Thursday 17th August 2006

By this evening I will run out of my mistress’s fingers to be able to count the number of people in the house. There are usually three including me. Then we went to four, then six, then nine and today another two are arriving, this time my master’s parents. I wonder if he has got any more family still to arrive?

Isn’t it funny how every country seems to use words and names from other languages and cultures to make things sound exotic? In England you get food shops with French names and restaurants with Italian names. Kitchen designs are called after regions of other countries and even paint colours can have foreign words for names to make them sound special. Then you go to those other countries that sound so exotic to the English and what do you find. Can you buy a kitchen design called ‘Provence’ or dine in a restaurant called ‘Bella Italiano’? No you can buy a ‘Cotswold’ kitchen and dine in ‘The Pelican Station’. Everyone thinks that everyone else seems more exciting and exotic than they are. I wonder if any country thinks enough of itself to use it’s own places and language to celebrate everything that is considered special?

In between thinking deep philosophical thoughts I am enjoying being a family pet in a larger than normal family. It is just great having an endless string of people to encourage to throw balls and Frisbees and take me for walks. It gets a bit annoying when they spend too much time playing outdoor dominoes and chess and insist on playing to the real rules, which rather rules out my playing as I cannot remember for the life of me what I should do with my rook. Whilst I realise that is not absolutely critical in the game of dominoes to know what to do with a rook they have normally finished the game whilst I am still moving the dominoes pieces diagonally and trying to take some off the board. Not content to just play these two games outdoors they have now invested in a croquet set and I have been made to promise faithfully that I will not run off with one of the wooden balls. They have forgotten to tell me not to chew it so I may still be able to contribute to the fun! Be honest, which is more fun – chewing a wooden ball or trying to knock it through a series of ridiculously small hoops with a wooden mallet whilst everyone else tries to knock you out of the way?