Sunday, December 11, 2016

A Deer and a (Different) Dog

Yesterday was busy! In the morning I took a long, damp walk with Olga, even though it was gray and misty and kind of bleah. She got excited by the squirrels at the cemetery and so attained her required rush of adrenaline for the day. Then I cut down some of the winterkill in the garden and raked the leaves.

After lunch, I headed over to our old stomping grounds in Notting Hill. Our friend and former neighbor Chris has a collection of DVDs featuring National Geographic photographers talking about their most challenging pictures. He's an amateur photographer, and he knows I'm an amateur photographer, and he's been trying to show me this DVD set for what seems like years now. He gave it to me at one point, but we don't have a European-region DVD player so we couldn't play it. So I gave it back to him and we agreed to get together and watch it one of these days.

Yesterday was the appointed day. Dave was in rehearsals and concerts all afternoon, so I went over to Chris and Linda's flat, he served up some paté and red wine, and we spent three hours with the DVDs -- which were indeed really interesting. Unfortunately Chris likes to talk over the narrative, so I'm not sure I really heard everything, but that's OK.

For dinner, I went to meet Dave and some of his coworkers at a pub. On the way, I walked past a tiny shop in Maida Hill with a large reindeer standing in the middle of the floor. And it was not a large floor! I asked the guy behind the counter if I could photograph the deer. "You're in the spirit!" I said -- and then, because he looked like he was probably Muslim and I thought that might sound too Christian, I said, "the Christmas spirit," which seemed worse, and then "the holiday spirit."

He probably thought I was a freak. But I got the picture and bought a bottle of olive oil and a Mars bar to compensate him.

While in Notting Hill, I was glad to see that Charlie the dog still maintains his perch on our former neighbor Joan's first-floor balcony. I've photographed Charlie several times, here in 2011 (doesn't he look so young?) and here in 2013. I'm glad he's on guard as usual!


  1. Strange placement of the deer, I must say.
    Yes, it's good to know that old Charlie is still keeping watch.

  2. That deer is very pretty but rather large for inside a small store. What cute dog guarding the neighborhood.

  3. You always have a good story about your travels along with some great photos.

  4. In Guadalajara, Mexico, where we once lived, there are many dogs on the flat roofs of houses. It's always a thrill to be walking along a quiet street and suddenly hear a large dog bark right over your head! We used to call them "roof dogs".

  5. Good to see Charlie! Great that you had a day up in the old hood. I really like that area! Though seems there are not many gardens there, just parks. Missing London! Looking for digs in the area, for living in...for at least six months , the allotted time ...

  6. Perico Preserve isn't a big park and virtually no-one was there. Also, no ranger or ranger station but a nice walking area. You might see some birds or a tortoise. We saw a British couple. Does anyone own Charlie the dog?

  7. Oh, goodness, I hate it when something odd comes out of my mouth and then IT JUST GETS WORSE WHEN I TRY TO FIX IT ...

    That is a cool deer. Maybe he wanted to put it on the sidewalk but was afraid someone would make off with it. Which is probably a valid fear.

  8. Ms Moon: There was just enough room for one or two customers!

    Sharon: It made an impressive display, though, I gotta say.

    Red: Thanks! :)

    Catalyst: I remember seeing "roof dogs" in Africa, too. I guess they're good guard dogs when they can see everything from above!

    Linda Sue: There are gardens in Notting Hill, but none that Dave and I could afford!

    E: Yes, Charlie is owned by our former neighbor Joan, who lives in that first-floor flat where the balcony is. So you were at Perico -- good to know!

    Elizabeth: :)

    Jenny O: I know! Trying to fix something you've already said almost never works. I think the deer does work in that inside space, large as it is...