Sunday, June 28, 2009

Erm...excuse me, but they're Shetland Sheepdogs

I refer to my post below - and, more specifically, the part about the miniature Collies. We managed to flag down an old lady the other day who was walking her mini Collie. While she was more than pleased to let us take pictures of her prize dog; she wasted no time informing us that they weren't Collies, but Shetland Sheepdogs.


That might explain why I couldn't find any pictures of these hounds on the net ... and almost convinced myself that they did not exist and I had, in fact, imagined the whole lot.



Armed with my newly-acquired knowledge, I was able to find a picture of a Shetland sitting next to a Collie just to give you an idea as to why I would have come to my mini-Collie conclusion.


They still look like mini Collies to me…


And damn are they cute!

Monday, June 22, 2009

My next pet...

I want a fox as a pet. And a crow. Maybe even a ferret. These are just some of the creatures that often roam the streets of London looking for their next meal. The foxes come out at sunset to scavenge amongst the rubbish; while thousands upon thousands of crows always litter the parks, nibbling on tasty morsels left behind by picnickers. I have always thought that crows are magnificent birds and, after only seeing one or two in South Africa, I find it such a treat to see hundreds of them gathered together in one place.

We went to a pet store the other day. Forget puppies and kittens; here one can get more unusual pets, like ferrets, chinchillas and giant house bunnies. They're massive! You can put their front paws over your shoulder and cradle their bums in your arms - they're the size of a small child! Driving down the street, we saw a girl walking her ferret - too cute but also very funny because the ferret walked sideways in a sort of crab-like fashion.

I kind of feel sorry for the pets here because the gardens are so tiny so there's not much room for them to move around. Some places don't even have gardens. We drive past a block of flats to work and every day we see a husky on the first floor. Although it's terribly adorable, it breaks my heart to see him propped up against the porch wall, with his front paws sticking through the bars, watching the cars go by. I can only hope that he gets taken for a walk every now and then.

It's amazing how many Boxers, Staffies and Pit Bulls there are in London. I have seen some of the most magnificent dogs here and it tugs on the heart strings and makes me realise just how much I miss my animals back home and my boxer, Bean. Apparently it's quite expensive to buy an animal here and one can usually only get them through registered breeders. This is because the government has put restrictions in place in an attempt to minimise animal abuse and over-breeding. I wish SA would implement something along those lines. To the left is a picture of one of the Boxers we saw - so beautiful and so well looked after.

Other dog breeds I didn't even know existed are miniature Border Collies and Huskies. There are a couple of the Collies in our area and they are just too adorable! They have the shortest legs and are about the size of Staffies - maybe a bit bigger. We've never been able to stop and take pictures but I sure as hell am going to try - I can't even find pictures of them on the internet so I'm imagining there are a few people that don't believe me!

For now though, the only pets I want are my own. Apparently ferrets smell funny.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Week One...

I think they got it wrong when they said New York is the City that never sleeps - "they" should visit London! It has been nothing but craziness since we set foot off the plane. We had one day to find our bearings (well, try to at least), then it was straight to work and trying to navigate this new way of life.

The tattoo studio is situated in what is regarded as a quiet town here. Back in SA, Kingston could be likened to Melville. However, my idea of quiet does not involve people constantly walking around, sirens screaming past every five minutes, shops closing at 10pm (some of them until midnight, or never) and the sun setting at 9:30pm! That has been the hardest thing to adjust to. According to my body clock, when the sun sets, it's about 7pm, dinner time, and we would be settling in to watch a sitcom. In London, 7pm sees us trawling the shops, not even thinking about dinner, or sitting outside on the porch getting sun-burnt - yes, sun-burnt!

London is the most charming place I have ever seen. The buildings are mesmerising! There is a church down the road that is 700 YEARS OLD! Imagine what that building has seen in its lifetime; if only those walls could talk!

In my first week of living in London, I never imagined that I could:

  • Get caught in a traffic jam at close to 1am

  • Buy Smarties in any form possible: cookies, cakes, cupcakes, ice-cream, cupcake mix, dessert...

  • Listen to somebody speak English, but not understand one word they are saying

  • See a 12-year-old pushing a pram - her baby's pram, and

  • Have the guts to ride a roller coaster that rockets from 0-80mph in two seconds

If this is only one week in, I can't wait to see what the next seven months and three weeks has in store! Hopefully in my next entry, I will be able to tell you that I mustered up the courage to stick a needle through someone. Then again, maybe not.