The awkward turtle

Celebrating the failings of a successful person




I keep a gratitude diary. It pretty much reads “Date xxx. Today I’m grateful for xyz.”

The entries range in banality but I keep it to remind me of all the blessings that I have in my life in the form of family, friends, love, possessions, opportunities. The simplicity of the gratitude diary is that every night before I turn off from the world I put the world back into perspective once more. If I spent the day complaining that someone didn’t make me feel good about myself, I’d write that I was grateful for all those people who make me feel wonderful, if I was annoyed that I couldn’t buy that really overpriced coat to add to my collection, I’d write that I was grateful to have a collection at all.

Simples 🙂

So even if you might find it hard to show your gratitude sometimes, why not write it down on a scrap of paper? It can be a little secret between you and the Universe



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Dog walks turtle

Saturdays are dog walking days and my dog knows when it’s my turn because he will be waiting patiently outside my bedroom door ready to pounce as soon as I grab a coat.

I love my dog. I hate walking him. Firstly, there is that distinct feeling I will never be a good walker because I can’t whistle. I’ve tried many times, and infuriated many a maestro with my blowing spittle. Due to my inability to acquire this essential life skill my dog mocks me during our walks by pretending he can’t hear every other noise I can think to make.

Then there is the eternal battle we have called ‘Who’s the boss?’. It goes a little like this: “No Mambo I’m in front”, “No Mambo we are not standing by this old person’s leg whilst you decide whether to hump it or pee on it”, “No Mambo please don’t eat that shit!”. He always wants to be in front, and I rely on his need to lead to know he will eventually come running up beside me when he’s off the leash.

Mambo marking his territory

All those romantic notions I had of having a dog and him being my dependable companion have been irreversibly shattered. He refuses to play fetch! I look on with envy when I see other dogs actively cooperate with their owners. I’ve tried with discarded tree branches, flashy balls, anything. The size makes no difference, even toys he is completely obsessed about indoors he pretends he can’t see when we’re outside.  I am the proud owner of a hyper-active Jack Russell with the attention span of a demented gold fish, but I prefer to think he’s just too intelligent for that simpleton’s game.

What I hope for most on a dog walk is to not bump into any other dogs. This means there are witnesses to Mambo’s insubordination, and he inevitably will want to say hello. Mambo is so friendly, perhaps too friendly. During the times when I am welcomed into the respectable dog-walker club, which is initiated when two dogs greet and fawn over each other allowing for the respective owners to make comments about the weather and admire each other’s pets, Mambo will suddenly disappear under the other dog. I will try to remain unnerved and continue on with the dog-walker exchange but I know what Mambo is up to down there. You see he likes to lick willies and it when it happens the conversation takes a notable pause as the other owner looks down to see my dog getting too fixated on a particular member. We say our goodbyes and I visibly strain to get Mambo away.

I am protective like a proud parent, a stranger’s comment about my dog can elate or deflate me, leaving me to silently curse them as they leave. It is usually something dismissive about him being a small dog, and they might even chuck in a condescending chuckle. The best part about dog walks is that people talk to you when you have a dog. They will stop to stroke him and their hearts melt as he walks up to them beckoning their hands. I become not a isolatory member of today’s youth but someone old people wish “Good day” and “Lovely to have met you” to. Today, a lady in her electric chair stopped to point out a bird in the tree that she said must have been blown off route from Northern Spain, she apologised, “You can tell I don’t get out much” but I was more than happy to listen.
There are many things I do not understand about my dog; like how he could stand for half an hour sniffing out one leaf (he doesn’t because I can’t stand for half an hour watching him), how he will cock his leg to mark something new every 5 metres and still have enough wee by the end of the walk, how a small animal, bonded to me by a leash around his neck, can be so strong and out-do me in stubbornness, and how he will literally throw himself at the front door and wet himself with excitement just at the sight of the lead in my hand.  Despite the humiliation I experience chasing him around trees trying to get his lead on. I love my dog.

What I imagine the world looks like to Mambo as he picks up a million and one smells and sounds