Dear John, Alfie the dog and Big Mama Thornton

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Big Mama Thornton and Alfie:

‘Hound Dog’ stuck on a loop in my head the other day, playing with Alfie – my Mum’s Cocker Spaniel. Turns out that although Elvis has the best known version, the song was first recorded by one Big Mama Thornton. I realise it was stars like Elvis that took the African-American blues to the cracker masses but until recently getting into Lightin’ Hopkins was as far as I crawled out of my lily-white honky box; and I’ve been missing out on so much.

I shot a lot of video of Alfie, because he’s as adorable as he is mental, and this was the first time I could be around him for any amount of time (anti-histamines – who knew?); so the video that follows these words is him and the wonderful Big Mama Thornton. I nearly used ACDC’s ‘Giving the Dog a Bone’ but it somehow seemed inappropriate to have my Mum’s dog with a rock anthem about blow-jobs. Anyway, if you like the tune, check out the album ‘The Original Hound Dog’ – the one with The Muddy Waters Blues Band is also fantastic. If such is your bag.

Portsmouth Harbour if you lay back on the Gosport Ferry's lifeboat seats and look with the right eyes
Portsmouth Harbour if you lay back on the Gosport Ferry’s lifeboat seats and look with the right eyes

Well, well; 2013 is here, all shiny and mysterious. I hope you all had a nice Yuletide and recharged your batteries in as pleasant a manner possible. Thank you to those who bought copies of my books – I can only imagine the look on (insert name here)’s face when they tore open that wrapping paper in front of the Christmas Tree. Meanwhile, I was down south visiting the family and my girlfriend broke up with me via e-mail; as harsh as that may seem, I was glad to be in the good company of family and pets.

I’m reminded of a time I was living with an old friend whose two young daughters would come visit at weekends; it was a time I was recovering from knee surgery, depressed and crippled by the prozac the doctor said would make me better. Those kids were awesome – they didn’t care that I hadn’t left the house in days because I feared that peoples eyes would eat me – they’d run in screaming, happy and wanting to play. And what can you do but help them plaster your room with post-it notes and swing them around by the ankles?

Christ, do I sound broody? Newly single, making a big deal out of animals and children. Can men get broody? Well, it’s not like my ovaries have shrivelled up yet – there’s life in this old gal yet.

You might think I imagine a dog video to be the antithesis of the video I made for my ex’s cat; perhaps that I hope to cancel one out with the other like when the Ghostbusters crossed the streams and sent Gozer the Gozarian screaming back to its own realm; and if you think that then you’re as nuts as I am.

Poppy remains a beautiful feline specimen (Also, my aunt’s cat is absolutely gorgeous and slept on me one night; I couldn’t move for fear of disturbing her; better night’s sleep than some); and continuing on, wherever I spot a nice creature I will record its behaviour for posterity. And I’m sure a collective psychic shiver just went down the spine of every woman in Edinburgh.

Just kidding; I’ve got a date tomorrow. Time to put some clothes on and leave the house, I suppose.

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