After a few days off from the blog, I’m back with some pictures of Pip, my neighbour’s dog. He’s a Jack Russell X.
I’ve had lots of people commenting on the K&S Courier article from a couple of weeks back. Barney even got recognised in the vets this morning when he went for his yearly jabs.
I’m off to Crufts this week so if anybody knows any local owners/dogs who are going to be attending, showing, exhibiting up at the Birmingham NEC, please let me know. Or at least pass this blog site on to them. It would be good to get some pictures of local dogs/owners/businesses who have an association with the world’s largest dog show.
I’m hoping to get some blog posts done while I’m there so don’t forget to come back and have a look from Thursday onwards.
The Kent and Sussex Courier dropped on the doormat this morning and the wait was over. It has been over ten days now since the Courier reporter Amy De-Keyzer had visited and we’d chatted about blogging, dogs, photography and weddings. At the end, we had picked out some images to illustrate the piece. Apparently the Editor of the paper had seen the shot of Dizzy the Dalmatian in the snow from a couple of weeks back and had been intrigued.
I quickly flicked through the paper and found the article over two pages with plenty of images used too. I went to make a cup of tea and turned to find Barney sitting on the bench taking first look. He particularly liked the bit about the blog becoming an “internet sensation.”
Thanks Amy, it’s great and Barney gives it a big paws-up too.
Broadcasting House was lit up in the night sky and truly looked impressive.
In half an hour, BBC London’s Barking At The Moon show would begin so in I went and asked at the desk where to go. “Oh BBC London, that’s not in here, go out the door and second left down the walkway”. Let me tell, you Egton Wing entrance is a little less impressive but soon I was up on the second floor drinking a cup of coffee staring at a lifesize cardboard mannequin covered in sweets (yes sweets, humbugs, toffees, Love Hearts etc) and at the top was a photo of the grinning face of Danny Baker. I had arrived at BBC London.
I was shortly to be joined by journalist Alice Hart-Davis, who had come in to talk about her skin care products and Alfie, her Jack Russell. As we talked, Alice admitted she wasn’t overly familiar with the show but knew that the first words she would say would be “Woof, Woof.” Out came Alice’s phone, “I’m going to tweet about meeting you”. In an instance, my website address has turned up on 3744 of her followers twitter feeds.
The show starts with presenters Anna and Jo, woof-woofing each other before saying hello their dogs Molly (Miniature Bull Terrier) and Matilda (Bulldog) and asking them about their day before cracking up. Back outside, Alice had turned her chair around to look at the TV screen showing the goings-on in the studio. Suddenly, she looks a little worried. A minute later, Alice has gone in and I attempt to read all about that nice man John Terry on the back of the Mirror, but give up when Marie Sawle, from Billy and Margot turns up. Marie is there to promote her new range of doggie ice-cream and has brought some samples in. Molly and Matilda are in for a treat.
Alice exits and I’m am ushered in while Elvis’s “Hound Dog” plays over the air. Now seated, I take a quick snap of Jo across the desk which causes much amusement and look around for Molly and Matilda who are down by Anna’s feet next to me. Should I get up and take a picture? I daren’t move. I know nothing of radio studio etiquette. Jo and Anna read out emails and Facebook entries from devoted listeners. Jo even manages a Mockney accent for one of the messages read out, which Jo finds very funny because Anna is quite posh.
It doesn’t start well. If only I’d known that Jo would refer to a picture of mine that I just couldn’t recall, then I may not have frozen like I did. I’ve had 41 years to practise talking. Why choose now to forget everything? I didn’t manage to finish my first sentence…I rambled, some tumbleweed flew by and I was eventually rescued by Molly making a noise. Ah, my own buttock-clenching moment.
What followed was a blur. A repeated listen this morning has told me that the following conversation happened -‘photographing particular breeds, how the blog works, Tilly the dog I freed up from the nasty barbed wire, packs of dogs, where I dog walk and my way of working, photo sessions, Jo’s general trust of male dog walkers and observations on absent-minded dog walkers, Barney, headphones, having another dog, dog mating – Anna pointed out it might be considered “mean” to only allow Barney one go (she’s got a point), Shiba Inu, light levels in the woods, the hopscotch dog, FoGH, important points when photographing dogs, Uggie the dog in The Artist, plugging the website.’
Annnnnd relax. 13 mins 22 secs of terrifying enjoyment.
In all this time, Anna and Jo were complimenting me on what I do and the images they were looking at on the blog and for that I must thank them. They have a fantastic show and I now appreciate how good broadcasters really make it sound easy.
While Johnny Harper’s “Little Doggie” played over the air, Jo and Anna got down on the floor for a picture with Molly and Matilda. With this done, I said my goodbyes, left the studio and back outside drank three cups of water. Bit of advice for anyone in the same position…take some in with you.
Making my way back to the tube station, I picked up a text from my wife, “Stage struck. You did really well though.”
Did you know that there’s a radio program dedicated to all things doggy? No, well until a couple of months ago, nor did I.
BBC London’s ‘Barking At The Moon’ show goes out every Thursday from 10-12pm on 94.9FM. The aim of the show is to celebrate all things dog.
I met the two presenters, Jo Good and Anna Webb at Discover Dogs at Earls Court last year, where they were presenting some of the awards. They very kindly asked me on the show and I’m due to go on next Thursday week (2nd Feb)* at about 10.30pm. I’ve been listening to the show ever since I found out about it and the range of guests and dog-related subjects has been rich and varied. Charities, rehoming services, doggy fashion, therapists, behavior experts, groomers, film and TV stars and nutrition (they are very big on the benefits of green tripe) have all featured.
So, I will go on and have a chat about the blog and photographing dogs. I’d love to get a couple of shots of Matilda and Molly (Jo and Anna’s dogs) for the blog post to follow. These are very special dogs indeed; the only two dogs that are allowed into Broadcasting House. Sorry Barney, no trip to London for you.
Here’s a link to their Facebook page; they are very close to 2000 likes so if you’re mad about dogs and I know there’s plenty of you out there, click on the like button.
* I had to add in an asterisk, as when I was writing this blog post this morning, Anna gave me a call as they had bumped me off the show (I was due to go on this Thursday). This was due to the fact that Charlotte Gainsbourg is in town for one night only and they had managed to book her for the show. Anglo-French actress and singer Charlotte is a real celebrity and comes from great stock being daughter of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. How can a lowly dog snapper from Southborough compete with that?