Sunday, October 6, 2013
I took Olga down to the Grand Union Canal yesterday, and as we walked along I spotted this boat with its elaborate Japanese-themed paint job. When I stopped to take a photo, a man (not even remotely Japanese, incidentally) opened the door of the boat and stared at me.
I told him I liked his boat, and asked if it was OK for me to take a photo.
He shrugged. "Yeah. I just wondered what you was doin', innit."
He spied Olga lying on the grass chewing (of course) a stick. "Nice bitch," he said. I laughed and said she was a good dog, but she liked sticks. "Bitches usually do," he said, and closed the door.
The British are very casual about using the word bitch to describe a female dog. People on the street call Olga a bitch all the time. I know it's a perfectly acceptable word, but it always shocks me a little, as an American. I just hear a dirty word, an insult, a word I would never say -- not even about a dog. Funny.
Beyond that exchange, it was an average walk. I forgot to bring Olga's Kong toy, so she did pick up sticks and plastic bottles and other paraphernalia to use as chew toys, but I did my best to keep any of it from entering her body, and we seemed to emerge from the outing unscathed.
I spent the afternoon relaxing on the couch, reading and listening to the faint strains of Dean Martin singing "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore," about twenty times. There's a guy at the Portobello Road market who sells music CDs, and he blares that song every Saturday, over and over, along with Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me" and a few others. If I never hear that Dean Martin song again as long as I live, it will be too soon. (And it's virtually guaranteed I'll continue hearing it every week for many weeks to come!)
If you're looking for an excellent novel, try J.K. Rowling's "The Casual Vacancy." I was so impressed with it -- a real page-turner, yet sophisticated and very adult. It's not Harry Potter!