The Crows nest!

Monday, 7 July 2014

Chubby chops the dog Café.

I've never been to a dog café, some say that there are many such café’s in Brighton that are dog friendly, there is some but none except for the under cliff café between Brighton marina and Ovendean actually true dog lovers and give treats, but Chubby chops actually is a café for dogs with their own set menu and treats.
The front of the little cafe

The café is situated at in the Lanes nestled in the corner of the bright airy Brighton Square, full of brightly colored clothing shops and a bakery shop to add to the hustle and bustle of the place.
Dog gallery for a dog cafe

Having taken Obi for an early walk at 8 am I thought best to get him to clear his belly for the treat I planned to get him, I don’t know what I was thinking was I expecting 12 odd dogs to sit and just watch as one dog just wolfed down a meal?

Who said you cant have fun in cafe full of noisy critters and the dogs were just as bad lol

Come 12 am I decide to have a bath, I wanted to smell nice after the morning walk the humidity was really high and I was sweating like a politician at a free raffle, during the getting ready stage I gave Obi a comb, to take some knots out of his hair, and found a few matts as well.
The Hansom Obi Or Brisket thief

All going smoothly and on time, but to be on the safe side I decide to give Obi another walk, and get off the bus at the bottom of Arundel road to walk to Sussex Square its only just over a mile distant and would give him plenty of pee opportunity’s along the way.
The peeing post or door, favorite of all dogs!

I know Obi only too well and his leg lifting fun and games, it’s a lovely sunny day but a little on the Breezy side so I wear a tee shirt and long sleeve top to not only keep the chill but to stop me from burning or browning even more.
Pete with Obi and his dog Casey

Upon reaching the lanes there are several ways you can get into this tight knit area of Jewelers, cafes, pubs and it’s assorted of clothing, junk and solitary music & ticket shop.
X marks the shop

By the time we both got to the door of the café we saw that Pete was already there with his best pal Casey both of them had a bit of a too do with Obi trying to be over familiar with the poor dog, a bit of ruffing and snarling put the TT in his place.
Its filling up more bums on floor than on seats

other than that it was all a green lights all the way, lots of sniffing my god your never lived till you seen over 12 dogs sniff and greet each other, not once but many times, and if one of them decided to grace the front door of the café with pee, then a fair few had to go and inspect the wee.
Fancy a kiss love!

At times dogs will have a private discussion over who has the nicest smelling pee or who in the expanding crowd had treats hidden just asking to be begged or stolen.
Someone say treats?

As soon as the door was open, Obi was dragging me into the small area the tables and chairs lined up along one side giving freedom for dogs to walk about and meet and greet one another, with a fenced in play area, which was not used.

Having greeted Pete for the first time he one of the creators of “all shapes and sizes” a meet up group I found a few months ago, with in a short space of time the small café started to fill up not only with humans but our 4 legged buddies of all shapes and sizes, Obi made it his duty to sniff n greet as many as possible.
Most if not all the dogs have sniffed every corner and eyed up the kitchen.

Within the short space of 20 minutes the other members of the ASAS entourage arrived with hounds in hand, all straining at the lead wanting off to go and greet old and new friends, mingle and chat and gossip and plan… The dogs just got on with it!

Look how good we are!

A couple of spilled coffee’s due to the bums of owners not dogs I might add, some brave souls actually having a meal, yes you Linzi & Bonnie (Obi’s new preferred Girlfriend) how could she resist those big brown eyes nearly dancing down her throat is a miracle.
Linzi with one of the four pawed scavengers treat hunting.

Some of us took it in turns to buy a treat from the waitress and brave the wagging, woofing and general hustle and bustle of wet noses and choppers looking for a treats, Bonnie the owners dog was a right little madam, who almost commandeered my lets and would net no one come up without getting a mouthful of this funny little pug.
Mollie and Obi sniff and greeting.

As quickly as it had begun, it was slowly winding down every one had to get buses or get back to car parks, parking in Brighton is so expensive even just for an hour.
all puffed out!

But one thing is for sure, that little café in the lanes was a very welcome sight, considering the mentality of some café owners, and the general disregard of man/woman’s best friend there is not excuse well in Brighton to leave your dog at home or in a hot car if there is a place that caters not only for you, but your best friend as well. TOP MARKS CC.
Me no me no me no me!
One last word on the cafe before you rush off to get your morning Starbucks, Nero's or Costa as you self are they as friendly as this?

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

It's a dog's life!

So says the spoiled, thieving, cute and down right more clever than me mutt called Oberon aka Obi since he wandered into my life almost 5 years ago we both have went through some changes good, bad and well trying times almost like a roller coaster with no breaks, but his smile a Tibetan terrier smile is like no other, warm comforting and supportive which help with my emotional state, a lot more than I give him credit.
                      the first picture of my little boy how was I to know he now is my whole life

There is not a day that goes by I don't get a surprise or the tail end of his aggro, he one of those bull headed dogs that not only wants it all his way he do something to make it happen.. For instance going back maybe a year or so, I was on a very early walk with him, I walked down the hill and we spent the better part of a day just walking between Shoreham to Ovindean then back to Brighton Marina to get the 21 but to take us to the high flats...
                                 Looks like butter would not melt in his mouth, but it does

It was one of those nice days not overly hot nor cold and we had a long walk, I was tired thinking I can just turn off on the bus, now for my sins I forgot to bring treats which he expects on these long winding walks, but today I complacently forgot to collect them, I told him sorry, but as we got on the bus he gave me the cold treatment and laid on the floor of the bus and ignored me, dogs are very good at that.

He has 4 bowls with water but still would rather drink the stinking water from the fountain!

I was just starting to nod off, the trundling of the bus its swaying as it turned to leave the marina heading to Arundle road, can be a little twisty, lucky the bus was slow there was a lot of traffic for that time of day, I could feel my head starting to bounce up and down as my eyes grew so heavy, breathing heavy I felt my body slowly sway around I was actually enjoying the feeling and just staying with it, the peace was shattered.... Oi that's my fucking Brisket!


Sitting bolt upright It took a few seconds to gain my wits about me, in front of me, stands a tall well built man in his 50s with a face like thunder raising his voice again that's my bloody Brisket your damn dog has in its mouth, looking down I can see a big chunk of meat hanging from his chops, the shock of what he don't just hits me and we have a crazy tug of war, as I try to rescue the quickly disappearing hunk of meat, as the last remnants of the slippery, bloody and expensive mess slides down his throat I look at the guy, thinking Oh shit!
When I see this picture it makes me think of a Bengal tiger the great hunter of the Brisket 

That's the beautiful thing about Tibetan Terriers they look just so handsome, the males in particular talking about my experience of Obi, most people that know him say how manly he looks my dear friend Carola says you can see it in his eyes, the way he watches everything you do, true fact you can't open a packet of crisps and not expect him to come and investigate, it’s just him, he even knows the sound of the drawer I use to house his treats.
                                                            Put the light out daddy!

Well this is the first in a series of short story's all about my lovable, hairy rascal called Oberon aka Obi, see you all again soon. Woof!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Hello Strangers!

Seems a long time since I graced this blog with my presence, not that my life has been dull or even that great daily living by its self not had its challenges… Oh it has! In face at times it’s been a joy, other times soul destroying.
Since the first heart attack all those years ago, staying in the Essex countryside in Isolation which at the time I needed, but it was the final nail in the coffin of me and Fox, we went separate ways as some of the old posts talk about so if you want to know that stuff just look at older blogs for the full run down.
Bit by bit I have made more progress than I could ever hope for, in that time I have made new friends, some very close almost like the family, warm, kind and was there for me when I needed them, strange as well I was always the one who could be relighted upon to back someone up in a fight be it with a thug, council hospital, but the tables have finally turned when I really needed a shoulder to cry on, and it’s to her this blog is dedicated.
Having spent far too many years on the DLA, and quite frankly board out of my skull I decided to go and stop the DLA and get Jobseekers and retraining I would rather be out on the job market than stuck in the house, not that I don’t miss Obi god I do, but I had a plan that whatever job I did I would have my trusty Tibetan terrier with me.
After my last time in hospital when I lost almost over half my blood, I decided I needed to do more, I gave up being a vegetarian, I just could not cook that food anymore every time I did I kept thinking of you know who… it was hard to change but my sisters persistent rebottles made me even more determined to do what I needed to do to survive.
A year had passed quickly still in the flat with my sister and brother, at times it can be a strain other times a joy, much like the ebb and flow of any relationship, but of late I want to get moving I think she feels the same as me?
When I was on Jobseekers I got my advisor to get me on an ECDL course which he was able to do, I have been wanting on one of these courses for such a long time, it took longer than normal to finish it I had my good days and bad days much like anyone who had as much heart surgery as I have had. I passed the course with flying colours, then out of the blue I was put on the work program, I have heard lots of horror stories about the work program from my sister and there has been a few write ups in the local newspaper with some of the staff being vindictive with service users, one of the first things they wanted to do with me is make me work volunteer for a pound store…. I said no they said its part of training so I told them; I work as a volunteer for the FED (Centre for Independent Living) as a finance admin and also worked as a front desk admin.
I could see they did not like that but there was nothing they could do I was doing volunteer work for a charity and a very well-known one, that had no connection to the A4E program, I think they have an account with the cheap pound stores in Brighton taking back handers and taking all the training money from the government. When I started this work program, the for an organization that is not with the government it has a lot of power, did you know they can stop your benefit if they think your slacking on their demands like asking a heart attack victim applying for 20 jobs a week in your chosen field! I asked her has she ever had any disability training.
I don’t think so… By her look on her face, I told her that I want to work in Admin only because of high blood pressure, heart problems and I am a diabetic she took my email address and said she would update me on new hot jobs. I did not have long to wait for my first selection of Jobs! All nursing stuff I phoned her and told her that I can’t work in nursing but that just went over her head, two days later I get a call from her, there a job in the NHS for bank staff, what in Admin I asked? No nursing she replied… Did I explain a few days ago why I cannot do nursing anymore, well I have to try she interjected. Politely but firmly I told her not to offer me jobs in nursing again and asked who was the manager of A4E for this area?
Her voice turned cold as she asked me why I wanted to know this. That was a matter for me and him I know it was a he, I was told in the induction day only a few weeks previous, how vindictive she became looking for a reason to get me Sanctioned. She did not have long to wait, but lucky for me fate was about to lend a helping hand I was booked into some course for a few hours on a Tuesday morning but I failed to turn up, I was in on the Monday afternoon for a job search with one of the nice woman that work there, a smoker like me she ran out of rollup papers and I gave her a spare packet I had on me.
On Wednesday morning this girl phones me up and says that she is going to report me to the DSS for none attendance I said I was not on any course, and gave the explanation that I asked the girl in the computer room if I was on anything that week and she said no… That type of silence you get when someone is thinking, I ask her then she hissed, you do that I responded and hung up on her, I got a call 20 minutes later from the nice girl saying oh god I did not mean to get you into trouble Alan leave it to me I get it fixed. I thanked her and wished her a good day, by this time I was trying to get a hold of the small business manager who I just had a chat with a few weeks before and I kept asking my so called bitter twisted supposed helper at the work program can I get a meeting with him.
It took several attempts but in the end I got to see someone from the small business unit and had a chat about starting my own business up, I have over the past year and a half built up a rather large network of friends in the tango and ballroom fraternity and I have some clients that I can relight upon all I needed to do was make at least £25 a week and I would get working tax credit if I worked over 30+ hours a week, which I can do no problem, and travel is included in the time and my expenses are returned if, I needed to use transport which I would since I run a home visit reflexology and Indian head massage business.
It was well thought out; I had the clients ready all I needed was get the working tax credit and my UTR (Unique tax reference) which you have to use to get tax references and for self-assessment. I had over the past 5 months been saving up what little I could to get myself started because I would be without money for at least 3-4 weeks before the Working T.C started. That was on 25th April 2014 its now 28th June 2014 and I have nothing yet!
thinking I might have to ask Obi for some tips in stealing food if its not sorted soon lol.
This has taken a massive toll on my health, and very little support from the people I thought would care enough to help keep my head above water, the first to go was my phone, it got cut off, I asked someone I expected to help but they said no. No big deal… but I used my phone to connect to clients and one in particular who has MS and is very jumpy about people standing at her door, lucky for me as I got to her door she phoned me. I did her massage and because she is means tested and on PIP she could not afford to give me a donation which is ok, mostly I do my massage for the love of it, I have always been a giver not a taker… that was to change in a very emotional way.
I had no money left and enough food for a week at max, Obi was ok he has over two weeks and lots of treats stored away, and if it really came to I could ask Fox for stuff for him, I decided that I would not ask for myself, since part of our problem was her giving everything to me, I told her I will never ask for myself only Obi since he is part of her too.
I’m stubborn maybe too much for my own liking but if I have learned anything over the past year and a half is, you have to stand on your own two feet, and it’s been so difficult but I mean to go on as I have promised myself that I will do or die in trying.
I got a call from one of my regular clients Carola she has turned out to be the most amazing friend I could ask for both her and her husband Rui and little girl are the most amazing friends that I have ever met, she instinctively knew I was in trouble and offered to pay for 7 treatments all at once, this helped me get my phone back on, and top up on food.
Fate always lends a hand, I went to the fed yesterday feeling hungry and there was a doe nut waiting for me, I have kept myself to one meal a day some biscuits in the morning so I can take my medication with, it really can upset my tummy but what can I do, I can’t afford the luxury of eating till my working tax credit comes.
Me on a good day! The HMRC demanded that I supply them with documents, appointments, proof of sales and receipts, and any expenses’ I have had to pay out to get to clients; I sent it all off on Thursday afternoon, I just hope that this will be enough to keep them happy? I am just about done, for the first time ever I have had to pay for my medication £16 for drugs that keep me alive, I am wondering if it’s all really worth it?
Saturday 28th waling on the downs with Obi my arms hurt, I know what that means and get my GTN Spray out and end up taking 3 puffs, my head feels light I sit down in the long grass, Obi next to me, laying down I could feel the distant song of a sea gull, my eyes close a few moments later I wake with Obi licking my face, pawing my chest. For a moment I felt free from any cares or worries, then the realization that life is whimsical, I have not given up but I am tired very tired of the struggle chasing my tail ever day. But only good comes from a long and heard search so I am told, well here is to hope.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Dance Matters.

How the year has travelled along from heart break to a semblance of normality or as near to normality as one could get, don’t get me wrong I am not out of the woods yet, there has been and continues to be up’s and downs but one can only take one day at a time..
Classes at the good companion are on a Thursday Since landing on my sister’s doorstep on the 21st of December 2012 the end of the world god those Mayans must have been talking about me! And my tipsy turvy of a life, so many times I wanted to just give up and roll over and well literally die…
But here I am with only a few days to my most happy time of the year celebrated of course by my birthday in September, Halloween and of course guy faulks and in between that the Autumn and Winter Gala’s for the Argentine Tango, looks September on wards is going to be busy.
I went to my first workshop a few weeks back with a few of the local dancers we had a visit from a teacher from Argentina Mariana who runs the queer Tango in Buenos Aires, and I want to actually now travel as part of my bucket list and learn Argentine Tango in the place where it all started, what I would love is to stay not in a hotel but with the actual people so lucky I got her fb details.
One thing that clicked that night at the Milonga was I was almost able to do an actual Milonga dance with Mariana’s girlfriend, we were spinning around and around the music becoming a blur like to revolving star’s little did I know that this feeling would get stronger as the weeks and month progressed.
There is a moment when you have a partner you can really click with on the dance floor, that the music can almost carry you away, how special that feeling was, very much an eye opener, and it all came from a work shop which was Hosted by Brighton Dance our main teacher Carola got for us Alan from Mariposa dance school in London for an evening class, the moves were so supple and graceful I did not have too much difficulty in picking them up but putting them into practice with the ladies that were there made them all the more sensual, as we went from partner to partner, practising all the moves along the way.
Considering it was my birthday I was asked to go to the middle of the dance studio and for one track I had to dance with any lady that came up to me, needless to say there were a few, I have yet to see the video that Carola took, maybe one day!
About a week later after the workshop, a new face in the beginners class, a middle aged Hong Kong lady by the name of Elaine, smiled at me her face was familiar but I can’t remember from where, then she said ah the birthday boy, it clicked she was in the same workshop as me and had only just took up Tango.
So we or Carola started the class and I help out on a Friday with the students being a good lead I help keep the ladies on a sure foot, and make it a much more enjoyable experience, half way into the lesson we have a quick break or wine break as we call it, we got to chatting and she asked if we could do some practice I said yes and lead her to the studio, the music that was playing was Milonga a few couples were dancing, I asked Elaine has she done Milonga before? Her response was no.. Don’t worry I said I will lead you.
For the first time ever, the music actually carried us away and we were using up the whole room and not once did our feet meet my frame was so spot on, Carola spotted us and told me a day or so later when I was doing her feet, that we looked so good together and we danced as if we been dancing for years.
It was very moving, and was only to get better, to me after that dance a lot of things were starting to fall into place where my tango was concerned my confidence is growing.
Roll on a few weeks later and I was at another workshop this time by superstars of Tango Rui Barroso and Ines Gomes these two people are so important there energy and love of the dance shows so much and I learned one very important lesson from Rui, about the male lead is you dance for her, and in doing so she will give you everything she has on the dance floor that is. Now this is important I have met two of the best dancers I have ever met and had a lesson from namely Rui Barroso and Ines Gomes such a lovely couple there photos are so amazing not that it was me taking them lol but if your going to Portugal you must seek them out and get a class they can be found here.
I also had the pleasure of doing their feet for them when they graced out dance school my skill as a reflexologist is really starting to show itself even more than ever now.
During one of the Thursday classes I was asked by one of my dance pals Denise if I would help her with some moves she was to demonstrate on Friday 25th at the King Alfred centre in Hove we met at my fav place to dance on the bandstand between Brighton and hove we spent just over 2 hours on the moves, and she gave me my first Jive lesson, which was fun, it was not until the Friday that I finally got hooked on the jive.
I duly arrived at the King Alfred just before 8pm I was going to take some photos of David Bailey and Denise Green practice the moves, Denise looked stunning in a slinky black dress with a split up the side just about hiding her modesty but as you can see from the photos she not only looked good but her dance was amazing and I am so happy I played a little part in it all.
If your from London then look up this guy he good fun and I am fully looking forward to seeing him in Brighton next month, he runs a good website so please have a look.
So dance really does matter, I am now hooked on Jive it’s not my first love but it is my second choice and I am so looking
I have my own little group that meet at an ad-hoc basis to not so much learn but to work on the moves we learn in class from my favorite teacher in the world Carola from Dance Brighton so please feel free to add me on Facebook or join my dance at the bandstand Hove and if your around and free come do some moves.