickled under his “armpits.”  Stop suddenly, and you’d get a growl of reproval from the dog.
  • He loved play-fighting.  The rougher the better, especially wrestling on the sand of Redcar beach.
  • He loved being bounced up and down on your knee.
  • He loved his walk in the local hills, especially chasing after the pheasants hiding in the ferns.  “Come on, chaps, I only want to play with you, not eat you.”

Titch

Titch caught parvovirus at the end of August 1997.  Till then, he had been fit and healthy all his life.  Within a day he was crossing Rainbow Bridge.

The sad thing is, I cried more on the day he went than the day Sunray passed away.  I guess it’s all to do with untimely death.  Sunray had had enough.  He was fed-up.  Titch was still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, would jump out of his basket every morning, wanting to go for a walk and a wee-wee.

Have a canine day, won’t you!

titch2

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Pack die Badehose ein…

Pack Your Swimming Trunks is the title of a German-language song from the 1950s.  Last weekend Schatz and I did not need to pack them.

We decided to spend Saturday, a glorious, sunny, day (28 degrees celsius) at Unterbacher See, a beauty spot to the south of Düsseldorf.  Specifically, the south beach, where the FKK (naturist/nudist/au naturel) section is to be found.

I had been two or three times before, and I liked it.  Clear water in the lake, very friendly people.  Schatz had seen some of my pictures from Unterbacher See.  She had visited its website.  She, too, wanted to try the place out.

G in G:

Schatz, are you sure you’re happy to go to the FKK section?

Schatz:

Yeah, what’s the big deal?  I’ve sat in the Tecaldarium sauna before.  No problem at all to go there.

G in G:

Fair enough.  Let’s do it then.

One hour and €4 each later we arrive at Unterbacher See.

Schatz:

G in G, you will need to wear one thing here.

G in G:

My glasses?

Schatz:

Yes, and your hat.

We reach the FKK area.  Schatz picks a suitable spot in a slightly shaded area next to a row of trees.

We drop off our things.  Towel, goggles… clothes.

All of them. Every. Single. Piece.  (Except for my hat, of course.)

Schatz gets undressed as casually if she were about to jump into the shower, totally un-bothered about being in her birthday suit (Adamskostüm) with what seems to be half the population of Düsseldorf.  (Well, let’s just say, hundreds of people there.  But only one redhead there – namely, me, Ginge in Germany.)

We both lie down on our beach towels, pretty much oblivious to all the other birthday suits surrounding us.  Schatz rolls over.  I spray sun cream over her body from head to foot.

 

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!  Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!  Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

 

The sun cream is a bit cold.  Probably not a bad thing when it’s nearly 30oc.  One side, then the other.  (Now Schatz has a good idea how it is to be a rotisserie chicken.)

Schatz gets her e-book out and starts reading as if she were on her living room couch.  I do the same with my book on Russian grammar… as one does.

After a few pages, Schatz suggests going for a (skinny) dip in the lake.  We go ankle-deep.  It’s slightly cold.  By no means a complaint.  It’s what you need.  Schatz is the first to immerse herself in the water.  Like a coward, I walk into the water up to my armpits.  I then take the plunge.  Literally.

Whoooooar!  That is nice and cooling.  Good job we have waterproof sun cream on.  We swim for a good twenty minutes.  It’s too nice to come back to dry land.  Sailing boats and kayaks cruise by, waving to the people in their bathing birthday suits.  The  bathing birthday suits wave back.

Schatz comes back to our spot, borrows my rucksack to use as a pillow, rolls over and has a power nap.  I read my Russian grammar book.  Schatz is happy and content.

So, overall impression?

  • There is nothing at all erotic about an FKK beach.  If getting a thrill from naked flesh is your “thang,” then visit the internet, not the FKK beach.
  • Everybody there had body confidence.  There were people of all shapes and sizes there, from pensioners to single people, to families with children of all ages, all happily lying there or strolling around.
  • One thing: piercings.  Let’s just say, why would you want to place a bumper sticker on Ferrrari?  Why?  Why?  Why?
  • Nobody stares at you, not even at the only redhead there.  They’re all either reading their newspaper (handy in lieu of sun cream, I guess), their e-reader, or their Russian grammar book.
  • There is nothing as nice and as cooling as swimming au naturel in the lake (temperature: 21oc).
  • Schatz loved the place.  She was happy to lie there without any clothes – or the slightest hint of embarrassment.
  • She loved the coffee and the bratwurst at the snack kiosk.
  • Schatz herself actually mentioned there were no posers in the FKK section, but there were lots of them in the non-FKK section, preening themselves, worrying about their looks, planning the next bleaching of their nasal hair, etc.
  • We both plan to go again.  Next time I will plunge straight into the water, and not just tip-toe up to my shoulders and shiver.  Just take the plunge – literally.
  • From a health point of view, we both got our daily dose of vitamin D and no sunburn.  Bingo!

Have a textilfrei day, won’t you!

fkksignage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A warning about your health

Men, please don’t be shy about going to the doctor.  Now, let me give you a personal insight.

Last week I had been feeling discomfort “down below” for several days. I went and saw my (female) doctor, who took a careful look.

She then told me, “I think everything’s alright.  However, next time, please do that in my surgery, and not while we both happen to be doing the shopping down at Aldi.”

***

Have a healthy day, won’t you!

doctorFem

Stalin and his pipe

They come, they talk to Stalin, and then they go, heading off down the Kremlin’s corridors.  Stalin starts looking for his pipe.  He can’t find it.  He calls in Beria, the dreaded head of his secret police.

“Go after the delegation, and find out which one took my pipe,” he says.

Beria scuttles off down the corridor.

Five minutes later Stalin finds his pipe under a pile of papers. He calls Beria:
“Look, I’ve found my pipe.”


“It’s too late,” Beria says, “half the delegation admitted they took your pipe, and the other half died during questioning.”

***

Have a questionable day, won’t you!

stalinPipe

Let’s lighten things up…

I’ve recently been writing about death and dying an’ all that.  Today I’m going to lighten up the mood with a joke or two, albeit with a Soviet/DDR flavour.

Here comes number one.

***

Stalin reads his report to the Party Congress.

Suddenly someone sneezes. “Who sneezed?”

Silence.

“First row! On your feet! Shoot them!”

They are shot, and he asks again, “Who sneezed, Comrades?”

No answer.

“Second row! On your feet! Shoot them!”

They are shot too. “Well, who sneezed?”

At last a sobbing cry resounds in the Congress Hall, “It was me! Me!”

Stalin says, “Bless you, Comrade!”

***

Have a blessed day, won’t you!

Conrad Schumann

Do you like quizzes?

Q: What happened on 13 August 1961?

A: The Berlin Wall went up.  (Pretty much overnight.  German efficiency.)

Next question.

Q: Who was Conrad Schumann?

A: A picture describes a thousands words.

ConradSchuhmann

So, he managed to escape from East Berlin into the West.  Was it a happy ending?  No.  Yes, it was good news at first.  He had escaped to freedom.  But 37 years later, after difficulties with his family still living in Saxony, Eastern Germany, the iconic freedom icon committed suicide.  A very unhappy, tragic, ending.

Have an iconic day, won’t you!

 

The shock of capture

In January 2000, as Lance-Corporal GermanGinge I did a military interrogator’s course.  Three expressions are still embedded in my head:

  1. ICATQ (“I cannot answer that question.”)
  2. The shock of capture

The shock of capture is the “Oh dear, oh dear, oh f*ck!” moment when a prisoner of war realises the game is up: he has been attacking you, has lost the fight, and he is now hoping his enemy will not kill him.

Today Mrs Grasshopper went through the shock of capture.  Since her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer at the end of October 2017, Grasshopper (my old Klassenkamerad) and I have been in daily contact, swapping jokes, URL’s for corny 70’s songs and then interspersing with businesslike “sitreps” (“situation reports”) on Mrs Grasshopper’s progress.

Yesterday was another major milestone: another appointment with the oncologist.  The oncologist agreed with Grasshopper’s suspicions that Mrs Grasshopper’s increased self-dosage of oramorph, the increase in her tumour marker to 6000 units and several other symptoms were indicative that her cancer was spreading – despite ten sessions of heavy-duty chemotherapy.

This afternoon I phoned Grasshopper.  He was stoic.  He has been ever since diagnosis.

Pads brat banter. I pull his leg about being a policeman.  He pulls my leg about being a “ginga.”  We laugh.  The Germans in the Düsseldorf sit and try – as ever – to eavesdrop on our Anglophone conversation

Then the $64 million question.  Deep breath.

Grasshopper, now, tell me to f… off and mind my own business if you like.  How did Mr Grasshopper react to the oncologist’s prognosis yesterday?

Grasshopper told me she had had a major meltdown down the local cafe this morning.  The realisation that she does not have long will probably die soon.  The realisation that she cannot ask her enemy, the cancer, not to kill her.  The shock of capture.  The thoughts.  All the what-ifs.  Every single “why?” question.

Next time you are moaning about:

  • Your bus being late
  • There being no milk in the fridge
  • Your team losing their World Cup match

Please think of Mrs Grasshopper.

No picture this time, just a song.

Have a shockless day, won’t you!