Fate Plays Her Hand; Bryn Comes In

After four years being dog-less, since the sad death of our Golden Retriever (link below), my family are about to welcome a new addition into its fold.

Whereas I’d have been happy with another Retriever, Jen preferred something smaller. But which breed? Faced with this dilemma, fickle Fate played her hand.

It just so happened that on the very night of our conversation, a programme about the nation’s top one hundred breeds was on television. We tuned in for ideas, and when a Welsh Springer Spaniel appeared on our screen my wife said, “That’s a lovely looking dog, how about one of those?”

Initially, Jen had resisted the clamour for another dog from my children and I, having been so hurt from Rydal’s passing, so within a dog’s whisker of her uttering those words I had joined a group for Welshie lovers on Facebook and enquired about an imminent litter!

Welsh Springers are not as common as English Springers, and so I knew we’d have to travel to find one. Somebody had even suggested Sweden to me, but air fare was definitely beyond our budget.

I’d not considered Scandinavia, funnily enough, but that became a moot point when I found a pregnant Welsh Springer in Wales, of all places. Who’d have thought it?

But, alas, her pups were already reserved for buyers.

A week later, another breeder, living a two and a half hour’s drive away from us in Manchester, had seen my online query and contacted me as her Springer was due to have a litter in four weeks. I confirmed that I was still interested and we got talking about why we wanted this paticular breed.

(Fate Alert drumroll please)

It only turned out that the dog that we had seen on that television show was THIS breeder’s dog. The very dog that my wife had remarked upon, and so steered us in this direction, was soon to give birth to our new puppy! What’s the odds on that?!

You’ve gotta love the magic of television.

Anyway, for reasons of space, let me give you this brief summing up:

a litter of nine was born; children were at fever pitch; we had first choice of five boys; children nearly had a breakdown with the pressure; then finally:

after my daughter, tearing her hair out and saying that the process of ruling out the four other, equally cute dogs was worse than the multiple choice questions of her SATS exams, we chose this little fella:

Originally named Uno by the breeder (we later found out that this was because he was the first born. It seems quite apt that the first born should be the first chosen). We now had to come up with our own name.

I wanted something Welsh.

“What Welsh names do you know?” asked my wife.

I came up with Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey.

“Not a chance!”

My alternative suggestion of Jenkins, after Katherine Jenkins, was similarly dismissed. So as a family we went through some Welsh names and links. I liked Arthur, you know, our once and future King and all that. But in the end we came to an agreement: Uno was now Bryn.

But you knew that, didn’t you? Having read the title of this post.

We get him tomorrow. It’s the end of our lives as we know it.

My post about the passing of Rydal:

https://cityjackdaw.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/farewell-old-friend/

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In Brigantia Out Now

City Jackdaw

I’m very pleased to announce that my second poetry collection, In Brigantia, is out now.

‘Andrew James Murray’s second collection invites you to Brigantia, territory of Celtic tribe the Brigantes.

It is a Brigantia of both geography and imagination, where Queen Cartimandua rubs shoulders with screen goddess Marilyn Monroe, and Tom Cruise is proselytising upon the streets of Manchester.’

For readers in the UK it is available here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brigantia-Andrew-James-Murray/dp/1731271360/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=In+brigantia&qid=1558264687&s=gateway&sr=8-1

For readers in the US you can get it here:

https://www.amazon.com/Brigantia-Andrew-James-Murray/dp/1731271360/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=In+Brigantia&qid=1558264804&s=gateway&sr=8-1

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In Brigantia Out Now

 

I’m very pleased to announce that my second poetry collection, In Brigantia, is out now.

‘Andrew James Murray’s second collection invites you to Brigantia, territory of Celtic tribe the Brigantes.

It is a Brigantia of both geography and imagination, where Queen Cartimandua rubs shoulders with screen goddess Marilyn Monroe, and Tom Cruise is proselytising upon the streets of Manchester.’

For readers in the UK it is available here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brigantia-Andrew-James-Murray/dp/1731271360/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=In+brigantia&qid=1558264687&s=gateway&sr=8-1

For readers in the US you can get it here:

https://www.amazon.com/Brigantia-Andrew-James-Murray/dp/1731271360/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=In+Brigantia&qid=1558264804&s=gateway&sr=8-1

 

 

Slattocks Canal

from my poetry blog

Coronets For Ghosts

Slattocks Canal

The sedentary

figure of a fisherman

by the redundant waterway.

Still nothing has he caught.

Could it be he’s been out-thought

by such a tiny brained foe?

— He doesn’t think so.

Beneath the carpet

of conquering weeds,

between the barbs

of needle-reeds,

their number is smaller;

the water shallower,

and strategically placed

shopping trolleys,

half-submerged,

contribute to the clogging

of this coagulated artery.

A train thunders past,

the fisherman shifts,

night drifts in, reluctant.

©AndrewJamesMurray

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Romeo Of Lever Street

from my poetry blog.

Coronets For Ghosts

Romeo Of Lever StreetHe's a trier, you must give him that,trooping the street in his inglorious charade,a hinterland for elegiac fails.Here, beneath a canopy of twine and rouge red moons,the day falls by degrees to that sultry shadewhere he can intimate possibilities that would blush in broad daylight.It is age that makes me a cynical observer,— that or diminishing returns.There is a law for it, I think, an equation of sorts,that pushes me to the margins while the parade continues eternal,a mathematics of growth and entropy,peak and decline.



©AndrewJamesMurray

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One Of Those Nights; One Of Those Mornings

It was one of those nights. The view from my midnight gate: a myopic, cataract-obscuring gloom; a cold mist blurring the edges of our focus-the wall’s crowning like a diamond adorned crust, a new gift, a vision.

Within the night, within our perimeters, we need to know both our boundaries and our limitations.

It was one of those mornings. Crawling over the hill, a tepid promise for the evening’s hostilities; bait to entice us out into the town. Tidal lanes for those who consume or are themselves consumed, condemned forever to travel these seasonal tides.

On the cusp of the day, we need to embrace each new offering with both instinct and wisdom.