We had labradors when I was young and they’re among the greediest breeds. My mum used to try to avoid mentioning words like biscuit or cake as the dog went crazy.
So she decided to start spelling out the words instead. B I S C U I T. And so on. Whether the dog began to associate the emergence of the custard creams with the spelt word, or whether labradors really can spell is one for the scientists.
Anyway, it gave me this idea for a poem starring Bruce.
I’ve just got back from Shaky Bridges – a wonderful and peaceful stretch of river I’ve written about here before.
We walked for an hour and were only troubled by curious cows. I was at this stretch of the river Sow reading (and recording) a sonnet I’ve written which I’m delighted is going to be shared by Staffordshire Libraries (more of that soon).
The cows were a good audience. Indifferent at first they got closer and closer and the first ones told others to come and listen too. I think that’s what was happening anyway.
It was unseasonably warm but it’s a lovely shaded lane. The M6 and mainline to London are not far away but you’d never know.
I don’t think much has been written about this place but I’m happy to celebrate my home county and another of its overlooked spots.
Sometimes I need a checkout. I can’t be bothered to use the self-serve because I know I’ll have picked up the only loaf with a malfunctioning barcode or the deduction on the nearly-out-of-date Greek yoghurt will fail to deduct, or I’ll have to wait until the next Ice Age to get my £1.20 parking back.
There are few tills open at my local supermarket but there is always someone in one of those microphone headsets fitness instructors favour, and occasionally a giant foam pointy hand as popularised by Kenny Everett at the Tory Party conference.
I’d rather they served me but they clearly have cones to set out and health and safety warnings for spilt milk to add to aisle 3. Sorry, for the grumpiness. I don’t let it show. I fume in a quiet English way. Anyway, enough context.