Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Flu jabs. Reunions and conversation. Doggy matters.

Yesterday we went to get flu jabs, available free for old fogies at the local doctors’ surgery between 10.00 and 12.00. So we got there bright and early, well, reasonably bright and early, thinking to avoid long queues, but it was already crowded. Standing room only! But it was a bit like an old fogies’ reunion, with loads of (elderly) people we hadn’t seen for ages.

There was old Jack, someone I used to see almost every morning walking bis little dog, Rosie. As I hadn’t seen him since before the summer I was just a tad worried. Both he and the little dog were getting on a bit and I was hoping it was the little old dog who had popped her clogs and not the little old man. Rosie was nineteen when she died, he told me, a grand old age for a small, yappy-type dog. He and his wife, Monica, despite always having had dogs, have decided not to replace Rosie; taking on a puppy in their eighties would be hard going and probably unfair on the little dog. Such are the realities of life!

We set the world to rights with an old friend, also waiting for his flu jab. On the whole we all agreed about just about everything but we did keep quiet when he told us how unelectable Corbyn is. Maybe. But maybe not. Perhaps he should be given a chance. However, the doctors’ surgery was not the place to get into a big political argument.

In Shakespeare’s King Lear, the king gives advice to his fool about who is trustworthy. He tells him, “Do not trust politicians; they are all liars!” The words might not be exactly right but the sentiment is as Shakespeare intended. When I saw the play last week, that line raised a rye laugh from the audience! Hardly surprising in the current political climate!

On our way back from the surgery we ran into a neighbour who had also been going to the doctors’ but had seen the queue and given up. She was trying her luck at the chemist’s instead as they also offer free flue jabs for old fogies.

At least it was a fine morning for a stroll, even if the day did deteriorate somewhat later. Not so much that it prevented us from going for a longer walk in the afternoon though.

We have been out and about along the local bridle paths quite a lot recently and I find myself tut-tutting about certain dog owners. There is a, hopefully small, percentage of dog-owners who appear to believe that picking up their dog’s doings means putting it in a little plastic bag and leaving it at the edge of the path or, even more oddly, hanging from a bush like a weird kind of arboreal decoration. Quite what purpose they think this serves escapes me utterly. Perhaps they believe there is poo fairy who comes along and collects them, something akin to the tooth fairy but without leaving a payment for the item collected.

We were trying to remember when legislation came in about taking your dog’s droppings home with you. When we were children it was accepted that the normal thing was to try to make sure the dog did it in the gutter, thus avoiding people putting their foot in it too frequently. There was one road near my parents’ house that my father re-named “Dog Poo Alley”, such was the amount of doggie-doo-doos on the pavement. And, of course, there were also more dogs roaming free, sent out by their owners in the morning when the owners went to work and allowed back in at the end of the day.

All that has changed and now most dog-owners go around with their pockets stuffed with little plastic poop bags. And the dogs go around in the latest fashion in doggy overcoats to keep them warm on cold days and doggy raincoats to keep them dry on wet days. I have even seen doggy sun hats with visors for hot and sunny days!

Such is a modern dog’s life!

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