Monday, August 27, 2012


I came within seconds of really losing my temper in a public place the other day. I was grooming one of my dogs and out of the corner of my eye I saw a woman embrace John  and then along with her husband started chitchat.

If you have read my blog you may remember that I wrote about this couple that I had been friends with for over 30 years. However 2 years ago they asked me to do something, which they would  never have done if asked of them, and my answer to it was no. I have not heard from them since.

I did meet them many months later at a dog show and when I asked why I had not heard from them the response I got from her was a complete lie. “Well you didn't send us a pedigree when we asked." Now who ends a 30 year friendship over a damn pedigree?  Apart from which, this was a complete lie. The last conversation that we had had was that they were bringing their bitch down to be mated to my boy but during the conversation they asked instead if they could take my boy home with them. Clearly these people had no faith in me whatsoever and thought I did not have the wherewithal to  make sure that their bitch was mated by my stud! I said no.  Anyway that was the last I heard from them.

Now the point is John had been saying for years that these people were not the friends that I thought they were. He grew to dislike both of them. However, they were my friends and so he very lovingly was always polite and friendly to them and never said what he thought. He did this for me.

Surprisingly, I am not hurt by their behaviour I am just angered by it. The fact that they ended our friendship because I dared to say no to them actually did me a huge favour because I could then stop worrying about whether my gut feeling about their using of me was correct or not.

What angers me the most is that this woman knows more personal stuff about me than even John does. She knows more about what happened to me as a child than anybody else does apart from my therapist. She also knows the difficulties I have with people, especially when it comes to trust.  She betrayed my trust in her completely.  Her use of what she knew about me  to manipulate me is simply wicked.

A lot of my anger surrounding this is the fact that I let it go on for so many years. However I must remember to give myself a break and realise that I am not today the person that I was then. These people took full advantage of  me  not just by emotionally manipulating me but financially also.

I am still shocked and bewildered at the turn of events. I have to say though that I have given this very little thought and I only write about this now because of the recent event that brought it to a head. I am very glad that I managed to calm myself down by leaving the vicinity and going for a short walk! It would not have looked good at all had I given them what for and told them exactly what I thought. I would have been the one to come across as a monster. 

What really got to me was how they greeted John in such a manner and how she threw her arms around him so close to me yet completely ignoring me.  That is truly spiteful behaviour. I did so much for those people  and because I had the temerity to say no they shit all over me.  It is their loss for sure.  It is just rather hard to take when one realises that a 30 year friendship which meant a great deal to me was not what I thought it was at all. They became the good parents that I never had  and yet they turned out to be no better than those I already had.  In fact, possibly worse because I don't know what sort of person would take advantage of such a vulnerable person and use what they know about them to their advantage.

 Depending on how long you have been reading my blog you will know that I am diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was so diagnosed in my teens. I have done much work to control this. I mention this because one of the things that the woman often reminded me of was what a good friend she was to have put up with me when my illness was at its peak, both in terms of depression and also mania.  I refused to acknowledge the emotional blackmail she was using by telling me how good she was to me when others wouldn't be.  The more I think about how I allowed her especially to manipulate me the more angry I become  so I guess the root of my anger is really toward myself. Yet I must remind myself once again that the Colin back then who was un- recovered and not in control is not somebody I ought to be angry at at all but someone I should feel nothing but compassion for. It is not always easy.

I have been unmedicated for my bipolar disorder for 12 years now. I have had neither the depths of depression  nor the height of mania since then. I did learn that I became very depressed in winter so now I use a light box which really does work. In times of stress, I do become hyper but it has never developed into full-blown mania. I have pretty much  learned the warning signs and I take avoiding action.


I was in Australia when I 1st came across the Lhasa Apso.  I had seen a photograph of a grey shaggy looking dog on the cover of Australian Dog. This was later to become Champion Cheska Mr Ed, if I recall correctly. I got a boy and a girl from the Singtuk kennel. Unfortunately I was still a child and I did not have parents who considered children important and certainly not their dogs. My dogs were given away when we were brought back to England very much against my will. This was in 1975. 

 I used to travel to Lhasa Apso club shows. In the late 70s I acquired one female from Hardace and later in 1981 another female from the same kennel. Neither of these were of any quality but it really did not matter as circumstances dictated that I could not breed or show. 

 Very much later after several years of successful person Showing where I bred champions and group winning champions and Best in show winning champions, I was finally able to move out to the country. I found it impossible to buy in a decent female. 

 Unbeknownst to me, that there had been a concerted campaign of lies and cruelty towards me which resulted in me being refused membership of one of the breed clubs. When this happened I decided it was time to confront the source of all this gossip. 

 I went out on my own and I imported two females one from Denmark and one from France. I bred quietly on my own until I felt I had something good enough to show. My 1st championship show was at Windsor in 2006. I have campaigned seriously since then and have attended almost every championship show available.I have qualified every single dog I have shown, which now amounts to about 11. 

 I will always be grateful to Linda Robinson of Polielin for allowing me to buy my pick of litter out of her litter of 7 puppies. This black female was to become the famous Whitney. To give her her proper name, BISS Ch Polielins Whitney with Tantra. Whitney is not only the most delightful dog to live with and the only one I can never say that I have truly fallen in love with and she with me, She is also an excellent example of a Lhasa Apso. I retired her at the end of 2010, and in January 2011 she had her 1st litter.

 From this letter I have kept Pussy and Deita. Deita went to live with Kutani. Her full name now is Champion Tantra's Plenty O'Toole is Kutani. ( I can only say that my relationship with Wendy of Kutani is a very good one and I can only wish that it had started much sooner than it did. Our friendship is a surprise to both of us and represents a salutary lesson for those whose aim in life is to gossip and tear other people down. I have been very touched by Wendy's kindness and the very thoughtful things that she has done for both John and I.) 

 As for the 2 bitches that I imported, they are behind the 2 dogs I am now showing. Tantra's Mary Grace and Tantra's Chase Me. Mary Grace has won the limit class twice and chase won his very 1st class and has qualified for Cruft's. He has been shown 3 times and has been in the top 3 each time. Chase is the 4th generation of my own breeding.Mary Grace is his mother. So regardless of the fact that I have loved this breed for 40 years I have in fact only been a serious exhibitor for 6 years. All the above achievements have been in the last 6 years. 

 Especially because of my health situation, I will not be able to campaign every quality puppy that I produce. It is therefore entirely possible that top-quality puppies will be available from me. However, puppies for showing will not be sold at 8 weeks. I much prefer to run them on myself and be certain of their qualities before I sell them on. This will mean that the puppy is likely to be over 6 months of age. 

 I hope this now sets the record straight as some people seem to think that I have been showing for the past 30 years! And I do wonder why their memories do not kick in and they then realise that of course they have not seen me at showsfor the last 30 years!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


We had a lovely day yesterday, visiting with friends. Whitney was quite the tart. When we removed her from the car, she hurled herself up the drive into the garden and happily let the stud be outrageous. They have mated today and are now curled up together. When I know if she took, I'll tell you who she was bred to. Maybe you can have a sweepstake on it, guessing who I used! :-)

The Lady Decorator, or one of them, Marian, has been around with the paint charts for out bedroom. We have been dark navy for nearly 14 years now. We are going to go for something dramatically different. I chose the Midnight Blue because it is a scientific fact that a dark room is a must for a good sleep. Well, heavy curtains will make it dark no matter what colour the walls!

This is the computer chair I have. We have one each. Very comfortable and it forces me to sit correctly, instead of being hunched over the keyboard, I am sitting back against the padded chair. Very comfortable.

John and I are planning to be at both Sottish shows this weekend. We will leave on Friday and return on Monday. Of course, Whitney will not return until next week, Pussy, Chase and MG are coming with us, leaving poor old Luque on his own at our friend's kennels.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

Cast On Baby!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


As I am written before, I am not good with dealing with anything negative I want to write about me. I always think that as an advocate for living well and happily with past abuse and current disability, that i can't be anything but up and positive. Anything else makes me feel ashamed, ungrateful, selfish and weak.

Here goes: I feel like shit. i am fed up with the daily struggle. I posted a thing on FB, one of those quotes things and the quote was something like 'you have no idea how much energy some people expend in just being normal'. Oh boy, i know that one.

I was thinking about a person I know who has died recently. In fact I have been thinking about death a lot recently. With good reason. Our marriage was not just about love but also about protecting each other when one of us dies. 

The thought I keep having about death is just what a release it must be, the end of struggle. I have no idea what it is to not struggle. Everyday day of my life has been a struggle. A struggle to contain my grief and terror when I was a child, the struggle to maintain my sanity later, and now the struggle with my body. Nothing comes easily. Nothing at all. It is almost impossible to relax when in pain.  Even when i manage it for a short period, I then have more of a struggle to get going. the longer I sit or lay, the more locked up I become. I am constantly aware of how I affect those around me so I struggle to impact others as little as possible which is not always possible.

No I don't need an intervention! When I think about death, i also think about how much i want life, so what I am writing is not code for I want to end my life. I would love the struggle to end and I cannot see it doing so until I am dead. That's all.

It isn't surmountable-if I am going to live and live well, I need to take care of myself and my loves: John and my dogs. This means I have to struggle. 

There are things one can and must let go of - other people's problems, other people's opinions and behaviour. all of those i cannot control. Let go. That is easy. But I can't let go of myself can I?

Just an example; if i give in to the urge to nap, a real weariness, then i increase the chances of not sleeping well at night. So i struggle to stay awake. I keep myself busy. I end up going to bed at bed time and not sleeping well. I try to be relaxed about sleep but I find I cannot listen to my body here because then I get all out of whack, like I am now, which I hate. Not to mention the dogs who rely on me to be routine-ful for them. They keep me going.

I have no conclusions here. Just sharing what I feel today. Exhausted, fed up, and longing to have my body give me 30 minutes of peace. Then there is the practice of actually writing how I feel authentically, being humble and letting my ego tell me I can't let anyone see how I feel like shit some days. As if people think I am perfect! 

There we are. My name is Colin and I  feel like shit. I am sick of the struggle. Heartily sick of it. Today. tomorrow is another day and another story.

Monday, August 13, 2012


It is 11:48am on a bright and sunny day, not too warm. Jack the gardener is in mowing the lawn, John is on the telephone to the insulating company trying to re-arrange a date for them to come and do their job.

I have had some odd feelings recently. Last night I had a long dream. Well it seemed long. I will give the short version. I was in a very crowded college and I was not feeling comfortable due to the crowd. This is true today. I don't like crowds. Cut to next scene. I saw a young man, a boy really and he was clearly distressed and lost. I was able to get to him. I hugged him and I told him what I know now. Afterward, he was happy and re;axed and his dull clothing had changed and he waved me goodbye with a big grin and asked if I liked his vibrant shirt. This was when I realised the boy was me. It makes sense because I have been feeling regretful recently that i did not know back then that the abuse was not my fault and that it did not happen because of who I was but because of who they were. I don't need to be told the past is gone. I know. I still feel grief for it though. All those years of suffering. wasted it seems to me. Most of it a blur. A life un-lived, just survived. So unlike today. The flip side being that most do not get to where I am-a life being lived authentically-with the knowledge it was never me and was always them. Grief though has a mind of it's own and does not take solace from now. I think I will always feel sad for the boy I used to be.

Below is what i wrote about Bournemouth Dog Show:

CHASE 3rd in MPD, Pussy 3rd in PGB and MG 1st in LB. The day got off to a bad start. I had parked, unpacked, and attached Daniel to my dog trolley and as I pulled away, the wood holding the bracket snapped. No choice but to walk the trolley over to my breed's grooming area and coem back for mDaniel. When I got back this woman parked int eh spot between me and the next acr, effective
ly preventing me opening the doors on the passenger side. I would not have been able tio unpack had she done thta beforehand. As it was I was not going to be able to pack my car. Plus, there was ample parking further down. Only one entrance so it made no different where she parked. I politely asked her to move, explaining that the disabled area was meant to have larger gaps between cars for wheelchairs etc. I got a flat NO. I explained again why she should not be there and all she kept saying was the security man had told to park there. (I am just following orders type of person.) Well, i lost my temper with her and told I thought she was stupid and self centred and I was appalled at how soem people treated their fellows. Yes she said, so am I!!!! I then wheeled away because my ire was well and truly on fire and I just had to go. I complained to a show official who ordered a uniformed man to follow me and sort he woman out. well, he out of ear shot of the man who ordered him, used his walkie talkie to call another security man. Well, the man turned out to be a boy and he had no gumption. He and the woman decided that when I had to leave, I reverse my car, thus freeing the sides and at the same time BLOCK the exit!!!! On top of this an old biddy could not resist putting her ore in and said 'you don't need that, I've seen you walk!!!!' Now the woman who blocked my car had her affix and website plastered on the back of the car. i want to tell you the affix but John thinks I ought not. Anyway, she had Labs. i do wonder how a disabled person manages to show Labs. I ahd to leave it at that. No one was prepared to make this woman behave decently. Infuriatingly, had she driven on, she could have parked CLOSER to the entrance and NOT had to show utter disregard for other people.
My dear friend Sarah Bedford, came to the rescue at the end of the show. She helped me pack my car. i could not have done it without access to the passenger side. She was furious too with the woman and was thinking of ways to block her ! Not seriously I am sure.

I stayed with Sarah and her husband last night. They have a lovely house with a garden one needs a sit on lawn mower for. It was just beautiful to sit there having dinner and watching the dogs. i have video and photo. My dogs reacted really well. they loved and all three ate the dinner I brought with me for them. My dogs tend to always be okay as long as they with me.

It was a very windy day which for long coated breeds is a pita but I find it quite good for me because it stops me faffing and fretting. The day would have been much nicer had it not started in such a stressful way and had i not spent most of the time worrying about how I was going re-pack my car. Despite my life experiences, this sort of behaviour and attitude from others still astounds me. I mean they KNEW exactly what they were doing, what the affect was going to be, and they simply did not care. I really do not understand that. How does a person get to be so indifferent to others?

Whitney is in season and I am planning a second litter from her. Poor Chase is confused. he has not quite come of age, 9mths old, and he is whimpering a lot of the time and following her about but he seems to not really know why.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


I went to bed at 9pm last night and I got up at 7.30am. I still feel like I could sleep some more. However, 10.5 hours is unheard of for me.
I have deliveries today plus an appointment with the Disability Rights person at two to fill out forms for the government who appear not to believe Doctors and specialists and prefer to have a cicil servant decide if one is disabled or not. Without benefit of an exam. They must be magic.

The delivery is of our desks. One each. Regency desks with the leather inserts on top.

It seems that the top half of the house is going to take several more months. The insulation is holding it all up. They came last Thursday and did nothing. Their surveyors, according to them, had not told them properly what to expect. They were unaware of the conservatory. The loft man refused to do his work for some reason we did not understand. Now it is left that John will clear the polystyrene beads out of the loft. When that is done, the insulators will come back. The loft has to be done first so we can put the stuff back. Until that is done the cavity wall insulation cannot be done as they will have to work from inside for the back walls. And no other works can be done until all this done and and we still have three rooms to be carpeted and decorated.

As frustrating as it is, at least the downstairs is more or less as it should be. I love the new room and the new sound system and I spend many hours sitting here knitting and listening to my music. Heaven.

Sunday, August 05, 2012


BLIMEY! We got home and in just in time. A ferocious thunderstorm with very heavy rain happening right now. Would not like to drive in this. 

We had a really good day. It was good to be around people. I know, I was worked up over nothing. But as I have said before, i find groups difficult to deal with and when I go too long without going, it becomes a massive ordeal for me and then turns out to be something I really enjoy!

Chase was not happy at all in the hall and the flooring especially. It was dreadful. He was not the only one who thought so. Anyway, he did perform well enough and he won his class. i was delighted and very surprised. then Mary-Grace went into the Limit bitch class and she won that!!! I was more than delighted. She is only the second dog I have bred to get her Stud Book Number. Deita was the first. MG is special tho as I bred her, her mum, her grandfather, her grandmother, and g-grandmother. 

The day was marred by a person who thought to complain that Deita was illegally entered in Post Grad bitch as she had won a CC at Blackpool and therefore not qualified. However, the entry was done, and proved, BEFORE the CC was won. Why would someone choose to so mean spirited? Deita won her class but did not get the CC or RCC so what exactly did this person hope to achieve? The worst thing about it as it was anonymous, it leaves people to suspect all sorts of innocent people.

Pussy was 4th in her class, Post Graduate Bitch, same class that her sister Deita won.

I had a really good day, I enjoyed it. i feel like do-do now and had I been on my own, i would have slept on the way home. Meaning, I would have parked up somewhere and slept! I think this is what i am going to have to do on my back from most dog shows. The weekend coming up the show is 200 miles away. I will have to park and sleep instead of forcing myself to continue.

Saturday, August 04, 2012


"I clicked on your blog to see your socks.  I love that gusset.  Very nice.

I started reading about your doggies, adorable little things, and then somehow got sucked into your anti-Christian rant.

I thought you believed in tolerance and acceptance?  What's that about?  This is no attack.  I think you know I've been one of your defenders on the list when nut jobs have gone awry.  

If someone had an anti-gay section on their blog, do you think that would be acceptable for knitters to go read?  I'm just confused as to why you can attack them but they must remain silent."

I just received this from a person with whom I have an amicable email relationship with for several years. I don't think I know anything personal about them, at least not until this was written.

Whilst I may not be at my best right now, I am afraid I flipped my lid at this arrogant offensive twaddle. It is MY blog. If you read it you either like it or not. you agree or not. You are free to write non abusive comments. But do not DARE to tell me what i can and cannot write about.
WHY has this person not gone to the Xian sites and blogs that call for the death of gay people? WHY do these damned people not realise that we, meaning gay people, feel hurt just like anyone, we love, we have joy, we have pain, just like they do. Does this writer have no family because of who they are? Do they always have it in the back of their mind that they may be killed for who they? Did they live for years with no safety at their home because of bricks being thrown thru the windows, the car being wrecked, being physically assaulted, spat on?
I am sick to death of these pious Xians spouting their filth at me and pretending love at the some time. If you are my friend then you know who i am and what i think. If you think that my state of being is a sin, then go away. I do not want you in my life. I want people in my life who share my values of love and acceptance of others. I reject ideas based upon others being 'less than'. Ideas based on others not being good enough. Ideas based on one race being better than another. I do NOT tolerate those sort of ideas and I am PROUD to say I reject wholeheartedly hatred in all it's forms.
The Chic Fil a debacle in the USA was not just extremely hurtful to me personally but very scary. 30's Germany all over again. Yes, I am afraid. I want to grow old with my husband. i want another 31 years with him. These damned fundies make me fear for my life. to dismiss them as cranks or all talk is dangerous. To not take them and their hatred seriously because it is not aimed at you is dangerous because once me and my kind are dealt with, they will come after you. Look already-Sudan-a woman to be stoned to death on the say so of MEN-in Afghanistan, in Iran. And many in the US wnat the US to be a theocracy just like those countries. Okay, I have gone off on a tangent now. But really, where the hell do people get the arrogance to think they can write to me like that and think i will roll over like a waggy tailed puppy because I am usually nice and polite? I learned how NOT to be a submissive puppy. I don't need you to like me! I want you to respect me and if you cannot then fuck off and let me live my life.


The yarn is a Regis, Kaffe Fasset yran. Not so keen on it myself. i used 2mm Chiao Goo needles, which are by far the best needles I have ever used.  They were circular, 2mm, 60cm. I knitted both simultaneously on their own needle. I used my own Andersson Toe Up Construction Method and utilised the Andersson Heel Mach II. I used the entire 50g ball for each foot, with only about 12-16" yarn left from each. With our house renovation and our wedding this last few months I have not been very productive, though I do have a pair I made for a friend to show when I get around to it. I ahd no idea that the house renovation and the our marriage would be so stressful.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012


Above is Chase, almost nine months old, just relaxing on the kitchen floor.

The workmen are here and working on the driveway. A ramp has been built right up to our front door, making it easy to bring the wheelchair in for charging. There is a ramp leading into the covered side as well where we tend to charge Daniel mostly now. We had power points put in there, lights too and it is also where we are keeping the freezer for the dog food.
I am sleeping relatively well again and my gut has settled down into a normal routine. This last few months, when the IBS has played up, instead of being blocked for days, I have had the opposite problem. Not only was this very inconvenient, it was highly odd, I think, having to go a lot when one is at the same time full of morphine. Morphine tends to affect motility rather badly. However, it does seem my body is used to it so it does not now affect me day to day.

I guess the different ways my disease has reacted, more falling over due to loss of balance, my gut being totally unreliable, sleep being severely disrupted, more pain, more mental confusion, is down to the huge changes in my life recently. 

The changes to the house, which are still ongoing, have been huge. I am very surprised I found it so stressful. Mind you John said to me yesterday that the last few months have been a blur for him, so i suppose it isn't just me. I still tend to think that getting stressed about things is a weakness in me, yet it seems fairly normal thing for most people.

Then of course our wedding was thrown into the middle of it all. Certainly the happiest day of my life. Seriously. I loved it and will always remember it. Our friends for supporting us and making it such a beautiful day. The interesting thing for me was that out of 26 guests, only one was gay. The rest were straight marrieds with their spouses or have been married. Throughout the preparations, the invitations, the day and the reception dinner, no one has referred to our day and ceremony as anything other than a wedding and a marriage. Technically it was a civil partnership but not one person called it that. We don't either. It is a marriage as far as we are concerned. It took place on our 31st anniversary. It confers on us the same legal rights as marriage does upon straight couples. Our government has assured us that by 2015 it will be marriage and will get a certificate saying so if we desire it, without having to go through another ceremony.
This lamp was a wedding gift from Wendy Cain and Drew and Sarah Hattrel and Paul. Isn't it wonderful? A very thoughtful gift too, considering my love of collecting cups and saucers.
This is a genuine persian rug, Bownat Medalion design. John's choice though I like it too. I guide him toward what I like without making it obvious so that it becomes his choice. We bought it on Monday.

Our next and last, as far aswe can tell, is an electric memory foam bed. yes, have given in and realised I need this. It takes me so long to arrange the bed at night with the bolster pillows, the horseshoe shaped pillows that it hurts and exhausts me. It cam to me on Sunday night that we needed an electric bed. no argument. It was a thought that was accepted straight away. John accepted it too. Initially we thought we would buy the only one that John Lewis sell but I have since decided to look at the alternatives. This is a very expensive buy so I need to be sure.