Five Happy Things We Did On Jane’s {Redacted}th Birthday Weekend

Two weeks ago it was my birthday weekend. This weekend it was Jane’s turn. Here’s what happened:

All photos Fujifilm X100T

1: Curry and playing games with friends. I’m officially the world’s worst Uno player, although it doesn’t help when everyone gangs up on you. But hey, I take it in good humour. Bastards.

2: Watercolours!

3: Chilling!

4: Sunday afternoon in the pub with friends, for the sole purpose of showing the kids how not to behave. Children’s education is so important.

5: Lots of walking with the dogs.

Coco’s recovering from an operation, so she’s wearing a très chic little French number she just threw on. This is far more fashionable than the usual cone of shame. Is cultural appropriation OK when it’s dogs doing it?

Four Happy Things I Did On My 53rd Birthday Weekend

1: Hung around with small humans and small animals

2: Got taken to Wagamamma. Other restaurants are available, but this is my favourite. I am unsophisticated.

3: Walked to the pub and back for Sunday lunch

4: Walked the dogs on an autumnal misty morning

All photos taken with Fujifilm X100T

Bertie News | Episode 05: 22 Weeks Old

I’ve just arrived back home after another trip to Baku.

There’s been a real change in the weather since I’ve been away. Autumn appears to have officially arrived, neatly coinciding with the end of British Summer Time today.

There’s been a change in Bertie, too. He’s had another growth spurt and is clearly really a golden retriever who’s been disguised with a set of stick-on comedy spaniel ears.

But Coco seems to think he’s a keeper, so I guess he’ll be sticking around.

Bertie the working cocker spaniel puppy at 22 weeks / Midhurst & Pound Commons / Fujifilm X100T

Working Cocker Spaniel Puppy 22 Weeks

Working Cocker Spaniel Puppy 22 Weeks

Working Cocker Spaniel Puppy 22 Weeks

Working Cocker Spaniel Puppy 22 Weeks

Working Cocker Spaniel Puppy 22 Weeks

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Baku At Night

When I was working in Baku back in July, I had only two hours in the day to look around.

This time I had only one hour at night.

The weather was comfortably cooler this visit, at around 25°C. The famous Baku wind helped keep things fresh. Baku is known as The City Of Winds, and in fact the name comes from the Original Persian for Bādkube, meaning ‘pounding winds’.

Baku sits on the western coast of the Caspian Sea, and although it was once a former soviet state, it has a distinctly European atmosphere. The city really comes alive at night, with bustling crowds, open-air cafes and restaurants, opera houses, singers, buskers, and groups of men drinking coffee and playing games.

This was the first time I’ve put the Fuji X100T through its paces at night. I think it acquitted itself quite well.

Baku At Night / Fuji X100T

Baku At Night

Baku At Night

Baku At Night

Baku At Night

Baku At Night

Baku At Night

Baku At Night

Baku At Night

Baku At Night

Baku At Night

Bertie News | Episode 01: Eight Weeks Old

After much anticipation, Bertie the working cocker spaniel left his siblings and went to live with Jane at 8 weeks old. His new family now consists of two dogs, four chickens, one cat, and two children. I got to meet Bertie on his second day with the family and had a very happy weekend.

Over the years, Cocker Spaniels have been bred into two different types of cockers – the ‘working’ cocker and the ‘show’ cocker. Although their temperaments are very similar – both are very gentle and soft-hearted – the working cocker is a natural and eager field dog and is almost tireless. Coco is also a working cocker and it’s impossible to wear her out. These are not dogs for inactive people with little free time. It’s going to be interesting to see if Bertie will grow up to have the same amount of stamina as Coco.

Even though Bertie’s tiny at the moment, he seems to be a robust little dog. He’s curious, gentle, and self-contained. I think he’s going to have a very happy life with his new family. That’s a wonderful gift you can give to any animal.

Bertie the working cocker spaniel at 8 weeks old / Fujifilm X100T

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It’s not always easy bringing a new puppy into a household that already has a dog. Coco has had to put Bertie in his place a few times. But Bertie’s a resilient little chap and bounces right back. And I think Coco is starting to realise that Bertie’s not here to steal all her food. Although clearly the same can’t be said about her bed.

working cocker spaniel puppy at 8 weeks

working cocker spaniel puppy at 8 weeks

working cocker spaniel puppy at 8 weeks

working cocker spaniel puppy at 8 weeks

working cocker spaniel puppy at 8 weeks

working cocker spaniel puppy at 8 weeks

working cocker spaniel puppy at 8 weeks

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Not everyone was quite so pleased to meet Bertie…

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