Spindles and the troublesome tubes

Dearest pals, gather round, unfold your striped deck chairs and lend me your glorious ear flaps. Today is THE most auspicious of days! A day within which we celebrate the literal emergence into society of the long limbed, ruggedly bearded gentle fellow who rules Spindle Towers with a silken mitten. I do of course mean Hector and it is his Birthday!

Myself and Muvver are very excited about this, Hector…not so much. Like a runny Stinking Bishop or a new pair of Dr Marten boots, he is enhanced and enriched by antiquity. 

He however dwells on age related gravity, bodily disarrangements and knee cap creaks when arising from his brocade chaise longue. Muvver believes that he is in fact becoming more outrageously handsome and debonair. Proof of this is the nightly finesse he displays whilst scampering around in his smoking jacket, pacing around with his single malt and waxing lyrical on the finer points of lawn mowers.

The day before the great day, Muvver told him that she would cook him anything he wanted for dinner on his birthday, and he was to think long and hard about it. Sadly he didn’t think long or hard and immediately demanded roast heart. Whilst I nodded in some approval, Muvver reeled back in alarm. She was truly horrified but tried to style it out by nonchalantly agreeing to make him his dream dinner from his childhood. She was somewhat irked as if Hector had to do this for her it would be a simple Vesta Curry and a cherry soda stream, which seemed far less repellant to her.

Nethertheless a challenge was issued and there was a Hector to cater for. After the morning prize giving ceremony and pastries in bed for the birthday boy, we made our excuses and he hopped into the shower to begin the beautification protocol. Hair like his doesn’t just happen you know. And he is worth it. 

We had been surprised by a warm ish morning so whilst he was soaping and powdering himself, we arranged ourselves in the garden with our steaming tureens of earl grey, dippy eggs and toast soldier arrangement. 

First things first, we realised he hadn’t specified what particular creature the heart had resided in and this was playing on our minds. 

‘Why would he want heart of all things’ I exclaimed in mild perplexion, waving my buttery paws about, ‘Well he already has mine’ muttered Muvver dreamily. I eyed her warily as she could be unpredictable when she got all romantic. I wiped the crumbs from my whiskers, distracted her with a jaffa cake and considered the logistics of harvesting organs from a mouse.

Some time later we decided that a mouse would probably not be quite up to the task. We progressed upwards in size to a ferret then a chicken until we decided to investigate a cookery book from the Hector ‘rearing era’ for much needed help.

Fanny Craddock came galloping to our rescue (and not for the first time) as we blew dust from her faded cover to reveal what secrets should probably be forgotten. As if to prove our point we found a recipe to stuff and cook a lambs heart. We weren’t keen to be honest, but we persevered reading until we came to the bit that said we had to trim the heart of excess fat, tubes and gristle. 

Muvver ran and hid in the bedroom with her head under a pillow humming Puff the Magic Dragon, our go to comfort tune. I then decided that I was going to have to take things in paw and offered to prepare and cook the heart. Fine. 

I have always said it is amazing the things you can find in a butchers window, so off I toddled, bonnet firmly tied under my chin and wicker basket nestled in the crook of my arm. Our local purveyor of meat is very popular, and I had to queue, but I didn’t mind this as I ended up waiting behind Eric, a jaunty new Lurcher pal of mine. 

He was in the business for some Barnsley chops as it was his turn to make dinner. He is fairly new to his home and wanted to make amends for some rather disgraceful behaviour when a bobble hat took him by surprise on a walk.  After a general chat and having secured an evening for our dominoes match (league two) down the pub, I acquired the wobbly pink item and scuttled about town to get the rest of the ingredients before returning to Spindle Towers to coax Muvver out from under the Paddington pillow. 

After I had unpacked my groceries I turned round to find both of them grinning at me in manner that foretold mischief and frolicsomeness. I always say that I do my best work when I am not distracted by unhelpful comments and suggestions so I sent them both out to play for a little while. 

We had previously interrogated Hector with a torch and some bull dog clips to find out his preferred method of preparation/cooking, which turned out to be packing the heart full of stuffing (presumably to hide the flavour) and then stitching it up to form a parcel of lumpsome leavings . I popped on my housework headscarf and floral housecoat and I was ready to submit to the knowledge of Fanny.

Wielding the knife I began to swiftly deal with aforementioned tubes. They were…unpleasant. I am not a hound that likes waste, so I popped them to one side thinking they might make an interesting twist on a Cannelloni.

My next task was to generously stuff the glistening item, which I did whilst humming “Hungry Heart’, and then I blanket stitched the edges together with some string I found.  

Finally it was ready for roasting. It sat on the tray, naked and afraid. I was exhausted! 

Content that my contribution had been made, I kicked off my feathered mules and enjoyed a well earned Margarita.

Some time later, it was time for dinner and we piloted a jubilant Hector into the dining room, blindfolded. The feast was prepared, as was a vast selection of gin to allow for a thorough swilling if necessary.

I shall report back dear friends on the success of the evening! 

Until next time though, do take care good pals.

Pip pip!

Spindle goes to the gym…

Greetings dear pals! Do gather round as I have a most surprising tale of unexpected happenings to tell you all.

It had been one of those strange one off configurations of Mars squatting in Jupiter’s sports hatch or whatever they say, but the planets awkwardly aligned, and middle age began to make itself known to muvver in an annoying, squidgy way. She was bemoaning the disappointment of not being able to eat or drink whatever she wanted and still have the ability to stay the same sort of configuration she had been content with. Time was cruelly marching downwards towards the Sloggi’s of destiny (other pants are available). 

We were sat around the kitchen table, discussing this and other village gossip, yes pals, I am afraid Mr Pendlebury had been at it again. Anyway, we were enjoying a pot of Earl Grey and her favourite treat of Pastel de Nata (warm from the oven, whiskers twitch in anticipation) when she put her cup of tea down with unexpected force and declared that she, unaccustomed as she was, was going to join the gym. 

* The tumbleweed of shocked silence rolled through the kitchen, bounced off the skirting board and piloted itself out of the door.

We both looked at each other in alarm as her words sunk in. She nodded once as if to confirm this reckless statement and scuttled off to forage for something resembling lycra – which as we all know can be dreadfully unforgiving. 

Well not one to let a potential outlet for great hilarity go unwitnessed, I decided to accompany her in her quest for fitness, toning and perhaps an answer to those wayward bingo wings that Hector kept inadvertantly laying on in bed – incidentally the only time I have heard HER do a greyhound scream of death. We booked ourselves into an introductory session into the dark (and perspirational) art that is…exercise. 

I began to forsee the level of competence of the evening’s jaunt when her water bottle emptied itself out on the journey to the gym, soaking her coat and making her look as though it would be a good idea to work on her pelvic floor whilst she was there. 

We both approached the awaiting doors of a whole new world. Sadly our induction coincided with the busiest of times – the time of the nubile nobility,  the word intimidating doesn’t even begin to cover it. She jauntily walked in, narrowed her eyes at the bank of people squatting, thrusting and stretching before her and tried to ooze back towards the door and into the cafe where perhaps an emergency bun awaited her.

Too late, as we were swept into the arena of doom, or the reception desk as it was named on the sign. Remembering the respective life experiences, traumas and incidents that we had both endured and coped with in our lives thus far, we decided that quite frankly we didn’t give a bugger what anyone thought about us so we got stuck in. I particularly liked the Spotty Dog machine, or cross trainer as they called it. I gloried in the fact my lithe and long limbs could reach the paw holds quite comfortably, whereas muvver’s had to be adjusted to child size so she could reach. It was just like when she was given a cushion to sit on for lunch when we were out in Leominster, both incidents highly mirth making.

I was delighted to discover that one of the bicycle machines actually had a fan thing attached to it and puffed out a steady stream of cold air over one’s nether regions as one slaved to the call of the pedals! I might get one of these for Spindle Towers, but maybe without the bicycle bit. Which I suppose would be just a fan…

There was also a large bouncy ball, think space hopper minus the horns, upon which to perch as we lifted small weights. I found the ball rather difficult to balance on, not a natural position for a hound I think you will agree and I was told I looked like a large comedic skydiving tarantula. Muvver bounced happily on her ball until she was instructed to do a plank, whatever that is but she just ended up face down in a heap. 

The most precarious part was a little later on in the evening when her pal had decided to join us, I assume to also have a laugh. They decided to mount the running – or in muvver’s case, ‘trotting like a shetland pony’ – machine. They were happily chatting away next to each other when the subject of the unearthly comfort delights of sports bras came up in conversation. On being asked where muvver had got hers (M and S) she excitedly lifted her tee shirt to display said undergarment and shot off the back of the machine with a squawk and a look of surprise. Now this was what I had been hoping for and wiped the tears from my jubilant eyes with a sweaty paw. 

All in all though pals it was a great success and we felt magnificently spiffy and virtuous afterwards. SO much so that we have been back, of our own volition! 

I rather fancy that I can get into shape which I am hoping will even up the squirrel v Spindle ratio in the woods. Muvver is hoping for an overall sense of well being, fitness and flexibility…and Hector is absolutely terrified and has sent away for a stronger lock on his invention shed.

So there we have it, you may be seeing a new slinky Spindles in the months to come. Until next time, I shall go and enjoy a custard cream and a cheeky glass of Dubonnet.

Pip pip!

Have a Spindles New Year

Pals! Well what a whirlwind of festive shenanigans it has been. We did something terribly exciting and entirely unprecedented this year. We went away and stayed in a spiffy hotel for a few days of family gathering together time, overeating and impromptu snoozes. What larks and luxury! 

The only down side was a rather long journey to get there in the car – as I find myself unable to sit down during any arduous automobile trek. Instead I stood tall and surfed the great roads to Norwich, where we eventually ended up at the George Hotel, having battled and jousted our way through the Christmas traffic. By the time we arrived I was a mite tired after so much car balancing but I was encouraged to see that the hotel was excellently equipped to cater for the whims of a Spindlesome hound AND the bar had cocktails…on tap! I had visions of rigging up a device – a cushioned board with wheels if you will – on which I could recline and be gently launched from one end of the bar to the other, attempting to quaff each cocktail on my way past. This could then be developed into a relay race…I made a mental note to propose the idea during breakfast the next day. Our trip was I am delighted to say, a fabulous few days, and we all concluded it was a tremendous success. 


Skip fifty fathoms and a couple of hundred miles later and we come to New Years Eve. This year, or as it turns out now as I write, last year, Hector, Muvver and I piled into the car, festooned with bags of nibbles, fizzy giddy juice and a single foccacia that muvver made. I am drawing attention to the singular of the bread offering as there should have been two, but she managed to burn one as when distracted by Hector who was excitedly showcasing his new Christmas cravat. He was cavorting around the kitchen, Gandalf hair untethered and whirling around as he flapped about the ends of the purple neck snake. The artist formerly known as Mince. Anyhow, this naturally caught both of our attentions, although thankfully I wasn’t in charge of the oven at the time.  

Words were said. Nethertheless, we sorted out the sartorial based spat and later that evening we were finally strapped into the party charabanc, in our most special outfits…the theme was crinolines and canapes and we looked fabulous! We had all been buffed to a high sheen, powdered and pomaded and in my case de-fleaed.

The party was being hosted by good friends of ours – naturally as it would be strange if we turned up to a strangers house for frolics and fuzzy navels (in this instance I mean the drink ‘fuzzy navel’, just so we are on the same page). 

The evening went very well. The food was sublime, the drink was being generously topped up by the grand host Nick…and then the games began. As ever there were high pitched shrieks (Hector) and ribald language (muvver). A game was played involving a kazoo and spirited performances of songs through the ages…the 90’s seemed to be a favourite which can happily pin point our demographic. May I say that DJ Alan’s rendition of the Prodigy was superb and would be talked about for years to come. I would also like to point out that is very difficult for a hound to master the kazoo. Between you and I pals, I think I did rather well, although it did cause a fizzy tickle sensation on my whiskers (and muvvers too).

We then played a version of charades, where we all wrote down five famous peoples name on a piece of paper and put them into a top hat (bobble hat). During the the first round, we were allowed to give spoken clues to try and decipher who the person was, whch we were all quite used to. As you would expect this went as well as it would when you mix a rabble of revellers with a plethora of cocktails and the challenge of forming a coherent sentence. The second round proceeded very much in the same way, although we could only use one word now to describe our famous people. Slightly more difficult and much mirth was had when Beaker from the muppets came up when the performer looked truly unhinged.

It was during the third round when we could only describe the person through the medium of mime when things started to unravel. It was at this point that muvver realised her folly in one of her choices, as when she delved into the bobble hat of destiny, she pulled out ‘Lady Fanny Button’ from the TV series “Ghosts”. Yes pals, I know. The last time I had seen such scurrilous miming as that was in the Velvet Marmoset nightclub, on the now banned ‘Avant Garde puppet night’.

Silence ruled the room for quite a few moments, but not as long as it took for them to try and coax Hector out of the linen cupboard. The game was swiftly abandoned as we had all lost concentration and all filed through in a subdued crocodile formation to settle in the relaxing sofa chamber. Emergency cups of tea and custrard creams were shared between us and once again a calm equilibrium existed.

Thankfully, Jools Holland had taken up residence in a small boxed stage in the corner of the room so we watched that and regained our sensibilities, tapped our feet jauntily and looked forward to a brighter day in 2023.

Shortly afterwards the clock sang it’s time tune, we all hugged and then we were escorted off the premises. A cracking night I think you will agree, of which I delighted to account to you all.

Having done this my great pals, I am off to have a nibble on the devilled prawns that I stashed behind the sofa earlier. I am exhausted having just had to administer emergency first aid to Hector who discovered the thermo nuclear properties of a Portuguese custard tart fresh out of the oven. He has looked sad and feeble jawed ever since. 

Have a very happy new year my wonderful pals, thank you for reading my tales.

With love

Elsie Spindlehound


Spindle resting by an open fire…

I peered out imperiously from my roll neck jumper, emerging upwards very much like a periscope on special ops. I detected the ambient temperature of the room was lacking and retreated back into my warm woollen garment. 

Yes pals, the inhabitants of Spindle Towers are marching their way through the unpleasant depths of a cold snap, wearily trudging towards the ultimate prize of the wood burner being lit. There is normally a slight fracas as we all jostle for pole position in front of it. 

The legwarmers are out, as are all interesting modes of undercrackers, thermal combinations and balaclavas. I would not like to bandy about the idea that the loons are being parsimonious with the heating…however…the cap seems to fit.

They claim (yet again) that they are offsetting the spiralling heating costs with the constant stack of bills that arrive with my name at the top. I feel this was terribly rude and made my point by waving my bemittened paws about as we drank our morning coffee. Prepare yourselves for a Spindle top tip here. When sufficiently riled, you can turn your mittens on a string into a serviceable weapon of minimal destruction by twirling around and letting them strike any object in their path. This is especially effective if you pop a tennis ball in one before spinning…although it did make Hector squeak when it him him squarely in the grunties. 

I have another complaint about this time of year. The loons, who are usually as socially popular as a fart in a tent, suddenly become socialites and seem to spend almost every evening out and about. Unaccustomed as they are to the rigors of social intercourse, they throw themselves at the mercy of a festive tipple and come tottering back giggling and playing human pinball with the furniture. 

Naturally I disapprove of such behaviour. One such evening I had been hosting a bridge evening with the girls, when I heard the clattering of Hector trying to operate a key in the door. We all sat back with interest to see how he would get on with that particular task. Some minutes later, amid LOUD whispers and outrageous insults, they both fell through the door in a beatiffic heap. 

The girls and I continued to sip our gin slings and nibble on our twiglets. They continued to lay on the carpet, beaming at us all. 

This my pals, is sadly one example of the reprehensible behaviour that has occured this festive season. Thankfully they are unaware of the evenings that I have had to shimmy up the ivy clad wall to gain access to my boudoir at 4am. Therefore I can continue to claim the upper moral paw, which I was doing this very morning as we sat around the kitchen table, planning our Christmas festivities. 

We had decided that this year would be a dignified, and quiet affair. This was very shortly amended after a phonecall when it was discovered that Mother Josephine would also be within the Towers for the day as the Velvet Marmoset was still being fumigated after the taser and soup incident (please see last blog, Spindles in the soup). Within fifteen minutes of learning of her arrival, we had a grand day of revelry and a huge amount of wonderous wasailing for organise.

There would be Margaritas, a special covered outside area for nocturnal tiddling AND linen napkins shaped as swans.

Luckily Sister J’s electronic tag had been tinkered with so she could leave the confines of the Velvet Marmoset, although I would like to reassure you that her misdemeanor that led to the tagging was not that serious.

It was an unfortunate catalogue of misunderstandings surrounding her display of prize winning vegetables at the W.I. that had caused a great deal of public outcry. In one case, Mr Pendlebury (honorary member) developed a determined fascination with them, which ended up with him pursuing Sister J as he had some questions. Thus her tag was really more for her own protection from his wild eyed interest. It was suggested that Mr Pendleton should himself be tagged as the perpetrator of the naughtiness, however he had gone to ground and could not be raised, even by the sight of a plumptious aubergine.

So there we were, tummies full of coffee and Portuguese custard tarts, bristling with Christmas excitement. Well, the loons were bristling, I was shivering. It was time to retreat once again into the depths of my jumper and to contemplate what I would get my loons for a gift. I had left it late again, and thought that rather than relying on the post to get something delivered in time, that I would make something. A wool based offereing seemed to be an excellent choice, so I fired up the knitting needles and began plans for a chunky knit muff (with hidden pockets for precious things) and knitted cowboy chaps to wear over jeans. I will let you decide which gift is for whom.

Until next time, take care of yourselves

Pip pip!!

Spindle’s in the soup

it has been a short while since my last missive, primarily because it has taken quite some time to recover body and Spindle soul from the events of our halloween bash at the Velvet Marmoset. My ‘attorney at paw’ has advised that I can now divulge details of the evening in question, therefore I have seated myself at my executive writing bureau and have taken quill to paw.

It was naturally a huge success, as evenings generally are at the V.M. although there is usually a certain amount of damage limitation and apologies to be made afterwards. The three of us had sallied forth that evening, fully costumed up and raring to go.

We arrived at the club early as was our custom, to catch up with all the gossip and make any adjustments needed to Hector’s costume. Originally he was going to be rocking his best Riff Raff ala Rocky Horror fame, but he also rather fancied the outfit worn by Frank n Furter, so he became an unsettling mash up of the two. He had been squirming all evening with misbehaving suspenders and heat inducing plastic hot pants. He was last seen scampering off into the bathroom with a gigantic tub of baby powder and a staple gun. 

We decided not to follow him so we pulled up a seat and settled around the bar. Sister Josephine then appeared before us all, wielding a cattle prod and a glitter ball, bristling with anticipation. After our concerns were voiced, the cattle prod was firmly strapped to Sister Josephine’s hip, safely sheathed in a makeshift leather holster fashioned from a disgarded bum bag. 

She explained that this was merely a precautionary measure after Mr Pendlebury’s disgraceful antics the previous halloween carousing. It had been the first time that our dear Nelson (sadly missed, buttock toupee wearing pal) had been on cocktail duty and he muddled himself with imperial and metric measurements which resulted in a huge dry cleaning bill, a formal written apology to the local council and an impromptu rescue from a bolt cropper wielding firewoman (Martha). Oh…and hideous hangovers.

Such was the success however of the evening, Martha had decided to attend this year’s bash – on a very much ‘off duty’ basis –  although she did say she had her tool box with her just in case.

Pre warned, we had decided to entrust the bar with little Jackie, a dainty little whippet pal of mine. She was emminently sensible, could hold her own when faced with the Marmoset’s clientele, and promised that there would be no frolicksome shenanigans in her drink measurements. I did see, however, her paws were crossed as she said this to her disbelieving human slave, Mark (hands on hips and eyebrow raised). Turning to me she smirked and winked jauntily and I was satisfied a good evening would be had by all.

By this time Hector had reappeared, and we marvelled at the disparity between his inadvertant pale, talc’d complexion and the red flashes from the staple gun suspender fix (apparently it had a wicked kick back that he wasn’t expecting). Plasters applied he was ready to time warp the night away.

We decided it was time to have a calming libation. The velvet Marmoset caters to all requirements, with a cocktail bar, a mocktail bar and tonight, for some reason, also a soup bar. This was Sister Josephine’s idea as she felt it was prudent to provide hearty nourishment when expelling energy on dancing and spending money at the bar. Naturally, at halloween, it was tomato soup – with croutons shaped as tiny tombstones.

By this point, the spider clad doors had been flung open and there was a mild stampede of the Marmoset’s finest customers. 

I had decided to come dressed as a Miss Marple witch and The tiny terror (muvver) was floating about in her black lace veil, crimson bridal gown and full length Dr Marten boots. We were chatting amongst oursleves when we noticed that we hadn’t seen Hector for a little while. 

We found him sashaying around the dancefloor, with an admiring group of onlookers encouraging him via the medium of clapping and whooping. Thus fortified with confidence, he began to vigorously vogue. The funny thing is we could all predict what was going to happen before it did, and strangely, it wasn’t actually Hector’s fault – it was mine. In my defence, I had no idea that the soup contained in the soup urn was under as much pressure as it was. 

I was casually fiddling with the cattle prod, that had been left on the bar by a negligent Sister Josephine. The prod, having performed its role admirably was resting, and Sister J was escorting Mr Pendlebury off the premises and into the care of the local constabulary again. I had never encountered such a device before and I was bewitched by the potential power I could wield during our frequent debates at Spindle Towers. Jackie emitted a warning meep at the exact time that I accidentally deployed the prod and it made contact with the molten pot of tomatoey delight. Said soup exploded out of the urn, now a weapon of mass destruction.  Croutons were fired out in all directions, now as flaming shrapnel – shrapnel which naturally made a beeline for Hector’s plastic hot pants. By some great quirk the dj began to play a well known tune from the great Johnny Cash. 

Momentarily frozen at the sight of dripping soup and croutons, we shuffled to form a small cordon around him to give him some privacy to receive treatment. Thankfully, Lady Hester was in attendance, in her role as first aider, and not as the gin swilling, regal ragamuffin we all know and adore. Jackie rang the mishap bell behind the bar and a gracious flurry of limbs indicated Lady H’s imminent arrival. Hector was divested of his clothing…made easier by talc application…and Lady H began applying a roll of cling film to the affected…area…and administered a generous triple shot of tequilla. Now medicated, we bundled him up in sheet from a now shivering and partially naked Egyption mummy and off to Accident and Emergancy he went.

From this point onwards, Jackie was given full permission to stray from the strict measurements and the tomato scented frivolities continued. You couldn’t make it up dear reader! It will take a few weeks for the full fumigation of the V.M. as a pungent aroma of tomato soup has proved difficult to eradicate in the days following that night.

I shall now rest dear reader, until next time.

Spindle Witch

Greetings dearest pals! I am delighted to report that my leisure time has been sighthound rich lately, with visits from my great pals Enzo, Jackie and Monty (honorary sighthound masquerading as a terrier) and also Betty and Margot. I have thoroughly enjoyed their company and muvver has been wafting around Spindle Towers with a serene look of contentment on her beaming fizzog. Hector has also enjoyed the presence of more of my pointy nosed compadres, but as he points out, my tastes are expensive enough as it is, let alone welcoming more to the pack. This of course is a slur on my good name (all excesses are hound necessities) and I shall be consulting my Twitter pal Harborhound, (attorney at paw) immediately. 

It is the time of year when all hell lets loose at Spindle Towers. I am of course talking about the clocks being put back this weekend. I can’t tell you how much havoc it causes to a Spindle’s body clock. Just an hour adrift can confuse my digestive system to revolt voluminously, and induce jet lag normally only seen in Michael Palin after an especially busy filming schedule. The good news is that I got a longer snooze in the morning, which I had intended to make the most out of, although considering the fact that I don’t tend to get up before 11am on most days was neither here nor there really. 

The darker evenings also signal the evening of all evenings, Halloween! This year, the Velvet Marmoset (night-club extraordinaire) was hosting a night of sinister merriment, which we were all very much looking forward to. 

Muvver naturally behaves as though every day is halloween, but one day a year, the axis of the world shifts slightly to the left and the rest of the population behaves and dresses to more closely resemble her. She is at one with her dark hearted, black lace mittened people. She never needs a special outfit for Halloween. In a spot of good news, Hector has finally decommissioned his Herman Munster outfit after years of grotesque over exposure (the outfit, not Hector…) 

Morning tea and Hob Nob time gathered us all together in the kitchen, and once settled with vittles we peered at him and considered an appropriate character for him to inhabit for the night out.

After a heated discussion (crumbs a flying) we decided against Nosferatu, as when he scuttled out the room and then back in again some time later to debuted his provisional outfit (striking several beguiling poses) he looked more like The Count from Sesame Street – Ah ha ha…and we fell about laughing.

If however, he unfurls his hair from his utilitarian pony bun arrangement he is indistinguishable from Gandalf. There followed a barrage of, may I say rather distasteful and childish jokes regarding wizards sleeves, and a Terry Pratchett style knobbled staff. Once the loons had pulled themselves together and stopped sniggering like thirteen year old boys, they decided that this year he would be channeling his inner Riff Raff from `The Rocky Horror Picture Show’. The bald pate that shines atop the flowing white locks (nailed the locks) would be provided by a bra cup insert glued to the top of his head. The rest of the outfit could be found in his everyday wardrobe. 

At this point, both loons swivelled in their chairs and peered at me expectantly, ready to be thrilled with my chosen outfit, which was when I realised that I had been so busy socialising that I hadn’t given it a moment’s thought. Eyes were rolled (rather rudely I think) and another pot of tea was made and we began to brainstorm ideas. Naturally their suggestions were ridiculous and were only mentioned in the hope that I would humiliate myself. After careful consideration and four custard creams later (a natural progression after Hob Nobs), I decided that I wanted to be a ‘classic’ hound this year. I wanted to be a Spindle witch, my inner McGonnagal if you will, bursting out to all whom survey me, broom in paw and pointy hat deployed.

Well…a Spindle Witch on the top half…BUT I would be offering my lower half up as a tribute to Joan Hickson in the guise of Miss Marple…because I could. The bonus of course would be sturdy footwear as I sashayed my way across the dance floor of The Velvet Marmoset.

The planning of the ghastly and ghoulie fixated outfits turned out to be more stressful than you would have imagined, so later that evening, we sallied forth to join friends of ours in the village pub quiz. It was thankfully a fairly shenanigan free evening, even though Muvver discovered that a particular member of staff does a mean line in Margaritas. Their team came joint third out of ten, although the other members of their team were clearly brought down by the insane muppet like knowledge of the loons. I myself had distanced myself from the rowdy, arm waving table and perched at the bar so I could survey all going on around me. Well, what a remarkably competitive thing a pub quiz can be in a small Hampshire village! A quiet morning was had by all the following day.

Which brings us this very evening to the great Halloween shindig at the most disreputable night club in downtown Hampshire! We are all polished, buffed, dressed and ready to strike forth into the night! Ready to duel with the Devil wielding a glitter ball and an electric cattle prod (Sister Josephine – club owner and expert vegetable grower). The night promises much dear pals, and I shall naturally report back to you all, until then though, pip pip, and my Halloween love to you all.

Channelling my inner Quentin Crisp…

Heat seeking Spindles

Winter’s coming! Well, I think we can all agree that summer is over anyway and with that seasonal shift comes a drop in temperature. As you can imagine, heating Spindle Towers to a suitable Spindle climate is of the utmost importance. It was after a leisurely dinner one evening, as we were gathered around the table, that the subject was broached. Replete and gently burping out lamb chop fumes I declared to Hector and Muvver that I had felt a slight nip in the air, and could we turn the heating on – up to a Spinal Tap 11 if possible. A pitying look was exchanged between the pair of them and they sat back and began to martial their arguments in favour of parsimony.

The problem is you see dear pals, that I am covered up with my special blanket at night – as all good hounds should be, but be it through nocturnal sleep scampers…or general wriggling about, I often become uncovered. It has become a recent habit that I will begin to wail the mournful lament of my fellow hounds at 3am, as now uncovered, I feel a sinister chill biting at my botty. My botty likes to be toasty and the loons like my botty being covered up as it apparently traps odours quite efficiently. 

Anyway, after a few nights of this sleepus interruptus, a complaint was made by Hector…who I may add is TOTALLY rocking the Gandalf look at the moment. Well pals, I tried my best to surreptitiously re-cover myself but it is difficult when trying to operate one’s sleepy paws and I ended up elbowing Hector in his sensitive particles. His high pitched squeal woke Muvver up and then we were all awake, disgruntled, and in my case…still cold. 

Fast forward to our post dinner chat when the subject of household heating was broached. In all fairness to them, I was allowed to hold the talking spoon first and put forward my argument – which was of course for the heating to be fired up 24 hours a day. I reiterated the importance of a hound’s comfort, and the natural leaning towards being able to successfully roach on a sofa (the upside-down prawn/wilfully discarded bagpipe pose) without risking exposure/hypothermia to one’s undercarriage.

I put down the spoon, fairly pleased with myself. I was concise, moving and displayed a thorough knowledge of what makes me happy. 


The spoon was then taken up by Hector, who had specially produced one of his beloved Excel spreadsheets to show me how much that would cost. It had an accompanying spreadsheet that showed the detrimental effect that spending on heating would have on the purchasing of treats, my favourite food and my ever constant need for custard creams and Dubonnet. 


Throughout this comprehensive explanation I kept hearing a strange whirring noise, but I ignored it as I was beguiled by all the columns and cells that Hector was waving at me. In the following shocked silence, the noise made itself more insistent and it was then that I realised that Muvver had been thinking and…I’m sorry to say…had an idea. We have all been here before and Hector and I exchanged trepidatious glances and braced ourselves for whatever disreputable concept was going to be voiced. 

“You need a pair of Pyjamas, Elsie Spindlechops”.

There you have it pals. A simple solution if you think about it. Muvver is a huge fan of the old fashioned combinations (with bum flap for ease of rapid/unexpected evacuations) and Hector had been known to strut about on a snowy day in a pair of winceyette long johns. I must say that I approved of the idea. 

That evening I had a virtual video link sleepover with my beloved Eggy Elton, a pleasant evening during which we would chomp our way through snacks and drinkies, chat about the issues of the day and then settle down to watch a film, this time it was Scooby Doo…(It’s his favourite Halloween film). 

I also want to reassure you dear reader, that our relationship, however full of burgeoning romance it is also a very shy and innocent one. He is indeed the holder of my heart and flutterer of my petticoats, but above all he is a gentlehound.

Whilst we were synchro snaffling canapés, I told him of the latest news, which was primarily ‘heatgate’. 

He too had been complaining of a similar problem, and yes, his mums were also fed up with bundling up his botski in the middle of the night as he made his displeasure known. 

We spent some time looking at different designs on the internet device and eventually both agreed on a pair of matching pyjamas! Be still my Spindly heart! We will both look ADORABLE in them. I must admit to you dear pals that I feel an extra closeness to Elton, which laughs in the face of our geographical distance, knowing that we are both encased in matching slumber suits.

So that my dear pals, is that! Now we have solved the issue of the ‘the bums that get cold in the night’, I can re channel my attention to find out the details of a raucous visit Muvver and Grandad Tom made to Edinburgh last week. The only discernible words I have managed to get out of her is ‘margaritas, singing, dancing, priest’. Bruises were incurred. Grandad Tom is also remaining tight lipped about their infamous nights out but to be fair he is generally more of a handful than she is.

Until next time pals, pip pip.

Spindles rocks her stripes
Elton is sublime in his scamper suit

Spindle Bingo

Greetings my most beloved Pals! Gather round the fireside and ready yourselves to hear of what larks occurred last week on my therapy dog visit to the local care home. I have been registered for a little while as a therapy dog and as far as I can see it is a win win situation for me. It consists of me receiving a type of gentle adulation that I have begun to become very much accustomed too.

Muvver and I arrived in the morning, me gently nursing my recent dew claw injury and her getting into a tangle trying to put her mask on. I am not sure whether this is a Covid precaution or that they have heard about her unsettling beaming grin. Hector has suggested she wears one all the time at home…or a balaclava – on backwards… 

Anyway, I was sufficiently excited to soon forget my injured paw as I was going to see my good pals there. We folloloped through the front door and met lovely Kate, the activity coordinator who excitedly informed us that it was…BINGO MORNING! Apparently bingo wings were not obligatory, but Muvver had bought hers along anyway so that was ok. 

I am sure you are all feeling the heightened sense of anticipation that we were currently experiencing. Muvver remembers playing bingo on family nights out in a working mens club in the land of t’North, many many moons ago. She got all misty eyed as she recounted the heady, atmospheric cauldron of a Shadows tribute act, high octane bingo and her Britvic orange and packet of crisps. Heady days which she remembers fondly. To this day Apache remains still one of her favourite go-to tunes to vogue about the kitchen to when she is giddy on coffee.

I myself was no stranger to bingo, having played it whilst I was touring my notorious Nana Mouskouri tribute act on the cruise ships. What wonderful days and the tales I could tell about it all – although I would probably be in a great deal of trouble if I did.

I had to end these halcyon days sadly in some part due to an unexpected zip malfunction during an encore one evening, but mainly as I kept falling off the castors I had to attach to my paws to drift around the stage, in the magnificent way she used to effortlessly glide. I still have the frocks though…and the specs and wig, although Hector borrowed those for some unknown purpose.

Anyway, back to the now. Having made my customary circuit of the lounge, happily greeting my pals and receiving treats and ear scruffles, we finally settled down and play began. We were keen to see what would happen today as we had been warned that the last time bingo had been played, tempers had flared, competitiveness overflowed and walking frames were wielded with menace. High drama indeed!

I must say it was tremendous fun and they allowed ME to choose the numbers out of the knitted bag!  The best way I found of doing this was to let a little dollop of snot drop gather on the end of my pointy nose (normally one would of course quickly wipe these away with a silk handkerchief) and then when I fully plunged into the depths of the flourished ball bag, said ball would adhere to my excessively sticky Spindle jus. Genius I think you will agree. 

Muvver contributed in her own way by shouting out her version of the rhyming number calls – some of which I won’t repeat but they did make one resident snort his sherry out of his nose laughing. Here are the less contentious ones:

22 – Don’t catch the flu

44 – pressure sores

85 – I’m still alive

38 – enlarged prostate

10 – got gout again

66 – arthritic hips

74 – fell on the floor

It was going terribly well until they played a round of bingo which involved playing a cd of animal noises (this was a new one on me but I thought it could be worked on and debuted in the Velvet Marmoset on ‘vets and pets night’).

One minute I was there, splayed across the carpet as an impromptu draft excluder/trip hazard, when all manner of meows and moos began to circulate my ear lugs. I was partially drunk on the attention I had been getting and sated by all the treats I had hoovered up, so it was alarming to hear this farmyard cacophony whilst in my drowsy state.

It was the lion roaring that really was the last straw and I shot out the open door like a greased ferret, trailing a surprised muvver behind me. We went to see my mate ‘downstairs Derek’, who was sat in the garden contemplating nature and his stocks and shares. He is a smashing chap so we chatted with him for a while and then one of the other residents who had sneaked out for a crafty cigarette and to recount some bawdy tales of yesteryear – or in one case, last week, and indeed I had no idea that Mary was like that!

Some time later my ears began to droop and this was an indicator that a Spindle needed to resume her accustomed abandoned bagpipes/discarded prawn position on the bed, so we left to a clamour of waving and cheerful goodbyes.

Back at Spindle Towers, I spent the afternoon digesting and then deflating as a result of all the treats I had snaffled, and before you ask I did not steal Mary’s digestive biscuit this week. 

I must say pals that we love the therapy work and us hounds seem so suited to it. It is such an easy process to be assessed, and it really is a joyful and special thing to be part of. 


Me and the infamous ball bag

Spindle and the whippets play poker

I bring this diary entry to you good people today, amidst a rather fractious atmosphere at Spindle Towers. I have, what I believe can be commonly described as having ‘the right hump’. I am sat, cosseted in my day nest, cup holder deployed and cradling a small, powerful libation (avec mini umbrella), staring reproachfully at the Tiny Terror. To anyone who does not know, the TT is also known as Muvver – or more accurately staff. if anyone wishes to know why I refer to her as the Tiny Terror, well Hector started it and he apparently has his own reasons. I can only deduce that is because she is only 4ft 10” and her ‘tentacle like arms and curiosity led digits’ can install terror into an unsuspecting Hector at any given moment.

She, is sat on the sofa, clutching a large mug of tea as if her very existence depended on the life giving, soul affirming properties of the leaf of the Gods. She is also gently rocking and keening mournfully, in full Leonard Cohen mode.

The reason? Well pals, the dishevelled numpty dognapped me this morning and took me to the VETS. 

*Pauses for the audiences outraged whispers to die down

I behaved as any cosmopolitan hound of high repute would behave on reaching our dreaded destination. Just a glimpse of a rubber glove being purposefully applied to a vets hand can make me sit with a sudden decisiveness that I rarely display.  I skittered, vibrated and River Danced my way over to the populated waiting area amid unwelcome chatter “Yes Madam, I am indeed adorable but this is not the time to admire me”, “Yes, that is an interesting whifflet of eu de moggie, but quite frankly I am not currently interested’. Even the rabbits could not distract me from my trembling.

I made a last bid for freedom over the top of the seats, but alas the vetty door of doom opened and I was herded in by the marauding hobbit. 

A few of you may be wondering what has precipitated this visit? Well…

Very recently I have had the pleasure of meeting two new whippet pals on my perambulations through the woods. The jaunty pair of sleekster speedsters are Enzo and Jackie. They really are splendid and they have a little pal called Monty too. The humans got on terribly well as they bonded over pointy nose related misdemeanors, and this resulted in us being invited over to Whippet Headquarters for evening of canapés, drinkies and sparkling chat. 

The hound contingency were very excited at this news, as Enzo and I had been planning a Poker evening for some time, and the booze would hopefully distract the loons long enough to allow us to play a few paws and make some audacious wagers. I had dug out my lucky peaked visor that Victoria Coren Mitchell awarded me after I thrashed her at the Velvet Marmoset’s Poker Championships – although to be fair we had consumed vast quaffettes of tequilla beforehand, during and after. I must say though she is a terrific sport and performed the most wonderful trick with a cocktail olive and a pickled egg. As a consequence of this she now has a lifelong membership to the VM, the key to the VIP bathroom and Sister Josephine goes into raptures whenever she recalls that great night.

I was looking forward to a poker night with my new pals and was fairly confident that I would be able to return home without losing my lace panelled culottes. 

I must say the Whipsticks had done an excellent job on setting up a private space for our game night. In their lovely garden stood an octagonal wooden hut of great decadence – Hector closed his eyes in domestic resignation as he knew that he would most likely be building one at Spindle Towers as soon as the terror indoors had clapped her beadies on it. This fabulous wooden hut had comfortable bench seats around the edges, windows which overlooked rolling hills and in the centre was a cooking stove device. In essence, they had a purpose built gambling den! 

The whips had another pal over, so five of us were up for a night of high stakes derring do! Jackie wheeled in a little hostess trolley once we were all settled, and I must say the spread was top level. Cocktails, beers and a large plate of frazzled sausages. I had dabbled with the idea of becoming a vegetarian the previous week, but the beguiling sight of the sumptuous pork products put pay to that with immediate effect. A tense game followed and It was only by the very briefest of whiskers that I was declared victorious.

It was during a celebratory lap of the garden that I came a cropper. In my defence, my balance was not at its best as I circumnavigated the garden, waving my bloomers over my head and wailing ‘We are the Champions’. A summer evenings breeze inflated said unmentionables as I zoomed around and the sudden change in direction knocked me off balance, and all of a sudden we had a five dog pile up! I felt an unexpected twinge and looked down to see that my pesky dew claw was hanging off at an unusual angle. Never underestimate how much a little claw mishap can bleed! I don’t want to butter my own muffins in dairy based glory, but I really was terribly stoical in the face of such perilous injury. 

This was why I was trundled off to the vet to make sure it didn’t need any more fiddling about with. It didn’t, and it will be fine aslong as I don’t nibble on it. Thus far I have been a paragon of non nibbling virtue, but it has been made clear to me that the baby socks and medical tape will be unleashed if I am a nibblesome nuisance.

All in all a rather lovely evening which was enjoyed by all, and we shall reciprocate with an evening of high velocity cribbage very soon.

Pip pip until next time pals!

Enzo and Jackie

Spindle v The Happiness Engineers…

Dearest pals! I have VERY exciting news! 

I have been attempting to update my new website for all my jaunty dairy entries, and it has been a difficult few weeks as I am not renowned for my technological know how. Show me a squirrel and I shall form a battle plan…show me a bottle of Dubbonet and I will make you a perfect gin cocktail…but alas show me a list of technical instructions and I will blink blankly at the screen, gently break wind and wander off.

I lay prostrate over my laptop keyboard, keening and gently rocking from side to side, when hero of the hour, Hector, scooped me upon his arms, laid me down on the sofa and offered me a custard cream. All I could manage at this point was to loosely suck on one corner of the custardy raft of love, latching on like an indifferent infant asleep at the breast.

Normally I would enthusiastically snaffle a custard cream, dew claw pinkie sticking out like I was taught to do in the Swiss finishing school before expulsion. Hector was alarmed at this show of apathy in the face of snacks and called Muvver over from whatever horrendous things she would be doing (and she was).

They both surveyed me with frowns of deep worriment and consternation. Not even an impromptu rendition of Puff the Magic Dragon (with Hector harmonising and tooting on the ocarina) could quell my dejected heart. Is there anything as soul destroying as I.T?

Hector called an emergency kitchen table meeting and we gathered (well, I drooped) around a steaming pot of Earl Grey.  The fragrant tea steam wafted its way towards me and revived me somewhat, so much so that I could lift my pointy head from the table top and position myself to receive soothing earsie scruffles.

I was assured that it was perfectly permissible for a hound to ask for help in all things website related so I finally gave in and requested help from the source themselves, the mighty band of online helpers that limp people through technological disaster and despair. 

They refer to themselves as happiness engineers…

It is at this point that I lost my tiny Spindly plot. After spending several weeks trying to work out what to do, the frustration had built to a boiling crescendo…and the idea that a ‘happiness engineer’ even existed was a red rag to my damaged sensibilities. It took some time for me to calm down, and I have Hector to thank for his breathing techniques that he picked up at his flying, jumping yogi sessions. 

There is nothing worse than someone being unnecessarily cheerful in the face of technical befuddlement…it is excruciating. Nevertheless, I relented and several emails later, my semi saviour emerged in the form of Brin, and he has changed my life for the better. 

After a few correspondences, I had emotionally invested my soul in Brin, but I had a nagging doubt that he might have been a clever algorithm that was answering my strange questions and mollifying my confused pointy brow. I decided to ask him directly (through the medium of the keyboard) as to the state of his existence. He claims that he is indeed a human bean…but he is still too unnaturally perky so I do wonder.  

Once it became clear to him the level of understanding that we had to work with, things began to move like a tranquillised tortoise. Eventually through the medium of electronic letter writing, we crept slowly and then furtively scuttled our way towards a new website. You may see that I referred to Brin as a semi saviour, and that is because I must also give my thanks here to Hector. He very calmly sat with me as we followed pages of instructions and suggested coding and soothed me through several emotional storm bursts, within which I am not ashamed to say…I wept a little. BUT! It is done!

From my first arrival at Spindle Towers, I have written in excess of 90 stories about my misadventures with my new family and assorted misfit pals (aubergine wielding nuns, buttock toupee wearing huskies to name a couple of them), and there will of course be many more to come. 

You may, if you wish read all of them for free, but if you would like to, you can make a small contribution to my donation page if you have enjoyed reading them. I can heartily assure that that all funds will go towards keeping me in duck treats, custard creams and UV reflective bonnets, and will be received with many thanks and a little happy dance.

Please be sure to save spindlehound.uk to your favourites!

There are also links to my Instagram and Twitter accounts on the home page if you are a real glutton for punishment.

Pip pip me hearties!