Living the English dream (me and the dog both, but the dog more)

Here I am, today, cashing in on a two-year-old offer.

Now, you obviously don’t know what I’m talking about so here’s a summary to put everything into context.


The dreaded summary


In February 2011, Piers and I had been online friends for two years when, one day, I announced to all my online friends that I was shopping for a holiday destination. And who should make an offer to come to sunny England but Piers.

(In case you didn’t realise, I was trying to be ironic with my use of the word “sunny”. Ironically, it was actually very sunny today.)

At that time, Piers’ parents had planned to go on a long holiday and needed a house and dog sitter. Piers asked if I was interested. I said yes. Then he went to talk to his parents and found out that they’d already found someone for the job. So, apologetically, Piers offered up his own little flat. Coincidentally, he was also going away on a holiday at the same time (but not with his parents).

Here’s a diagram to explain the movement in case you’re a lazy reader:


The diagram that explains it all


So I came to England for the first time in my life, lured by the bait of free accommodation. I was slightly disappointed at not getting to stay in a real English house with a garden (and a chimney!) but at the same time relieved because I would probably have been scared shitless during the night being in a big old house all by myself.

Moving on. All went well. Piers and I fell in love shortly after he came back from his holiday. I extended my stay. We spent two months together. Etc.

Fast forward 28 months later, I am realising the unrealised dream of staying in a big old English house in sunny ole England. Piers and I have been tasked to house and dog sit while his parents are away on holiday for five days.

I have the whole house to myself in the day (not counting Basil the dog) while Piers is at work. At night when it’s scary, Piers is here to be a human shield should anything scary happen, for example spiders or alien abductions.


The house


My job here includes feeding Basil, taking him for long walks and giving him a tummy rub when he does this:


The tummy rub position


If I don’t rub his tummy, he threatens to stalk me all day with his evil eye.


The evil eye


He got a bit impatient today because I was too busy camwhoring when I was supposed to be taking him out for a walk. He started giving me the eye and then went on to lick my jeans hungrily. So, it was either take him out NOW or end up with very wet jeans.


Task avoidance strategy
Trying to look nice for the camera while Basil licks away. You can see the how the smile is cracking at the edges.


I gave in to the eye. I could always continue with the camwhoring while walking his highness, during which time his highness would be so distracted with all his amazing travel discoveries (discarded fast food bag, someone else’s front gate, a fire hydrant) that I would be able to do anything I want without fear of repercussions.




But I think that’s enough photos of me. I get embarrassed when I camwhore too much.

We spent an hour walking, Basil totally calling the shots, dictating the route and speed of walking. But I did put my foot down whenever he wanted to trespass on private property, which was effectively all the time.

When it was time to go home (which was when my feet started hurting because I was wearing not very good shoes for walking, I realised belatedly), I had to turn on Google Maps and sat-nav my way home. I had no idea where we were and I wasn’t about to depend on Basil to take us home since he was obviously more interested in chasing cats in other people’s gardens than going home.

So we went home and I parked him in his own garden where he spent the rest of the afternoon sunbathing in contentment. Thanks to the sun today, I managed to get time off to write this blog, but not before being taxed a minute’s worth of tummy rubs.

It’s very nice having such an important job to do, in such an idyllic environment.

Basil, whose job is to act cute and wrangle as many treats and tummy rubs as is caninely possibly, agrees.


King of the Lawn
Basil, King of the Lawn


The suicidal ladybird

I found a ladybird in the bathroom that seemed intent on killing itself.




I suppose it was my fault. I had found it very cute and had tried to take a zillion photos of it. The orange focus assist light, blinking on and off nonstop, must have scared it.

It was hard to focus on it because it wouldn’t stop crawling around on the ornamental plant it was on. My camera kept wanting to focus on the endless leaf sprouts instead. So I kept trying and trying, as I followed the stupid gallivanting ladybird with my camera.




After this went on a few hundred times, the ladybird finally jumped off the plant and crawled around the window sill on which the plant was sitting.

Next to the plant, I had a lit tea light candle.

The ladybird started crawling towards it and then went up the side of it.

I yelped in fear for it. If it had kept on going, it could have fallen into the melted wax or gotten burnt by the flame.

I grabbed the nearest thin object I could find, which turned out to be my electric toothbrush head, and brushed the ladybird off the tea light. (Using the cap side, not the brush side!)

Then it crawled confusedly up and down the window sill for a couple of minutes.




It was still hard to get a focus on it because it never once stopped moving, so I turned on the camera flash, which probably startled it even more.

Finally it stopped moving and started puffing its wings.

“Oh no,” I thought, “It’s going to fly!”

Beside the window is the bath tub, which at that point was filled with very hot and foamy bathwater, waiting for my bathing pleasure whenever I was done paparazzing a ladybird.

The moment the ladybird took off from the window, it went straight at the bathtub and then dived in headfirst.

I shrieked again out of fear for it. I thought it was dead for sure, either drowned or boiled. It had disappeared under the foam and I couldn’t see it.

Quickly, I fished into the water for it and finally caught it in my cupped hands after several tries.

It was still alive, miraculously.

Fearing another suicidal incident, I opened the window and let it fly out into the night, never to be seen again.

So sad.

It was such a cute ladybird, too. Thought I could have had it as a pet.




Fat, grumpy cat

Today’s post is dedicated to Elyxia because Elyxia loves fat, grumpy cats.

Here’s a fat, grumpy cat.

Fat, grumpy cat was moonbathing near a void deck.

It made me think of Elyxia, who has funny taste in animals.

She also loves short, stumpy dogs.


I has no peekture of corgi because corgi iz not vagabonding type.

You can image google it yourself.

Baby corgis are super cute, but adult corgis look weird, is my opinion.

When Elyxia returns to Singapore and buys a cat and a dog in the future, she will no doubt give them some cutesy name or other, but I will call them Grumpy and Stumpy.

Elyxia has been in Hong Kong for about nine months, for work.

I can’t say, “Please come back soon,” because that’ll be like telling her, “Please quit your job.”

So, all I can say is, “Boo hoo. I miss you.”