This is my third attempt at trying to post this!

It all started with the need for a cup of coffee.  My husband George and I had driven for some 2 1/2 hours on our way to our latest housesit – we were a little early so decided to stop in a small village next to our destination for a cup of coffee and a toasted teacake.  We arrived at 9.50 am – the cafe didn`t open until 10 am but notwithstanding this, the lights were put on, the table pulled out and the coffee began to perc …

We got chatting to the owners – the husband was finishing his breakfast on the table next to us – porridge – whilst his wife was preparing our order and, at the same time, sorting out the strawberries to accompany her porridge.  The cafe also doubled as an antique shop and was very interesting – we said we were housesitting – the owner was very interested in this – she said she and her husband needed a holiday – so maybe I could be making the coffee next year!

She asked me to leave a comment about her wares on her Blog – and it was WordPress.  When I got into WordPress I remembered I had started a Blog there over two years ago and had abandoned the effort after one post because anything else I attempted to write kept getting lost.  I now see that, if the right option is chosen,  my writing is saved regularly.  Could it be that others have had the same trouble as me?

Anyway we are here in Essex mainly to look after Daisy the Delinquent Labrador and the two girls (cats who don`t like each other).  We have cared for Daisy about 4 times a year for the past 4 years – she was just a puppy when we first came and we were here as she was losing her lovely soft puppy coat and growing her shiny black grown up one.  Daisy`s owner enrolled her in Puppy Training Classes – she failed.  Notwithstanding that she was enrolled in the Beginners Class again with all the `babies` and despite any previous knowledge supposedly gleaned, she failed again.  Her owner was determined to have a well-behaved dog so she then had her own Personal Trainer who worked with her in the tennis court once a week – her backhand is still rather dodgy but she is much better behaved!

The house has a burglar alarm which has to be set before we leave to go shopping etc.  All the doors and windows have to be closed.  Daisy knows the signs and if she is outside in the garden (which she usually is in the nice weather) she has absolutely refused to come in.  We tend to use our bus passes to get into town and we have missed many buses (they run once an hour) trying to tempt her in.  Her favourite treats – no.  Early lunch – no.  Her lead and promise of walkies – no.  Grabbing her collar is futile because she darts away so quickly and that becomes a great game.  Last time we were here a few weeks ago George yelled at her at the top of his voice (in utter frustration) and told her to get in her basket.  Instant obedience!  We`ve cracked it!

The only hurdle left is to cure her of thieving – any food left within reach (and her reach is phenomenal) is quickly grabbed and devoured.  Last time she had my Tupperware butter dish and half a pound of butter – to be fair she only slightly chewed the dish.  We waited for ill-effects – none – her coat shone a little more.  And today – again the butter.  I honestly thought I had left it out of reach but she had a guilty look when I came into the kitchen and there, on the large doormat was the glass butterdish – unbroken but very empty.  Of course I grumbled at her – she slunk into her basket and hangdog expression wasn`t in it – a picture of contrition if ever I`ve seen one.  She doesn`t fool me for one moment – she would do the same thing again tomorrow if I were foolish enough to give her the chance.


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