Tuesday, 6 September 2011

'Tripping the Light Fantastic' by Guest Blogger, Fern Labrador-Lurcher

Call me Fern. It’s been a difficult weekend what with the mad poets and mountain climbing. I mean, life is hard enough living with one poet without being dragged in and out of a car just to watch whole clutches of them spilling all over the Scottish countryside. They just wouldn’t listen, or pay attention to my stones – all they can do is rant on about poverty and drugs in Northumberland, cabbage roses and the myth of God. It’s bad enough I have to direct and produce what goes on in my own house but these places she drags me into are saturated with groovy grannies, strange cats and chickens. Yes, I did say chickens…and I heard there were beehives around somewhere but didn’t investigate.

I don’t mind it when she talks to herself and reads her stuff to me – most of it sends me right to sleep but that doesn’t seem to bother her. She’s lovely really. My cat was so relieved that we arrived home safe. Poets shouldn’t be allowed out on the roads by themselves; they’re a scruffy lot but it’s the harum-scarum way they try to fiddle with route-finders while driving that upsets me – they never know where they’re going…and when the voice from the box tells them to turn left at the next turning they shout things like, ‘I’m not turning down that little road…’ or ‘That’s a housing estate – I’m not going in there.’ As if there are no through-roads in housing estates. Daft, honestly…but I am soooo glad we’re home. She’s been drinking wine with those pals of hers for the last three nights, so I’m thinking I might just take her to the docs for a check-up. There was too much pudding, followed by a box of chocolates, which is never a good thing.

Ooh, that’s better. A nap and a brisk walk for afters brings me to full attention. I love to just get at it, run into the wind, but she’s such a slow-poke; all that dragging takes my breath away – she’s going to strangle me one of these days. I don’t think leads are very healthy at all but she won’t be told.

‘Go out and buy a harness,’ I said, more than once.

Words just bounce off her. My friends say I haven’t trained her right and that I should start again, changing small habits and routines. The one about feeding yourself first before your pet is a load of nonsense; I bet some middle-class poodle came up with that one.

Home again with a full belly, fresh air coursing through my thoughts. I’m quite happy to snuggle in and listen to what she wrote on the hillside. It was really funny you know, all these writer types leaning on a fancy stone wall-ring-thingy, chalking words on huge sheets of sugar paper. They were supposed to be inspired by the scenery to draw or write; it was like something from early school days, but, as I’ve said before, they’re really quite cute when they’re all excited and bouncing around each other.

‘Right, Fern,’ she says, ‘what do you think of this?’ and she proceeds to read out the few lines that took her the time it would take to throw three or four stones for me…and I had to hang around during all this production, with nothing to do but watch them giggling and wandering about looking at each other’s work.

‘Watch this hill fall
under my spell, weeping
with hidden blame.
Catch the drops, cup
your hands before a river
cries itself a loch.’

What the hell does that mean? I mean, stuff like this falls out of her head all the time and I have to look intelligent and act as if I understand and approve it.

‘You’ve no idea what that means, do you, Fern?’ she says.

I really don’t but it doesn’t matter because she’ll muck around with it for months, years maybe, and send it to some editor who’ll stick it in a book or magazine. Then she’ll pick it up every now and then and talk to it. Honest, she does; she talks to them just like she talks to me. But, I wouldn’t be without her. She’s mine and I love every inch of her, even the smelly ones.


Fern-the-Dog wishes to extend a special thank you to Irene Cunningham, who is a friend of the humans she 'owns' and organises on a daily basis. As a participant in the mad poets' outing, Irene agreed to act as Fern's secretary in typing up a review after the event and posting it on Brunella Labrador's blog. The least Fern can do in return is to recommend you visit Irene's two blogs, which portray all too well just how strange poets can be. 


No comments:

Post a Comment