Friday morning

Sorry I missed yesterday but for once I over slept and was in a terrible rush - I didn't wake until 5.30 and was due to be picked up from a lay-by near the river at 6.30 which didn't leave me much time to get my sandwiches together and drive to the meeting place.  The journey up to Crufts was long but we had a smooth run with no roadwork interruptions as we avoided the M1.  There were four of us in the car so there was lots of happy banter to keep us occupied on the journey.  Luckily I was not driving so it was easy for me and we were soon parked up and waiting for the shuttle bus to take us to the conference centre.  Yesterday was the first day of showing and it was gun dog day and as all of us are gun dog owners we were keen to see the dogs.  We decided to split up and into pairs and then to meet up for lunch at a central point, this sounds easy but the halls are so disorientating that we were permanently lost.  Sandi and I made our way straight to the Spinone judging which was in hall 4 ring 21 which was easy enough to find.  Sandi couldn't believe her eyes as she had never seen so many Spinone gathered together.
 The photo is of Janet Neil, the judge and Basso's breeder, checking over the head of one of the contestants.  It is a snap shot taken from a piece of video footage so the quality is not too hot.  I manage to just say hello from Basso but she was obviously very busy as there were 174 dogs for her to look at. We then made our way around the trade stands which were many fewer than in previous years and the crowds were also much thinner on the ground.  This actually made for more comfortable walking and we were able to get a seat to watch a gun dog training demonstration.  After lunch more shopping was in order but none of us really spent any significant sums.  Sandi and I went halves on some dog drying shammy cloths which I have had before and found very useful not just for drying dogs but also many other occasions when volumes of liquid need mopping up.  I also bought a poop scoop which should make my garden clearing this morning a really easy task.  We finally made our way out of the show at about 5pm and arrived home at about 10pm absolutely shattered.  The dogs were very pleased to see me and I was given a very thorough sniffing as I must have smelled most interesting.  By way of a treat I cracked open a terra pack of Swedish salmon and the dogs all had a treat.  I also have a couple of tins of elk and reindeer which I know the dogs absolutely adore.  All in all it was a good day but I was quite disappointed with the show which seems to have shrunk dramatically from what I remember.
So now on to today - I need to get out in the garden with my new poop scoop and clear the lawn which is destined to be ripped up and replaced with artificial grass this morning.  It is quite an expensive option but in the end should be the answer to all my prayers.  The current piece of lawn has been re-turfed last year but has suffered terribly firstly by Basso digging it up and also where the bushes over hang it has all died back.  It is a very small area and hardly worth getting the mower out to deal with so the new grass will be a real boon as all I need to do is hose it off occasionally to keep it clean.  Mark is arriving at about 9.30 once he has bought the grass and will no doubt be here most of the day laying it.
I still feel pretty shattered from yesterday and would happily spend the day dossing around but no such luck.  James is coming down tomorrow and needs my help to purchase some clothes for his time at Hendon.  He has been issued with a long list of kit that he needs so it will be a big shopping day - I wonder if he know how much I hate clothes shopping?  The things us mothers do for our kids!!!!!
anyway onward and upward more coffee is needed before I tackle the days chores......
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